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Garnet Red 57 Roadmaster 75


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Well, I sold my 70 Skylark in October this past year.  I kept saying I wasn't going to buy another car for a while, but sometimes they just fall into your lap.

 

I am picking it up on Tuesday (possibly Monday if I can work the schedule).

 

A bit of a long-winded story, but I'll try to keep it short.  Lance and I went to go look at a 57 Roadmaster 75 coupe that is currently advertised on eBay.  It is local to me, so we made a day out of the inspection.  The coupe came from a wealthy collector in Southern CA that is having this dealer broker his cars.  Apparently, he is selling anything that is not valued at $1 million or more. Oooook then.  We were less than impressed with the coupe, so proceeded to small talk the dealer, and found out the owner has another 57 that he sent over in another building.  He said "You don't want to see it, it's a turd and the transmission is out."  We said, "we'd like to see it please."  So 30 minutes later, a guy brought a key to the other building and opened the door.  What we saw was this car in the photos.  Yes, the transmission is not currently "working," but I am hopeful that it's a simple fix.  Even if it's not, I'm not concerned.  It does need an exhaust system, the current one is pretty rotted.

 

It originally was all garnet red top and bottom, but sometime in its life it was painted its current combo.  All (or most) of the chrome is original clean, no pits.  Interior has been redone is mostly correct fabrics.  Dash pad and upper door panels are not quite right, but I can handle that.  Headliner has a white perforated material that isn't right either, but that's a pretty easy fix.  It's just a clean car.  Factory AC and wonderbar radio.  Not a speck of rust to be found anywhere.

 

I've been hounding the guy for 2 weeks to get a price from the seller, and he finally got back with me yesterday.  Today, the deal is 99% done.  I just have to sign some paperwork and pay him.  We currently have snowmageddon 2019 happening, so I can't get back out there until Monday or Tuesday.  If I could've picked it up today, I would have.  Darn snow storm rolled in about 1pm today.

 

I plan to have this in OKC this year.

 

I have to thank Lance for allowing me to buy this ahead of him.  We were both salivating at the prospect.  I'll have to make sure I get his black 57 extra spiffy for him.

 

This is the "turd" ...it's better in person.  It still has all the grime on it from the trip East..

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Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
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Absolutely one of my favorite Buicks of the 1950's -- and my favorite color combination for the 1957 models.

 

I love this car, Adam!  I'm having a hard time seeing how I can get to Oklahoma City this year, but the prospect of seeing this beautiful car makes me want to attend even more.

 

Congratulations, my friend.  This car is a dream machine.

 

I'll tune in regularly here to watch for updates.

Edited by Centurion (see edit history)
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Call me whatever year guy you want...LOL!  I've been a 71, 73, 66, 58, 60, 70, and now a 57 guy.

 

It doesn't appear that the car needs much cosmetically.  The paint looked nice.  Interior is presentable, aside from having incorrect headliner and dash material.  The upper door panels are sewn vinyl, as opposed to heat stamped.

 

If you notice the spare tire well, there is some discoloration on the tire.  That's because it was full of water!!  It was obvious that it had been sitting there for quite a long time, so I wasn't really concerned with it.  Lance found a trash can that we could use to drain the water, so we did.  Obviously there is water getting in somehow.  Oddly enough, when we looked at the coupe, I laid my hand on the trunk floor mat, and it was wet.  The salesman said the detail guy had left he trunk lid unlatched when he was power washing, and a decent amount of water had gotten in.  Hence why the lid was already open when we got there.

 

There is a bit of roulette being played here.  I have no idea what is wrong with the transmission.  Seller says it feels like it is stuck between gears.  We were unable even to start the car that day because of a dead battery.  He assures us that it runs great but just won't do anything when you try to put it in gear.  If you look at the photo of the steering wheel, you can see the indicator sitting in between Neutral and Drive.  My hope is that there is some sort of linkage issue, or something has fallen off and needs reattaching.  Crossing my fingers for that.  Nonetheless, the price does reflect the issues at hand.  As it sits,I think this car is in better condition than my 58 Roadmaster was when I bought it.  At least this one has all matching paint😁

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Hi Adam

This looks like a very nice car. I had the exact same car (factory Air as well) in the same color combo about 25 years ago. Oddly it did not have reverse and sat at the transmission shop for about a year, they never touched it and I lost interest in the car and sold it for pennies. I wish I would have kept that one. 

Steve

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I thought you would like the color combo, Joe!

 

It really is a nice car.  Dare I say it's nicer than Laurel was (my 58 Roadmaster). 

 

It came with a binder containing several pre/during/post restoration photos and a few little literature trinkets.  Also, a copy of the November 1996 Bugle with it on the back cover was included.

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On 1/14/2019 at 9:00 PM, Smartin said:

I thought you would like the color combo, Joe!

 

It really is a nice car.  Dare I say it's nicer than Laurel was (my 58 Roadmaster). 

 

It came with a binder containing several pre/during/post restoration photos and a few little literature trinkets.  Also, a copy of the November 1996 Bugle with it on the back cover was included.

Yep, I DO like the color combo!

Hope to see you with it in June!

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That's the plan. 

 

I started it today, ran really smoothly once everything was circulating.  You could tell it had been sitting for a bit.

 

I tried to put it in gear and heard an awful grinding noise, like the convertor teeth were grinding on the trans bell.  I shut it off and put the cover on it.  In other news, most of the power items work!

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Glad its running!

Hope it’s a quick kill on the trans, Adam.

was Dynaflow out recently by previous owner?

Sounds like trans wanted to engage allright.....

 maybe an errant bolt or piece of hardware in there ?

 

Cant wait to hear what you find!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I really hope that's the case.  It will probably be a couple weeks before I get a chance to look at it, since the snow continually seems to be coming.  I currently don't have a garage spot for it.  There are three 57 Buick Roadmaster 75's here, a 72 GSX and a 72 GS Stage1.  Plus my two drivers.  Woof.

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Beautiful car in a fantastic color combination.  Years ago my parents had a similar 57 roadmaster 75. They migrated from Alabama to California in that car in the summer of 59. It looks like the same color combination, only reversed...attached is a puck along with the 52 roadmaster they traded to buy the 57...wish I had both today...

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Nice  Thanks for sharing the photo. 

 

I got the car off the trailer today and investigated the trans problem a bit.  It will not go into park at all.  And it is making a gear-like noise when the car is pushed around.  I jacked up the car and removed the shift linkage, made sure it was in park all the way, and the linkage still lined up perfectly.  So it's not that.  I removed the inspection cover and all looks good in there.  It looks like this is a pretty major mechanical problem inside the transmission.  It will have to wait until I can get it in one of the garages so I can yank it out and send it to my transmission guy.  Bummer...my hopes of an easy fix have vaporized. 😐

 

I did try to start the car again, and it was making the same gear skipping noise, like it wasn't quite engaging a sprocket.  Oddly enough, the speedometer was moving.  So something was moving inside there at hte tailshaft.  I hope the splines aren't stripped in the yoke or driveshaft.  Although, I do have a complete parts car sitting in the yard.........

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If it's like the 56 there is a second adjustment of the linkage inside the transmission pan.  I have never done it myself.  But if I read it right, there are two levers that sit side by side, with a bolt at one end that allows them to be spread apart for a fine adjustment.  IT sounds to me like maybe that bolt came undone if it's the same as the '56.  This is on the side of the valve body so it may be accessible with just the cost of a trans pan gasket. 

 

However the speedometer moving with out the car going does sound like a second problem.  Maybe someone pulled the drive shaft out of the housing to allow it to be moved around?

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Regarding my post last night, The section of the manual that I am referring to is  5-23, Assembly of Dynaflow Transmission From Major Parts and Units ,  sub section "g".  It is page 209 in the 56 manual.  It deals with the control valve which is on the bottom of the Valve and Servo body.  This adjustment is made after the parking pawl is in, and two things are mentioned that may be relevant. 

 

In the few paragraphs before section "g" it is mentioned that there are two sized bolts for the valve body.  1/4 " with a final torque of 11-15 ft, and 5/16th bolts with a final torque of 15-20ft.  In addition, there is one copper washer which goes on a specific bolt (#10)  in the sequence.  Incorrect assembly may result in binding of the control valve.  

 

I imagine the gear clicking you hear is the parking pawl just a tad out of adjustment.  And a stuck control valve in drive may be why the trans was  turning when you started the car. 

 

 

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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16 hours ago, Smartin said:

Nice  Thanks for sharing the photo. 

 

I got the car off the trailer today and investigated the trans problem a bit.  It will not go into park at all.  And it is making a gear-like noise when the car is pushed around.  I jacked up the car and removed the shift linkage, made sure it was in park all the way, and the linkage still lined up perfectly.  So it's not that.  I removed the inspection cover and all looks good in there.  It looks like this is a pretty major mechanical problem inside the transmission.  It will have to wait until I can get it in one of the garages so I can yank it out and send it to my transmission guy.  Bummer...my hopes of an easy fix have vaporized. 😐

 

I did try to start the car again, and it was making the same gear skipping noise, like it wasn't quite engaging a sprocket.  Oddly enough, the speedometer was moving.  So something was moving inside there at hte tailshaft.  I hope the splines aren't stripped in the yoke or driveshaft.  Although, I do have a complete parts car sitting in the yard.........

Adam,

 

You should post about this in a separate thread, I bet you will get more diagnostic advice / help that way. 

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I shuffled a few cars around today to get this one (hopefully) fixed and back on the road ASAP.  Here is the noise I’m hearing.  It’s coming from the rear u-joint area I think.  I’ll try to have it taken apart sometime this weekend to confirm.

 

 

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Well here we go.  I couldn't wait, and my plans for this evening never materialized...rear end is out and driveshaft is off.  I knew there was an issue when I could turn the driveshaft and the wheels didn't spin.

 

The female splines on the driveshaft that slide over the splines on the rear end are almost completely ground off.

 

I just hope this is the only issue.

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Compared to a tranny rebuild, wouldn't you consider this to be good news?  And I don't know (and it's none of my business), but I would hope that the discount you got on the purchase for the presumptive blown transmission will more than cover this repair.

 

For a low budget fix, try a couple of wraps of Teflon tape around the splines and shove it back together. :D 

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Absolutely...that’s assuming there isn’t another problem lurking after I reassemble it.

 

I hope I can cobble the parts car back together enough to move it around the property after I swap these driveshafts.  I may have to get creative 😁

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