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1921 Buick Model 46 Revival Saga


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I used the good weather this week to clean up the aluminum crankcase in preparation for engine reassembly.  I covered the crankshaft with plastic, sealed up the valve lifter tubes with some foam wrapped in plastic bags, sealed up the distributor with a plastic cup taped on, place some cardboard to protect the firewall, radiator and fenders.  I sprayed with aluminum safe degreaser and let it soak.  Then I power washed the grease and grime off.  Next step will be to order an engine gasket set from Olsen's Gaskets and get things put back together.


You can see the thick layer of grease & grime on the crankcase in the picture below.  This was the engine as found before disassembly.




After cleaning:




It still needs some cleaning but is good enough to get things back together.  My goal is to get the engine running so I can back the car out and pull it back in as needed.  Then i can do more detailed cleaning.

Edited by IFDPete
wording (see edit history)
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Freeze Plugs


On page 2 of this thread when I pulled the original freeze plugs from the block I was impressed with their thickness and durability for their age.  I wished I could find NOS freeze plugs to replace them. 


@Terry Wiegand noted in one of his threads on the restoration of his early Buick that the freeze plugs he could find locally had CHINA stamped into them.  I too found those Dorman made in CHINA plugs at the chain auto stores around Indianapolis. 


After some searching I was able to locate some old stock freeze plugs made here in the USA (Huntington, Indiana).  The store was a Carquest in Cicero Indiana that had these PIK-A-NUT plugs that the clerk said were probably from the late 1960's or early1970's.  I looked up PIK-A-NUT on the internet and found out that Dorman bought the company but I am not sure when.  The metal on these are thick .050 inches on my gauge.  So these were what I used on my 1921 block.  They should last as long as the originals.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Beautiful New Water Tube Received !!!!!


If you have been following this saga, you will recall on page one that I found a hole and a lot of corrosion in my original 1921 water tube.


What a beautiful week it was.  I received my new water tube from fabricator Roger McGinnis.  It took about 6 months from making contact with him.  Roger sent me some templates to match up with my original 1921 tube and guess what...none were tall enough.  I sent Roger my original tube and he had to make tooling to match my tube.  So there was a delay as I could not just buy a tube that he already had patterns for.  He had never seen a tube as tall as mine was for Buicks.   It fits perfectly and is an exact match of my original.  Great craftsmanship and he was easy to work with.  







Edited by IFDPete (see edit history)
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On 9/18/2022 at 11:42 PM, IFDPete said:

Moved the rug and pulled the floorboards to reveal the battery.......this car has not been run in MANY years!  Note the negative connector completely eaten away by corrosion and the cable suspended above the battery. 




Pulled the battery for clean up and pulled the box to assess.  I am thinking that the battery is from the late 1930s or early 1940's.  The casing is hard rubber.  How old do you guys think it is??  I will need to make a new battery box.










Just made one yesterday for the Buick we are playing with.........








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Good luck getting those 6 pistons back into the jugs. On mine, the cylinder sleeves are tapered at the bottom so the rings self-compress into the cylinders. Can't use a ring compressor anyway. I had to coax some of them in, using feeler gage leaves as sort of shoe horns. I found the feeler gauge leaves of .025 to .035 made the best shoe horns.


But I put the pistons in one at a time, from underneath. Not sure if that's easier than doing all 6 at the same time from above.

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@edinmass beautiful work on the battery box.  I have not made one yet.  What gauge steel did you use?


@Morgan Wright my block also has the taper at the bottom.  Pistons were a puzzle to get out with having to move the crankshaft around to different positions for each cylinder.  Not much room to clear the crank once they are almost out of the bottom of the cylinder.  Good idea on feeler gauges.


I saw that @Mark Kikta in his 1922 Engine Progress thread (page 7) lowered and reassembled his jug with all six pistons inserted in the cylinders.  I am undecided as to using his "piston in" method or taking my time and doing them one at a time from underneath.




After thinking about this a few hours...I am leaning towards Mark's piston in the block method.  It might be easier if I go slow lowering the block.  I had a devil of a time getting the pistons out from underneath and am kind of dreading pushing them back in from the bottom.  There is very little room to line them up straight.

Edited by IFDPete
Wording (see edit history)
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