Edwin The Kid

My 1951 Model 52 Buick Super

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@Edwin The Kid  If you have already learned this I apologize for the post.  Let me try to explain my earlier post with these few pictures.

 

This represents the typical Buick flywheel/ring gear.  Although it is a picture of a 55's, I believe yours will be very similar.

 

2132777310_typicaldfflywheelringgear.jpg.9e86b709281c1abdd8e65471859fbe9c.jpg

 

The 6 holes denoted by the yellow arrow are holes for bolts which hold the flywheel to the back of the crankshaft.

The hole denoted with the red arrow is an alignment hole, and on a Buick it is odd to find that there is no corresponding pin on the back of the crankshaft.  I do not have a picture of the back of a crankshaft, but there will be a hole drilled back there where a pin would go.  You don't need the pin.  When reinstalling you align the six holes so that the drilled hole in the crankshaft is aligned with this hole in the flywheel.  This is for balance in the engine assembly, so it is important upon re installation.

 

If you look around the outer  circumference of the Flywheel/ Ring Gear you will see numerous holes.  And you will see three smaller diameter holes denoted by the black arrows.   

These are the three bolts that hold the torque converter to the Flywheel/ Ring Gear.  While I assume your 52 flywheel is the same,  you may find that there are 4 smaller bolts holding the torque converter to the Flywheel/ Ring Gear.  

 

Here is a picture of your torque converter.

 

2039516734_48to52dftorqueconverter.thumb.jpg.fac7d349b37fa655e2d100d41627eb68.jpg

 

The cover of the converter is denoted by the red arrow.  That cover is bolted to the pump denoted by the blue arrow.  For each hole in the Flywheel Ring gear, there will be a bolt in the torque converter cover.

 

As you can see there are numerous small parts in between the cover and the pump.  

 

So here's the explanation of what I suggested before:

 

Since you can spin the transmission body in a circle around the engine, you may be able to locate and access the 3 or 4 small bolts holding the torque converter to the Flywheel/ Ring Gear.  And after removing those you may be able to remove the entire transmission from the back of the engine.  These bolts are accessed through the opening at the bottom of the transmission where you removed the inspection plate and found all that debris.  I suggest spinning the trans to locate these bolts and removing them BUT be cautious.   If you remove all those bolts holding the torque converter cover to the pump, then you run the risk of pulling the entire converter apart and dislodging or losing some of those small parts.  So just be careful to remove the 3 or 4 small bolts.

 

Also expect a heavy weight from that transmission.  It is easily over 100 pounds.  When you are unbolting it I suggest supporting the transmission casing so that it does not fall off and land on you or break anything.   

 

If needed, please feel free to reach out with questions. 

 

This last picture is the name for all those parts in the 2nd diagram. 

 

2145188941_48to52dftcpartdescription.thumb.jpg.bace450ef5e56076549dbe29852c77fa.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

I see one of the bolts needed to remove the trans, as circled in blue below, but my main problem is the big red circle, I'm not sure how I can get to the bolts with that in the way, or maybe I'm missing something

problems.thumb.png.e04bb5c08d09a841b597aa7e958c1899.png

 

 

 

 

1665621091_48to52dftorqueconverter.jpg.3ee3627ec15a555dbd18be2cbfebaf1d.thumb.jpg.cef029ecb331b7c68f22f01cedeb9052.jpg

I also got an old broom handle and got 2 pistons to move, but then on another piston the handle shattered, so things aren't looking great.

 

 

Edited by Edwin The Kid (see edit history)

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@Edwin The Kid   I was wrong.   You won't be able to spin the trans and locate the other bolts till the engine turns.  So it looks like you are back to removing the crankshaft and transmission as a unit, and then unbolt the trans from the flywheel. 

 

ALSO, that blue bolt you circled looks like one of two drain bolts for the torque converter.  The bolts holding the engine and torque converter together will be found in that ring of bolts around the outside edge of the converter cover. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to work on getting the rest of the pistons to move so i can get the caps off and remove the crank over the next few weeks, although a larger hammer and some fire might be needed.

 

Pretty soon I am going to need to get or borrow and engine stand so I can see the top and bottom at the same time, is there a certain type or brand of engine stand that would be beefy enough to hold the straight 8? Also would making some sort of wooden cradle for it work as well?

Edited by Edwin The Kid (see edit history)

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Ok I got the trans and crankshaft out and separated! working on pistons now. They are VERY stuck, what are good ways to get them out without doing too much damage to the cylinders?

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Use 2 of the cylinder head bolt holes to attach a plate that has a drilled and tapped hole over the piston.  Put a block of wood over the piston with some plate steel over that and use a bolt to push on the piston.

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10 hours ago, old-tank said:

Use 2 of the cylinder head bolt holes to attach a plate that has a drilled and tapped hole over the piston.  Put a block of wood over the piston with some plate steel over that and use a bolt to push on the piston.

 

 That should work. Probably better than  BFH.

 

  Ben

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Heres an update on my project while I'm on vacation! I have removed 4/8 pistons, 3 of which came easy, with the fourth I learned that pistons don't come out the bottom, and it had to be broken to come out. I have the remaining pistons soaking in the hopes that they might loosen up over a week or so, but it's not looking great(see pictures)

 

IMG_2420.thumb.JPG.74c644f284e670319c7615152e154248.JPG 

 

IMG_2422.thumb.JPG.ef8fea3bfd2125457bf736fea349fc4e.JPG

 

I've been looking into buying a new engine entirely, and I have been offered a 53 special with a 263 straight 8 that apparently runs and drives for 1000$. From what I've seen on the hometown buick website the only thing that would be useful on the car is the engine, so I'm wondering if it would be worth it as a parts car or if it would be better to source a new engine elsewhere. 

 

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That would be a great deal my opinion. You'll never get your original engine rebuilt or running for that money. Did your engine have the 2 barrel carb or 4 barrel? Not that it truly matters. If the 53 is running then install and go!

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Edwin, if the '53 has the same transmission as yours and runs, I would agree with John.  If it is standard and yours is Dynaflow, a problem rears it's head.

 

  Ben

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13 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

If it is standard and yours is Dynaflow, a problem rears it's head.

 

Ben, please explain.  I thought if Edwin's was a standard shift and the 53 was a Dynaflow, then there could be a problem with the pilot shaft hole in the crank.  But I was not aware of a problem to go from a standard shift to a Dynaflow, since the pilot shaft hole is just not used on a Dynaflow. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

Ben, please explain.  I thought if Edwin's was a standard shift and the 53 was a Dynaflow, then there could be a problem with the pilot shaft hole in the crank.  But I was not aware of a problem to go from a standard shift to a Dynaflow, since the pilot shaft hole is just not used on a Dynaflow. 

 

 

I should clarify: My 52 has a dynaflow, and the seller of the 53 said that it has a dynaflow as well, so I don’t think that would be an issue. It would be good to know about compatibility issues between them if i end up with a different engine

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If both Dynaflow, NO issue.

 

  John, I have read,  have not seen in person, the flywheel bolt pattern is different. I also believe the Dynaflow  " torque converter " nose needs the large opening in the crank.   Perhaps someone with knowledge will jump in.

 

  Ben

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35 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Ben  Thanks!  Had not had any experience with this myself so I'll take your word for it till more definitive information is available. 

 

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Well after a lot of hammering, all of the pistons are out! The picture is the cylinder of one of the more stuck ones. I'm bringing the block to a machine shop today to get a price estimate for all the work being done.

IMG_2567.thumb.JPG.8a4aa19663943b9750d04bc222adbeb7.JPG

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Posted (edited)

Engine is in the machine shop, they are going to see if the block or head are cracked, and then I have to make a decision if I'm gonna spend the money to machine it or not. Initial estimations for full rebuild were around 4500$. Yikers! I've got a few questions for you guys. If buying a used but running straight 8, what are the chances it breaks or needs expensive repairs done to it? The previously mentioned 53 buick also presents me with a dillema: It runs and drives, but I think the condition of the car it is in is better than my car right now, unless its frame or something is shot, so it seems counterproductive to take a good engine out of a good car to put in my beat up buick. What do you guys think?

 

I have also been thinking about swapping some sort of v8 in, although I really would prefer to have the straight 8. I know unless its a nailhead it basically needs a full new driveline for a v8, cmpared to the costs of straight 8 work, how much is it to buy a donor car and put a new driveline in?

 

Thoughts and advice are appreciated!

 

-Edwin

Edited by Edwin The Kid (see edit history)

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Cheapest engine wise is to repair yours, assuming it can be repaired.   Do you know if the transmission works?   What else is bad with yours?

 

  You may be at a crossroad.

 

  Ben

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1 minute ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Cheapest engine wise is to repair yours, assuming it can be repaired.   Do you know if the transmission works?   What else is bad with yours?

 

  You may be at a crossroad.

 

  Ben

cylinders need to be honed and probably bored, head needs some work, a lot of new parts to buy. No idea if the trans works, any idea how to find out? I dont have a running engine to test it on.

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Edwin,

You've displayed great work and tenacity so far in this exercise.......,but

First Born nailed the issue here.

 

Your personal motivations to be in the old car hobby with THIS car require some thought and decisions at this point.

 

If your objective is to resurrect THIS car as your personal challenge....then the $4500 for a rebuild will pale in comparison

to the money required to replace the brakes, wiring, glass work, interior, trans, sUspension parts, radiator, body parts, etc. etc.

Many of us have taken fugitives from boneyards and restored them.......Great personal satisfaction, but the word “underwater”

comes to mind in reviewing the realities of economics and the car’s value.

If this is your intention, then this group will help you get it done, but,  be advised........many thousands will need to be spent

just to make this car move under it’s own power down the highway.

 

If, however, you specifically want a 1951 Super 4 door to enjoy , and work on ,  and go to shows and cruises with......

then you will be better served by finding one that is running and in fairly good cosmetic condition for WAY less than the cost of

rebuilding your engine and trans.  

Please, don’t take offense, but, in this scenario the car you have is a parts car at best.

 Guessing you could find a presentable,

mechanically sound 4 door Super for well under $10,0000.

 

Repowering it with a modern drive train will still require all the above restoration costs.  

 

My advice is to pause, reflect, and choose a path before pulling the trigger on the engine work.     

 

We’ll be rooting for you whichever direction you take!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've done some thinking and I will continue to think through my options but here's what I'm thinking right now and I could use your knowledge.

Right now I've got a few options I'm considering:

 

1. rob a bank or something creative to get the money to rebuild my engine and make the car roadworthy

2. Buy a different Buick, possibly the 53 special mentioned before, it seems to be in good condition and won't be as hard/expensive to get on the road.

3. Keep my Buick and put a v8 in it. Either find a nailhead with a dynaflow that will go in relatively easy and won't require rebuilding of the engine or the rear suspension, or put a newer engine, maybe a buick 350 that needs minimal work, and put new rear suspension and rear end, and an open driveshaft in. I haven't been able to find much info on the cost/difficulty on this however

4.Sell my 51 for parts and start over, with a newer Buick or maybe a truck. How much could I expect to get from selling my buick? the frame seems to be pretty solid and I think there is a decent amount of useable parts.

 

Your thoughts and advice is always appreciated

 

-Edwin

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The 53 Special sounds like the easiest alternative. Then sell what you can from your Super.  

 

Or continue to look for a running straight 8 from someone who is hot rodding a different Buick.  

 

Is the Special a 2 dr car?  

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Are you suggesting that this light green 4-door sedan pictured is a 1953 Buick Special? I don't think so.........looks like a 1952 Super to me. 

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3 minutes ago, The 55er said:

Are you suggesting that this light green 4-door sedan pictured is a 1953 Buick Special? I don't think so.........looks like a 1952 Super to me. 

 

Its possible its a 52 super, seller says its a 53 but he is unable to open to hood at the moment, as apparently  he is on one leg

I think I see the remainders of a super badge so if it really is a straight 8 under the hood then it would be a 52

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