1951 Buick Deluxe help

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by Smitty455, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    I’m looking to help a neighbor get his original 51 back on the road and be more reliable. He said the car sat for many years. He took it to a mechanic who got it running for a short while but he’s had to have it towed home a few times and is now afraid to drive it and sick of sending it to his mechanic. I’m not familiar with anything older than 65 but I consider myself pretty mechanically inclined. It seems like he is having fuel delivery issues as he as mentioned dirt in the fuel, getting the tank cleaned....Not sure how bad the tank is internally and it may be easy to just replace it and the lines ext...and rebuilding the carb to start. Where can I go to get parts for these old Buick’s? Also are there ignition upgrades available?
  2. mobileparts123

    mobileparts123 Well-Known Member

    I have all stock parts only --- so I won't have any of those ignition "upgrades / downgrades" -- they are all Chineseum so debatable to call them "up" !!!!!!!

    I can supply you with a NEW Fuel Pump -- or Fuel Pump Rebuilding Kit and a Carburetor Rebuilding Kit... All of the above in NEW Ethanol Gas Compatible Material...

    I also have Quality U.S.A. made tune up parts -- Points, Condenser, Rotor, Distributor Cap, and Spark Plugs...
    And a whooooooole lot more !!!!!

    Always best to simply call me --- Craig ---
    516 - 485 - 1935 ..... New York.....
    Smitty455 and BYoung like this.
  3. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Craig! How about some decent shop manuals??
  4. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    Which manual should I go with? I’ve seen these “flat rate” manuals available are they any good??

    Attached Files:

  5. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    The shop manual would be better, although things did change between 40 and 51, it wasn't by much. The engine in 51 for a Special or a Super would be a 263, and the Roadmaster had a 320. Timing and stuff is easy on those cars, the fuel pump can be a bit of a challenge to rebuild but it's worth it, and the tank is constructed like any tank in the 60s and 70s was, so no big deal. The fun stuff that is really different from later Buicks is the Dynaflow drive, the solid driveshaft and axle combo, and the knee-action shocks. In the case of the Dynaflow, the 1940 manual is completely useless as Dynaflow wasn't an option until 1948.
    The 50-52 shop manuals would be useful, so if you can find one in any of those vintages, it'll have your total mechanical systems covered.
  6. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    I would start with a carb rebuild if it was me. :)
  7. mobileparts123

    mobileparts123 Well-Known Member

    Parts Men can't be bothered with literature... And literature guys are NOT equipped to be Parts Men....

    Most of the literature guys sell reprints -- because of the limited amounts of original ones out there, but they "work"....

    There are a dozen literature guys at the upcoming Spring Carlisle.... Are you near Pennsylvania ???
    Yours, Craig....
  8. mobileparts123

    mobileparts123 Well-Known Member

    I just saw that you are from Maryland.... Spring Carlisle is a MUST !!!!
  9. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, yup it’s been a while since my last carsile visit. I’ll certainly try to make it up there with a list this year. Not sure why I originally posted pictures of a ‘41 manual. I think this is the one I’ll be seeking.

    Attached Files:

  10. dynaflow

    dynaflow shiftless...

    ...probably worth a look at tank, ethanol loves water, and water makes rust. Ah, the early '50s, when fuel pumps were also vacuum pumps, kept wipers running...
  11. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    There you go; - Erik found the best solution for the manual for you , the 52 is exactly the same as the 51 is, they only changed a bit of trim so mechanically, they're exactly the same. Even the electrical diagrams will work.
    Smitty455 likes this.
  12. rmstg2

    rmstg2 Gold Level Contributor

    Bob's Automobilia is a good parts source for the older Buicks. New fuel tanks are available, I would change everything, fuel tank, lines, fuel pump, and rebuild the carb.

    Bob H.
    Smitty455 likes this.
  13. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    What do y’all recommend for fuel additives? Lead substitute? Anything else?
    What about Oil?
  14. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    I never ran lead substitute, the compression is too low to worry about it. However, if you have to run that E-15 garbage they sell in the US, then you will end up replacing all the gaskets and seals and the accelerator pump in the carb and you will destroy the diaphragm in the fuel pump. Ethanol does terrible things to these engines.
    Oil; - you can run high zinc oil, but that engine doesn't have really high valve spring pressures so it probably won't be necessary on a seasoned engine provided it runs cool. By seasoned I mean one that has run regularly in the past few years and is all tempered up. If you're not sure, get some ZDDP additive and throw that in; - it can't hurt.
    Smitty455 likes this.
  15. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    Finally getting into her: new battery first, then going from there. Hopefully starter is OK and she’ll crank! 1951 Deluxe 48D

    Attached Files:

    66electrafied and OHC JOE like this.
  16. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    So what oil viscosity should I run in this old straight 8? Extremely rare to see temps below Zero F here but could be as high as 100 F.

    Would the standard dextron/merc fluid be Ok for the Dynadrive??

    Also, thermostat. This car does have a heater. Should I stick with the standard 160 or go with the 180?

    here’s a unicorn ask: It looks like it needs a radiator? Any originals out there, decent aftermarket units or should I just try to get it repaired???
  17. OHC JOE

    OHC JOE Mullet Mafia since 2020

    Nice ride
    On my son's 51 chevy we use shell Rotella oil straight up has a bunch of zinc in it 15w 40
    We found a radiator through champion radiator in California
    Son uses his car as a daily driver out here in California. 20231217_161801.jpg
  18. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    Very pretty car!
    Once you get the ignition set up they're pretty bullet proof; - just have to do a set of points every 15,000 or so miles. Carbs will also last forever once rebuilt, but you have to drain off the tank every fall if you put the car away for the winter. Thanks to my Mercedes I've had to learn a lot about the supreme nastiness of ethanol fuel; - it's incredibly hydroscopic and will separate and rot out your fuel tank at the drop of a hat or a few degrees in ambient temperature. That crap really is a Communist plot against ICE cars.
    The Mercedes people recommended mixing up Marvel Mystery oil to the tune of 1 quart per tank full of fuel; it sounds a bit excessive, I thought our goal in life was to have these cars not burn oil, not force them to do it. But I guess it clears deposits that form up in the valve train along with keeping fuel lines clear and from rusting out.
  19. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Well-Known Member

    Standard Dex/Merc (not the later stuff) works fine for a Dynaflow; I use it in both my '53 Special and '63 Riviera. The thermostat is up to you; I like a 160 in my '53 because on warm summer days it heat creeps a little on the freeway (60-65 mph for an hour or so), and the 160 keeps it where I'm comfortable with it. There's nothing wrong with running a 180 though. If you're planning to drive it in cooler weather frequently, a 180* would probably be better.

    Like Joe mentioned above, I also use Rotella T4, but I buy gallons of 10W30 at Menards. The valve spring pressures on straight eights are so light that I can't imagine anything would hurt it, but oil is obviously something that people get defensive about.
    OHC JOE likes this.

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