MCHinson

1938 Buick Century Model 61 - Four Door Touring Sedan - Trunk Back

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

That's nice: you are giving to yourself all those trophies and that, before the car is finished!

Unfortunately, my garage has to function as my garage, my restoration shop, and my engraving company workshop. It is normally plenty big but it is a bit cramped with the Buick restoration project taking up its space. I hope to move all of the trophies to a spare room in the house today, so I can get back to the Buick project. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today has not been a good day for Buick work, since I was busy with other things, but I did find some time this afternoon to spend a few hours organizing and storing engraving equipment and supplies from the recent trophy production run and cleaning up the garage. I can get to the Buick to work on it again but tomorrow I will not be able to work on it because I will be driving my 1937 Century on a local AACA tour. Hopefully I will be back to work on the 1938 Buick project on Monday morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I cleaned up a few parts. I wire wheeled and sandblasted the accelerator pedal and throttle linkage. I then painted those items and hung them up to dry. I also cleaned up the accelerator spring and other hardware and painted those parts with clear sealer to prevent rust returning to them.  I then used a hammer and a punch to knock out the two knockouts in the firewall where the correct heater is supposed to be mounted. I plan to use those two knockouts to fill the holes from the incorrect heater that was in this car. I cleaned up around one of those holes with a wire wheel brush and used a magnet to hold the knockout in place for welding soon. 

 

After that, I cleaned up and painted the ignition switch assembly and hung it up to dry.

DSC_0236.JPG

DSC_0237.JPG

DSC_0238.JPG

DSC_0239.JPG

DSC_0240.JPG

DSC_0241.JPG

DSC_0242.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still working my way through this thread, but something I had accidentally overlooked when I started reading, although I was aware you purchased this in Massachusetts, I had glazed over a very specific bit of information, the small town you purchased it in, Abington. Abington happens to be the town I grew up in, and currently reside in, and the Proctor's are a good friend's neighbor. After I bought my Century back in September and had started looking for an engine and transmission, it was met with the "Dang, we just sold a century with the 320 and transmission a week or 2 ago"

 

Small world!

Edited by Stooge (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stooge,

 

It would have probably made both my life and your life easier if you had found it before I did, but I am enjoying the project.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I was surprised to find that the parts that I painted yesterday were not dry. The weather has been odd, too warm for the heat to come on in the garage, too cold for the air conditioner to come on in the garage, and really humid. I moved the parts outside and put them in a sunny location to finish drying in the sun. I then got too busy with the job that pays the bills to work on the Buick any more this morning. Later today, I installed the rubber cover on the accelerator pedal. I decide to apply a bead of silicone sealant around the back edge to make sure that there is no problem with it sliding off of the pedal in the future. I applied some rubber bands to hold the edges tight to the pedal until the silicone sealer cured. 

 

Later today, UPS delivered a nice fuel pressure regulator that I purchased on ebay recently so I installed it. This evening, I was able to paint the black inserts of the ignition switch. Hopefully I will have more time tomorrow to work on the Buick. 

DSC_0244.JPG

DSC_0245.JPG

DSC_0246.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I installed the accelerator pedal. I then connected the accelerator linkage and realized it needed some substantial adjustment to reach from the accelerator pedal to the carburetor. After doing that, I realized that I had cleaned up, painted, and installed the accelerator linkage from the Special body donor car instead of the Century. It worked but I did not like the way it fit.

 

I happened to notice that I had not installed the wiper knob into the dash, so I found the wiper knob and buffed it and then installed it in the dash. Later this afternoon, I did some searching and found the accelerator linkage from the Century. It is clearly a bit different from the one from the Special. I cleaned it up with my sand blaster and a wire wheel and painted it. Tomorrow, I plan to remove the Special accelerator linkage and install the Century accelerator linkage.   

DSC_0247.JPG

DSC_0248.JPG

DSC_0253.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I removed the incorrect throttle linkage and installed the original one from the Century. It fit and functioned exactly as it should. I installed the ignition switch by loosening the three bolts that secure the steering gear to the frame, sliding the switch down the column, installing the two bolts that attach the switch assembly to the dash support panel and then tightening the three bolts that hold the steering gear to the chassis.  I then installed the small floor panel that surrounds the brake and clutch pedals.

 

While inside, I decided to move to the back seat area and remove the two rear seat arm rest assemblies and clean out that area since I had not previously removed the last remaining dust, dirt, and etc. behind those asemblies. Removal involves removing one screw that holds the top wood piece to the side of the body, removing any upholstery nails that are holding them into place and gently lifting them upward to lift them out. These assemblies are among the most fragile parts of the car. One of them was unbroken. The other came out in two pieces. It will be easy to fix. Both of the ones in the original Century body were both broken into multiple pieces. They are made out of some type of fiber board and two pieces of wood and were certainly not designed to last 80 years.  

 

DSC_0258.JPG

DSC_0259.JPG

DSC_0260.JPG

DSC_0261.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning I decided to work on the dash a little bit. I opened up the box containing the reproduction map light cover and discovered that I was not quite happy with the paint fill on the part. I used a sharp object and cleaned up the areas that should be paint filled a bit so that the paint would have a more uniform appearance and then I repainted the area and wiped off the excess paint. It is not quite perfect but I think it looks much better now. Then I cleaned up and painted the center screen. I have seen many different types of coverings on this screen. I have seen similar cars with plain black screens, chrome screens, wicker over the screens, and cloth over the screens. I am not sure which is correct. For now, I am going with a plain black painted screen until I find out what is correct. I then decided to buff the dash center chrome pieces. I only took one before photo, but I think it shows the improvement. I then assembled all of those parts into the dash. I may decide to rechome all of that at some time in the future, but for now, I am happy with it. It is probably as good as the chrome on my 1937 Century, and I have never thought that I needed to rechrome that one. 

DSC_0262.JPG

DSC_0263.JPG

DSC_0264.JPG

DSC_0265.JPG

DSC_0266.JPG

DSC_0267.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning I decided to remove the upholstery from the rear seat cushion. It is clear that there had been some rodent activity in the seat cushion at some time in the past. Before this morning, I was fairly certain that the seat covering was not original to the car and I did not think it is an authentic pattern for the car. After my disassembly,  I am not quite as sure. It is possible that someone replaced only the outer covering on the seats without removing the original burlap, padding and other components, but I am convinced that a lot of what I disassembled this morning is original to the car. I even found part of a 1937 Fisher Body document embedded in the upholstery material. The back of the document looks like someone was using it as a notepad as there appears to be a list of items that are all crossed off, although I can't make out any of the words on the paper all these years later. I will let the photos tell the story. I would be happy for any experienced upholstery folks who have any comments to make explaining what I found in the upholstery.  There are some small pieces of some type of green vinyl like material attached to the bottom of metal seat frame assembly. There is one pieces of denim material tied around the bottom of the seat assembly. There is a small metal identification tag attached to the bottom of the metal seat frame assembly.  

DSC_0268.JPG

DSC_0269.JPG

DSC_0270.JPG

DSC_0271.JPG

DSC_0272.JPG

DSC_0273.JPG

DSC_0274.JPG

DSC_0275.JPG

DSC_0276.JPG

DSC_0277.JPG

DSC_0278.JPG

DSC_0279.JPG

DSC_0280.JPG

DSC_0281.JPG

DSC_0282.JPG

DSC_0283.JPG

DSC_0284.JPG

DSC_0285.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I don't have a response to your questions. However, I can imagine that, if the upholstery was worn, a trim shop (sorry, I don't have a better world) would take the worn or damaged elements out, redo something according to the directives of the owner and reinstall it to the existing structure without touching at the springs and padding. By looking at the metal tag, I have the impression that it's original. That car was stored in very good conditions, the metal structure is almost free of rust.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past, I have used a small wire feed welder with flux core wire. I have had the welder for a few years for occasional small jobs. My research told me that for this job, I really needed to switch to solid core wire with a bottle of shielding gas. It is much better for the 18 gauge metal found in auto bodies. Last week, I bought a roll of solid core wire and a bottle of 75/25 Argon/CO2 shielding gas for my welder. As soon as I started to hook it up, I discovered that the gas regulator was defective. I ordered a replacement regulator. The regulator arrived over the weekend. 

 

This morning, I installed the regulator and spent a little bit of time practicing with the welder. After that, I decided to use it to weld up the firewall holes from the incorrect heater that was on the Special Body. As inexperienced as I am, I still spent more time grinding than welding, but I guess I was grinding off much better looking welding beads than I did when I was welding with the flux core wire.

 

DSC_0288.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I restored my '56 Biarritz, I had a friend who helped me with welding. My first tentatives, with the same system as you have now, were...marginal. However, at the end of the job, I could weld pretty well. Grinding the weld is taking a long time; I noticed that too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I welded up the two holes in the firewall where the incorrect Motorola radio box had been bolted to the firewall. I then decided to remove the upholstery from the rear seat back. I removed quite a bit of mouse nest residue from the seat back assembly. Like the rear seat bottom cushion, it appears to have had an incorrect seat cover stapled on at some time in the past, but the underlying padding, burlap and other upholstery materials appear to be original to the seat. I took quite a few photos to help me when I reupholster the seat in the near future. There were a few small scraps of material that I think are the original seat covering material that I will try to match when I choose the replacement fabric.  I took one photo of some of the original upholstery tacks that held the burlap onto the wooden seat frame. 

DSC_0289.JPG

DSC_0290.JPG

DSC_0291.JPG

DSC_0292.JPG

DSC_0293.JPG

DSC_0294.JPG

DSC_0295.JPG

DSC_0296.JPG

DSC_0297.JPG

DSC_0298.JPG

DSC_0299.JPG

DSC_0300.JPG

DSC_0301.JPG

DSC_0302.JPG

DSC_0303.JPG

DSC_0304.JPG

DSC_0305.JPG

DSC_0306.JPG

DSC_0307.JPG

DSC_0308.JPG

DSC_0309.JPG

DSC_0310.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is interesting to see just the front row of coils being wrapped in burlap.  I was waiting to see if the coils were individually wrapped.  On the '40 front seat each coil is wrapped.  I don't know about the back seat.  Thanks for the illustrations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, MCHinson said:

In the past, I have used a small wire feed welder with flux core wire. I have had the welder for a few years for occasional small jobs. My research told me that for this job, I really needed to switch to solid core wire with a bottle of shielding gas. It is much better for the 18 gauge metal found in auto bodies. Last week, I bought a roll of solid core wire and a bottle of 75/25 Argon/CO2 shielding gas for my welder. As soon as I started to hook it up, I discovered that the gas regulator was defective. I ordered a replacement regulator. The regulator arrived over the weekend. 

 

This morning, I installed the regulator and spent a little bit of time practicing with the welder. After that, I decided to use it to weld up the firewall holes from the incorrect heater that was on the Special Body. As inexperienced as I am, I still spent more time grinding than welding, but I guess I was grinding off much better looking welding beads than I did when I was welding with the flux core wire.

 

DSC_0288.JPG

When I changed my mig from flux core to gas my first thought was "where has this been all my life".. Pure weld, no slag.. so much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning I only had a short time to work on the Buick project. Most of the day was spent transporting all of the trophies, registration table supplies and other related items to the show site for tomorrow's Cape Fear Chapter AACA 46th Annual Meet. It looks like it will be a good day for a car show but it will be a bit cooler day than we have been having for most of the past few weeks. It will only be in the low 60's, Sunny, with a bit of wind. Today it was really windy most of the day, but tomorrow should be much better for the show.

 

I took the front seat assembly outside and removed the seat covering. Like the back seat, it is clear that the seat covering is a later replacement but the rest of the upholstery materials appear to be original to the car. I removed most of the upholstery materials, residue from a previous rodent infestation, and quite a bit of dust and dirt. I also found the remains of a small piece of heavy duty paper with some numbers written on it that was tacked to the bottom left front corner of the wooden seat frame. When I have more time, I need to do a bit more clean up of the seat frame but I did get most of it cleaned up.  

DSC_0321.JPG

DSC_0322.JPG

DSC_0323.JPG

DSC_0324.JPG

DSC_0325.JPG

DSC_0326.JPG

DSC_0327.JPG

DSC_0328.JPG

DSC_0329.JPG

DSC_0330.JPG

DSC_0331.JPG

DSC_0332.JPG

DSC_0333.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday afternoon, I was busy with setting up for our local AACA Chapter's Annual Car Show. On Saturday, I drove my 1937 Buick to the show and was busy during the entire show since I am in charge of Registration, Judging, Trophy Setup, and I also serve as the Announcer for the awards presentation ceremony. This morning, I was still cleaning up the garage and putting away show related supplies and equipment. I did have a little bit of time to work on the Buick project. I finished cleaning up the front seat back and frame. I removed the rest of the old padding materials and pulling out all of the tacks out of the seat frame.  

DSC_0338.JPG

DSC_0375.JPG

DSC_0381.JPG

DSC_0382.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I was able to finish cleaning up the bottom front seat cushion. I was amazed at how many hidden sections of the springs were full of the remains of rodent nests. After quite a bit of work, I think they are all gone now. I removed the padding from the top of the cushion. The majority of the padding came off easily by simply cutting the thread that holds it together but the outer sections that were attached with metal clips took a little bit longer to disassemble. Most of the clips look as good as the day they were installed but some are rusty from rodent urine. I found two vertical metal bars on the passenger side of the bottom seat frame that were broken. I was able to slide a piece of brass sheet under the area with the broken pieces to insulate and separate the broken pieces from the burlap covering the seat coil springs. I was then able to weld the vertical pieces without starting a fire.  

DSC_0383.JPG

DSC_0384.JPG

DSC_0385.JPG

DSC_0386.JPG

DSC_0387.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I reupholster earlier cars but will relate what I see in your pictures. I've also had cars come in that had been reupholstered right over the original finish upholstery, not just the original padding. Any original panels will be down with tacks and not staples. The hog rings look correctly spaced and in the proper locations so that's a good reason to believe they are original. Most modern upholsters just ring the burlap and other areas where they seem fit. I've also found many original seats with odd ball pieces of material not related to the seat fabric. I believe the factory upholsters simply grabbed scraps to make straps, or hog ring binders when they needed. I've often found roofing material in seats to do just that. They would wrap an area that they didn't want to move or slide on a seat frame with some of the roof or vinyl then secure it with a hog ring. My guess would be that material was stickier and more likely to stay put than a fabric. I've also only seen wrapped coils in original springs. Some are with a cotton/ T shirt type material and some with burlap. Almost always the cotton ones have rusted coils as the burlap probably breathed better and would dry out easier if gotten wet. When it comes to rodents, I have a petrified collection of friends on a shelf if you can believe it so I can show my customers who was traveling with them. Rodents will burrow into any area they want and often chew wood in an area that's tight for them to get by. Once they open it up enough to squeeze by, it seems they stop chewing on it. If you see chewed areas anywhere, there will usually be a rodent nest close by. With the wood cars I've seen corners of exposed wood chewed off because the rodents wanted access. I've had original covered coils with tunnels chewed from one end to the other. If the rodent remnants are very old and dry, they shouldn't be a problem. If they are within the last 5yrs, they will be and the residual residue can be harmful to you and anyone in the car. There should be NO rodent odor whatsoever present once you're done cleaning preparing your springs for upholstery. If there is, remove all the padding and put new. HC always supplies new padding anyway so I always replace it.  HC also has a few good videos to watch to get the idea on how to do a seat. One important thing is to make sure to stuff extra material on the tops of the seat backs. I'm very particular about nice rounded pleats on the backs of the early cars. Too often I go to shows and see the seat backs with flattened pleats at the top. It is very time consuming to stuff small pieces of wadding in each pleat top to make sure all match. You will also have to do a fair amount of stapling and unstapling to get the seats just right. Again, my knowledge comes from mainly 32's and earlier. Your 38 interior might be much easier. I know a 38 GMC front seat I did already had beaded edges that simply clipped in the bottom of the seat frame. No stapling or even no hog ringing. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. It is clear that they had previously removed most of the original seat covering, although there were a few small pieces that they left and just covered up. The replacement seat covers were attached with staples. The scraps fo the original seat covering were tacked to the seat frame. The padding was all stitched together every few inches but  was attached around the seat frame all around the outside edges with the split rivet like hardware. I expected tacks and hog rings, but I had never seen that rivet like hardware. They must have been attached with some special tool to bend the ends out to capture the fabric padding and lock it all together. Those things are very hard to bend. I am sure the correct tool would make using them much easier. bending them with pliers would be almost impossible. I have been busy with other projects around the house for a couple of days and hope to get back to the Buick project soon.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a handy split rivet setting tool at Snyders.

http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/Content/uploads/T4060X-10798-2123.pdf

image.png.3c7a94c988d86036f1779a875c53da0b.png

I made mine out of a couple of bolts and attached them to a pair of vice grips. Makes it very easy. They call it a band lining rivet tool, coz it is for bands on a Model A or T.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning, I decided it was time to finish removing the remaining cloth materials from the interior of the body. There were a few scraps of materials around the doors as well as the windlace around each door. The windlace appears to have been replaced at some time in the past as it was attached with some newer and slightly differently designed tacks from the rest of the interior panels. I removed all of the original tacks in the tack strip on the doors and around the doors. I then decided to remove the headliner. I knew from the staining and sags that I was going to find the remains of a rodent nest in the headliner and I was not disappointed. The metal headliner bows in the front simply slide into place, with the headliner bow pockets fitting over sharp spear like protrusions in the roof bows. The back three headliner bows fit into small vertical holes that I would have never realized were there in the body if it was not for removing the headliner. I used a sharpie marker to mark the location so I can easily locate the holes when I am installing the replacement headliner. All of the original cloth materials have now been removed from the cars except for the burlap on the seat springs. There is absolutely no mouse odor left in the car, although I plan to find some disinfectant spray to treat the burlap sometime soon and then let the springs sit out in the sun for a while. For the time being, I took the headliner outside and sprayed it down with a garden hose on both sides and draped it over a fence to dry in the sun today.   

DSC_0388.JPG

DSC_0389.JPG

DSC_0390.JPG

DSC_0391.JPG

DSC_0392.JPG

DSC_0393.JPG

DSC_0394.JPG

DSC_0395.JPG

DSC_0396.JPG

DSC_0397.JPG

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...