Spencers 1970 Buick Estate
Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:11 PM
Was going to wait until I picked it up, but for KK I'll chuck this up. I had a mate check it over and I bought it yesterday, its complied in Australia and just needs a RWC to drive it away, which the dude is putting on for me.
It has a 455 big block & heaps of accessories AC, electric windows & locking, cruise control and the 3rd seat in the boot
Plan is to get abit of slam on it, look at getting some steels and roll it
Sorry the pics are just from the auction, pick her up in 2 weeks for a road trip back, I'll update stz then
OH AND ITS MADE OF WOOD
Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:23 PM
So I went to pick the Buick up last week, kind of went well but got stuffed around in the end over some trivial paper work stuff.
Basically we showed up on Sunday to work on the car, it was in a pretty sad state, contrary to what I had been told the car had been sitting outside for 2 years. This really pissed me off as the tropical Queensland climate means it was sitting in the beating sun and rain. Needless to say it had developed some rust but nothing too concerning. The vinyl roof is shagged and the wood grain is faded, this was pretty much expected but things were made allot worse by the car sitting outside.
So anyway Sam and I set about tackling all the problems that would stop it getting a roadworthy (basically a WOF) so we could register it and drive it home. The electric windows were not going at all, same for the wipers and a bunch of bulbs were blown. These were probably the worst problems as some idiot had been under the dash and cut wires everywhere. We ended up with a quick visit to a auto sparky to point us in the right direction. By the end of the week most stuff was sorted bar some stuffed switches for the central locking, but these are available repro as they are reasonable GM generic
Motor wise it was a big unknown, if it was shagged I was going to get my money back and walk away. First off it has a undersized square bore Holley adapted to the factory spread bore manifold which is less than ideal, I’ll be tracking down a factory Q-jet at some stage. The coolant was gross and smelled like the engine had been hot, so we we’re pretty concerned of a BHG. But a solid compression test, some fresh coolant and a few decent drives it was doing all the right things so a BHG was ruled out. We chucked some new plugs at it gave it a oil change and a host of other small things which got it running allot better. A new water pump and dizzy are a must in the near future
So Friday came and it was time to register it and drive it back to Sydney, we rolled the Buick down to the guy’s workshop only to find out that he had the wrong import approval paperwork. So he was frantically trying to track down the correct paperwork from his colleague in the U.S but to no avail. The RTA isn’t open in the weekend and I had to be back at work Monday so our whole mission was ruined by the idiot who sold it to me.
All of the problems aside the car is pretty solid and the motor is a good runner. We borrowed the guys dealer plates and put some decent miles on it and it’s a blast to drive. Sam is up in QLD now so he will have it registered for me hopefully soon
Some crap pics to combat the wall of txt
Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:34 PM
I had basically just been enjoying this thing and driving it to work, as with any old car that has been sitting a long time of small problems arose the more I used it.
Firstly it was running progressively worse when cold and had developed a small leak from the accelerator pump diaphragm, this quickly turned into a full blown leak.
That’s a 670 Holley street avenger with a leaky accelerator pump, it will be replaced with the factory Rochester soon. Anyway the local Autobarn is really well stocked and carry Holley parts so for $10 I picked up a new diaphragm and base gasket. Once the carb was off I noticed one of the vacuum ports still had a factory blanking boot on it, this was torn and creating a massive vacuum leak. Once fixed this sorted my cold and general rough running issues, stoked, I would have never found this with the carb on as its tucked up under one of the bowls
Also of concern was that the engine was blowing allot of oil into the air cleaner which was soaked in oil and stuffed. While the carb was off I noticed the PCV system was hooked up to the wrong port on the carb and that the PCV valve was blocked (they usually are, people never replace them). With this blocked crankcase pressure is pushed out the rocker cover instead of sucking the crap into the intake. Once a new valve was in I ran a temporary catch can setup to check that the oil blow-by was just the faulty PCV system and not super excessive, this ran clean so it was installed back to stock.
Things were now going good, car ran allot better, until on my way home from work I noticed the brake light flash on under hard braking, later combined with the oil light coming on at idle when hot, stink.
I checked out the cylinders for leaks, and drove it some more, the pedal progressively got softer and the problem was narrowed down to a faulty master. Which luckily is easily available GM part, this was ordered from the states and replaced.
Turns out the oil light issue is very common on these motors, the alloy housing the oil pump gears sit in wears over time and creates excessive end clearance. This was giving me around 4psi at idle, but healthy pressure when revved. The only proper way to fix this is a new timing cover so I ordered a TA performance unit, which are pretty much the only option out there. This arrived on my desk earlier in the week, they have many improvements over stock.
Along the way I acquired another 455 from a work mate who happened to have one, its from a 70 Electra and is a strong runner with good compression (I was able to see it run). It came with some nice bits like a Edelbrock B4B alloy manifold, full gasket set, a rebuilt th400 and the factory Q-jet. Plan is to chuck the new timing cover and a whole bunch of new parts I have (Mallory dizzy, timing chain, mild cam etc) at the spare motor and drop it in. Then I can slowly rebuild the original matching numbers block with some good bits (hopefully with a 494 stroker crank and alloy heads)
It also has some rust from sitting outside, worst bit being the dickie seat foot-well below
Luckily these things have thick steel, and most of it cleaned up OK, there’s a few small holes to fix but it’s all ground back and POR15’d until I get a welder. The reason so much water has got in is this leaking rear quarter window, the old calking is dried out and water pours in, rust is also starting at the base of the window. This will be fixed once the aforementioned welder arrives and I get some paint matched up to hide the repair. The photo is shit but that rust needs a patch
This next shot is shows how faded the wood grain vinyl is
With the relatively new paint on the car it looks terrible with the ratty woodgrain. The original vinyl is a 3M product and long out of production and NOS has dried up. It has been a mission to track down a few options for the panelling, 3M do the best product for the job with hundreds of different grains to choose from but is super expensive. The lesser products come in not so desirable grain patterns and colours so the 3M is looking like my only option. I have ordered samples of some possible matches so we will see how they look IRL.
I don’t have a picture yet but the car now rides on a set of new Kumho thin whitewalls, these were a steal at $130 each and make the car look so much better. I have also lined up some custom springs from king springs in the gold coast (basically their Impala spring but firmer and lower), the shape of the factory springs means chopping them won’t work to well.
Will sort some pics ayesap, as these ones fail
Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:00 PM
Finally my box of goodies arrived from the states! I have a whole bunch of other parts on the way but these are the engine bits, box includes:
* Mallory electronic distributor, matching coil, HEI style leads, and full adjustable advance kit
* New oil pump gears, booster plate, shim kit and adjustable relief valve
* New timing chain and gears
* 'stage 1' mechanical fuel pump
* new waterpump
* bunch of gaskets, rubber rear main to eliminate the rope one, plus other odds and ends
I also have pretty much stripped the interior looking for rust, Found a bunch of surface stuff but nothing major. Worst bit is some dork had sporadically stuck down some sticky sound dampening material and stuck it over rust and wires. Anyway I spent the whole weekend scraping this tar out along with the factory seam sealer. the whole floor has been ground back, sanded with 80 grit and ready for the metal ready/POR15 treatment. Next step when I have time is the front windscreen and dash
Also rolling to a sweet hotrod/rockabilly show called greazefest this weekend, I'll try getting some decent pics
Posted 22 August 2011 - 11:50 AM
Now I wasn't going to pop any of the caps as chances of them going back on and being round were pretty slim (BBB's aren't the strongest blocks and they are known to shift after 40 years and a few heat cycles) But upon removing the sump I was pretty gutted to find how much shit was sitting in the oil pickup. There is a bypass flap in the pickup that was blocked open by what looked like a old piece of gasket silicone, which means the engine had been sucking shit for god knows how long. I decided I would crack the rear main, and if everything checked out ok do the rear main seal and roll it.
This picture shows the crank, looks ok but you can feel the ridges with your finger nail so it needs a grind
The bearing shows more of the story, pretty badly scoured and getting down to the copper layer in a few points. Sucks
So I am at a loss what to do, I want to get it rebuilt and drop it in, but I doubt I could find a machine shop I would trust with the work. The 455 blocks are a thin wall casting (only 30lbs heavier than a SBC) so unless the machine work is done by someone who knows what they are doing bores and mains can easily come back out of round. A short block from a reputable Buick engine builder in the states may be on the cards in the future
Anyway the current engine runs well and has good compression so I decided to start putting all my good bits on it and do some more general maintenance.
Also I ran this out of gas on the way home from work the other day, which in any old car is not a good move!
The carb had developed a hesitation off idle but after I ran it out of gas the problem was 10 times worse
So I picked up a cheap rebuild kit for the Holley, i would have liked to get the Rochester on there but I'm still waiting for parts. Below is the carb stripped and being soaked in degreaser, the carb had some rusty gunk in it and both the brass filters on the intakes were fairly dirty.
Below is the carb all cleaned up, blown out with air and going back together
While I was at it I decided to, do the timing chain and chuck on the TA timing cover. I had previously fixed my low oil pressure issues by installing a booster plate to the oil pump to restore the end clearance on the pump but this was a band aid method as It still had the old pump gears and worn housings.
Radiator out ready to rock
old housing removed and new timing chain in place
And boom new timing cover and water pump in place, oil pump was set to the proper .002" clearance using a shim kit.
So got it all back together and set the float levels on the Holley, timed it up properly with the new Mallory electronic dizzy and it runs mint. While I was rebuilding the carb I also set-up the cam for the accelerator pump to give a bigger shot, this made a huge difference to how crisp it revs now.
Drove it to work this morning and it holds oil and water which is good, it runs so much better now its not funny. Has so much more power and throttle response, I plan to chuck a new set of plugs at it tonight and put some more timing into it and I'm sure it will go better again.
Next on the to-do list is to whip out the trans and fix up some major leaks it has from both ends, that plus about a million other things
Posted 25 November 2011 - 12:15 AM
Since the last update first thing I did was play with the Holley, from the rebuild I knew the jets were to small for this gas guzzler so went up 4 sizes on the primary and secondaries. car went allot better! crazy to think this is the same POS engine we picked up at the start of the year. Still haven't received the correct Q-jet for it (he sent me a Holden one) but I am assured its on the way, I know with the q-jet modified and a wide-band I'll get it running super crisp
Next was the leaky TH400, it was getting to the point where is was pouring oil out and It had developed a shudder shifting into second under load so it was time to whip it out. I had received a spare box with the spare engine which was supposededly pretty fresh so I took the risk and decided to chuck it in. I whipped it apart for inspection, threw a filter and external seal kit at it to be safe
The box was super clean, and had definitely been apart recently, I was replacing pretty fresh seals
Back together ready to go in
Heres me fixing the fucked spare engine
Then the other day I went abit mental and pulled out all the interior, the rising heat from the floor was driving me nuts. i also know from sitting outside here that it would need some serious attention before it fucked out with rust. This shots mid way through pulling the factory paper/fibre/tar board from the roof worst shit ever! seriously took a week of nights after work. Thinners and a paint scraper on a stick worked best in the end
Interior rust. These photos make it look way worse than it all of this rust just sanded back nicely, gotta love the thick steel on these things
Firewall rust/dash mounted intercooler
these holes would be for foot vents on lower spec models without AC, on mine they are just blanked (again its not as bad as it looks in there). I've bought a fairly sweet sound system and some small speaker enclosures will be going in these massive holes, it will still tuck behind the factory kick panels though
And that's about it, I have purchased tons of POR 15, sikaflex, cavity wax, dynamat, insulation etc etc so hopefully I will stop al this surface rust and have allot cooler car when I'm done.
Oh ordered a bolt in bag kit for the rear too! it has egg shape springs in the back so I cant justify getting custom made springs when the bag kits the same price, will cut the front to suit. Won't be until next year though, to much going on
Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:02 PM
Anyway next step is using one of these:
To get rust converter and some kind of paint/sealant/wax in all the cavities. Don't really want to start on the floors just yet as that shit will make a mess everywhere
Token shot from a boozy cruise to Byron Bay, 8-up!
Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:15 PM
Lays out some pretty sweet welds
These are the rear seat and dickie seat backing steel, they are fucking insanely heavy one of them would be pushing 30kg. Anyway they are back from the basters now and exopy primered ready for paint soon. Rest of the interior trim is with the blaster aswell
Finally pulled off the vinyl top, this really had to happen as it was stuffed, new one is on the way.
Bare-metaled the roof, pretty much rust free bar a few willtle bubbles, stoked. It was tempting to delete the vinyl but I CBF after taking it off, the roof is pretty bent up from the factory. Where they punch the holes for the roof racks they absolutely fuck the roof, huge low spots around each hole. Add to this that the seams are finished real shit I was sold on sealing it up and new vinyl.
Had some pretty serious rust going on in the rear quater window sils. started chopping it out and I'm getting this piece folded up by the local sheet metal guy.
Rust on the other side, not so bad
Heres my new roof paint, all sealed up
Shit house vinyl top, I had to measure it up to make sure the guys in the states had the correct pattern. Since this thing is the same basic body as a Impala/Kingswood wagon turns out they do and in the correct crappy brown colour
Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:03 PM
And all my interior bits back from the blaster and exopy primered. Now to decide on a colour! needs to match or contrast the seats, I'll figure something out
Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:25 PM
So 3 big boxes of parts arrived from the states, mostly hard parts like 4 new brake cylinders, shoes, hardware & lines. Also got some gaskets so I can change the intake over to the edlebrock intake. At the same time I am keen to check out the condition and clean/replace the hydraulic lifters, plus check the condition of the rocker gear & valve height. Probably a good time for a lazy small cam upgrade
Included in the shippment was this:
Its a full interior bolt kit for a Impala of the same year as the wags. It's super complete, every bolt or clip inside the cabin is included, right down to new factory stereo knob nuts
Started attacking the rusty rear window sills, patches close to being ready here
and zapped into place, gutted that there are a few high spots from abit to much heat but you can get a dolly in there so when I buy the correct one I'll tap it down
Also hit the other side with the grinder and spot weld drill, this side is way better than the passenger side. Still nasty shit though, this whole seam is pretty gross and rusty. Obviously going to patch where there was holes then seal the seam up the best I can with POR15 and maybe cavity wax or something. Its really all I can do unless you dip the thing I guess
Also finally got into the back and finished stripping the interior, piant over easter I hope
Sam recently scored us a awesome compressor 15A 3.5hp, the biggest we can go on single phase. This makes me pretty keen to paint the car from home. The paint job it has now is terrible, wasnt blocked properly and the clear looks wavy as shit, hmmm more work and time off the road though
Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:32 AM
So first 2 shots here the car is completely stripped of everything that bolts off, then atacked with wire wheels and stripping disks
Below is the rear quater panel seam, this was full of lead. Its generally a good idea to remove all the lead, the way the factory layed it in usually means some acid was trapped in there.
Its not so easy to see but below as its cleaned up but thats rust that was under the lead, there are about 10 leaded seams on this car which I have pulled out, I woudl say 8 of them had some rust starting. IAfter this I weld the seam, fill it with 3M 1838 epoxy putty (amazing shit) sand them a skim of filler, it wont crack
For some reason another shot of my repair along the rear quarter window sill. Still have a little to do there
The next few shots are just random snaps of rust I uncovered that will be patched as soon as I have put exopy primer on this thing
Boring stuff! so now this side has been fully sanded and rubbed down with a scotch-brite pad using wax and grease remover as a lube, preps the surface real well
Started masking it up
In the shed tonight all ready to go, I would be painting right now but it started raining and i didn't want to push it outside to setup my plastic booth.
Got all my gear cleaned and ready compressor drained so hopefully I'll get half the car primered tomorrow, exciting
So yea shits got serious, once it is all exopy primered I will move onto bodywork and stripping down the bolt on panels.
Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:03 PM
Shot from the passender side footwell, there is about 4 skins of steel all tightly packed together in this reigon, joy.
So I actually got all the patches made to fix this but they came out to dark, update tomorrow when I close it up
So the Sunday came and the weather was pretty reasonable, so painted camels steels with epoxy
and while I did that I got one side of the car done!
Nothing like wet paint to show up all the dents! but stoked to get it sealed up
So this week if the weather holds up I predict I will have it all in primer. Then more rust work
Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:18 PM
I also painted up this repair once it got dark, bad light & the pic is once again terrible. but I have rebuilt the inner skin so the inside of ther car is sealed from the outside again. I will sikaflex this repair and then close this all up
Picked up the rest of the seats from the trim shop
And picked up some bits from the platers, mostly interior, bolts & carb parts
Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:37 PM
Anyway as I have smoko the car sits lie this, epoxy will go on once I finish masking and cleaning.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:34 PM
Stripped the firewall etc which is the last of it. The doors etc will be going to a media blaster once I get a trailer or new ute to move the bits around. Other than that its on to the bodywork on the shell, organising some new blocks for sanding now
Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:44 PM
Tonight I got home abit late to do any hard out grinding/paint removal. So decided to tackle a rusty seam in the front passenger foot well. Cut it out, there are 3 skins here where it moulds to the firewall, bottom skin is fairly solid so stays. I hate cutting up sills always makes me crings what other stuff is hiding around the car but fuck it keep trucking
Wire brushed and hit with some rust converter/primer stuff
And welded in with my minimal welding skills,
Got some satin black 2K so hopefully the firewall and inner floor will get done this weekend
Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:09 AM
OK stripped out the POR 15 because it sucks, recoated with epoxy primer, still have more to go but its a low priority maybe in the next few days. I want to bang some black 2k on the floor to but if I dont get there epoxy will be fine
Ok so kept doing all the rust, small patch in the corner of the rear guard
Ugly funny shaped patch in the rear tailgate jamb, pretty shitty design with no drains here. Once the window well in the rear quarter went it looks like 10cm of water had been sitting here until it rusted through
Same with the other side, patch was allot more simple
Had to cut out the whole lower rear quarter section
Half way through piecing it together, would have been nice to do this in one pice and swage it in but just needed it done and I need some better tools
Blocked this out on the expoxy quickly with 180 using dry guide coat, love that shit
Spot fixing a few bits with easysand, its just a super fine polyester filler
Smoothed out and put back into epoxy
The whole car is actually now in 4 coats of high build urethane primer and has been for about 4 weeks, wanted it to sit for awhile and do any shrinking. Almost ready to block this and prep the door jambs & rear of doors for paint. Doors will then be hung and get the outside ready for paint
New spray gun 1.3 & 1.4 tips Austuro brand, pretty much a high end copy of a Iwata LPH-400, almost bought the LPH (or w400) but was talked into this gun, not dissapointed yet, sprays primo.
Engine came out and the firewall got bare metalled and epoxy primered.
Let this cure and did the seams with sika, I then sprayed more epoxy and wet sprayed some industrial (cheap) 2K black over it
I had piles of parts sandblasted, gas tank, bumper brackets, millions of under bonnet bits etc. I got the guys at the blasting place to epoxy the parts so they could sit around for abit. I scuffed about half the parts with red scotch brite and hung them in the shed for paint, hit them with epoxy primer and wet coated more 2K black on them. This black cures super hard, its good shit $120 for 4 litres and it mixes up to 6 litres with the hardener
OK kind of catching up to where I am at now. Today I fixed abit of rust in one of the doors, cut out this double skinned section and cleaned it up with various grinder attachments. Welded in a patch panel to the outside skin, painted the inside of both and welded it back together
Bare metalled all the doors over the last week, paint stripper, wire wheel, nylon stripping disks & finally cleaned up with the DA and scotch brite. One door had a pretty epic dent, took the best part of a day to fix using mostly welded on studs and a little slide hammer.
Hung the doors in the shed and epoxy primered them, hit them wet at the same time with 2k urethane primer mixed up as high fill mode. 2 coats of epoxy & 3 of high build
Sitting in the spare room curing, will block sand and fill a few small blemeshes next week
So the body is getting pretty close, due to time constraints with bathurst coming up I may get someone else to paint it. It is just so time consuming setting up the shed for a propper paint job
When I pulled the engine I went about checking it over, sadly there was copper coloured flakes in the oil! So I fully stripped the engine to find every main had run to some degree. Looks like it had been re-shelled in the past with std sized bearings (ie no crank gind or align hone) 455 mains tend to not be in-line and round after 40 years, so seems the re-shell without straightening things up has caused the problem. I have dropped the block off at the best engine machinist I could find, no one has a align hone large enough in Brisbane so I have to get it align bored. Anyway the block just passed the sonic test (very close to .1" on the pin side on number 6) it has already been opened up to .03" over so we should get away with 0.04" over but the block is on its last over bore! Full host of new parts pistons, cam, bearings etc are all on the way from the USA, should be easily done in time
Dropped off the driveshaft to be rebuilt yesterday, need allot of work it has a few big hits in it. Will be getting new tube, rubber dampener & UJ's. Also dropped off the radiator to be flushed and tested.
Also have a epic list of misc parts I will be ordering very soon, new fasteners, weatherstriping, alt, new starter, disc brake conversion etc etc
Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:38 PM
Anyway we go this thing all legal and drove it to Bathurst as allot of you would have figured out by now, I'll chuck up what I have and then update things once I can fill in the gaps
So I rebuilt the carb while the engine was away one night. Bead blasted the casings then dipped them in cleaner followed by hours blowing it out with air. Brass bushes were installed on the primary throttle side by using a stepped drill-bit, also did a mod where you can now adjust the level of the primary needles in the jets at part throttle, means I can dial it nice an lean at part throttle
Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:47 PM
The car was dropped off at the painters with 99% of the panel work done by myself, paint guy was stoked and he just had to prime and wetsand to get it ready for paint.
Car at the painters, it was all done in stages due to his booth size and the time constraints. Their paint guy is magic, it all came out the same shade thankfully.
Got the car back on the 21st of September, 1.5 weeks until we should be driving to bathurst to pick up some fellow OS'ers
Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:16 PM
Anyway I started on the sound deadening on the firewall first so I could bolt shit up and not have it in the way.
Thanks to Phill who chucked down the rest of the sound deadening so I was free to do other stuff
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