GM rear wheel drive


Old 06-07-02, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
GM rear wheel drive

I thougt Joe might like to here this.I went to work wednesday and a car came in on a flat bed,black in color I was in trouble.So I went after the beast checking, lubing,draining and flushing all fluids.Installed a new battery,shot some Gumout carb cleaner down its throat and much to my suprise it fired right up.It drove right up the road to the car show,after being in storage 11 years.I enjoyed working on this car because you see it is a 1915 Buick Touring Sedan.It belongs to the owner of my Buick dealership.You may find this interesting it has an exposed valvetrain and I had to repack the water pump to correct a minor leak.Joe I hope you get to do this someday.I wonder will he let me take it for a spin?Its something I have to ask.
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Old 06-07-02, 08:37 PM
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old Buicks

Trust me Dave, you don't want to drive one of these beasts!

Did the 1915 model have an electric starter? The 3 pedal arrangement?

I had a similar experience w/ a 1917 Buick. It sat from 1980 until 1995. I was called to revive it. The fuel tank was full of NASTY fuel, the battery was dead, the multi disc clutch was frozen & the ballast resistor was open.

I located a NOS ballast resistor in OK ($50...what a hose job!), replaced the fuel fouled spark plugs (HUGE Champions, about $6 each, still available from my parts jobber), drained & refilled the fuel tank & replaced the miserable 6V battery w/ an 8V unit.

After priming the small fuel reservoir on the driver's side of the engine (holds about 1 fuel pump on these cars...engine vacuum draws fuel from the tank to the carb.) the car fired right up.

It was parked in a garage w/ a very steep driveway. Since the clutch was stuck, I was forced to start it in Reverse & back out of the garage & up the driveway. I drove the entire length of the driveway (100 yds. or more) with the clutch pedal fully depressed, pumping the hideous band brakes in an attempt to free the stuck clutch discs. After 3 or 4 trips up the drive, the clutch finally let go & functioned properly.

I took it for a short cruise around the owner's property ( a huge estate, absolutely beautiful) & it started misfiring badly. A quick check of the valvetrain revealed 2 bent pushrods. I straightened the 2 pushrods & hosed the valvetrain down w/ PB Blaster to free the sticky valve stems. Changed the oil & road tested for several miles. Purred like a kitten, but was an absolute beast to drive compared to a 1930s-up car.

The owner had it washed & waxed & parked it beside his 2 early 1930s RRs & his '33 Bentley R. To my shock, the paint shined like new.

The owner (very wealthy, well in to his 80s) has since donated his estate to the local preservation society, moved to an assisted living facility & donated his car collection to a local museum.
Old 06-07-02, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
Heaven on wheels

davo, what an experience you must have had Working on the old iron is when I am most happy. The men who made those cars & trucks put their best into everything they did. The only code on that one, was code reliable transportaion.

I hope you get the ride, you did the work it's only fair you get the ride. I wish you could send us a picture.
Old 06-07-02, 09:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
old iron

I repaired this car off the clock for free,because it meant something to me,I cant explain it,the feeling, but that car is worth its weight in gold to me.I love the spark control, idle lever and the way it was built simple but amazing.Computer will never go bad in this car. lol
Old 06-07-02, 10:03 PM
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I'm with Marturo on this one. Finding parts for old cars is half the challenge. The trick is communication with the customer.

1) If he wants parts like "overnight", he's in the wrong place.
2) If he asks "How much" he's in the wrong place.
3) If he asks, "Why so long", hand him the Hemmings book and send him on his way.

Point is that the customer has to understand that stuff like this just doesn't grow on trees any more . With that understanding, it's ok for a shop to take on such work. It's rewarding and good publicity.

There is allure, mystique and character old cars. I don't see myself working on a 1980 Toyota and going WOW!!! I DO see myself working on my 1980 Trans Am and saying WOW.

There's a body shop up the block from my job that works on anything from an old muscle car classic to a Kia. Money's green to them, and the prices reflect it. But, what I have seen them do with wrecks, rot boxes and other cars is unreal. They just MADE a quarter panel for a 57 Olds 98!

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