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Diving into prewar....


NC-car-guy

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Are you saying the levers won't move with the shift linkage disconnected?  I would try jacking the back wheels off the ground.  Maybe torque on the wheels is holding the transmission in gear.  If that doesn't work, try disconnecting the linkage at the transmission, if you haven't already.

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What do you mean by the "clutch is bad"? I don't know much about 1939 Buicks except the transmission and torque tubes are a one year only design for good reason. The shift by cable was not a very well thought out design and seemed to cause a lot of headaches over the years.

 

If the clutch disc is rusted to the flywheel, I would suggest an old trick that saved me a lot of work on a Model A Ford with that problem from being parked in an enclosed trailer for over a decade before I bought it. Following a tip I heard elsewhere, I jacked up the rear end, put it on jack stands and started the car up with it in gear. After letting it run for a while, I depressed the clutch pedal and then stomped on the brake pedal as hard as I could. The rusted clutch disc released from the flywheel and after that worked perfectly for all of the years that I owned the car. 

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1 minute ago, MCHinson said:

What do you mean by the "clutch is bad"? I don't know much about 1939 Buicks except the transmission and torque tubes are a one year only design for good reason. The shift by cable was not a very well thought out design and seemed to cause a lot of headaches over the years.

 

If the clutch disc is rusted to the flywheel, I would suggest an old trick that saved me a lot of work on a Model A Ford with that problem from being parked in an enclosed trailer for over a decade before I bought it. Following a tip I heard elsewhere, I jacked up the rear end, put it on jack stands and started the car up with it in gear. After letting it run for a while, I depressed the clutch pedal and then stomped on the brake pedal as hard as I could. The rusted clutch disc released from the flywheel and after that worked perfectly for all of the years that I owned the car. 

Yes when I press the clutch the starter still moves the car along the yard.  It's not run in years, kinda hard to diagnose and get running in this condition.

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1 minute ago, NC-car-guy said:

Yes when I press the clutch the starter still moves the car along the yard.  It's not run in years, kinda hard to diagnose and get running in this condition.

I would try jacking up the rear end, starting the car in gear, let it run for a while and then try the clutch/brake pedal trick. It might break it free and solve your problem, or it might simply stall the car, or it might break something else. The other alternative is a lot of disassembly and repair work. 

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1 minute ago, MCHinson said:

I would try jacking up the rear end, starting the car in gear, let it run for a while and then try the clutch/brake pedal trick. It might break it free and solve your problem, or it might simply stall the car, or it might break something else. The other alternative is a lot of disassembly and repair work. 

The car is not currently running.

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Just now, NC-car-guy said:

The car is not currently running.

But, you can turn the engine over if you jack it up and put the rear on jack stands. That will allow you to work on getting the engine running and then deal with the clutch. Otherwise, you can spend many hours removing and repairing the clutch and transmission, and then, you have to try to get the engine running. I would get it running using the jack stands and then deal with the clutch problem. If you are lucky like I was, the clutch issue will be resolved immediately and need no disassembly.

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OK, if it isn't running, try this trick that saved my butt when I was 19. Get 2 or 3 friends to push the car forward a bit while you work the shifter. They may have to bump the car back and forth a bit. If you can get the pressure off the gears (it's in first or reverse, right?) it will pop into neutral. To make this easier you can remove the spark plugs if you want, but I will bet you don't have to. Good luck!

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7 hours ago, Daves1940Buick56S said:

OK, if it isn't running, try this trick that saved my butt when I was 19. Get 2 or 3 friends to push the car forward a bit while you work the shifter. They may have to bump the car back and forth a bit. If you can get the pressure off the gears (it's in first or reverse, right?) it will pop into neutral. To make this easier you can remove the spark plugs if you want, but I will bet you don't have to. Good luck!

 

Try this.

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She's sold to new home. I deliver it next weekend to the new owner about 45 miles away.  He likely won't be on here as he's not a big internet guy, but I'm trying to convince him.  

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