MiniCJJ64

Receiving 1926 Buick Master Six soon.

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Hi my dad and I is about to be owners of a 1926 Buick Master six soon.  It was bought brand new in 1926 by my great great grandfather.  What I was told about it is it ran last in the late 60’s and has been in a garage since then.  Someone in the family has said the engine is seized, but I am sure it’s seized from just sitting.  Anyways when we receive this car I was wondering what should we start doing to it to get it running again.

 

Thanks for the replies

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If it were mine, the very first thing I would do is take the spark plugs out and spray penetrating oil in the cylinders. Get it soaking as soon as possible, because it is going to take days, maybe months. After that, just start cleaning it up and seeing what is bad and what is good. Figure out whether the doors are floppy, and how much wood work it is likely to need.

 

I like it. It looks like a great project, and it is extremely cool that it has been in your family so long.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

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     Welcome to the forum.  You have a really nice car to start with.  Much better than what a lot of us have started with.  You will get lots of help.  We will need to know what level of detail you want to do your restoration to.  There is a lot to do and I don't need to tell you that.  This is a long term project.  It can overwhelm you quickly so tell us what you want to tackle first.   Pasted here is what I send most new owners as it was very helpful when I was given this same advise.

 

Hugh

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New Buick Owners Guide & Prewar Starting guide.          Hugh Leidlein                  11-19-18

Welcome to Buick ownership.  Here are some tips to get you started.

The following books are necessary for Pre war Buick Ownership.   They come based on 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder models prior to 1925, or for Standard or Master 1925 and up.  Basically around 115” wheelbase is the smaller Buick series and 120 to 128” wheelbase is the larger Buick series. 

The Buick Heritage Alliance sells the following books.  The quality of the copies is only “fair” in many cases.  This may work for some people, depending on how many pieces your car is missing or needing.  I suggest buying an original book of parts if you can find it due to the better print quality.  

1)      The “Book of Parts” for your year.  

2)      The “Shop Manual” for your year

3)      The “reference book” for your year (of lesser importance if you can find a shop manual).

It is helpful in many cases to obtain copies of the parts books for 1 or 2 years before and after your model year.  Many times there is additional information or photos that will help with your understanding.

Note: Only a handful of parts used on a 4 cylinder model fit a 6 cylinder model.  Same with so few Standard parts will fit a Master.  The 4 cylinder line became the Standard, and the 6 cylinder line became the Master so there is interchangeability in that order.  Parts interchange is closest based on wheelbase of the models      

There is also available a big book of parts “Buick Master Parts List 1916-1932”.  This 3” thick book provides a listing of the years and models for each part.  You will have better luck finding a part knowing it’s year and model range rather than just looking for a single year.   This book does not have a lot of pictures and will not be a good substitute for the book of parts for your year, but I refer to this book frequently.

There are very few exploded views of parts, so take a lot of photos and notes during disassembly. 

------------ Precautions------ THESE ARE NOT MODERN ENGINES------Damage can occur.

The first order is usually to see if the engine will turn over.  Do the following first.

1)      Pull the Water pump hoses

 The water pump is on the side of the motor.  The issue is that the camshaft gear is fiber, and it drives the waterpump.  If the water pump is frozen or drags, it will destroy the timing gear teeth.  Parts will fall in the engine.  The camshaft gears are expensive and new gears are not of the same quality as the originals.  The first order of business should be to remove the water pump hoses to ensure it rotates on the shaft.   Without the hoses, it should rotate 180 degrees. Note that some earlier models have a water pump housing bolt that also needs to be removed.       

 

Water pump shafts are steel unless a recent replacement to stainless.  The water pump bearings are bronze.  If the antifreeze was not cared for, rust on the WP shaft could wear the bronze bearings out quickly.  The WP seal is graphite packing.  The wear surface should be smooth and the packing should only be tight enough to prevent major leaks of the waterpump.  It should drip a little bit here and there.  If it does not, the packing is too tight.  Most people replace the shaft with a stainless steel shaft.

2)      Change the oil (and filter if it has one).  Strongly consider dropping the oil pan as well. 

An oil change is probably long overdue.   Don’t cut corners and skip dropping the pan.  Pre 1926 cars had no oil filter.  Non detergent oil was used for years, and there is likely a lot of sludge in the oil pan.  I have seen the oil pick up screens clogged from sludge, and this will starve the engine and could suck the screen in.  Bob’s Automobilia or Olsons Gaskets has an oil pan gasket set.  This is not a hard job.

3)      Oil the Cylinders

Pull the spark plugs, put some oil in the cylinders.  If penetrating oil or Marvel mystery oil was used in the cylinders, you must follow it with regular oil. 

4)      Pull the valve cover. 

Squirt oil on the rocker assembly.  Bump the rockers with a rubber mallet over the valve springs to ensure that all the valves move.  Drip oil on the valve stems if you can.

After doing the above 4 items, you could rotate the motor, even crank it with the starter.  It would be great to get a compression tester.  Around 60 lbs pressure in each cylinder is a good motor.  There should be less than 10% deviation in each cylinder.    

Cranking the motor is a good thing to check off the list.  A compression test gives a good check on the health of the motor. 

Preparing for starting – knowing that the motor turns over:

1)      Pull the carburetor. 

a)      Clean out the bowl. 

b)      Use carburetor cleaner to ensure all internal passages blow thru. 

c)       Consider installing a Nytril float – available from Bob’s Automobilia. 

d)      Check that the air valve lays smooth against the carburetor inside diameter and that there is a gap at the base of the air valve.  You may need to file the pot metal venturi block.  There are forum posts on this – search “Marvel Carburetor”.

2)      Check that the exhaust valve (on the front end of the exhaust manifold) is open.

3)      Rebuild the distributor.

4)      Rebuild the Water pump. (see the forum for upgrades to the seals and shaft).

5)      The fan hub is an old design that requires frequent oiling and will leak oil all over the motor.  Replace it with a sealed bearing hub – Several suppliers for this.  Search the AACA Forum “fan hub”.

6)      Rebuild the vacuum tank and gas tank * I prefer to do the “fuel supply” system later as there is a lot to this.  For a first start, I hang a 1 quart used lawnmower tank and feed the carburetor with this from a reinforced rubber fuel hose, or just pour gas in the vacuum tank.  

 

Other notes:

Oil and grease is usually long overdue for removing the old and installing new (and not just installing new.)  Clean out as much of the old as you can first.

The firing order is 142635.  (Reverse of a modern engine).

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Thanks for the awesome reply.  I sure am glad you have great details.  I am going to try my hardest not to break anything.  Also I forgot to add.  We will start with the easy free/labor stuff first.  Learn as much as possible and free up the motor and get it running.  Change oils and do adjustments.  All in all get it running and enjoy it as is until we decide how much we want to restore it.  Leaving it as original as possible. 

 

Edited by MiniCJJ64 (see edit history)

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My 1922 Buick had been sitting since 1959 when I bought it.  I soaked, soaked and soaked the cylinders for 2 1/2 months with a rotating combination of PB blaster, Marvel Mystery oil and ATF.   Loosened one connecting rod and was able to move #1 piston about 1/2 inch using wooden dowl with relatively light impacts with a hammer. That was at about 2 months since I started soaking. Finally after the 2 1/2 months I moved the crank ever so slightly using a flywheel turner and then I used a back and forth motion turning the flywheel until I could easily make a 360 degree turn.

 

I do believe the tappets could have contributed since some were very difficult to move/ remove.  I soaked them with PB Blaster about as long as I soaked the pistons. I made sure my valvetrain was removed before trying to turn the crank so I had no chance of breaking anything.

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Our ‘27 sat for some 20-ish years and I followed Hugh’s list and didn’t have any issues.  I did pull the plugs and every two weeks I’d squirt Marvel Mystery Oil and Kroil into the cylinders.  Then two weeks later I’d repeat and after a month or so I slowly started to hand crank the engine over.

 

I was worried their would be rust on the cylinder walls so I was very careful.  
 

🤞🏼🤞🏼 No issues that the folks here haven’t been able to help me resolve yet!!

 

Invaluable resource here to say the least.!!

 

EDIT:

I want to add that my engine was free and not seized in anyway, I mentioned putting MM and Kroil in the cylinders every two weeks due to the fact that the car sat for 20+ years in a non climate controlled garage and I didn’t want to have any issue if possible!!

 

My statements above earlier made it sound like my engine was seized and I wanted to clarify!

Edited by Crazyfamily (see edit history)

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Don't put more than 7 ounces of liquid in each cylinder to soak. If you do, you won't be able to turn the engine if the spark plugs are in due to hydro lock. Your engine is 274 cubic inches which is 46 cubic inches per cylinder. If the compression ratio is 4.5 to 1 your combustion chamber is 13.1 cubic inches which is 0.9 cups  ≈ 7 ounces. 

 

46 + x = 4.5 x

 

46 = 3.5 x

 

46 / 3.5 = x

 

x   ≈  13.1

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The pistons come out the bottom on these engines. You don’t really need to pull the head at this point.  You want the plugs out to put lubricant into the cylinders. I like the idea of working from the flywheel end and not the hand crank for getting the engine to turn.  The hand crank assembly is not that strong.  Soaking and patience are key.  After the soaking, leave it in gear and get 4 people (2 front 2 back) and push the car back and forth and see if that bumping is enough to get it to break free. Be sure the water pump is free or removed. 

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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After you put the soaking solution in, put the plugs back in so the acetone doesn't all evaporate. It probably will anyway which is why people mix it with something that will stick around for a while. The acetone dissolves the varnish and the ATF replaces it when it evaporates. The reason engines get stuck is the oil and gasoline residue turns to varnish. 

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1926 and 1927 models are virtually the same. But, I believe you may have a 1927 Model 47. Quick ways to tell are 1. the data plate on the firewall (if still there) will say 26-47 or 27-47. 2. The visor in 1926 wrapped around the windshield header. In 1927 it attached to the front of the header - from the pictures, this is what makes me think it is a 1927. 3. New for 1927 was a funnel in front of the engine oil filler tube to catch air and ventilate the crankcase. 1926 did not have this. 4. The exhaust manifold for 1927 had studs in the head at the front and rear outer edges. 1926 did not have. 5. The spare tire carrier has the year stamped into it on the riveted on strap that attaches to the frame cross member. You should be able to see it looking down standing behind the car.

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Bob is a great resource for this particular model car. Photos when we visited on our way to the BCA nationals in 2017

DSCF6116.thumb.JPG.48032b6b6e9c13576b3821838c6adadc.JPG

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DSCF6120.thumb.JPG.e35bbbcb3e2d9bd9bf543ce88867b12e.JPG

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16 minutes ago, dibarlaw said:

Bob is a great resource for this particular model car. Photos when we visited on our way to the BCA nationals in 2017

DSCF6116.thumb.JPG.48032b6b6e9c13576b3821838c6adadc.JPG

DSCF6118.thumb.JPG.1b75fdbdcccc5a0b682d0a925acc1d0a.JPG

DSCF6120.thumb.JPG.e35bbbcb3e2d9bd9bf543ce88867b12e.JPG

 

WOW!

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I dont feel that just changing the oil would be OK if the car has just sat for a long time. If it were mine I'd drop the pan and clean as much as possible, including the oil pump.

Droping the pan is easy and cheap insurance - but dirty.

I believe Bobs Automobilia will have the gasket necessary

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1 hour ago, DonMicheletti said:

I dont feel that just changing the oil would be OK if the car has just sat for a long time. If it were mine I'd drop the pan and clean as much as possible, including the oil pump.

Droping the pan is easy and cheap insurance - but dirty.

I believe Bobs Automobilia will have the gasket necessary

 

You absolutely need to drop the oil pan. Make your own gasket if you can't buy one. Buy the cork gasket material, it usually comes in 36 inch rolls. That's long enough, make 2 gaskets, one for each side. Buy the gasket hole punch by Pittsburgh Tools at Harbor Freight they are cheap:
https://www.harborfreight.com/9-piece-hollow-punch-set-3838.html

.
 

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2 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

Make your own gasket if you can't buy one.

You can buy one from Olsen's Gaskets.  https://www.olsonsgaskets.com/

 

But, first and foremost, oil everything!  Start with the hood & door hinges so you don't bend or break them while working on other items.  Don't get ahead of yourself by diving into the big jobs first.  Take your time and only do what you know how to do.  Leave the expert jobs to experts.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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