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1957 Buick Roadmaster Convertible top problem


andyp3
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The top went up about 1/4 the way then stopped and went back down. It is dead now. Any hints on diagnosing the problem? Any suggestions or does anyone know "the guy" that is the expert on these cars?

Thanks

 

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If the Buick is like most 1950s and 1960s convertibles the system is an electric/hydraulic pump that pushes fluid to two hydraulic ram cylinders that push the top up or pull it down.  When you activate the switch do you hear an electric motor, or nothing?  If you hear nothing the problem is probably electrical, possibly a blown fuse/circuit breaker or other electrical disconnect between the power source and the switch.  If you hear the electric motor (located behind the rear seat) but nothing moves it is probably a hydraulic problem between the pump and the cylinders behind the seat.  Look in the trunk and see if you see the motor and hoses behind the rear seat and associated leakage.  See how it goes and good luck, Todd C   

 

      

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The electric motor is not running. Can't seem to find the circuit or fuse. I have the 57 shop manual but I don't see the circuit in the one fuse block I can find under the dash. For a big car there is not a lot of room under there. ? 

Thanks

Andy

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If I might suggest, knowing the top is now down behind the seat, it will be hard to see the plug connector at the top motor but feel around under the top from the trunk side and verify the connection hasn't possibly become loose and not making contact.

The other thing you might check is if the fluid / hoses are not leaking by having a helper, on each side of the car and try lifting the top up. 

Should it come up with gentle persuasion you have low fluid in the system indicating something is leaking. It could be the hoses or the seals at the rods of those pistons. Shining a light down the side panels to check for wet floors will tell you also.

The fuse block might have an unmarked fuse in one of the spare spots. Take a test light and see if all the fuses have power and continuity.

 

I'm not at my '58 Special but believe the key does not have to be on to power the top up or down. You might check it both ways and see if you have power at the top switch for the top. 

Definitely check the condition of the wiring on the switch itself. A bad wire would stop the motor from turning. They do draw some current.

Then there is the switch itself... mine is a push then pull for contact to power the motor. 

 

Just a few things that come to mind. Good luck.

 

Electrical is not my strength but the system isn't complicated (frustrating for sure when not working) but power through the top switch activates the top motor one direction of rotation or the other.

 

Did your motor have a heavy growling noise prior to it stopping?

 

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  • 2 months later...

Turns out the previous owner used residential type wire nuts to connect the motor. One had come loose. Got rid of that mess, connected it properly and I now have a functioning top! Thanks for the suggestions.

 

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