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Old 08-04-2014, 09:49 PM
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1929 Buick, Replacing wood with steel

Hi Guy's

I bought a 1929 Buick model 29-27 probably 16 years ago that had supposedly been completely restored. I went from Southern Indiana to Fort Myers, FL to get it. By the time I got half way home the front passenger door was trying to fall off and I had to tie in place until I got home.
I finally got around to getting the interior out and the inner carriage is totally rotted away. I did an awful lot of searching and finally found a guy that said he would make a carriage for it for $10,000.
I sat down and made a few drawings in my head and purchased some steel to replace the inner structure with. I bought quite a bit of 1" box tubing and some 1" X 2" box tubing, along with a lot of sheet metal. I had a lot of angles bent from various sizes of the sheet metal with the intent of replacing all the wood in the car.

I am a Journeyman Machinist and Certified Welder by trade but had never tackled a project like this. I soon found that life got in the way and the project went by the wayside. I am ready to start on it again and could use some pointers from time-to-time, so I figured this would be a good place to start. With all of this in mind, I got side-tracked and helped (with no help) replace the wood in a friends 1937 Cadillac 7019 Series Cadillac. It was the last year for wood and a Cadillac. I soon found out that the best way was to weld tabs on the doors to keep them in place and finish one side at a time.

Anyway, back the the 29 Buick. Most of the wood is totally rotted away on the Buick but on one side it is good enough to get good ideas for patterns. I have some box tubing benders and also a set or radius rolling dies and I will have to modify to fit the larger tubing.

As most of you know that have dealt with cars of this vintage, the inner structure is wood and the sheet metal is nailed on. My car has the sheet metal nailed on in sections with a reveal molding that goes around the car to cover where the seam goes together. Where it was nailed to the wood I will have to spot weld it together to the inner structure. I plan to take lots of pictures and post them throughout the build but am not sure how to post them on this site.

I have a 95 Corvette LT1 bored and stroked to a 383, but is still yet to be assembled. It will be coupled to a 4L60E with a 9" Ford disc rear and triangular 4 bar rear suspension. I have a new (never used) air ride suspension that I am thinking about using. The frame has a Scott's rear steer IFS with power steering rack that I installed 6 years ago. The master cylinder and booster is clamped in place patiently waiting for me to weld it.

As you can tell, I have started on a little bit of everything but not finished anything. The thing I am most concerned with is how to attach the reveal molding back to the car. It was nailed and I will have to find another way of doing it. I also have a roof that I cut from a Vega station wagon that should fit pretty well, but I am not sure how to attach it as of yet.

I am not a body man by no means, I can do the inner structure. There is more to it than just putting the steel inner structure in though. It has to be bent to match the contour of the body panels. The body on this car looks cherry. It has one rust place in the lower front cowl about the size of a nickel, so I don't want to put any weld on the sheet metal that will show. I considered shaping the steel to a close fit and using a Semm's two part epoxy gun to secure the sheet metal to the steel.

If any of you would be so kind as to give some pointers and ideas as I go it would be most appreciated.

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Old 08-04-2014, 10:09 PM
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Well first off you need to put a BUICK in that Buick...please.

But anyway, on your wood replacement. I have done that with a '22 Buick model 40 Roadster. I say I did it but it was mostly my brother's designs and I learned a lot from the different way he did it than I would have.

The thing he did different was not replacing the wood just as the wood was made. I worked on a 36 Chevy sedan a few years before that the owner had made the most amazing work of art out of this car it was crazy. He literally made the "wood" out of metal, thin wall metal with lightening holes in it looking a lot like a vintage airplane structure, it was awesome. That's how I thought you would do something like that for years. Then came my brothers body and he used angle iron and tubing and flat stock to replace the wood but not making look like the wood at all. I don't have any photos on the computer, but I need to get some. I only took a few unfortunately, back then I was BUILDING stuff not taking photos. It's like where the skin was nailed to the wood we plug welded the metal thru larger holes drilled where the nails where.





But think about it that way, replace the wood but don't think it needs to look like the wood.

Brian
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:24 AM
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Steeling a body

Click on the eBook at the top of the page, Cboy (Dewey Lindstrom) has built a few cars from scratch, over steel tubing body sub frame. One time he made a plywood form screwed to the side of his garage and a come-along to bend a decreasing radius tube. When I did the 29 nash roadster (not finished) I use a harbor freight pipe bender with the pipe dies , marked the square- or rect tube at 1 inch segments, then spent a lot of time making a slight bend, moving an inch , bend, then move, etc, etc, until I matched my cardboard patterns
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:48 AM
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I took a look at the ebook. A lot of information in there. I will refer back to it from time to time to see if there is anything I can use.

MARTINSR, sorry, already have the engine. Besides that, too hard and expensive to find performance Buick parts.

Looking forward to getting on this car again. I have left it sit while working on other peoples projects. I have been helping a friend with his 38 Chevy pickup, trying to get it to a street rod meet on the 21st of the month. After the rod meet is over I am starting on my Buick regardless of whether his is done or not. We can finish he between times.

For the last several years I have been working on projects for others, supposedly switching weeks between mine and theirs. Mine never came along. That is over at the end of the month.

I had most of my chrome done about 8 or 9 years ago. I can hardly wait to get started on it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:11 AM
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When ever you buy a car or motor that is not what you usually are into it's fresh and seems so different and so hard to find parts. Then you "move into the community" and you find that it's really not that hard at all. If you were a Buick guy your whole life and you bought a Chevy you would have to do the same thing. Granted there are more in the community so it's easy to get on track. But the odd motors and cars can be pretty easy too. When I bought my Rambler that I drive every day I had no idea what years they made that style, I had no idea what the motor was, CID, nothing, I had no idea about a single nut or bolt on the car. In a short while I had moved into the community and now I have a phone number saved in my cel phone that I can call and order anything on the car and have it in a day if I wanted.

With the Buicks (had them all my life) my brother is a dealer, he sells a LOT of parts to people all over the globe. He has in stock, everything from gasket kits to 6x2 and 4x2 intakes, blower manifolds, anything you would ever want.

If you should think other wise PM me and I will get you in touch with who ever specializes in the motor you choose.

Anyway you look at it what ever motor you choose you will have a very cool car and one no one sees. But don't be surprised if people still think it's a reproduction.

Brian
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:33 PM
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Well back to framing a body.. What we do is make an armature to attach the skins to. Look at how some of the race cars are done such as late model stocks some of the drag cars as all they are is an armature with skins attached..

I would suggest starting at the door frames and getting the doors fitted and working then adjusting the rest to fit rather than trying to make the doors fit the hole..WE can work out the interior attachments when we get to that spot..

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Old 08-05-2014, 11:29 PM
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I plan to replicate the skeleton so that it will have a full interior in it. I have been criticized quite a bit because the car is a 4 door but that doesn't bother me in the least. I like to go places with other people and this gives me a bit more room.

The fact is that you don't see meany 29 Buicks running around in any form. The worst this about it is people think it is a Model A. I will see if i can post a picture of it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:36 PM
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These are pictures shortly after I got the car. I removed the fake wire wheels and put a set of wheels I had laying around on the car. It does not look like this now.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:41 PM
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Personally, I really like the way it looks when it is together. In these pictures it had a 1970 Chevy Nova 6 cylinder and powerglide transmission. You could not hear the engine run.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:48 PM
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This is the way the skeleton looked when I pulled the interior.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:04 AM
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Brian, I don't know what I was thinking or I would have said. This engine & transmission came out of a 1995 Buick Roadmaster. I purchased an LT4 Hotcam for it and aluminum heads.

Ed
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurst01 View Post
Brian, I don't know what I was thinking or I would have said. This engine & transmission came out of a 1995 Buick Roadmaster. I purchased an LT4 Hotcam for it and aluminum heads.

Ed
LOLOL, than it's NOT a "Chevy" engine at all! LOLOL

It's a "GM corporate small block".

Brian procede.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurst01 View Post
I plan to replicate the skeleton so that it will have a full interior in it. I have been criticized quite a bit because the car is a 4 door but that doesn't bother me in the least. I like to go places with other people and this gives me a bit more room.

The fact is that you don't see meany 29 Buicks running around in any form. The worst this about it is people think it is a Model A. I will see if i can post a picture of it.
Yep that is what you will get everywhere you go, get use to it.

But with a little education for these folks, polite education it will be fun. There will always be the ones that walk away after you have told them what it is saying to their friend "It's still a Model A". LOL Believe me, I've been there.

Brian
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