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Projects 1940 Buick Coupe

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pickled_asparagus, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    Just scored this '40 Buick Coupe that I couldn't pass up. I pick the car up later this week. The car is complete and appears to be in very good condition bodywise (VERY hard to find in WI) with only a small patch below the drivers side rear 1/4 window. The lady I purchased it from said the patch was there when her family bought the car 33 years ago. Interior is complete, but showing some moderate rodent/age damage. Car doesn't run but I believe it will with some minor coaxing (new 6v battery, decent gas, fuel filter, put the plugs back in,etc..). Hopefully the 3-speed on the column held up too.


    Plan is to keep it and turn it into a summer driver. I plan on leaving the chassis stock as I noticed it's already independent front with coils in the back. First round of updates would include a dual-bowl master with new brake hardware/lines and tires. For now I'll keep the I-8 mill with a potential upgrade to nailhead or late-60's Buick 455 a few years down the road. (Depends on if I decide to go open driveline/big Olds/9")

    Any tips/tricks/ideas/history with these cars? It's my first fat fendered ride and it's a keeper. I've cruised a couple threads but didn't turn up a whole lot of pics. I will post more pics one I pick up the car.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    give consideration to some tube-type shock absorbers. Great way to reduce body roll. Also, a rear gear change can help with your cruising, but it is not an easy task.

    Ironically, I just sold my 40 Buick coupe today!
     
  3. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    I'm guessing I'll have to fab some brackets (not a problem with Solidworks software and a laser table)? I'll have to see what it looks like when I pick it up and come up with some ideas.

    You mean highway friendly gears? I noticed the rearend is a bolt-in center style. Are ring & pinions somewhat available?
     
  4. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 1,685

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    Congrats on the Buick, looks great! I would do just as you plan, get it running, go thru the brakes and drive it. If you can find one some 41 Buicks had factory dual carb set ups. There is also some speed parts for the straight 8 althought they may be a little hard to find and big dollars. The wheel bolt pattern is 5 on 5 so late 60'sthru 70's Buick road wheels will fit it. If you want to up date later on with a nailhead try to find a 65 or 66 with the 400 trans, or if you go with the 455 Buick they are a torque monster, either one would make that 40 haulass. I have been told late 60's chevy pickup rear ends are a pretty easy swap. What ever path you take have fun with it. The Buick Club of American is a great place to find information and parts, check out their website. Welcome to the Buick brotherhood!!
     
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  5. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    we swapped in a rear end from a 53 Buick, but it was quite the project.
     
  6. noclubjoe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 639

    noclubjoe
    Member

    IMG_0513.jpg

    IMG_0514.jpg

    here are a few more pics of the coupe! I cant wait till wednesday when the "deal goes down" pickled_asparagus is a very close friend of mine iam very pumped about this car, even though our club doesnt need ANOTHER blue car!
     
  7. rockfish
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 445

    rockfish
    Member

    Congrats. I looked at that car 2 or 3 years ago when it was for sale in a neighborhood near 60th and Cold Spring if I recall correctly. A friend had told me about it. I thought it had a lot of potential but wasn't in the market for another project at the time. Price was right as I recall and it looked like it wouldn't need much to get back on the road. I think the family also had a late 20's or early 30's Buick in the garage too maybe??? Like I said, it's been a few years. I'll watch for it at local shows now.
     
  8. noclubjoe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 639

    noclubjoe
    Member

    yes 63rd and coldspring, the car in the garage is a 36 chevy 3 window coupe. also a very cool car, it is not for sale at this time.
     
  9. rockfish
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 445

    rockfish
    Member

    At least I was half right. Nice buy and enjoy closing the deal tomorrow.
     
  10. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    Is there any modern master cylinder preference for these cars or anything I need to know that'll make life easier updating the brakes?

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  11. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,134

    oldsman41
    Member

    nice, my 41 olds coupe had 6 banger and 3 spd when I got it very sloooooow. I put a 350 in it with 700r4 and a rear out of a laguna. coil overs on the rear and 4 link. the front with the old shocks handled horrible so went with tube type shocks and a rack and pinon steering. the brake work is pretty straight forward.dual master hooks right up.im sure when you get the shocks and stuff the way you like the ride is great in those type cars. good luck
     
  12. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,607

    Jimbo17
    Member

    From the front the grille reminds me of a 40 Chevy and I never realized how similar they are.

    Jimbo
     
  13. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    Last night I got the motor to run for the first time in over 10 years. I was surprised it ran as well as it did. The only things I added were new plugs and a new 6v battery. As you can see in the video, I used a funnel to fill up the bowl and kept the valve cover off to check for stuck valves and lubrication. It took a little coaxing and a lot of ether (ambient temp about 40 degrees) but she finally came to life.

    It appeared that the umbrella seals were wet with newly circulated oil but there's little pin holes in the top of each rocker arm that I didn't see anything come out of. There's no oil pressure gauge but I'm assuming if the pushrods were getting oiled I'm OK? Video is below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kicIBA_WE3k&feature=youtube_gdata_player


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  14. Nice score ! Great looking coupe
     
  15. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    change the oil. Use non-detergent and consider SAE 10. That oil is thin enough to work its way through narrow passages.

    give the valve train a good coating with a squirt car

    start it, run it, get it warmed up
     
  16. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member


    Will do......So will the detergent oil break loose a bunch of crap that'll clog up passages? (Just curious).

    The fuel pump doesn't pump. I found a complete rebuild kit online for about 70 bucks, will order next paycheck (stupid mortgage getting in the way of important stuff). I also need a rebuild kit for the Carter 474S as I noticed there's no pump shot. It's my first go-around at this but I think I can figure it out. It's pretty cool how this stuff's actually made to be worked on (i.e. the fuel pump being held together by screws instead of stamped metal.)

    I'm going to drain the tank of old gas (which actually has a drain plug!....novel idea!)

    The thing that I found very interesting is that there's 3 ways to start this car. A button was installed by somebody under the dash. I'm not sure why this was done because the gas pedal floor starter works (very well). Also, there is pull-out faux ivory knob on the bottom portion of the dash. I thought it was a choke cable but noticed the car cranks when you pull it out because it moves the throttle shaft the same way the accelerator linkage does. Was this some sort of Buick/Cadillac luxury thing? What actually activates the choke?
     
  17. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,134

    oldsman41
    Member

    when I was young the old mechanic down the street would do the non detergent light weight oil first like bob said just let it warm up and no power pulls or anything. then he would drain that and do 30 weight and a little kerosene I think motor flush by junk is probably a little better it has some lube agents in it. let it warm up and make sure everything is getting oiled. then go to good oil and new filter.
     
  18. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    if you are going to drive it between now and May, I would suggest you stick with 10 or 20 weight oil. that would have been the recommendation by Buick
     
  19. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 852

    Curt Six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You were asking about upgrading to a dual chamber M/C. I did that last year on my '41 Buick. You can see how I did it here:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=578713

    Take a look at your current set up and see if it's the same basic deal. If it is, the M/C I specified and the bracket I made worked really well. I re-drew the bracket in Illustrator and would be glad to send it to you if it would help.

    Good luck. Cool car.
     
  20. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    Curt,

    Thanks for the tips on the Master. I'm for sure going to go with a similar setup because thanks to you all the research is already done and well documented.

    For the drivetrain, I'm thinking of going with a 61-63 Olds/Buick Aluminum V8. (Preferrably Olds for the better head design, higher compression). They look awesome if you polish the whole block and I found a bell from D&D fabrications to couple it with a T5. This, of course, meaning I will have to do something different with the rear end/torque tube. This is currently a long way off but it doesn't hurt to get a plan together and start accumulating parts.
     
  21. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,149

    upspirate
    Member

    Nice looking coupe.I'm really starting to like these '40's cars,esp the coupes and 2 dr sedans and of course the converts!!
     
  22. noclubjoe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 639

    noclubjoe
    Member

    Only a fucking nerd from westallica wi would run a 215.......
     
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  23. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    So it's been about a year since purchase. With the other 2 cars consuming a lot of my time, I was able to finally get the '40 on the road. It's pretty bare-bones right now but it functions. I removed the entire interior, mouse nests, and coated the floor & trunk with rust-oleum. There's a few small holes near the rear quarter windows but nothing major for a 74 year old car that's lived in WI its entire life. I converted to a dual bowl master cylinder similar to Curt's suggestion, ran all 4 lines with new wheel cylinders and hardware, and fabbed a pushrod from a 3/8 bolt. The gas tank was dipped, painted, and reinstalled. I rebuilt the fuel/vacuum pump using the instructions from Team Buick. Carb was rebuilt with new fuel lines ran. I upgraded the radiator with an aluminum one off ebay from a company in Michigan called Superior Radiator (direct-ish fit). It was a 1/4 the price of a Brassworks unit and will cool a more modern engine.

    The car now runs and drives pretty well for its age. The lever & Knee shocks function now that I filled them with Jack oil. All seems pretty well. I'de like to perform the front suspension conversion to '58 Pontiac control arms detailed here: http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/1937-1957_Buick_Oldsmobile_Pontiac_suspension_upgrade This would involve minimal molestation of the frame. I don't want to stub the car.

    I am planning to go open driveline with Chevy Truck arm rear suspension with some form of Olds/Buick V8. I will continue to update this build.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. noclubjoe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 639

    noclubjoe
    Member

    i had 3 buicks....... loved them all....

    good job, brother!
     
  25. Pickled_asparagus
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Pickled_asparagus
    Member

    Drove the car in its current state about 60 miles today. All seems well for its age. I am currently trying to obtain parts for the '58 Pontiac front suspension conversion. Still undecided if I want to soup up the I8 or go with a nailhead or late 60's Buick or olds motor

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
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  26. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I recommend you leave the Buick 8 and enjoy it.
     
  27. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    I say drive it until you sort out replacement engine trans and rear end. People love to see the straight eights. Find a 263 straight eight to upgrade, decide on type of transmission and rear end setup to use. Get them all freshened and ready, have any mods planned and prepared for, then do the install. Then the swap could be accomplished in a couple weeks and you'll be back on the road with a like new rig. Otherwise the mods you have planned could have the car on jack stands for months or years.
    The approach suggested is the way I used to convert my wife's 49 Buick Sedanette to make it easy for her to drive and run and overtake most of the traffic on the expressways. I modernized a 263 straight eight engine attached to a 700R4 by a Bendsendt adapter and the rear suspension with 3.08 posi from a 90 Chevy Caprice. A long term tye-up would have led to unwanted domestic stress.The rear suspension made a remarkable improvement in the ride and handling and was a fairly simple weld in. I was able to include power disc brakes and power steering and didn't need to molest the front suspension or frame. Your Pontiac front control arms sounds like a good idea, I'm considering the mod as well because the metal to metal suspension joints in the early Buick's front end is the only shortcoming to superb ride. Check out my postings in my profile and on team-buick for more details on ours.
    Best Regards and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  28. Sweet ride any updates?
     
  29. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 897

    oldwood
    Member
    from arkansas

    Eight in a row makes them go!!! Nice Bur-ick!!! lol
     
  30. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,518

    choptop40
    Member

    Hey hey, looks like a nice car...
     

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