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1953 Roadmaster with most of the options


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This 53 followed me home  about a year ago, it was sitting with interior removed under seat heater removed and blocked off dash apart front clip removed. Best part it leaks oil like nothing I have seen, no need to guess a way home. 

Now that the body is on my convertible the plan is make this Roadmaster a driver. 

 

The power windows now work, I need to address a tubing issue on one window it hits when going down. I have a large  oil leak at the Torque ball that will need addressed before much use. One strange issue it has it will just start cranking over randomly when sitting. I do leave the batt unhooked when not in use this still has the the switch on the carb, any thoughts on what I should do first clean up the switch? 

For the most part it is a sound car power brakes work well, looks to have had recent brake work, Engine runs like a top and it is a 53 engine in the engine bay. Big one is the rust is minimal. Should be a fun ride once it is sorted out. Will never be a show car just a ride to town. 

 

Front clip is back on and  engine oil leaks are repaired. The power steering is not what I would call power, pump pressure is in spec. I don't like were this is going to end up will address this at a latter date. I have found most needed parts for the under seat heater and I think and the power seat. 

I have a new Cyl for the power seat I am looking for any advise and pictures showing the power seat Cyl installed. I have never seen a power seat work or put together that I could look over. It seams like every time I bring a Buick home they are in boxes. 

I have an exploded view showing the parts. It is tough to see location of each part does the Cyl go between the scissor assemble or on top or the bottom, the part that bolts on the seat makes contact on the Cyl body that does not seam correct to me, I would think over time it will damage the Cyl. I will make up wires and work  back into the harness once I locate were it is cut. 

Thanks in advance for any pictures, here are a few of the parts I have for the seat and heater 

Steve

 

 

 

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Power forward only, the power seat switch opens a valve in the Cyl the spring pulls the seat back fluid returns to reservoir. To move the seat forward move the switch to the forward position then the pump runs the same valve is  open so fluid can expand the Cyl 

The seat does have a feature that releases the seat lock when the back is  tilted forward . The seat base will move forward without the power function. This is what I have seen so far once it is up and running I might find out I am wrong.  

I have built a few hoses and hope to install them soon and give it a go and see if it  works like I think it does. 

Steve  

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Power seat is up and working. Here are a few pictures. Convertible's have a valve that goes under the passenger seat, in the spot that has the tee. They switch the flow for the fluid from windows and seat to top only when the top is in operation. 

Those of you that have electric seats and windows are lucky. Those of us that have this system deal with leaks and electricity, and a spring that wants to trap you.

What is the easiest way to add a video, I have one showing  mechanism working.  I have never seen a seat powered with a Cyl work before, someone else might find this useful.  

Steve 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Will give Youtube a try, here is the power seat ram in action the mount at the front bolts to the seat base. I will add the seat moving after it is bolted down and the seat moving when the back is tilted. I tried to get my head around how the seat would move forward when tilting the seat back forward. It raises up the seat base releasing it from the seat track then moving forward you now have incressed  access to rear seat.  Next project on the RM is the Torque ball just received the needed parts to make this repair, still waiting for the needed energy. 

Steve 

 

 

 

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Mission this weekend  is Torque ball repair, pulled differential ran to town and steamed cleaned assambly, it was covered in dirt oil and under coating.  Cleaned up parts and I am ready to assemble. I will be on standby for the rear shock links and a rubber brake hose from Frame to control rods. This looked to have the original torque ball assembly and it leaked like it was over 60 years old. Thrust pad was also broken.  Plan is install torque  ball and differnintial   tomorrow  install other parts as they arrive.  I still need to install heater hoses and repair the heater Ranco heater valve 

Steve

 

 

 

 

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I replaced the brake hose to the torque tube on my '60 Electra. The ones I was finding online seemed too cheap and I was afraid they may have taken a long boat ride.

 

A local radiator shop (https://www.empireradiator.com/services/brakequip-ezibend-tube/) has BrakeQuip services which appear to be a franchise available nationwide. They made me a new one from my pattern with fresh materials. That was in 2012. As I remember it cost $28 or $32, something like that. It gave me more confidence than other options.

 

They look nice cleaned up.

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Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Bernie

I am doing the same here local hose house makes DOT brake hoses. They have the  same fittings this way fitment will be correct. I recall using brake hoses that are difficult to make the retaining clips work properly. Your project looks great, I am not painting mine.  My plan is just cleaning and repairing what must be done for reliabilty. I keep telling myself stop, don't tear things down any further than needed. 

 My  plan for this RM  is a driver might see it chasing parts or grocery shopping. I keep looking at the back and think to my self  how nice this would look with a trailer hitch. Maybe  another time, I have another Buick call my name.  

Before I pulled out the differential I had to make sure it left a mark in the driveway other than oil, low gear and full throttle. Left a nice mark  on the driveway not bad for a 69 year old car.  

Steve 

 

 

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12 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Be careful about the shopping. Don't self incriminate. People figure out real quick who is taking the pictures and who is working.

 

This is wrong on so many levels. First, you can't work and photograph yourself working at the same time. Somebody has to work, and somebody else has to take the photo. Second, I'd like to see you tell a professional photographer that taking pictures isn't "working." Finally, in the modern age of equal rights how is this even an issue any more? 🤪

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53 RM is back in action torque tube is installed and I drove it a few hundred feet and parked it, no leak. Before this would have a puddle of oil under it in minutes. I replaced the seal on the drive shaft, I was lucky no grove in sealing surface. Drilled the torque tube and added a plug, it was full of ATF. I also drained the diff oil it was full of ATF. Topped fluids level of and flushed brake fluid then adjusted brakes. Getting closer. Next up is the cooling system then lights. After this I need to stand in line at the DMV with my  historic plates. 

Steve 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today it rained and a bit of wind  but it is never too wet in Oregon for a car show. Decided that the RM is the best choice today drove it about 40 miles from my home to the show. Turnout was light today due to the weather. I was pleasantly surprised how my trip went. Drove great ride is a bit soft from what I am used too, few things that needed sorted out are the steering wheel is not even close to center, carpets are in need of replacement and trunk light and a radio. I need the trunk light just because I want everything working and I need something that makes music. Added a Picture showing the lights by the ash trays I have never seen a 53 dash lit up.

 

The 48 was worth checking out all stock under the hood.  The paint  is not for me even the owner indicated  he wished it was one color. The pickup sat in a field and was put in a garage a few years back it was used in the glass business back in the day the owner just got this going last week. 

We just don't have many pre 60s Buicks around this area, only had mine 48 Buick at the show this is pretty typical even when  the the sun is out. 

Steve 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been driving the RM every chance I get. It has a few bugs that l need to resolve if anyone has had these symptoms let me know what you found.

First symptom engine will shut down I coast over to the side of the road place unit in park starts up and off you go. No pattern to this other than it seems to happen first few miles. Is there a way to start this in motion, hope you place it neutral and try starter, worried about going to park.

Next issue is key on not doing anything the starter will engage and engine starts and starter will disengage. The problem is hot or cold sometimes as soon as key is placed in on position other times it takes a few seconds. I am thinking l need to resolve the random starter issue so can trace down the engine shut down.

l have checked the switch on the carburetor only has continuity throttle pulled to start position so far.

The  issue is it’s random and l am never ready to check it when it happens.
Car has a generator with electric ignition. Starts and runs great 99% of the time what a fun car to drive, my old Chevrolet of the same year drives much different. My Chevrolet has the 235 nice to drive a V8 

Thanks in advance for any ideas on my issues

Steve

 

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I don't have any suggestions for the first issue but, I suspect that will either go away with time/driving or, it will become a bigger more frequent problem that allows you to troubleshoot it.  The problem with these intermittent problems is, you can't troubleshoot them when they are working.

 

Can you explain the starter issue more clearly?  I'm reading that sometimes the starter cranks as soon as you turn the key to on???  If that's the case, I would look for a mod someone did that's making mostly good connection.  There has to be an alternate path for the electricity to get to the starter.  Thankfully, the electrical on these cars is not that complicated but, as I stated before, you can only troubleshoot it when it's in the "broke" condition.

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Check out the random start issue key on 

I switched start relay with another used relay same issue.

I can now duplicate the issue at will using throttle 

Pulled one wire from switch on carb. Power wire has 12volts at switch the other side that goes to start relay will show 3 volts up to 12 volts throttle closed. Pulled switch checked it out looks to be too be in spec. I have added a few pictures, the cover with the contacts has brass showing in the barrel. I believe this to be the issue. Hard to see let me know if this is normal to have the brass showing like this in the barrel. I will dig around in my parts, hope I have one to compare.

Did find a loose stud on coil power wire it would move around.  This has been corrected this could have been the engine dying issue.  

 

 

 

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Hmmm, I don't remember if mine had the brass showing like that.

 

Let me ask you this... When you disconnect one wire from the switch, does the engine still start when the key is turned to on?  The reason I ask this is, everything you describe says the carb switch is working just fine.  There probably shouldn't be 3 volts on the other side when off however, I don't think 3V is enough to engage the starter relay.  I could be wrong though.  If you want to be sure, try turning the key on with the wire disconnected.  

 

Assuming the car does not start with the wire disconnected and the key on, that almost def says its in the switch somewhere and the 3V is allowing your starter relay to engage.  If that's the case, it most likely needs adjustment via spacers as outlined in the shop manual.  Of course those spacers are not available but, don't look that hard to make (but def time consuming).

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This has a Carter carb with  wire removed from switch going to relay starter does not crank, I should have been saying this all along. When I have the key on and power wire hooked up on carb switch after moving throttle lever about half the time I would have voltage on the terminal going to the relay terminal. As I was testing this I would touch the wire on the terminal and the starter relay would trip at about 3.5 volts and starter would crank. I started troubleshooting this with my meter and it would have continuity most of the time throttle closed variable was the voltage would change each time from zero all the way to 12 volts.  I checked the adjustment looks  to be correct., I do want to say not much experience with these switches. I just removed the switch from my convertible project and it shows the brass in the barrel, it is now installed on the RM and working like it should zero volts throttle closed will test operation over the next few days. It will be interesting to see if it works correctly if so I will need to figure out what is wrong with this switch. 

 

Charged the AC on the Studebaker Bullet nose last weekend for a club member. He has done everything on this car drug it out of a field a year ago. He has done the body and paint installed V8 and Rack and pinion, then purchased a sewing machine and is doing the upholstery. He is all self taught, I love to see another convertible saved  and be driven for all to enjoy.  

 Club did a show at the local mall Fathers day weekend, I am no longer the only Buick nut in the club 

Steve 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update on the random start and engine stop running  randomly. 

I drove the RM this weekend about a 120 miles. Went to one local car show for fun and ran a few errands around town. Installed a start switch from my convertible project Friday.  The switch worked perfect all weekend. The random shut down looks to have been the loose wires at coil.  Car ran like a dream all weekend. I thought about the switch and recalled the plunger moving very easy in the convertible  and not the RM. I attached pictures don't know why I did not notice the plunger before, I focused on the other end.  Looks like it was sand blasted and it was rough, installed in the carb on the rag top and it would move but put up resistance. I polished the plunger and installed the assembly, used a meter and works like it should. The plunger was not moving in the bore like it was  designed  that looks to be the root cause. 

 

I do have a transmission issue that started Saturday. I  will need to troubleshoot this. At startup moves in low but takes a few minutes before it will move in direct. I plan on testing pressures before I work out  what needs done.  If it keeps working after warmup this will be another project for the winter. It is time to get back on the soft top and yard work 

Steve 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have driven the Buick around 300 miles since last check in no random starts or engine dying. The more it is driven it just keeps improving. transmission has not acted-up  up other than the one day.

I have stated we just don't have many Buick in the area I cannot tell you the last time I have seen a 50s Buick until this year. I was driving on a side street the other day and I seen a Buick headed at me. We both stopped in the street and said no way, of course had to pull over and check out each others ride. His car has a SBC under the hood 

Steve 

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  • 1 month later...

Engine died the other day for the first time since last post. Started up and off l went, today l looked down at the odometer and thought that’s interesting as a lark 666 then the engine died. It did start after multiple tries, l was able make it home. Started tracking down the issue l could move the wrap over the fuel line installed by previous owners by the resister and the engine would stumble. Started looking closer  and the cover would touch the wire terminal and short ignition. Then l found the fuel line pushing on the resister. Removed resister and found a bigger issue resister is cracked open and falling apart. Dug through my parts installed a resister from 53 now l have clearance fuel line not touching the resister, wiring a bit rough but it works. Ran around this evening and running great.
I will keep sorting this out it keeps getting better with each trip. What a kick to drive. I wish it had AC then my boss would ride along on the warm days 

Steve


 

 

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Why would someone wrap a wire-wound resistor in insulation?  That guarantees failure.  Those resistors need air circulation to cool them.  That's why they are usually found mounted up high on the firewall.  Based on the non-original wiring around it, I can't believe that's a factory installation...

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I am no expert but I don't see how a one terminal resistor can work? To the best of my knowledge the wiring system was designed to bypass the resistor when starting the engine. Then employ the resistor while the engine is running. The way the wiring is now it looks like you are running a full 12 volts at all times?

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The broken resistor is after market the round resistor is what they are born with and in this location. I will visit this area again at a latter date it has a Pertronix unit I believe. Will most likely change back to points, can you still purchase points and  a condenser that are worth a darn. If anyone has a brand that works let me know. I want to carry these with me. I have walked in the past when a Pertronix failed. 

Just a driver had more fun fixing things than I deserve 

Steve 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a picture of the resistor and the mount, you can see the one wire feed for the coil.  I installed a known good one in the RM and it is working good kind of. Drove the mighty RM about 200 miles and it shut down once started up and ran good. I suspect the Pertronix,  will install points once they arrive and a new coil  just so I can rule this out. Looking for another resistor like this if anyone has one for sale. 

Steve 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

The saga of the engine shuting down continues. 

Removed Pertronix  installed new points and  condensor engine starts fine and runs out great. I also replaced coil at the same time. made a few trips to town running great. I think the problem of random shut down is behind me headed out on another 40 mile trip about half way engine shuts off restarts and runs just fine.

I dove in hunting for the issue  once I was home, I hooked up a test  light at power wire to coil  and a volt meter on the other side of the resistor.  Key on engine not running. I tugged and pulled wires under the hood  power rock solid never changed. I then started moving key switch around and tugging and pulling  wires under the dash once again nothing changes.  Nothing I did would make Key power change and resistor is in speck during test.  I Then looked at the wiring digram and grounds, factory ground cable goes from the battery to engine mount block side. The engine has a ground strap right rear it goes to the firewall. Engine mounts and transmission mounts isolate vibration and don't carry a ground path. Differential  control arms hook to the torque tube. The only ground path that I see is the one strap  on the rear of the engine to the firewall possibly shift linkage to the steering column and the rear coil spring, they also have a rubber isolator at the top of the spring. Add a bit of age and Corrosion possibly no ground path. 

 

I did not clean any grounds I did add a few temp jump wires as a test on the ground side. Battery to body and battery to steering column. I wanted to test my theory, 300 miles and no problems. I believe this is the end of the issue should have looked at ground side early on I would think if the radio worked it would have helped me out it would stop working for a second and driving at night I might have seen a light issue

 

I will add a few pictures, I removed a few screws and other small parts from a parts distributor so I could install points. I also tested before points and after rapid start.  

Steve 

 

 

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