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Technical New 39 Buick owner with a few questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 39buickcoupe, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. 39buickcoupe
    Joined: Jan 15, 2019
    Posts: 3

    39buickcoupe

    I recently picked up a 39 Buick business coupe and I am looking for just some basic info, oil to use in both trans and motor, also I am interested in what’s the best way to make her a nice cruiser where my wife and I can taker it out once a week or so. We drove it yesterday for about 30 miles it ran great shifted well but when we parked it there seem to be an oil leak from the trans/drivetrain (I know it’s all enclosed but don’t know much more). I was wondering if I should be concerned or what to look for when adding more or cleaning it out. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you
     
  2. firstinsteele
    Joined: Jun 13, 2013
    Posts: 874

    firstinsteele
    Member

    Your first old car? Oil leaks are part of the deal! If not too bad. Probably the torque ball which is at the back of the transmission where the torque tube connects. Does not " hurt " for it to leak unless the leak is so bad as to drain the transmission. Unlikely. If it was mine I would just monitor for a while. Unless one is driving a lot, say several hundred miles a month, just live with it. I keep a metal pan made for such beneath mine.
    Use any modern oil. Depending on where you live, probably a 10w/30 or 10w/40. Any brand. Least expensive is way better than what was available in 1939. For gear oil, I use 90/140.

    Welcome and good luck.

    Ben
     
  3. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,671

    oldolds
    Member

    Usually the trans and reads on a car like that would have the standard 90w gear oil in them.
    The engine could be another matter. Is it original or has it been rebuilt at some point in it's life. When it was new it would have had a straight weight oil in it. Something like 30w in the summer and 10w in the winter. Most often non detergent oil. There also was detergent oil that kept things cleaner. The traditional thinking was that you should not run detergent oil in a car that has had years of use with non-detergent oil as it would loosen the sludge in there and cause problems. Now most people say run the detergent oil and change it often to clean things up. If it was rebuilt at some time it probably only ever had detergent oil in it.
    You should look for oils that have a high zinc content. Amsol. Lucas, Valvoline are a few that make such an oil. The weight of oil should be at least a 30w in my opinion. 10w-30 should be ok. 10w-40 in warmer climates. If you bought the car from a long time owner ask him what he was runnung. I am sure others will chime in with more opinions.
     
  4. 39buickcoupe
    Joined: Jan 15, 2019
    Posts: 3

    39buickcoupe

    Thank you for your input, yes it’s my first classic I figured it was going to leak a little I just wanted to be sure it was nothing to be worried that much about. I bought it at an auction so I’m not 100% sure if it’s pasts and want to do anything that could help the longevity. I have the previous owners info and he left his registrations in the glove box all the from 12-present so it would seem he’s had it in running order for the past few years. But I was thinking I could check with him to see what information he would be willing to share about it’s history.
     
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  5. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,071

    oldsman41
    Member

    90 wt in trans and i dont remember if the old Buick had a oil filter i know my 41 olds didn’t so if you live in a warm climate you could use a 30 wt oil or best thing imo is try and get an oil filter kit and filter the oil. You may be leaking at the gasket to the yoke from trans to driveshaft. Good luck with her.
     
  6. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Was that the one at Kissimmee?
     
  7. 39buickcoupe
    Joined: Jan 15, 2019
    Posts: 3

    39buickcoupe

    Yes it was
     
  8. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I was admiring that when I saw it on the TV coverage..nice car, bought right.
     
  9. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,042

    sdluck
    Member

    Find a forum for buick owners and ask what they recommend,also check with the previous owner and see what history they can tell you.
     
  10. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 260

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Ben: Is this setup like my newer 50s stuff where a bad enough seal could let the trans empty out into the tube?
     
  11. firstinsteele
    Joined: Jun 13, 2013
    Posts: 874

    firstinsteele
    Member

    I think not. I believe what you are talking about is the Dynaflow. IT can do that.

    How ya doing?

    Ben
     
    belair likes this.
  12. NJGreenBullitt
    Joined: Feb 17, 2011
    Posts: 4

    NJGreenBullitt
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Congratulations on your first classic. I have a '39 business coupe myself. I love the look and the ride is unbelievably soft - am I right? 3-on-the-tree takes some practice, too.

    You would think an auction vehicle would have fresh fluids, but when the time comes (or you just want to get in there & poke around) you want 10-30 up front and 90 or 140 weight GL1 in the trans & rear. Lots of concern about non-GL1 eating yellow metals (brass & bronze) of old transmissions.

    You should join us over here in the AACA forums https://forums.aaca.org/forum/60-buick-pre-war/

    It caters to the original & restored crowd. Join up, log in & search. I'm JRHaelig over there.

    Oh, and learn the meaning of "1 year only". It comes up a lot with '39 Buicks.
     
    gggholson likes this.
  13. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,157

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Google "Buick Club of America". Lots of info.
     
  14. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,015

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First "old" car I ever rode in was my Uncle Joe's '39 Buick 4 dr. sedan (it was his family car in the middle 50's). I have a soft spot for them and the straight 8's, it should do you nicely.
     

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