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How significant are the changes/engineering in Buicks between 1918 and 1923?


John Bloom
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Guys, what significant changes took place between 1918 (in the larger 118 wheelbase 6 cyl) and Buicks 5-6 years later?  Does the driving experience have significant changes?  reliability?  In two well sorted out examples of comparable wheelbase and displacement (Lets say one is a 1918 and one is a 1923), would a person new to Buicks of this era see a significant difference in the cars performance and driving experience?  I'm not talking about looks, just the driving and maintaining.  thanks.

 

 

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1923 is a bit of a bastardized year.  The new 1924 larger journal crankshaft that would be cross drilled in 1924 was used in 1923 less the cross drilling. 
 

1923 has bimetallic push rods.  Half the length is aluminum the other half steel.  Holds lash clearance better across a wider temperature range. 
 

Morgan can post the year to year change summary he has shared before here. 
 

Of the cars from this era I have worked on that were poor performers, everyone of them suffered from the ignition timing being way off.  Use a timing light and with today’s fuel octane set the timing 14 degrees advanced from the stock setting. 
 

Check distributor advance weights for function by reving  engine with timing light still attached.  Better yet, pull the distributor and clean out the old grease that has turned to tar and has the weights more than likely frozen. 
 

W89D plugs that don’t foul are a must have. 

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1918 to 1923 is a pretty good production run with relatively few changes. 

1924 gets 4 wheel brakes, a body style change, and a removable cylinder head (no more caged valves).  Carry this thru 1925, and you get balloon tires.

1926, 27, 28 is the next bracket grouping.  Triple filters (gas, oil, air) 21" wheel rims.   Separate Starter & Generator.  Water pump has a single packing instead of 2 places to leak.  Improved clutch, perhaps shock absorbers standard.

I know I missed some items, and did not totally address your question only to say that they are pretty subtle differences for 1918 to 1923 compared to moving into the other age groups.

Hugh

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E was the last year with open valve train and exposed rockers and push rods. H and K had a valve cover but you had to remove it every time you wanted to oil the rockers by hand (every 100 miles) and there was no valve cover gasket because why would there be?

 

K = 1920

H = 1919

E = 1918 (and late 1917 model 49 only)

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Hubert pretty much covered it. all these cars drive similar - like 1920s cars.  Starting about 25 there was relatively big jumps in horsepower.  A 29 large series drives completely different than a 23-4 small series.

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I think that one extremely important detail has not been mentioned.  In 1924, with the 6-Cylinder models, Buick made the change to removeable cylinder heads.  The caged-valves, which had been with Buick since the very beginning, was phased out in favor of advancing technology.  It is this writers opinion that the period between 1915 and 1925 saw more changes and improvements than before and after this time frame.  OOPS!  I guess Hugh did mention it earlier.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

AACA Life Member #947918

Edited by Terry Wiegand (see edit history)
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