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  1. #1
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    Default Rearend and chassis colors?

    I am restoring a `70 GSX for the concours class and would like to know about the colors on the rearend housing and some of the other chassis parts. Everything I've done in the past I have painted semi-gloss black like the frame and control arms, then painted the rear sway bar with cast blast. Lately I've seen some cars that were done with cast paint on the center section and bare steel colors on the tubes and mountings, indicating the rearend assembly was not painted from the factory, and had a black cover. This is my first Buick restoration and it seems like the GM A-body cars would follow the same pattern, but maybe not? I've done a lot of GTO's and Chevelles and never got docked any points for the black, but I really want to be 100% correct with this car since it is an 84,000 mile original, completely numbers matching car. I have found black paint on the front sway bar but nothing on anything else. Can anyone help with this, or who can I contact about it? Need colors for rearend housing, cover, and front and rear sway bars. Also, did the GSX come originally with spiral shocks? Thanks in advance.

    Bill

  2. #2
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    Default

    Check the archieves. There are a lot of pics for the chassis resto. There was a look of debate over the shocks and the way it shook out from the judges is that the spirals were phased out with the mid year changes of the GS cars ( December 69) . Since all but Brads X were made beginning February 70 the answer is no on the spirals.
    Jim Lore
    BPG 1037
    "If you cannot clear up the confusion at least make the confusion clear."

  3. #3
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    Bill,
    I always paint the rear axles like the one below. We had several discussion here on painting them all black and seems there was some plants that did so but.......I think Flint painted them this way. Jim Lore and Duane can correct me if I am wrong.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    George Nenadovich
    Buick Performance Club Founder
    www.BuickPerformanceClub.com

  4. #4
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    Default

    Done this way would indicate that the tubes were already painted before they were pressed and welded into the center section. Either that or there had to have been some masking done on one or the other. I doubt if the factory would take the time to mask anything, so can anyone verify if the tubes were painted before being welded in? Do the concours judges accept it this way? Thanks. Any ideas on the sway bars?

    Bill

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flynbuick
    Check the archieves. There are a lot of pics for the chassis resto. There was a look of debate over the shocks and the way it shook out from the judges is that the spirals were phased out with the mid year changes of the GS cars ( December 69) . Since all but Brads X were made beginning February 70 the answer is no on the spirals.
    The car was built in Flint, 3rd week of April, so this does rule out the spiral shocks. Maybe the car actually had the original shocks on it, too. Thanks.

    Bill

  6. #6
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    Default

    I contend the sway bars should be semi gloss black. I have also heard from many sources that the rear end housing should be black in the back facing the rear and the front half was unpainted and not very neat. I also think the rear end should be a fairly glossy black. I will be painting mine all black for lifelong protection.
    Dave, Seeing Yellow
    71 GS Stage-1 Now Sold.

    Now have real 70 GSX 4 Speed QQ

  7. #7
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    Default

    Guys,
    We go through this debate all the time, but here we go one more time.

    The rears were painted black. Some appear to be almost completely painted while others seemed to be painted only on the rearward facing areas. Some years/copies of the Buick assembly manuals even state that the frame/rears/sway bars, etc. were painted/touched up after they were assembled as a chassis. This has been verified to be true, for at least a few examples, where only the lower rearward facing areas of original shocks received black paint, while the rest of the shocks were all gray. This would mean they were painted black after they were assembled. There was also not much consideration given as to how they were painted (black), due to the runs in the black paint. (The examples I know of, that were painted like this, were 1970 and 1971 Fremont and Flint cars.)

    At this point the changeover between spirals to pliacells has been narrowed done to,
    spirals-till 1970 body build date (01D)
    changeover (01D to 03A)
    Pliacells after 1970 body build date (03A)

    So If you had an early built GSX it could have had spirals.
    Duane
    Duane Heckman, Owner of Classic Car Interiors

  8. #8
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    I knew Duane would step-in. We should change his unofficial nickname from Buick Apostle to Buick Referee

    The rear you see in my pic is from a 49k original 72 Skylark 4dr I stripped last May. I must have gone through 15-20 rears, 8.5" , all from FL cars, and have never found any center section painted black or attemped to be painted black. The axle tubes on this car were painted black but the paint stopped about 4-6" from where the tube enters the pumpkin.
    George Nenadovich
    Buick Performance Club Founder
    www.BuickPerformanceClub.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GStage1
    I knew Duane would step-in. We should change his unofficial nickname from Buick Apostle to Buick Referee

    The rear you see in my pic is from a 49k original 72 Skylark 4dr I stripped last May. I must have gone through 15-20 rears, 8.5" , all from FL cars, and have never found any center section painted black or attemped to be painted black. The axle tubes on this car were painted black but the paint stopped about 4-6" from where the tube enters the pumpkin.
    This certainly explains (and confirms) what Duane said about them being painted/touched up after they were assembled. I once saw an example of this on a GTO where they painted everything steel gray and then oversprayed it with black. I don't like that at all. I want the car to be correct but I have no intention of duplicating crappy factory workmanship. Thanks.

    Bill

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane
    Guys,
    We go through this debate all the time, but here we go one more time.

    The rears were painted black. Some appear to be almost completely painted while others seemed to be painted only on the rearward facing areas. Some years/copies of the Buick assembly manuals even state that the frame/rears/sway bars, etc. were painted/touched up after they were assembled as a chassis. This has been verified to be true, for at least a few examples, where only the lower rearward facing areas of original shocks received black paint, while the rest of the shocks were all gray. This would mean they were painted black after they were assembled. There was also not much consideration given as to how they were painted (black), due to the runs in the black paint. (The examples I know of, that were painted like this, were 1970 and 1971 Fremont and Flint cars.)

    At this point the changeover between spirals to pliacells has been narrowed done to,
    spirals-till 1970 body build date (01D)
    changeover (01D to 03A)
    Pliacells after 1970 body build date (03A)

    So If you had an early built GSX it could have had spirals.
    Duane
    At this point I feel I should ask what standards are excepted in the concours class? Should everything be painted black (bolts, brackets, etc.), or can it just be done to be pretty, incorporating various black, cast blast and steel gray colors? These cars look super nice with all the detail done underneath them, but is it generally accepted this way or do they require you to follow a certain theme? I don't mind being accused of having the car "over-restored". Heck, we all know that most of them are. I just don't want to lose points for making it prettier than the factory did. I have found some green paint dabs on the front spindles but no evidence of any black paint ever having been on them. Thank you.


    Bill

  11. #11
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    Bill when are you going to be ready to show?

    The reason I ask is that several completely done cars are going to be on display at the Buick events this year. I will have a concours' 4 speed, stage 1 GSX QQ ready for Indy in June myself. I will not be ready in time for BG. Others will have cars too. There is no sustitute for seeing one in person. We compliled a list of finishes by part that is posted on this site by Ken Lisk who is doing a 71 GSX.
    Jim Lore
    BPG 1037
    "If you cannot clear up the confusion at least make the confusion clear."

  12. #12
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    The car won't be ready for any shows this year, or if so it will be late this year. I am currently doing the chassis which is why I was asking about the colors right now. I will be going to Bowling Green but I had hoped to have the chassis done before then so that will be too late, unless, of course, I work on something else until then. I'll give that some thought. Anyway, you're absolutely right about seeing the cars in person. I hope to be able to visit with some of the concours judges and participants there if they have time. I have a lot of questions but I do realize that they will have a busy weekend and I don't want to be a bother. That's what I like about these boards, we can post at our leasure. Also the fact that if anyone needs to know anything about Buicks, this is the place to ask. I sure do thanks you guys for that.

    Bill

  13. #13
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    Default

    I have read where most GM A-Bodies went through similar building sequences. This must not be true at all. I have done a bunch of studying on the 70 Olds I am currently doing. Some old lit. stated some rearend housings on the Olds were gloss black. I saw different opinions, but went with the one where the sway bars were cast color. Also, I read where the driveline was unpainted. Anyone know what color stripes to put on the 70 W-31 driveline? I just can't seem to find that one.
    1971 GS455
    1971 Riviera GS
    John Ayers

  14. #14
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    Bill,
    You can do a search and check through some of the earlier discussions about this. They should give you the info you are looking for.

    As for the rear axle painting, I have a theory about that. If you look through the assembly manuals, it states that if you had rally wheels, then the outward facing surfaces of the rotors/rear drums were to be painted black, and it was supposed to be "good for 30 minutes without changing color"

    That way the car would look good while it sat on the lot and through all the test drives. After that it didn't matter, because the car would have been sold. You have to remember that GM is in the business to sell cars, not build museum pieces.

    I believe the same thing applied to the rear painting. Some were only painted enough to look "good" until they were sold. It would also explain why the majority of the "pumpkin" paint went away so fast.
    Duane
    Duane Heckman, Owner of Classic Car Interiors

  15. #15
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    This is what this site is all about. Duane and you restorers helping someone without being critical of each other. Hell paint the pumkin-- Halloween will be here soon. BTW I am back in the Buick Business again . Thanks Duane , George, Jim and the others. John
    John

  16. #16
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    Gene Wray can help you on the W-31 PM me and I will give you his email address. I can't remember and I don't have photos of the drive line on the car but I believe it to be gray with a stripe ( green maybe) but I am not sure. JEA Jr.
    John

  17. #17
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    Bill

    Duane and Brad on here are two of the concours' judges. They usually do BG but I think they said they are swaping to do the Indy Buick Horsepower Nationals this year in June. I am going to have a Hospitality tent for some cars including a fresh X that has been in resto for a couple of years. I am hoping to persuade Brad and Duane to conduct some show and tell about the finer points of an X resto using my car as the guinea pig. I attended such an event Duane did with the GSXtacy car in BG several years ago and it was very informative. I have tried to learn what I can since then and produce a 4 speed X car that nice and hopefully even more correct. But that remains to be seen as the proof is in the quality of the resto lies in in the final product.
    Jim Lore
    BPG 1037
    "If you cannot clear up the confusion at least make the confusion clear."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynbuick
    Bill

    Duane and Brad on here are two of the concours' judges. They usually do BG but I think tey said they are swaping to do the Indy Buick Horsepower Nationals this year.

    Thee are many pics on here.
    Jim,

    You are correct, neither Duane nor I will be in BG this year but we will be in Indy and Salem. Neither of us minds answering questions concerning the "correctness" of a restoration, as you know, and welcome those questions.

    If we don't know the answer, we'll make one up! (just kidding...)
    Brad Conley. 70 GSX Prototype, 71 Black GSX, 87 GNX Prototype, 75 Skyhawk, 2 86 GN's, 72 Centurion Convert and a host of other Buicks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pooods
    I have read where most GM A-Bodies went through similar building sequences. This must not be true at all. I have done a bunch of studying on the 70 Olds I am currently doing. Some old lit. stated some rearend housings on the Olds were gloss black. I saw different opinions, but went with the one where the sway bars were cast color. Also, I read where the driveline was unpainted. Anyone know what color stripes to put on the 70 W-31 driveline? I just can't seem to find that one.
    I have never seen a driveshaft that has been painted so I paint them steel gray. I'm glad you brought up the application stripes because I am going to need that info as well. Every car I have seen have the stripes masked and painted on. The only original set of paint stripes I ever found were on a `69 375hp Chevelle and they looked like they were put on with a brush while the driveshaft was turning. Correct My best guess was that it was done while balancing the shaft. This car is a Stage 1, 4 speed, QQ, A/C and (here's an oddball) no power steering. The car had PS on it but I was told it was installed later. I was skeptical about this but I found the broadcast sheet under the passenger side carpet and sure enough, no PS. Good thing it's going to be a show car.

    Bill

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Conley
    Jim,

    You are correct, neither Duane nor I will be in BG this year but we will be in Indy and Salem. Neither of us minds answering questions concerning the "correctness" of a restoration, as you know, and welcome those questions.

    If we don't know the answer, we'll make one up! (just kidding...)
    I'm sure glad to hear that you welcome all these questions because I will be sending plenty of them. Thanks.

    Bill

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Oldie 65
    IThe only original set of paint stripes I ever found were on a `69 375hp Chevelle and they looked like they were put on with a brush while the driveshaft was turning.
    Bill
    They were put on with a brush while the driveshaft was turning. To be correct, they should look like crap. Masking is entirely inappropriate!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Sloop
    They were put on with a brush while the driveshaft was turning. To be correct, they should look like crap. Masking is entirely inappropriate!!
    Your right. I once masked them too, but it looked like crap. If you have the driveline out, just take it to a shop and have them put it on a lathe. You can slap a couple of stripes on it as it turns. Or, I have done them on a car on a rack. Just had someone in the car start it up and let the rear tires spin slowly. Just make sure they don't accelerate too much and sling wet paint over the floor pan.
    Do a search here in this forum and you will find the correct driveline paint mark colors. I have read it in the past on here, but can't remember at the moment.
    1971 GS455
    1971 Riviera GS
    John Ayers

  23. #23
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    No need it is black and purple.
    Jim Lore
    BPG 1037
    "If you cannot clear up the confusion at least make the confusion clear."

  24. #24
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    Guys,
    I figured I would throw another log on the fire, regarding how the chassis was originally painted.

    Below is a page from a 1972 Buick assembly manual. This same page was used in all the 68-72 chassis manuals, with the only difference being the date the drawing was first used. (It was updated each year.) The first usage I have for this page is 1967.

    Now, this page is generally missing from most of the assembly manuals that are currently on the market, but as many of you know I have multiple versions for each year, and some of these have this page.

    I don't know if this page has it, but all the other pages state "Paint Items Indicated Buick Spec. 301." which I believe is their code for Black paint.

    To me, this page indicates that everything called out, including the F&R springs, control arms, swaybars, front suspension pieces, rear axle, etc. would all be painted the exact same color/gloss of black. The only exception that I see is for the outer facing surfaces of the brake drums/rotors. They would have used hi-temp paint for obvious reasons, and are called out on another page.

    Now, I figure this will answer all questions regarding chassis painting, especially the note that reads "Rear Axle Housing-Complete". Enjoy.
    Duane
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Duane Heckman, Owner of Classic Car Interiors

  25. #25
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    I'm going to make this a sticky...just so we don't rehash this again.
    Brad Conley. 70 GSX Prototype, 71 Black GSX, 87 GNX Prototype, 75 Skyhawk, 2 86 GN's, 72 Centurion Convert and a host of other Buicks!

 

 
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