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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Wheels and Tires.

    This seemed easy enough....... grab the four correct '60 rims between the two cars and go. Good thing I checked to see if any of them were bent. Three out the four were bent. Of the six remaining wheels, five of those were bent too! OK...... thought I could steal the rims off a '70 Electra parts car I have. Negative.... the center register hole at the hub is smaller on the '70. Won't work. Damn. I was able to grab the two best rims of the bent pile and carefully hammer 'em straight. Problem is all four of these rims are different from one another. Two 15 x 5.5s for the front and two 15 x 6 for the rear. This bugs the heck out of me but they'll do the job until I can find a matching set later. Just did a quick clean, power wheel strip, hand sand and paint the rims black.

    The LeSabre originally came with the small center hub cap and body colored rims. Caps are supposed to be "BUICK" in block letters. Cool, but almost impossible to find in usable condition. I found a set of '61 caps that are close (in the pics) but these won't fit three of the early wheels that I have on the car. I'll have to run the optional full '60 covers (which are pretty damn cool too!) until I change the wheel situation. Had to paint all the rims black since you can see through the vents on the full caps. I hope to find a set of old aftermarket chrome reverse wheels with the correct Buick centers. Blast 'em, paint 'em body color with the correct caps. Would fill up those wheel wells and give it a little meaner, cop car package look.

    I found out why so many of these wheels were bent. When I tossed the first one on my 40 year old Coats tire machine I didn't get wheel screw on the machine completely tight. It bent the center of the rim instantly when i started the bead breaker! On closer inspection these old wheels are some fragile junk. Thin, poorly stamped, little reinforcement. The '70 wheels are three times the quality and structure of these old things. The old wheels wouldn't survive a minor curb hit. Hence why so many of the ones I have are junk.

    A couple a little bits...... Lug "bolts" are different front and rear. Wheels have protruding "bumps" for the bolts that secure the brake drums in the lug area. Holes for the pins too. The center register hole is the biggest I've ever seen on a Buick. You can't just toss on any 'ol 5 on 5 wheel on an early Buick.

    Tires are just some old 225 75 15 whitewall radials I had sitting around. They'll do the job..............

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  2. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
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    12,327

    Thumbs up Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Very cool. Interesting about the wheels. Also, the brake light switch looks similar (identical?) to my 55. Although, the master cylinder on a 55 is not so easy to see under the floorboard! I don't guess, you would want to put the Dynaflow in the Lesabre? I love to drive a Dynaflow car!!! But, I bet it will be fun for you to drive the 401 with 3 on the tree!! I was 14 years old the first time my Dad and I restored our 55, 35 years ago! I'm 49 now and Dad is 81. We didn't have to replace any floor panels, but we took the floor all the way down to bare metal and came back with primer, paint, undercoating, jute mat and carpet. We also pulled the engine. In the same type "professional" shop you have, the driveway in front of the house!! What fun for you and your son. Keep up the good work.
    Last edited by bhambulldog; 07-07-2010 at 01:37 AM. Reason: i dunno hou two spel
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Bham,

    Thanks for the words. I'd have to admit the Dynaflow worked really well in the parts car. Good power and takeoff even with no "gears" . The three speed has become a bit of a can of worms as I'll describe later. I'll stick with it though. The Nailhead is next on the list......

    Steve weim55 Colorado

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Nailhead.

    Like the most of the stuff from the parts car the engine has turned out to be a winner too. I ran about a half of tank of fuel and drove the old Invicta around 50 - 75 miles or so to make sure the 401 was worthy before I pulled it for LeSabre duty. It ran great. No leaks, no smoke. Super quiet and smooth. No lifter noise. One of only things wrong was the outer ring of the balancer had twisted in the rubber so the timing mark ws about 70 degrees off.

    The plan: Pull it apart enough to inspect and reseal. Once apart the news stayed good. Clean inside, no surprises. Timing chain worn, fair amount of sludge in the pan. I replaced the timing set. At 50 years and lots of that spent sitting around the oil pan developed alot of sludge and the pump pickup was sticky and 1/2 clogged with the stuff. It's a good thing I took it apart and cleaned this out. It's the one thing I found that could have done in the engine later had I left it as is. Cam looks good. Pulled a rod and main cap. Bearings are original and look great. Super nice timing cover. Perfect exhaust manifolds. All the bolt ons will clean up nicely.

    I got a replacement balancer from Del DEADMANSCURVE here on the board. In the pic you can see how the original twisted compared to replacement. The timing mark should line up close to the same as the crank keyway.

    I plan to run a temp gauge but I also want keep the original COLD HOT dash light sender. Had to remove the other water jacket plug in the right head for the new sender for the gauge. Had to use heat to get that out. Man that thing was stubborn!

    I didn't get the engine back in this weekend but if I have Friday off from work I hope to get it together in the car on that day. Be chippin' away on it all this week.

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  5. #55
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Nailhead continued...............

    My son Kenny and I spent a good part of the weekend just cleaning engine stuff. Refinishing, refreshing. Kenny handled the scrubbing of the big engine parts and painting some of the bolt ons. That's him at the 401 table in the pic. I did all the little stuff and started assembly. You'll see my shade tree parts washing system in the pic. The first can is 1/2 full of solvent. Dump in the bolts, heat in the sun, shake n' bake...then into scrub station. After that evaporate dry in the sun then into "wash' container on the right. Fill with boiling water, add some dish soap, shake n' bake some more. Presto! Nice clean engine parts! Cheesy but effective.....

    I''m adding a PCV system to lose the stench coming out of the breathers under the hood and to keep the engine compartment cleaner over time. Del DEADMANSCURVE set me up with a right side 425 valve cover that has the PCV hole factory. The later nailheads use a smaller hole for the hold down bolts. Wanted to match the holes on the '60 cover so I can use the same bolts and grommets on both sides. I drilled the holes out slightly, then backed the hole with a piece of pipe, grabbed a tapered punch, hammer, and tried to "roll" the edge to duplicate the '60 cover. Close but not quite...... It'll do though.

    The timing cover had the usual Buick problems. Two broken off bolts from the water pump and missing clogged up dowel holes. A little heat to break 'em loose, they screwed right out. Chased all the threads and added a TA 360 Rubber balancer seal to replace the old rope seal. Water pump is the 3 blade non AC unit. The radiator hose neck is corroded pretty bad. I'll epoxy up the pitts and run it. New timing set from TA too.

    Steve weim55 Colorado
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  6. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    WA state
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Looks like your trundling right along. Keep up the good work.
    68 Skylark

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Exhaust

    The 401 has some of the most perfect exhaust manifolds I've ever seen. All the studs, bolts and washers are original and nice. Not all that uncommon here in Colorado. The only problem I had to correct was one of the heat riser bushings was worn creating a small exhaust leak. While I could have replaced the bushing I felt there was no point in keeping the heat riser. I just tapped the holes and plugged 'em with bolts. Same story with the exhaust heat holes in the intake manifold. Exhaust heat is never ever good around carburetors. My opinion... I cut out some quick sheet metal plugs for gasket openings and bolted her down. I had the manifolds blasted and then painted 'em with POR High temp cast color. Used a foam brush, 2 coats. I'm happy with the finish. I'll let you know how this stuff holds up. Bolted 'em on with no gaskets as original.

    I used the 401 Y pipe and headpipe mated to the original LeSabre muffer and tailpipe. While all this stuff are the original 50 year old items they're solid enough to get by. I really want to upgrade this exhaust but the $$ and time factor warrant using this old stuff for the time being. For flow it's terrible terrible....... Small pipe (tailpipe isn't even 2"..) with horrible kinks, bends and flat spots. Duals would be nice upgrade but to do it properly the left manifold is different for factory duals (I don't have one....) plus the 3 speed shift and clutch linkage leave zero room for the pipe down the left side. Not sure what I'll do for the future just yet.
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  8. #58
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Engine Paint

    Ordered 2 cans of Buick Green from TA. They razor off the color color ID from can. Turns out it's some type of Ford Green. No problem though. I think the color match is close enough. You can see the original color on the intake manifold next to the fresh sprayed green. Works for me. The original color on both engines, 364 and 401, look to be the same. As a side note I found out both cars are Kansas City assembled, 1069 units apart. Interesting.......

    A couple of original engine cars that I've seen from other plants seem to have a metallic type of green instead of the solid green my engines have. True? The bellhousing, power steering and generator brackets are also painted engine color from the factory. The bellhousing mount throttle stop and generator adjustment bracket are not. (no paint... cad plate??)
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  9. #59
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Saint Charles, IL
    Posts
    6,214

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Steve,
    I don't know how I missed this thread! Great work! You've made a TON of progress. Cleaning, painting and detailing original parts can be some of the most rewarding work you do to your car. Keep up the great work! The hotsy really made a big difference. That is one investment I would like to have, the do-it-yourself car wash stalls just don't have the heat or pressure to really clean. Colorado cars are super solid.
    Rob

    1971 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited 4dr, 56,934 miles
    1995 Buick Park Avenue
    BPG #2020

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
    Posts
    12,327

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Man you're really coming along! Great Work! It seems that, no one really has the exact nailhead green without mixing. IMHO, cars has the closest match. Here, is a link to a thread on engine paint;

    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=207375
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
    Posts
    12,327

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Oh, it turns out that is YOUR thread!! The first time we restored our 55, I think we used ford green.
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
    Posts
    12,327

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Quote Originally Posted by weim55 View Post
    I've purchased my first full size early (early to me anyway) Buick.


    Steve weim55 Colorado
    Ha! I just got that. To me 1960 is a late model!!
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    R U planning on parting out the 364? If so would you want to sell the oil filter adapter block?

  14. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    great work so far steve. Check your PM box when you get a chance.
    '56 Special
    '60 LeSabre

  15. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    It Runs!

    I'm a bit behind posting progress here.....Over the past two weeks Kenny and I put the final touches to install the 401 and fire it up in it's new home. I installed minus the clutch assembly so I could have access to the flywheel to balance the 364 flywheel properly to the 401. The transmission and rearend will be done as soon as the engine is balanced. I'll post on the steps I've left out soon. Much left to do but it's really great to hear the ol' nailhead purring again!
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  16. #66
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Balancing the 364 Flywheel to the 401.

    364 and 401 flywheels are balanced differently making them unique to each to engine. Long story short finding a stepped 401 flywheel like the one in my '60 is impossible. A new flywheel is available from a couple of sources but it's pricey ($325.00), it's flat face, not stepped like the original. That means I would also have to purchase a new clutch. AND.... the ring gear depth is different so the correct starter is neccessary too. Earlier in the thread Tom Telesco gave me some advice where to start on the balance process to make my 364 flywheel work for the swap. I started the process by drilling and tapping a hole directly across from the dowel hole in the crank to hang balance weights off of. It's the hole with the white circle in the pics. Also there just happened to be a hole a couple of inches clockwise from the hole I drilled so I ran a tap through that hole too in case I might need it. Hooked up a tach that I could see through the windsheild and ran the engine with various weights and placements until I zeroed in to the spot and weights you see in the pic. Engine runs really smooth but at the very highest RPMs (3600 - 4000) I can still feel a slight vibration in the dash. Outside the car throttling by hand it's as smooth as a watch. I might be splitting hairs thinking it should be better. I think I'll get the car drivable and see what it's like under a load on the highway then decide if it needs a little more attention.

    Thanks for the advice Tom, this worked well and saved me some $$.
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  17. #67
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
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    12,327

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    That looks great. Seeing your son working the hoist really brings back memories of when my Dad could get out and work on the car for hours on end. I do all the work now and he supervises from the porch. And, I am thankful for that. We went to a local cruise in Saturday Aug 7. And my Dad and had a blast. Keep up the good work.
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  18. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Gower, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    1,575

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Good read!!..All the best!! Later,Tony.
    Tony Ventura
    1972 GS 455 BPG#1749
    A.K.A.."The Green Goblin"
    Cruises, Car Shows and a bit of racing!!!

  19. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    ct.
    Posts
    3,621

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    You need to add approx. an ounce in the same place where the 364 weight is. A 364 has an out of balance of approx. 3 1/2ozs. Whereas the 401/425 have an out of balance of approx. 4 1/2ozs. Your adding it to the wrong side. In other words 180* off from where it should be.

    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!"

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Illinois
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    wow, looks like a lot of work but it looks good.

    I have a 60 4 door lesabre I am looking for parts for.
    What are you doing with the left over parts from the invicta?

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Tom,

    I'm lost as to the place on the flywheel where you say the factory added weight is. There is no added weight anywhere on it. Only weight removed as you can see in the pic. I'll give your placement a try but really..... only one ounce to add in that area? The balance is off alot before I made the changes I did. The vibration is bad and very noticeable. So I'm puzzled why the engine did come into balance with the weight placement in the area in the after pic.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks Steve
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  22. #72
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    dwx4,

    I am parting out the Invicta. PM me your needs.

    Thanks, Steve

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
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    12,327

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Quote Originally Posted by weim55 View Post
    Exhaust

    The 401 has some of the most perfect exhaust manifolds I've ever seen. All the studs, bolts and washers are original and nice.
    I'll say. As we say in Alabama; They look store bought new.
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  24. #74
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Birmingham (Alabaster)Alabama
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    12,327

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Quote Originally Posted by weim55 View Post
    Tom,

    I'm lost as to the place on the flywheel where you say the factory added weight is. There is no added weight anywhere on it. Only weight removed as you can see in the pic. I'll give your placement a try but really..... only one ounce to add in that area? The balance is off alot before I made the changes I did. The vibration is bad and very noticeable. So I'm puzzled why the engine did come into balance with the weight placement in the area in the after pic.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks Steve
    Did you get your fly wheel issues settled? And if so, how?
    And, if not, Good luck!
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

  25. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Illinois
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: '60 LeSabre 2 door sedan

    Quote Originally Posted by weim55 View Post
    dwx4,

    I am parting out the Invicta. PM me your needs.

    Thanks, Steve
    Thanks, PM sent!

 

 
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