Chuck in Canada - 1966 Buick Wildcat

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by Chuck Bridges, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    I took the car for a 60 mile (103 KM) drive just to determine what I needed to fix next. First, the carburetor. If you don't give it a little gas at intersections, she will stall. After driving to Fort McLeod, I turned around at a cross road. As soon as I took my foot off the gas to wait for traffic, it stalled. It started easy enough though. Then, while parking, when I put it into reverse, it stalled about 3 times. Definitely something wrong there. Second, lots of heat in the cabin. A cable may have come off under the dash (Yup, found it). Third, there is a squeal that I think is the vent on the passenger side. Jenny thinks so as well. I will have to check that. The carburetor is the main thing though. That is a safety issue. On the highway, she goes great. Lots of power to be had. I accelerated up the hill without even trying.
     
  2. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    Going up a hill without trying is pure Nail Head torque:)
    Did you fix the vent cable? You can bypass the heater core for now if you didn't fix it yet.
     
  3. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Good Morning. It came off right on the lever. I put it back on and put a tie wrap on it to keep it on. I am taking the day off of working on the car to spend the day with my Granddaughter Aria. The car will always be there.
     
    PGSS likes this.
  4. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    I used the last of my polish to work on some of the chrome down the side of the car. The chrome on the side started out white and when I was done, looked like a mirror. I am shocked. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can afford more steel wool and polish. I love the way it is turning out.i just whish I had access to the funds to fix the carburetor. Ah well, all in good time. In the meantime, I will continue to fix rust and polish what I can. There is a small leak on the power steering pump on one of the connectors. Need to look at that.
    Side.png
     
  5. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Well, all work on the car has come to an abrupt halt. Over the last 2 - 1/2 day, 50 cm (18 inches) of snow. Hard to do anything when everything is covered in snow. I don't have a garage, just a parking spot. Ah well, the snow will be gone in 3 or 4 days.
     
  6. Electra man

    Electra man Older and Slower

    Chuck I hope you have a good waterproof cover for that old girl if she isn't inside. 1 winter can reverse all the effort you've put into it so far.
     
  7. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Well, my Brother-In-Law, Ray, has rebuilt my Rochester Carb. He said that a number of the screws in the carb were loose, which signifies that the seals were shrinking. There was quite a bit of gunk in the carb, but it is clean again. Now to take it home and re-install it on my old girl. Then, make an appointment with the mechanic to tune it up so she runs like new again.:). Of course, now it is coming on Winter, so I plan to purchase a cover for her and have put fuel stabilizer in the tank. I am not going to run her in the winter, she is a summer girl.
     
  8. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    I replaced the carb and re-attached everything in accordance with the pictures I took. I would start, but not run. After playing with it for a while, I gave up and decided to wait for Ray. Today, I got frustrated, went out and started adjusting the screws on the front. All the way in, then out 2 1/2 turns. Then pour in some gas, start and adjust. I found the large rubber hose coming out of the front of the carb hanging down which is where it was when I got it. I plugged it onto the valve cover and it started to idle. I adjusted the pot attached to the throttle linkage and now it idles, warm and cold. Once it is warm, it starts without touching the throttle. Yeah!
     
  9. Electra man

    Electra man Older and Slower

    Satisfying......no? Welcome to the fold. Chuck for someone technologically inclined this stuff is cake. Antique technology is easy to master. Other than the physical aspect which can be daunting at our age these are simple systems.
     
  10. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Ray coming down in 2 weeks. He is going to bring his vacuum gauge and fine-tune the carb for me. Now, it's fall and snow is on the way. I hate to cover her up and leave her until spring but, after doing the body work and cleaning the chrome, I have no desire to risk her in winter. She will be there in spring and will be my weekend date (along with my wife of course).
     
  11. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Well, Ray is no longer coming down, so, I researched mechanic shops in our area. I tried one but they suggested another. Bernie's Automotive is recommended and advertises that they work on classic cars. I sent them an email asking if they were able to accommodate my old girl. I told them setting up the rebuilt carb and perform a general tune-up. I will wait for their response. There is a performance shop in town, but they specialize in rebuilds and such. Wait and see. I just want her to run like new, or a close as I can get. Then, my paint job :).
     
  12. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Well, I made an appointment to get the carb and engine tuned up. After that, the paint job. I just ordered a car cover. $385 US on for 1/2 price at carcovers.com. It comes with wind straps, a storage bag, a cable lock, microfibre wipes and an antenna patch. With the money I am putting into my old girl, it is time to take good care of her. As I said, I have admired it since Ray first got it 12 years ago, but never thought she would be mine. I used to hate seeing snow piled on it but it wasn't mine, so kept my peace.

    A guy named Lee has left 3 notes on the Wildcat now, asking to buy it. I am going to have to call him and let him know that the car isn't for sale, ever. I used to always want a Mustang, but now, I enjoy the fact that she is a bit of a rarity while Mustangs are common. There have to be 50 old Mustangs in Lethbridge, But only one other Wildcat that I know about. It is al coming together. Next spring, a trip back up to Ray's place and re-build the motor. It only needs a little work, so will be able to rebuild it in-frame. At least, as of now, that is the plan.

    For a nerd who only used to car about music, computers and drones, I am finding this expensive, but rewarding.
     
  13. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    Iv'e still come across old school car guys who don't believe the 445, 465 etc. on nailheads don't stand for cubic inches.. It's rare but there are still good old school mechanics that don't know.
    A while ago I was walking by a muffler type shop and 2 guys had the hood open on a bright red 65 Wildcat.. One guy was playing with the air fuel mixture screws trying to get a good idle.. I'm not a know it all type of guy at all, but when I heard them talk about maby a vacuum leak that might be causing the little lope, I very politely tried to mention that these nailheads used a somewhat aggressive factory cam to make up for the small valves etc. that makes for somewhat lumpy idle.
    They looked at each other and laughed. These are the same guys that told me this bright shinny red Wildcat with over spray on all off the moldings and a heat soaked cracked dash and interior still had the original paint..
    I just walked away and let it be..
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  14. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Well, I picked up my car today. Unfortunately, when Ray rebuilt my carb, he made some mistakes and bent some things. Bob had to rip it down and rebuild it from the ground up. Luckily, he had a couple of spare "donor" carbs hanging around. It starts nice (Pump 2 or 3 times, it's a carb after all). It starts, idles (a little lumpy, but Bob said that is the way they idle). It does idle, it does run great and has a ton of power. I gave it a little too much gas at one point, and, since we have a lot of snow right now, taught me a quick lesson. This is not my 3.5 litre ecoboost F150, this is a 425 Cubic Inch muscle car. Bob asked me if I wanted to sell her. He already had plans for it. Air bags, 20 inch rims, gloss fleck black body and a gold roof. Nope..... not for sale. I explained that she was a gift that I had admired for about 12 years. She is now my baby.

    Now, it is winter, sort of. It is Lethbridge after all. 2 days ago, -17 (~ 1F), today +7 (45 F). The snow will be gone in a few days and I will remove the battery and put the new car cover on her. Time to put her away for 3 months.:( I got some looks driving it home. Some were admiring, some looks were "Why is that idiot driving his car in this weather?" Only to get her home. I am glad that Ray put Mud & Snow tires on her. She drove well, but a lot different feeling than a F150.
     
  15. Freakazoid

    Freakazoid Gold Level Contributor

    Welcome Chuck. Great bunch of people here. Also very knowledgable about Buicks, and other stuff. They can answer just about any question or find most parts.
     
  16. Electra man

    Electra man Older and Slower

    Chuck I hope you find this!
    Here are some pictures of my gauge installation. I chose that particular spot under the dash because I didn't have to drill any holes. There are threaded sleeves welded in to existing holes so I found screws that worked with them, mounting done. All in all the location works ok. The tach is on the shifter part of the column as the part in front was just too narrow for that Dixco tach and it hit the steering wheel.
    Under the hood you can't even tell the wires are there. I wrapped them in friction tape and wound that into factory wire holder locations. Coming out of existing hole under the wiper motor running behind the brake booster, where the wires loop up on the firewall mine is the top one. Follow the engine harness across and down the engine and no one is the wiser. Neat clean and looks factory. Super easy for ex telco guys to do.
    Oh excuse that mat it came with the car and is the reason the original carpet is still mint. I have handimats under it but keep it there unless I'm showing the car. After the show it goes right back for the drive home.
    20191212_153959.jpg 20191212_154013.jpg 20191212_154106.jpg 20191212_154054.jpg 20191212_154154.jpg
    20191212_154200.jpg
    20191212_154221.jpg
     
  17. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Actually, I like the mat. I might try to find one for my car as Ray had the carpet replaced and I would love to keep it nice. Right now it has "Betty Boop" mats and my wife is insistent that they go. I have to say I agree with her on that. I went around looking for gauges and found a cluster of three (Voltage, Temp, Pressure) that I will probably purchase. A nice set in chrome. Not right now though. I just paid $950 to Bob for the work on the engine and can't justify it until spring since I cannot drive her right now anyways. Asking for $100 for the gauges might be pushing my luck a little far and, right now, Jenny is tolerant of the money spent ($4000 since I got her in May). Any more right now might put her over the line. Next month....:rolleyes: maybe.....

    Thank you for the advice. Electronics, I know. Cars.... total noob. This is a steep learning curve for me, but, it seems you can teach an old dog new tricks.

    got to go.... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
     
  18. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Greetings from Edmonton
     
    Chuck Bridges likes this.
  19. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    My old girl came from your neck of the woods. My brother-in-law lives in Beacon Hill, near Pierceland Sask. That is about 30 Km east of Cold Lake. Before that, he bought it from Medicine Hat. Now, she lives in Lethbridge. Todd left another note on my car, third one. He seems to be eager to purchase what I have no intention of selling. I told him once, but, I guess it's a try try again thing. Ah well..... no sale. I found 10 Wildcats for sale on Kijijji. None in BC or AB, but east of us are some. Only 10 in Canada, seems pretty rare. I really love it and plan to keep working on her in the spring.

    Well, time to sign off.... for today. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
     

Share This Page