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Customs 1949 Buick Sedanette build--Picture heavy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fat47, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oops. Forgot to attach the pictures of the front of the radiator so you can see the support pieces.
    DSCF1763.JPG

    DSCF1767.JPG

    A wider view of the radiator--inner fender panels and the top panels on the inner fender that close off the air flow under the hood and force it through the radiator.
    DSCF1716.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  2. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    These Buick's had an amazing heat, defrost and ventilation system. One heater located just behind the firewall and another under the passenger's seat. Ventilation tubes ran from behind the grill under the inner fender well with the passenger side tube having an electric fan at the front end of the tube to push air.
    DSCF1503.JPG

    The air on the passenger side flowed to the back of the inner fender panel where it split with the lower tube acting as a fresh air vent under the dash and the upper tube running through a heating unit and into a defroster tube that went from one side of the dash to the other.
    DSCF1508.JPG
    The upper rectangular box went to the defroster and the lower (see accordion hose underneath the box) furnished the passenger venting. While this system was pretty forward thinking the air ventilation system was not independent from side to side. There was only one vent cable and it opened both the passenger and the driver's side tubes. You can see the cable housing coming from the driver's side as it goes over the bottom accordion hose and back under it to the flapper in the firewall. Since I was installing a Vintage AC/heat unit I didn't need the upper rectangular box so I made a round cover to plug that hole where the vent tunnel exited the back of the inner fender panel.
    DSCF1779.JPG

    As indicated previously, I had already welded in a patch in the passenger side firewall where the big rectangular defrost/vent box previously attached. That gave me a smooth firewall above the remaining vent hose that now matched the one on the driver's side.

    DSCF1768.JPG

    The vent control knob on the dash originally connected via a cable directly to the Driver's air vent flap and when you pulled the cable it opened. You can see this cable bracket on the driver's side at the top of this picture.
    DSCF1781.JPG

    There was a secondary cable from there to the underside of the passenger's side vent flap thatwould open the flap on the passenger's vent at the same time. So, there was no independent control from side to side. To allow the passenger to control their own air flow control I had to disconnect the cable running from one side to the other, remove the passenger side cable bracket, reverse its position and add a cable and pull handle under the dash on the passenger's side.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  3. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In the last couple of posts you can see the steering column plates that I made to hold the column in place as it exits the firewall. As mentioned earlier there are two plates that overlap, each having half of the hole the column comes through. I will weld the top plate/half to the column. The bottom plate is an extension of the plate over the brake pedal. The welded to the column top half is held in place with 3 SS bolts, one on each side that attach through the firewall lip and hold the two plates together and one at the top that also goes through the lip.

    Will be at Torque fest this weekend if anybody attending has questions.
     
  4. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,372

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Amazing how they engineered the fresh air and heat on those old boats isn't it...??? AND they did it without computers...

    That Buick is looking good...

    My bro and I were scheduled to be at Torque-Fest...and got part of the way there, from Denver, when we had a rear wheel bearing go out on the Caddy...parked the car at an auto parts store in a small town, drove back to Denver to get truck and trailer and killed the whole day...since Cadillac rear wheel bearings are NOT readily available in small town auto parts stores, we cancelled the whole trip...

    R-
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
    Bruce Fischer likes this.
  5. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,931

    The37Kid
    Member

    Really nice looking Buick! Bob
     
  6. millerd
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 3

    millerd
    Member

    Always thought that green was a great color for these long boats. Keep sharing your progress. When do you think you'll get her on the road?
     
  7. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We finally gave up at Torque Fest around noon on Sat. Rain, Rain, more Rain and wind. As always we drove two lane going home. On the Illinois side of the Mississippi about 40 miles south of Dubuque a huge tree had blown down across the road just before we got to that part. Two semi's ahead of us were screwed. Not enough room to turn around so they were stuck. We managed to get the wagon around and then went on a couple hour adventure trying to find an alternative route. Part of the fun.

    As to what the finish line is for the Buick I really don't know.
     
  8. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    REMEMBER: I'm bring you up to date so far in this thread. Just about there.

    Earlier I promised a couple of pictures relative to how the Big Block Buick 455 fit in the engine bay. So, here you go.

    DSCF1727.JPG

    DSCF1728.JPG

    As you can see there is plenty of room, side to side and front to back. Unlike a Chevy with its Distributer in the back where you have to watch the firewall clearance these front dist. Buicks don't have that problem. Also notice the distance between the fan snout on the front of the water pump and the radiator. If anything, I may have to put a spacer in to move the fan closer. Here is another view.

    DSCF1777.JPG

    A friend had an "original" Caddy oil bath air cleaner he wasn't going to use so I cut a deal with him, removed the bottom oil bath part, substituting a bottom plate from an old after market chrome one I picked up at a swap meet for a couple of $$. It's now painted the same color as the car and I will probably have it pin striped. Luckily I measured the height of the engine with the carb and air cleaner before installing it to make sure it would fit under the hood.

    The Quadra-jet is being rebuilt now so no current pictures of the air cleaner
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  9. WZ JUNK
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,609

    WZ JUNK
    Member
    from Neosho, MO

    Great job Walt. A long project but it shows. I am also making progress on my longtime project. I sure miss the backseat boys.

    John
     
  10. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As mentioned earlier, I made a two piece floor board retainer for the steering column. The pieces overlap at the column exit hole in the fire wall. The bottom piece also covers the hole in the toe board where the brake pedal comes through.
    DSCF1769.JPG

    The column is from a Chevy Step Van. It's not tilt, but in all the years I have put tilt columns in builds I can never remember actually changing the position of the wheel. I was careful to position the column with the dash and the front seat in the 49 so I don't think it will be a problem.
    DSCF1773.JPG

    I haven't pulled the steering wheel on this column yet to see if the original 49 wheel will fit, but if it doesn't then I will search out an early 60's Buick wheel.

    Once I made sure of the positioning of the column I tack welded the column to the upper plate in the previous picture, removed it by first unscrewing the bigger bottom plate that the clutch pedal comes through and stitched welded the column to the upper plate. I sanded down the column and the attached mounting plate and painted them.
    DSCF1805.JPG
     
  11. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Cad air cleaner. The carb rebuild is done so I will try to set this up in the next few days. The Quadra-jet came off a spare 455 I had but the heat riser/choke set up on the manifold is a little different. I will have to figure that out. I do have a dual four set up for a 455 but not sure it is worth the effort to set it up at this point.
    DSCF1811.JPG
     
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  12. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So, last week, before I went to Dubuque for the Torque Fest, Max and I painted the rest of the interior trim, with the exception of the dash. The dash will have to wait until I finish the changes to the defroster set up, see if the new WSW switch from Newport can be worked into the original switches location, and add AC vents to the side.
    DSCF1810.JPG

    DSCF1806.JPG
     
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  13. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Getting the stock defroster tunnel to work with the Vintage AC set up. Drilled a couple of 1 1/2" holes at each end of the underside of the tunnel. Tunnel is upside down in the picture below. This end is the driver's side.
    DSCF1807.JPG
    Then cut a piece of 1 1/2" thin wall tubing (look at right center of above picture) with a 45 angle on one end to weld on the opening so it would slope toward the center where the AC unit vents are.
    DSCF1808.JPG

    Cleaned the surrounding surface so I can weld the angled tubing to the defroster. I will also put a couple of weld bumps just below the bottom edge of the tube to hold the accordion AC flex hose from the unit in place.

    In the next picture you can see the hole in the passenger side of the tunnel and the original air intake hole on the end. I will cut this back an inch or two and make a weld it shut. The strap is one of the three that holds the AC unit in place. I just used a sheet metal screw to hold it to the tunnel in the mock up. I will remove the screw, drill a 1/2" hole in the tunnel and weld in a 1/4" nut to make sure the bracket is solid.
    DSCF1809.JPG
     
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  14. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,021

    Okie Pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Enjoying your build pictures and glad to see a back burner project is now at the front of the line.
     
  15. 1949 caddyman
    Joined: Jun 30, 2010
    Posts: 223

    1949 caddyman
    Member
    from arizona

    Loved reading this thread, brought back memories of my 49 Cad build. Lots of same parts on them. Mine has a fat man front end that looks like yours. I put 30k miles on it they work ok.
     
  16. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    OK, I'm pretty much up to date on the build. The new headliner I ordered has arrived and is at the upholsterers. I took the seats in a couple of weeks ago.
    DSCF1735.JPG
    As you can see, each spring is individually wrapped in burlap. He had to disassemble everything and then make new burlap pockets for each spring. Very labor intensive. That part is completed and Saturday when I stopped by his shop, he had the tuck and roll inserts done and was fashioning the remainder of the covers.

    The backs of the front seat are metal so first the spring part is covered then the separate backs and then they are reassembled as one piece.
    DSCF1736.JPG

    I am ordering the carpet today. By the yard as it will have to be custom made. In the above picture you can see that the back of the seat frame is carpeted. So is the separate panel under the back seat. These are both about 6" high. My plan is to also have the bottom 6" of the door panels in carpet to match.

    Updates are likely to slow down for a while now as outside Summer stuff, car show travel and the need to finish up the wiring on the 33 Dodge coupe takes over my time.
     
    1959Nomad likes this.
  17. nailedbuick
    Joined: Jul 31, 2009
    Posts: 23

    nailedbuick
    Member

    Looks great. Thanks for the engine pictures.
     
  18. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Finished the modifications on the defroster. Now set up for the Vintage AC and cut away the necessary space enabling me to put the Newport WSW control in the same spot on top of the dash.

    Picked up the new drive shaft and the carpet material arrived yesterday. Dropped the carpet material (from Labaron Boney) at the upholster today and hope to install the drive shaft tomorrow.

    The local chrome shop finally finished straightening and polishing the rear fender SS strips. They were rough to start with and I hoped they would come out a little better than they did but they should be OK. I am going to try a different shop for the door strips.
     
  19. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Started to install the SS back fender trim I had straightened and polished at a shop in Indy and realized that they had either filed or buffed through the metal at the center peak in several spots on one of them. I didn't catch this when I unwrapped them.You can hold it up to the light and see through it from the back side. Pissed. Trying to support a local business in this instance didn't work out. Luckily I had a spare and I only took them two pieces so I could see what kind of work they did. Now I know, but I'm out one piece of SS and some $. The other piece is passable, but I will replace it if I find another one.

    Thought about going back and raising hell, but what good would it do. They aren't going to replace the piece, refund the $ and repair is out of the question. But I will let the local Hot Rod community know how the work turned out.

    These car builds are always a learning experience. Mostly good, but some bad.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    Bruce Fischer and rg171352 like this.
  20. Clevername
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 315

    Clevername
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for posting. Great build!
     
  21. rattlesnakedaddy
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 41

    rattlesnakedaddy
    Member

    Looking good. There is a '49 sitting in a junk yard a few miles from me. Always loved the look's of them.
     
  22. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am trying to finish the 33 Dodge coupe to be eligible for the pre 48 cut off for Frog Follies in Aug. but the Buick just keeps dragging me back. I took the spare SS rear fender spear to Metal Brite in Dayton, Ohio along with a couple of other pieces when I went to the Springfield Ohio swap meet a couple of weeks ago. They thought they would have them repaired and polished by the end of June. I am still waiting on the three small pieces that needed re-chroming from the original SS polishing outfit in Indianapolis. Each week I get " it will be in the mail tomorrow".
    Here is a view of the one decent (not great) spear they did. The SS mud guard below it on the front of the fender was done by Advanced Plating in Nashville. They do great work but are pricey.
    DSCF1822.JPG

    While I normally use Flexclad 400 or Peel and Seal for sound deadener/insulation on the floors and doors, the local manufacture's rep. said he wouldn't recommend it for the roof. So, I used Dynamat extreme.
    Looking towards the rear window.
    DSCF1816.JPG
    Looking toward the WS.
    DSCF1817.JPG
    I priced it at several places and Amazon.com was the cheapest. Any where from $50-100 less than the various rod venders plus free shipping.

    Oh, and I picked up the back seat from the upholstery shop Friday. He is almost done with the front seat. and will install the headliner at my place along with making and fitting the door panels and carpet.
    DSCF1820.JPG
     
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  23. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Forgot to mention encountering a problem with the drive shaft. The turbo 400 tranny is the short shaft variety and the local drive shaft guy (great person, in business for over 40 years) only had one 400 yoke left. Turns out it was for a long shaft (there are actually three shaft lengths). So, he said to just cut off the end of the yoke. Now on the inside of the yoke the first 2" is smooth wall that then transitions to the splined area. The initial smooth area slides in and over a seal about 4" in on the tranny shaft. Well cutting off the end of the yoke leaves less larger diameter smooth wall at the beginning of the yoke so you still hit the seal on the tranny shaft at the same distance in.. The answer, we think, is to bore off some of the splines so you still have a 2" smooth interior at the beginning of the yoke interior before the yoke splines hit the splines on the tranny shaft. At least that is what we have figured out. The yoke is currently at a local machine shop so we will see if our thinking on this is correct.
     
  24. Hi Walt,

    Nice to see that old gal going back together. It's great tosee the common sense approach that yields a car that will go the miles we both like.

    Charlie
     
  25. Hi-Flying
    Joined: Jun 15, 2011
    Posts: 174

    Hi-Flying
    Member

    Looking good, we will be leaving for Salina Thursday about 7 Earnie has the room I don't know where
     
  26. ozrob
    Joined: Aug 26, 2015
    Posts: 2

    ozrob

    Any further developments?
     
  27. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    DSCF1928.JPG Headliner is in, seats are completed and rest of car is insulated. Lots of smaller things done. Upholsterer was supposed to be back three weeks ago to finish interior. Haven't heard from him since. Will contact him this week and try to post picture updates later.

    DSCF1927.JPG

    He will work out wrinkles over the door when he comes back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
    mgtstumpy and biggeorge like this.
  28. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So, after a Summer of road trips and working on house projects for the wife it was time to get back on the Buick.
    Installed the hood and adjusted so all the lines and gaps were correct.
    DSCF1937.JPG

    While waiting on the upholsterer who was supposedly doing the door panels I went ahead and finished insulating the floor so he could eventually lay the carpet.
    DSCF1929.JPG

    DSCF1930.JPG
     
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  29. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Finally got ahold of the upholsterer. Must have called 25 times. Does great work but not the most responsible or punctual guy. Luckily I pay as I go so I'm not out $$$$. He is backed up with Christmas rush projects and promised he would be back after the 1st of the year. Meanwhile I started on the dash upgrades. I picked up these AC vents from Yogi's.
    DSCF1923.JPG

    Decided to put one of the smaller ones on each end of the dash.

    DSCF1921.JPG
    The problem was the dash is curved from top to bottom and the backs of the vents are flat. I needed some spacers to take up the gap. So I cut four pieces off some 1/4" thick steel stock I had laying around---1/4 in wide and about 4 in long. Some 1/4 in rod would probably work better but I didn't have any laying around and I didn't want to make a trip to the supplier in town. I bent the pieces into a basic horseshoe shape and then ground down the ends to give me a taper. I went ahead and cut out the opening for the vent and then welded a spacer at the top and one at the bottom. Then a little body filler to smooth out the lines.



    DSCF1922.JPG

    DSCF1924.JPG

    DSCF1925.JPG
    I'll do some finish work on the vent housing this week.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
    loudbang likes this.
  30. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,828

    BJR
    Member

    What brand of insulation did you go with?
     

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