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First classic car! 55 Buick Special


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Hi all, Quinten here.  This is actually my wife's car as she found it and purchased it when we were in high school.  Once married (now OUR car!) we never had a garage to keep it in until now.  It has sat, rarely driven, but started occasionally, in her parent's garage for the past 15 years.  We're excited to get it back on the road and show it off.

 

Here it is on the way to the shop to get the brakes serviced so we can do some cruising here soon.  Just wanted to introduce myself and say that it is great that a forum like this exists.  I'm sure I'll have many questions down the road.  For now, I'm just looking for some advice in terms of starting points for maintenance.  I've checked the oil and fluids.  The belts and hoses seem fine for now.  The car starts just fine.  Any suggestions on specific components I need to be checking as it has sat for many years?

IMG_2505.JPG

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Thanks for the feedback.  We will be draining the fuel tank and replacing the fuel filter.  Any other suggestions or additives to be considered for fuel system?

 

The brakes are getting a full overhaul in the shop so I feel good about that.  We checked out all the brake lines with the mechanic and those are in good shape.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, QuinBob 55 Special said:

Thanks for the feedback.  We will be draining the fuel tank and replacing the fuel filter.  Any other suggestions or additives to be considered for fuel system?

 

The brakes are getting a full overhaul in the shop so I feel good about that.  We checked out all the brake lines with the mechanic and those are in good shape.

 

 

 

 

I do not add anything to the fuel tanks in my 54 or 60.  The gas does not sit that long in mine!  Each may sit for 2 weeks max before I at least start and run or take for a drive. If I left them for 3 months unattended I would add some gas stabilizer.  You  should have the 264 nailhead.  Same as my 54.  Run the low octane.  I do without any issues.   

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Nice Buick!  Speaking of gas, can you get non-ethanol gas where you live?  If so, I recommend that, even if you pay a premium.  I use that in all my cars without any need for Stabill or any other additives. I only use ethanol gas mix if I am going to use the gas up in a one week or two period. like if I am on a road trip.  

 

Also it may pay to have the coolant replaced. And to have a filter of some sort installed at the top radiator inlet.  This can be as simple as a piece of women's hosiery ( panty hose).  This will help filter out any debris that may be disturbed with running the engine, and keep the dirt from settling into the top of the radiator where it can clog up the core and cause overheating. 

 

You may also want to pull the distributor cap off and look carefully at the plate where the points are.  There is a small hole there with the word "oil" around it.  A few drops of light oil in that hole will help the distributor run smoother.  But do not overlook the fill tube attached to the distributor.  That also needs to be oiled.  

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 Nice looking car, welcome to the forum! The Dynaflow may tend to leak more, after such a long rest, so watch for leaks, and keep the fluid topped up, though these transmissions hold a lot of oil, you won't run it really low easily, but they can lose a lot quickly. The seals often swell back up after some regular use, but some leaks are pretty typical from those units.

 Enjoy the car!

 Keith

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Replace all of the rubber parts; they're now old and brittle.  Tires (dangerous if they're over 7 years old,) belts, and anything that has to do with fuel delivery or brakes.  Replace fuel lines with the fuel injection hose that's ethanol proof.  Brake hoses as well as the rubber parts of the wheel cylinders.  Not a great expense based on the value of the cargo (you and your loved ones.)  Gaskets in the carburetor could be dried out as well.  If they're dry, you'll leak gas. 

 

Enjoy.  I'm envious.  Reminds me of the car that I drove to and from high school.  Mine was all white with a red/black interior.  I traded it because I thought a 55 Chevy was more cool.  WRONG.  Around most car shows you can't swing a dead cat without hitting at least a dozen 55 Chevies.  The Buick will get you a lot of attention.  

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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On 9/28/2019 at 10:03 PM, RivNut said:

Replace all of the rubber parts; they're now old and brittle.  Tires (dangerous if they're over 7 years old,) belts, and anything that has to do with fuel delivery or brakes.  Replace fuel lines with the fuel injection hose that's ethanol proof.  Brake hoses as well as the rubber parts of the wheel cylinders.  Not a great expense based on the value of the cargo (you and your loved ones.)  Gaskets in the carburetor could be dried out as well.  If they're dry, you'll leak gas. 

 

Enjoy.  I'm envious.  Reminds me of the car that I drove to and from high school.  Mine was all white with a red/black interior.  I traded it because I thought a 55 Chevy was more cool.  WRONG.  Around most car shows you can't swing a dead cat without hitting at least a dozen 55 Chevies.  The Buick will get you a lot of attention.  

 

Sounds like I've got a lot to check out and keep me busy in the winter months.  Just got it back from the shop about a week ago after having the brake system overhauled.  We looked at the main brake lines with the mechanic and decided that they were in good shape, but pretty much everything else was either replaced or rebuilt.  The weather's been perfect so we've taken it out for a few cruises around town.  It's nice to see some heads turn and we get a lot waves as we pass by.

 

 

 

 

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On 9/21/2019 at 10:19 PM, JohnD1956 said:

Nice Buick!  Speaking of gas, can you get non-ethanol gas where you live?  If so, I recommend that, even if you pay a premium.  I use that in all my cars without any need for Stabill or any other additives. I only use ethanol gas mix if I am going to use the gas up in a one week or two period. like if I am on a road trip.  

 

Also it may pay to have the coolant replaced. And to have a filter of some sort installed at the top radiator inlet.  This can be as simple as a piece of women's hosiery ( panty hose).  This will help filter out any debris that may be disturbed with running the engine, and keep the dirt from settling into the top of the radiator where it can clog up the core and cause overheating. 

 

You may also want to pull the distributor cap off and look carefully at the plate where the points are.  There is a small hole there with the word "oil" around it.  A few drops of light oil in that hole will help the distributor run smoother.  But do not overlook the fill tube attached to the distributor.  That also needs to be oiled.  

 

I looked into non-ethanol gas over the weekend.  I never thought about ethanol being a problem until I read your comment.  We do have a couple stations around town so I'll look to hit those up when its time to refuel.

 

Thanks for the tip on the radiator and the distributor.  The coolant seems to be doing its job for now, but the radiator does look like it could use some attention.  Also, I know I need to address the hoses for the inlet and the outlet here soon.  I'll look to install your filter suggestion then.  

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Don't overlook the heater hoses while you're into the cooling system.  Good idea about the inline filter in the upper radiator hose.  An old mechanic taught me a trick for flushing out for heater core. Reverse the hoses going into the heater core.  The reverse flow of the coolant will discharge any gunk that's built up in there.  Having fun and tinkering with the older cars is half the fun of owning one.  Keep us updated.

 

Ed

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