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Smartin

1960 Electra 225 Convertible R&R

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I have a kerosene space heater to get me through the winter, but yeah...it might as well be unheated. Last year was a nightmare when I had my convertible up on jacks and doing the brakes. WOW that was some cold weather.

My sub-sero temperature brake job:

http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=63895&highlight=brakes

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Adam,

Thanks for the link to the V8 Buick thread. That looks like a really nice site! Now, all I need is a V8 Buick. I tried fairly hard to get a look at a '67 Riv "for sale" locally here this summer, but suddenly the fella got very scarce when it came down to actually parting with it. All of a sudden, he couldn't get it started and he was just really busy and etc. etc. Can't say I blame him, as he had a very reasonable price on it and I wouldn't have wanted to part with a clean '67 Riv either! Of course, it may have had a lot more problems than I knew about, but in my dreams it was a perfect steal.

I suppose a '60s Buick will remain in my dreams, for now. November is not a good month to start car-shopping in Minnesota, unless it's for a 4-wheel drive, and I've already got one of those. Guess what? It needs brakes! I hope I get to that before it's below zero. As usual, I did the easy part first with new pads and rotors on the front. They're still not quite right, though. I think it has major clearance problems that are kind of factory-standard. On one side, the metal lip on the high side of the outside pad was wearing a groove on the inside of the wheel! It's that close to hitting, even when everything is perfectly aligned. Thank you Chrysler Corp! (it's a '96 Dakota--and overall a really good vehicle).

The "slider bolt" caliper pins are prone to stripping, too. One was actually missing when I took it apart. It had been broken off and then slapped together with just one pin. A GOOD example of why having your brakes done at a shop isn't always the best idea. Anyway, you can get self-tapping replacement pins if that ever happens (OK, that was ONE thing you may have gotten out of reading this post, and it could save you buying a whole steering knuckle).

Woe is me! And that's only the fronts. The rears have some wear left in the shoes, but I can't stop halfway. Problem is I have NO indoor shop space at all. I'm doing my work mostly in a dirt driveway. My garage is too small, has no power, and oh yes, has an '89 IROC sitting in it. Otherwise, it's the perfect shop!

Sorry to go on and on. I just felt the need to vent. Deeeeep breath... tongue.gif

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Ahhhhhh progress again....finally.

Trunklid is finished, with the exception of the matting that is inside the lid itself. I'm unsure of if I want to rip that old stuff out or not. It looks like more of a chore than it's worth. I may just leave it int there until a judge tells me to rip it out and replace it grin.gif I think the paint turned out a SMIDGE darker than the rest of the car, but It looks like it'll be ok, since it's separated from the rest of the car. tongue.gif (I hope so, anyway.) I figured this would be the hardest thing to do, since the paint is 12 years old....and lacquer.

I got the air cleaner base painted, also. Hood insulation is installed, too.

There are a couple shots of the finished engine bay, just for $#!+$ and giggles.

trunk_lid_painted.jpg

engine_detail001.jpg

engine_detail002.jpg

hood_insulation.jpg

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Welp, it's done.

I did a claybar treatment on the paint to remove any dust or overspray I got on the car while I was working on it. Those claybars do wonders on paint!! It's slick as snot now....and a little show car glaze on top of that does a paint job good.

There is a small vibration in the steering, but it feels like there is still air in the pump/box, and or the new seals are still a little dry. I may end up getting the car back in it does not quit. :rolleyes: The passenger side windshield fogged up when I fired it up this morning, but it quit after a minute or two. I pulled off the cover under the dash, and saw where coolant was coming out. It was at the heater control valve. I watched it to see if it would continue to leak, and I saw nothing. I ran the car a few more times after that and looked every time, and didn't see any more seepage. Maybe it sealed itself back up? I would really hate to have to pull that whole mess out again. Talk about a pain in the butt!!

Just a few pictures for an overview:

This is really a pretty car.

car_complete001.jpg

car_complete002.jpg

car_complete003.jpg

car_complete004.jpg

car_complete005.jpg

car_complete006.jpg

car_complete007.jpg

car_complete008.jpg

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Adam,

It looks brand new! Not familiar with "claybar" or "show car glaze" but would like to know about them.

As for the coolant leak, even new cars have some stop-leak additive in the cooling system these days to prevent little "accidents" like that. I wish I could remember the name of the stuff I bought but it's just a small bottle of dark liquid. The label said it was the kind most manufacturers use--whatever--but it cured a slow leak that was absolutely impossible to trace in my old Camaro with 5.7 litre engine--they're notorious for mysterious disappearing coolant. A little bit of that in your customer's radiator might give you some extra insurance against a come-back!

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Thanks guys!

I will take a look at the stop leak deal. I never thought about it.

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I've used something called Bars Leaks.

It works like magic on small leakers in rad and heater cores.

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I would not put in any stop leak. My experience is it will eventually block the radiator causing it to backup and overflow and antifreeze always seems to stain new paint.. That would be a real shame considering how this job came out.

JD

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Welp, the 60 is gone. I do have to replace the custom power steering hose with one from CARS, which I'm not too happy about, but that's a 15 minute job.

And a new project comes in! This one is easy, though. Regular maintenance items like fluids and such, and all the rubber on the car is getting replaced. It has a nice new white top though! I will have to adjust the front bumper - every time he drives this car behind me, it crawls under my skin....the driver side is cocked up about an inch.

No engine work on this car....except the power steering pump is making noise....bearings?

62_electra_arriving.jpg

My LeSabre is jealous of all the attention the other cars are getting. You can actually see it pouting.

empty_garage.jpg

I got to visit my convertible today...I miss the power!! and the stereo...

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Adam, looking forward to pictures of the work on the 62. That 62 looks much better than mine, though. frown.gif

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The funny thing about that is, the paint on Hank's 62 is almost 25 years old!!! shocked.gifshocked.gifshocked.gif

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Guest my3buicks

if you take care of a paint job, it should last as long as it needs to, my paint on the 67 is 21 years old and it still to this day looses no points at a show in that catagory.

post-30591-143137876788_thumb.jpg

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Yep..

Gene Reynolds restored this car before Hank bought it. I am very impressed by the condition of the paint.

The interior color is Camelot Rose (PINK!) and draws a crowd everywhere it goes. Hank has modified the car by putting buckets and a console with floor shifter in, and 15" chrome wheels. It's a sharp car, for sure.

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Guest my3buicks

I remember when Gene owned the car, have always loved the car, especially the Rose interior. I first saw the car at the Great Lakes REgional in 1982 in Bethlehem, PA.

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Adam, you are one Buick perfectionist!! Your parts reflect your labor of love. Not having anywhere near the level of skill you do, I do know sometimes how hard some of these tasks are (e.g., rusted nuts and bolts, heater cores in '63 Riv consoles, cutting a DIN hole in cast-iron radio face plate--look at my '63Riv)

I have another unrelated question, my cater 625cfm is beyond rebuilding (it's been rebuilt by so many bozos who have lost most of the smaller parts; and the choke is non adjustable anymore and way too rich, and i want a new replacement. An square-bore Edlebrock is similar, but doesn't have the trans kick down linkage tab. What would you suggest?

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Thanks for the compliments! It's nothing but lots of time and patience. Skill is something that comes from taking your time. cool.gif

Advice for the carb: find another stock carb. There's nothing easier than a bolt-on replacement. I understand these can be hard to find, but be patient and look everywhere. eBay, these forums, v8buick.com, etc

Good luck!

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That picture of the interior was enticing. Show us some more.

Everything is drop-dead gorgeous on the '60. Your work is clearly exemplified in the quality of its appearance.

Another extraneous question: Who still does work on Dynaflows? 1963 was the last year, and even though the nailheads were produced through 1966, they have different bolt patterns for the THM-400. Any transformation to modern transmission would require major work: driveline stortening, different U-joints, different flywheel bolt holes, adapters, speedo adjustment, possible starter changes, etc.

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You will probably have to call around and find someone local that has been doing it for years, and has experience in the dynaflow transmission. The DF was recently done in the 62 you see pictured above...and we called all over the place and finally settled on someone who actually knew was a dynaflow was. smirk.gif

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Aw crap, not this thread again!! grin.gif

Getting the 60 back this weekend to finish up some loose ends that popped up after the car went back home. The steering still has a vibration, and I am pretty sure I know what it is. The choke is acting up again tongue.gif . The blower door is not opening to blow air through the ducts...should be an interesting deal to figure out. And the drivers side door does not want to shut....at all. After it left the top shop, it's been goobered up since then.

Last weekend, I spent my Sunday dropping the oil pan due to an oil starvation up top. There was a 1/2" of sludge in the bottom of the pan!!! YUCK! I'm glad we caught that before Rochester. The project was actually fairly easy. The frame has holes in the crossmember for access to the oil pan bolts, and I had to remove the idler arm from the frame to drop the center link enough to get the pan to come out....that, and jack up the engine 2 inches. Total project time: 5 hours

Not a great way to spend a Sunday, but it made me feel better about driving it now.

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Hey Adam

Might I ask what you used to clean up/degrease the engine and prepare for painting? And what equipment did you use to paint the engine and compartment, or just use the spray cans? I'm sorta following your lead here with a similar effort on a 55, and your results are impressive. I'm hoping for a fraction of the success you got as this is my first time getting into this. I've had the car for 20 years and always kept it well maintained and cleaned up, never went about "refreshing" it.

thanks in advance

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I used a combo of cleaners and solvents to get the various parts ready for paint. Most of the stuff in the engine compartment went all the way down to bare metal, and cleaned with a VERY heavy duty degreaser. It is actually a silk screen cleaner used for cleaning in print shops. The closest thing that I can find that does a good job, is Acetone.

Everything in the engine compartment was done with spray cans, either from CARS, or the local shop. There's no need for specialty mix paint here. The firewall was done with a one-stage paint I had mixed special. I imagine you could probably get away with cleaning the firewall up well and getting the current paint to look good....although I have no idea what yours looks like. The only reason I painted this firewall, was because it was starting to rust at the heater core, and near the brake booster.

I hope to be doing this whole treatment to my 71 LeSabre as soon as I can boot this car out of the garage grin.gif I would like to have it ready by July.

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I gave up on the power steering vibration. I located a good used hose that has the correct "coupler/restrictor" thing in-line, and it did not fix the vibration. It's not a big issue, so I will let it go with the car. The door is fixed, along with most of the other things on the list.

The funding for this project has come to a sudden end, and I'm not sure where this car will end up. I don't see Rochester in its future, unless someone special finds the car a good home. I hope that my hard work on it will be appreciated...it has become an important part of me.

More to come later..

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