1969 GS California just picked up on trade.

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by sobitthen, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. sobitthen

    sobitthen Member

    Traded off my 2001 Cougar ZN for this neglected Buick, going to toss some patches on her and paint it back to the antique gold it originally came with, eventually, will likely match the current paint the first year to cruise and get bugs out, need mechanical done first.
    Has a few options, disc brakes, posi, rear sway bar, the beefed up lower control arms, remote mirror, lighted rear view, tilt, cruise, AC, 2 tone interior.
    The 350 is gone and a 73 GS455 is in there, dude wanted exhaust for his Monte so just down pipes. Had the mid length TH400 with new driveshaft, smogger intake.
    Ordered up a gear reduction high torque starter, set of uni-points, Wix fuel filter, going to straight pipe it to set of turbos to quiet it down for neighbors and start to see what this car needs, he picked up on trade and never drove car, said it sat since 98, gas tank looks brand new, paint on it, floor pan and frame all good, windshield leaking, rear window leaking and caused trunk, wheelhouse, lower quarters to fail, lip for seal at deck lid edge is badly pitted, lots of work, will get it running smooth then decide if finish off or trade off, personally rather have a Pontiac, I still have a spare GTO engine from all the goats I used to have and pile of goodies for one... I have nothing left for Buicks, used to, had a Stage 1 in my 78 GP, owned a few Skylarks, Regals, Electras in the past...
    Anyhow, new to group, will come to find answers and give some back, I owned 100s of these old muscle cars in the past, mechanic for many years, so ask away...

    buick 5.jpg buick 1.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  2. Brian Albrecht

    Brian Albrecht Gold Level Monkey

    Welcome. Don't be surprised if this body style doesn't "grow" on you. It sounds like you already are aware of the V8 Buick!
  3. cjeboyle

    cjeboyle Gold Level Contributor

    Nice score! If I'm not mistaken that car had been for sale in Minneapolis craigslist for quite a while.
  4. gd2227

    gd2227 Platinum Level Contributor

    Did the previous owner or any paperwork- indicate it was from Massachusetts??
  5. sobitthen

    sobitthen Member

    Yes, he had it listed on Mlps CL site for a while, he picked it up on trade a year or so ago, was going to fix it up, then picked up a nice 70 Monte and decided to let the GS go, he has a kid named Monte and the kid wanted his dad to keep the car with his name...
    I sent him a message to pass along any info he may know from previous owner, all I recall is car sat since 98, but see new gas tank under it and its MN registration expired April 2013, so it may have seen the road a few years back, exhaust was new and laying on ground, he wanted it so I cut it off, was just 2" so he could have it...
  6. Butchman

    Butchman Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Good luck with the resto. Looks like a nice solid start.
  7. gscalifornia

    gscalifornia Small blocks rule!!

    I watched that ad for about a year and the price was finally getting down to where it made sense. Glad to see it in good hands, there are a couple Buick guys in the area but not many! I'm across the bridge on the north side of Duluth, welcome to V8Buick!
  8. rogbo

    rogbo Gold Level Contributor

    Welcome, some inlaws lived up there in Duluth for a while.
    Nice place. (In the summer!) :TU:
  9. Bad Boattail

    Bad Boattail Guest



    Please put your name in your signature, we are all here on a friendly first name base :TU:

    And while you are at it, put yourself on the V8Buick board members map of the world :beer

  10. sobitthen

    sobitthen Member

    Slapped a new set of points in her, fitted exhaust to rear axle, bought Thrush welded in 2.25", plugged a leak in the smogger intake, galley plug rotted out end of emission passage, fired it up, runs pretty smooth.
    No clue what I did with my dwell meter so bought new one off eBay.
    Had slight flat spot when hitting throttle, so going to rebuilt carb, ordered a kit, some 8mm plug wires, the foamies for the snorkel to hood, and a wheel cylinder so the brakes work properly, will pick up new plugs locally.
    You can turn key through window and she fires right up, so pretty close.
    When I was under her I noticed it had air bags in rear and they weakened the springs, when on stands on frame I could pull old springs out, so ordered tad heavier duty Moogs for a 70 Catalina with 400# more load capacity and lower spring rate, I ran these in my 69 GTO and I loved them. I like to carry some tools and other items when I cruise...
    Impressed to find paint on majority of the floor pans, just rusty axle back, will eventually drop tank and blast, replace metal, seal up and make sure she lasts a few more decades...
    Small steps...
    Have piles of Pontiac parts willing to trade for BBB parts, wouldn't mind getting rid of the smogger heads n intake, putting in a different cam, headers, and going through a set of tires next summer...
    For Pontiac I have 69 #62 heads with new guides, Crane springs, Crane RA IV Blueprint cam, Edelbrock intake, gear drive timing, Hooker super comps, Accel distributor, late 68 350HP 400 block and crank, 76 TA 400 block 060 and a ridge, 6x heads, likely many other items, I ran GTOs for over 15 years...
    I was tempted to put the 400 together and replace the 455, but that didn't feel right...

    Name and map location added per request.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  11. Bad Boattail

    Bad Boattail Guest

    What is a Grand Prix package?
  12. sobitthen

    sobitthen Member

    They ship the van to Canada off assembly line and they put kit in it, interior lighting, wood dash, TV Stereo, rear heat and air, better seats, rear bed, carpeted all the way up to and including the roof, double blinds, extra windows, sunroof, etc.. I read codes and they used Ford paint on it though.. wondered why it looked like my old 89 F150 XLT...
  13. sobitthen

    sobitthen Member

    You post the headers on CL, tempted to give them a call...
    Guess not, ran up to Proctor and picked up a decent set of Hooker Super Comps for $150, no collectors, now wishing I ran 2.5" exhaust, oh well, 2.25 will have to do...
    He said he has a 67 GS that had a 455 in it and he pulled to install a built 400 SBC... Live n learn...
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  14. sobitthen

    sobitthen Member

    Progress on the CA GS

    Those headers ended up being the TA 2" primary version, tad trickier to install, middle bolt on each side is still not tight, but exhaust now all done...
    Ended up having to swap out the right lower mount, had to buy a set, they had wrong lower on her and headers would have hit steering sector, also motor was higher on 1 side, that was not fun, getting the bolts to thread from an angle through holes that would have been way easier to access when suspension was apart, had already done the upgrade posted below... Have the spare left side and this odd-ball right that they say is from full sized. Lowers in cast were $90 shipped.

    Rebuilt entire front end, All new Moog, springs, used the 5400, ball joints, all the steering linkages besides pitman arm, then Energy Suspension bushing kit, sway bar link and bushing kit, and an alignment. The mechanic claimed he aligned it to allow for springs to settle, that he has had to do it before.
    Installed some Umi trailing arms in back with poly bushings and the Moog CC-501 springs, had tried the 5375 in rear first, but the coils wanted to sink past spring perch, they recommended the 5385, but I ran these Catalina springs in a GTO before and they should have worked, think they were bad, eBay seller is swapping for the 5385s and will just put them on the shelf as these ride nice...

    I pulled rear cover off to inspect rear end and change lube since car sat since 1997, found the 4 pinion HD Safe-T-Track posi in her with 3.90 gears, sort of steep so considering rebuilding, or just upgrading a Caddy 200-4R I've had on the shelf for the last 15 years, full of fluid, spin it over or stand on end time to time so not stuck with the high RPMs on the freeway. A Tremac 500 would rule, but way out of my budget.

    Installed some tunes, gauges, pulled carpet, 1 hole on passenger side by kick panel, driver side is rusty, but hammer didn't go through beating on it, will just clean off with stiff wire brush on grinder and ospho, epoxy, paint it instead of swapping, bottom side still has paint on it.

    Windshield leaks dead center, bought tool to pull trim and glass and suction cup handle to assist in lifting it out so can clean and reseal it. Has a newer windshield in it with antenna, not connected. likely do rear as well, Vinyl top has chunks of rust bulging out from under her near front, hope don't have to put a roof skin on her too.

    Put her on Hagerty insurance for 8k and in restore mode for cheap, less than 1/2 what my company wanted for 6 months and get a whole year, happy there...

    Warm weather is coming, started to order materials to strip, etch, prime, going to do panel at a time, then fix trunk, quarters, rocker, patch fender, then pull vinyl off top and see what is going on there. Wanted to do engine compartment and underside too, right inner fender should be swapped, rusty around battery box, plus they welded the box in, and cut in wheel well to access blower motor, rusty back side of rockers and above rear end, might blast it, or just wire brush, ospho, epoxy, paint, undercoat, but will do something to insure can drive this car for years to come without worrying about anything...

    Another member here made deal with me on a B4B intake, and older version and a set of tall Buick stamped aluminum finned valve covers, cash and an old VW Stewart Warner heater I picked up at a swap meet years ago for a 4 speed Saginaw. Those parts come Saturday, likely do cam-lifters-timing set too, having some cold start clatter, and even though motor was rebuilt just before she was parked in 97, was convinced by others the lifters were likely causing lower oil pressures and clatter on a cold start.
    She was quiet until I installed new Wix filter and 10/40 parasynthetic Valvoline in her, has higher hot idle pressure now, 25#, cruises around 50#, takes 10 seconds for it to start to build when cold out, but climbs to near 80# when it does, pulled filter and she was near empty, installed another new Wix into her and was better, still a delay, but no clatter, unless pump clearances are off, what else would cause oil to leak back into engine?

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