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Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick


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On 12/26/2017 at 9:01 AM, avgwarhawk said:

And the 56 Buick carries on without complaint, plying the winter covered roads.     

 

Reminds me of winter of '89, a kid walks into my office and says "I'd like to ply fer a job". I told him "it's too wet to ply, come back in the spring"  Poor boy never did figure out what I was talkin about. I hired him though.

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On 1/2/2018 at 11:38 PM, Beemon said:

Starting the New Year off. I'm trying to do mostly cosmetic upgrades this year. A gentleman locally was selling these hubcaps for $100. They're the best condition I've seen locally and he lived within 10 minutes of me. OfferUp truly is a great thing because I have never seen spinner caps as good as these go for so little! The centers are solid and still vibrantly red. Minor pitting on the spinner, but they look good for a driver. one cap has a scratch on the top by the spinner but it's not bad. Other than that, it's got the usual dings around the retaining lip but no road rash at all. Now I need to buy myself some curb feelers! 

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Them are nice. You may want to put razor blades in the backs of them, that was the way it was done on wire hubcaps back in the late 60's.

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

 

Ouch

 

Not really, once word got out it was being done, thefts of Oconee County cars hubcaps dropped dramatically.

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Yesterday I bid farewell to my Buick. Under pressure, I was told to leave her behind because of a potential for snow over the pass and back at school. 

 

We spent almost $1000 for a new radiator and complete flush for the Jeep to get me over here and would you know they didn't replace the radiator cap. The seal is broken, so when I parked the car to fuel up half way here, it puked again. Good thing I've got a warranty! 

 

The worst part of course is that the roads were bone dry. Boy I sure do miss the car again. :(

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I got a ticket on Thursday afternoon for parking in the wrong (unmarked) zone while driving with my Jeep. Tried to save a buck by putting the Buick parking pass on the Jeep for the interim. Turns out, if you do this you get a verbal warning with the next offense being a boot. This weekend I was already planning on driving back home to help my girlfriend, whose sister rolled her alloy rim over the curb on Christmas Eve. To make a long story short, I used it as an excuse to swap vehicles. Boy did I get lucky! Friday night Snoqualmie Pass was compact snow and ice and westbound going down, there were 3 cars pitted into the left bank of the highway just after the first big turn. Easy going with the Jeep... Sunday night, slight rain with wet road conditions.. easy going with the Buick. Amazing what 2 degrees will do to the pass conditions! Stars were definitely aligned on that one, I was not looking forward to driving south to Vancouver then east through the canyon... The old girl was thirsty and drank 2 quarts to get here. Just curious, but after a long drive, the car seems to hesitate in D but has no issue in L, almost like its starving for fuel... must just be tired.

 

Over the weekend, I also dabbled in adding an AUX input to the tube radio. Mostly successful, except I burned the end of the 470kOhm resistor from the source input to the power supply on the pot. As I was soldering the AUX into the terminal, I watched the plastic bubble... now I only have one volume range, off and halfway on. Oops. That one is gonna be tough to replace, probably best to replace that resistor anyways, but super bummed out. I was pretty excited when I got Pandora to play just by touching the AUX input lead to the signal terminal on the volume pot, it overrode the antenna perfectly. The radio had also stopped working over the weekend because the Motorola antenna lead had the ground shield separate from the plug, so I had to rip the old head off, strip 3/8" of the old antenna wire, fold the braid back over itself and slip the new plug over the top. Soldering the tip to the signal input wire was the hardest part, now it makes a perfect ground. I'm hoping there's an electronics place near town that would even stock a 1W 470kOhm resistor...

 

Oh, and I need to fix the antenna one of these days, too. Darn nylon rope came out again and it won't let it go down any further. The end of the antenna mast is broken, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to do to get it fixed, but maybe I can heat it and melt it and shove it up in there and let it cool or something.

 

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Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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So today I pulled the radio back out and did a complete scope out of the wiring again. All the resistors seem to have some sort of degradation but most of them are within 2%. My next task will probably be to replace all resistors in the system. That being said, I was scared I may have ruined the volume pot. Today I did some extensive testing and there are no shorts to ground, which tells me that it is working fine. However, there is a 470kOhm resistor parallel to the pot output and the readings across the pot at open are around 245kOhms. The pot itself, if I'm reading the wiring diagram correctly, is supposed to be 1MOhm, or 1000kOhm, so in parallel to the 470kOhm resistor, it should read 320kOhm. 245kOhm is a big difference between 320kOhm. That's about a 23% difference. Without snipping the resistor off, I do not know if it is the pot or the resistor that has degraded, but considering the pot is in good working order and has a very good range, I am going to assume it's the resistor. I do not believe there is anywhere near me that I can get resistors, all the RadioShacks closed within the last couple years. It would be nice if WalMart carried a hobby isle in their electronics section... oh well. Looks like I've identified the problem, though. The lower resistance would definitely put the amplification circuit out of whack - how much I do not know, but seems to be the answer to my problem. I'll live with it for now. And if the pot ends up having a little bit of a leak down issue, then I'll just size up a resistor to put it back in the 320kOhm range.

 

Also it's really nice that after 60 years, the color band codes on the resistors of 1956 are still the same standard as modern resistors. That makes identifying them so much easier! Now I just need to find suitable replacements after cross referencing the resistors in the box. 

 

Also here's the AUX input on the radio. Its two 1kOhm  resistors at the two stereo leads going into one wire (mono, red wire) with a 10kOhm filter resistor to ground  (green wire). I was told this set up would simulate the load of headphones. The red wire connects to terminal (source input) on the pot.

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Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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I wouldn't worry about any 2 percent. They didn't when they built it. Back in the 50s, "normal" resistors were +- 20 percent. Tighter tolerance was available, but not used unless necessary. +-10% and +- 5% were used. Anything tighter than that was a super-expensive special resistor for a test instrument.  Also, when they made resistors in those days, they sorted them for tolerance, so a 20 percent resistor was often between 10 and 20 percent wrong when new.

 

A 20 percent resistor has no fourth color band, silver is for 10 percent, gold for 5 percent.

 

Have you replaced the paper and electrolytic capacitors in it yet? They degrade with age much worse than resistors and are the source of most trouble. In an AM radio, resistors off by even 50 percent are unlikely to make any difference you can see without test equipment. Resistors do drift with age, usually higher in value. 23 percent off on a pot isn't unusual at all. It is probably supposed to be within 20, but may not have been even when it was new.

 

What is it doing wrong?

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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The volume is either extremely low, semi-medium to medium. I have already replaced the caps, the radio was working flawlessly then I parked it for winter, came back to get it and it has been acting up since. I have no volume control, despite the pot showing it has full sweep with no shorts. The only reason I bring up the pot resistor is because when checking the other ones, the worst one was maybe 7% out of spec. I also messed up my error calculation [(360-245)/360]*100% is 32% out of spec. I do not know why the volume control is all of a sudden just three volumes, despite the rheostat on the pot not being shorted out or anything. I cannot think of any other reason it is behaving like this.

 

The color bands on the 470kOhm resistor are yellow purple, yellow, silver, indicating a 470kOhm resistor with +/- 10%.

 

Edit: Here's the AUX cable hooked up, listening to the Killer of course.

 

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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The way they have that circuit drawn is making my head hurt.... I noticed a couple of things though.

 

I see 871k in parallel with the 1 meg pot and the 470k. Also, your 10k to ground is probably affecting things as well, because there is 3.3k to ground from the other side of the pot. I'm surprised this isn't pulling it WAY lower. It should.

 

Speaking of that, you should probably have a capacitor in series with that red lead.  .01uf would probably work. If it limits the bass (compared to the AM radio) try more, like 0.1uf or 0.22uf. You probably need a resistor in series with it too, otherwise things will be loaded down a lot by your 10k resistor.

 

The pot itself needs to be a logarithmic sweep to work properly, so you should be seeing most of the sweep at one end of the travel when you are testing it. It was called "audio taper" back in 1956. Another bit of weirdness here,  on any home radio,  one end of the volume control would be grounded. On this radio, the low volume end of the pot is 4.3k (3300+1000) above ground. This means you cant turn the volume all the way down.

 

Back to the matter at hand,  I would recheck all those resistors on the diagram around the pot. Something must be open. Maybe unsolder the pot and check it out of circuit. The tap and the 2 capacitors is only a bass boost or treble cut (depending on how you look at it) to make the radio sound better at low volumes.  If you want or need a 470k and cant find one, PM me. I can probably dig one up and mail it to you, maybe other values too.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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The 10kOhm to ground is just to put a load on the MP3 source, as volume control of the MP3 is handled by both the radio and the MP3 player. I'm pretty positive the treble/bass is also handled through the MP3 player and in this configuration, the radio just becomes a speaker amplifier. When it is not hooked up, the source signal is open and not pulling a load except from the antenna amplification circuit. Even before adding the auxiliary input, this issue was prevalent so I know it has nothing to do with it. When I have time, I may do as you suggest and de-solder the pot. Also feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, my knowledge of the circuit is heavily dependent on 3 weeks of Electrical Engineering AC/DC circuits and Engineering Physics 2/3.

 

When looking at the wiring diagram, I too spent quite a bit of time scratching my head.. trying to find the 820k and 3300 ohm resistors is a pain as they are no where near the pot and are rather somewhere within the chassis, as well as the .004 capacitor. The only components on the pot are the .000180 capacitor, the 47k and 470k ohm resistors.

 

Bloo, what do you do for a living again? :P

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Err.... network administration. I was a driveability technician for most of my life (diagnostics, engine control systems, tune up). I have also worked in upholstery, TV repair, gas stations (when they had service bays) and probably some other things I have forgotten....

 

If the input works as is, I am not arguing that, but I would still disconnect that 10k from ground while you are troubleshooting the radio, and then hook it back up afterward, after you have the problem solved.

 

As for the volume circuit, this is the best I can come up with. The triode section (preamp) in the 12bf7 can be looked at as a voltage amplifier. The impedance of the grid is extremely high. That impedance, in parallel with that volume control circuit, is the input impedance of the amplifier, more or less. The pot should be audio taper. Since doubling the voltage doesn't get you anywhere near double the perceived loudness, the pot needs to be logarithmic in order to seem linear to the user. Otherwise the control would happen over just a few degrees at one end.

 

Since the pot is logarithmic,  it's overall resistance affects the perceived linearity too, too high and the change will seem to push to one end. I think they felt some need to change this. Maybe it was because they floated the ground end up to keep you from turning the volume all the way down. Maybe that made one end bunch up. Maybe the bass boost was switching at the wrong loudness. They put a 470k in parallel with it. Now it is a 320k pot with probably some change to it's taper. The 820k in series with the 1000 is also in parallel with the pot. That is going to change it a little more.

 

The 1000 and the 3300 form a cathode resistor for the tube (and a voltage divider). The place where the 2 connect form a tap for the grid where it will get a bias voltage always more negative than the cathode (this is normal operation for a tube). The grid is tied to this tap through the 1 Meg grid resistor. there is almost no voltage drop across the 1 Meg because the grid has such a high impedance/resistance.

 

Whew....

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Bloo said:

As for the volume circuit, this is the best I can come up with. The triode section (preamp) in the 12bf7 can be looked at as a voltage amplifier. The impedance of the grid is extremely high. That impedance, in parallel with that volume control circuit, is the input impedance of the amplifier, more or less. The pot should be audio taper. Since doubling the voltage doesn't get you anywhere near double the perceived loudness, the pot needs to be logarithmic in order to seem linear to the user. Otherwise the control would happen over just a few degrees at one end.

 

Since the pot is logarithmic,  it's overall resistance affects the perceived linearity too, too high and the change will seem to push to one end.

 

Thanks for the reply and insight, very grateful! This is exactly the issue I'm experiencing. Turn it on, it's extremely quite right before off, then sub-medium volume all the way up until the last 3/4 of the dial where it gradually gets louder. I still cannot find the 820kOhm resistor parallel to the pot, it must be wired near one of the adjustment towers.

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Today was pretty cool. One of the guys in the Electrical Engineering labs on campus, while I was communicating with my  circuits professor, overheard I had an old car from the 50s. He had a complete set of Sun accessories that he recently picked up but didn't work. It's an EB-7A for a 6 cylinder car, with an RC-50 5000RPM tach and a short cup, plus 2 NOS batteries. And he passed them on to me to have because they didn't work. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

 

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From the invoice in the box, the transmitter was returned faulty with the kit for repairs, but the kit was over 10 years old at the time and they must have boxed and shelved it. The invoice is dated 1968, and while I can't find any date codes on any of the pieces, the invoice says they are 10 years old so that would date these for 1958. I tested the tach with a AA battery and it sweeps and returns to zero just fine so I think I'm good there. I've been researching how to convert the box to 8 cylinder and I've concluded that the only difference between models is the capacitors. The wiring diagram is pretty straight forward, too.

 

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This is for the EB-9A, as the 7A model only has one battery. Note that it only has two capacitors, however every model I've seen has three. The capacitor off the battery is actually two capacitors in series, with the one bridged capacitor between ground and distributor lead (my bridge capacitor was under the board).

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I found this wiring diagram here. Apparently it uses two rechargeable AA batteries at 1.2 volts with a jumper cable to the ground circuit so it pulls a load and continuously charges when the engine is on. There's also a diode at the positive terminal (to keep from discharging when the car is off) with a resistor to ground. If they went through the trouble, I'm not sure why they bothered adjusting the circuit to accompany the batteries when they could just reduce the voltage with a series of resistors to the required 2.7VDC but to each their own. I guess it's to keep a stable voltage? Anyways, this circuit is pretty straight forward and easy to work with.

 

The original model guts seem to be okay but they are far different from the EB-9A. From my own research, the EB-9A has a 70uF 1000VDC and .075MF 200VDC capacitors in series with what looks like a .04MF 200VDC bridge capacitor.With that settled, finding a suitable voltage source is the only hard obstacle. The article linked above went from a 125Ohm resistor to a 1000Ohm resistor to get a correct reading. This should give me a project to focus on this semester that won't blow the bank so I don't spend that paint money. The best part is, I don't need to rely on that awfully big 8000 RPM tach I installed and I'll have a period correct piece to talk about, working or not. And I can cover up the holes on the driver inner fender I drilled when I added that remote fill reservoir for the master cylinder conversion I threw away.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The forecast last night said "expect 8 to 10 inches" and I started to sink. I thought we were behind this already, moving into spring with fresh chutes in the fields. Well, turns out apparently 8-10" over here is really a meager 2". Seriously people told me it dumps here but I guess this winter has been very lacking. Still nice to look at, though. I figured I'd go to the Cenex station down the hill from campus and drop $20 in just so there's fuel in the tank. Read a quart low, so I went over to the auto parts store. Got a few looks, one "You're driving that thing around in the snow? If that was my car, it would be garaged!" Sorry sir, it's not your car. Enjoy!

 

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No pictures this time, but I just got back from my 3-day weekend at home. Valentine's was last week as we all know, and I had to make up some lost time with the GF and since she offered to pay for gas, I couldn't refuse. The planets must have aligned for me, because Snoqualmie Pass was clear on the way there and on the way back. Despite an uneventful weekend with raised blood pressure, I was saddened to find that one of my W2s had not come in the mail - not that that was the real reason for going home or anything... :ph34r: In any case, Interstate 90 and Highway 26 were absolutely clear. It wasn't about until I hit Washtucna that the tailpipes started smoking like a chimney. At first I thought I was in for some serious trouble, but then I noticed the car in front of me was doing the same. Turns out as the sun went down, the temps dropped into the teens and before I hit Colfax, it was 2 degrees. And boy those guys in Colfax must be sadists, because through town it was compact snow and ice. The Dynaflow is one hell of a transmission, too. Never once touched the brakes. Dropped in Low and let the engine do the work for me. This Buick is probably the best car I've ever driven in the snow, just because the variable torque characteristic of the transmission just has a really low drive range until 40 MPH. It probably also helps that the only tires in the right size I could get over the counter were A/T Mud + Snow tires. And of course, as my dad told me, the snow looks best in the mountains - I'm definitely not looking for trouble here and prefer not to drive in the snow, but when I do, I seem to run circles around modern cars on campus here. Is it because they're kids fresh out of high school? Who knows, just glad to finally be off the road.

 

And despite losing a quart of oil every 150 miles, the car seems to be chugging along flawlessly. While at home, I hit my little bird behind the throttle with some more WD-40 White Lithium, as well as the door jams and hood hinges, I think my squeaks will be good for a while. I might be able to actually reach Colorado this year if I don't run into internship issues.

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7 hours ago, Beemon said:

And despite losing a quart of oil every 150 miles, the car seems to be chugging along flawlessly.

 

As my Dad used to say, "I'd hate to have to walk back from as far as that car will take me when finally she breaks down!"

 

Safe and happy travels.

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5 hours ago, old-tank said:

Leaking or burning?

 

Leaking for sure. No blue smoke like my last engine but there's always an unhealthy pool of oil below the rear main. At least I can chalk this one to old age and not negligence. My plan for now is to keep it running as I don't have the time or space to pull the pan and pull the rear bearing cap to see how bad it is. 

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2 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

Leaking for sure. No blue smoke like my last engine but there's always an unhealthy pool of oil below the rear main. At least I can chalk this one to old age and not negligence. My plan for now is to keep it running as I don't have the time or space to pull the pan and pull the rear bearing cap to see how bad it is. 

Before I fixed my leaking rear main seal, it would quickly lose 2 quarts like yours especially if driving in hilly locations (my theory was that oil sloshed back to the seal and leaked).  After 2 quarts it would stabilize.  That engine holds 7 quarts and will not be hurt if 2 quarts low...I would add 1/2 quart when it got 2.5 quarts low on the dip stick.

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I have not checked to see if it will hold 5 quarts or not, always scared to try especially on a 240 mile road trip across state. Maybe around town I'll monitor it here and see how we do.

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Great car and great stories about your experiences on the Palouse! I had my 1949 Super in Pullman for twelve years.  It was original unrestored in those days (1980s/90s). I've since done some engine work and installed a new clutch.  (I've owned the car for forty years.)

Storage in Pullman originally presented a challenge until I met some local wheat farmers at My Office Tavern.  Over the years, I stored the car at many locations, including a pea combine warehouse and a barn.  I worried about rodent issues with the barn until the owner pointed out the owl up in the rafters.  That owl became my car's guardian angel, so to speak, keeping the mice at bay.

These days I get the Super or my 39 Roadmaster out for a drive most weekends.  In fact, I plan to take the Roadmaster out today, since our mini snow event here in Portland is now over.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ben,

This post is not about your '56 but since you have shared about some of your school experience and my son has gone through what you are now, thought I'd share what he is planning to do.

He came home one day this week and asked if I could give him a hand?

Went out and saw this metal frame stuffed in the back of his truck and asked what's up?

Seems this is what is left of his SAE school competition car he and the team worked on three / four years ago. The Competition was in Michigan held at the Michigan International Speedway with 115 teams from all over the world. They placed in the top 25 there and met some fantastic designs and people! :)

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The University dismantles each car as the same car can not compete, as you know in the next years competition so Mark asked if he could have the chassis.

He plans on resurrecting the car with the support of a fellow grad and running it in Toronto when completed. (Has this idea that he will clean up against Porches because the track there doesn't require restrictor plates...) 

So... there it sits in my shed which I'm trying to clean out and move for access to my back yard but because of his enthusiasm and enjoyment especially with the fabrication part of the process, guess that's what Dad's are for. :unsure:;)

 

Have you completed a car and competed yet?

Hope you don't mind the diversion on your thread.

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Thanks for sharing! No we haven't completed this year's car yet. We're horribly behind schedule and probably won't have it rolling until mid March. I am hoping to go to Michigan this year. We have a reputation to up hold, win or lose Cougs still booze.

 

Thats really cool though! All our old cars get cut in half and mounted on walls. I don't think anyone has ever bought a chassis and rebuilt it. Having no restrictor would be really cool as I know these motorcycles are deadly fast. Keep me posted on the cars progress! 

 

This weekend I came home for spring break. At my half way fuel up in Vantage, WA, the car threw up. I'm starting to wonder if the car isn't getting fed up to and when it's shut down, the pressure goes through the rear main. The photo was after I shut the car off at the gas station. I'm not sure if highway pressure has anything to do with it. I also found metal on my dipstick so it looks like we're on our way out. I need to find myself a late 60s Riviera soon so I'm not left without a Buick if I have to dig into this engine. 

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Tonight I rotated my tires for the 5000 mile anniversary of them. Since I had the wheels off, I pulled the drums, too, to inspect and clean behind the backing plate. The same drum that overheated last year had more problems this year! Pulled the drum and the shoe was in disarray! Hundreds of micro cracks and a large portion of material missing. The piece on the ground is the piece I removed by hand without effort. The other piece was no where to be found... good thing I had a spare set of shoes on hand! Tires rotated, brakes adjusted, bearings repacked and I'm on my way. I'm looking in the next day or two to do an oil change. 

 

The rear driver side backing plate gasket is leaking some axle lube. Thankfully it's coming out of the weep hole and not dripping on the drum and contaminating the shoes. That can wait though because I just found the right 3.36 rear gears! So when they come in, the 3.23 gears will be my back up set if/when they ever need to be used. The 3.36 gears I found look to be in better shape than I recall the 3.23 gears. I know its not a significant change, but the Buick engineers felt it was necessary for high compression 4 barrel cars and that's good enough for me. The pick up off the line will be back, too, as I've missed that with the 3.23 gears. On top of this, ill be getting two straight torque tube strut rods, so hopefully my rear end won't be sprung anymore. 

 

Tomorrow or Wednesday I'm hoping to setup a home made alignment shop at my grandfather's and spend some quality bonding with the Buick. Since all these tire shops are hopelessly incompetent if the car is not in their computer (just asking for a tie rod alignment here, throw me a bone), I'll be wrapping four jack stands with twine and trying my best to triangulate the wheels with aluminum pie plates under the wheels. Should be pretty easy, however with the amount of play I have in the wheel, it will be a bit difficult to find dead center on the gear box. 

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Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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Trash bags (folded up) make pretty good turntables to put the wheels on. Jack stands do work great for the string. You will need to space the strings out from the wheels with something because the bodywork will be in the way. I used oil cans, but they don't make the right kind of oil cans anymore. You'll need to find something of a predictable size.

 

It really helps to know ahead of time that your wheels run true.

 

2 cans per side at the back and careful positioning of the strings will show you if the rear axle is pushing straight, and if it is the toe can be measured from the strings. You can also put 4 more oil cans up front and realign the strings if you want. Most cars have a slightly narrower track in the rear, so with the steering straight ahead you should have equal gaps at the front cans on the back wheels, and more equal gaps at the front cans on the front wheels. Toe in for most old cars is specified as a linear measurement of "total toe" in inches instead of degrees per side. Don't forget to add the sides together. It really should be measured up at half the tire height, but short of making a giant makeshift caliper to measure it directly, (not a terrible idea) you may have to fudge this a little.

 

If you have radial tires you might want to run less toe than stock anyway, maybe half or so. The whole idea is you never want to be toed out at speed. The toe in compensates tor tire drag trying to toe the wheels out by loading the steering linkage and suspension. Radials drag less, and need less compensation. If you use less toe and the car doesn't dart all over the place at speed, you are fine, and the car will roll easier, and the tires will last longer (it should drive fine with the stock setting if you prefer).


Getting the toe set is pretty easy. Centering the steering wheel is harder. Even with an alignment rack it often takes more than one try. Just get the toe right, then make identical and opposite changes (and drive it) to center the wheel. Recheck the toe to make sure it didn't change.

 

Camber is just how far the tire leans in (negative) or out (positive). You can quick check it with something straight (like a level) and an angle gauge.

 

Caster is a bit more difficult. Magnetic caster gauges are great if you know anyone who has a set. They stick to the front hubs. You turn the steering 20 degrees each way to make the measurement. The gauges do this by measuring the camber at 20 degrees in and at 20 degrees out, and then calculating. It is also possible to measure camber at +-20 degrees and calculate it manually.

 

If you are setting any other angles, do toe last. Good luck.

 

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Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, Beemon said:

The same drum that overheated last year had more problems this year! Pulled the drum and the shoe was in disarray! Hundreds of micro cracks and a large portion of material missing. The piece on the ground is the piece I removed by hand without effort. The other piece was no where to be found... good thing I had a spare set of shoes on hand!

 

Spare parts are good :)(ask me how I know...).

 

I'm sorry, I didn't look back but that overheating, did you not change the brake shoes after that incident?

By the looks of the thickness of that piece you picked off there was sufficient material. I would have thought heat wouldn't break down the lining like that especially being riveted on vs. bonded. That's what brakes do, generate heat (to a point obviously) :unsure:.

Just curious here not criticising (no mechanic here).

Presume those shoes were new when they were first put on right?

 

As always, safe travels. 

Edited by dei (see edit history)
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Those pictures of your 56 in the snow remind me of the 4 years my 55 spent in winters in Potsdam NY.  Got the same crazy looks from people when driving it on snowpacked roads and sub zero weather.  Will hunt down some pics.

 

Had a set of Firestone Town and Country studded snow tires on it and an 80 lb bag of salt over each wheel in the trunk.  That car went through anything the great white North threw at it.  I can remember pushing snow with the front bumper on the way home from a Springsteen concert in Syracuse in a blizzard.  No weather reports on an iPhone back then and a paper map under that goofy little map light.  Somehow those vacuum wipers went the distance.  One of a few memorable winter adventures.  Thinking back, not quite sure how we got home sometimes and didn’t end up backed into a snowbank.  Sure  glad the car knew what the heck it was doing.

 

The Dynaflow having less startup torque in D on a slick snow packed road was always an advantage on startup.  Once it got moving - it kept just going.

 

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On 3/13/2018 at 5:47 AM, dei said:

 

Spare parts are good :)(ask me how I know...).

 

I'm sorry, I didn't look back but that overheating, did you not change the brake shoes after that incident?

By the looks of the thickness of that piece you picked off there was sufficient material. I would have thought heat wouldn't break down the lining like that especially being riveted on vs. bonded. That's what brakes do, generate heat (to a point obviously) :unsure:.

Just curious here not criticising (no mechanic here).

Presume those shoes were new when they were first put on right?

 

As always, safe travels. 

 

Doug, sorry to be getting back to you so late! No, I did not change the shoes before - they had looked fine. They were also New, the Ultra Premiums from NAPA instead of the base Proformer (they were impregnated with metal). Kinda sad they went out like this but oh well, car seems to stop pretty good with these other, unknown pads.

 

Speaking of, if anyone has been watching my override spring topic, I found the correct spring to be NAPA part number UP80579. I was pretty happy about that. With the self adjusting set up right, the brake pedal has a nice firm feel versus the manual way of things. Maybe I'm too lazy. :P

 

Tomorrow I plan to do my alignment, thanks for the tips Bloo! I already know my rear end is sprung slightly since one of the torque tube arms is bent. I've also been put off schedule. I went to repack the bearings in the front and find the inner bearing race free floating in the hub. I'm using the National bearings from RockAuto and have had no complaints. I know there has been fear. regarding the plastic cage, but they have not broken on me yet.  Anyways, I mic'd out the bearing race with another I had and they are the same. These hubs on the car I got from an eBay listing that I got my Roadmaster backing plates from. When compared to my original hub, the insides were off by a thousandth,  so I'm not sure what happened there. I drilled out the rivets on my old drums and extracted and swapped hubs. Driving back home from dad's shop  (and full after a cooked back strap dinner), the shimmy in the front at 65+ was gone. The ride was so smooth I couldn't believe the difference. Also not sure I'm doing this right, but I was told for ball bearing to preload by tightening the nut until the bearings are seated, then backing off and tightening by hand to the nearest cotter pin hole. 

 

I have set in motion a plan B to my hub problem. A year ago I bought 65 Riviera aluminum drums to upgrade my brakes, but turns out they will not fit the stock backing plates - 57 to 60 aluminum drums are different from 61 to 65 aluminum drums and the earlier years are the ones that fit. So I did the same as my stock drum, drilled out the rivets and separated the hubs from the drum. Once I solve the back spacing issue, ill have far superior tapered roller bearings that I can buy over the counter at half the price of ball bearings. Hopefully. 

 

Among other things, I have found slop in the drag link. When I do the alignment tomorrow, I plan on tightening that up as well. Hopefully it will reduce some slop at the wheel. 

 

Im also doing an oil change, and since ill be detaching the idler arm from the frame, I feel this will be a good chance to drop the pan and check the innards/ clean out any sludge. I'll also be able to install the windage tray I bought from Matt for that 100+up bolt on mod. I've also got gaskets for the valve covers as I want to check valve stem and rocker wear, as well as valve spring condition and do some top end sludge cleaning. Hoping all goes well! 

 

No compression checks planned, I do not want to disappoint myself! 

20180316_234802.jpg

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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Hey, Ben!  How are the aluminum drums different from early to late?  I never paid attention... and am not sure which ones I have on my '54.

 

When doing my project, I found that the shoes did not fully engage, with a little lip of shoe hanging outside the drum.  I ground the Roadmaster brake plates down at the outer lip for some extra clearance, set some heavy washers behind the plates to bring them in a bit, and then the shoes were in like they should be.

 

To double check, put some machining blue on your drum and spin it around with the shoes adjusted out some, so as to be sure they have full contact and are not hanging out.  The blue should rub off onto the shoe, all across the width.

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The early aluminum drums have the same backing plate stamp as the 54-56 Buicks, while the 61 and up are the thin stamped sheet metal. The channel between the fins and cast iron liner is deeper so you don't have to machine the backing plate down. You can tell the difference between the two by the absence of lug studs and the use of ball bearings - the hubs are completely different. 61-65 45 fin are also 2.25" thickness while 57-60 are 2.5" thickness. That's where the deeper pocket comes from. 

 

There's a lot of misinformation out there on the 45 fin drums. 

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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 So no alignment.. I did however get the pan out. Crankshaft stopped at the right spot, I didn't have to turn it at all.  The pan also separated of its own weight.. looking at it, it had massive amounts of fluid bypass and the cork gasket was brittle and cracked all along the pan. In the bottom of the pan was the pickup screen.. I found the two screws in the sludge at the bottom (it was actually really clean!) No gasket in sight. Thankfully, my grandfather was gracious enough to donate a RaisinBran box top. The pickup is now securely attached to the oil pump! The windage tray also went in no problem, as it should. I reinstalled the pan with black rtv on the pan to gasket and weatherstrip sealer from the gasket to the block, like I did my other engine. This gasket was half fused to the pan and block, but I did this procedure on my other engine and it sealed up great and completely separated the gasket from the block without mess when I had to tear it down. I don't have the luxury of waiting 24 hours to cure, however there was no signs of leaking after the oil change. Oil coming out could have been better to say the least.. some flakes. Checked cylinder walls, clean and shiny except for some piston slap. They look a bit tapered, as to be expected from a 60 year old virgin. 

 

I wanted to swap exhaust manifolds and pull the valve covers after the alignment, but I'm at the end of the road. Next break I have, I'll be sure to make time for me and not everyone else, scrambling to get everything done at the last minute. Still, I'm glad I found these issues and solved them. Even if I didn't cross everything off my list, I'm still happy. :)

20180317_195538.jpg

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, Beemon said:

In the bottom of the pan was the pickup screen.. I found the two screws in the sludge at the bottom (it was actually really clean!) No gasket in sight.

 

Am I understanding this right?  The pickup was not attached to the oil pump? 

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