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Projects Slow and poor '37 Buick

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Stooge, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Things should start picking up a bit, few little stalls between an irritated nerve in my leg from falling down some stairs, summer heat, working on a few other projects for people, and trying to track down some parts that were holding me up. the last big puzzle piece that's been holding up finishing the floor, a split bench seat that fit my price range. I knew I was going to have to have it reupholstered, so I had to figure that into the budget, but I am pretty happy with it. It will stay bare for the time being since its a ways away from being really needed and I would hate to mess up a freshly done seat while im still heavy into metal and body work. Getting this is allowing me to finally button up the floor, as I didn't want to finish it, and have to go back over it and change what I had already done.

    out of a late 30's Cadillac Lasalle, fits the car and my budget perfectly, picked it up late last week
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    a few parts to make that I've been putting off. First tacked in the driver side floor pan, rear and inner divider facing edges overlap, and the forward and side facing edges are butt welded. Overlapping edges are primed and painted on the sandwiched edges, drilled holes in the top piece, and the marked off on the lower piece accordingly, kissed with a carbide bit to remove the paint from the lower for a poor man's spot weld.

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    First was making a new rear outer rocker, same way I did the driver side rocker so I had a better starting idea. Left out the door sill steps on this one and will make them in a separate piece to make it a little neater, lesson learned from making it out of one piece on the driver side. Replaces the panel a previous owner made with a lot of pie cuts to make the body line rib and held in with a dozen self tapping screws. Looked to be made from galvanized.

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    Next was making a replacement piece of the inner body structure that's affixed to the side of the floor pan. Seems a lot easier to replace this piece and get it and the inner and outer rockers welded in before the floor pan just from an accessibility standpoint. Driver side piece was in good shape and didn't require making a new piece.

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    and so you guys to think im too lazy, a few more of the '58 Edsel fender that im trying to save. this time going at the big hole in the 'cavity' behind the driver side grill insert, (fender is upside down on the stand in these pictures)

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  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    ^^^^^^Really NICE metal fabrication......two thumbs up!!

    Ray
     
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  3. imstupid
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 15

    imstupid
    Member
    from nnj

    Stooge I have to say your work is amazing !! I own a 1938 Buick special coupe as well and am definitely getting inspiration from you . I did want to give you a heads up there is a company that makes a lot of the patch pieces for these cars . Not sure if I’m allowed to mention non vendors here but you can hit me up if you are interested , again great work
     
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  4. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Ray! Its scarily starting to look like a real car again for the first time in how ever many decades. A little behind on where i wanted to be at this point, but if i can have the body in primer by the end of the year, i'll be happy'ish

    Hey thanks! Its just alot of guess work mixed with some clever-out-of-necessity tricks ive picked up.over the years from being a cheapass! I did some casual poking around before i started on it, for what was out there for repair panels, ems/hot rod sheet metal, (who ive used before with moderate success) and various ebay vendors, but i didnt really find much that looked like it would work for what i needed. For the most part, especially on the last project where i used aftermarket panels, (66 gto) the panel fitments were pretty disappointing especially for the prices, so i had sort of intended to make my own to save money, (id be more frustrated fixing panels i paid for than the frustration that comes from making some from scratch),and just for the fun of it!
    Lets see some pics of your special!
     
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  5. imstupid
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 15

    imstupid
    Member
    from nnj

    At the moment it’s at a stand still while we move into a new house . However when we get settled I’m going to need to start a build thread on my special . But definitely enjoying yours !!
     
  6. Fireball5
    Joined: Oct 1, 2018
    Posts: 2

    Fireball5

     
  7. Fireball5
    Joined: Oct 1, 2018
    Posts: 2

    Fireball5

    Hello Stooge, and hello to all other members; I'm brand new to this group but a long time Buick owner and .straight 8 dirt track racer. 10 years and thousand of laps. There is performance available . We ran .090 and .187.5 overbores, .090 off the head, 2 Holly 500s, Crane cam, Pontiac valves, Jahns pistons, and a 429 Ford alum. flywheel.
    Thats the easy part. Making it stay together takes many dozen of big and small changes.
    We ran it in the 6500+ rpm range for a few years then we dropped back to 5.88 gears when we went to tube intake and 8 tuned megaphone pipes The I/8 will turn 7000 but it's too much maintenance
    I'm short on time right now, any questions, post me. Fireball 5.
     
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  8. Hey, Fireball, please expound! Maybe start a thread. I LIKE STRAIGHT BUICKS.

    Ben
     
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  9. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree with @firstinsteele , I'd love to hear more about what you did with these engines! theres a lot of information about cleaning up stock set ups, but first hand experience hopping one up is pretty limited. Im really not sure how far I want to go with the engine, it came out of a running car when I bought it, and it is a fairly budget build though Im trying to budget for engine work next year sometime. out in the front of the building where my shop is, is CAMCO racing engines/ Dana Hard Nostalgia Nitro funny car shop, and I know he has experience with a lot of the vintage engines and straight 8's so I'd like to pick his brain when I get to that point, set up a budget and figure out what will be fun and reliable, as one of the end goals for this car is to road trip it on some longer distance drives, and specifically to the Pigeon Forge show in the fall some year to visit a buddy of mine, almost exactly 1000 miles each way from Massachusetts.

    Not much to write home about on buick work, had to do some futzing with issues with my daily driver over a few days, but did manage to start getting some of the new pieces I made tacked in and aligned, and made a new inner rocker for the passenger side since it was toast and got some other rot cut out. next will be figuring out how to make some new door sill corners so I have something to weld the new outer rocker to

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    And since my daily was out of commission for a few days, I was driving my off topic squarebody C10 truck, which was my last personal project before the buick. I wont post pictures of the outside since its post '65, but figured I'd throw some pictures of the interior, not sure if I've posted these yet, but the dash and seat divider made from scrap sheet metal that was industrial shelving at one point, and used '49/'50 ford gauge cluster and clock. Half way through the truck project, I was really looking for a '50'ish coupe but kept passing me by so I at least got to use some gauges from one
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  10. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I, too, would like to hear more details about performances mods to the Straight Eight....though mine are the smaller 248 and 263 cubic inch versions. But I would surmise that what works for a 320 ((BBB ?) would also be applicable to the SBB ;).

    Ray
     
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  11. Fireball Five
    Joined: Oct 5, 2018
    Posts: 58

    Fireball Five
    Member

     
  12. Fireball Five
    Joined: Oct 5, 2018
    Posts: 58

    Fireball Five
    Member

    We've built a few 320's and made a pair of tube intakes, each with a plenum and a Holly 2bbl, 500 on each with a big equalizer between. They are trouble free and easy to jet. I didn't do the math as far as tuned length like I did on the 8 megaphoned zoomie exhausts. It ran 10 years. 5 years on first engine then broke a rod.
    '
     
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  13. Fireball Five
    Joined: Oct 5, 2018
    Posts: 58

    Fireball Five
    Member

    ****When J built ol' 5 I had to have open dr. shaft. I tried converting trans. but it was not satisfactory and neither was the transmission. I drilled bell housing and bolted on a Chev. 3 speed. ala. Hurst shifter. Big improvement! Idont'remember making any adapter. but I may have, it was simple. at any rate. Just be sure it's centered an input shaft is right length Some advice if you make pilot bearing spacer for a Dynaflow crank, be sure to use a bearing or an Oilite bushing.. I just made the adapter out of brass and it didn't last. It started squealing. and grabbing even tho I had put grease in it. Fireball 5.[/QUOTE]
     
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  14. Fireball Five
    Joined: Oct 5, 2018
    Posts: 58

    Fireball Five
    Member

    You can build a 320 from warm to 350 HP. If you go to a milled head, a moderate cam, dual intake, and a good exhaust, the bottom end will probably be ok. More than that is a Lot of work and money. Line boring, cyl. boring, custom made steel main caps,modified, welded connecting rods bored for bushings/floating pins, then Zygloed, shot peened and heat treated. Jahns or other pistons for compression. Clevite rod bearings and a couple Chrysler main inserts. Also a redo of the oil system. Drilling block for full flow filter and more.. Plus all balanced Fireball 5
     
  15. Fireball Five
    Joined: Oct 5, 2018
    Posts: 58

    Fireball Five
    Member

    I hear the " flexing crank" thing mentioned several places, or is it just too much load on the main bearings and caps? Our crank lasted 10 seasons /twice a week burning circles on 3/8 dirt tacks, but early on we had to go fabricated steel caps and late model Mopar Clevite bearings on #'s 2 and 4 mains.. The crank lived thru a broken rod [top end] and insert damage from an outside source [detonation] which holed 2 pistons. The inserts also have to have an oil groove cut in the bottom insert, otherwise the adjacent rods only get oil for 1/2 each crank revolution. We ran 5500 to 6500 RPM with 5.88 rear gears in high gear. Fireball 5
     
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  16. Fireball Five
    Joined: Oct 5, 2018
    Posts: 58

    Fireball Five
    Member

    Another thought about going to open drive shaft and keeping rear coils. We used a pair of outer torque tubes for radius rods with big truck tie rod ends at front end to frame mount. It was strong and bullet proof and eliminated the 4 bar jungle gym with it's 8 Heim ends and infinite adjustments and suspability to damage. If any one is interested, post me and I can give better details. Fireball 5.
     
  17. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks @Fireball Five , I've got some time to mull it over and figure out what I want out of this and what I can comfortably spend on it. it will be going to the machine shop out infront of where my shop is, who specializes in vintage/antique engines and nostalgia racing. I know he has done buick straight 8's before, so im hoping we'll be able to figure some course of action, I just want reliable with a bit of pep, as this will be going on some road trips when its 'done'.



    Some progress being made in an effort to start body working and high fill primer by the end of the year. Rolled the Century out of the shop to move a few cars around and also to spin the Buick around so I could more conveniently work on the passenger side. There's still some paint hiding around in some crevices around the front fenders, and I didn't touch the hood or trunk, but I did a solid first pass with some fairly coarse sanding discs to knock down the old paint and crusty surface rust, and started clearing a few dents that I've found. not many surprises around the body with the paint off, no surprise filler anywhere, a few spots of brazing on the rear passenger fender flange, and some more brazing around the tail pan but that will just be cleaned up as it was done well enough. a few small areas that will get cut out and replaced with new metal, but for the most part, some areas will be treated with a rust neutralizer after a few more sanding passes on the bare body.

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    And started cutting out the passenger side door sill/ rocker areas. Had to make a handful of pieces, including the inner body structure, the inner rocker rail, a new outer rocker skin, and a new outer door sill piece, and have been busy getting those in and looking right, still have some massaging to do with the sill, and I ended up pie cutting most of the length of it to make for a better fit, so it looks a little askew but will look right when done, as the sill corner isn't welded in yet, and the bottom of the sill hasn't been welded to the inner rocker so its just sort of hanging there.

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    Not the prettiest of welds, just slowly tacked into place, but was cleaned up later

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    Start of making the new door sill

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    Added the weather stripping channel to the top, not a million miles off, just the front facing edge came out a little bigger than anticipated which later required some cutting and refitting, but not bad for the side of a table and some stuff I've collected over the years to hammer metal over

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    First pass cleaning up the joining edges of the new and old outer rocker, still a few more passes to clean it up, but that's about where I am with it,

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  18. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And a little work on the edsel fender im still working on here and there, but started to fill up the large hole around the headlight bucket. Decided to make the raised body line in a separate piece of material to make it a bit more manageable for myself, but still need to make a wooden hammer form for it

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    Don't mind the all over the place cleco clamps, the original metal in this area is pretty soft and I was having a time trying to find spots that they would actually hold. This new piece is further along than what I have pictures of, refined a bit of the shape and added a nice bead/ flange around the edge that goes to the other new piece to mimic the factory shape where the driver side grille seats up against that flange.
     
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  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Nice work!!!

    Ray
     
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  20. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well after over a year of ownership, and 8 or 9 months of slowly plugging away at the Buick, I finally got to actually sit in it! It may not sound like a big accomplishment, but it was certainly a nice feeling, and all I had to do was rebuild most of the floors, rebuild the rockers on both sides, rebuild the door sills, rebuild the inner and outer sections of both doors, make some running boards from scratch, find an engine and transmission, find a steering column and steering box, and find some seats. Also had a few of my most used tools break on me the last few weeks, so I was on hold for a bit while I upgraded some tooling.

    First few pictures are of getting the last big piece of the floor in, using a method I affectionately refer to as a poor mans spot weld/ plug weld, but for an area that's fairly obstructed for a spot welder to get in to, it made the most sense to go this route. Both the under lapped piece and the over lapping piece that will be sandwiched, are both painted, (I chose white for ease of marking), cleco clamped in place, and the upper piece is marked off where the plug welds will be . These marks are then drilled, the piece put back into position, and the lower piece is marked off to the accompanying holes, and the upper is removed again. Then I kissed the new marks on the lower with a carbide bit to remove the paint, upper piece is repositioned and clamped, and plug welded. the rest of the perimeter of the new piece is butt welded, but is just tacked in place for the time being until I go back in and finish welding the rest of the floor. Im not a fan of weld-thru primers, they seem to have very bad adhesion and poor conductivity so you get a lot of spatter, which can create a dangerous fire hazard when there is still some insulation in the car body....I've also lit a pair of pants or 2 on fire thanks to weld through primer spatter

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    Also found the "Standard" non-optioned, banjo style Buick steering wheel. it was cheap, saves me the big expense of getting the buick banjo wheel I have getting recast since all of the grip was gone, and fits the "theme" of the car pretty well I think. Exterior of the car will be black, black steel wheels with a small center cap and black wall bias ply tires. interior for the time being will, be just getting the seat covered, and spraying the inside black after getting rid of the surface rust.

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  21. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,022

    40FORDPU
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Nice project..great metal work!
     
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  22. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,138

    1-SHOT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Miller makes a Spot Welder for their MIG it a small printed circuit board that goes in your welder, and a special nozzle. You don't have to drill any holes , just have properly prepared metal and hold the nozzle down tight and square and pull the trigger. The welder burns thru the first panel and welds the second panel to it. I have used one for years with good results. Frank.
     
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  23. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282

    oldsman41
    Member

    You had me hooked when you said that you were going with a straight 8. Nice work too.
     
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  24. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks! I had been looking for a late 30's GM coupe for awhile, and just the size of the buick compared to a similar yr chevy, made me want it more. Its been a lot of work, but I enjoy the sheet metal work and figuring my way through these things with limited tools and especially a limited budget.

    I took a look on the Miller website, but didn't see it. The company I work for is owned by the same company that owns Miller, (ITW), and I might still have a contact over there to ask about it, though its been a few yrs since I've been to their plant. Fortunately, I don't often have too much of a need to do plug/ spot welds, and it really didn't take too long, just a handful of times taking the big floor pan in and out and making sure everything was lined up.

    Thanks! im glad I went with the big straight 8 too, and I think im a lot happier than I would be if I had went the nailhead/ muncie route, even just from a 'not having to re-engineer everything' route to fit it along with changing the rear end and suspension if I got rid of the torque tube rear. This is supposed to be my easier car after my last off topic 'change every piece of the puzzle' truck. Plus a giant, 4ft long, 900lb engine is just damn cool!

    still a lot of work to do, but after I get the rest of the metal work done, the pace should pick up a bit. Next planned thing is fixing the weather strip channel around the trunk where its rotted in a few spots, and there are a few little hidden spots under the front fenders to fix, then its body work for awhile and pulling the body off at some point to have the frame sandblasted. Plus I still have that pesky Edsel to work on, but he needs to buy some replacement floor panels for it still.
     
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  25. Lines
    Joined: Jun 11, 2018
    Posts: 213

    Lines
    Member
    from Germany

    Nice Build. I like that you show youre building steps so it is able to follow.
    I love that Straight 8. Cool looking engines.
     
  26. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Still alive, having fun working through a sciatica issue so work's been a little slow but still plugging away. The floor is "done", but still need to finish cleaning up some of the surface rust on the inside of the roof and inner walls before i can just paint the whole inside. Outside has been ground and cleaned up, few little spots to finish up the metal work ruust repairs then i can start on body work.
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    Welding on the floor have since been finished, ground down, cleaned up, but still want to put down a seam sealer in the corners

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    Also started collecting parts for making up the throttle and choke linkages, and fuel lines and redid how i had the carburetors lined up and added a log style intake with a piece of oval tubing. A little pricy but looks a little better than rectangular tubing or standard round tubing. Mocked it up yesterday and the ends are still open, but should make things a bit easier, plus it just looks cool
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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  27. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,262

    Cliff Ramsdell
    Member

    Great idea on the oval tubing for the intake, that really looks great. Keep on keepin on.

    Cliff Ramsdell
     
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  28. I LOVE the station wagon.Bruce.
     
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  29. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt
    Member

    Awesome progress
     
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  30. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 447

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Th edsel's actually been moved to my house so we can start on some of the mechanicals, (and his wife wasnt a fan of it sitting in the driveway especially since the front fenders were off). The 460 for it is still at the machine shop being ignored which is bothering me more than the owner. Need to make a new buck for the body line on the fender i was working on since i wasnt quite happy with how the first one was coming out but most of it is atleast tacked together
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