Ricknmels 67 ragtop GS clone in process....

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by ricknmel67, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Dave!
    I have a few options brewing on intakes and carbs right now.... but I'm intriged by the thought of using a 67 intake....
    Can that be done? I think my heads are 1972's. Anything I should be aware of if I were to put a 67 400 intake on it?
     
  2. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    And so it begins....
    I've been assured by everyone that I've talked to, that this is one of the dumbest things I've ever tried...
    (replacing the top by myself)

    First step was to tear out the old top (loads of fun :Dou: ) and compare the new one to it.
    They seem to be a pretty good match.....
     

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  3. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    I spent most of the day yesterday adjusting things....
    When I bought the car, the top wouldn't even go down by hand.
    It looks like the top had been "crunched" at one time and many of the pivot points were screwed up.
    I got everything lined back up pretty good yesterday and made some adjustments to the windows as well.
    Today I thought I'd mess with the pump and see why it won't work while I have the top off...
    I traced down all the electrical issues and finally have the pump making noise.
    However..... either it's out of fluid, or it doesn't work because nothing moves.
    I'll keep messing with that this afternoon.

    I've also found that all the tack strips for the top need replaced. A quick search online tells me that I better get the credit card out. Tack strips are pricey! :Dou:
     

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  4. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Well..... Let me say that I will NEVER!!! try to install a convertible top again. Never.
    Ever.
    Period.

    It's not going well at all. The way that the top is held on has to be one of the worst designs ever. MAJOR PIA
    :rant:
    :Dou:

    I don't want to start ranting about that because it would take hours to type out all the things that suck about it..... so I'll add some good news.

    I got my cast iron intake a QJ carb installed. Now I can close the hood with my Star Wars air cleaner in place! :Brow:
    I think I need to recurve my distributor now though. I'm having a bit of trouble getting the car to start and idle nicely with the new intake and carb.
    When the pedal is to the floor, she runs great and it has VERY good throttle response (it feels way better than the Holley) but it's kind of hard to start and I can't get it to idle below about 950-1000 RPM.
    First step will be getting my vacuum gauge on it and to also play around with my advance curve.

    But not until I get the top done. Now that I'm this far along with the top, I can't drive it until it's done. Hopefully tomorrow.
    :3gears:

    Buick Day at Norwalk is sneaking up on me fast... :eek2:
     
  5. D-Con

    D-Con Kills Rats and Mice

    Rick, 67 intakes require a stainless steel sheet between the carb and intake because it has exhaust heat at the base of the carb. I have no idea where to get one. (That is, unless you have the crossover plugged at the head.) You could also squeeze some hi-temp silicone into the holes.. :puzzled: .

    Also, if you have the 850 Q-jet, some of them will leak vacuum at the vacuum port on the right rear of the base if you have the wrong base gasket. I seem to remember that the intake might not even have a sealing surface there. Not sure, but something to check for.
     
  6. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Hi Adam
    I didn't end up with a 67 intake. I think it's a 70... maybe a 71?.
    I did plug all the crossover and EGR ports in the heads.
    However... I'll have to check to see what the carb is, and see if my carb gasket is doing it's job. I do think I have a small vacuum leak and I need to look into it. But for now it's running pretty good and I've been concentrating on that $%^&ing top for a couple days.

    I actually got mad enough today that I had a little temper tantrum in the shop. Tools were thrown, walls were kicked. Good thing I was by myself. I'm usually a very calm easy going guy, but this top is REALLY ticking me off. What a terrible terrible TERRIBLE design. While it would still suck, it would be 100 times better if the well cover could be installed AFTER the top was done. That fricken thing is in the way the whole time your trying to work in there. It took every once of self control I have to not cut it out of there so I could work easier. :rant:

    I've had the top on and off 5 times now and it still isn't worth a crap. The picture below shows the first 3 attempts. I quit taking pictures after that.
    I know I said it already... but I'll say it again....
    I'll NEVER even think about trying a top again. That is one job that is definately better off left to the pro's no matter what it costs.
    Oh well... I'm quiting early tonight. (10:15) It's been a long stressful (and non-productive) day and I need to get to bed.
     

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  7. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Well... after MUCH cussing, lots of sweat, a little blood, and a few tears... the top is "almost" done. I think it's going to turn out "okay".
    I drove the car to work the last 2 days so it could sit in the sun all day and "bake". It's not turning out "too" bad. I have a few minor adjustments to make before I try to rate my top replacement job on a 1-10 scale.
    Right now it's a 6, but if the minor adjustments do what I think they will, it'll be a solid 8. :Dou: :laugh:

    In the meantime, I recovered all the seats and put them in.
    The back seat turned out great. :TU:
    I started another thread asking questions about some troubles I had with the bucket seats.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?p=795893#post795893
    Please reply in that thread if you have any seat recovering experience :Brow:

    Thanks
    :beer
     

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  8. avc1966

    avc1966 Well-Known Member

    Rick I look forward to every post you do on this car. Nice to see it get done. Tony
     
  9. 65specialconver

    65specialconver kennedy-bell MIA

    rick,you have a pm re:base :bglasses:
     
  10. msc66

    msc66 still no vacuum

    Rick,

    Thanks for convincing me NOT to do my own top when it comes time. I was always leaning toward having a shop do it but now I've tipped completely that way.

    Can I ask how well your windows seal up with your top? I can't get mine anywhere close. I've installed new seals and spent more time than I like to think about adjusting the windows. I don't know if this is as good as its going to get (I hope not) because I have no point of reference.

    If you or someone else here is happy with their fit and could post a few pics I would greatly appreciate it. I've attached a couple pics of mine. I hope you don't mind.

    BTW, your car looks beautiful. You keep saying how everything turns out just "ok" but it puts mine to shame.
     

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  11. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tony :TU:

    Mike, I had problems with my quarter windows too. I forget what try it was.... but I was finally "happy" with my top when I decided to roll up my quarter windows and check the alignment....
    They were too far forward (like yours only WAY worse). I could actually stick my fingers between the seal and the window. :rant:
    The 1/4 window isn't very adjustable as you've probably found out. The top mechanism can come forward some, but that of course threw my whole top out of alignment.... again.
    Had to start over once more. :Dou:

    After much cussing and a few beers, I decided that something is enough out of wack that I just plain wasn't going to be able to "adjust" everything to where it needed to be. So I ended up grinding the slots in the body where the quarter windows bolt in a little bit longer to give me some more "rearward" adjustment.
    Even after all that, mine don't line up much better than yours at the back edge of the 1/4 window. The windows just barely catch the seal.

    Regarding your 2nd picture... it looks like the first knuckle is a little low, which is preventing the glass from slipping "into" the seal. That's an easy adjustment, but it's all the way in the back, down beside the seat.
    Do you have any manuals that show where/how the adjustments work? If not, I can try to take some digital pictures of the relevent pages and email them to you. They are VERY heplful. Send me a PM with your email adress if you want me to do that.
    :TU:

    Update for tonight....
    Well, it left me stranded yesterday in town. Turned out to be a fried ignition module. :Dou:
    I spent the day today trying to mess with the advance curve and timing. I think I'm getting some detonation at part throttle. I wish I was better at the "fine tuning" stuff.
    I have a couple friends at work that are pretty good at that stuff. I'm going to see if they can give me a hand this coming week and see if we can get it sorted out.

    Other than that, I've just been adding all the little stuff. I'm suprised how much little stuff there is in a project like this. I can spend 6 hours in the shop, and it doesn't look like I've done anything! :Dou: :laugh:

    The only pic I snapped today was of my gauges. I finally finished the installation. I installed a piece of tinted lexan over the gauges to kinda hide them a little, and I used 2 spare light switches as fasteners to bolt the gauge plate in place. (they look like radio knobs). The gauges are lighted when it's running so you can see them plain as day through the tinted lexan.
    I think it turned out "not too bad". It's kinda the effect I was going for, but not quite. I'm not sure what I don't like about it, but there's definately something.
    But for now, it'll stay. :laugh:
     

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  12. msc66

    msc66 still no vacuum

    Rick,

    Thanks for your reply. I'll pm you about the manual.

    I lightened your pic and zoomed in a little to show the gauges. I hope you don't mind.
     

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  13. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Way back in Jan or Feb I said that it would take something catastrophic to keep me from making Norwalk this Sunday.....
    And I worked my butt off for 5 months to make sure I made it....
    Until today..... My tranny and/or torque converter are shot and I'm not going to make Norwalk this weekend.
    The story is in this thread
    :rant:

    I'll start yanking it back apart tomorrow, and try to get it to a tranny shop for a rebuild early next week. I'm also going to replace the torque converter and flexplate while I have it apart.

    I was pretty much done with the car too. Easy come, easy go. :Dou: :laugh:

    I have installed the armrests since this pic was taken....
     

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  14. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    I have installed the back-up lights since this pic was taken.
    This is the only car I've ever put a B&M shifter in, and actually hooked up the back-up lights and neutral safety switch.

    I still need to trim my tailpipes back a bit. I'd like to shorten them about 2"-3", and maybe cut them on an angle.
    :Do No:
     

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  15. Tom Miller

    Tom Miller Loch Ness Monster

    look's good!

    Nice job Rick :TU:
     
  16. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tom :TU:

    I got the tranny out yesterday. Time to dig out the CC again. :(
    Rebuilding the trans, and replacing the TC & Flexplate isn't going to be cheap. I might as well put in a tranny cooler while I'm at it too.

    Anyone know if JW's "through the frame" tranny lines will work on a 67??
    :Do No:
     

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  17. GranSportSedan

    GranSportSedan Puppet dictator, wife has all power

    Rick
    I read this entire thread yesterday and i gotta say "way to go" you made lemonade out of a lemon. i have bought a couple cars that were far less than advertised or expected but i never had the determination to do what you have done. now how about that tubbed car in your avitar? Bob :TU:
     
  18. GS-XNR

    GS-XNR Well-Known Member

    Hi Rick
    That's too bad about the transmission. And just when you thought you were done.

    With the thought that misery loves company, I still have carb and brake issues to deal with. I replaced the new front springs with correct new front springs this morning. So my list is down from 3 to 2 but I expect it will climb again soon.

    You've done a lot of work on your car in a very short time. Regardless of your set back with the trans, you are to be congratulated! :TU:
    Cheers
    Harvey
     
  19. ricknmel67

    ricknmel67 Well-Known Member

    Wow Bob... Thanks! But <b>YOU</b> are to be commended for making it all the way through this thread in one sitting. That's quite a feat in itself!! :pp
    The tubbed car is next up on the list....... but I may have to do some more remodeling in our basement first, to ease things with the wife a little... especially because of how I was just talking about how I was "so done" spending $$ on the ragtop.....
    ..... just BEFORE the tranny episode. :Dou: :laugh:

    Thanks Harvey. Front springs are no fun at all! But at least it's a little easier with the body still off the frame. (I assume you haven't put your body back on yet?)
    What issues are you having with your carb?

    I made a few phone calls today and can get my tranny rebuilt locally fairly cheap. I just don't know who I can trust to do it right. I may end up buying one from Summit, or having JW build me a Level 2.. or just get mine rebuilt.
    I also need to find out what TA cam I put in it, so I can call them and get a TC recomendation. I hope their records are better than mine. :Dou:

    :Beer
     
  20. GS-XNR

    GS-XNR Well-Known Member

    Hi Rick
    Unfortunately the car is back together. There is a picture of it with the new springs at the end of this thread: http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=78664&page=2

    Regarding the carb, it idles very rich so it needs to be taken apart to check the settings. But I think I'll just get Osborne to build me a new one then I know it will be done properly. It looks like I've got about another month to go before its truly on the road.
    Harvey
     

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