Beemon

Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

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Ok, so the pittman shaft is 90 degrees to the column, right?

 

Is there just too much frame in the way? Is the steering box taller? What kind of pittman arm are you using? Buick? Jeep?

 

Unless it is just too tall, there should be a way, You need to get the end of the pittman arm (and the arc that it swings) in the right place, and the drag link in the right place, or it just introduces bump steer. Maybe a different pittman arm? There should be a bunch of different ones that will fit on that Saginaw box.

 

Basically the pittman shaft needs to run at the same angle the idler inner pivot point does. The box has to be at the correct height (up/down) to aim directly at the column. The Pittman arm is just gonna have to be the right length, and the right amount of up/down at the end, If it isn't, you need a different pittman arm. if the spline on the pittman shaft is so high or low at that point that a pittman arm cannot be had, then you need a different steering box.

 

If you can get that much right and you are running into the frame or something you probably CAN get away with having the box off center a little. Do you mean the spacing away from the frame would be 1/8" off? You can fudge that a little! Yes. I know it isn't right. It means that the pittman arm would be slightly off from straight ahead, and (without any correction) the steering wheel would not be centered. Correct the steering wheel centering in the column somewhere. Yes, I know there is a necessary tight spot at the center of the steering gear. That tight spot might be wider than you think!

 

I converted a Chevy truck decades ago. I put in a variable ratio Saginaw box. The frame was not made for it. In order to get the box in exactly the right spot (right/left), I would have had to cut and section the frame to accommodate the bulge in the side of the steering box. I elected not to because I did not want to weaken the frame where the steering attaches.

 

In that particular case, the original manual box had one of its tabs on an aluminum spacer. It was about 1/4" or 5/16" thick. I went to the junkyard and got 2 or 3 more of those spacers. Also, I had to redrill the frame to get the steering box where I needed to be. This mounted the new box with the bulge just barely touching the frame. So, the pittman shaft wound up either 1/4" or 5/16" too far to the left (the steering box is outside the frame on a Chevy truck).

 

This meant that the pittman arm was not quite straight ahead (but almost!) with the steering straight ahead. It also meant that rag joint was 1/4" or 5/16" left of the theoretical correct center of the column.

 

I was afraid I would be off of the tight spot at the center, and it would be loose all over the road. It also theoretically screws up the Ackerman. I was just sure I was going to have to go back and section the frame.

 

In practice, the steering column mounted and hooked up without even enlarging any factory holes (I did have to put in a shorter center shaft), The Ackerman error was negligible. The steering box remained tight at the center. It drove great.

 

In one of the Chevrolet truck forums, someone now sells a bolt-on plate that does that same conversion I did. The steering box has to be shifted EVEN FURTHER left than what I did. Why? Because there is an adapter plate between the box and the frame, but my steering box was touching the frame. People rave about how great the adapters are. Apparently you can get away with EVEN MORE right/left offset than the 1/4" or 5/16" I had.

 

I sure wouldn't worry about 1/8" of sideways shift until you have tried it. IMHO it will probably work.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I don't understand why you don't ask for a refund nothing lines up it's not as advertised.. In fact if you paid with PayPal you could open a case through them and win...500 bucks is a lot for an adapter let alone one that isn't even correct.

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On 5/8/2019 at 9:03 AM, 1956322 said:

I don't understand why you don't ask for a refund nothing lines up it's not as advertised.. In fact if you paid with PayPal you could open a case through them and win...500 bucks is a lot for an adapter let alone one that isn't even correct.

 

Asking for your money back is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. And at least in my case, despite opening claims and cases several times over the 4 years I've had this car on the road now, I have yet to see a cent returned to me for negligent work. So I just keep adding to the list. When I say this has been the worst hobby to be a part of,  I really mean it. You meet quite a bit of genuine people along the way but an absurd amount of crooks, too.

 

1/8" off was a typo, it should really be 1/4". I feel like that's just going to stretch and stress the rag joint. I couldn't even get a bolt through. There's also no side to side adjustment for the steering column, just up and down and front to back so i'm not sure how i'm going to get it aligned in the first place. Since the steering box is metric, the metric bolt wouldn't even go through one of the slotted holes so my next challenge is to helicoil the steering box with the correct thread and try again. 

 

Maybe when I make it big I can use an indexing tool to make my own pitman shaft. 

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I know it's not as easy as it sounds and I definitely understand the frustration with self claimed experts... But if you paid through PayPal it should be an easy case.. Not as described..I deal with PayPal and eBay regularly and trust me they'll take your side.. You have 6 months with PayPal to open a not as described case.

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I've been out of it for a while now but here's some progress: 

 

State Farm re-evaluated the car and raised the cost of repair to about $9000. The car is now at a metal working shop since Tuesday to get everything back to where it should be, including paint. This is another summer without the car. 

 

I'm considering adding an oil cooler. Going up on my way to home, the oil pressure would drop to unsafe levels. Im assuming the rod bearings are worn and the oil is overheating, thinning out. I need to put the engine off another year... and with an IR thermometer, the oil pan sits around 250F give or take 5 degrees. Your oil shouldn't exceed 230F in most cases. 

 

Regardless, anything I do will be at a later date. I have decided not to take the car back with me my last semester unless I have to. 

 

Speaking of going back to school, the last winter trip I did, my 02 Jeep with the 3.7L developed a tick or knock on off and part throttle deceleration, like ignition timing. Well I got that back Thursday and it has rod knock. So now i'm car-less this summer. Although it has nothing to do with the Buick, I'll be looking at an 82 K5 soon as a replacement 4x4 to get home from school. 

 

Truly fun times. 

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20 minutes ago, Beemon said:

I'm considering adding an oil cooler. Going up on my way to home, the oil pressure would drop to unsafe levels. Im assuming the rod bearings are worn and the oil is overheating, thinning out. I need to put the engine off another year... and with an IR thermometer, the oil pan sits around 250F give or take 5 degrees. Your oil shouldn't exceed 230F in most cases. 

In the absence of noise, it is more likely a worn pump or cam bearings.  Put a real gauge on it temporarily or permanently.  Oil viscosity you use?? 

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Get some Valvoline 20W-50 oil (for the Buick, not the Jeep) and see what happens. You might be surprised.

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

In the absence of noise, it is more likely a worn pump or cam bearings.  Put a real gauge on it temporarily or permanently.  Oil viscosity you use?? 

 

I have a real gauge on there now. About 25 at idle and 37 driving, which I was told was normal. I've been using 10W40.

 

 

1 hour ago, Bloo said:

Get some Valvoline 20W-50 oil (for the Buick, not the Jeep) and see what happens. You might be surprised.

 

I will try 20W50 but it most likely won't be until the end of July. 

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10 PSI per 1000 RPM is acceptable.  Looks like your pressure is fine.

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I have a real gauge on there now. About 25 at idle and 37 driving, which I was told was normal. I've been using 10W40.

 

Well, thats fine. If you can hold pressure at idle and low RPM, the oil probably doesn't need to be thicker, unless that all goes away with the oil hot, or it starts falling off when wound up. The 37 is most likely the setting of the relief spring in your oil pump bypass.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Assuming you're saying 25 psi at hot idle (in Drive) then that sounds perfectly fine.  If it dropped to 10 ~ 15 in Drive, then I'd be more concerned...

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10-15 is still acceptable.  Oil lights are built to come on at 2 psi....yes TWO 😳😂

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6 hours ago, EmTee said:

Assuming you're saying 25 psi at hot idle (in Drive) then that sounds perfectly fine.  If it dropped to 10 ~ 15 in Drive, then I'd be more concerned...

 

Yes this is the issue, while driving the oil pressure drops when getting hot. This is why i'm considering an oil cooler with thermostat. 

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Alright guys, I've finally settled back in at school. I am now a married man and have forfeited 50% of everything I own in what I hope was a good idea. Nah just kidding, I've got nothing to worry about (yet?)

 

Anyways, long story short the insurance company screwed me half way through the repairs and I had to pull out of pocket to finish. 

 

It started at the beginning on my summer. Mind you I had already gotten the initial settlement from State Farm and had purchased replacement parts before now. I found a local restoration body shop through the Hagerty network that came highly praised. My main concern moving forward was that I was to be married on the 3rd of August and the car needed to be done by then (this was the beginning of June) in which they assured me they could have it done. State Farm agreed to fix the damages as long as the repair did not exceed 75% of the projected cost (about $12000 so around $9000). I was told this was not going to be an issue, and the shop got the OK from State Farm after they said they would not total the car. Things were going great.

 

Except now they've brought in a second appraiser to negotiate with the shop. They got their rates re-negotiated and the insurance company gave the green light. 

 

About when the shop had all the body work done and everything was in primer, and the insurance company had failed to deliver their payout check to the shop, they brought up the notion of re-chroming the replacement stuff I had found. The stuff I got was more or less hot garbage but I couldn't be a choosy beggar, especially when I couldn't find any yards or quality parts within 3 states of me. By the shop's logic, since my chrome pieces were in pretty good condition, I was entitled to fresh pieces in equal or better value. The shop reaches out to the insurance company and pitches the chroming process to the insurance company. After 3 weeks of solid work, this is the first time anyone has heard from State Farm and they pull a full stop and send a third appraiser out to look at the car.

 

The third appraiser basically said the first two were morons and totaled the car on the spot. Over a suggestion pitched to the insurance company. At this time, it took 2 weeks for the insurance company to reach out to me to tell me the car was totaled. In fact, I had to call them to verify the car was totaled. So, after battling on the phone, I finally negotiated that State Farm hire a third party appraiser of their choosing to re-evaluate the car. To which, they hire someone OUT OF STATE to look at pictures the first appraiser took of the car. Fortunately, they appraised the car at $16500. The part that sucks is that even though the car was re-evaluated, it was still totaled on the books. 

 

So, after this, they tried to take my deductible out twice, and charge me for repairs and storage done. After negotiating with a representative, we told them that if they tried pulling this back door shady garbage, we were going to go to the insurance commissioner. We got a settlement payout for the value of the car + tax + licensing - salvage, which came out to a net $16500.

 

Well, the shop now saw that we were no longer under the umbrella of the insurance company, and knowing what the payout was, decided that the $4000 left of work to be done was now $9000 left to be done due to "unforeseen circumstances" that were never really disclosed.

 

After everything was all said and done, I got the car back the Friday before I had to leave for school, completely missing the wedding, out majority of the settlement claim, with work done that only fixed the damage (originally was going to be damage + paint chipping from Maaco which had voided their 5 year warranty due to the collision) on a now totaled title which I cannot have re-licensed until I have time to drive home and make an appointment with the Washington State Patrol for another vehicle safety inspection. Thus reinforcing my distaste for any and all auto establishments (I have only had two good experiences thus far) where I have to use a customer service voice lying through my teeth in the sweetest manner just to get my property back.

 

Throughout the entire process, my 02 Jeep was diagnosed with rod knock, I had to micromanage my then fiance so she didn't have a mental breakdown and kill me, and sit helpless from the sidelines while my prized possession is picked over by both the insurance company and the restoration shop like vultures. I ended up buying a clapped out 81 Blazer to get me to and from school, especially during the winter.

 

Everyone keeps telling me "I hope this was a lesson learned to only drive your car on a sunny weekend" as if deer are going to drop dead during Saturday or Sunday, or that other drivers are somehow impervious to car accidents on the weekend. The truth of the matter is, once it's licensed, I will go back to driving it whenever the hell I want. Just with different insurance.

 

Before (its wet):

Image may contain: car and outdoor

 

After:

Image may contain: car and outdoor

 

There's a few things I'll be doing with my riches, including:

  • Finding an AC dash, HVAC routing and dash controls
  • Modern under the hood AC
  • White Wall tires?
  • New J-bars (if they're still available)
  • New grill center emblem

The worst part about this entire ordeal is that at some point I will actually need to most likely have the car repainted again in the near future since warranties are void and I still do not have enough to finish the interior and probably won't any time soon.

 

 

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Well, in spite of the situation, it's good to see you back.  Car looks good from here and congratulations on your marriage Ben.

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x2, she looks pretty good in the photo and I'm glad to see her whole again.

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Congratulations on your marriage Ben! Good idea to test it thoroughly in the first few weeks...lol...

Your Buick looks great! Hope the Blazer gets you through. 

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8 hours ago, NC-car-guy said:

Progressive was equally sh*tty when their client totaled my 54.   I feel your pain! Congrats on the marriage!

 

Did they total it up front or did they lead you on for a month before saying "Sorry, not sorry" ? Really kind of opened my eyes, but I didn't have much choice at the time since I was daily driving the car as my only source of transportation for some time.

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They pulled me around for a month then totaled it.  We didn't actually start any work though.

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Ben,

Congratulations to you and yours regarding your Marriage!

May you have many healthy & happy years together!! 👍

 

I won't cloud your thread with my insurance experiences (house) which are on going but they are all ".....'s" in my opinion. When a rep, while on the phone, states that they are a business and have to make money like any other business, you know they are not your friend!

 

Wishing you continued success at school! Your hard work and long hours will be worth it in the end.

Keep us posted.

Doug

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Welcome back Ben.

Congrats on the marriage.

Condolences on the insurance experience.

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Welcome back to the land of Buick.  Congratulations on your marriage.  Nice the Buick was repaired. Sorry it took the worst possible route exposing the worst in insurance companies.    

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