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View wilke's profile Entries: 219
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10-01-2005 11:25 AM The Engine Rebuild-ed
The long block went together quickly. I sprayed it the proper Olds Rocket gold color. There is a small dent in the front of the passenger valve cover, but it will be covered by the A/C brackets. This was a financially easy rebuild, and was fun to do. I can't wait to hear it run.

I had the Buick transmission rebuilt on the cheap by Dan's transmission center in north St. Louis. I took the transmission to them already out of the car, and Dan did it for $250, including a new torque converter. It really pays to call around on this, as the estimates I got varied a whole lot. A few places wanted as much as $1200, (out of the car!), but most were around $500.

I got the quarter panels welded on, my welds are much better than when I started. I still managed to warp the driver quarter panel somewhat, so I'm going to have a lot more bondo than I'll want on that side.


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  [Entry #19]

09-28-2005 09:49 PM The Engine Rebuild
One of the cylinders had weak compression, which turned out to be a burned valve, but while I've got it out and apart, I'm going to freshen it up real fast. This is going to be a stock, quickie, cheapie rebuild. The cylinders had virtually no ridge at all, and it ran very well, so I'm not going to bore it. I'm even gonna use the same pistons.

I had the 350 block boiled out and new freeze plugs and cam bearings installed. I'm using the original crankshaft, Clevite piston rings, rod and main bearings, a Melling oil pump, Cloyes single roller timing chain, a PBM camshaft and lifters and a Fel-Pro gasket set to close it all up. My machine shop guy, Tom at NAPA auto parts in St. Charles, Missouri, also rebuilt the cylinder heads for me. It was very inexpensive, because other than the one burned valve, the heads were in pretty decent condition.

In the background of the first photo, you can see I've got the quarter panels trimmed, and sheetmetal screwed to the body. They don't fit well at all. I don't know if it's because they are repro, or because this car has been wrecked so many times. Grinding to prepare for welding, I can see this car has had a quarter panel installed before, on the passenger side, and it looks like the back half of a rocker panel too. And both quarters were hit, fixed, and hit again on the back corners before I got it! What a mess.

If ever there was a car that needed new quarter panels, it was this one. Even the top surfaces of mine are ugly, with bondo and deep rust pits. To do over again, I'd consider buying the more expensive full quarters. I'm told they fit much better. (is this true?)

I bought some real nice straight rust free doors that I mentioned earlier, and I have them fit on. I intend to paint the car with the doors on, just like they did at the factory. Having them on now also helps with quarter panel alignment.



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  [Entry #18]

09-25-2005 12:16 PM The Engine
A super greasy untouched matching numbers virgin. The only thing missing was the air cleaner, which I picked up earlier on ebay.

My team of professional staff photographers took the day off, so I had to take this photo myself. I took the engine pretty far apart while still bolted in the car, and then borrowed a buddy's cherry picker and pulled it out. I found out my matching numbers virgin does indeed have matching engine numbers, but the transmission case numbers are not where they are supposed to be. When I have everything out, I see the word "Buick" cast into the transmission case. The Buick floor panel fit very well, but I'm planning on keeping this an Oldsmobile...honest!


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  [Entry #17]

09-25-2005 12:03 PM A Prime Example
Here is the body tub, blasted and cleaned up, and primed with etch primer. I have restored cars years ago, but this was the first time using this stuff. I actually thought something was wrong with it because it would not cover! A phone call to a friend straightened me out on this.


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  [Entry #16]

09-25-2005 11:55 AM Prepare For Blast-Off
I live in an urban neighborhood and wanted to control the amount of dust blowing around, and wanted to be able to sweep up the sand and re-use it, so I constructed this monolith out of 1x2s and plastic sheeting, and cheap blue Harbor Freight tarps. If I had it to do over again, I would skip this step. It took hours to build, and did not stop the dust. There was not much dust anyway, and 10 or 15 feet from where I blasted, there was no amount of recoverable sand anyway. Just one large tarp on the ground and maybe one 'wall' to blast against probably would have had the same effect. Sifting the sand through an old window screen seemed a little absurd as it only costs about $6 a bag, but it did accomplish what I wanted.

I have all the respect in the world for how these things go so much faster, and come out better when done by professionals. Another mistake I made at this point, and shoulda known better, was to do a really good job masking the dash, and underneath. It was a total waste of time, as I am still getting sand out of the dash, heater box, tilt steering column, my shoes, hair, ears, etc.

I didn't take the car all the way apart because my driveway is on a hill and I can't move the car in and out of the garage by myself, so I needed to keep it running as long as possible. I spent an awful lot of time working around this.



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  [Entry #15]

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