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  1. #26
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Castro Valley, CA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    OK Steve; I can have that car looking human over the weekend. I have every part to complete it and I could have it serviceable (running and looking decent) in the time it takes to do it.

    Like I said, you have 10X the car as your Lesabre. Trippple pedal is all mythology. Wait until you start driving it with a decent compression 401. The tranny will scatter much sooner than later. I am in that dilemma myself. Mitch
    60 Buick

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    I can't help it Mitch. I'm always a hot rodder first! I can't tell you how hard it is to keep my mitts off this thing and leave it alone. I have three complete ready to rock 455s in the garage. Love to put one of those in the '60 ! But I won't. The soul of my LeSabre is a nailhead, so that it will stay. How's that for restraint!?

    For all the bad things I've heard about Dynaflows (dynaslush....) I wasn't too keen on having one those in my garage. I've never actually owned a Buick with one so I can't speak for myself on that one. Until now....... That Invicta runs damn good with that Dynaflow! Good acceleration, shifts well and firm. It doesn't even leak. The automatic makes that machine a great cruiser.

    But yea, I dig the stick in the LeSabre. I always like oddball, rare optioned vehicles. Putting the LeSabre together with the 401 will be kinda neat. Sorta like the factory hot rod Buick never built. The no option 401 stick 2 door sedan. I like it! Although that 3 speed looks pretty husky if it expires I have a spare. Or even better I thought it would be fun to put a 4 speed in it. Carefully installing it with components to look as factory as possible.

    Hot rodding aside..... this car will be a cruiser. A highway machine. Quiet and comfortable. When I purchased my GS 455 it was bone stock. With 2.93s, stock exhaust, quiet 455, it was a beautiful, smooth, tight highway machine. I miss having that. I'll keep the '60 on track to that theme.

    A couple more pics of the parts Invicta. Not so nice...

    Steve weim55 Colorado
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #28
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Castro Valley, CA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    OK Steve: Every forum is different. The HAMB people would prime that 60 Lesabre 2 dr. sedan, put the Mexican style blankets over the seats, heat the springs, paint the wheels bright red and add some fat white tires. The BCA people would want to leave it stock doing as many anal touches that are authentic and correct. The B-59 people would like the car only if it were clean to begin with although it's one year too new for them.

    I can see going through that 364 , cleaning up the body and interior a bit............BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THAT INVICTA SEDAN YOU HAVE. If that Invicta were a convert in that shape people would be chewing the fenders off of it trying to buy it. 4-dr sedans are the least popular body style, for now.

    I distinctly remember guys cutting up 59 and 60 Electra converts 25 years ago. Who would do that today?

    Don't cut up that Invicta sedan! Mitch
    60 Buick

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Yes of course, I feel a little guilty cuttin' up the old Invicta. But anymore I'm all for seenin' stuff just gettin' USED. No more sittin'. The cause is good. The LeSabre will see the road instead of sitting. And many a '60 will benefit from the parts. I'm not a crusher guy. I'll take off every useable part that might find a home.

    This parts car is the best thing that could happen for the project. I went over the car throughly. Here's what will get used..... the complete engine, radiator, power steering setup, passenger floor pans, door sill cover panels, radio buttons, arm rest bases, various interior trim and trinkets that are in better condition. The brakes were just done (maybe 30 years ago) with almost zero miles on them. Drums, shoes, hardware front and back. I'll use the coil springs if they look good when I take 'em out. New looking still tight air shocks in the rear (more 30 year old stuff). The complete rear axle assy with 3.23 gears (I drive almost all highway). A few peices of exterior stainless that is in better condition or that I would like to add. Gas tank, since it's already clean and i know it doesn't leak. 2 correct '60 wheels 15 x 6. Some great spares: generator, starter, regulator, tailights, front lenses, cables, switches etc......

    Well worth the 800 bucks and I'll probably get about half that back sellin' off good parts to other homes.

    Game plan: #1 goal, just get it done! I'm tired of all the 4 wheel yard art I have with "someday" plans. This won't be a restoration. I'll be doing all the work neccessary to get the car running and driving. Reliable and safe. While most of the appearance stuff will remain as is, I'm a stickler of stuff workin' the way it's supposed to. Every switch, knob, system, component, etc. has to work as it intended to. One by one I'll tackle each. Should be a pretty simple deal. (yea right...laughs..)

    In the beginning I had a goal of making the car road worthy for a total cash outlay of $4,000 dollars. That's including the purchase price of the car. Am I dreamin" ??!! I still think I can come in pretty close. Be cutting some corners and reusing EVERYTHING I can. I'll post the numbers as I go. We'll see.................

    The first lofty goal I have is to get the old girl running under it's own power by the 4th of July. So much easier to work on a car that runs.

    Let's get to it.................

    Steve weim55 Colorado
    Last edited by weim55; 05-26-2010 at 10:37 PM.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Hoo-Raw!

    Get 'er done!
    Brian Clark
    President, Buick Club of America, 2015-2016
    Treasurer, 1959 Buick Division of the BCA
    Director, Greater Cincinnati Chapter
    "A New Generation of Great Buicks!"
    1958 Buick Super 2dr Riviera (Snow White)
    1959 Buick Invicta 4 dr ht (LUCILLE)
    1965 Buick Wildcat Custom Convertible (ROXANNE)
    1990 Buick Reatta Coupe (PITA)
    1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon (FEZ)
    BCA #41596,DWD #0003,RDIV #2118

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    First things first.... gotta get the car in position to get operated on. Here's the "professional" shop I'll be working out of. Yep.... that be the driveway! Hey this whole project is low buck, might as well follow that theme all the way!

    I decided to knock out the rusty floors first as the exhaust goes right underneath and I don't want to deal with that in the way later on. Plus I dispise doing rust repair so I thought I would get the ugly stuff out of the way first. These are the two areas getting cut out. And a pic of that solid floor in Invicta parts car. Man I love Colorado cars!

    Steve weim55 Colorado
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by weim55; 05-26-2010 at 10:37 PM.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    ct.
    Posts
    3,580

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    If you end up using the 401 remember, if you don't know, the out of balance between the 364/401 flywheel/flexplates is different. The 364 has an out of balance of approx. 3 1/2 ozs. & the 401 approx. 4 1/2 ozs. Using the stick flywheel from the 364 without adding the additional 1 oz. will give you an out of balance vibration. You will also need to remove the pilot bearing adapter from the rear of the 364 crank & install it in the 401. Put them both on a bubble balancer & you will see. Weight gets added in the same area. other than this it's a bolt-in swap. I've torn up many of those 6 bolt top cover trans. CAN'T "Speed shift" 1st-2nd. The only way to go something different is to go to an open rear. MUCH WORK!!!!!

    Tom T.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
    12 Cook St.
    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
    Adjustable Roller Tip Rocker Arms - All NailHeads
    Custom Forged Pistons
    Many parts to numerous to list
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Correcto on the 364 401 balance issue. Berensens (spelling?) has some wonderful stick shift parts including new flywheels for 401s. I'd love to go that route but it's just too pricey for me. I called them and discussed my situation and they offered to balance my 364 flywheel to 401 specs for $80.00. Works for me. And yea, no speed shiftin' the column three speed. If I want to do some gear jamin I'll choose a car in the garage that can handle it. Thanks for the advice Tom.

    Steve weim55 Colorado

  9. #34
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,991

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    I really like what you are doing with the car Steve,glad to see that you found the other car.Good luck with it.
    Hector
    '79 Electra Limited 350-4
    '95 Roadmaster Sedan 350-LT 1
    BCA 42718
    W.O.T. without a Cat

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    ct.
    Posts
    3,580

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Steve, you don't even have to spend the $80.00. Just put them on a bubble balancer & add the one oz. in the appropriate area. You could even drill a hole & bolt it on or use a tack weld. No big deal.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
    12 Cook St.
    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
    Adjustable Roller Tip Rocker Arms - All NailHeads
    Custom Forged Pistons
    Many parts to numerous to list
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Tom,
    I was layin' awake in bed last night thinkin' the same thing. How tough could it be to change one ounce? Here's pics of the stock 364 flywheel. As you can see it's almost a neutral balance. The factory took metal OUT to balance it. Do you mean I'd have to take another ounce OUT of the flywheel in the same area to balance per a 401 ?

    Thanks,

    Steve weim55 Colorado
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Surgury time.......

    Got the patch panels cut out of the parts car and the preliminary cuts done on the LeSabre.

    Cutting the passenger rear footwell out of the parts car was a peice of cake. Zip, zip with a cut off wheel, done. The front footwell was an absolute nightmare. Layers of sheetmetal, braces, the frame, and a bazillion spot welds. No easy way to get this out cleanly. In the end I used a cutoff wheel and the torch to get what I could in one peice. A section above one of the braces was rusted a little too. So the front floor is going to have be cut, trimmed and puzzle welded together.

    I like my Eastwood spot weld drill bits. Made quick work of removing the braces from the replacement panels. Another nice surprise is the floors from car to car are EXACTLY the same in every dimension.

    No turning back now............

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    ct.
    Posts
    3,580

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    You need at least a bubble balancer & you need to ADD weight. It is usually in the area of the reference hole for the flywheel/flexplate on the outside edge.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
    12 Cook St.
    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
    Adjustable Roller Tip Rocker Arms - All NailHeads
    Custom Forged Pistons
    Many parts to numerous to list
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Floors.....

    Got my first taste floor pan replacement this weekend. Not too tough.... I started with the rear pan first as it's much easier to work with than the front. Good practice. With everything trimmed close to the final size I laid the replacement pan from the parts car in the hole to aline for the final cut. A neat surprise here, all of spot weld holes I drilled out are in EXACTLY the same place from car to car. To aline perfectly all I had to do was line up the holes, screw the pan down to the braces through those same holes and final cut the pan with a cutoff wheel. I butt welded the pan in place from there. Pretty straight forward.

    Next I gotta do that nasty front pan....

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  15. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Look Ma, No Holes !!

    Finished up the floor pans. Passenger front was a bit of a pain. Had to peice together sections as I thought. Turned out pretty good. I was able to butt weld 3 sides but had to lap weld a couple of areas in the toe board. Not restoration quality. Good solid driver quality.

    Knowing what I do now it probably would have been easier to pony up for a replacement floor section for the front. Way too much time cutting out the replacement from the parts car and no real good way to get it out cleanly. As for the rear the used panel was the way to go. An EXACT replacement. Easy work with and install. Using it was a good call.

    Finished the floors with one last small hole by the speedometer cable on the drivers side floor. There's still a full day of work to finish out cleaning up the surface rust and POR 15 the entire floor. I'll get to that when I start on the interior after the car is running.

    My 15 year old son Kenny and I pulled out the 401 and Dynaflow from the parts car today. Next in line is all the mechanicals..... Drivetrain, brakes and suspension........

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  16. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Scrub, scrub, scrub.............

    Sriripped off the entire front suspension off the parts car for the really nice rust free parts. That will keep the LeSabre a roller while I ready all the front end parts.

    Next up is getting all the mechanical stuff ready to be checked, refreshed, resealed, rebuilt or repainted. 50 years of nasty grunge......... I've spent hours with the Hotsy pressure washer on the suspension, engine compartment, transmission, and all of the 401 components.

    No romance here. Just down n dirty work.

    Steve weim55 Colorado

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Forgot some pics......
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  18. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Brakes and Firewall stuff...

    I need to address all the items that are more accessible with the engine out. First is the master cylinder. One of the few mods I'll be doing is changing over to a dual pot master cylinder. It's just a must for safety. I will not own and drive anything with a single pot master ever again. (yea, I have one of those disaster stories to go with that statment....) One of the problems with this swap is since the car is a stick shift the clutch linkage comes out of the firewall right next to the master cylinder. So that means, A: 3 speed cars weren't available with the power brake option so I have to stay with a manual system. B: The master cylinder must have the lines come out the passenger side to clear the clutch linkage. C: The brake light switch is a pressure switch screwed into the master itself, unusual indeed.

    In the pics of the original you'll see the brake light switch and how close the clutch linkage is to the cylinder. So close that because of wear it's sawing into the cylinder. Not good........ AAFD over on the HAMB board turned me on to the perfect master cylinder. A NAPA 36237 for 70s Jeep CJs and DJs. Correct line outlets, bolt spacing AND it has a port for the brake light switch! Too cool!

    Tomorrow I'll go about getting it put on the car and running the plumbing for the system.

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  19. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Dual Pot Master Cylinder Install.

    This would have been a peice of cake on a Dynaflow car but with the clutch linkage to deal with this is a whole different story. Not too tough, just time consuming. By modifing the linkage pivot, the firewall mount and the master cylinder itself I can still run the original components for clutch linkage. My son had an old '59 chevy pedal swing that had all the components I would need to complete the rest of the changeover. Shallow head master cylinder bolts to clear the clutch pivot mount, longer cylinder pushrod mated with the original to fab a new one the correct length, a pedal stop for under the dash since the original unit doesn't use one. Running the new lines was straight forward. Was able to retain all of the original plumbing past the original junction block on the frame. The prop valve is off a '69 Chevy truck. Perfect because is has 4 total ports. Most others have 5, 2 ports for the front outlet lines instead of one. Less work as I can keep the original front junction block and lines untouched. Had to notch the master on the left side to clear the the swing of clutch linkage. All I have left to do at this point is weld in the pedal stop when I have the dash apart and paint the unfinished parts. All in all it turned out pretty clean.

    Steve weim55 Colorado
    Last edited by weim55; 06-22-2010 at 11:01 PM.

  20. #45
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    Aug 2004
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    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Pics.....
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  21. #46
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    Aug 2004
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    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Firewall......

    All the working stuff that hangs off it. The heater on this thing has a vacuum operated air door and the fan switch is on top of the plenum box bolted to the firewall. Cable operated and completely seized from sitting 35 years. Take it all apart. Clean scrub and lube everything, go to try it out and rusty control cable breaks in half. Damn. Ah... but we have a parts car 20 feet away (I love parts cars....) with a non rusty Colorado cable! Takes care of that function. Every part of that system, the fan switch, the vacuum pot and vacuum switch still function well with a little clean lube and adjust. All works great! Took off the blower fan and lubed that, tested it and works good. The wiper motor barely worked. Wipers would move slowly a couple of inches and then trip the breaker. Same story as everything else...... take it apart, clean lube and adjust, remount. Wipers work smooth and good.

    OK..... that takes care of the engine compartment. Next I gotta get cracking on that drivetrain. I don't know about makin' that July 4th date to have her makin' noise but I'm sure gonna try.............

    Steve weim 55 Colorado
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    Last edited by weim55; 06-20-2010 at 11:35 PM.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Bad Weekend....

    For LeSabre duty anyway. Family commitments and a broken riding mower wiped out '60 time this week. I was able to take a couple of hours today to strip the front suspension off. All of the good stuff from the parts car as well as new parts are in and ready to go. Hope to have the complete front end and brakes done by the end of the week. Losing this weekend puts me behind but I still hope to have the 401 churning some horsepower in its new home two weeks from now.

    Added a couple of bonus pics. I picked up my son from camp in New Mexico and spotted these three black hardtops off a twolaner sitting on the side of house in Nowheresville.............
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Front Brakes and Bearings

    All of the front brake components are off the Invicta parts car. Compared to the LeSabre setup, everything is the same. Someone had done a full brake job many years ago but the shoes and drums are just broken in. Quality rivoted Bendix shoes and hardware. Just cleaned and lubed everything throughly. One of the wheel cylinders looked like it had been leaking for years. It ruined the hub spindle seal and filled up the hub with brake fluid. The inside bearing race was pitted badly on that hub. Was the brake fluid the cause of the race failure? I stole the good bearings and races from the LeSabre hub to replace the bad ones. I ordered NAPA replacements for the wheel cylinders and brake hoses. When got these a few weeks ago I noticed one box of each of these were made in China. The other USA. The USA wheel cylinder is a dead on match for the original. The China cylinder has a loose but acceptable fit in the register hole, casting looks nothing like the original. It's the one in the pics. The hoses look the same but the China item is printed "SUNSONG" Jeeez....... do I want something that says "SUNSONG" on a '60 Buick?!............Oh and sealing washer that came with the China hose was the wrong size. Useless. I ran the china parts since the other NAPA stuff I checked was China too. And it's gotta get done. Will I regret this later?

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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    Last edited by weim55; 07-08-2010 at 01:34 PM.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Front Suspension

    All of this is from the Invicta parts car too. Everything was original and in amazing condition for it's age. Only the lower ball joints, sway bar bushings and shocks needed to be replaced. The original Saginaw idler arm, tie rod ends, upper ball joints and power steering box are still tight and like new. Every component of the center link was perfect. Barley noticeable wear. Throughly clean, inspect, adjust grease and run. Kanter lower ball joints are a slightly different style and cast instead of stamped steel like the originals. They fit great. Sway bar bushings from Kanter are universal and needed a little grinding to fit the original mounts which you have to run because of the unique frame spacing. Kanter end links are nice quality, solid tight rubbers. Fit perfect. The Invicta sway bar is a little bigger too so i ran it. One of the LeSabre coil springs was weak so I ran the Invicta springs too. The coil diameter is the same but the Invicta spring has another 1/4 coil in it. (the LeSabre spring is on the left in the pics) The manual steering center link is a little bit longer on pitman arm end but everything else is dimensionally the same. Pitman arms are diffrent too. NAPA shocks were wrong, have to finish the job with the correct ones later. All the front suspension flew together nice. Be great to have some power steering too!
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  25. #50
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    Aug 2004
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    291

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Wrong pic posted, here's the correct one of the springs...
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