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Rodney’s 1963 Buick Skylark convertible


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Posted (edited)

Some further progress today! New thermostat is in, fan and pulley back on and radiator is back in! Two jobs that have given a few troubles in the past went really well because of some pre-preparation.

 

Remember trying to fit a previous thermostat and housing on something where they fit on the side and not from the top and having all sorts of issues with it dropping between the housing and the mating surface and the gasket getting in the way and eventually getting it sorted but you still are not 100% sure until you try it. 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

 

And the other is fighting the first couple of the fan bolts while trying to line up the hole, the pulley and the fan all at the same time and holding your tongue the right way!

 

Well must be getting smarter as after cleaning the faces of the housing and the intake manifold, lightly glued the thermostat in place with some flexible adhesive. Only used a tiny amount in four spots then left if for several hours to dry. Had already chased the threads with a tap and the bolts were also cleaned up with a wire wheel. So after several hours it was a simple matter of coating the mating surfaces with gasket sealer, putting the cover and gasket in place and threading in the bolts by hand. Then torquing them to the right tension, I went slightly under 20foot pounds as the bolts threading into aluminium and were well lubricated with an anti seize compound. 
 

With the fan I simply made up two short studs to act as a guide by cutting the heads off of two UNF bolts. After cleaning them up on a wire wheel, threaded both into the fan hub. Then it was a simple matter to fit the fan and the pulley into the two remaining holes as all the holes were now aligned. These studs were easily removed which allowed all the bolts to be threaded in by hand then torqued to 20foot pounds.

 

Both of these jobs had given me a reasonable amount of frustration in the past, but not any more as I think I will be using alignment studs in a lot more areas.  It makes the job of replacing parts so simple, my productivity has improved ten fold! 
Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by rodneybeauchamp
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Posted (edited)

Was never too thrilled about the way the PO had installed the fuel line and filter, especially when compared to photos of original engine bays. In the first photo you can see how the fuel filter was loosely laid along side the coil in the valley area joined by flexible hose back to a pressure regulator, again just sitting loose behind the P/S pump then on to the metal fuel line by the inner skirt, bypassing the fuel pump which had been removed. 
 

OK, so a hose clamp on the filter is not perfect, but the layout is much better and close to how the original was. The pressure regulator now sits out of sight in behind the P/S pump bracket and the hoses are neater and out of the way of exhaust and moving belts and pulleys. Might get around to finding an original bracket for the filter or making one. Third photo clearly shows the bracket that bolts to the P/S bracket that supports the pressure regulator.

 

And very pleased with the install of the 5/8” bypass hose that connects the thermostat housing cover to the water pump. A bit of soap on both ends makes for an easy fit with the clamps fully undone and slipped over once the hose is in place. Was so pleased how easily it went on, cut a slightly longer piece that now covers both outlets entirely.

 

Now decided to wait for the proper top and bottom hoses to arrive and then fill and test the system. In the meantime, have seat belts to fit and maybe a radio and speakers soon!

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀

 

 

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Edited by rodneybeauchamp
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And still another photo sent to me from last Sunday. Interesting read about how the event started after the instigator read a blurb in an English magazine about how thousands of vintage and classic vehicles were about to invade a particular town. It was his inspiration to see if that would help inject some life, people and their money into his own town in Australia. Starting about 15 years ago with less than 50 cars and a few bystanders has developed into an event hosting over 500. Great event!

 

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Bit of a lazy day today!

 

Rather than be tempted to put the old hoses back on to make it drivable, decided to tackle the seatbelts. I had looked previously and knew that the floors were sound but wanted to improve the sound deadening material that was used. So will order some insulation materials tonight.
 

With all the seats and carpet out will be an easy job to stick the sound deadener along with a softer layer of stick down waterproof underlay.
 

Noticed that the hoses around the hydraulic rams for the top were slightly damp so I will look at how they are sealed. The seller stated that the hydraulics had been done but I will fix it regardless. 

 

With a clean, the carpet will be reusable and with the seats out it will give me a chance to get under the dashboard and sort out the bundle of wires from the immobiliser. Am going to replace it with a kill switch instead.
 

And a chance to rectify some small issues on the seats including replacing the #$@#$&$#  Whitworth bolts with correct 1/2”AF. And fix the broken fixings on the fresh air vent too!

 

Will probably tighten the clamp around the base of steering column that is just dangling around just for fun 🙃🙃🙃


The more you dig, the more you find but that’s OK. Am more than capable of sorting these small issues out, knowing that they are going to be done PROPERLY this time!

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀
 

 

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Edited by rodneybeauchamp
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1 hour ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Whitworth bolts ??  I thought only the Brits used such oddball stuff.  I still have sockets and wrenches from when I worked on British cars.

Bill, when they undertook the “restoration” they replaced all but one of the seat hold downs with Whitworth bolts. As you are probably aware, the thread pitch is not that far from UNC, so they fit.
 

Frustrating when you start the first bolt with a good 1/2” AF gear wrench spanner and have it undone quicker than you can read this sentence. Then finding out it doesn’t fit the next bolt,  dig out your seldom used 5/16 WW open end ring spacer and do one eighth to one quarter turns at best on all the the rest! They will be replaced with UNC 😀😀😀😀

 

Tested the thermostat that had been fitted. Yup, it begins to open at 192 degrees F by which time the coolant is bubbling away, almost near boiling point so little room for error. Manual suggests a 170 degree or optional 180 degree which I have installed. Proof will be when back together and a proper gauge installed.

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, a few more things off the list. The floor access plates looked ordinary with surface rust compared to the rest of the floor. One was so thin that I replaced it with one made from thick aluminium plate. It goes under the front seat so won’t be stepped on.
 

The others were wire wheeled then primed and painted with some silver auto lacquer and an airbrush. When dry these were then placed on a bed of flexible adhesive sealer and screwed back into position. Shouldn’t leak water now!
 

Made up some proper terminal connectors for the rear quarter lights. PO had used lovely crimp on bullet connectors that I detest so they had to go. Found in my collection a double contact base LED globe in warm white which will work nicely here. This will spur me on to replacing the rest of the interior globes as well.

 

And the insides of the armrests had a lot of surface rust so gave them a coat of rust converter. Will turn black when dry and will add a top coat to these soon.

 

Some pictures.

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

 

 

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This is my next issue. The floor under the LH hydraulic ram for the power top and the wet fluid line tells me that the ram is leaking. Think it may be coming from this connection but won’t know until it comes out. Never seen this style of fluid fitting before so a bit apprehensive.
 

May need to reach out to the wider forum and see what advice I can gain there. Any clues on how these are sealed or repaired?

 

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Edited by rodneybeauchamp
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Have heard some can be rebuilt installing new seals but no experience there.

The ones on my '58 Buick were a crimped type so bought NOS ones at a swap meet way back. They will need to be replaced soon (it's been a long time and use) and the last price I looked up were $150 US each... then I probably should replace the hoses too.

 

Keep us posted. I like the fact you can drive your car while making these upgrades. 

 

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I would recommend using a small mirror to check the seal at the rod for leaks. Hit the area with a cleaner then operate the top one cycle up then down. And then stick a mirror in there to see if the leak is from the cylinder seal or from the hose. I use small dental mirrors and a bright flashlight to illuminate areas like this.

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And a few more forward moves I think. Pulled out the engine immobiliser wiring and box, it was never pretty. Also I’m not sure I want to be stranded if I lose the key set with the transmitter or it has a flat battery. Sure I have a spare transmitter but that will be at home, in a very safe place. Will install a simple kill switch and hide a spare key ........ much more practical solution.

 

Repaired the third screw fixing for the fresh air vent cover, not pretty, so no photo!

 

Unfortunately someone had removed the original 6 pin ignition switch and put in something else which does not line up with the OEM connector. They had fitted jumper wires from switch to immobiliser to the connector 😡😡😡

 

So now looking for a 1963 ignition switch from any Buick. My parts listing states they are the same switch for all series including the Riviera. Hope to find one with a key set as it has the neat little protection that extends out as part of the key holder. Photo shows the 6 pin connector.

 

And was never thrilled by the fix done on several of the dash light holders, so removed the instrument cluster so I can undertake a proper repair. Same time I will give it a good cleaning and freshen up and install LEDs. The difference it made to my Riviera was amazing, it is one job I recommend regardless of the model!

 

Anyway a few pics. Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

 

 

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Some nice progress today.
 

Tackled the instrument panel lighting one globe holder at a time. Simple task to clean up the copper contact surfaces on the printed circuit with fine wet and dry paper. The globe holders cleaned up well with a Dremel and wire brush, particular attention paid to the two outer terminals where they contact the board. Had to replace three holders that were broken, hence the screws holding them down in the last post. Had some spare used ones as replacements that worked really well.
 

Chose to tweak each globe holder ( see photo ) by bending these contact terminals up a tad so they apply slight pressure when they lock. Finished up with a tiny touch of dielectric grease on them before installing. Importantly tested each one as we went with a 12V supply, with a 100% pass rate.

 

None of this is rocket science, simple cleaning, tweaking and testing. You have to question the logic and thinking of those who tried to fix it before. What were they thinking #$@#$&##@#$&& 😀😀😀😀😀

 

Still, done properly, done good, am happy! Going to try getting the clock to move now.

 

cheers

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

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