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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, I have to farm some work out on my 60 Electra.  I would rather be doing it myself, but due to health reasons, I can't move as well as I once did and getting on the floor will keep me on the floor.  So a good friend has offered to do the needed work

He lives in the same neighborhood where I used to live. Look at the size of his garage, with the step up in the front the Electra just fits. He keeps the garage door closed as his garage has AC.

More pictures coming as he gets to work after this weekend.

 

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Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
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He is a good friend.  I completely understand the cold concrete floor.  Once there getting up can be a trial.   What work are you having done on the 60?

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Chris,  I am rebuilding the Center link after seeing your post. Plus find out why it wanders and correct that.  Replace all the rubber brake lines and look at the other parts. We will also add a electric fuel pump and replace the 80 lb starter with a mini starter. Plus I am sure there will be more we find. And who knows, maybe an upgrade or two.

He is a good friend, I sold my 64 Riv to him. I don’t sell cars to people I know, but made an exception and that car now runs and looks better then ever.

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Bill,

   I have MOUNTAINS of parts for a 1960 Buick -- including U.S.A. made

(N.O.S.) Upper & Lower Ball Joints...

   If you need or want, you are welcome to call me......

        Craig --- 516 - 485 - 1935...... New York....

(When I get down on the ground -- you need a camera -- to watch me TRY and get up....)

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Good bet the center link rebuild will correct wander.  The lower ball joints when unloaded will exhibit some play.  The manual does describe how much play is allowable.  What cured my wander in the 60 was setting the toe.  I use the string and measuring tape method for setting toe.  Camber and caster never appeared to be a problem.  Putting her on an alignment rack was not necessary in my case. 

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That list of things to do kind of seems a little ambitious for just one weekend?  But motivation and "engagement" always help.

 

Laying on the ground, under a correctly-supported vehicle can be stress relief.  Plus laying there can be a great opportunity to stretch and get the spine re-aligned!  But after a while, getting vertical again will need to happen.  Rolling over and then progressively getting on "all fours", then using hands to steady one's self as vertical is slowly achieved again.  Always good when a plan comes together!

 

Keep us posted on the progress!

 

NTX5467

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Willis,  I agree, it is long for one weekend.  Thats why it will probably take a month to do 🙂.  Besides you know how you run into the "While I am here" repairs.

Not to mention its summer and hot, not conducive to driving a older in Texas.

 

Nope, can't get vertical from the ground right now. Hell, I can't even look in the bottom of the fridge without help getting back up.

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I get lazy just washing white walls. I had the garage built in 1988, right before home lifts got popular, 8" ceiling. Right now I am planning a pop up in the roof for 12" of lift height. Getting old.

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Working on the car just didn't happen this weekend. Life seems to have gotten in the way.

Parts are ordered and on the way.  Me, I had to deal with a tree that fell during a storm.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chris,  I got distracted a bunch over Memorial Day by strong storms.  The storm blew a tree into my house so I have been dealing with contractors and repair people.

 

BUT,  we had a day yesterday to work on the car. diagnostics were in order to see what ur baseline was.

Vacuum was 15 inches at idea and cold.

 

I had one questionable cylinder when doing compression tests. most were in the 150 - 175 range except for # 3.  It was at 120.  we ran a bore scope into the cylinder and saw nothing of excitement.

Put some oil into the cylinder and it jumped up to 175.  So I have one hole that is not sealing as well was it should.  

 

Plugs looked like the motor has been running lean / hot.  

By the end of the session, I was hot and leaning too.

 

We did manage to put a new mini starter in. Its nice lifting 8 lbs as opposed to 30 lbs for the old starter.

 

Pictures of the engine compartment as we were checking compression and the tree that has taken more of my time then I would like.

 

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Just a tip on test cranking an engine with the ignition enabled, ground the distributor lead from the coil that will reduce the secondary side resistance to nearly zero and not over tax the coil while cranking. Without clipping on a ground the resistance will be infinity or close and could damage the coil immediately or cause a potential failure in the future.

I know it is common just to let a coil or plug wire hang, but Ohm's Law can get you when you least expect it. Just a wire with two alligator clips will work.

 

That one cylinder should get a leakdown test. I have seen a couple of cracked pistons on 401/425 engines. If in doubt the heads come off those '60's pretty easy.

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5 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

That one cylinder should get a leakdown test.

Do the leakdown test with the piston at the top and bottom of the bore.

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Posted (edited)

@JohnD1956....nobody got hurt in the tree falling. The next couple of days were quite entertaining watching them cut and remove the tree. I sat under a tree with lemonade and enjoyed the show.  
Now the roof and outside wall are fixed and Sheetrock is been taped and floated. 
so progress has been made.

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
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So for the past few years I have had an on and off relationship with my factory AC.  I had the compressor, the Hot Gas valve and the vacuum switches that control where the air goes all tested and rebuilt by the firm in Tampa.

One of the goals of the work we are doing is to finally figure out where the R-12 and the air from the blower is disappearing to.

Rob, my friend and mechanic with an Air Conditioned garage, took the under hood section apart this evening and found massive leaks. 

All the air from the blower outlet was going out under the hood/inner fender instead of through the evap and inside the car. And you Couldn’t see that entire section of ductwork missing until he removed the hood hinge (see the arrow below).IMG_9617.thumb.jpeg.c7046683f9acce24fd52ba785225643e.jpeg

This is where all the AC blower pressure was going. 

Plus it was not only blowing out of that massive hole, but also out the back along the firewall ( left side arrow) and backward out to the engine compartment (top right) and I’m certain also out of the bottom which we cannot see.

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Even worse is that entire section was falling apart and off the duct. There were pieces inside of the duct and the whole this was brittle after 60 years of heat cycles.

 

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So much for the outside units, we think that the evaporated is leaking too.

 

More coming as we find out what else is going on.  Will probably make another run to his house on Saturday to get my hands dirty again.

 

 

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One thing I have to say is the firewalll is cleaner without the blower motor and housing right there. Not to mention all the vacuum and AC compressor and lines removed.

You can actually get to the spark plugs and dipsticks easily.

 

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The area where the A/C and heater is located under the hood is quite cluttered.  Without A/C life is much easier working in that area.  However, life is a lot warmer during the summer months while driving when there is not A/C in that area under the hood.  It will be nice when it button up, leak free and blowing cool!       

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Posted (edited)

Yes,  I am looking at the Vintage Air unit.  Put one in my Riviera and it worked well except when it got much over 100.  But then my daily driver has issues with that kind of heat too.

I am hoping to be able to use the OEM controls with the unit I choose. I want it to look as stock as I can.

Here is a picture of the mock up unit. Its nice they sell you a lightweight mockup unit to test with. You also can return it for your money back when you buy the real unit.

 

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Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
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It’s going to take some cutting and trimming to get the bigger unit to fit. Nothing major thank goodness and when it’s done, you won’t be able to tell.

The sheet metal outlined by the green tape needs to be removed. 
I am goi g to use a Vintage Air Gen IV Magnum evaporator. It is the biggest unit they make and with all the glass that 4 door hardtop has, I will need it.   
 

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10 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

It is the biggest unit they make and with all the glass that 4 door hardtop has, I will need it.   

 

At least the white paint will help reflect some of that TX sun...

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OEM is great when it works. Mine has been off and on for the past few years and it keeps me from enjoying the car when it’s summer. It got to the point where it’s pissed me off for the last time. Too many fixes and yet it keeps breaking with something new.

That is why I putting a replacement unit in. Trying my best to make it so you can’t tell. 

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Upgrading to one of the Denso aluminum A-6 look-alike compressors, too?

 

Sometimes, I wondered what some of those GM/Harrison engineers were thinking when they designed those systems?

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Depends on whether you are asking a design engineer or a production engineer.

 

Actually. the original is a higher performance design in both the evaporator type and the refrigerant specific heat. R134A is about 15% less efficient per pound than R12. Either will give the sensation of being cool on a hot day when they work.

 

Bernie

 

 

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Yes. It is frustrating to get in a car that you have rebuilt everything and it still doesn’t work. My modern underdash unit from Old Air Products has never needed a top off and has always blown cold. I installed it in my 55 wagon over five years ago. 

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1 hour ago, buick5563 said:

Yes. It is frustrating to get in a car that you have rebuilt everything and it still doesn’t work. My modern underdash unit from Old Air Products has never needed a top off and has always blown cold. I installed it in my 55 wagon over five years ago. 

 

 What Mike said. Sorta.  Going on the 4th summer on mine. An under the dash Mark IV, Sanden compressor and VA condenser.  No top up so far.   Mix nd mash?  

 

  Bill will be happy.

 

 

  Ben

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I saw a really slick installation on the Forum showing a modern system installed in a '64 Riviera. Tempting, but after 42 years of owning my '64 with inoperative AC I would just drive a different car on the few hot days we get here. Here at the 43rd latitude four windows down and the vents open does fine.

 

Hybriding old and new components can result in both predictable and unforeseen problems. It is pretty much all or nothing. Best to go with the full modern system.

Bernie

 

 

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5 hours ago, drhach said:

So really it just comes down to not having to deal with 60 year old frail or unavailable parts? 

 

That is part of it, but more of it is wanting to be able to take a drive and be comfortable while doing so.

I have spent the last 5 years working on the OeM AC system and I fix one thing and something else breaks.

So, this time when we found multiple leaks and deteriorating plastic I made the decision to go to Vintage Air. 

I had it put in my 64 Riviera (see BerniesPost Above) and it is still working well so that is why its going into the Electra.

 

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Bill

sorry to here about the house damage

please keep posting with pics of your progress

i had my 60 apart (no a/c car) for many years and while putting it back had the opportunity to get an a/c system out of a donor car

until i found that i would have to torch out a third of my firewall and weld in from the donor. TO MUCH WORK 

so real interested in how yours works out

is the magnum unit heat and a/c???

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