bellhp

Helping a friend get his 1939 special mod.41 rolling

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Hi My name is Richard , My friend ( also Richard) is unfortunately going blind and can no longer work ( he's a saturation diving life support tech ) and also can no longer drive and is moving from Texas to Missouri and selling his classic cars to fund the move . His 42 Nash is sold but this Buick and his 65 Olds 98 convert are not generating the interest he was hoping for . I offered to store his Buick for him and to fix it's issues in an effort to get a good price for the car , that being said I love the car it is very solid and if I can scrape together the cash I would love to own it. I am uploading a pic for ya'll and as you can see it was previously painted white (not available in 39 ) the correct color is Rainier Blue with Taupe Mohair trim . The interior of the car as it sits is Red Velour ( yeah... I know) . The engine runs well but I have only started it enough to get it on the trailer and bring it home to Louisiana and park it in my shop. The Brakes are shot ( haven't looked at them yet ) and the wiring is original cloth wrapped and bare in most places under the hood so I removed the battery . The Tires are old and appear to be off a circa 1950 Buick based on the 15" size and the design of the hubcaps .The sidemounts contain what look to be the original tires and rims ( Dark blue with 3 ivory pinstripes and 6.50 x 16 tires ) but the sidemount covers need adjustments , the driver side door will actually hit the sidemount if it is opened all the way and the passenger side seems to lean a bit too far outboard ... This is one of the issues that I'm sure can be fixed with just some time and effort and help from some of the knowledgeable folks on this site . I don't have any specific questions for ya'll at this time , just thought I would say hi and let ya'll know what I was up to .  Rich

20191024_202512[1].jpg

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Hello there.  A lot of what you are talking about may or may not be a problem worth addressing depending on what he is expecting out of the car.  I have a freshly completely restored 1939 Special myself, and I know mine isn't worth much.  There isn't much fruit on the tree to begin with when you are talking about a 1939 4 door Special.

 

I do know the door hitting the sidemount is "normal" and one of the main reasons most Specials don't have sidemounts.

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Thank you for the reply ... I read through your build and I commend you for your efforts .  I agree that the value of these cars is low , and I suspect my friend paid too much when he purchased it but ... here we are . I have a hard time believing that Buick would consider the door hitting the sidemount as normal though... I started typing something about Buick build quality bla-bla... then I remembered this is a short frame car ... so there's that. Rich

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11 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

Hello there.  A lot of what you are talking about may or may not be a problem worth addressing depending on what he is expecting out of the car.  I have a freshly completely restored 1939 Special myself, and I know mine isn't worth much.  There isn't much fruit on the tree to begin with when you are talking about a 1939 4 door Special.

 

I do know the door hitting the sidemount is "normal" and one of the main reasons most Specials don't have sidemounts.

 

8 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

Yes, I should have said “common,” not “normal.” 

The doors should have a restriction (on the rod) that does not allow the door to open as far as on non sidemount car. If the side mounts were from another car or a door stop the restriction may not be there. But many doors clip the side mount's.

 

Getting it to run & stop will help to get a better price. Original 16 inch wheels will be better than 15 inch.  Bare wires are a fire risk.

Has small wiper transmissions, so as you state may/will be the short chassis version. A photo of the cowl data plate would be interesting.

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)

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"1939_Buick", can you please explain about the "small wiper transmissions"? That's a new one on me. So, I guess the stands the wipers sit on are smaller and narrower on the early 1939s and wider on the later ones? Never read or heard about that before. Wow, I am still learning about Buicks after 40+ years of working on and owning them! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Sorry to hijack the thread, but this is interesting!

 

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, Texas

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here's a photo of the data plate you asked for ... in regards to the door restrictions the car has them and on the passenger side the door opens till the restriction stops it and the sidemount clears ... on the drivers side the door hits the sidemount before it gets to the restriction ... I'm sure something is goofy with the driver side sidemount adjustment . I haven't taken that one off to look at it yet . I just got the car in the shop Friday night right before Tropical storm Olga hit us . I am still without power here ... running on generator since saturday morning . 

20191021_075442.jpg

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The door stop adjustment is easy, unless the rubber stopper has deteriorated.  Just unpin the little bar (might be a pin or screw) from the body and then turn it.  It threads into the stop inside the door.  It should shorten or lengthen depending on which way you turn it.  
 

There is a high probability that the stopper in the door has deteriorated, in which case it won’t adjust, and that might actually be the problem.   It will be sloppy and loose allowing the door to open a little farther, possibly too far with the side mounts.  That’s still an easy fix, just more involved, if you can get the door panel off without destroying it.  

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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Thanks , I will get the panels off and see whats going on in there .  I need to get it on stands and inspect the brakes and see what parts it needs to get them working.

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You are correct on the wheel covers. They are 1950.  I am betting switching back to the "proper" wheels will cost more than the price increase in car value.

 

  Any pics of the engine? Driver side down low.

 

  Ben

Edited by Ben Bruce aka First Born (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, Pete Phillips said:

"1939_Buick", can you please explain about the "small wiper transmissions"? That's a new one on me. So, I guess the stands the wipers sit on are smaller and narrower on the early 1939s and wider on the later ones? Never read or heard about that before. Wow, I am still learning about Buicks after 40+ years of working on and owning them! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Sorry to hijack the thread, but this is interesting!

 

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, Texas

The early wipers, as the car in post 1, are smaller and the pivot point is below/at the glass line.  The wipers blades do not park well (why these are at 45° above)

The later, as image below, are taller and pivot higher / park horizontail (Will find better images tomorrow).  The cutout in the body is different, as it the gasket.

This change happened at a low chassis number, as did the short/long chassis change and fine/coarse (45/39 vertical bars) grill change. But not all the same time.

There are better images in the Bugle over the years

1939 larger wiper.jpg

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Door check rod (found while looking for wiper images)

The rubber buffer has probably disintegrated / broken

I think cars with side mounts have a shorter rod and/or more thread so to restrict the door opening

 

The chassis serial number is near the starter motor. May be covered with dist grease

The engine serial number is near the distributor on a machined flat

 

Bob's will become your friend  https://bobsautomobilia.com/

But also check you local auto parts store

Door Check.jpg

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)

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I agree Ben ... I need to work with what I've got for the time being . That's good info on the wipers too 1939_Buick , I knew about the short frame and the coarse fine grill , but not the wiper change . Thanks for the bumper stop picture . 

Frame # 13424862

Engine# 43598689

 

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Here is a picture of me and my '39 in 1974. You can see the lower wiper pivot point on it.

002.thumb.jpg.4844962021d589689944a744d8f78e51.jpg

 

Also, on the topic, mine was a sidemount car with streamboards and Century style stainless window trim.

 

I purchased the car, running and drivable from the owner of a '39 four door convertible. He had the car shipped to western New York from Wisconsin and swapped front fender assemblies to make his car a DSM. His name was Fox from Brockport, NY if you know the car.

 

You know, cars weren't so cheap back then. I was 24 years old and paid $1,000 for a second car. That convertible he had would have cost about $2,000.

 

Oh, short chassis version, as well.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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60FlatTop ... Awesome picture , is that car Black or Blue , Mine is supposed to be Rainier blue (531) which is very dark and looks black in most of the pictures I've seen . Rich

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Off topic

1939 wiper variations

[The black divider between the front windows is not correct]

1939 Wipers_s.jpg

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On 10/29/2019 at 11:11 PM, bellhp said:

I agree Ben ... I need to work with what I've got for the time being . That's good info on the wipers too 1939_Buick , I knew about the short frame and the coarse fine grill , but not the wiper change . Thanks for the bumper stop picture . 

Frame # 13424862

Engine# 43598689

An early built car

1939 chassis numbers started at 13388547 (Flint). Yours is 36315 from that. With production of 208,259 that's 17%

1939 engine numbers started at 43572652 (First 4 = 40 series). Yours is 26037 from the that  12%.

Body 8193 I think means 8193th of that body style made at Flint (Sean1999 is the guru on these data plates)

The inwards stamp beside 41 may be a 6.  Six wheel equipped???

 

So short chassis, fine grille, steering box ratio 19.0 : 1 (later was 17.5:1), small wipers 

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20191028_134737.thumb.jpg.5b0c0b1a0cd2a9f97351b6e4750c09b8.jpgWell I got my power back on after four days of running on generator ...  took the door panel off and adjusted the door stop , thanks guys... door no longer hits side mounts . passenger side still leans outboard as seen in the included pic ... I appreciate the effort to research the numbers , here's a twist for you though ... it's got a coarse grill . I suspect that it was replaced at some point do to damage . The hood trim and emblem show signs of damage ,But the sheet metal is perfect with no bondo ,so I suspect the nose was changed out from a later car  ... the white paint is slightly different on the nose as well as having the coarse grill . I noticed this while removing the fog lights and oogah horn . didn't like the way those fogs covered up that pretty grill ... reconnected the stock Buick Dual notes .

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Thanks Billy , I've wanted a 39 since I was a kid ... I'm just not in a position financially to purchase another project... although ...I've told myself that before .

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Very common for grilles to be changed. They are fragile. At times you see cars with 1 of each design left/right

 

Have seen issues with side mounts before. Modern tires are not the same shape/proportions/size as in 1939

 

New front repro emblems available from Bobsautomilia as a price. 

The car is missing the ss strip from the emblem down to bottom valence between the grilles. That trim get damaged easily.

 

The best source of pre war Buick parts is Dave Tacheny in Champlin, MN. He specializes in 1936-1941 Buick parts. He is old school:- no email. The best way to contact him is to call him between 4 and 7 pm Central at 763-427 3460. Can be hard to contact: keep trying. You can also write him a letter. His address is 11949 Oregon Ave N., Champlin, MN 55316. 

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/206688-dave-tachney/

 

Easy to send a lot of money on small things that only '39 people would notice.  Would not increase the value/saleability of the car by much, if anything

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)

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Thanks again , yeah I noticed that trim piece missing but didn't mention it . This weekend I'm going to jack the car up and see what demons are hiding behind the wheels ... I just love fixing brakes 🙄 .  I mentioned my power was off for 4 days ...well my road was flooded too ... just received a brake drum yesterday via UPS that I had ordered for my daily driver 66 Ford Ranchero ... swapped that out during my lunch break at work today . Yay.

also ... another thing I realized was that the headlight switch that I thought was broken ... Isn't ... the knob is just missing and the stem was pushed in all the way which is how the switch gets removed by inserting an allen key . So long story short ... I just need a knob.

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Repro plastic knobs are made by Skip Boyer, PA.  Headlight switch knob was $13.50 in 2015 (do not have a newer price list). On ebay as bardroy. 

 

And https://forums.aaca.org/topic/188143-reproduction-knob-source/?tab=comments

Was a good image in that thread, but been lost due to software upgrades

Unsure if he does the headlight knob

 

Or just fit another knob.

The light switch can be tricky & fail/cook

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)

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Didn't dig into the brakes today ... decided to work on the wiring instead . Are the wires in these cars Tinned copper?

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Bobs will have all the brake pieces you need except the steel lines.  He will even have the parking brake cables.   805-434-2963

 

Don't forget to lube the trans shift cable

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