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Lots of 1941 Buick Super questions


oldbuicks55
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I bought a 1941 Buick Super 4-dr Sedan a few months ago. I also own a 1955 Buick, but this is my first venture into the pre-war era. The 41 was restored about 25 years ago--it was probably an okay restoration at the time, but they didnt follow the most exacting standards. Also, the car sat in a garage for at least 5 years before I bought it. I have some questions I am hoping someone can answer.

1. What is the correct length for the rear fender chrome spear? On my car, the left side is 24 inches long while the right side is 21 inches. Both are in near perfect shape--they just dont match.

2. What is a good source for pre-bent metal brake lines? When I purchased the car, the brake pedal went down to the floor. My original plan was to just replace the wheel cylinders, shoes and springs etc. After poking around underneath the car, it is pretty obvious that the metal brake lines are not orginal and were very sloppily installed. There is not even a rear rubber brake hose--instead they just left some extra metal line to provide some give. I would prefer pre-bent lines since I don't have good originals to provide a pattern. I know Kanter sells stainless steel lines but these are a little pricey and can take up to six weeks to be delivered according to their catalog.

3. I also need to replace the exhaust system. What is the best approach to this as I am pretty sure my local Midas probably wont stock the giant size muffler this car takes? I know places like Kepich sell complete systems, but will a muffler place be willing to install parts they dont sell? I dont think I am up to installing it myself since I dont have a lift or cutting tools. I live in Northern Virginia if anyone has any places they can recommend.

4. What size and type WW tires are correct for this car?

5. What type oil should I be using? The engine has about 60,000 miles on it and I dont believe it has been rebuilt.

Thank you for any help you can provide!

Lars

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">3. I also need to replace the exhaust system. What is the best approach to this as I am pretty sure my local Midas probably wont stock the giant size muffler this car takes? I know places like Kepich sell complete systems, but will a muffler place be willing to install parts they dont sell? I dont think I am up to installing it myself since I dont have a lift or cutting tools. I live in Northern Virginia if anyone has any places they can recommend.

4. What size and type WW tires are correct for this car?

</div></div>

I don't know much about '41s, but I'll do what I can to get you started. In my experience, shops that don't carry or can't locate parts will install if you source the parts. That being said, I'd check with them first - they may be able to source, and then would possibly be less happy about installing them.

Your car would be a Model 51, I believe. According to the BCA Judging Manual (a bit tough to decipher at this time of day for me), the standard rim size is something I can't see, but there is an alternate rim size of 16x6.5 (chrome) and the tire for that is 6.50 x 16.

A double white sidewall was used, but I don't know what that means...this post is getting less helpful all the time. I don't have a source for whitewall widths, but there must be one out there somewhere.

Time to turn the experts loose....

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Thank you for the reply. By WW tire size, I guess I didnt mean tire size (which is the 650-16 Bias) but actually what is the correct WW width? For example, at the Coker tire web site, for 1941 Buick Model 51, they list several different WW widths. I know for 40's GM cars, that Goodrich is correct, but I am not sure what WW width is the way to go. Options are 3 1/4, 3 3/4, and 4 inch. Or is it just a matter of preference?

Lars

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That's what I thought you meant, but to be sure, I posted the info I had.

As mentioned, I don't have a source for that information. Hopefully someone here does. As for preference, it depends. If you want to get the car judged at a BCA meet under the 400 point system, you'll get a deduction if you have an obviously incorrect (1/2 inch difference if I recall) whitewall width. If you don't plan to have the car judged, then you could very well throw it to personal preference.

On Sunday, I was at the World of Wheels show here in Winnipeg. I go every 2-3 years to remind myself why I don't like to go to that show. Anyway, there was a '75 Riviera GS (according to the badging) with wide whites on it...definitely a different look. I can't say it was worse than any of the other custom stuff at the show though.

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Actually, I think the 24s were for fender skirts and the 21s were for open fenders. Putting the 24s on a fender without a skirt makes the pointed ends stick out slightly past the curve of the fender. I have a pair of 24s, one a pretty nice one and one horrible one, but since I've decided not to use fender skirts on my Century, I'd be willing to sell them. E-mail me if you're interested.

Also, to be a stickler for authenticity, use BFGoodrich or Goodyear tires--Firestone was considered a Ford brand. The wide whitewalls were 3.5 to 4 inches wide depending on the brand. Most restored cars today seem to use the 4 inch whites which are commonly available from most manufacturers.

Hope this helps.

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Lars,

Your questions are well-put and the

answers spot-on.

I would add only that metal and rubber

brake hoses appear frequently on eBay.

Also, it would not be difficult to make up

metal lines using the correct pipe material,

fittings, and a tubing cutter and bender.

You might even find a match for the rubber

hoses at any of the large parts houses.

Beyond that, I think you will find that the

three standard tire brands for 1941 were US Royal

Deluxe, Firestone Deluxe Champion, and Goodrich

Deluxe Silvertown.

Good luck!

Howard Purvis

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