rthomp30

1930 Buick Identification

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Hi there,

I was wondering if I could get some help identifying a '30 Buick that my grandfather has had in storage forever. I've been trying to find information online about the 1930 models but I haven't been able to get anything much. 

As far as i can tell it is a model 58 or 68 with the Opera Coupe body. Is there any way to tell based on the job and body numbers?

Most importantly, my grandpa was always certain that it was a McLaughlin Buick; that's what he was told when he bought it, and McLaughlin is printed on the Buick emblem between the headlights. However it has a Fisher firewall tag, and other McLaughlin's that I've seen have a GM Canada plaque with much more information on it. Is there any way to tell if this is a Canadian or American car? 

This car has been sitting almost since my Grandfather bought it 30 years ago, it was running when he first got it but unfortunately it was stored overwinter one season without any antifreeze. It completely destroyed the radiator and put a foot long crack in the side of the block. We replaced the ruined rad with a modern one this past spring and I have the manifolds off right now to expose the crack, but we're still not quite sure how we want to fix it.

 

Sorry for the mess around the car, I hope to get it moved out into the open in the spring. 

1930 buick pictures.jpeg

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In 1930 there was a 40 series, a 50 series, a 60 series, and a Marquette

 

Wheel base 118, 124, 132, and 114

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Beautiful car, pity about the motor. Is there a serial number on the right side of frame behind front fender opening?

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It's not a 50 series. Engines on 50 series do not have the top water tube on the engine.  It's not a 1931 as it is a six cylinder.

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A cracked block is not always the end of an engine. On these you also need to remove the large pushrod covers on the RH side. Freeze cracks occur there as well. Even though it would be quite a task , I do believe that a 1929 Master engine will go in its place. A 331 inch engine vs. a 309 inch. 1929 engines seem to be far more common to locate. I would even consider first removing the rods and pistons then removing the cylinders off the crankcase , leaving it in the car. With the cylinders off the crankcase it could be thoroughly stripped and cleaned , making a professional , permanent repair possible. I already know that the water jackets around the cylinders are packed with heavy rust and crud.

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I had a 1929 116 Series Buick that ran just fine for many years with a cracked water jacket.  As long as the crack is only on the outside of the water jacket & does not involve the cylinders, it can most easily be sealed with JB Weld.  I know it sounds like a shade tree mechanic fix, but it does work well. 

 

JB Weld can handle the lower temperatures of the water jacket.  As long as you properly clean and prepare the crack by grinding a groove and drilling each end of the crack to stop it from growing, it should work nicely to save the engine.  Most repairs can also be smoothed and painted to make them disappear.

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DSCF6602.thumb.JPG.94ecea148b3be0008cb6feb597c77488.JPGOn the spare engine I bought for my 1925 Standard weld repaired cracks on the lower water jacket.

When I removed the manifolds there is also one running the entire length of the upper water jacket. The welder who did this did a fabulous job.

My grandfather Mike DiBarry was a machinist and when the block cracked on his 1928 Master in 1934 he drilled and tapped stopping holes then machined a plate to fasten to the length of the block covering the crack. That lasted for him to trade the car in for a new 1937 Pontiac.

DSCF6604.thumb.JPG.500feb15712eae0223d2d82dfd9078c6.JPG

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Did McLaughlin Buicks have Canadian made starter and generator, i.e. made by The Mackinnon Industries, a division of Delco-Remy? My Canadian-made Dodge 8 did.

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Wow, thanks for all the useful info! I really appreciate it. I had no Idea there was such a dedicated following of these cars.

 

I feel like I should clarify that the only crack (that I know of) is on the water jacket just below the manifolds, you can sort of see it in the pictures-- the light brown line on the side. We are still debating whether to weld it or grind it down and use JB weld; I want to take as little of the engine apart as i have to,  and as long as we do it right it shouldn't be noticeable from under the manifolds. 

 

Based on what I can tell its a 132" wheelbase series 60 coupe, model 68 with the original black and maroon paint. Pretty Cool!

The engine is a different matter, from what I've seen engines were originally painted black or light green, this ones painted red for some reason, could this mean that its been out of the car before? And is there any way to tell if its the right 6-cylinder engine for the year (and maybe the original engine)? The only serial number i could find was on the drivers side of the engine: 228257-M-2.

image1.jpeg

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17 hours ago, 1940Super said:

Beautiful car, pity about the motor. Is there a serial number on the right side of frame behind front fender opening?

I wasn't able to find a serial number on the frame but there was a lot of dirt and old grease buildup, so I'll keep searching. Do you know if there is any other place on the body with the body number other than the firewall tag?

Thanks

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The engine does look the same as my 1930 64C. Here are a few pictures from before it was restored which hopefully will help. If you need any details from the engine, or anything else, let me know. My car was pretty complete to begin with. It is in storage for the winter, so I don't have easy access to check things, but given enough time, I can go look. I also have detail shots from the restoration, if there is anything specific you need.

 

Good luck with the project.

 

engine2.thumb.jpg.aef42be215c62d9432dda7c4695a0746.jpgengine1.thumb.jpg.eaa2d2d1dc460aefa903d4ae98339f90.jpg

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For 1930-1934 the first two digits of the job number are the last two digits of the model year.  Job 30122 is for a 1930 model 68.

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3 hours ago, rthomp30 said:

The engine is a different matter, from what I've seen engines were originally painted black or light green, this ones painted red for some reason, could this mean that its been out of the car before? And is there any way to tell if its the right 6-cylinder engine for the year (and maybe the original engine)? The only serial number i could find was on the drivers side of the engine: 228257-M-2.

This is a casting number.  An engine number would be a stamped number.

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5 hours ago, rthomp30 said:

I wasn't able to find a serial number on the frame but there was a lot of dirt and old grease buildup, so I'll keep searching. Do you know if there is any other place on the body with the body number other than the firewall tag?

Thanks

No I don't, I'm not familiar with early 30s models, I am reading from a book on all Buicks models from 1903. Also says engine number is on crankcase. I quote the description of the 68 model "The 30-68 5 passenger 2 door coup was a 'victoria' style model. It had dual individual seats up front and a 3 passenger rear bench seat. There was a large window in each door and rather large D-shape windows behind the upper door openings. This model was usually delivered in LaTorquet Green with black on the upper body and fenders. Prize fighter Jack Dempsey had one" 10216 were produced.

Id say this description fits your car.

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The Fisher Body Parts Price List confirms that Job number 30122 is a 30-68, 5 Pass. Coupe.  Your engine number will likely be stamped on the crankcase, passenger side just above the starter  (see: <https://www.29buickphotos.com/Information/ID-Plates-Stickers-etc/i-2kn2MTd>).  If 30 McL-Buick's are the same as 29, there will be no serial number on a tag on the frame behind the passenger front wheel but it will be on a GM of Canada 4" x 4" plate attached to the engine side of the firewall near the oil filter on the pass. side (see: <https://www.29buickphotos.com/Information/ID-Plates-Stickers-etc/i-GqSdmkz>).  Often the tags were removed to allow the heater hoses to go through the firewall.  

 

If replacing the engine with a 29, make sure you check under manifold to see that the engine hasn't already been cracked.  29's were more prone to cracking than 30's

 

Bill McLaughlin

1929 Silver Anniversary Buick Club

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The Buick Master Parts list for 1932 lists the casting number for the cylinder block assembly 1930 Ser 50-60 as 228257 so I would say you are on the right track.

 

Brad

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