valk

'41 engine compartment details

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Carter cast iron castings were painted black with Carter's "special carburetor body paint". Probably has been obsolete for at least 60 years, but is approximately the appearance of 60 percent gloss black. This would include the cast iron top on the rear carb (if Carter).

 

Jon.

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I don't mean to be difficult but could you be more specific regarding what should be painted black on Carter 320 carbs?  The front carb has 3 main components:

1) the bottom section with linkage hookups and idle mix screws bolting directly to the manifold (black);

2) the main body with float (unpainted); and

3) the top cover and carb throat (unpainted). 

 

The rear carb has 4 main components:

1) the valve damper body bolting directly on top of the manifold (unpainted);

2) the bottom section with linkage hook ups and idle mix screws (black);

3) the main body with float (unpainted); and

4) the top cover with carb throat (black?)

 

Thanks.  I haven't received my Anderson '41 book yet...

Peter

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On 7/30/2019 at 8:34 AM, valk said:

Well there you go - thanks Greg. Only engine with red lines I've ever seen. Maybe I can get Lawrence to tell me what else is on page 37!

Wonder why most restored engines don't paint there lines. I think leaving them natural looks better, but usually originality trumps aesthetics. 

Thanks all, mystery solved. 

Peter

Here are some pics I took today showing the red paint thats still visible on my fuel and vacuum lines. There is very little left but a few spots of red. I had thought that the lines to the carb had been masked but as the photo shows on this vacuum line indeed they were not. My fuel line is covered with heat shielding but it has some paint on the bottom side as well.P7311544.thumb.JPG.0bb21096ba62265ed9eb4bf16e5b33cb.JPGP7311545.thumb.JPG.539667e5d6e8ad351d1756d31f758bf2.JPGP7311546.thumb.JPG.93fada2e0863835ec04a3ee2ae66acf3.JPG  I am guessing the brass compression nuts were masked with a piece of split rubber hose rather then tape for speed and cost as they would be reusable and quickly applied or perhaps they used a rubber masks for fuel pump carbs and distributor that Incorporated that feature, just a guess of course. So you can see some paint on line to advance unit ( the other lines attached are pickup wires from a Petronix) and fuel lines to carbs as well as fuel pump. I am surprised to learn that Doug Sybolds award winning cars were not done this way and my guess is the judges didnt know any better but surely Doug did. Original is whats correct and doing your own thing because you think it looks better is of course taking liberties but to then claim its original is rewriting the history of Buick production line methodology. If you are going to all the trouble of getting your car correct then it should be original which is the point of the exercise of preserving history.  My own car has many changes to improve its reliability and performance as I drive it regularly but if I ever decide to repaint my motor I will definitely paint the lines if for no other reason then to remember and preserve how Buick built their cars with fully assembled and tested engines before chassis installation. It would be pretty nice to find an original Buick mask to put on the shelf. 

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16 minutes ago, Lawrence Helfand said:

Here are some pics I took today showing the red paint thats still visible on my fuel and vacuum lines. There is very little left but a few spots of red. I had thought that the lines to the carb had been masked but as the photo shows on this vacuum line indeed they were not. My fuel line is covered with heat shielding but it has some paint on the bottom side as well.P7311544.thumb.JPG.0bb21096ba62265ed9eb4bf16e5b33cb.JPGP7311545.thumb.JPG.539667e5d6e8ad351d1756d31f758bf2.JPGP7311546.thumb.JPG.93fada2e0863835ec04a3ee2ae66acf3.JPG  I am guessing the brass compression nuts were masked with a piece of split rubber hose rather then tape for speed and cost as they would be reusable and quickly applied or perhaps they used a rubber masks for fuel pump carbs and distributor that Incorporated that feature, just a guess of course. So you can see some paint on line to advance unit ( the other lines attached are pickup wires from a Petronix) and fuel lines to carbs as well as fuel pump. I am surprised to learn that Doug Sybolds award winning cars were not done this way and my guess is the judges didnt know any better but surely Doug did. Original is whats correct and doing your own thing because you think it looks better is of course taking liberties but to then claim its original is rewriting the history of Buick production line methodology. If you are going to all the trouble of getting your car correct then it should be original which is the point of the exercise of preserving history.  My own car has many changes to improve its reliability and performance as I drive it regularly but if I ever decide to repaint my motor I will definitely paint the lines if for no other reason then to remember and preserve how Buick built their cars with fully assembled and tested engines before chassis installation. It would be pretty nice to find an original Buick mask to put on the shelf. 

 

I can't disagree with any of that, Larry. I like and usually agree with your philosophy of doing it factory correct. But man, I just don't like how it looks at all! I'll have to see if I can reconcile those two opposing thoughts when it comes time to put my engine in the car (if that day ever comes).

 

Thank you for the added details; between your car and the car pictured above, I am now convinced that you're right.

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92110-1941buickfrontendassembly.jpg.42cfc9b67cd23caeca4a47abf6a9869c.jpg

1941 photograph of front end assembly. Would be great to see it colorized.

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Agree with Lawrence that it is odd high point restored cars don't have proper red fuel lines. Perhaps now they will now that we have exposed this travesty! But what about parts of the Carter carbs being painted black?  Unless I missed something, Carbking's website did not reveal what I was looking for. From what I can gather, the bottom of each carb should be black (the part that has the idle mix screws) as well as the top cover of the rear carb. The other parts -  rear damper and both float bowls - should be unpainted. Weird. 

 

oooh and look at those beatifully assembled straight fuel lines above...

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3 minutes ago, valk said:

Agree with Lawrence that it is odd high point restored cars don't have proper red fuel lines. Perhaps now they will now that we have exposed this travesty! But what about parts of the Carter carbs being painted black?  Unless I missed something, Carbking's website did not reveal what I was looking for. From what I can gather, the bottom of each carb should be black (the part that has the idle mix screws) as well as the top cover of the rear carb. The other parts -  rear damper and both float bowls - should be unpainted. Weird. 

 

oooh and look at those beatifully assembled straight fuel lines above...

Couple of notes..first off the early part of 41 production the engines were painted grey as were the 1940 models. 115 days into 41 they switched to red. The carbs are natural finish including the tops and the bases were painted gloss black. The tops were never painted front or rear. Linkage of course was natural finish. Again I refer to Anderson's book of 41  buick restoration

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5 hours ago, Lawrence Helfand said:

I am surprised to learn that Doug Sybolds award winning cars were not done this way and my guess is the judges didnt know any better but surely Doug did. Original is whats correct and doing your own thing because you think it looks better is of course taking liberties but to then claim its original is rewriting the history of Buick production line methodology.

 

It seems a number of concessions are made when it comes to the rules for judging various cars.  Beautiful powder-coated frames, for example.  Also, when it comes to Doug Seybold, it's worth noting that his beautiful engine-turned dash panels and glove box doors (which I'm sure every high-point '41 Buick has) are nothing like the originals.  He actually plates and then engraves the metal, whereas the original "engine-turning" was a decal.  So it's almost like using real wood to substitute for wood-graining.  I may be wrong, but I don't think anyone loses points for having panels engraved by Doug, even though they are not "correct" at all.

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Carter produced over 800 "General Bulletins", and I am too lazy to look for the one on the body paint. If I happen to see it in future research (unless I forget ;) ), I will post it. In the "for what its worth category", Carter stated that both the outside AND INSIDE of the wrought iron castings were to be painted. Stromberg did NOT paint the cast iron items for Buick, but did for Packard. Carter painted all castings black on the V-16 Cadillac carbs.

 

Both Carter and Stromberg chromated the zinc alloy bodies. They were not left natural. The chromate treatment was a treatment to delay oxidation of the metal.

 

I am caretaker for the original drawings for both companies.

 

What Buick did with the carburetors after they left the Carter and Stromberg factories, I do not know.

 

Jon.

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28 minutes ago, neil morse said:

 

It seems a number of concessions are made when it comes to the rules for judging various cars.  Beautiful powder-coated frames, for example.  Also, when it comes to Doug Seybold, it's worth noting that his beautiful engine-turned dash panels and glove box doors (which I'm sure every high-point '41 Buick has) are nothing like the originals.  He actually plates and then engraves the metal, whereas the original "engine-turning" was a decal.  So it's almost like using real wood to substitute for wood-graining.  I may be wrong, but I don't think anyone loses points for having panels engraved by Doug, even though they are not "correct" at all.

Hi Neil, The original engine turned panels were not decals. Plain un plated steel panels were engine turned on jigged presses and then sprayed with either one of two tinted clear lacquers. Once the lacquer starts breaking down they inevitably begin to oxidize which is why nice un rusted originals are so scarce. When cleaning off the oxidation one has to be careful not to over buff the shallow circular abrasions or they disappear..Just imagine if Buick had used an alloy instead of steel like all the aircraft and race car dash panels we love.

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This is probably a topic for another thread, but I'm only going on what Doug has told me.  I spoke to him about it last week because I have always been curious about it. He is adamant that the original pattern was a decal.  I tend to agree because you so often see cars (like mine) where someone got a little too aggressive trying to polish it, and they very easily got down to bare metal.  They have polished through the decal.  You can clearly see this because the demarcation between where the decal still exists and where it is gone is so clear.  

 

Of course, Seybold may be wrong, and I would be very interested in hearing whether you’re aware of any documentation or factory photos that confirm how it was actually done.

 

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, neil morse said:

This is probably a topic for another thread, but I'm only going on what Doug has told me.  I spoke to him about it last week because I have always been curious about it. He is adamant that the original pattern was a decal.  I tend to agree because you so often see cars (like mine) where someone got a little too aggressive trying to polish it, and they very easily got down to bare metal.  They have polished through the decal.  You can clearly see this because the demarcation between where the decal still exists and where it is gone is so clear.  

 

Of course, Seybold may be wrong, and I would be very interested in hearing whether you’re aware of any documentation or factory photos that confirm how it was actually done.

 

Sorry I cannot believe Doug said that. Just to remove the old turned finish takes some work. You must have gotten something mixed up talking with Doug.  It is rather obvious it is a traditional damascene finish and  not a decal . My own 41 has pretty good panels. they were quite tarnished but I carefully hand worked them and they look pretty good but a lot of my lacquer is flaked off and occasionally I freshen it up by softly hand rubbing it with Flitz paste so the bare metal wont tarnish.  I have considered stripping the remaining lacquer and respraying the tinted clear.  Neil it sounds like your panels were buffed smooth removing all the turning before you got it perhaps leaving nothing left for you to see. Read page 68 of Andersons book 1941 Buick restoration facts. In this photo you can clearly see the tinted lacquer has flaked off the top and the un coated damascene finish remains above. No decal just un plated steel. 

 

P7311557.thumb.JPG.fbe0d3a31e823cc19519d56ef242e469.JPG

Edited by Lawrence Helfand (see edit history)

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39 minutes ago, Lawrence Helfand said:

Sorry I cannot believe Doug said that.

 

OK, so I'm a liar and made this all up.  I invite you to speak to Doug yourself and get back to me.  I assure you I did not misunderstand him.  He has been quoted in another thread as having said the same thing, which is one of the reasons I wanted to speak to him personally.  I know that Anderson disagrees.  I have his book, and I also have a personal email from him in which he insists that the panels were actually engraved.  I asked Doug about what Anderson said, and his immediate response was, "He's wrong."  I understand we can disagree about how these panels were created at the factory, but please don't accuse me of misrepresenting what Doug said.  I don't have the definitive answer, but I assure you that I have accurately repeated what Doug told me.

 

The panels on my car have not been "buffed smooth" (although we see a lot of cars where this is the case).  On the contrary, there are just a few places where someone seems to have "polished" through the decal.  (See photo.)  You can see in this photo the clear demarcation between where the pattern exists and where it has been removed.  This is why Doug's explanation makes sense to me.  If the panels were actually engraved, I don't think there would be such a clear line between "pattern" and "no pattern."

 

Temp_Ammeter.thumb.jpg.b610aa820a00389fef75a0d287812855.jpg

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Also, getting back to my original point, I assume you will concede that Doug's panels, while very pretty, are different than the originals.  He has created something that is "not correct," yet is accepted as such by the judges.  Regardless of how they were originally done at the factory, this is undeniable.  (See comparison below.)

 

Original glove box door

 

481488578_IMG_1509(2).thumb.jpg.56f11a52c1563b530e4a77c8535ee43e.jpg

 

Doug Seybold glove box door

 

dashpanel.thumb.jpeg.a283c298999f41d43fc85ae2748b48e1.jpeg

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One additional comment about carburetor finishes.

 

Maybe 25 years ago, we were approached by an owner of one of the  "Classics" to restore his carburetor for an upcoming prestigeous  auto show, one that was invitation only.  Cost was absolutely no object. The carbuetor was a Stromberg. I pulled all the prints and did a meticulous restoration. The day after the show, I got a call from an extremely irate customer. The chief judge, who happened to be the leading authority on this make of car (his father and uncle had worked at the factory, and another relative was a dealer) docked my customer a point because I had painted the automatic choke housing. That point was enough to drop him from first to third. I offered to send him a copy of the drawing, which I did. About a month later, I got a call that, after showing the judge the original drawing, the judge allowed as maybe it was possible that he could be wrong; but by then it was too late to change the order of finish. He was invited to return next year.

 

The point being: IF ONE IS PLANNING TO SHOW THE CAR IN A JUDGED COMPETITION, THE CRITERIA BEING USED BY THE JUDGING AUTHORITY IS ALWAYS RIGHT, EVEN IF IT IS INCORRECT! So if someone is planning to show their car, disregard my comments concerning carburetor finish, and use what it being accepted.

 

Jon.

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7 minutes ago, carbking said:

One additional comment about carburetor finishes.

 

Maybe 25 years ago, we were approached by an owner of one of the  "Classics" to restore his carburetor for an upcoming prestigeous  auto show, one that was invitation only.  Cost was absolutely no object. The carbuetor was a Stromberg. I pulled all the prints and did a meticulous restoration. The day after the show, I got a call from an extremely irate customer. The chief judge, who happened to be the leading authority on this make of car (his father and uncle had worked at the factory, and another relative was a dealer) docked my customer a point because I had painted the automatic choke housing. That point was enough to drop him from first to third. I offered to send him a copy of the drawing, which I did. About a month later, I got a call that, after showing the judge the original drawing, the judge allowed as maybe it was possible that he could be wrong; but by then it was too late to change the order of finish. He was invited to return next year.

 

The point being: IF ONE IS PLANNING TO SHOW THE CAR IN A JUDGED COMPETITION, THE CRITERIA BEING USED BY THE JUDGING AUTHORITY IS ALWAYS RIGHT, EVEN IF IT IS INCORRECT! So if someone is planning to show their car, disregard my comments concerning carburetor finish, and use what it being accepted.

 

Jon.

 

Sad but true. Nobody can know all things about any car, let along many cars. It's the limitation of all judging and why it comes down to a beauty contest more often than not.

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N

12 hours ago, neil morse said:

 

OK, so I'm a liar and made this all up.  I invite you to speak to Doug yourself and get back to me.  I assure you I did not misunderstand him.  He has been quoted in another thread as having said the same thing, which is one of the reasons I wanted to speak to him personally.  I know that Anderson disagrees.  I have his book, and I also have a personal email from him in which he insists that the panels were actually engraved.  I asked Doug about what Anderson said, and his immediate response was, "He's wrong."  I understand we can disagree about how these panels were created at the factory, but please don't accuse me of misrepresenting what Doug said.  I don't have the definitive answer, but I assure you that I have accurately repeated what Doug told me.

 

The panels on my car have not been "buffed smooth" (although we see a lot of cars where this is the case).  On the contrary, there are just a few places where someone seems to have "polished" through the decal.  (See photo.)  You can see in this photo the clear demarcation between where the pattern exists and where it has been removed.  This is why Doug's explanation makes sense to me.  If the panels were actually engraved, I don't think there would be such a clear line between "pattern" and "no pattern."

 

Temp_Ammeter.thumb.jpg.b610aa820a00389fef75a0d287812855.jpg

Nobody called you a liar except you. What I said was figurative surprise not literal  accusation. Looks to me from the photo of your dash panel that someone used a buffing wheel and some aggressive buffing compound to remove some rusting and blew right through the pattern which is easy to do if you put a machine buffer to it . It also looks like the lacquer coating got hot along the edge and browned from the buffer heat which you dont see on my photo where the edge is just flaked away with age in a fractal pattern. Thats just what I see from your pic. If you look at the photo I posted you can see the lacquer stripped back by age and the un coated raw steel top section still has a pattern. Also I dont know how you could get a decal to conform to the surface of such a complex shape. The only technology for that in 1941 would have been in ceramic manufacturing my collage major where you have a printed   silica and color oxide decal applied with a special shaped applicator and then high fired to a vitreous glaze easily conforming to the curves and bends of a form. On My 1941 Buick four door parts car now in Poland I stripped the remaining lacquer from the dash panels with lacquer thinner so I could remove the oxidation from the bare areas with a mild solution of phosphoric acid and finishing with a hand rubbed Flitz polishing paste. Came out pretty good and I did not lose the pattern to much but some areas became fainter from working it where there was rust pitting. I finished it with rattle can clear lacquer for a decent result. I have had several dash panels to resurrect in the pursuit of finding a better set for my Century sedanette and found them all to suffer from the same condition and have not seen any display a smooth un turned surface where the coating has come off. I still find it hard to believe Doug thinks decals were applied having never seen any evidence of one myself. I would expect after forty years of industrial arts restoration work I could tell the difference. But all that said I am open to evidence of being wrong about the technique for this finishing process. Sorry you were offended Neil none was intended. 

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Posted (edited)

Just when I thought we had it....just got through speaking with Bill Anderson. He notes engines were tested before painting but not with using the engine fuel pump (and they are not red).  Engines were fed gas with some external source and if everything checked out, the block was painted and fuel pump installed.  What is not exactly clear is whether the fuel lines were installed but not hooked up  when the engine was tested and then painted.   Bill does not know definitively but suspects they were not. The picture of the Century red lines look factory correct in that they are shaped the right way, not bent, and have a clip holding them together - not an easy do-it-yourself look.  Not trying to pick a fight here, but I did notice Lawrence's pushrod cover is painted black and if this is not correct, and I don't beleive it is, than someone did some creative painting somewhere along the line. The fuel lines also look like they have been removed or at least moved around a bit and not in perfect factory configuration, like the Century, and this somewhat diminishes the argument that they were originally painted .  Conclusion: no definitive proof either way and one can point to evidence on both sides but the argument for leaving them unpainted seems a bit stronger in my view (until something changes). That said, either way would have to be acceptable from a judges POV.  

 

Issue #2 dash finish. Bill and some-other-guy-he-did-not -name are actively working on determining how these were done.  Preliminary findings are they were machine-turned and the process was complex starting with polished metal, machine turning the design, and either yellow or green tinted laquer or finish depending on the car. I'm just going to wait for his results.  If they were decals, you would think some enterprising restorer would make repros. 

 

Lastly, I'm surprised that we don't know more about these great cars and I urge fellow members to remember we are all after the same thing.

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by valk (see edit history)

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4 minutes ago, valk said:

Just when I thought we had it....just got through speaking with Bill Anderson. He notes engines were tested before painting but not with using the engine fuel pump (and they are not red).  Engines were fed gas with some external source and if everything checked out, the block was painted and fuel pump installed.  What is not exactly clear is whether the fuel lines were installed but not hooked up  when the engine was tested and then painted.   Bill does not know definitively but suspects they were not. The picture of the Century red lines look factory correct in that they are shaped the right way, not bent, and have a clip holding them together - not an easy do-it-yourself look.  Not trying to pick a fight here, but I did notice Lawrence's pushrod cover is painted black and if this is not correct, and I don't beleive it is, than someone did some creative painting somewhere along the line. The fuel lines also look like they have been removed or at least moved around a bit and not in perfect factory configuration, like the Century, and this somewhat diminishes the argument that they were originally painted .  Conclusion: no definitive proof either way and one can point to evidence on both sides but the argument for leaving them unpainted seems a bit stronger in my view (until something changes). That said, either way would have to be acceptable from a judges POV.  

 

Issue #2 dash finish. Bill and some-other-guy-he-did-not -name are actively working on determining how these were done.  Preliminary findings are they were machine-turned and the process was complex starting with polished metal, machine turning the design, and either yellow or green tinted laquer or finish depending on the car. I'm just going to wait for his results.  If they were decals, you would think some enterprising restorer would make repros. 

 

Lastly, I'm surprised that we don't know more about these great cars and I urge fellow members to remember we are all after the same thing.

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Peter the reason my valve cover is black is because It was swapped out for the red original that was slightly warped and I never got around to painting it red. The one it came with was red. My side cover was black when I got it. The mileage on the car when I bought it was around 27,000 miles with a ton of dirt covering the lines. The service record showed no engine work ever performed outside of a tuneup and oil change in 1963. Five years later in was stored for 45 years and I bought it soon afterwards in untouched condition. My un restored 1941 Century four door parts car was exactly the same with red paint covering fuel and vacuum lines. I could see the factory using a remote fuel source but of course they must have plugged the drive arm hole to retain engine oil. Perhaps they installed the compression nuts and flared the line after testing explaining why they show no paint. 

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16 minutes ago, Lawrence Helfand said:

Sorry you were offended Neil none was intended. 

 

Thanks, Lawrence, and I'm sorry I got a little hot under the collar, but again I assure you that Doug firmly believes that a decal was used.  I don't know whether or not he's correct, I'm just saying that his theory makes sense to me given the look of my dash.  I certainly respect your opinions and your qualifications, but your debate is really with Doug, not me.  Since he's probably stripped and refinished more of these than anyone on the planet, you would think he would know, but perhaps not.

 

15 minutes ago, valk said:

Issue #2 dash finish. Bill and some-other-guy-he-did-not -name are actively working on determining how these were done.  Preliminary findings are they were machine-turned and the process was complex starting with polished metal, machine turning the design, and either yellow or green tinted laquer or finish depending on the car.

 

Peter, I didn't mean to hijack your thread by raising this other issue, but it's something I've been curious about for a long time.  That's interesting that Bill told you he was working on it because I just sent him an email last week telling him what Doug Seybold had told me regarding the decal, and asking him whether there was anything in the Buick Heritage Alliance library that could answer the question more definitively.  I didn't mean to precipitate a battle of the Titans between Buick experts, but I hope that there are some documents or photos concerning what was actually done at the factory.

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Not at all my friend. I do feel like the ball at a Chinese pingpong tournament. After Lawrence's post, I'm back to leaning toward red lines being right...

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Since dash finishing has been brought up in this discussion, I will add a bit of information.

 

I should probably keep my mouth shut since I have no experience with 1941 Buicks personally, but I would offer that there could have been multiple suppliers of dash panels or multiple methods of finishing them back in the day. There is also a good chance that some may have been refinished or restored many years ago and might not have been finished as was done in the factory. I do know that there were DiNoc decals or transfers used on Buick dashes in 1937 and 1938. This has been documented from multiple sources. For some interesting reading, concerning DyNoc decals or transfers, check pages 14-16 of this issue of the Torque Tube at the following link. This came from 1939-1940 Fisher Body Service Manual, so it is not specific to 1941 Buicks but it does show that the technology existed before 1941. 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h25PPynyAZJrmFe0G6zPLSvpk5wf4S62/view?usp=sharing

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Just to muddy things up more....on my 1940 56S the panel is definitely DyNoc. It has started to peel down on the bottom edge and you can clearly see that where it has peeled off it is just smooth metal. Bits of plastic are still hanging at the edges of the peeled area so it easy to see it's DyNoc or some other type of decal. Fortunately it cannot be easily seen by the driver or those outside the car! This is not to say anything about other cars but this is what mine has. Eventually I will send the panel and glovebox door to Doug....

 

Cheers, Dave

Edited by Daves1940Buick56S (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Also I was researching the '38 dash to try to see if/how I can safely clean up the woodgraining. Like Matt said, the manual clearly states the dash woodgraining is a transfer decal that is put on before the dash is stamped with clear lacquer sprayed on after. I am wondering how the stamping did not stretch the decal in a way that would be visible but that is what they stated. If that is so, if decals were used on the 40/41 instrument and glovebox panels I would bet it would be done in the same manner, i.e. put on before stamping.

 

Cheers, Dave

Edited by Daves1940Buick56S (see edit history)

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