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Misc. Q's on my '51 Super


Puka

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Hello: I've got a few questions, most of them trivial, but I am still learning. So here goes:<P>1. I had the engine rebuilt (263 straight-8). I had them make it so I didn't need to put leaded gasoline additive in with the fuel anymore. I have been using 91 octane gas. Can I go down to 87 or 89 should I keep using the relatively expensive stuff?<P>2. Does anyone make a solid-state voltage regulator? If so, then I could avoid having to occasionally tweak the settings.<P>3. Does it matter that I am using a positive battery cable that is the gauge for a 12v system? Classic Buicks in Southern Calif. sent me the wrong cable and I didn't realize it until I put in on about 6 months later.<P>4. My water temp guage only once has went above the dot next to "C". Now the rebuilt engine only has 2,000 mi. on it and I've had everything rebuilt and replaced hoses, cored the radiator, etc. Is this normal? I am doing freeway and surface street driving. Usually no more than 100 miles at a time.<P>5. Finally, I am looking for some parts and stuff and hope someone could suggest good places to find them.<P>a. Some sort of long brush so that I can get into hard-to-reach places in the engine to wipe away oil. (When I put the engine back in, I had to replace a gasket that I used to put the valve cover on. Plus I had an exhaust leak. So I want to clean up the engine to make sure there aren't any other leaks. I keep looking for this detailing tool at Pep Boys and other auto parts stores but can't find them.<P>b. Looking for replacement antenna. The telescoping part and the rubber seal/gasket thing. <P>c. A tail harness for the 51 Buick super sedan. Model #52. I don't want to have to take mine out to send in and I can't find a place that's done one before.<P>d. OEM window handles. The 2 front door handles have the little rotating knobs come off. There looks like there was a piece of copper that fit in but can't find out how to repair them. Maybe it's easier to replace them altogether.<P>e. I need to have repaired the windshield washer pump and have replaced the bottle lid replaced. Does anyone know where I can have this done at a reasonable cost. Everyone seems to charge a lot for this.<P>Thanks for your help.<P>Puka<BR>puka1915@yahoo.com

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I will take a shot at a couple of these questions....<P>#1 Try it, I use the cheap gas in my 47 and if it doesn't ping its happy. If you hear it pinging try another brand (Chevron is my favorite) or move up a grade.<P># 4, Have you taken a temp reading with a known thermoter after you have been driving for a while ? Maybe the guage is broken or maybe you are one of the lucky ones who run cool.<P>#5a Have you tried a hardware store ? Maybe a pint brush ?<P>#5b Bobs Automobilia has them (805) 434-2963<BR><A HREF="http://www.bobsautomobilia.com/" TARGET=_blank>web page</A>.<P>#5e The Wiperman can help with your pump. He does great work. <A HREF="http://www.wiperman.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.wiperman.com</A> <P>Good luck.

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Guest Mr. Solutions

Puka<P>Re #3, I too had a positive cable the size intended for a 12V system. I experienced some (odd) difficulty starting the car on colder days... One of my local club members took a look at it, and immediately ID'ed the cable as the wrong size. After beefing it up to the correct 6V gauge, my car started so much easier!!!<P>Pure flook, mad science, call it what you wish, but it did the trick for me.<P>As an aside, the cable also stays a lot cooler during the starting of the car. The previous one really, really got hot, so much so that you could not hold it. No such thing with the new thicker cable.<P>Hope this helps.

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Here are some suggestions or rather what Teresa and I opted to do with our car:<P>#1. We've been using 87 octane since we purchased our '51 Super two years ago. Haven't experienced any pinging even on the hottest of days. There's been alot of discussion about whether a straight 8 requires the lead additive here on this site and I believe that the concensus was use it on the highway but not in the city. It shouldn't concern you at this point since you've had the valve seats replaced.<P>#2. Don't know about a solid state voltage regulator but since replacing the original with a Borg-Warner voltage regulator, we haven't had to mess with it at all.<P>#3. Get the proper cable. We found that it makes a difference.<P>#4. I would recommend finding someone with an infrared temp guage. Drive the car for about an hour or so and then stop by and have them check the temp of the radiator and water pump. We have a 160 degree thermostat and when the thermostat opens the temp needle is right on the left side of the "N". It will usually sit right at the end of the white arc, which for our car is right at 180 degrees. Obviously you don't want the car to run too hot but running too cool is not good either. I heard that the tube that runs out to the temp guage is very fragile and if kinked will cause incorrect readings. This is why I suggest using another device to measure the operating temp of the engine.<P>#5a. We found most of the supplies we used to clean the engine at (belive it or not) the Dollar Store. It's one of those 'everything's a dollar' places. They had a variety of brushes in various sizes. I highly recommend using Castrol Super Clean to degrease your engine. Spray it on when the engine is warm and let it sit for about 45 minutes to an hour then use a power washer (or hose) and watch it come clean.<P>#5b. Ours doesn't have a telescoping antenna - is that a stock item?<P>#5c & d. Try Buick World at 360-825-3787. They have tons of parts at what I think are reasonable prices.<P>#5e. Try Buick World again. I know they rebuild the pumps and I just bought a whole jar and lid with pump for about $200 or so. It wasn't cheap but it was the only thing that was missing on the car.<P>You can contact me at crindima@hotmail.com maybe we can swap some '51 stories and help tips.<P>Cheers!

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There is no regulator on the market that compares with Delco-Remy,They are temperature-compensated so they dont overcharge at higher temperatures.I have had bad experiences wit non-Delco units.Check your charging voltage when the car is really warm.If it doesn't drop a bit,replace your dime-store voltage regulator with a Delco-Remy.

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Ken,<BR>I couldn't reach you through your e-mail but here's the info I was going to send you. This is a list of parts that we have used on our car and have no complaints about:<P>1951 Buick Super<BR>Series 56R, 2dr Hardtop<BR>Straight 8, 263 cu. in., Dynaflow<P>Original Tire Size (Bias Ply)<BR>760-15<P>Equivalent Radial Tire Size<BR>225/75R15<P>Upper Radiator Hose<BR>Gates 20065<P>Lower Radiator Hose<BR>Gates 20168<P>Air Filter<BR>Purolator 30052<P>Distributor Cap<BR>Borg-Warner C12<P>Condenser (distributor)<BR>Borg-Warner G102A<P>Rotor<BR>Borg-Warner D80<P>Points (Contact Set)<BR>Borg-Warner A72<P>Voltage Regulator<BR>Borg-Warner R131,<BR>unless the generator # is 1102754, then use Borg Warner R117.<P>Plugs<BR>AC Delco AC-45<BR>(originally 44 ? no longer made)<BR>(45 is a hotter plug)<P>Belt<BR>Gates 7435<P>Oil Filter<BR>Baldwin P26<BR>Truckpro 314-383-6373<BR>Starbeam Supply 800-264-5483<BR>King Filtration Tech 314-432-8441<BR>AC Delco P115<BR>Purolator L20051<P>Coil<BR>E-Tron D502<P>Condensers for radio mounted on Generator<BR>Wells U1511<BR>(on + side of coil and on black wire of generator)<P>Thermostat<BR>151 deg (per manual) or 160 deg (closest I can find) (mail order - Bob's Automobilia)<P>Cheers!

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Crin - thanks for the info on your parts. Not sure why the email kicked back but thanks for including the list in your post.<P>FYI - I can also attest to Wiperman.com s work. He did a great job on my wiper motor. Fair price, good warranty, shipped back to me on time as promised. No surprises. Got my same core back too (I marked it). He also advertises that he carries parts for windshield washers.<P>McVeys Cadillac carries some parts for older washer pumps also. Not sure of the type on a 51, but he had a new inner piston and seal for my 55 I got a few years ago. The price was a little stiff - I think that piston and seal cost me around 40 bucks, but I'm going off memory here. Maybe someone has some more recent info. <BR> <BR>www;mcveys.com. <P>Good luck.

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