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1941 Buick Limited Limousine

Matt Harwood

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I had a 1950 Packard Super 8 Deluxe coupe (2375) once and since the original 327 engine block was cracked I found, rebuilt and installed Packard’s biggest engine for 1950, 356 str 8 with 9 main bearings. Much smoother and torquey than our Buicks but did run out of steam above 50 or so. Wish I held on to that one. 

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On 12/1/2018 at 4:12 PM, Matt Harwood said:

It's time to get these manifolds on the car so I can fabricate the exhaust and have it ready to rock. No waiting until the last minute this year!


Before I install everything on the car, I want to mock it up in full so I can see how everything fits together, then move it over to the engine in the car. I'm using Remflex gaskets, which are about 1/8-inch thick, thicker than most, and made of a material that doesn't burn. I've had good luck with them before because they don't shrink or blow out, and since I'm dealing with two dissimilar materials with the cast iron intake and the lightweight steel headers, they should handle it. It's probably worth noting that I am not using the copper rings in the exhaust ports, although I probably could given the thickness of the gaskets. They won't fit in the header ports anyway.


Remflex gaskets are considerably thicker than the usual copper
or laminate gaskets used on the Buick straight-8.


I also decided to use studs to mount the manifolds on the block. That'll make it easier to hang both parts in the engine bay. I found these nice studs that are 3/8-16 for in the head and 3/8-24 fine threads for mounting the manifolds. I also bought some locking nuts that won't back off and don't need lock washers, but aren't the standard nylocks so they look right and aren't affected by heat. To get an idea of how everything will fit, I installed the studs, the gaskets, and then hung the manifolds on the engine.


12-1-18no1.thumb.jpg.9b8f1c5cb9b42a872b360811dc6ec6c9.jpg 12-1-18no3.thumb.jpg.ba7963321cfaac1935b9a2d43cdaa3e7.jpg 12-1-18no4.thumb.jpg.4c300873ccc83f8a0222f1c8d0df2b3c.jpg

Studs will hold the manifolds in place while I install all the hardware. Everything fits together nicely with no interference. Nice!


You'll note that the end holes and the center hole on the header don't support any part of the intake manifold, so I'm just using some bolts with small heads there. The big problem is figuring how how to secure both manifolds now that their flanges are two different thicknesses: the original intake is 3/4-inch thick while the header flange is 3/8-inch. I have two thoughts on this: one, use some spacers that I made from a spare exhaust header flange or two, use some round spacers that would just fit snugly around the stud. For this mock-up, I used the header flange spacers, which fit flush against the pipes with a bit of grinding and finesse. 


12-1-18no11.thumb.jpg.b2daef6b9e2e9e88c3a680a03e77fb10.jpg 12-1-18no13.thumb.jpg.8385cd444920c1736708cee9af816e64.jpg
 Center position is simply secured with a bolt. Spacer fits well and makes it easy to secure all the manifolds. I'll have to make 
enough to fit all the slots where there's a stud.


I also found these great square washers that are 1/4-inch thick and with some grinding, they fit neatly and hold everything tight. They're thick enough not to flex so I can torque them down and they'll hold everything securely to the head. Remflex recommends 20 ft-lb which seems a little light to me, but we'll start there and see if it leaks. I will say that those spacers and the washers are ridiculously tough to grind for clearance around the tubes. I figured it would take a little touching up, but it turned into a major project where I was only able to make four sets in about three hours of work. They do fit neatly, though.


12-1-18no9.thumb.jpg.0684783a3277ee60be79bdfa79e72912.jpg 12-1-18no8.thumb.jpg.e9e9e3ff03bfbb887a2f75bbdfc6b3ed.jpg
Spacers and washers took a lot of work but fit nicely and look great. 



The center two studs will have pretty tight clearance so I'm not sure I'll be

able to use studs in there. Maybe bolts of some kind with washers with a little

more clearance ground into them. 


I do have to say I'm pretty pleased with how it looks and how it fits together. I don't think many people will notice that it's not stock and most of the header stays out of sight under the intake. The intake itself, despite the modifications, looks totally stock from any angle except right underneath, but nobody will be able to see that once it's in the car. 


12-1-18no10.thumb.jpg.b5f36377796bf62f12d8a821982fc690.jpg 12-1-18no6.thumb.jpg.dbd44d1ca63fb84a4f3b0ffde77cbdd1.jpg 12-1-18no7.thumb.jpg.700e77bf03aa81dee80b6442ad1b78a0.jpg 
Everything fits together beautifully and actually looks pretty stock. Most folks won't notice the changes and they certainly don't
look like hot rod parts. There's also plenty of clearance between the intake and the header tubes so heat transfer should be negligible.


Tomorrow I'll finish making spacers and square washers. I haven't decided how to finish them yet, but I'm leaning towards just painting the spacers and washer some kind of hi-temperature satin black. That should help them blend in well enough and protect them from corrosion. I'll also install the carburetors and air cleaner just to mock up the full assembly and see how it looks and fits. Once everything is adjusted, we'll just unbolt the old stuff from the engine in the car and bolt the new stuff on. Easy!





Hi Matt,

Your header project looks great.

I am replacing manifold gaskets on my 1938 Buick Series 40 convert, and will be trying Remflex gaskets (since my intake and exhaust manifolds are about .016 out of flat, even after adjusting the heat box bolts).  My question is, do you recommend a graphite slurry like on copper gaskets (so the manifold can slide well) or is the graphite material of the Remflex sufficiently slippery to not have to use any?


Bob Jacobsen

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Machine the surface flat, compressing the manifolds with that differential is asking for it to crack. There is no free lunch, and no easy way out. Manifolds are hard to find as we see people posting here all the time. Your gambling with a prat that has a high failure rate.

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  • 5 months later...


just some thoughts!


You can obtain a green translucent hobby paint (Tamiya or Humbrol) and paint the original 6V incandescent globes green, will give you best of both worlds..... green lamps, no flicker. The paint does not reduce the brightness by much either.


Another alternative is to substitute another LED and see if it is a globe quality issue.


Annoying problems that are difficult to ignore. They won’t go away by themselves either 😀😀😀😀😀


Just my two bobs worth Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀


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  • 1 month later...

Getting the Buick ready to drive to Auburn on Thursday for the AACA/BCA joint meet. I had my detailer, Mike (AKA "Mr. Sparkle"), give it a quick clean up. Instead, he really went to town! I don't think it's ever looked this good the entire time I've owned it. Here's hoping it doesn't rain...




I'll spend some time tonight or tomorrow checking fluids and tire pressures, but this car is always ready to roll. I have no concerns at all about its roadworthiness. It's already ready already.

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Just now, valk said:

Beautiful….just needs a 4-star General flag or license plate.




How about stars on the doors instead? I tell everyone it's Chester Nimitz's staff car before he transferred to Pearl. Nice that the "elephant ears" have built-in flag holders.


Nimitz1.jpg.e110b31dbc5aba918e7d08d486c3cd07.jpg  Nimitz2.jpg.9279ae1dd916a68e28a25b71cf1cbfd7.jpg



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7 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:



How about stars on the doors instead? I tell everyone it's Chester Nimitz's staff car before he transferred to Pearl. Nice that the "elephant ears" have built-in flag holders.


Nimitz1.jpg.e110b31dbc5aba918e7d08d486c3cd07.jpg  Nimitz2.jpg.9279ae1dd916a68e28a25b71cf1cbfd7.jpg



Touché! Great minds think alike…

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