neil morse

Neil's '41 Super Model 51

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Thanks for the encouragement, Matt.  As I said at the beginning of this thread, I got this car to have fun with in my retirement, and so far I'm having a ball!

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One of the great things about working on these cars is that usually there is no real deadline and things just take the time needed. No pressure.

Plus, plan as you may, you never know what problems you might encounter

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New Sending Unit -- It Works!

 

I got my new sending unit from Bob's this morning, and hurried down to the garage to try it out.  I connected the positive wire from the gauge, and used

an alligator clip to run a ground to the body in the trunk.  I turned on the ignition, and was very happy with the result.

 

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Here's what I got with the float all the way up.

 

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Here it is at about halfway

 

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And here it is with the float all the way down.

 

Before I button everything back up, I will rig up a longer wire so I can see the gauge and the float at the same time without running back and forth, and make sure it is properly calibrated.  It seems about right, but you can bend the wire holding the float to adjust it.

 

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Here's the old sender I took out of the tank.  It wasn't properly grounded, but just out of curiosity, I tested it and found it was not working anyway.

I got a kick out of the corks used for the float.  Imagine how much wine those guys at the Buick plant had to drink to get all those corks! ;)

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
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Some Preservation Work

 

While the gas tank is out being reconditioned, I wanted to do some cleaning up of the area above the tank.  While I was at it, I did the spare tire well also.

Just "lazy man's rust removal," which consisted of using the "prep and etch" to neutralize the rust and then a coat of flat black paint.

 

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Before

 

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After

 

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Spare tire well -- before and after

 

I also installed the gas tank "cushion" material for the top of the tank.  It is held in place by tabs that go through holes in the material and then

are bent.  I was concerned that the tabs might be so rusted that they would break off, but they held up fine.

 

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I used a punch to make holes in the new material, using one of the old pieces as a template.

 

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Ready to reinstall the tank.  I dropped it off at the shop on Friday, and it's supposed to be ready by this Wednesday -- very quick turn around!

 

 

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47 minutes ago, neil morse said:

Just "lazy man's rust removal," which consisted of using the "prep and etch" to neutralize the rust and then a coat of flat black paint.

Nothing wrong with that; it is more than the factory used and will outlast you a few other owners since it will lead a more sheltered life!

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Did Some Soldering Today

 

I soldered up a new wire to go to the gas tank sending unit today.  It might seem like overkill to use old school cloth insulated wire

on a driver like mine, but I love working with the stuff! 

 

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Here's the old wire with the new replacement.

 

I also made up a wire to use for the dedicated ground to the sender.  I decided to just run it back up into the trunk with the positive

line to keep it out of harm's way.

 

ground.thumb.jpg.f64847579559d6f8d468a944d8b99078.jpg

 

I'm hoping to get the tank back on Friday and reinstall it over the weekend.

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Reinstalling the Gas Tank

I picked up my tank this morning from Ron at San Leandro Radiator.  A very pleasant and competent guy, if anyone from the Bay Area is looking for a place

that does radiators and gas tanks. 

 

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As you can see, the inside is now a milky white after sand blasting and three applications of plastic coating.

 

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Inside the tank

 

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New sender installed and wired up with dedicated ground

 

 

 

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Tank going back in -- piece of cake!

 

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All done.  The only slight glitch was that the new straps I got from Bob's were too short so I had to clean up and reuse the old ones.  (:P I should have

wiped off those finger prints before taking the picture!)

 

I put in a few gallons from a can, and headed to the gas station where I filled it up, stopping a few times to check the gauge to try to see

how accurate it is.  It reads a little low (hits empty with three gallons in the tank) which I suppose isn't a bad thing, but is otherwise right

on the money.  I'm a happy camper -- a good day.

 

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On 12/22/2017 at 3:31 PM, Buicknutty said:

 

 I also have an issue with mine popping out of third on a coast, at times, but not always. I was able to get some bushings back when I restored the car a few years ago, and actually remanufactured part of the steel shaft the you have a picture of above, but there is still one quite loose bushing near the transmission. I have been thinking that maybe the culprit.

 

Keith, I'm about to become much more familiar with the '40 transmission in my car, and for now relay information on your problem based on my Ford experience.  Slipping out of gear while coasting in those transmissions was caused by worn synchronizing part(s).  Based on the trans diagram below, would it be part K? (anyone)

5a762d02b0a27_TransDiagram.thumb.jpg.1d2440dcce94a8aebf12eba771f2f103.jpg

 

As shown on Bob's page: 

SYNCRO-408.jpg

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My experience with popping out of high  gear on trailing throttle is usually due to a bad input ball bearing. The actual synchronizer has nothing to do with driving the car, it only matches shaft speeds during a shift.

 

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 Neil, I cannot enlarge the picture well enough to see part "K". Slipping out of gear can be caused by a few things, but from what I have been given to understand, linkage is the most common problem with these. Though I confess my experience is limited is this area.

 Keith

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7 minutes ago, Buicknutty said:

 Neil, I cannot enlarge the picture well enough to see part "K". Slipping out of gear can be caused by a few things, but from what I have been given to understand, linkage is the most common problem with these. Though I confess my experience is limited is this area.

 Keith

 

Hi Keith, as is often the case, this thread has gotten a bit derailed.  Ken (kgreen) was the person who posted the picture and asked about "part K," not me.  All I can report is that my car has not popped out of third gear since I installed the "shift linkage kit" from Bob's that replaces all the rubber bushings in the shift linkage.  (Additional note:  if you click twice a photo that is posted on this forum, you can enlarge it quite a bit.  I could read the picture posted by Ken pretty well after clicking on it to enlarge it.)

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 Sorry, I didn't notice the mix up. I did try enlarging the photo, but couldn't on my computer for some reason.

Keith

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Door Lock Problem

 

Another item on my list was fixing the door locks so I could lock my car.  When I got the car, the key cylinder was missing altogether

from the driver's door, and the key would not open the door on the passenger side.  As a result, it was possible to lock the car, but that

didn't do me any good because there was no way to unlock it from the outside once it was locked.

 

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First step was to remove all the hardware and take the door panels off.  I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not a big fan of the GM system of

securing the inside cranks and handles with those nearly impossible to get at clips that have a tendency to "fly away" once you finally

get them off.  I got a special tool from Bob's that helps a lot, but it's still a hassle.  But enough complaining ...

 

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Here's the latch mechanism, door handle, and key lock once I got them out of the door.  The Shop Manual had very good instructions with photos showing

how to do this.  (I love the photos in the shop manual that always show the mechanics dressed in white smocks like doctors.)

 

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I was fortunately able to see right away where the problem was.  The round piece with the triangular hole for the rod from the key cylinder has two "ears"

on it (one of which is obscured in this photo).  The pointy part (lever?) is supposed to sit down between the two ears.  When you turn the key, the ears

hit the lever and either lock or unlock the door (pulling the button down or popping it up).  On my car, the lever had gotten bent up so it rode above the

"ears" and consequently, turning the key did nothing.

 

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Here's a close up showing the lever riding on top of one of the "ears" instead of sitting down between them.

 

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Side view showing the problem

 

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Lever bent back down -- all fixed.

 

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All cleaned up and ready to get a little grease in the right spots and go back in the car.  I have to wait to put everything back together because

I ordered new rubber from Steele's while I had it all apart.  It will sure expand my horizons to be able to lock the car when I park it!

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Visit with Wayne

 

I had a nice visit today with fellow '41 Super owner, Wayne (414TATA on the forum).  Wayne used to work in Colma, just south of SF, and drove up here

today to visit some friends.  We arranged a meeting place in Colma, and I drove down in my Super to meet him.  We had a great time comparing notes

and swapping stories about our cars -- both Super Model 51 four-doors.  Here's a pic of Wayne with my car.  Great meeting you, Wayne, I really enjoyed it!

 

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On 2/3/2018 at 8:40 PM, DonMicheletti said:

My experience with popping out of high  gear on trailing throttle is usually due to a bad input ball bearing. The actual synchronizer has nothing to do with driving the car, it only matches shaft speeds during a shift.

 

 I would have wondered that as well, except so many Ford people told me about the gear jump out due to synchronizers.  Here's a shot of the Buick shop manual definatey stating that this can be a problem with Buicks as well.

5a9070e7e116b_gearjump.thumb.JPG.5f8a10301cb18083ea457f4552b3b108.JPG

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That's an interesting list of things that can cause jumping out of high gear (my particular problem).  I don't know if they are listed in order of the most common cause, but I have suspected from the beginning that the main cause in my car is the motor mounts -- which are in sad shape.  The reason I suspect this is that the problem always occurs on a long down grade when braking.  I think the mounts are sufficiently loose that the engine is moving slightly when brakes are applied.  However, I also think that the worn shift linkage discussed earlier in this thread contributed to the problem.  It has only happened one time since we installed the shift linkage repair kit with all the new rubber bushings.  Anyhow, I'm hoping that it's nothing worse than that.  The transmission is behaving very well otherwise.

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Another Day, Another Door

 

I actually wish it was just one other day, but it's going to take a number of days before all my door issues are dealt with.

Having solved the problem with the key lock on the passenger side front door, I have started tackling multiple issues with

the other three doors, starting with the passenger side rear door.   The main problem with this door is that it doesn't fit properly. 

With the door closed, there is a gap of about a quarter inch at the top, which is enough so that the rubber seal is not compressed

and it leaks water.  This is not acceptable -- I have to be able to at least wash my car, even if I don't drive it in the rain. 

 

I met a "body man" through my new friend George (Grimy on the forum), and I'm going to see if he can help with this situation. 

After consulting the Shop Manual, I'm hoping it's just a matter of adjusting the hinges (which allow for a bit of up and down and

in and out adjustment).  If not, I may have to get into the "Way Back" machine and find the fellow (in the obligatory lab coat)

in this picture and see if he still has the "door straightening tool" available!

 

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In preparation for my session with the body man, I set about taking the door panel and other hardware off the door, and

one thing led to another (as often happens), and now I'm in the middle of replacing the rubber on the rear vent window. 

The old rubber was rock hard, and getting it out was a real PITA.  (I was amazed by the photos of Gary W. taking

the old vent window rubber out of his '37 -- it was soft and supple (looks like my new rubber from Steele)

and came right out.  Mine was the consistency of concrete, and had to be cut and scraped out with

the help of an acetone bath.

 

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I also discovered that the regulator for the rear vent not only had a missing bolt where the vent attached, but had a broken shaft as well, so

now I'm looking for a replacement.

 

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Looking for a more simple job today, I took the latch mechanism out and cleaned it up the way I had done for the front door. 

It makes it a lot smoother and quieter -- no more squeaks and moans when I open the door.

 

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Before

 

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That's all for now -- stay tuned.

 

 

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
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Another method to rebend your door is while the door is open, stick a 2x4 in the door opening, carefully shutting the door on the 2x4.  You would then lean heavily on the top of the window area to push that part of the door in.  The 2x4 might be placed just below the last point of contact that the door has with the rubber door seal.  This works for minor adjustment.  Any larger adjustment could cause a probem in another part of the door.

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Thanks for the suggestion, Ken.  I have heard that you can successfully bend a door using that technique -- kind of a "shade tree" version of the "door straightening tool" shown in the shop manual.  At this point, I'm going to defer to my body man, but we may end up giving this technique a try.

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I went on a NorCal Buick Club outing yesterday -- my first since joining the group.  It was a combined event with a local Chevy club, a visit to a building in Martinez, CA that used to house a Chevy dealership in the 20's and 30's.  It is now being used by a collector to store and display his beautiful collection of brass era cars, including several early Buicks.  Across the street, there was another old warehouse with a very interesting collection of cars and automobilia. 

 

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My car behind a nice '40 Chevy.  Family resemblance is very clear.

 

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Sweet '28 Chevy coupe

 

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'60 LaSabre hardtop

 

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Very early Buick -- '04?

 

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Nice '38 Special

 

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Another early Buick -- don't know the year. 

 

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Very handsome Reo touring car

 

On the way home, I found this lovely '49 Caddy convertible at the Bay Bridge toll plaza, and followed it back into San Francisco.

 

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A really fun day!

 

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Sound Deadener

 

When I took the door panels off two of the doors of my car, I found that the sound deadening material had completely rotted away.

 

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Not wanting clanging doors, I bought some new material similar to the Dynamat product that Gary W. used on his '37.

The stuff I got is made by a company called Partsam, available with free shipping from Amazon, and about half the price of the Dynamat.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07786VRCL/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I haven't put any in the doors yet, but I put some down on the front floor panels under the rubber mat yesterday since I had plenty of extra.  

The stuff is very easy to use -- just as described in Gary's thread, you pull off the backing and use a roller to get the material to conform to the surface.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a similar product.

 

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Progress

 

I'm continuing to work on the right rear door.  I have an appointment to meet with the "body man" on Friday to see if we can get the hinges adjusted (or perhaps do something more drastic) to get the door to seal properly.  In the meantime, I have stripped everything but the latch mechanism out of the door so I can do some rust treatment and install the sound deadening material.  

 

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Everything gone

 

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Window regulator as it came out of the door

 

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Regulator cleaned up.  (I didn't give it the full "Gary W." treatment -- just a gasoline bath and some wire brushing.)

 

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Vent window frame stripped and painted, and vent reinstalled with new rubber -- ready to go back in the door when I get a new regulator from Doug Seybold.

 

This is very satisfying work -- and thanks again to Gary for guiding the way with his detailed photos and descriptions

 

 

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