Matt Harwood

1941 Buick Limited Limousine

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15 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I have a friend with a 5-gas analyzer so I'm going to see if I can use it to tune the car once I have both front carbs in place running synchronously.

 

It will be interesting to see the results of this upcoming tuning exercise.  I wonder whether the carbs will require re-jetting to compensate for the new, less restrictive exhaust system.  It would seem that a lean condition might be the cause of the 'pop' you observed.

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27 minutes ago, EmTee said:

 

It will be interesting to see the results of this upcoming tuning exercise.  I wonder whether the carbs will require re-jetting to compensate for the new, less restrictive exhaust system.  It would seem that a lean condition might be the cause of the 'pop' you observed.

 

I'm actually thinking it might be too rich once I have two front carbs running on there. Just one of these carbs is supposedly sufficient to fuel a 320 cubic inch Buick straight-8, but two of them? That might be too fat. I'm going to try anyway, but our mutual friend Jon (Carb King) suggests running two small-series Strombergs on a big engine is a better choice. On the other hand, Lawrence Helfand is currently running two large series front carbs on his '41 Century and his car apparently runs like a million bucks, so that's my first stop--I already have the carbs.

 

The exhaust may flow somewhat better, but I don't think it's going to be a huge factor in tuning. The headers might be a little better, the larger exhaust tubing might be a little better, the mandrel bends might be a little better, but I'm not convinced that it will add up to any significant improvement that would require re-jetting. The biggest difference is that the intake manifold is no longer bolted to the exhaust manifolds, so the carbs will run considerably cooler and I'm guessing that will be the source of most of the hurdles in getting it tuned correctly.

 

I decided last night to figure out why the choke in the original carb is inhaling air through the stove pipe, then reinstall that carb in the rear position. I did some reading on the choke and it appears that there's a piston that opens and closes a vacuum port inside the choke and since the spring wasn't connected and the choke wasn't working, perhaps that piston wasn't doing its job, either. My theories range from the fit of the stove pipe in the little heat stands I made for the headers is too tight and it can't properly inhale air (the original stove pipe went all the way through the manifold and had unrestricted air flow) to it was simply buggered because the spring wasn't hooked up and the choke wasn't working. I strongly suspect the latter simply because the newly rebuilt carb did not have the same hissing problem and the choke worked properly, albeit slowly--I'll adjust it.

 

So rather than try to get everything working with a stock rear carb, then go through it all again when I replace the rear carb with another front one, I may as well just do it all now and do the tuning once. Shouldn't be any more difficult and might even be easier with two front carbs on there--the original one ran pretty darned well. I have my vacuum gauge and inductive tach, so that will get me pretty close. I might try that tonight, although I think we have an event to attend so maybe not until tomorrow night.

 

We'll figure it out!

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6 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

I'm going to try anyway, but our mutual friend Jon (Carb King) suggests running two small-series Strombergs on a big engine is a better choice.

 

Yes, my take on that is that having two carbs gets the atomized mixture closer to the end cylinders (probably more to it than just that, though).  Once you have the initial tune resolved, you can accumulate some miles and check the spark plugs to see what they say.

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Posted (edited)

I took the time this evening to change out the rear carb so now I have two complete front carbs on the engine. I also hooked up a new linkage to make them operate synchronously rather than sequentially. I have to give big thanks to my friend Lawrence Helfand, who gave me all the part numbers and details on the linkage to make it easy to hook up--he's the guy who blazed this trail first and I'm just following his footsteps. Thanks, Lawrence!

 

The first thing I had to do was remove the butterfly flapper under the rear carb. Since both carbs will be working all the time, there's no need to close off the ports. You might remember that I had a spare flapper assembly from which I removed the butterflies. I had to block off the holes where the shaft used to be, so I tapped the holes for 1/4-28 screws, cut a pair of cap-head screws to length, added a couple drops of blue Lok-Tite, and screwed them into place. Ready to go!

 

02-09-19no5.thumb.jpg.48e8ff0c24e5e580c94cecf1e4fad6be.jpg Spacer5.thumb.jpg.bfd9fccad4e29bcc3fee70a445e7eebc.jpg Spacer1.thumb.jpg.2757e9eb509f2fec988acf5124bdfbda.jpg Spacer2.thumb.jpg.0696e75d4518c43b6ab92670f7c8dde3.jpg
Modified flapper valve ready to install.

 

Spacer6.thumb.jpg.d74ad9c97fa1e7599d2692500066b2a3.jpg
In place with new phenolic spacer and gaskets.

 

After I bolted the carb into place and reconnected the fuel lines, I could see how the throttle linkage would work. I had hoped to keep the original rod from the pedal assembly to the front carburetor, but the way it's designed didn't allow me to also connect the linkage between the carbs, so I installed new parts throughout. I had to shorten the link between the carburetors by about 10 inches, then re-tapped it for the heim joint and bolted it to the rear carb. The link between the pedal and the front carb was just barely long enough and I was able to secure it with a single bolt. Working the linkage, both carbs moved together. Nice!

 

Linkage4.thumb.jpg.09361248cbc653a9a2eb2bf349d59240.jpg Linkage7.thumb.jpg.dfac224f618a79033f56db2b5a371947.jpg
Connections at the pedal and front carb fit neatly and work smoothly.

 

Linkage6.thumb.jpg.41f7d935dce1e09889e114a2e7f152de.jpg Linkage8.thumb.jpg.7a61f41e29eef0d644c6036ab133c8d0.jpg
Finished linkage actually doesn't look as conspicuous as I thought it would. Carbs
work smoothly and move together from idle to WOT.

 

Stovepipe1.thumb.jpg.c42030ae53e7525a4e10ef6a1998e231.jpg
I also made a stove pipe for the rear carb's choke.

 

Once it was all hooked up, I hit the starter and remarkably enough, it fired right up. Better yet, it idled pretty well! Moving the linkage, it revved easily and didn't stumble. Nice! Without any tuning at all, it is about 90% as good as it was before, and that's a big relief. Right now, the biggest problem is the chokes: the front one is a little too tight and takes too long to open, even with the stove pipe hooked up. The rear one, which I discovered was broken when I first removed the carb, is the source of that hissing noise. I don't know why, but even with a fabricated stove pipe feeding it heat, it didn't work. So I have to figure that out before I can do any final tuning. I have some scrap carburetors laying around, so I'm sure I can crib a choke from one of them and see if it can be made to work properly. 

 

Choke1.thumb.jpg.938d8f7e8de1ee1f38d00110d6a5db23.jpg
Choke seems to be sucking air here, causing the hissing sound.
I'll have to figure it out or replace the choke with a spare.


A good night that makes me optimistic that I can make this thing run better than ever. Thanks again, Lawrence!

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Hi Matt, Make sure that rear idle screw is backed away from choke cam so it cant make contact as the front carb screw will now control the idle speed for both carbs. Also I moved pump arms to the shortest throw. Guessing you already did that!  Thanks for the kudos! Your limited with the new improved breathing is likely picking up another five hp easily. The 1952 320 with the quad was rated at 170 hp and I think it had a lower compression ratio. Dont know if they changed cam lift or duration or if hp increase was just better breathing. Might now be a 41 unlimited! 

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On 10/13/2017 at 7:40 PM, zeke01 said:

Matt: Thanks for the ride! I've always wanted to take a spin in a '41 Buick. What a comfortable ride! Just like sitting on my sofa! I am glad that you didn't ask me to help pay for the gas. Zeke

It is is like my '40 Limited , we can be talking single digit numbers for gas consumption if you push it over 50 MPH. That said, what is the value of a smile that won't go away?

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Posted (edited)

Priceless!  I just rode in a good friend's 1954 Skylark on Saturday.  Wow! Again, priceless!

Edited by BuickBob49 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Good progress tonight, too. Before I could do any serious tuning, I had to get the chokes straightened out. The front carb was working correctly but it took a long time to open given the reduced heat output of the stove pipe on the header. The rear carb's choke was totally buggered so that's where I started. Pulled the carb and put it on the bench with a spare carb I had laying around that seemed to have a good choke. Just swap them out and we're good to go.

 

The choke is really a complex little mechanism that's more than just a bi-metal spring that uncoils as it warms up. There's also a little piston that produces a bypass when the choke is closed so the engine isn't totally starved for air when the choke is all the way closed. As it opens, the piston moves forward and the port is closed so the air can be properly metered through the venturis. Anyway, I figured that piston was stuck and that's what was causing that hissing vacuum leak. I opened up the existing choke and found that the piston moved freely. Nice! So all I did was switch the existing cover (whose spring was broken off) with the one from the spare carb that was in good order.

 

6-6-19-2.thumb.jpg.16a866ca6d17b94aaa2e91b1bf6f158a.jpg 6-6-19-4.thumb.jpg.6c1063ae9fd79eba6f111b49a0238b99.jpg
Choke cover has spring and a screen. The manual says this must be serviced as a unit so

the fact that the original was in pieces meant it was cooked.

 

6-6-19-1.thumb.jpg.412e775c3b51cb64e3b6c760a7f9eb95.jpg
Spare carb's choke was pretty gunked up, including what

appeared to be very find sand in the bottom. Odd...

 

Bolt it back together and put the carb back on the car. When I fired it, the hissing was still there, suggesting a problem was with the choke body instead, maybe a crack or a casting defect. Pull the carb again and remove the entire choke assembly on the bench. I couldn't find a defect, but I swapped choke bodies just the same after cleaning it out thoroughly with carb cleaner, then reassembled everything. I even made a new gasket between the choke and the carburetor housing since both of those in the carbs were pretty brittle.

 

6-6-19-6.thumb.jpg.262f51a23afb30d27fce318d67df7265.jpg 6-6-19-3.thumb.jpg.2f139eb4d0885e4c6ef143518278fe54.jpg
Disassembled, you can see how the little piston works (red arrow). The bi-metal spring on the cover

rests against the peg on the crank end of the little connecting rod and as it relaxes, the

opening of the choke plate pushes the piston forward, closing the air duct underneath

the right side mounting screw. That was somehow the source of my hissing sound.

 

Reassemble the carb once again, reinstall it on the engine, and fire it up. Hissing is gone! Then I spent some time adjusting the choke, which can be done by moving the cover to adjust the initial tension of the spring. The more tension on the spring, the longer it will take to relax. I wanted it to relax faster, so I reduced the tension by loosening the three screws around the perimeter and moving it in a clockwise direction two "marks." There's an index mark in the center that's probably a good setting for a stock car driven in all kinds of weather, but for this car in summer weather, it didn't need a lot of time on the choke while warming up. The manual says not to go more than two marks, so I guess that's the max.

 

6-6-19-5.thumb.jpg.bacde241ba4e41144f2e0cb0693ff107.jpg
I adjusted the rear carb choke on the bench by moving it clockwise

two marks. Red arrow is the recommended "0" setting
that should be aligned with the blue arrow for average usage.

 

6-6-19-7.thumb.jpg.cfd7c1db789e94a3a0410bfa37984730.jpg
Then I adjusted the front carb's choke while it was on the engine.
I reduced tension by the same two marks.

 

6-6-19-8.thumb.jpg.1ffcb64d6fe6ebe47fc750b56e4dd1cc.jpg
As long as I was at it, I removed the stove pipe I made yesterday
and trimmed it a bit to look more like the original. I'll paint it black
tomorrow so it blends in better.

 

All that done, I fired it up and it ran great! The chokes were still kind of slow to respond but after about 6 or 7 minutes of run time, they were wide open. Hopefully if I'm driving and not just running it at idle it'll warm up much faster. But I was satisfied that the chokes were healthy and operating correctly and it was running pretty darned well. Good progress!

 

The next step was balancing the carbs; that means getting both of them to flow the same amount of air at any given throttle opening. You might think you have them pretty close (I did) but you probably don't. I noticed that if I looked down the throat of the carb, I could see fuel flowing from the jets in the front carb but none flowing in the rear. Putting my hand over the front carb would stall the car but doing it over the rear carb did almost nothing. A-ha! It should be able to run on either carb, no problem, so obviously the rear carb wasn't pulling its weight.

 

I bought a simple little device that the VW guys use to synchronize their carbs called a Uni-Syn--it sits on top of the carb and uses vacuum to lift a little red bead inside a sight glass. On the Buick, I had to turn up the idle quite a bit just for it to register, but that doesn't really matter for the purposes of balancing the carbs. I adjusted the baffle on the Uni-Syn until I got a steady reading about 1/3 of the way up the scale. Then I moved it to the rear carb and adjusted the linkage between the carbs (which adjusted the rear carb's throttle opening) until I got the same reading. I locked down the linkage so they would move synchronously and voila! Both carbs flowing the exact same amount of air. Once they were locked together, I could reduce the idle to the proper level using just the front carb's idle screw and the rear carb would follow. I backed off the rear carb's idle screw far enough that it wouldn't affect anything--it's merely along for the ride now.

 

6-6-19-12.thumb.jpg.cc334158bbe50e1cf1f2919b8ba5cd76.jpg  6-6-19-11.thumb.jpg.4b61a69be180e84b2b068b2a9112000c.jpg
Uni-Syn device allows you to get both carbs inhaling the exact same amount for a given throttle opening.
Easy to use and precise enough for this application. I was surprised by how far off my "tuning" actually was.
Note that the rear carb's idle screw is backed way off.

 

Last step is going to be fine-tuning the mixture. I'll do that with a vacuum gauge tomorrow or Saturday. Sunday is the Buick-Olds-Pontiac show and the Big Guy is definitely going to be there.

 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Good progress tonight, too. Before I could do any serious tuning, I had to get the chokes straightened out. The front carb was working correctly but it took a long time to open given the reduced heat output of the stove pipe on the header. The rear carb's choke was totally buggered so that's where I started. Pulled the carb and put it on the bench with a spare carb I had laying around that seemed to have a good choke. Just swap them out and we're good to go.

 

The choke is really a complex little mechanism that's more than just a bi-metal spring that uncoils as it warms up. There's also a little piston that produces a bypass when the choke is closed so the engine isn't totally starved for air when the choke is all the way closed. As it opens, the piston moves forward and the port is closed so the air can be properly metered through the venturis. Anyway, I figured that piston was stuck and that's what was causing that hissing vacuum leak. I opened up the existing choke and found that the piston moved freely. Nice! So all I did was switch the existing cover (whose spring was broken off) with the one from the spare carb that was in good order.

 

6-6-19-2.thumb.jpg.16a866ca6d17b94aaa2e91b1bf6f158a.jpg 6-6-19-4.thumb.jpg.6c1063ae9fd79eba6f111b49a0238b99.jpg
Choke cover has spring and a screen. The manual says this must be serviced as a unit so

the fact that the original was in pieces meant it was cooked.

 

6-6-19-1.thumb.jpg.412e775c3b51cb64e3b6c760a7f9eb95.jpg
Spare carb's choke was pretty gunked up, including what

appeared to be very find sand in the bottom. Odd...

 

Bolt it back together and put the carb back on the car. When I fired it, the hissing was still there, suggesting a problem was with the choke body instead, maybe a crack or a casting defect. Pull the carb again and remove the entire choke assembly on the bench. I couldn't find a defect, but I swapped choke bodies just the same after cleaning it out thoroughly with carb cleaner, then reassembled everything. I even made a new gasket between the choke and the carburetor housing since both of those in the carbs were pretty brittle.

 

6-6-19-6.thumb.jpg.262f51a23afb30d27fce318d67df7265.jpg 6-6-19-3.thumb.jpg.2f139eb4d0885e4c6ef143518278fe54.jpg
Disassembled, you can see how the little piston works (red arrow). The bi-metal spring on the cover

rests against the peg on the crank end of the little connecting rod and as it relaxes, the

opening of the choke plate pushes the piston forward, closing the air duct underneath

the right side mounting screw. That was somehow the source of my hissing sound.

 

Reassemble the carb once again, reinstall it on the engine, and fire it up. Hissing is gone! Then I spent some time adjusting the choke, which can be done by moving the cover to adjust the initial tension of the spring. The more tension on the spring, the longer it will take to relax. I wanted it to relax faster, so I reduced the tension by loosening the three screws around the perimeter and moving it in a clockwise direction two "marks." There's an index mark in the center that's probably a good setting for a stock car driven in all kinds of weather, but for this car in summer weather, it didn't need a lot of time on the choke while warming up. The manual says not to go more than two marks, so I guess that's the max.

 

6-6-19-5.thumb.jpg.bacde241ba4e41144f2e0cb0693ff107.jpg
I adjusted the rear carb choke on the bench by moving it clockwise

two marks. Red arrow is the recommended "0" setting
that should be aligned with the blue arrow for average usage.

 

6-6-19-7.thumb.jpg.cfd7c1db789e94a3a0410bfa37984730.jpg
Then I adjusted the front carb's choke while it was on the engine.
I reduced tension by the same two marks.

 

6-6-19-8.thumb.jpg.1ffcb64d6fe6ebe47fc750b56e4dd1cc.jpg
As long as I was at it, I removed the stove pipe I made yesterday
and trimmed it a bit to look more like the original. I'll paint it black
tomorrow so it blends in better.

 

All that done, I fired it up and it ran great! The chokes were still kind of slow to respond but after about 6 or 7 minutes of run time, they were wide open. Hopefully if I'm driving and not just running it at idle it'll warm up much faster. But I was satisfied that the chokes were healthy and operating correctly and it was running pretty darned well. Good progress!

 

The next step was balancing the carbs; that means getting both of them to flow the same amount of air at any given throttle opening. You might think you have them pretty close (I did) but you probably don't. I noticed that if I looked down the throat of the carb, I could see fuel flowing from the jets in the front carb but none flowing in the rear. Putting my hand over the front carb would stall the car but doing it over the rear carb did almost nothing. A-ha! It should be able to run on either carb, no problem, so obviously the rear carb wasn't pulling its weight.

 

I bought a simple little device that the VW guys use to synchronize their carbs called a Uni-Syn--it sits on top of the carb and uses vacuum to lift a little red bead inside a sight glass. On the Buick, I had to turn up the idle quite a bit just for it to register, but that doesn't really matter for the purposes of balancing the carbs. I adjusted the baffle on the Uni-Syn until I got a steady reading about 1/3 of the way up the scale. Then I moved it to the rear carb and adjusted the linkage between the carbs (which adjusted the rear carb's throttle opening) until I got the same reading. I locked down the linkage so they would move synchronously and voila! Both carbs flowing the exact same amount of air. Once they were locked together, I could reduce the idle to the proper level using just the front carb's idle screw and the rear carb would follow. I backed off the rear carb's idle screw far enough that it wouldn't affect anything--it's merely along for the ride now.

 

6-6-19-12.thumb.jpg.cc334158bbe50e1cf1f2919b8ba5cd76.jpg  6-6-19-11.thumb.jpg.4b61a69be180e84b2b068b2a9112000c.jpg
Uni-Syn device allows you to get both carbs inhaling the exact same amount for a given throttle opening.
Easy to use and precise enough for this application. I was surprised by how far off my "tuning" actually was.
Note that the rear carb's idle screw is backed way off.

 

Last step is going to be fine-tuning the mixture. I'll do that with a vacuum gauge tomorrow or Saturday. Sunday is the Buick-Olds-Pontiac show and the Big Guy is definitely going to be there.

 

 

 

I love how methodical you are Matt and now I will have to check my airflow with a synch meter which I didnt do on mine. With idle mixture screws I always use the same approach as I do with the Dellorto carbs on my Ducati's which is screwing them in until the motor starts to stumble and then backing out until rpm picks up and smooths out. Now I will need to get a vacuum gauge like a real tuner! My chokes are set light enough to be fully open in about 2 minutes which is plenty of time for it to settle into a nice smooth idle. Its not an easy motor to stall even when cold. Seven minutes seems like a long time. Cant wait to hear how it feels out on the road!  

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Posted (edited)

A brief test drive earlier today showed that the engine is running great, so I decided to stop fiddling with it for now. It starts easily, idles nicely, pulls hard without any stumbles, and just goes about its business like it should. I'm not going to tempt fate to try to pull another 2% out of it. It's better than it has ever been, that makes me happy. It does indeed idle more smoothly with two carburetors on it; the engine is a distant, faint rumble but not noticeably shaky. It's a tangible improvement. It still runs at 160 degrees and there's good power everywhere on the tach--again, I'm not going to say it's definitely faster, but it certainly ain't slower!

 

Nevertheless, at least one of the chokes remains open for about the first two minutes of driving. I guess that's OK, but to speed up the action, I didn't want to loosen the springs any more than I already have because it might not close the choke all the way when it's cold. Instead I added some insulation to the stove pipes to hopefully get some heat up there faster. It is a woven material that's supposed to be good to 500 degrees, so it will work fine. It does unravel pretty badly, so to prevent that I used some regular heat shrink tubing on the ends to hold it in place. The heat shrink should be resistant enough to the temperatures it will see under the hood and with the insulation, the stove pipes won't melt it. And if it does melt, well, I'll figure something else out. 

 

6-7-19-4.thumb.jpg.131f5b2aa7d45053a32ded835f3e7a14.jpg
Woven heat insulation on the stove pipes
is held in place with ordinary shrink tubing.

We'll see if it survives...

 

6-7-19-3.thumb.jpg.7d10166de5030b598c6a0b703437516b.jpg 6-7-19-2.thumb.jpg.2b6368db0af94e6b06ca623f2c4b960c.jpg
And installed. I should probably find a plug for the crankcase vent hole in the air cleaner.

 

In preparation for the show on Sunday, I tidied up the engine bay, including painting the radiator and a few other little details. With the intake hose in place and everything wiped down, it looks pretty good under the hood.

 

6-7-19-1.thumb.jpg.30d37091d1d0655ab8478ba63ad6734c.jpg
Clean engine bay looks great and nobody but
an expert will spot the modifications!

 

Once I was done putting fingerprints all over it, I had Michael give it a quick wash--it hasn't been cleaned since we went to the CCCA Grand Classic last August when Melanie filmed that video a few pages back. It was still covered with bugs, which I'll admit I kind of like--it has a sign on it in the showroom that says, "My hobby is collecting bugs." It proves that I drive it. Michael gave it a quick clean up and dressed it up a bit for me. Can you see what he added?

 

6-7-19no2.thumb.jpg.ca6f6760d2cf3b31a7c03578bdbfe277.jpg
Clean and ready to go to the show!

 

6-7-19no1.thumb.jpg.bd5127020527a74d7c91b9198979a7c8.jpg 6-7-19no3.thumb.jpg.50a7e7e989a9ceb95e1e4bd86c3414f3.jpg Front1.thumb.jpg.7a72281f550e0a330c1e13ed788c2b7c.jpg
It always looks great in the driveway! Note that Michael installed the set of bumper ends I had on the shelf,

just to see what they look like. I'm still undecided whether I like them--with the fog lights, maybe it's too much bling.
Compare the first photo here to the very first photo in this thread to see how far it has come.

 

The ride home was effortless. My younger son, Riley, came with me to the gas station, then we ran it down our favorite back road where there's not much traffic. Since the speedometer isn't much more accurate even with the drive gear upgrade, I had him use the GPS to help me get an idea how far off it actually is: 6 MPH slow. So when the dial says 54, I'm going 60. I pushed it up to an indicated 65 MPH (which was 71 MPH!) and it pulled smoothly and didn't seem to mind, so I held it there until we had to slow down for traffic. Then we headed home. We're finally finished after more than a year of working on this exhaust project. The results were definitely worth it!

 

Next projects will be some new weather-stripping, some sound insulation in the doors and floors, getting the gas gauge working, connecting the back-up light, and the installation of the Redi-Rad radio adapter (yes, my radio works!).

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Such a grand car!  I bet she’s smiling the whole way just like you are.

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Michael gave it a quick clean up and dressed it up a bit for me. Can you see what he added?

 

Elephant ears?  Those weren't on there as of last November:

 

matts_90.thumb.jpg.23dd8063cae31a4b8d297bad2a463d82.jpg

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Never been a fan of those extra bumper ends especially on a sedanette where it detracts from the line of the rear fender. Indeed to much bling. Your gorgeous limited could do without them. Only thing worse from my perspective is a giant wind catching windscreen visor and dual spotlights. I don't even like whitewalls except on ragtops and never on a formal car.. Less is more on a beautiful car.

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I've now put about 120 miles on the car since all the upgrades and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Felt confident enough to take it to the Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac show this morning and spent a few hours there with my family. Not many pre-war cars there, so it seemed to be popular with the crowd. Nice show with about 200 cars from all three marques.

 

BuickShow1.thumb.jpg.47a57372fb2ef747400830f425c698ba.jpg BuickShow4.thumb.jpg.ecf0d637f4c607dd863aba0e12d663ff.jpg

 

I'm still learning the way it likes to be started, both cold and warm, and it appears that simply pressing the throttle once to set the choke and then pressing the button is the best choice. It's a little rough for the first 5 or 10 seconds, then it smooths out nicely. After maybe two minutes it drops down to a lower idle, just like it should. I think I'm going to leave it alone.

 

As for driving, it's quite smooth and powerful. I've noticed a few differences. One, the on/off throttle is a bit more abrupt and induces a little lash. Rolling on and off the throttle gently and gradually more or less eliminates it, but it's definitely more pronounced than before. And two, there's just a little stutter at low speeds and part throttle, say, when rolling at idle in 2nd gear and then adding some throttle. For a split second, it stutters. Again, I can drive around it by being a little more aggressive with the throttle, but I think I can tune that out. I'll get the vacuum gauge out one day this week and see what I can do.     


Beyond those two VERY small issues, the sucker drives beautifully. It's just a joy and it feels so smooth that both Melanie and my son, Riley, fell asleep on the drive home. 

 

The only other upgrade I think I might want is more rear shock damping. The rebuilt shocks are OK, but it still bounds around back there, especially with people on board. It needs more damping. I might look into making some brackets I can use to bolt on some modern tube shocks. I don't like the idea of modifying it that way, but it definitely needs more damping on the rear axle. 

 

We'll keep moving forward.

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Did the 5-gas analyzer help get it dialed-in?  Sounds like you're planning some final tweaks with the vacuum gauge?

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Matt, I have heard of using Motorcycle front fork oil. Hydraulic in various thicknesses, I believe.

 

  Glad she is working for you.

 

  Ben

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16 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Matt, I have heard of using Motorcycle front fork oil. Hydraulic in various thicknesses, I believe.

 

  Glad she is working for you.

 

  Ben

 

That's a great idea--I hadn't thought of that! I'll see if I can find some thicker oil and firm things up. Thanks for the tip!

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13 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

That's a great idea--I hadn't thought of that! I'll see if I can find some thicker oil and firm things up. Thanks for the tip!

Hi Matt, That surging might be your advanced timing. I had experienced throttle sensitivity on my car after pushing my timing forward and tried a more aggressive technique to tame it but I decided to retard it a little to good effect and smoother throttle response. 

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Posted (edited)

One thing that has been bugging me ever since the heavy rains at the Allentown meet a few years ago is the fact that my windshield wiper towers leak. When we were in the downpour in Allentown, my legs got soaked, as did the wiring behind the dash and even the radio. My first thought was the cowl vent, but it seals up just fine. A little exploring under the dash and I discovered that there was no gasket between the wiper transmissions and the bodywork, hence the leak. I never got around to dealing with it, but we're headed to an event this weekend where the car will be outside and rain is in the forecast. I bought the gaskets last year, so I decided to install them--easy project, right?

 

Wrong. Holy cow are those wiper transmissions hard to reach! They're held in place by just one bolt, but they're behind all the wires, all the switches in the dash, and most importantly, the defroster ducts. No way to get a wrench on there and while the defroster ducts are only held in place with two screws and removing those screws would be easy, reinstalling them would be virtually impossible given the impossible access. I was so busy under the dash, these were the only photos I was able to take of the job, but it gives you an idea of what's involved. Don't be fooled, that bolt is completely inaccessible except with a box wrench that you have to use by feel and which only moves about 10 degrees per turn. Yikes!

 

1977291059_2019-06-1416_59_11.thumb.jpg.973d4fb02b5da4775156342b271bd0b4.jpg

You can see the wiper transmission behind the defroster duct.

That screw is the easy one to reach. The other one is... not easy.

 

1106476843_2019-06-1416_58_48.thumb.jpg.1dd92fb5cb0725edec24f9b260251a09.jpg

From the side, it's easier to see what's going on, but it's still
a challenge to reach that bolt to loosen the transmission.
You can see the defroster duct directly underneath. Access

is not nearly as good as this photo might suggest.

 

Fortunately, I was eventually able to loosen the bolt enough that Melanie could slide the gasket over the wiper and transmission and stretch it around the base so it would tuck in underneath. I was busy under the dash with Melanie installing the gasket, so I don't have any photos, sorry. But once the gasket was in place, I slowly tightened the bolt and all was well.

 

Repeat for the passenger side, although this time the glove box is in the way. Access was a bit better, but I damaged the glove box pulling it out, so I'm bummed about that. I'll have to get a new one sometime. Dang.

 

At least the car should be leak-proof now if the promised torrential rains hit us on Sunday. 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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As someone who has just started trying to work on various things under the dash of my '41, I feel your pain.  At least you can get a new glove box from Bob's for not too much money.  I appreciate the heads up on this -- I will have to check and see if I even have those gaskets on my car.  I'm trying to get as much done under there as I can when it's relatively easy with as much stuff as possible removed.

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Here's the gasket installed under the wiper tower:

 

931968972_2019-06-1512_40_17a.thumb.jpg.8be7cda1e0904fdbc472f80f14c995e3.jpg

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Posted (edited)

967778367_2019-06-1514_53_44a.thumb.jpg.57a08366f2fbcb6a1ed6a4ac4fa1e794.jpg

 

Drove the Limited and Melanie's '56 Chrysler wagon to Stan Hywet Hall down in Akron for the annual Stan Hywet Father's Day Car Show. We took our personal cars down a day early so we could be there today to help unload and park a few other cars that were coming in and needed some help. Then we can just zip down there in a modern car at 6AM to get started (Melanie runs the show). It was also a great chance to park the Limited in front of the manor house and take some photos. Looks right at home, doesn't it?

 

2022640645_2019-06-1514_53.18-a.thumb.jpg.a2745787bd7299d1cac68b17b937cc81.jpg 1008607463_2019-06-1515_12_13a.thumb.jpg.a741993ba28b3838b3dd524d91acc817.jpg

 

It's about a 40-minute drive from our shop to Stan Hywet, pretty easy drive, but there's one particularly long, steep hill that always creates a struggle for old cars. My '29 Cadillac will do it but it needs 2nd gear to finish the job. When I was a kid, we rode with a friend in his 6-cylinder Mustang and I recall he had to back up the hill otherwise it just wouldn't make it. It's long, winding, and STEEP. Even my late-model Cadillac CTS had to drop down a few gears to make the climb. Nevertheless, the Limited actually ACCELERATED up the hill in high gear. I was very impressed! Melanie snapped a photo of the Limited  along the way, showing the LED brake lights and turn signal doing their thing.

 

1967786495_2019-06-1514_23_07a.thumb.jpg.a09a8da6202677e8071888bf0d525e7c.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Well, it rained all day at the show, but there was still a decent turn-out. I probably should have entered the Limited in judging--I could have won something given that only one car in my class was judged. Probably about 150 cars (out of 450 registered) braved the weather. Limited stayed dry inside, which was nice, although the trunk was wet for some reason. I'll have to investigate that.

 

Drive home was uneventful, following Melanie in her wagon. Long, wet, tiring day but it was nice to just get in the car and go without a second thought.

 

567521828_2019-06-1609_03_50a.jpg.0d21acf6e999e8daa8bbabe9c63256a4.jpg
8AM, cars start to arrive despite the drizzling rain.

 

1188241907_2019-06-1610_23_34a.jpg.6e9b6de330cf22c98bfeb2660aca5d75.jpg 296170350_2019-06-1609_48_14a.jpg.8bd34c74a1efd179799b030e663c1636.jpg
A few more cars showed up by 11. Four cars in my class; I probably could have won
a prize! The only one judged was the pretty light green 1942 Cadillac sedan.

 

91742557_2019-06-1609_47.53-1a.jpg.445d3f5c2d4450f7ca1f403d1e1060c2.jpg
It got muddy enough that the groundskeeper laid out some
plywood to keep the cars from making deep ruts in the grass.

 

579151993_2019-06-1618_19_27a.jpg.0adc2aeda743e86651a963467113779e.jpg
Drive home. Photo credit, Riley, age 10.

 

 

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I mentioned earlier that I didn't think the rear shocks had sufficient damping. I also noticed over the weekend that there's still a rattle/clunk coming from the back end. Tonight I put the car on the lift and discovered the source of both issues:

 

6-17-19b.thumb.jpg.aa504eee49c195990c4d6d69da3c2da5.jpg

 

Yep, one of my rare, impossible-to-find shock links has failed. The rubber insulator crumbled and the mounting stud was able to wiggle out. Fortunately, I have a solution: heim joints! I'll lose that tiny layer of rubber, which presumably cuts down on NVH transmitted inside the car, but I think there won't be any difference.

 

hal-mxml10_xl.jpg?rep=True
Heim joints to the rescue!

 

Since the mounting studs are tapered and lock into their mounts, I'm going to try to re-use them rather than just running a bolt through there, which might rattle around. My first thought was to thread the studs to hold the heim joint in place, but it's probably hardened tool steel that won't cut very easily. Also, they may not be long enough to offer sufficient threads to hold a nut in place. Second thought is to perhaps weld a washer in place holding the heim joint securely. Theoretically, the stud should still be removable so welding a washer on the other end won't be a permanent mount and I can remove it in the future if needed. 

 

6-17-19d.thumb.jpg.d83dc522dd213aac47fcf89f63e4b381.jpg

It should be relatively easy to secure the heim joint to the

mounting stud by welding a washer on the end.
 

 

Now to find a set of heim joints with 9/16 bores that don't cost $50 each...

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