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Noobie and his '39 Century


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So, progress continues!  Took out the plugs and added oil into the cylinders a few times and turned it by hand. Added 3qt of oil in the top rapidly to try to fill the valve cover and get oil in a few passages.  Next day drained out all that oil and put in 6qt fresh.   Turned it by hand a few times over the week. 

 

Hooked up a battery and let it spin a few times without plugs. (after unsticking the solenoid)  Put in the plugs and gave it a few more spins, but no spark.  Popped the distributor cap and found the points were corroded.  Dad couldn't resist the challenge so we applied a bit of emory paper and gas in the carb... success! https://photos.app.goo.gl/rztJANoieWY28nNGA

 

Moving on to getting more systems running - fuel pump is loose and ready for future work and tonight I pulled the master cylinder.  Would love to replace it with a dual circuit version, but haven't found anyone with a clear recommendation yet to keep it simple. Next step open up the front drums and see what we've got.  Gradually try to get stuff going and maybe easy upgrades as I go.  

 

Would love to find a way to flush the brake lines and fuel lines . 

 

more good news, tail lights and rear blinkers working well.  Thanks for the advice along the way!

 

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12 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Good progress, C.

  I would not be concerned about the single master cyl.  Failures where a double helps are RARE.

 

  Ben

True, but parts are cheap and readily available.  Partly leaning that way because I would like to be able to drive it a reasonable amount and don't know how the original brakes will work. 

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I have made a positive brake bleeder that works great for flushing and bleeding the brakes.  I took an old canister oil filter and attached a rubber hose to the bottom with an airline female quick disconnect on the end.   I drilled a hole in the top and  installed a tire valve stem in the hole. I took a master cylinder fill cap and drilled and tapped the cap and installed a mail airline quick disconnect.  

partially fill the cannister with brake fluid, hang on a bungy cord over the master cylinder, connect the hose to the cap on the master cylinder and apply 1-2 psi air pressure to the cannister.  go to the right rear wheel push a piece of clear vinyl tubing onto the bleed fitting and the other end into a catch pan.  open the bleeder and let the  fluid flow till it is clear and bubble free.  Do the same to the other wheels.  Don't let the cannister run out of fluid as you will let air into the system.  

 

Bob Engle

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 9:14 PM, C-Lamb said:

True, but parts are cheap and readily available.  Partly leaning that way because I would like to be able to drive it a reasonable amount and don't know how the original brakes will work. 

 

I am sure that the 1939 Century brake system is as good as those on my 1937 Century and 1938 Century. The original brake system in proper condition will lock up all 4 wheels. Restore it back to original condition and you will be fine. 

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On 10/14/2020 at 11:35 PM, MCHinson said:

 

I am sure that the 1939 Century brake system is as good as those on my 1937 Century and 1938 Century. The original brake system in proper condition will lock up all 4 wheels. Restore it back to original condition and you will be fine. 

Thanks Matt, that's helpful and good to know.  Has anyone upgraded to the larger drums/spindles from ~'42 or so?

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I have driven my 1937 Century from North Carolina to a tour in Indiana and back to another tour in Ohio and back home the next year. The car is a 6 volt, bias ply tire, unrestored non-modified but well maintained 1937 Buick. The Buick engineers knew what they were doing in that era. The cars were designed to be driven. Properly maintained, they can still be driven anywhere.  Lots of people seem to think you have to modify cars to make them "better" or "reliable". My personal experience tells me that they are mistaken. Fix what is wrong with it, and you will be fine. You don't need to "upgrade" or "modify" anything. 

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2 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

I have driven my 1937 Century from North Carolina to a tour in Indiana and back to another tour in Ohio and back home the next year. The car is a 6 volt, bias ply tire, unrestored non-modified but well maintained 1937 Buick. The Buick engineers knew what they were doing in that era. The cars were designed to be driven. Properly maintained, they can still be driven anywhere.  Lots of people seem to think you have to modify cars to make them "better" or "reliable". My personal experience tells me that they are mistaken. Fix what is wrong with it, and you will be fine. You don't need to "upgrade" or "modify" anything. 

Thanks! That's helpful.

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 About the brakes. I have a '41 Roadmaster which I restored as a driver some years ago, and I do drive it quite a bit. The brakes are stock, and work very well, I keep the emergency brake in good condition, just in case.

 As a previous poster said, mine will also lock all the wheels up at speed.

 However, lining type is very important. I also have a '56 Roadmaster, which actually has slightly wider drums, and power assist, but after replacing the entire system a few years ago, and it needed it, the stopping power was terrible. The lining material was a newer, and harder type, which did not grip the drums nearly as well as the original.

 I am now running Kevlar lining material, which seems to be much better, though I don't have them very well broken in yet.

 So with a properly set up system, they work very well.

 Keith

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11 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

 About the brakes. I have a '41 Roadmaster which I restored as a driver some years ago, and I do drive it quite a bit. The brakes are stock, and work very well, I keep the emergency brake in good condition, just in case.

 As a previous poster said, mine will also lock all the wheels up at speed.

 However, lining type is very important. I also have a '56 Roadmaster, which actually has slightly wider drums, and power assist, but after replacing the entire system a few years ago, and it needed it, the stopping power was terrible. The lining material was a newer, and harder type, which did not grip the drums nearly as well as the original.

 I am now running Kevlar lining material, which seems to be much better, though I don't have them very well broken in yet.

 So with a properly set up system, they work very well.

 Keith

Thank you for the insight, I will stick to stock and see how it all looks for now.

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Pulled the front hubs today, look very good inside, below. 

 

Questions:  

The drums seem to be attached to the hub with 3 pins that don't look like they are easy to remove...  Should I mess with them at all?

 

Starter - I was able to start it the engine with a bit of gas in the carb and pressing the accelerator.  But when the gas ran out, the starter resumed cranking immediately.  Seems like that's not the right answer?  What prevents the starter from re-cranking ?

 

Thanks!

Chris

IMG_20201017_201756.jpg

IMG_20201017_201738.jpg

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If you read through my 1938 restoration story on this site, you will see how to disassemble and go through the brake system. That is exactly how the Buick accelerator start system should work. If the engine is not running and the accelerator is pressed, it activates the starter system. If you don't have a factory service manual, you need to get one. It will explain how all of the systems work and how to work on them. 

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As  above you need to get a manual

 

Download the 1942 Buick shop manual for free. All of it section by section.

Or click the pdf link to pay.

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/manuals/Buick/1942/Shop Manual/

It is very comprehensive and has information that can be used with all straight 8’s.

It has more information than was included in older “Shop Manuals” before 1942

The 1942 has a good explanation of how the accelerator starter work.  Often it is bypassed with a hand switch.  But good if it works

 

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/index.php

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/library/52_shop/index.php

 

The brake drum will come of the hub. CRC-WD40 or/and a little heat. Be gentle. 

Be careful not to put too much force and distort/crack the drum

 

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, MCHinson said:

If you read through my 1938 restoration story on this site, you will see how to disassemble and go through the brake system. That is exactly how the Buick accelerator start system should work. If the engine is not running and the accelerator is pressed, it activates the starter system. If you don't have a factory service manual, you need to get one. It will explain how all of the systems work and how to work on them. 

Thanks Matt, I'll dig into the threads more now that it's getting colder out.

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9 hours ago, 1939_Buick said:

As  above you need to get a manual

 

Download the 1942 Buick shop manual for free. All of it section by section.

Or click the pdf link to pay.

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/manuals/Buick/1942/Shop Manual/

It is very comprehensive and has information that can be used with all straight 8’s.

It has more information than was included in older “Shop Manuals” before 1942

The 1942 has a good explanation of how the accelerator starter work.  Often it is bypassed with a hand switch.  But good if it works

 

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/index.php

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/library/52_shop/index.php

 

The brake drum will come of the hub. CRC-WD40 or/and a little heat. Be gentle. 

Be careful not to put too much force and distort/crack the drum

 

Thanks `39, will do, been avoiding spending all my free time on the computer during this fabulous weather we have had.  After a long day on email and zoom, the car is a nice break!

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9 hours ago, 1939_Buick said:

As  above you need to get a manual

 

Download the 1942 Buick shop manual for free. All of it section by section.

Or click the pdf link to pay.

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/manuals/Buick/1942/Shop Manual/

It is very comprehensive and has information that can be used with all straight 8’s.

It has more information than was included in older “Shop Manuals” before 1942

The 1942 has a good explanation of how the accelerator starter work.  Often it is bypassed with a hand switch.  But good if it works

 

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/index.php

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/library/52_shop/index.php

 

The brake drum will come of the hub. CRC-WD40 or/and a little heat. Be gentle. 

Be careful not to put too much force and distort/crack the drum

 

Downloaded the manual, but title indicates 52, not 42?

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3 hours ago, C-Lamb said:

Downloaded the manual, but title indicates 52, not 42?

2 different manuals.

1942 from http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/manuals/Buick/1942/Shop Manual/

1952 from  https://www.teambuick.com/reference/library/52_shop/index.php

Both could have been downloaded at no cost

1942 better for '1939's

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 1939_Buick said:

2 different manuals.

1942 from http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/manuals/Buick/1942/Shop Manual/

1952 from  https://www.teambuick.com/reference/library/52_shop/index.php

Both could have been downloaded at no cost

1942 better for '1939's

Yup, just seemed better to have the whole thing, much faster to look through and easier to share with Dad. 

Appreciate the prod to start using the available materials ;-). 

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2 hours ago, Gary W said:

And here's the brake rebuild step-by-step:

 

 

Thanks Gary, will review tonight.  Honey-do's done, a few more outdoor tasks and then it's time to catch up on email and planning for the work week 😞  appreciate the links to the hot spots!

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 Those linings look like there are not worn much, and might be good for some time as long as they are not cracked or contaminated.

 As for pins holding it on, do you mean the bolts which hold the backing plate to the spindle, or do you mean the spring loaded gizmos which are holding the shoes on?

 Unless there are some issues, the backing plate doesn't have to come off for a usual type of brake repair. If you are needing to kingpins, etc., then that's a different matter.

Keith

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12 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

 Those linings look like there are not worn much, and might be good for some time as long as they are not cracked or contaminated.

 As for pins holding it on, do you mean the bolts which hold the backing plate to the spindle, or do you mean the spring loaded gizmos which are holding the shoes on?

 Unless there are some issues, the backing plate doesn't have to come off for a usual type of brake repair. If you are needing to kingpins, etc., then that's a different matter.

Keith

I have seen that the drums are available as a separate part from the 'hub/bearing carrier' and wanted to know if it came apart easily. 

There's no sign that it comes apart easily, look like there are 3 conical pins that are riveted on the back of the hub portion and prevent me from separating the two pieces. 

 

Based on the appearance of the drums and pads, I don't see any reason to take them apart.  Just making sure I understand what's possible etc. 

 

Thanks

Chris

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If the car has been sitting a while, you should pull the brakes apart and rebuild the wheel cylinders in addition to the master cylinder. From the photos, I think you will be fine with reinstalling the same brake shoes and springs as long as you don't have any broken springs. If you find broken springs on any of the wheels, you can just replace the springs and reuse the brake shoes. 

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