1960 Electra 225 Convertible R&R

Discussion in 'Projects' started by Smartin, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. CARS is a company in NJ that specializes in vintage Buick parts. Do a board search on them, as people have varying opinions on how they treat their customers. Their website is www.oldbuickparts.com, and they have an online catalog.

    They have parts for your car!
  2. bhclark

    bhclark Well-Known Member

    Adam. The car is looking absolutely incredible! Please keep the pics coming. I wish i had to tools and knowledge to tackle something like this.
  3. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Thanks Brian!!

    I got the heads and exh manifolds back from the shop Tuesday. They installed all new exhaust valves and one new intake valve, did a valve job, knurled the guides, and installed two new guides. They removed the old studs from the exhaust manifolds and cleaned them up for me to lay some nice cast iron grey paint on them. I just haven't had a chance to get into the garage to even paint anything yet! I'm getting anxious....

    80 hours into the project so far. Without my labor charges, the total cost for parts and materials/repair, etc has been around $1400 ....Could be worse, I guess. The machine shop bill is half of that, so assuming the heads didn't need to be done, we could've gotten away with much less. I'm glad I had to remove the heads...who knows how much power I was losing with all the exhaust valves and an intake valve problem! Although, I made the decision to remove the heads when I discovered that the heat riser valve might have been stuck shut on the passenger side exhaust manifold. The only way for me to repair/remove it was to remove the manifold itself. I thought for sure I was going to break a bolt or two. Little did I know, I was going to break the whole manifold apart trying to get it off!

    That's all for now..
  4. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Hit the proverbial "wall:"

    Need to know what way the thermostat goes in! :confused:

    I don't want to install it upside down...
  5. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Got a couple parts back on this weekend :Brow:


    Still stumped on the thermostat position question, though..
  6. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    doing some putzing before I try to turn the key for the first time..

    I have to change the oil and charge the battery before I let it rip.:beer

    I have some cleaning up to do after I get it all together, but it's lookin' pretty good now.

    For some reason, no one has 7/64 vacuum line.:Do No:

  7. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    SHE RUNS!!!!


    I smoked myself out of the garage when all the paint started cooking, but it was worth it :cool:

    Minor fuel leak at the filter, but that was my fault for not tightening the nut :Dou:

    It sounds really strong. I will change the oil one more time, and set the carb and timing. She should be good to go for a spin here soon. Too bad it's raining :spank:
  8. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I took it for a drive this afternoon.

    When I first started it, the car would not want to stay running. I looked at the choke and it was not engaging, so I flipped the choke plate shut and let it warm up that way. It stayed running with the plate shut. When it was warmed up, I flipped the plate back open. Talk about manual choke! That's obviously a problem I need to look into, along with the stumble off idle when I touch the gas. Since EVERYTHING else is new and replaced, I am assuming it is the carb/accel pump since that is the only part I did not inspect before I reinstalled it. Looks like I need to get it rebuilt. I may just have someone do it...not sure yet. That's not real high on the priority list right now though.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental 4 Bolt Main Block.

    I Hear Ya!

    :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Dang dude! Wish I had seen this post earlier but I wanted to compliment you on some excellent work :TU:

    Gives me some excitement to do my doggy engine compartment.

    Very very nice..........oh and I'll raise Jim's pig foot offer by two, throw in a dozen pickled eggs, and a mess O crawdads (Disclaimer: you will need to stay away from sources of ignition for several days afterward :laugh: ).

    BTW mine is currently in the paint shop WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2005
  10. MikeM

    MikeM Mississippi Buicks

    My brother had the identical car, colors and everything, back in the 60s when he was in the Navy, and temporarily stationed in California while his aircraft carrier was in dry dock repairs. I actually showed him these pictures and he confirmed that to him it looked exactly the same. Told me that he sold it when they went back out to sea again (Vietnam days) to another Navy guy from South Carolina. That's one stunning car and you're doing great with it. Do you know any history on it? Did it happen to ever be a California car?

    You know, I like your Centurian but seems to me with your skills being demonstrated here that you should consider something a little more exotic befitting your talents. A red and white '69 Wildcat convertible comes to mind since you like the big cars.
  11. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    History on the car:

    I'm sure Hank knows more than I do, but it was bought by him early this past Spring from a guy named Clarence Gooley (sp?) in Indianapolis, IN. The car had undergone a cosmetic restoration in 1994 and got a senior award at the BCA national that year. That's all I know about this particular car.

    There are TWO others just like this one. Rick Schick, the head BCA judge has one, and there is one close to Buffalo, NY with 21,000 original miles....which was bought new by that guy. Rick's car has A/C and a bench seat. Hank's car and the 21xxx mile car both have no AC and bucket seats.
  12. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member


    I was wondering when you would chime in on this thread:beer

    I could be the "traveling resto guy":laugh:

    Depending on how things continue to go, I may be able to do this on a more serious scale soon. Our irrigation company was looking into leasing a building that had enough room for the irrigation PLUS a VERY large paint booth/shop for me and my Buicks. It was an unfortunate thing that the place had so many code violations that we'd rather start from ground zero....so on to new places to look at! I really hope I can get some space in the new building to work. The garage isn't working out....especially when I need to keep MY car out of the elements on a regular basis.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental 4 Bolt Main Block.


    Yeh, I missed it for awhile but I was on yahoo DETERMINED to find the exterior trim I need for mine (minor hail damage) and way down the list I got forwarded here on this topic.

    Glad it did :TU:

    I don't know how much you'd charge to do an engine compartment up like that but if I could afford it I'd put my 60 first in line (for real) :TU:

    I still love the thought of doing things myself but 3 children, wife still recovering from the cancer side effects and 5 acres to care for and a family business have kinda taken the wind out of my sails.

    There will be better days though.

    BTW mine has the factory A/C, Auto-Tronic Eye,Bucket seats AND the very rare console.We love our car!

    Now if I can get a written quote from someone for the stainless repairs we can proceed . The appraiser figured only 12 ft of stainless repairs at $20 per linear foot.
    Problem is I have already counted 81 FEET of s.s. trim on this beast!

    The appraiser said to just They refigure it and just"Go ahead and we can figure it all later" but my bodyshop wants them to send the check to AT LEAST cover the R&I (remove and install) of the trim, which I agree with.

    I wish I could write my own quote,do the trim myself (or buy used buffable parts) and spend the extra money getting bumpers rechromed or something.
  14. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Sent you a PM..
  15. Adam,

    It looks like I gave you bad advice regarding the direction of the thermostat. I just looked at my parts motor again, and the cone is pointed done, opposite of what I told you. The attached JPG is the only area in my 64 FSM that shows or mentions the position of the thermostat.

    Sorry :Dou:

    Attached Files:

  16. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I'm pretty sure I got it right, Joe:grin: I posted the same question on the BCA forums and someone posted a picture of how it is oriented in the housing.

    Does anyone agree that these cars really need clutch fans??
  17. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I give up on this hesitation/bog problem. Time to let the pros dig into the carb this time.

    I pulled the accel pump out of it, and it obviously needed to be changed. But "apparently", the carb was rebuilt a week before Hank bought the car (this Spring). Possibly worn throttle shaft bushings is my guess now. I ran the car this evening after the pump change, and NO difference. And there is a real big bog when the secondaries open up. At first, I thought I was dealing with a qjet with this bog problem :grin:

    Anyway, I'm throwin' in the towel with this carb. And now the generator is making noise.
  18. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Apparently, the solvent(s) I used to clean up the frame and power steering gear box were too much for the shaft seals. Another order and another $64 to Classic Buicks.. I was hoping I was done with the engine compartment.

    I was under there a few minutes ago trying to find the source of the steering fluid RIVER, and I wiped the boxx clean, and could easily see it seeping out of the shaft seal. It dripped on the floor about 6 times in the 5 minutes I was on the floor. It's almost like the seal is completely gone. No wonder the steering wheel felt weird when I was driving it. I kept sucking air through the seal!
  19. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    How about some more pictures?

    The BOX. I guess this will give me a reason to make it look good now. The seal kit came to the office a 3:30 today, but the USPS didn't leave it. Someone should've been there to take the package. Oh well....maybe tomorrow!!!

  20. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Ahhhhhh progress again....finally.

    Trunklid is finished, with the exception of the matting that is inside the lid itself. I'm unsure of if I want to rip that old stuff out or not. It looks like more of a chore than it's worth. I may just leave it int there until a judge tells me to rip it out and replace it :grin: I think the paint turned out a SMIDGE darker than the rest of the car, but It looks like it'll be ok, since it's separated from the rest of the car. :rolleyes: (I hope so, anyway.) I figured this would be the hardest thing to do, since the paint is 12 years old....and lacquer.

    I got the air cleaner base painted, also. Hood insulation is installed, too.

    There are a couple shots of the finished engine bay, just for $#!+$ and giggles.





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