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


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I have been following this thread since the beginning and it is a true inspiration how you brought that car back. Wonderful Buick, amazing work, and thank you so much for taking us all along with you  throughout its restoration! 

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  • 1 month later...

It has been over a month and I am still waiting for my upholstery shop to take care of those minor interior items before I can call this project totally finished.

 

In my recent driving, I discovered that the trip odometer was not working on the speedometer that I had installed in the car. I decided to solve that problem today. I had another speedometer that looked good except for the faded red paint on the pointer. I removed it from the spare instrument cluster and installed the painted pointer from my original speedometer.  I then swapped the speedometers. This is a simple job. Unfortunately, simple does not mean easy. If I was 20 years younger and 50 pounds lighter, it might not be as difficult. There are only three screws, the speedometer cable, and three snap in instrument light sockets that have to be removed to remove the speedometer from the instrument cluster. Removing those three screws required putting my head on the driver's floorboard, and my torso on the front seat with my feet hanging over the back of the front seat back. This is not a comfortable postition to work in. Using multiple light sources to see under the dash, and a screwdriver with a magnet attached to help grip the screws, I was able to remove the speedometer. I then installed the replacement speedometer. That was even more fun than removing the other one. When I installed one of the instrument cluster lights, the bulb fell out of the socket and into the instrument cluster. I then had to remove the speedometer again to remove the loose bulb. As I was doing that and attempting to fish the loose bulb out, I was reminded of why you should remove the battery cable when working on the car (even when what you are working on is not significantly related to the electrical system). The blub managed to make contact with the amp gauge, shorting out the amp gauge. I then removed the bulb and discovered why it popped out of the socket. The base of the bulb was slightly bent making one of the pins not protrude from the base as much as it should. I reinstalled the speedometer and used a different instrument cluster bulb.

 

As soon as I confirmed that the amp gauge was fried, I then removed the four screws that hold the amp gauge and oil pressure gauge assembly in the instrument cluster. I then removed the oil pressure gauge line. I then installed a spare amp gauge and oil pressure gauge in the instrument cluster. This job is just as much fun as it requires the same work position as the speedometer job.

 

After testing, everything appears to be working properly. I figure my back and neck will be OK soon. On the plus side, I am getting better and faster at working on the instrument cluster, although if I had it to do over again, I might remove the entire instrument cluster assembly to work on the individual components in a more natural position. I was not amused while I was doing this work today, but now that it is finished, I find it slightly amusing.   

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10 hours ago, MCHinson said:

 If I was 20 years younger and 50 pounds lighter, it might not be as difficult.

 

 

think again... 🤪 it still stinks

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The speedometer that I had last installed was loud enough to irritate me. I cleaned and repaired the trip odometer on the original one. Today, I reinstalled it. With repetition, I am getting better at this job. I unhooked the battery cable, removed the speedometer, replaced the speedometer and hooked the battery back up in 20 minutes today.  

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Posted (edited)

On Saturday August 1st, on the way home from Cars and Coffe, I noticed that the accelerator pedal did not seem to be fully accelerating the car as it should. The pedal did not seem to return all of the way to its normal position. On this past Saturday, after swapping out the speedometer, as I was about to drive the car to lunch, When I hit the accelerator pedal, it went all the way to the floor, so I drove a modern car to lunch. Later I determined that the webbed cloth flexible link in the accelerator pedal linkage had broken. Today, I stopped by a local military surplus store and picked up a suitable piece of webbed belt material to replace the broken linkage. I ground off the brass rivets that held the original fabric to the accelerator rod and installed the new material with machine screws since I did not have any suitable sized brass rivets. I then reinstalled the accelerator linkage. I guess the accelerator linkage should now  be good for another 82 years.  

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Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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I had a few small limbs/branches down and lost power for about 12 hours. There were others here in town who lost some trees, but it was not much of a problem here. Ocean Isle Beach and Southport were the only towns in the area with lots of damage.  

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Posted (edited)

Today marks 3 years since I arrived at home with this project. While I am still waiting on my upholstery shop for a few minor interior accessories, it is essentially complete and drivable as is. If the weather allows, I will drive it to lunch tomorrow again. I look forward to some cooler weather so I can drive it even more often. Photo from 3 years ago and as it appears today. 

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Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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I am impressed by everything you got done over those three years- and I really enjoyed watching your work unfold on the project. Well done!

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Matt

Your Buick really looks beautiful!  

How quickly we forget all the ups, downs, frustrations, setbacks and busted knuckles once that beautiful straight-8 hums to life!

 

Many happy miles, my friend!

 

Gary

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