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1917 buick d45

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I had a look at my spare '18 cages.


If you were to bore out the original cast in guides and press in new giudes, I'd be pretty nervous. There would be almost nothing left to support the new guides.

You might be OK if you were to open up the original guides bores, leaving some support metal, and machine the OD of new guides to fit.  However since your original guides are cracked, this might not work.


I admit to having no experience with modifying the Buick cages.

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Don thanks for the input.....From what I can gather from various sources. The 18 exhaust cages would have used a a valve stem approximately .375  while the 16 and 17 would have been closer to .31

Trouble is mine have been opened up to fit 283 chevy valves stems .3415 no bushing . Using a 283 valve in an 18 cage would be bushing with bronze sleeves down to the 283 stem size.


Ive got 6 1923 valve cages, springs valves etal and with minor machineing I can make these work.


I will probably go that route and use the best six of the 16 valves. I'll continue looking for complete 18 to 23 cages valves etal and reinstall those in time.



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Master Parts List:


Exhaust and Intake valve 21750 ----------------> fits 10, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 24, 25, B-24, B-25, C-24, C-25,  D 6 Cyl. except 54, 55

Exhaust and Intake valve 23079------------------> fits D and E 4-Cyl.

Exhaust valve 32353------------------------------------>fits B-36, B-37, B-38, B-55, C-36, C-37, C-54, C-55, C-4 truck, D-54, D-55, D-4 truck,

Exhaust valve 47240 ----------------------------------> fits E, H, K, 1921, 1922, 1923  6-Cyl.



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Interesting research on the valves.  Any master book info on springs?


Does anyone have a valve  handy to measure.   Face diameter, Stem diameter, length and size and location of the keeper hole?


Also does anyone have an original spring to measure  Free length, Wire size wire material ,number of coils and spring diameter.


Given the spring info I can use an online  spring calculator to back figure the lbs rating.  Has anyone purchased replacement springs ?  From who?


The valves I have are 283 chevy I think...length 4.825 "  stem  .3375"  face diameter 1.48" modern keeper fits almost flush with the end.  

The springs I have are free length  2.125 " wire diameter .15" Spring diameter 1.125"

Pressing the cage to open position it takes about 30 lbs.....the 1923 valve cage took about 60 psi


Original spring I'm guessing would have been  longer  Maybe closer to 3" length, diameter  could be be as much as 1.3" and still fit inside the lock nut and the wire size was probably a little heavier.


So if anyone has anything definitive to measure it would be greatly appreciated.


Short term I'm cleaning up the upper block that I removed  and I'm pulling the pan to verify that the connecting rod bearing fits are tolerable.


Turning out to be a project!!!

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Master parts List


Valve spring 23100-------------->D-E  4 cyl

Valve spring 30498-------------->B-36, 37, 38, 55, C-36, 37, 54, 55, 4, D-54, 55, 4

Valve spring 33845-------------->F, 2A, 10, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 26, 27, 28, 29, 4, 30, 31, 38 , 39, 40, 24, 25, 3, 4, B-24, 25, 36, 37, 38, 55, C24, 25, D 6 cyl except 54, 55

Valve spring 36270-------------->E 6 cyl

Valve spring 153686------------>All H, K, 1921, 1922, 1923 6-Cyl. 1922, 1923, 1924 4-Cyl.


So your spring goes all the way back to model F


Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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I notice that E 6 Cyl has unique springs, that were replaced by a spring for H, K up to 1923, even though the valves and cages were not changed. Why did they change the spring but not the valves and cages? Maybe they improved the spring for the H series and I can use them for the 3 springs in my car that are not original.


Let me look and see if they changed the push rods or rocker arms between E and H, or more importantly, the cam shaft. A faster cam would require a stronger spring especially with roller lifters.

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Wow. They changed the camshaft much more often. Here are the different camshafts for 6 cyl:


B-54, B-55, C-54, C-55, D-54, D-55

E 6 Cyl.

H, K 6 Cyl.

D 6 Cyl. except 54, 55

1921-1922 6 Cyl.

1923 6 Cyl.

1924 6 Cyl., 1925-1926 Master, 1927 Ser 120-128

1925-1926 Standard, 1927 Ser 115


So basically my springs are unique and I can only use that one

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Push rods are even more often changed. This lists only 6 cyl around this time:


Type Y:

11  1/4----------D 6 Cyl. except 54, 55

12  27/32------C 54, 55, D 54 55

10  11/16------E 6 Cyl.


Type X

12  21/32------H-K-1921 6 Cyl.

12  29/32------1922 6 Cyl.

14  19/32------1923 6 Cyl.


So the push rod I gave you is too short for your engine.




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Morgan ...thanks that made life easy see you Saturday 11 AM for pick up.


I took a 17 cage and a 23 cage to the machine shop and they will protype a cut down 23 cage for me to start work with.

So in the end the 17 buick will have (6)  23 cages and (6) 18 cages....I will have (10) 17 cages available but they were bored out to accept larger stem valves.  I believe they could be rebushed back to original but no one seems to have  anything handy to measure an original as  for  reference.  From your research the valves and springs used on the D smaller six 16 and 17's carry the model numbers of earlier Buicks...trouble is I can't relate the model numbers to actual dimensions


Good thing I pulled the upper cylinder block off  to drive out the valves as this revealed other things.


I could see the shim on connecting rod # 2 protruding out  at a 90 degree angle to how it is supposed to be installed.  This rod is tighter on the shaft than the others...where is the other part of the shim riding on the babbitt?   Off came the pan and it was noted that the bearing cap bolts on this rod were "torqued" at less than 10 lbs.    I never found the shim half but I installed 2 shims to each side and plastigaged to .002 at 35 lbs....I checked another it was torqued to 45 and the plastigage revealed .0015.


Cylinder # 5 has a straight line gouge caused by a loose wrist pin sometime before they completed a sort of rebuild in the 50's. They compensated for probable oil loss by installing a Champion Com 2 plug that fouls less frequently.  Also in the "rebuild " they replaced the pistons and connecting rods.  If I remember correctly on the 17's  the wrist pin was held fixed to the piston and the connecting rod articulated on the pin.  The 4 cylinder used a cotter pin to hold the wrist pin to the piston and it was a common problem for the cotter pin to fail allowing the wrist pin to travel and gouge the cylinder.   On the rebuild they used connecting rods that held the wrist pin fixed and the pistons articulated on the pin.


My latest question can any one identify  what my connecting rods are    casting number  35272  B49


My guess is B49 is a date stamp  Feb 1949.....The rods were off a splash system and  they are babitted.   Chevy was still babbit and splash for the rods  in those years.


If any one can figure this out let me know.  Also I would appreciate any info on the valves and springs used on the 16 and 17 6 cylinder buicks......Even though I'm using the reconfigured cages I could maybe use like valves and springs.  My rocker towers are shimmed to accomodate the odd valve spring set up I now have  and I would like to ultimately order valves and springs that are correct.


Also the connecting rod bolts seem a bit long for the application as the cotter pins barely catch the slots in the castle nuts......can I use a flat washer under the nut and  then  torque or buy deeper castle nuts or new connecting rod bolts? Thoughts???


A project indeed


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4 hours ago, tblack said:

Also the connecting rod bolts seem a bit long for the application as the cotter pins barely catch the slots in the castle nuts......can I use a flat washer under the nut and  then  torque or buy deeper castle nuts or new connecting rod bolts? Thoughts???


Use a washer.  It's the fastest, easiest, and cheapest solution.  You can get #8 washers (which might be overkill) at your local box store.  I've done this with front end parts (e.g. tie rod end) when the hole in the new stud is taller than the hole in the old stud.  Haven't lost a wheel yet. ;) 

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Good choice to use grade 8 washers.  Even though a low revving engine, consider balancing your rotating parts when you do this.  This scale I bought on Amazon was under $20, and the accuracy is great for balancing the rotating mass parts (connecting rods and pistons).  Measures in .1 gram increments.  You may still want to take the crank shaft and flywheel to a pro machine shop to balance them individually.  Then you have all the rotating parts balanced.  Hugh





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Yes washers it will be.  Morgan....I use "Habrek Auto Diesel"  in amsterdam, ny.   I sold my South Bend heavy 10 lathe when I moved it would have worked well for this cage modification, there are many hidden costs in downsizing!!

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Larry..I here ya they are great machines.


Morgan...I got all the cages out of your 18 upper cylinder block 3 of the 6 exhaust cages are partly broken at the top of the guide but not as bad as some of my 17 cages.  Like the 23 cages these are 1/4 longer than the 17 cages...actual they look identical to the 23 cages.  So if I use these they will need to be shortened.   Per the rocker towers they are identical to my 17's but the arms are different  so as to work  on the upsized engine with the staggered valves of different sizes.  Valves seem to be same as 23. Between the parts of 3 engines I should make something that will work.   While the serial number indicates 1917....it has donor organs from 1918, 1923, 1949 (connecting rods and pistons)  and 283 chevy valves installed in my 1917 cages.

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  • 5 months later...

Success....After tinkering with the old machine on and off all winter, Today was over 50F( Still over a foot of snow on the ground)so it was time to try and start it.  As noted earlier I ended up with valves springs and modified cages from Morgans 18 engine and a 23 engine my neighbor still had from when I sold him big blue (1923 model 49). I had to remove the upper block drive out my old valve cages. I replaced a broken piston  ring (I broke trying to the upper cylinder block the first time)...adjusted connecting rods.... The push rods are longer than original and each rocker stand is shimmed 1/4" to work with the  longer valves...I bought an 8 volt battery and tender, new points spark plug wires, had the gas tank cleaned and lined.  I primed the vacuum tank and it started right up and I ran it at a fast idle for 5 or 10 minutes....I drove it out of the garage and back in...the cone clutch had no grab.   Aside for running it about 15 seconds last fall before the tear down,  This is the first sustained run since 1976.  My goal is to run it around a bit this summer and maybe move it on if I find an  interesting  a new project for next winter . The new house has limited space!!!

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Yeah, today was the day I started working on mine again, 50 degrees and the snow is starting to melt, still got 2 feet on the ground here.


Glad you got yours running. I still have to get my rear end back in and cleaned out, rebuild the brakes, and then work on the starter/generator/distributor before I get mine running.

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I ran it for 45 minutes was having trouble pulling gas but discovered the banjo fitting connecting the fuel line to the newly refurbished gas  tank was a little loose....it only takes a little loose to lose your vacuum.  tightened it up and it worked perfect... next step is a trip down the road.  My wife was the first passenger 100 ft from the driveway back into the garage.   Also I see the oil wheel spinning at the dash and the amp meter is charging so it must be working even with the 8 volt battery.  motometer showing normal temperature.  I verified that speedometer works so systems go.

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