Jump to content

Neil's '41 Super Model 51


neil morse
 Share

Recommended Posts

Please no RTV on the gasket! :rolleyes: With that long/large a sealing surface I've used fine silk thread going through the pan and gasket holes to try to keep things aligned as I wiggle the pan in place.  I've yet to see where these silk threads have allowed any capillary action to cause oil seeping.

 

All the best,

Konrad

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha -- Don just emailed me with the same advice (except that he didn't say "silk" thread -- I guess Konrad only uses the very best!).  Don't worry, Konrad, both you and Don have educated me about the evils of RTV.  I never touch the stuff, honest, I don't even have any in my garage!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure there is a place for it, I just don't recall where? Oh that's right the trash! 

 

All kidding aside there are places for its use but they are few and far between.

 

Silk came from its use in split cases like the Porsche 901 engine case. I like it as it is thin, easily sinks into the gasket, and strong (holds up to my ham fisted hands).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just threaded the gasket to the pan -- but with mercerized cotton thread.  It's not a Porsche, after all, just a Buick. 😄  A great tip for a way to keep the gasket in place while you're installing the pan.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oil Pump Job Completed

 

After a few glitches on the reassembly, I'm all done.  As I mentioned earlier, I was not able to get the pan out without removing the pump because there was very little clearance between the pan and the tie rod, and the forward baffle on the pan was hitting the bottom of the pump.  Removing the pump and pan in this way was very easy.  However, as I was quick to figure out, reinstalling the pump with the pan hanging down under it was not a feasible idea!  After trying to hold the pump through the narrow space between the pan and the block and (blindly) get the shaft properly seated, I gave up and realized I had to regroup.  With a little help from my friends, I figured out that turning the front wheels all the way to the right and jacking up the front end a bit more to lower the suspension would get the tie rod low enough so that the pan would no longer hang up on the bottom of the pump.  Here's what the new set up looked like.

 

wheels_turned.thumb.jpg.fc889b23255a848e0ace570490ea8c34.jpg

 

I was then able to install the pump and slide the pan into place and raise it up on two guide pins (Don's idea).

 

oil_pan5.thumb.jpg.0cfc75e265f6bf134bdc70b0ce6b8ef1.jpg

 

You can see some of the thread I used to hold the gasket in place.  After this, it was just a matter of getting those 32 bolts back in place.  As I mentioned before, they are all easy except for the four bolts between the four at the front of the pan (accessible through holes in the cross-member) and all the rest which are open.  Here's what it looked like with the pan bolted back in place.

 

oil_pan6.thumb.jpg.1b111f22f8b9239412bcec9c19c7ace4.jpg

 

I figured I'd better take a picture because my oil pan is never going to look this pretty again!  I put six quarts of oil in and cranked it for about a minute with the wire from the coil to the distributor detached.  Then I went ahead and fired it up, and normal oil pressure came up very quickly.

 

Even though my advisers had told me that I would probably not see any change in indicated oil pressure, I was looking for some tangible evidence that all my work had made a difference!  Although not dramatic, I believe I can see several improvements.  The pressure at idle when thoroughly warmed up is now a steady 10 to 15, as opposed to 5 to 10.  Also, while the maximum pressure is about the same (about 40), it seems like it reaches that point a lot faster, i.e., at a lower RPM than before.  In any event, I'm a happy camper.  I'm very glad that I dropped the pan and cleaned up the mess inside.  I also learned some things about the history of my engine -- primarily that it had undergone a professional rebuild at some point.  Also, I had the satisfaction of doing this on my own (apart from telephone and email consultations), since the "stay-at-home" orders meant that I couldn't get anyone to come over and help me if I got stuck.  I'm very happy to have my Buick on the road again.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if it's "normal," but from what I understand it's typical.  I don't know about the crank bearings on my car, but I assume they were redone at the time of the rebuild (whenever that was -- all I know is that it was done sometime before the year 2000, which is as far back as I have been able to trace the history of my car).  An experienced mechanic would probably have looked at the bearings while doing the job that I did, but it was not something I was willing to undertake on my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 As an aside to the earlier discussion as to whether or not to start checking bearings. I go through that every time I have a pan off of something, I want to take a look. Matt is  quite correct that one can create problems that weren't there by taking this old stuff apart when it doesn't need it.

 So, and its' a moot point now, but that's a good thing to do, just putting it back together, freshening up the oil pump tolerances as it were, and leaving the rest. For whatever reason the specs on the '41's were 45 psi, and it was dropped to 35 @35 mph in the post war years. I don't have enough experience with all of them to know when this was made, or what the reasons for this were.

 

 Seems your car is getting better all the time, Neil!

 Keith

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

 As an aside to the earlier discussion as to whether or not to start checking bearings. I go through that every time I have a pan off of something, I want to take a look. Matt is  quite correct that one can create problems that weren't there by taking this old stuff apart when it doesn't need it.

 So, and its' a moot point now, but that's a good thing to do, just putting it back together, freshening up the oil pump tolerances as it were, and leaving the rest. For whatever reason the specs on the '41's were 45 psi, and it was dropped to 35 @35 mph in the post war years. I don't have enough experience with all of them to know when this was made, or what the reasons for this were.

 

 Seems your car is getting better all the time, Neil!

 Keith

 

 Wonder if it went to "35 at 35"  with the change to insert in the rod bearings in 1949?

 

  Ben

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could be, Ben. Just don't know. It would seem to me, and most that the higher oil pressure is a good thing, unless it was deemed unnecessary, and led to more leakage problems?

The same pressure specs are for the '56 nailhead as well.

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update

 

After driving the car a bit, I followed Don's advice and went back today to re-tighten the oil pan bolts.  As expected, each bolt needed a half-turn or so to be snugged up again.  I am very pleased that the drip pan under my car is now clean (and stays clean) for the first time since I got the car three years ago.

 

On the question of how much oil pressure is enough, I was looking at the owner's manual (not the shop manual) today for something else and I found this entry in the section on gauges:

 

owners_manual1.thumb.jpg.48ca141836fbe727f262cf75d1ce17a7.jpg

 

So there you have it -- "any" pressure at 15 mph is enough to show that the pump is "functioning properly."  It's interesting that it doesn't say anything about pressure at idle.  And the by-pass limit of 40-45 lbs. max means that I'm also within specs with my maximum of 40.  So this seems to confirm that many of us tend to be more concerned about oil pressure than we need to be, as has been suggested by some of the earlier posts.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good find, Neil. That's interesting about the maximum bypass--I routinely see 50-60 PSI on my auxiliary mechanical gauge at speed when it's cold. It settles down to about 45 when it's all warmed up and maybe 20-25 PSI at hot idle. Could the thicker oil when it's cold inhibit the bypass function? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, the temp will not inhibit the bypass function.  But the high viscosity of the cold oil could restrict the flow rate of the oil after the regulating orifice (valve seat), which can impede the full functionality of the bypass. That is to say the oil can be so thick that it can't get past the valve fast enough to effect the oil pressure. This can be a real concern with regulators/governors. But this valve is a bypass valve not a regulator.

 

To quote Neil " So this seems to confirm that many of us tend to be more concerned about oil pressure than we need to be, as has been suggested by some of the earlier posts." As counter intuitive as it seems this is very true, particularly with hydrodynamic oiling systems which is generally the case with the plain bearings of the rods and crankshaft. Now in designs where the use of an oil stream (jet) is used to cool the back side of the piston oil pressure is very important to the long life of the engine.

 

But for this type of engine high oil pressure is NOT desirable, as it is an indication of a restriction somewhere after the gage or is just a waste of energy that could be used to drive the wheels.

 

Neil,

Now don't over torque the pan bolts as it is easy to tear (crush) the gasket under and near the bolt.

 

All the best,

Konrad

Edited by Konrad
spelling (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Konrad said:

Now don't over torque the pan bolts as it is easy to tear (crush) the gasket under and near the bolt.

 

I've been as careful as I can, but for a different reason.  I'm intent on not putting those dimples back in the pan that I so carefully hammered out when I had the pan off.  I'm pretty sure that I haven't torn or crushed the gasket anywhere.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 2/19/2020 at 6:47 PM, neil morse said:

As Don mentions in the instructions, I did not take the jack stand from his place that we had used to mount the transmission nose down.  However, my friend Tom had the brilliant idea of using a portable work bench that he has that worked perfectly.

 

trans_on_bench.thumb.jpg.78b6311b705f7b3a047c03fcec3f6825.jpg

 

Here are the three torque ball components that Don mentions in his instructions: the outer part, the ball, and the inner part.

 

torqueball7.jpg.4f0f514e3f6b4bfdf7e50aeddb819fb4.jpg

 

The inner housing goes onto the back of the transmission with a gasket.

 

torqueball3.thumb.jpg.e2156d649c89094104ece53ffeb2a251.jpg

 

torqueball4.thumb.jpg.3145d86f74c13ed24b9bad864b4dca9d.jpg

 

Once this is in place, you start the trial and error process of fitting the shims, as Don explains.

 

torqueball2.thumb.jpg.62c5bc3cda150c55b6573b97f8c6927e.jpg

 

The shims that come with the kit are four different thicknesses.

 

kit1.thumb.jpg.bc98c5c9563463313b8c6917db764c7c.jpg

 

After some fiddling around as explained in the instructions, I determined that the .0150 shim was too thick and the .0060 shim was too thin.  So the .0100 shim was "juuuust right" (as Goldilocks would say).  Here's what I used as a "bar" to move the ball while testing (very handy).

 

torqueball.jpg.c71745a693b27abe14af7af66d219194.jpg

 

Once I had determined which shim to use, I applied the goop (nasty stuff, as Don says).

 

torqueball5.jpg.48768c2d8289723e669fff308bd67711.jpg

 

After that, I put it back together and "Bob's your uncle" -- torque ball done!  (Whereupon I promptly prepared a rye Manhattan to follow Don's final instruction.)  (Cocktail not pictured.)

 

torqueball6.thumb.jpg.0682a20c8ce08a209a4e6d7da24b1649.jpg

 

 

 

Edit:  I forgot to mention that, of course, you have to add the large rubber seal in the final assembly.  There is also a smaller seal that goes on the end of the shaft and is shown in the parts photo but was not yet installed in my final photo.

 

Final edit (I hope):  I also forgot to mention that Don had put the ball part on his lathe and polished it up before I took it back to my place.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Don and thank you Neil.  The above outlined my task for the day as I get ready to push the rear axle back under the car.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, kgreen said:

 

 

Thank you Don and thank you Neil.  The above outlined my task for the day as I get ready to push the rear axle back under the car.  

 

Glad you found it helpful, Ken.  Good luck with yours.  This part of the job involves a lot of repetition, but it's pretty straight-forward.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

New Steering Wheel

 

Not much to report, as evidenced by the fact that I haven't posted here in seven months.  However, yesterday I got my new re-cast steering wheel.  It came out great, and I'm eager to install it!

 

wheel1.thumb.jpg.400496acc776d87513dd245ad26b4017.jpg

 

wheel2.thumb.jpg.4488284b34c3d02074d1a8ad785e05d7.jpg

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steering wheel mounted

I got the new wheel mounted today and I'm very happy with it.  There was a slight delay due to issues which developed concerning the cam that fits on the back of the wheel hub that activates the self-cancelling mechanism for the turn signal.  I had to remove it from my old wheel and install it on the new one, and a spring washer broke in the course of my attempt.  Not a commonly-available item, but I was able to find one that I could adapt to fit.  I won't clutter up this thread with a discussion of it here, but if anyone has any questions about this operation, I'm your man!

 

ivory5.thumb.jpg.b38d548d0134104a9e08a7bf5c934e1e.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well isn't that beautiful? You almost don't want to touch it, it's so perfect!

 

Mine was restored before I got the car and I'm paranoid careful about maintaining it and I always make sure I drive with clean hands. Whatever you do, don't put any weight on it to pull yourself in or out of the car. I was at the Buick centennial show in 2003 and was standing with my wife admiring a running '41 Century sedanette and the [slightly oversized] owner hanked himself out of the car using the wheel. There was a small pop and a pea-sized chunk of steering wheel from near one of the spokes flew out and hit my wife in the wrist. The owner was none too pleased about that.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt’s right and Neil knows this. The wheel is very flexible. These cars are not easy to get in and out of and I found myself grabbing the wheel to assist. Had to adjust my procedures so as to not crack the wheel anymore than it already is. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for that advice -- I will be extra careful with it!

 

The "Flexible Steering Wheel" was standard equipment on the Super, Century, Roadmaster, and Limited, but a $12.50 option on the Special.  I had always thought of the "banjo" style wheel as just a "dress up" item intended to look nicer, but the theory was that it made driving more comfortable because the wire spokes acted as a "buffer" to protect the driver's hands from the drumming of the tires on the pavement.  Now, of course, the "standard" wheels are rare because almost everyone opted for the banjo wheel, even on Specials where you had to pay extra.  I wonder if the "flexible" wheel really makes a difference in terms of driver comfort?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings, @neil morse:  Just wanted to drop a line to say how thankful I am for your intricate and detailed descriptions and pictures!  I just finished reading through this thread, and have bookmarked several places (and saved several pictures) to refer back to later.  You have a beautiful, well-taken-care-of rig!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are very welcome, Kaftan!   I'm always happy to hear that someone finds my posts to be helpful.   A lot of the time I am learning by doing, but I like to hand on the benefit of what I have learned.   And as you can see from this thread, I am blessed to have a number of very helpful friends!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alignment

 

I took my car to a local shop this morning to get a front end alignment.  The immediate reason was that I needed to get my new steering wheel properly centered.  But I hadn't had the alignment checked since I bought the car four years ago, so I thought it was time.

 

I got a referral from a friend to a shop in my neighborhood, but I was a bit apprehensive about whether they knew how to work on my 80 year old vehicle.

 

When I arrived at the shop, this is what I saw:

 

27Oakland1.thumb.jpg.78c8034dbf98bb7a26d843e98f6399c9.jpg

 

I figured this was a good sign.  It's a '27 Oakland.

 

27Oakland2.thumb.jpg.13bb77d6a84692cd290b1630ed1670c4.jpg

 

I picked up the car this afternoon, and I'm very happy with the job they did.  Not to mention that the shop is a 15 minute walk from my house.  Don't you love it when things work out?

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Hood Latch Handle Replacement

 

This is probably not something that people will commonly have to deal with, but I figured I would tell my story here just in case someone else has the same problem.

 

The passenger side hood latch handle on my car has been funky since I bought the car.  It just never wanted to close all the way.  I figured (mistakenly as you will learn) that this was due to the poor alignment of the front end sheet metal on my car.  There's a gap between the hood and the fender on that side.  Anyway, I became accustomed to the fact that you had to give the handle a sharp hit with the palm of your hand to get it to "retract" all the way when you opened and closed the hood from the right side.

 

About six weeks ago, the problem got a lot worse.  The handle didn't want to fit properly into the "grill" where it is situated, even with the sharp hit.  A few weeks later, I gave it a hit and -- oops! -- the pot metal handle broke.

 

hood_latch4E.jpg.70c34afec823fdcbd24ba85289aea54b.jpg

 

I went on Ebay and immediately found a replacement for $95, not bad.

 

hood_latch2.jpg.b802065a937ede7ef363409c8560bd91.jpg

 

On the '41, the hood release handles are recessed into a kind of "grill" on the side of the fender under the hood (the precursor of the "portholes" that came in '49).  I figured out how to remove the "grill," but found that what was left of the broken handle was attached by a pin to a housing within the "grill" that was also made of pot metal.

 

hood_latch7E.jpg.c3c95adb1ad8a4e4e5c7ebde8217b18a.jpg

 

hood_latch8E.jpg.10f83b691a5ab0754716f0b486ec6846.jpg

 

Given the fragile nature of pot metal, I was concerned about trying to drive this pin out with a hammer and punch.  I turned to my friend and mentor Don Micheletti who confirmed my concerns, saying "that has 'break me' written all over it."  We arranged a time for me to bring the assembly down to Don's shop where, he assured me, he would find a way to get the pin out and install the "new" handle.  He told me the old pin might have to be drilled out, and he would make a new pin.

 

In the meantime, I wanted to repaint the black "surround" to the SUPER letters on the new handle I had purchased.  Judging from the chrome plating on the the new handle, it didn't look like it had ever been in a car.  But the black paint was in bad shape and it had some pitting in the pot metal.  I am only including this portion because several people on the forum have said that they have had trouble repainting the black areas on various chrome pieces.  I'm no artist, but I have a method that seems easy and achieves quite a satisfactory result.

 

First, I stripped off the remaining black paint with lacquer thinner.

 

hood_latch_job9E.jpg.c6f0076eeb66ded5e7ec73cacf5d8424.jpg

 

Then I liberally applied black paint (I use Rustoleum satin black enamel).

 

hood_latch_job10E.jpg.a03d593657a2e87389170c34f9b4e7a7.jpg

 

I let it dry for about 30 minutes, and then take a piece of plastic (I find that an old credit card or hotel "key card" works well), wrap it with a paper towel soaked in mineral spirits, and carefully run it over the painted area.

 

hood_latch_job11E.jpg.71e748a766323a30113fa76b5e5642c8.jpg

 

The result may not be "Pebble Beach" quality, but I think it's quite presentable for my "driver level" standard.

 

hood_latch_job12E.jpg.4d0de591be6b717ce1066de5d6f56d31.jpg

 

After that, let the paint cure completely and then follow up to carefully remove any other traces of black in the wrong places.

 

Next, I took everything down to Don's shop for the next step.  After giving the pin a few taps with a punch, Don decided that it was rusted in place and would have to be drilled out.  He then figured a way to secure the very irregularly shaped "grill" piece on his milling machine, and got to work drilling out the old pin.

 

hood_latch_job1E.jpg.043279a24535b0af5cc64f3464434689.jpg

 

hood_latch_job2E.jpg.2607adeab511be4458cdc5508338fe39.jpg

 

I was particularly impressed with the various devices that Don had at his disposal to stabilize the piece and keep it from "walking" while the pin was drilled out.  (As someone who has very little experience dealing with this level of machinery, I have to say that I view Don's shop as a magical place where miraculous things take place!)

 

After drilling out the pin from both sides, it was sufficiently weakened that the remains could easily be punched out.  Then Don made a new pin out of brass.  

 

hood_latch_job3E.jpg.702ae663af09fbba7f3ea3b3a03b323c.jpg

 

The new handle was then installed with the new pin.

 

hood_latch_job5E.jpg.a010a7058d6724aa4485f42b98ee6b10.jpg

 

I then put it back on the car.  However, this time I looked at the shop manual and found that the latch was actually adjustable!  This adjustment should have been made years ago, but I figure previous owners (as well as myself) had been banging on that latch handle for years, eventually causing it to fail.  I got it properly adjusted, and it now closes just the way it should.  Happy ending!

 

hood_latch_job6E.jpg.20e581f53d65dd561dca2b42180b35f7.jpg

 

hood_latch_job7E.jpg.798bbc0258134b58199b75526fce64af.jpg

 

hood_latch_job8E.jpg.72e5346bbeace9a2def9e738491549d3.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Nice job on getting that post removed and painting the letters. I have the same problem with the letters. I think I will try your method.

Although both my latches are good I bought a spare pair a number of years ago. Unfortunately one of them has that same post stuck in it. If I ever need to use it I will have to drill it out too.

 

I worked in a machine shop for 8 years. I was the office manager. I am no machinist but I sure do know what they are capable of. Machinists are some of the most highly trained and skillful professionals around. Their math ability alone is amazing! They can make anything and understand the most complex of drawings. Many times our tool maker (a master machinist) came to me with drawings that were in error. He corrected the engineers! 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great job Neil. Question: will your method of painting work on a latch that is already installed or do you have to take it off? I worry about the paint not leveling properly with the part upright and not lying flat. 
thanks for the info- wish I had a fairy godmachinist. 
Peter

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, valk said:

Great job Neil. Question: will your method of painting work on a latch that is already installed or do you have to take it off? I worry about the paint not leveling properly with the part upright and not lying flat. 
thanks for the info- wish I had a fairy godmachinist. 
Peter

 

You raise a good point, Peter.  Just put your car on a rotisserie and turn it 90 degrees!  😄  Seriously, even though the paint will end up thicker at the bottom if you paint the piece in place, I don't think it would be noticeable.  As long as the paint is cleaned off the highpoints, you will get the desired effect.

 

 

Edited by neil morse
typo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...