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Carolina Roadmasters: Taking over where Dad left off - 1930 Buick Series 61

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Well my progress of doing one thing per day has slowed but I did get some stuff done this week.


I dropped off some body panels at the painter/shop. The shop does the stuff I don't have the skill level to do or in the case of paint I'd simply rather leave to someone else. I also dropped off the rusty window channel they are got cut out the rust section and replace.


They also fixed my rod I snapped on the parking brake. I got that back today and all back together, just have to put it in the car.


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Also my shopping is going good...lol.


I found this piece of unobtainium was reproduced... It was an OMG cost but whatever.


And this nice eBay purchase (which cost me less than the oil tag) came this week.


Also got a Bob's order coming Monday and got a precut firewall pad coming soon too.


Bought a side glass too locally just waiting for them to finish it.

Edited by 38Buick 80C (see edit history)
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Not planning on working much on the car this weekend due to mother's day weekend.


Hopefully I will get my radiator, grill, and glass over the next week and those along with Bob's order will mean I can make some good headway the following weekend.

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On 5/3/2020 at 1:01 PM, 38Buick 80C said:

Some scratches in the windshield.





I polished with steel wool and mother's mag and aluminum polish. Followed be polishing compound.


Much better but still visible. Will just have to keep working at it. Can really see it on the inside. Also sratched from wiper.


I'm curious as to the process you used with steel wool and mag polish.

What grade of steel wool did you use?

Was this done only by hand motion or with a polisher?


I have wiper scuffing and wondered if this might reduce or clear it up.



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I used 0000 with the mothers by hand.


Then I used an electric random orbital buffer with some polishing compound (I'd have to look to see exactly what level) buy it's not my finest compound.

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On 5/10/2020 at 7:26 AM, Smartin said:

Try these guys...




Or these guys...




I believe either of them can make you a new cable.


Been emailing with both these guys and both seem like they know what they are doing and are very knowledgeable. Steve at Texas Industrial has been very helpful sending photos and stuff so he will get the business.


Thanks Adam.

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A whole lot of progress today (and last night)


I started with making rubber seals for the floor board. There seems a need at the trans and hand brake along with the starter pedal and finally the steering column and brake/clutch pedals



I ordered a 1/16 thick rubber sheet from amazon. The trans/hand brake rubber took three tries but I got it. I though about pop riveting but it seems a small screw and nut would be more authentic. I am missing the upper steering column cover  so here is the finished product for now... more on that later..




Next I glued the steering wheel together. I started with a super glue but then switched to a two part epoxy which was more forgiving. I had to clamp a lot in place to keep thing aligned.



next I installed the gear shift knob I got from Bob's



I had not planned on it, but I decided to clean up a bit and put the floor board and then carpet back in place ( I still have to replace the battery but what the heck. Then I proceeded to put the seat in place another thing I will have to come back to but I went down the rabbit hole...





In getting these thing out of the back half of the car look what i found


the missing upper half of the steering column cover


The upholstery on the seats will need attention unfortunately but for the purposes of getting the car where I can drive it and hopefully have it on the showfield in some shape or form for 2021 it is was it is.



Next i moved on to the window channel (also just received from Bob's)


Left front door


and then did the RR door and installed the glass in that door. That took a couple tries as I had to learn which way it goes and then how to get it situated on the regulator



found the door stops were never installed on this door (nor 2 of the reaming 3)...tomorrow's project probably.



After that i moved on to the front window. It was not moving up and down levelly across the front as the drivers side would come up more than the passenger side. I too k the header apart and fixed the gear mechaniimage000003.thumb.jpg.6873a694774ac3f2e8415deaf45ea4d3.jpgsm


I reinstalled it and it did the exact same thing. I determined it was hanging up on the right side HERE:image000005.thumb.jpg.013d6a3abaf66a66be81f17cae847be9.jpg


I was able to tap the nails on that piece and secure it out of the way and then after another reset of the window cranks it worked perfect. Very excited about that...



Moved on to the gas tank which has been soaking with EvapoRust. I pressure washed it inside and out  and ptua  good coat of paint on it. I installed the repainted strpas today and hope to put it back in place tomorrow (but the sending unit has a small pinhole in it so we'll see






Next I started messing with the vacuum wiper motor and installed it though it will have to come back off as i only had 10-32 Phillips head screws and they need to be slotted screws as Phillips head wasn't invented yet in 1930. I also need to get some vacuum tubing



finally I started putting the steering wheel controls in. I got part the support and the plastic base in





but I could not get the repro throttle control level on. It is a bit too tight and or the key way is to thick to go on to the column piece. I started to file the key way and then it was time to walk away before I broke something. 


Not pictured but I started working on the dash insert panel that gets wood grained. It is pitted pretty good, but it is the only one i have so I'll have to make it work. I put on a thick layer of primer/brown paint and did a little bit of wet sending. it showed prmise. I will play with it more tomorrow perhaps. The brow is a bit to dark and needs to be more caramel color for the wood graining ( A a butt walnut pattern).



Tomorrow my plan is to

1. install the gas tank ( an hopefully go get some ethanol free gas to put in it

2. install the throttle pedal ( found it with the steering column cover) i know it was somewhere

3. make another attempt at the steering column controls

4. grease the chassis (I had to go get another tube of grease)

5. install the missing door stops

6. mess with the opera lights at the back corners of the interior (we'll see if i actually install these or not, but i plan to learn what i need if i don't install them)

7. mess what appears to be some sort of door pressure switch for lights on the RR door that i noticed today. Not sure exactly what i need there but that what i plan to find out)

8. continue wet sanding the dash panel for wood graining.

9. watch the Darlington NASCAR race

10. mess with the fuel gauge and put the good surround, glass and face with the repro housing i got from Bob's




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Forgot to mention I bought on eBay an NOS dual rear speaker setup with fader and everything for my 1969 Dodge Charger. The seller was in Australia so it took nearly 2 months for it to arrive but I got it last week so I hope to also get that installed. I'm quite excited about that too.


And the B5 Blue on the Charger looks so damn stunning under the new LED lights...OMG...

Edited by 38Buick 80C (see edit history)
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15 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

This is really moving forward at such a brisk pace.  Looks Great Brian!   Has Dad seen the steering wheel together?  What was his reaction?


PS: I like your Regal.  


not yet.


the Regal is a company car...

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Got the gas pedal in however I noticed it was in a bind. Been messing around with it for about an hour and determined that the exhaust heat valve is what's causing the bind. However I don't have a flap in the exhaust section and the connection doesn't seem to want to come loose where I could just take it off and leave it off since I don't have a flat.


This is the connection that seems to be causing the bind.IMG_20200517_120445.thumb.jpg.81b535fd643d3dad30a566a6e5637c2f.jpg


This is the other end. The fall and socket joint is in a bind because the other joint is not letting it level out properly.


Edited by 38Buick 80C (see edit history)
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It's race time...


I greased the chassis...OMG there are a bunch of places to grease.


I did look at the opera lights and have some work to do on those including polishing the nickle playing. I will probably do that during the race.



Only need two of the 4.

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These were wrapped in newspaper dated December 26, 1985... So a Christmas present 35 years later.




There are a handful of pits that don't seem like they are gonna come out.

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Played with the headlights a bit more. The reflectors need to be replaced and then I am going to send them out for the UVIRA process which I've never done. I may send a set of 38 reflectors too while I'm at it.


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19 hours ago, 38Buick 80C said:


I greased the chassis...OMG there are a bunch of places to grease.


Probably a good 40 fittings and then another 40 hand points for the oil can. On the 1931 Cadillac's they were all nickle plated allemite with nickle plated covers on the fittings. 

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

Do you need the cover on first ? 


well I got the cover off with the tank in (granted it wasn't painted and I didn't shall we say take great care with it... but yeah will probably have to drop the filler neck side of the tank to make it easier. I definitely wanted to get it out of the way and no better place to store it than on the car.

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Progress photos from the paint shop.



Also I'm supposed to have 3 important things back before the weekend... The radiator, the grill slats and the driver's side front window channel. Gonna be a productive weekend. Good thing I got 3 days...😉

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Grabbed the back seat bottom from dad yesterday and cleaned it up and put it in, cause why not.




Just like grandma's couch... Comfy too. Now I have another place to sleep when I'm in the dog house. 😉

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I'm very confused by the wiring for the dome light and opera lights and the wiring diagram is, well not helping me at the moment at least.


The opera lights make sense as there is a hot and a ground. In the case of this car red for hot, black for ground.


Then the is a door pressure switch. Red and black wires coming out of that hole too but unless the black grounds to the body somehow. I don't see a place for it to connect.


Then the pillar switch has three wires. White, red and black. White makes sense for hot, red out the other side, but again not sure what to do with the black.


The wiring diagram seems to indicate either the pillar switch or the door pressure switch should operate  the lights so maybe the black is a whole secondary redundant wire and not a ground?

 Here is the wiring (it's for a 29 but I have 30 has a PDF and they are the same in for this item).



For now I wired the pillar switch with white and red. And trimmed it out leaving the black for later.IMG_20200523_112848.thumb.jpg.b6ec241a2a881780409c855f44fc884d.jpg


Also the dome light wood seems to be above the headliner in the correct spot and I can feel a wire to it (possibly 2 wires). But I feel no holes are wires in the wood itself so not really sure that's entirely how it needs to be an don't want to go cutting headliner to find out.

Edited by 38Buick 80C (see edit history)
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Looks like it has two circuits, either of which can power the dome light. In most cases, the door switches are grounded but it looks like they're hot on the wiring diagram. There's one power wire from the stop/backup light switch, but it splits to feed both switches so that either one can power the dome light. The three wires at the pillar switch are probably power in from the stop/backup switch, power in from the door jamb switch, and power out to the light. It looks like the wire from the door jamb should go to the side of the pillar switch that goes to the dome light so the light will come on when the door is opened regardless of pillar switch position. The door jamb button switch should have two terminals like a regular switch, not just one like a later switch that grounds to the body. Two wires in the door jamb is correct (power in and power out to the pillar switch).


You can do some continuity testing to figure out which wire travels to which terminal.


Hope that helps!

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1 hour ago, 38Buick 80C said:

I'm very confused by the wiring for the dome light and opera lights and the wiring diagram is, well not helping me at the moment at least.

Perhaps sit everything out on the workbench and make a "display" board for it all to test and figure out playing around with the wiring and a battery

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Dad and I did a continuity testing and got it all sorted out. Ugh that was a pain.


Still need to sort out the guts of the door pressure switch and take down the headliner to do the dome light mount.

Edited by 38Buick 80C
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Another time consuming item for this afternoon. The steering wheel controls.


I ended up having to take it all apart at the bottom of the steering box and unmounting the steering wheel to pull the rod guts out. From there I could get the controls on to the rods with a fine adjustment hammer.


Then I had to put it all back together.




I still have to do the light and horn button but I need to get some new wire first.


Unfortunately I noticed my window installation was unsuccessful as the window has separated from the channel. I will add some urethane adhesive next time (tomorrow).

Edited by 38Buick 80C (see edit history)
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