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Daily Drive 53 Special?


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6 minutes ago, Joseph P. Indusi said:

All of the above is good advice.   I have a 53 Special 2 door hardtop with power steering that now has 67,000 original miles.  It is happy at around 60 MPH but can go to 65 OK.  I won't repeat what the others have stated except that you should change the oil and filter and put in Shell Rotella 10W-30 or 15W-40 and warm up the engine.  Follow the procedure in the 52 shop manual and adjust the valves even though they are hydraulic.  When you are done when you start up the engine it will likely run rough as the lifters fill up with oil and then it will smooth out and assuming all else is good, it will idle very nicely.

I run whitewall Diamond Back radials on my Buick because they are safer for stopping and for handling.  Buy a heavy duty 160 degree thermostat and flush the cooling system.   The heavy duty thermostats have a larger opening when fully opened and these type work best on these engines.  Be sure you have heavy battery cables of at least "0" or "00" gauge with clean connections at the battery, the ground and the starter solenoid.  It goes without saying that the brakes have to be in good working order.  Post on this forum if you need help or have any questions.  

Good luck and enjoy it for what it is and the era it represents.

Joe, BCa 33493

Thank you for the advice Joseph

 

I already plan to flush out the engine with some fresh oil once I get it running. I plan to rebuild the carburetor with a kit, I have an ultrasonic cleaner at work I can stick it in too. I also plan to fully flush the cooling system and put in a heavy duty fail safe 160 thermostat with new hoses. Otherwise, "the works". Not sure about the transmission yet or if I need to change the oil, but I know it actually holds its oil. As far as the brakes go I have rebuild kits and new parts coming.

 

Is there any other small specific common issues I should know about beforehand? Engine, electrical, interior, etc.? Will I be able to use a phone charger or anything in the power outlet if it's still 6v? 

 

Thanks in advance

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The Dynaflow transmission fluid (use Dexron III) can be changed including the torque converter.  Follow the directions in the shop manual.  Many phone chargers will work with 6 volt input through the cigar lighter since the output to the smart phone and other devices is 5 volts DC.  When you rebuild the carburetor be careful to not disturb the switch on the side that actuates the starter relay for the "accelerator actuated starter" system.

Joe, BCA 33493

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I'd drop the tranny pan and peek inside. Here's a before and after of my '51 Super Dynaflow's pan. She sat for several years (before I owned it.) Mileage was 28,500 and I believe to be correct. The thick black grud on the brass screen could be remnants of the original factory fluid. ☹️

 

 

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Well she's loaded up on the trailer, the owner was nice enough to tow it home for me but it will have to be tomorrow. I'll start a new post in the "me and my buick" thread

 

I appreciate all the help on deciding, I think I'll have fun with her.

 

By the way, she runs and drives! Owner didn't want to sell me a car that isn't running. Got some blow by from the motor though, fogged up through the open head.

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21 minutes ago, retirednow said:

Congratulations! 👍👍👍

Thanks! 

 

I found out after looking at it this time that it has a bit more rust than I thought, but I'm sure I can do something about it.

 

All the lights, turn signals, and gauges work. Defrost vents and outside vents also work, didn't check the heater. I also noticed this time that it has some type of floor heater under the front seat? Can anyone tell me anything about that?

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Yes, Buicks of this era had the main heater core under the seat.  There's also a defroster core in the "heater" box under the dash; when you add in the water-cooler on the Dynaflow, you're looking at about 2 million feet of heater hose.  :)  I don't have my underseat heater hooked up because I don't drive my car when it's below freezing, and the defroster takes the chill off on a cool morning.  

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27 minutes ago, Aaron65 said:

Yes, Buicks of this era had the main heater core under the seat.  There's also a defroster core in the "heater" box under the dash; when you add in the water-cooler on the Dynaflow, you're looking at about 2 million feet of heater hose.  :)  I don't have my underseat heater hooked up because I don't drive my car when it's below freezing, and the defroster takes the chill off on a cool morning.  

That's a very interesting heater setup, I guess this is when cars were designed for more comfort than safety and sportiness.

 

The hoses actually look and feel good, but I think I'm going to replace them anyway, 2 bucks a foot for line. I might even consider going your route and not have it hooked up at all, save the headaches.

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