neil morse

Neil's '41 Super Model 51

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Nice work Neil, car really looks nice. Love the led lights on your gauges, I'll have to look that up. 

Peter

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Thanks, Peter.  I'll save you some time.  Here's Matt's post about the LED's.

 

You may have noticed that my fog lights are missing in that most recent shot of my car.  I got correct brackets that put the lights up above the bumper where they should be, and I'm in the process of putting the brackets on and redoing the wiring on the lights.

 

Neil

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Fog Lights

 

In a separate thread about fog lights, I noted that the fog light brackets that were on my car when I bought it were too short and put the fog lights too low, below the top of the bumper.

 

presidio.thumb.jpg.8e3afc4d8527b336d4faf9fecb1d3218.jpg

 

With the help of the inestimable Matt Harwood, I purchased a pair of reproduction brackets that were taller.  I finished installing them today.

 

foglights4.jpg.d06e561e7a865c8805666d0f40a07872.jpg

 

I also redid the wiring for the lights to replace the job done by a former owner.  As of now, I am using a toggle switch under the dash, but I left enough wire to move the switch over to the right side of the dash if I should ever be lucky enough to obtain a factory "FOG LIGHTS" switch down the line.  I soldered a second wire to the socket to use as a dedicated ground, and enlarged the hole in the housing so both wires could exit together.  I then had just enough of the wiring loom I got from Bob's leftover to put a length of loom on each light to cover the two wires from the light to the point where the wires went in through the grill.  Here's what it looked like (and yes, I know that it was not completely "correct" to use black wire for both the power and the ground and that I may confuse some future automotive archaeologist, but one is cloth insulated and the other is plastic insulated and that's just what I happened to have on hand).

 

foglights1.thumb.jpg.8808384a8bf3439a17aa8cc244d76b0e.jpg 

 

 

When I was figuring out how to do the wiring, I was troubled by how to do the "Y" connection where the hot wire to the lights split from one wire into the two wires for the lights.  I was looking for something else on the Rhode Island Wire Service website, when I found the perfect solution.  It turns out they offer a "one-into-two" vintage bakelite connector that takes bullet connectors for all three wires.  So this way I can simply pull out the fog light wires if I ever want to change them out later on for something different or if I have to do any repairs, etc.  Here's what it looks like.

 

foglights2.thumb.jpg.e90addeb24d04b11799edf86bad4714d.jpg

 

foglights3.jpg.5c1e692a3e9b3440f2a239f0a856b798.jpg

 

I hooked everything up, hit the switch, and was happy with the result!

 

foglights5.jpg.6cc57a6316d61463a5cbcb4539df2f64.jpg

 

Thanks for viewing and listening, and have a great evening!

 

 

 

 

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Fog Light Switch

 

I came up with a nice solution to my fog light switch problem.  I really didn't like having them on an unfused toggle switch.  I found this aftermarket switch (made by "Ideal") that mounts under the dash.  The switch has fuse on it, and also has a bulb under the knob so it lights up when the fog lights are turned on.  I guess that was to remind people not to leave their fog lights on!  It's not factory, but it's period correct and works great.  (The toggle switch in the photos next to the fog light switch is for my electric fuel pump.)

 

FogSwitch1.thumb.jpg.161f81179844112062abc8f909afe9d0.jpg

 

FogSwitch2.thumb.jpg.5bb5edb0f8c633af50fc62af1ecb0723.jpg

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Looks good Neil. I especially like the light. That’s a smart solution, making it fused. I noticed your nice floor mat. Is that the original or did you buy repro.?

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Hi Ken:

 

The rubber floor mat was in the car when I bought it.  Given the good shape it's in, I'm assuming that it's a reproduction.  I don't know the full history of my car, but it's clear that someone did a lot of work on it in the past -- probably in the 80's or 90's as far as I can figure out.  I figure the mat was installed then.  I think Bob's has them.

 

Neil

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Hi Neil,

I'm going to use a similar switch for my rear backup light when I get around to installing it.  It's actually a rear light and switch from a '41 Cadillac and also illuminates. I'm going to rechrome the housing and paint the"B" first.  Did you drill mounting holes in the turned dash panel or the unfinished panel further underneath the dash?  I think my switch will need a mounting block of some sort to lower it. Otherwise it is too far up and under the dash where you can hardly see it. Great job on the switch, really looks good. 

buickbackup switch.jpg

buickrearlight.JPG

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Hi Peter:

 

My switch didn't require any drilling.  It's the kind that just clamps under the bottom lip of the dash (see photo below).  It's actually completely out of sight down there unless you bend down and peer under the dash, but that's okay with me.  

 

Your back-up light set up looks really great.  I wouldn't chrome plate the switch if it were mine.  It doesn't look like it was plated to begin with.  It's hard to see what the mounting method is from the one photo you posted, but it looks like it was intended to fit under the bottom of the dash like mine.  I would just install it the way it was intended to be installed, even if it's out of sight.  

 

FogSwitch3.thumb.jpg.dbf7f039ef20bcf7e037a22c81f44551.jpg

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I really like the non-invasive mounting bracket on your switch - mine has 2 holes you can barely see in the pic so requires drilling.  Sorry I wasn't clear, I'm going to chrome the tail light housing which is a bit pitted. I painted the switch housing grey to match the steering column.  My dilema is that the light comes with a body mounting bracket, not bumper or splash pan, which will be  cool if I can make it work.  The location of Cadillac tail light housings differ from Buicks, however, which is why I can't just slap it on. I think it will work but it will take some cajonas to drill into the body.  Here's a pic of the Cadillac set-up I'm trying to replicate. 

41cadrearlightswitch.JPG

1941_Cadillac_Series_62_convertible_coupe_rear.JPG

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Okay, I see what you're saying now.  Because of the difference in the Caddy dash design, those switches were much more visible on the Caddy than they will be on your Buick.  Also, I can see in the photo that the shape of the accessory switches matches the factory chrome switch, suggesting that those fog and back-up switches were part of a factory accessory package rather than after-market, like mine.  That probably explains why your switch requires some drilling whereas mine was an after-market accessory that was designed to fit under any dash.

 

As far as mounting the light, yes, I agree that it will take some courage to go that way, but it sure looks clean!

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Transmission Removal

 

With the help of several very kind friends, we pulled the transmission out of my car today so I could deal with the problem of it popping out of third gear on a downgrade.  Not an easy job, but things went very smoothly and we had it out in about four hours.

 

trans_job.thumb.jpg.02413da658e2140ed1267451ed04a7b2.jpg

 

I haven't had a chance to inspect things in detail yet, but here's a pic of the front bearing.  Anyone see anything wrong here? 😉

 

front_bearing.jpg.bcb7fa8aac962e4f54b5e4188b50382a.jpg

 

And here's a shot of the rear of the engine.  Again, things don't look quite right.

 

engine_rear2.jpg.e4fd8de65cac92c14bbb480cf3d9b7cc.jpg

 

I will be taking the gearbox down to Prof. Don Micheletti next week for an autopsy/diagnostic evaluation .  After seeing it, I'm kind of amazed that the only symptom it displayed was popping out of third gear.  I will keep you all posted as work continues.

 

 

 

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 Mine does that as well, and I'll be interested to see what the outcome is. I changed some bearings in it while I had it out during the restoration.

 Keith

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Wow, that's a big job and those bearings look scary. I agree, it's amazing that it wasn't making all kinds of scary noises. The good news is that just about everything you should need to fix it is pretty readily available.

 

Is there any indication as to what caused the bearing failure? Incorrect installation? Wrong parts?

 

Good that you tackled it now when you have the time rather than having a failure on the road!

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7 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Is there any indication as to what caused the bearing failure? Incorrect installation? Wrong parts?

 

 

There is no obvious indication so far, but Don has only seen a few photos at this point.  I'm sure he will have some ideas once I bring it down to his place so he can inspect it.  The inside looks okay (at least to me, but I'm very new to this).  It's fascinating to see the innards and watch how it works when you shift through the gears.  The one thing that we noticed when we took it out yesterday was the thick layer of orange RTV between the transmission and the bell housing.  My buddy who was helping me thought this was an indication that whoever had been in there before didn't know what he was doing, and Don agrees.  I will report further after Don and I have had a chance to look at it together.

 

trans_top_view.jpg.acc840d94277e1b3681459d893f4bb44.jpg

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Bravo Neil. Is that big *ss piece of wood your insurance policy? 

Peter

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16 hours ago, valk said:

Is that big *ss piece of wood your insurance policy? 

 

😁 That's actually my buddy Konrad under the car in that photo, and I'm not sure what he was using the wood block for.  I think he was in the process of putting some chains around the rear axle so we could winch it back with a come-along to separate the torque tube from the transmission.  As far as safety precautions, Konrad used to be a maintenance supervisor for United Airlines, and handle things like jacking up a 747 to fix the landing gear, so you can be sure that he had the car well supported before any of us got under there!

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On 12/31/2019 at 1:37 PM, valk said:

Hi Neil,

I'm going to use a similar switch for my rear backup light when I get around to installing it.  It's actually a rear light and switch from a '41 Cadillac and also illuminates. I'm going to rechrome the housing and paint the"B" first.  Did you drill mounting holes in the turned dash panel or the unfinished panel further underneath the dash?  I think my switch will need a mounting block of some sort to lower it. Otherwise it is too far up and under the dash where you can hardly see it. Great job on the switch, really looks good. 

buickbackup switch.jpg

 

Yes, the switch you show is 1941 Cadillac and you can on say ebay find a matching switch with an "F" on on it for your fogs (just hard to find really nice plastic) - the only difference I see is that the Cadillac would have a brown/copper-ish painted bezel.  That being said though - my 1941 Buick had a Fog Light Switch in the center of the grill around the radio surround where there was a host of other switches, ash tray, and ...

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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Clutch Removal

 

I know this is just another day in the shop for many of you, but since this is all new to me I'm going to post some progress photos as I go along.

 

Here's a shot of the DIY screw jacks that I made to support the rear of the engine while the transmission is out.  This was Don's idea (of course), and turned out to be very easy.   Two lengths of threaded rod and four nuts was all it took.

 

screw_jacks.thumb.jpg.d8519e5a006fe1f2075a467266ecca7e.jpg

 

Removal of the lower pan exposes the clutch and flywheel.

 

clutch.thumb.jpg.36bf6e29c2e3bd535466b172a50ecb66.jpg

 

Once I got it out, the throw-out bearing support didn't look as bad as I thought it would be.  (However, I went ahead and ordered a new one anyway just to be safe.)

 

clutch_release_br_support2.thumb.jpg.c841f01dc05b9368a511c1a9ad6494e2.jpg

 

I did a little preliminary clean up work on the transmission case preparatory to taking it down to Don's tomorrow for the full autopsy/rebuild.  This photo also shows the disassembly of the rear transmission mount so that can be cleaned as well.  I was able to find NORS front and rear transmission mounts on eBay for a reasonable price.

 

trans_mount.thumb.jpg.bd198d2ff23c62a2b82072367193af7b.jpg

 

That's all for now -- stay tuned for more reports.

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Keep showing us the details, Neil. These are always the most helpful kinds of posts and it's ALWAYS interesting to see what's going on and how others solve problems. I've been there and done that, but I still enjoy seeing other peoples' work. I'm mostly curious about that front input shaft bearing failure and how that happened. So odd...

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The bad front bearing certainly explains it popping out of gear, but why did the bearing fail? Be sure to check the condition of the pilot bearing in the back of the crankshaft. I would also check the bellhousing alignment with regard to the crank.

 

As for the RTV, I don't like that either, but the bellhousing acts as the front bearing retainer, and the oil return is right there, so I'll bet there supposed to be a gasket. Let us know what you find out.

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