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Replacing the 4.44 rear end with a lower rear ratio


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        Welcome to the modern changes  to keeping our great  cars on the road.  This is what I know and help I can provide as best I can.

The world just got smaller last month.  The guru of Over Drives  (Lloyd Young) passed  from our world.  I knew him with the OD I got from him back in 2014.   I had the proviledge of visiting him at his home and shop.  He also had a verrrry nice collection of cars from the ‘teen’s’ up into the ‘40’s.  He had around 30 + cars  in two barns (heated).  

      I also had the privilege of talking with Bob Pipkin.   Check our history on Buick technical topics and Bob was  the first for many of our improvements.   

Bob did several versions on upgrading the rear ends from 4.44 to  the easy one - 3.90 ratio.   Up to the ‘unavailable’ 3.21 rear.   He modified some by replacing the complete housing with a lower ratio.  He finally changed some by swapping  third members.  Details are available but Bob is now unavailabe as he is loosing his sight and hearing.  

       Lloyd was in his 80’s and was the guy who knew the Borg Warner OD  and how to modify it best for us.  He could adapt to most all torque tube drives.  Model A’s and model T’s were favorites.  He had model A & T  torque tube’s modified and ready to install.  Lloyd has a shop in Circleville OH that did the machine work.  At this point, much is in flux.   The shop is presently finishing jobs that Lloyd had begun.

        I replaced the rear on my ‘37’.  I installed a ‘54’ rear with a 3.41 ratio.   I can give you details on what i did for the third member swap that you can do as parts etc  are available today.  

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Hi Greg,  I just started a topic about upgrading thebrear ends on our Buicks.  Pre-war Buicks./ 4.44 rear ends .... Where are you?   I’m in the Tampa area.  I like the 34 ‘ 5 for style .  I’m not that conversent with the older cars.  My pinion is - you might have to swap out the rear end for a newer rear.  I did an OD ststem.  I just finished changing out the ‘37’ rear third member for av’54’ third member with 3.41 gears.  Its now a very good road car.   My OD sustem is supurb here on florida.  Check out the ‘topic’ writ up and thin e-mail me  and we can discuss what and how we can keep youer car on the road and reasonably up to speed.  BTW,  its not cheap.  

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pont35cpe,     I must say that if you got the Lloyd OD conversion, your one happy guy.    I really like my OD.  BTW, 'Vintage Auto Garage'  sells the  OD solenoid in either 6 volt or 12 volt.   I use Lloyds reconditioned units but they still would ocasionally die on me.  I had spares in my box of parts for long trips.   I had one failed a 200 mile trip and did not like traveling home in third gear.   SO I got a spare and then sprung for the new 12 volt one from Vintage -- - -.  No failures since. 

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39,buick      Do you have any dates where those topics would be found?   I have looked thru 30 / 40 of them looking at the technical articles.   Lots of info to be found in there.   I had the  privilege of talking to Bob Pipkin a few months ago,  He was very prolific with technical info.  Ih is basically not available any more.  Failing eye sight and hearing.   Getting old sucks.   

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17 minutes ago, Jim Nelson said:

BTW, does "senior member" mean "your old" or have been in this organization a long time ???????   I'm rolling over to 75 in three weeks !

Jim, I`m not sure what that 'Senior" means, I just turned 70 in January. I`ve been on here since Jan. 2013, I noticed you`ve been here almost a year..

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26 minutes ago, Jim Nelson said:

pont35cpe,     I must say that if you got the Lloyd OD conversion, your one happy guy.    I really like my OD.  BTW, 'Vintage Auto Garage'  sells the  OD solenoid in either 6 volt or 12 volt.   I use Lloyds reconditioned units but they still would ocasionally die on me.  I had spares in my box of parts for long trips.   I had one failed a 200 mile trip and did not like traveling home in third gear.   SO I got a spare and then sprung for the new 12 volt one from Vintage -- - -.  No failures since. 

Jim, I haven`t finished getting my car together yet(starting on paint)everything is ready for assembly after paint. I had to replace most the wood and have pre-fit everything and now taken it back apart for paint. Also replacing the original engine with a `41 248 with dual carbs. I sent the 6v solenoid back to Lloyd and exchanged it for a 12v about a year ago since I decided to go 12v system..  Tom

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Your just a kid  !!!!!!!   Isn't this fun ??    Beats the hell of working for a living.   Being retarded - I mean retired is good if you saved enough.   Wife leaves me alone with my crazy friends,  isn't that nice.   :-)))

 

I did not have enough time to use this great group.  To busy  getting my '38' road worthy (my opinion only).   I have a 'new' 265 engine in my '38'.  Suffered the over heating issues many have.   I ended up changing the small radiator from the  320 cu in engine from a century which gave my ~50% more cooling capacity.  Then with the A/C fan in front of the evaporator  radiator,  things steadied.  I took my first long trip after mods (before A/C) of about 1600 miles.  Drove nicely but it was before the high heating issues were solved.

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16 minutes ago, pont35cpe said:

Jim, I`m not sure what that 'Senior" means, I just turned 70 in January. I`ve been on here since Jan. 2013, I noticed you`ve been here almost a year..

 

 I believe "senior" happens when one reaches 100+ posts. You have a way to go, Jim

 

 You are both youngsters.

 

  Ben

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Tom,  you have done something I have not learned.  Wood / metal  bodies.   I'm told their an issue.   Lots to learn to keep out cars running.  Wow!  the 248 engine  (38 and later) are great engines.   I still have my '38' original engine when I change to the 265.   Got it from a friend who got it on a trade.  It was a spare engine.  I tore it down and found it was only lightly  worn.   So I chose to rebuild it to factory spec's.   I kept the single carb.   The twin carb and exhaust must be great (and sound great).

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8 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 I believe "senior" happens when one reaches 100+ posts. You have a way to go, Jim

 

 You are both youngsters.

 

  Ben

Ben, I just met Evan about 2mo ago, he told me you and he had the same birthday, same age..  Tom

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Hi Carl,    I tried to contact him a few months ago and got no reply.  Do you know where / which  for that data.   I believe Frank is in California.  From what I have found, his data would be great.    

         So, what do you have and what rear end ?  

 

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 Jim I don't know Frank or anything about him. 

 

 Just click on the link I provided in post #17 and scroll down to page 21. On pages 21 and 22 the articles on rear end swapping are shown and tell you which year, issue and page you can find the article in the old Torque Tubes.

 

 I have a 1937 model 44 with the original rear end.

 

Carl

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8 hours ago, Jim Nelson said:

Ben Bruce,   Do you remember who posted the ability to use a  1995. Jeep clutch in place of the ‘37’ clutch  ?

 

 Me?   If you just need a clutch plate, there are places that rebuild them. The one I used is the pressure plate and clutch plate.  Bolt in for the '50, anyway. I think it is the same as '37.

 

  Ben

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Jim    in one of the posts above you mentioned  that you rebuilt the original 248 engine out of your 1938 Buick

 

Two questions

.........The rod bearings I guess were the old babbit type....did you have the babbit re-done ?   Or the rods re-done 

          to accommodate  modern insert bearings ?  Or the babbit bearings were OK and needed nothing ??

The crank bearings I believe were what I call   "non-precision inserts"   Did you have to do anything to them ?

          If you had to replace them did you have to line-bore them  and/or shim them ?  Or ?

 

Jack Worstell

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Jack.,   I had the option to get / rebuild a 265 engine.  I replaced the 248 engine with a rebuilt 263.    I was sreious about rebuilding my 248.   I was going to use Terrill in Texas who has / modifies the rods to accept insert style bearings.  I found that I had an insert type rod besring in my 248.  A bit strange as American mfg  rod bearings are stamped with the comp who mfg them and the size.   Mine were not ID’d.  So, I figured that if I was going to do the 248, I might as well do the 265 with the latest mod’s from the factory.   My original issue was low oil pressure.   I know that the 248  engine can put out idle hot of 20+ psi.  My ‘37’ with a 248 does it.  It runs great so  I’m not going to drop the pan to see why.   I think the ‘38’ 248 engine is avvery good engine.   Late 40’s and up to ‘50’ with the 263  pumps  with the cooling issues.  Finally with ‘rod bearings as insert’s late in 1948.   263 rods will not work in earlier  248 engines.  Is this confusing enough ?  - - -

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Jim, I just talked to an old parts guy on the east coast this evening about a pressure plate(PP) for my `36 special, he stated `34-`37 40 series use the same disc and PP, and is not aware of a replacement. `38 specials have the larger disc and PP which the Jeep PP will work, not sure about the clutch disc of the Jeep in place of the Buicks clutch disc, may have to use the Buicks clutch disc and throw-out bearing with the Jeep PP.. Also the `34-`37 input shaft of the transmission is larger in dia. than the `38, both are 10 spline.. Tom

Edited by pont35cpe (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Jim Nelson said:

That is why I could not make it fit ?  Duh !!   Thanks !  Repairing / rebuilding the disc is easy.  The pressure plate rebuilding is a disserent problem.  So, Bob’s had it on the shelf and in my hands.

Jim, a short time ago I also ordered a PP from Bobs, but he emailed me back and let me know his was from `38 up, so I cancelled the order. I asked Bob about his rebuilder and was told his rebuilder doesn`t have the necessary parts to rebuild the 3 finger `34-`37 PP anymore..   Tom

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Jim and Jack,  I reworked my `36 233 engine it had been rebuilt by a rebuilder in Dallas pryor to my buying the car. The engine was upside down on a trailer and had water inside and I had to bore it, rework the head,  sent the cam/lifters to Egge for repair. Luckily the crank had enough lube smeared on it that the crank and bearings were OK. Rods had been updated with inserts, mains were new babbitt which had been line bored to match the crank, rods with the inserts had no shims, all the mains have to be shimmed. What surprised me is all the main journals are different diameter, so don`t mix up the bearings. The `37 engine is the first 248, same bore as my 233 but has a 1/4" longer stroke and flat top pistons, `38 is first year with domed pistons. My 233 has no front or rear seals, I think `37 is the first year for seals, (not positive). I didn`t like the idea of no seals in the 233 so I bought a `41 248 super engine with dual carbs, and again, engine had water in it, went thru the same thing again, bored, head work, cam/lifters to Egge and had the crank turned. The `41 engine has insert mains(don`t know what year Buick changed from the babbitt mains)and the `41 rods are babbitt, had Terrill do them for inserts, the mains still have to be shimmed even tho they are inserts. I`ve learned a lot about the small inline Buick eight..  Tom

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That was interesting.  I just got one for my ‘37’ a few weeks ago.  I sent it old one back as there is a deposite on both pp and disc.  It may have been the only one he had.  It looked (old one) fine, I just figured replacing the clutch while it was apart was the thing to do.   If you still need a pp, call and talk to Bob and mention that you would like the one I sent back.   They had the throw out bearing so that is good.  Putting my old pp next to the rebuilt one I got, they looked the same.  ie  surfrace condition etc.    It was working fine before I took it apart so I probably should have left it alone.  The disc  was also good.  Disc’s are easy to get repaired.  

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On 15/02/2018 at 10:40 AM, Jim Nelson said:

39,buick    

 Do you have any dates where those topics would be found?   I have looked thru 30 / 40 of them looking at the technical articles.   Lots of info to be found in there.   

I looked at information in the 38-39 Torques tube and re typed into MS Excell.  Will tidy it up and send to you.

 

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15 hours ago, pont35cpe said:

Jim, I just talked to an old parts guy on the east coast this evening about a pressure plate(PP) for my `36 special, he stated `34-`37 40 series use the same disc and PP, and is not aware of a replacement. `38 specials have the larger disc and PP which the Jeep PP will work, not sure about the clutch disc of the Jeep in place of the Buicks clutch disc, may have to use the Buicks clutch disc and throw-out bearing with the Jeep PP.. Also the `34-`37 input shaft of the transmission is larger in dia. than the `38, both are 10 spline.. Tom

The first post about the 1995 Jeep Cherokee clutch may be this: Post 8 http://forums.aaca.org/topic/254772-39-buick-clutch-removal/?tab=comments#comment-1363158

Posted April 23, 2015

Quote

Just go to the auto parts store and ask for a clutch pack for a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee 6 Cyl. Bring your pressure plate with to double check match. Got mine from OReilly Auto for 125.00. Put it in my 1939 Spec. Coupe, Nice! Comes with disc and pressure plate, perfect replacement, other parts in kit for Jeep, find a friend who has one and gift the extras that don't fit. The wavy plate originals aren't worth trying and prolly almost impossible to get redone. Just sayin! Just finished redoing my 39 drive line before winter storage. Yike! No wonder they quit that design after only one year. I feel your pain. They also had thoughout bearing for 21.00. Lemme know if you need part #'s for that or front and rear trans bearings, yes they also have those, which I needed also. Spin trans while out, if noise at all replace bearings now. Ask how I know? Ole Car Bearings has the bearings for rear end. Any other ?'

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jim Nelson said:

Great.  I would like to see what he had for our older cars.

George "The Bearing Doctor" Bachleda at OlCar, heck of a guy, he` has always sent my order with an invoice, then I send a check. Very few people do business that way..

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I have never been able to figure out Buick straight 8 engine bearings.

But I think (??)

 

            Up until about 1937 main bearings were babbit

            From about 1937 to late 1940s the main bearings were what I would call "non-precision inserts"

                   That is they had to be line bored and/or shimmed

            Starting in the late 1840s the mains were precision inserts....you turned down the crank

                    then took careful measurements and then slipped the insert bearings in without shims

                     and ( usually )   no need to line-bore

 

           Rod bearings were babbit up until the late 1940s.  They had shims

                    In the late 1940s Buick went to precision inserts for the rod bearings

                    Buick didn't use non-precision inserts for the rod bearings

 

So.....how close is this to being right  ???

 

Jack Worstell     jlwmaster@aol.com

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On 2/13/2018 at 12:19 PM, Jim Nelson said:

     

        I replaced the rear on my ‘37’.  I installed a ‘54’ rear with a 3.41 ratio.   I can give you details on what i did for the third member swap that you can do as parts etc  are available today.  

How's the drive in your car with that rear end?  Do you have to downshift into 1st in city traffic noticeably more than with your old ratio?  

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Since I also have a ‘38’ coupe, I can judge the original first gear on the 4.44 rear to the 3.4 ratio on my ‘37’.   Even when I get slow (in second gear)  there does not seem to be an issue.  In my ‘37’ I run it up to about 15 mph and then shift into second.   Run it up to 25 / 30 in second and then into third.  I have a tach to check my rpm’s.   I will do a more accurate run ups.  Starting from a stop does not seem to have any lugging issues.  Remember, this is a coupe.  Two pax max.  If you have a sedan and drive with more people in it, and  if you have hills (moderate size)  you might want to go for the 3.6 ratio.  Our tech guy has a coupe with the 3.6 rear end.  He would be a better opinion as he has driven his from new orleans area and up into Tenn and around the mid-south.  Either way, it makes driving around the country a pleasure.  Keeping your car in the garage does it no justice.

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