cxgvd

owning, fixing and driving a Snapper's era Buick

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This Me and My Buick entry I hope will be a catch all concerning pre '16 Buicks.  It maybe events my wife, Bev, and I attend similar to DEI's site with '58 Buicks crossed with Matt's detailed repairs with pictures.  The initial post is repairing spokes which are loose in a wooden felloe and causes a wheel to squeak.  Last time we had the 1913 Buick Model 31 out was the Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village and it was pointed out the right rear wheel had a wobble by someone who was following me in another car.  I gave the wheel a shake and though not very loose there was a rust line showing at the hub.  Three of my wheels are original wood but this wheel had been re spoked by the previous owner, I shimmed it years ago, now it is loose again.

 

The first picture is the product I am using to fix the problem and the home made hub puller I fabricated.  The AACA magazines I pass on to people who are interested or have similar vehicles as the ones featured.  I am a member of the AACA and the Snapper's Brass and Gas.

 

The second is the offending wheel on the car, if you look closely it shows the rust coming out of the hub and proves the wheel is due for service.

 

The third is the whole 1913 Buick on duty in Oklahoma in 2017 with similar autos.

 

Regards, Gary Van Dyken

 

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Attended the annual Funk Christmas lunch at Stahls Auto Museum in Chesterfield, Mi today.  Had a good time visiting and catching up with friends while viewing the eclectic car collection.   Many of the cars are large and fancy but also cars from the movies and memorabilia.  The sole Buick was this 2 cyl number and the other picture is a general scene.  An artist drawing a rendition of the car Mysterion, the actual car does not exist this is a tribute?

 

Regards, Gary 

 

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Hi Gary,

I came across this in my photo files tonight and thought it was appropriate to post here.

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Thanks Doug; A lovely day at Heritage Village.  Bev and I are attending the AACA Vintage Tour in Kingston this summer, our car broke down during the last Vintage Tour in Pa so hoping for a more satisfying result this time.  We met a NY'er on that tour and he has since bought a Model 31 of his own and yesterday a fellow told me he bought one as well.  Soon there will be three of these fine touring cars on the road, maybe together, that would be fun.

 

Regards, Gary

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1 hour ago, cxgvd said:

Soon there will be three of these fine touring cars on the road, maybe together, that would be fun.

 

I totally agree on all being together! 

It would be quite the gathering comparing the sometimes unique details of each car. Then there is observing the owners too (haha).

 

This was the same day at Heritage Village.

I love seeing and listening to the action of those motors.

 

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Edited by dei (see edit history)

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Time and distance caused my rear wheels to be stuck beyond my hub pullers capacity.  Luckily for me a friendly mechanic loaned me some stout pulling gear.  With that firmly attached the wheel still stubbornly resisted until I got my 10lb sledge to give it a whack.  Then it practically jumped off the tapered axle.  Relieved nothing was damaged that a lick of paint won't fix.

 

My friend Larry Schramm gave me a pair of hood clamps for my 1915 McLaughlin which were the last parts I was missing to complete the cars restoration.  The clamps are soaking in solvent, the nickel tops are threaded to the shaft and will go to platers this winter.   Thanks Larry.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Next step in stopping my wheel from squeaking and possibly catastrophic failure is to glue the spokes to the felloe.  As shown in the photo and working from the backside I drilled a 3/16th" holes into the cavity the spoke and felloe share.  Also a 1/16th" hole through the rim band into the same mortice to vent any trapped air and to make certain the epoxy fills the voids.  I packed the spoke and felloe joint with putty to hold back any compound from leaking out of the joint.  My friend calls it dum dum, he is British.  The putty I got from a local hardware store was likely the first batch they sold in ten years, who glazes windows today?  My friend suggested a product called Polyall 2000 which is thin as water and sets in five minutes.  I used Enviro Tech Lite which is like maple syrup and sets overnight instead.  I mixed the two part epoxy and used a syringe to slowly filled the space over the next hour.   Since the wheel is painted the repair should be invisible and permanent.  Just three spokes were loose I filled all twelve anyway.

 

The bonus photo is taken at Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum, a 1904 Ford Model B.  First four cylinder Ford and first with the engine under the hood, a large and beautiful touring car.  The museum has a collection of alphabet cars, all the models culminating with the "T"

 

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Very interested in following your work Gary as my 1920 Overland has a back wheel that "squeaks" also.

Question / Curious: Like wood boats, doesn't there have to be "some" movement to avoid breaking / cracking the wood (within limits naturally)?

Will your repair allow for this?

 

Keep up with the reports and have a Merry Christmas!

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Hey Doug;  I am not an engineer but my friend is and he repaired his Cadillac wheel using this technique.  I believe the spokes and rims must be absolutely tight, without movement, and the springiness or flexibility comes from the choice of hickory wood for the material.

 

The best to you and Cindy for Christmas, Gary

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Thinking about your Overland, I suggest you make a mechanical repair first, you could do this in under a day.  I know it is not high on your list of things to do except get it off your to do list.  When I first bought my Buick the offending wheel was re spoked and as you drove along it would click, I could whistle along to the Andy Griffith title song if I could get the speed right and I could whistle.  Harold Sharon was alive then and giving free advice

 

He told me to get a length of auto body sheet metal the width of the spokes and wrap it around the hub.  I think it was 16ga, didn't take much.  Line up the spoke holes, hubs and brake drum and press every thing back into place.  The spoke holes now had to be reamed to let the bolts pass through.  He told me to use silicone to keep everything tight, not the household silicone but the gasket maker type.   This repair forced the spokes tight into the felloe and worked for many years and I suggest you try this first before the repair I just performed.

 

Last recourse is to send the wheel to the professional "wheelwright."  None of these repairs I used would affect the installing of new parts.

 

See you later, Gary 

Edited by cxgvd
correction (see edit history)
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Sanding spokes is a tedious job and I have until spring to finish it.  However, there are other things to do.

 

Friday the temps reached into the 50'sF and I switched out my wife's sports car with my 1915 McLaughlin in the shop after a steady rain.  I had an hour before supper so I took a top stick to the wire wheel to strip paint and rust.  The parts will be eventually sandblasted, which I find to be miserable work, noisy, dirt up my nose and grit in my eyes, so I clean everything first as to minimize the sandblasting.

 

I had the sticks stored on the body and I noticed for the first time the aligning ball and socket aligning pins did not fit on the first or front one.  I measured the difference and it was 7 1/2".  Looks right, but isn't.  I'll either move the ball to fit the remaining sticks or possible add a ball to hit the socket.  The other thing is this aligning ball and socket style was used also on Model T Fords, perhaps someone sometime changed the top parts to Ford.  My '13 used fork and blades style and original photos do not show the details I need.  Small details are interesting to me.

 

The photo illustrates the parts I am trying to describe.

 

Thanks for looking, Gary

 

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Bev and I just returned from our annual fun in the sun trip to Cuba and thought you might like to see some photos of the iconic taxi cabs.  These cars are the original resto mods, for show but they are working cars, like the Clydesdale draft horses from Budweiser, a symbol of the company but they also have to pull the beer wagon.  We hired the '55 Bel Air for a day trip the old Havana with a excellent driver, whose patience could teach me how to be a more courteous driver, and university educated guide with history and languages.

 

I brought some AACA magazines for distribution, they were popular and taken away in a few moments.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Thanks for the pictures Gary.

We have not been there but friends have and say the cars are amazing!

 

They know my Buick well and while touring around thought I was there with mine!

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Weston Mott had been supplying wheels and axles for everyone when Billy Durant proposed they come to Flint, Mi and organize a factory to supply Buick.  Weston Mott left their Utica NY factory making parts for bicycles, etc. and moved to Mi in 1906.  Business grew rapidly for Weston Mott and they improved the design of their rear axles by using Hyatt bearings and Brown Lipe gear sets.  As a side note Hyatt Bearing brought Alfred Sloan to GM but that is another story.  Buick and Weston Mott merged in 1916 and CS Mott became a director of GM, as did Sam McLaughlin, yet another story which has been be told.  In the accompanying photo you can see a trace of red, that is copper electroplated to the rim band, and is a feature of Weston Mott design.

 

 So far I think each wheel will take two days to rough sand all the old paint off.  Afraid chemicals will leech out and ruin the new paint and sandblasting could affect the wooden felloes, that leaves sanding.  It's not awful. a few hours at a go, listening to the radio in my heated garage, likely easier for me than the workman who created the wheel a 100 years ago.

 

Regards, Gary

 

 

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1913 wheel update, I am refinishing two wheels at a time.  Since there is some wood compression where the rim bolts clamp the rim to the wheel I decided to remove the hardware and fill the space underneath.  It will also mean the felloe will be more thoroughly sanded and will have new paint under the parts.  The rim clamp parts will be sandblasted and epoxy primed, the final step will be to reattach the hardware with new 3/16ths" X 2" mild steel rivets then painted with a touch up brush.  The photo shows new filler sanded flush with the existing wood.

 

I suppose if the car is being readied for trophies I would have sent the wheels to a wheelwright shop for new spokes and felloes but I appreciate the fact this car has it's original parts and do not mind some dings and knocks.  The car came by them honestly and it is a for touring automobile.

 

After filling and final sanding the wood will be treated to a epoxy type sanding sealer then primed before the final coat of body colour single stage paint and the metal hubs, rim bands and clamps will be black.  There are two thoughts on refinishing  the spokes, one is to let the woodgrain show through the paint and the other is to completely fill the grain so the paint is smooth.  I have always liked the woodgrain to show but this time I am opting for smooth and shiny.  Don't know which would have been correct a hundred years ago.

 

Thanks, Gary

 

 

 

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The Snappers are a non geographical region of the AACA.  This year we have a spring tour in central Wisconsin the first week of June and a summer tour, with the HCCA, in Kingston, Ontario in July.  We also participate in the Lansing to Dearborn Endurance Run, a part of the Old Car Festival in Michigan and the Hershey Hangover in, well, Hershey.  Our season is generally three week long events and some smaller weekends between May and October because many of the pre '16 cars have neither tops, windshields or doors.

 

Another part of the Edwardian car hobby is costumes.  Often seen in the cars on tour as well as at the banquets, and the Old Car Festival seems most everyone is dressed in their best outfits all weekend.  Some folks are fortunate to acquire hundred year old clothes but most are recreated by a talented tailor or obtained from a theatrical supply house.

 

In the photos are my friends with their 1913 White touring car in formal wear ready for the opera and Bev and I are in costumes covered by dusters.  My Mrs. duster is hundred year old linen and mine is actually an Italian raincoat I found which doubles for looks and is weathertight, remember no windows.  My boater style hat is from an eBay find and my wife enjoys an extensive collection of hats.

 

Finding or creating costumes is a pleasant side interest of membership with the Snappers.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Gary,

 

Joyce and I look forward to drive on tours with you and Bev with our new 1913 Buick. 

 

Larry

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Thanks Larry;  We do not have much planned for this summer.  Likely the Pre War meet at the Gilmore in May, the AACA vintage tour in Ontario in August, the Old Car Fest in September.  I expect to have our 1915 McLaughlin touring car finished and ready for test drives too.  Please keep us in mind if you hear of something good, "have trailer, will travel."

 

Regards, Gary

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Things are quiet here in the winter, the wheel painting project is taking longer than I thought it would.

 

In the post above I mentioned I have a trailer and to my mind it is the greatest downside to owning and driving Snapper era Buicks.  A person has to have a trailer if you want to travel to tours, and believe me I wish I could think of a viable alternative.  When on the road I primarily fuel and lunch at truck stops where I think they have more security and space to park with pull throughs, most accidents happen when backing up.  Also I have to choose a motel based on their parking lot rather than the swimming pool.

 

Living in a village in farming country I have room and can keep my trailer at home.  During the winter it is empty except for storage of patio furniture and theft is a worry.  Trailers are easy to steal, fairly expensive to buy and police do not seem to keen to recover them, who really pays attention to a trailer.  On a positive note they are portable garages, when I return from a weekend and we are going again in a few weeks, the Buick stays parked and we can hook back up and go.  My trailer was ordered from a dealer with a few options such as 5200 lb axles and extra height, every trailer owner picks his own requirements.

 

Finally with a 6000 lb trailer load I drive a 3/4 ton pick up truck all the year round which means if I go to Walmart on Saturday afternoon I must find parking the back fourty.  Trucks use more fuel than a hot hatchback but they are handy for trips to the lumber yard.

 

Although, when the Buick is in fine fettle, the sun is shining, I'm out with my mates and I am describing my car to some interested bystanders then it is the best collector car I am indeed fortunate to operate.  I won't post a photo as it is an oversized bread box on wheels and you have seen trailers.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Gary,

 

I look as it a benefit to own a truck and for the truck not get beat by others door dings to park out in the "back forty".  

 

It helps me not get too big and encourages me to get my 10,000 steps in every day. :)

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On 2/4/2019 at 4:05 AM, cxgvd said:

My Mrs. duster is hundred year old linen

I have my grandfather's "car coat", which is similar to yours. Linen, kind of grey now. Road conditions were rough in those days and the cars weren't especially weather tight so they put their good clothes on and covered them with the outer coat. I suppose punctures and getting stuck in mud were common back then too.

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Though not of the Snapper's era I also wear an original Duffel or sometimes called a Monty coat, when out in the Buick late or early in the touring season.  These wool coats actually began in the 1820's are still being produced and popular as you can see since my wife's coat is relatively new.  The one I wear, after researching the company Gloverall, was made in London and seems to be prior to 1962.  It was likely made for the navy because the lining is plain wool and not the usual tartan pattern for the general public.

 

The photo was taken in November with Lake Erie in the background.  Under my coat you can see the logo of the fighting Irish from the University of Notre Dame which I do not wear to visit Michigan, but that is another subject.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Very nice attire Gary!

 

Is that the break wall at Erieau by chance?

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7 minutes ago, cxgvd said:

Though not of the Snapper's era I also wear an original Duffel or sometimes called a Monty coat, when out in the Buick late or early in the touring season.  These wool coats actually began in the 1820's are still being produced and popular as you can see since my wife's coat is relatively new.  The one I wear, after researching the company Gloverall, was made in London and seems to be prior to 1962.  It was likely made for the navy because the lining is plain wool and not the usual tartan pattern for the general public.

 

The photo was taken in November with Lake Erie in the background.  Under my coat you can see the logo of the fighting Irish from the University of Notre Dame which I do not wear to visit Michigan, but that is another subject.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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I wear a blue Duffel Coat  in winter - they make a great bed when stuck in an airport and there is always someone that says "you look just like Paddington" 

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