My 1969 GS400

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by FLGS400, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Taking a page out of the Jason Cook book, I'm trying to do a little bit to the car every night. Sometimes I get 15-minutes and sometimes (like tonight) I get a few hours. Tonight I got the new timing chain on (which took much longer than anticipated due to the lower gear being a bitch to get off), and got the new timing cover installed and water pump installed.

    Timing Cover 040122.jpg

    Hopefully I'll have a lot of the day tomorrow to get this thing back together and running!
  2. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Today I made a lot of progress on the timing chain/cover replacement project.

    This morning I was able to get the balancer on with no problem. I did have to use a rubber mallet to get it past the seal in the timing cover. Once past that the effort was minimal. And yes, I did lube the balancer and seal beforehand. Instead of clamping the flywheel to torque the balancer bolt, I made a tool to hold the center part of the balancer. This is a tool I bought off of Amazon last year, to remove and install the pinion nut on the rear end. I just had to make 2 of the slots a little bit longer toward the center with a carbide bit in my Dremel. Worked like a champ and I got that torque wrench to click at 200 lb./ft. without turning the motor!

    Blancer Tool 1.jpg Blancer Tool 2.jpg

    After that it was pretty much cleaning and installing everything back on the front of the motor. That AC bracket was super nasty with 50+ years of grime caked in and on it. It also got fresh oil. Her is as far as I got, before I got tired of the rain hitting my back. The car is in the garage and dry, it's just backed in and I have to have the door open to have room to work on it.

    Progress 040222.jpg

    Hopefully the rain lets up tomorrow and I can get it all back together and running again. I still have to prime the oiling system yet, then I can put the distributor back in.
    1968_GS400 and Super Bald Menace like this.
  3. Super Bald Menace

    Super Bald Menace Frame off oil changes

    Good thinking on that tool modification. Car is looking good
    FLGS400 likes this.
  4. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor


    I had more time today to work on the Buick. Got it all back together, coolant filled, oiling system primed, and distributor in. After some fiddling with the timing, it fired up. Set the total timing to 31 degrees total (10 degrees initial). This is where is was before, but it seems to be idling a little higher than before. Probably has something to do with the timing being more accurate with the tighter chain. Let the temp come up to 180 degrees and finished filling the radiator. Note that I swapped out the thermostat for a 180 degree one, while I had the coolant drained. I had put a 160 in it about a year and a half ago. No leaks to be found anywhere!!! I'm so stoked!!!

    Another trick that I figured out when priming the oiling system with no helper to watch the oil pressure... I set my smart phone against the shifter and recorded a video while priming the pump. One I felt some resistance on the drill, I counted to 20 and stopped. Went back and watched it on my phone and it went to 80 psi. I'm good with that! I'm sure others have done this too...

    My only concern now is there may be too much oil pressure. I haven't driven it yet, but the oil pressure looked to be 60 psi at 180 degrees. When I revved it to 3,000 RPM is went up to a shade over 80 psi. I don't want to blow the oil filter off while driving it...

    Progress 040322 1.jpg

    Progress 040322 2.jpg

    Sometime over the next couple days, I'll take some time to take it for a drive and tune it better.
    Brian Albrecht likes this.
  5. Super Bald Menace

    Super Bald Menace Frame off oil changes

    That oil pressure will settle down once the oil comes up to operating temp.
    FLGS400 and Brian Albrecht like this.
  6. 69 GS 400

    69 GS 400 Well-Known Member

    With that oil pressure, sounds like you have the Stage1 spring in the oil pump.
  7. Brian Albrecht

    Brian Albrecht Classic Reflections

    I realize what you're trying to convey, but it appears he has an adjustable unit.
    FLGS400 likes this.
  8. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Brian, you are correct. When I bought the new timing cover from TA, I got it with the oil pump and accessories all set up. If I drive it and it settles down some, I won't mess with it. Otherwise, I may have to back off the adjuster a tad.
    Brian Albrecht likes this.
  9. DaWildcat

    DaWildcat Platinum Level Contributor

    Oil viscosity?

  10. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Devon, it's 20W50 Valvoline VR1. Same oil I've been using. It gets pretty hot here in the summer time.
  11. DaWildcat

    DaWildcat Platinum Level Contributor

    Gotcha. If even when hot it's too much pressure, I think you could go thinner.

  12. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    I guess I could pick up some 10W30 and try that before messing with the adjuster.
  13. DaWildcat

    DaWildcat Platinum Level Contributor

    I wouldn't mess with the adjustor just yet. 80 psi is no prob, you just don't need it until 6000+ rpm. A lower viscosity should still get you decent hot idle pressure, but you still want to look for that nice quick pressure increase as soon as the rpm's are up. You won't really know until whichever oil you're using is good and hot after some sustained hot driving.

    Sounds like the new cover/pump setup will take good care of you based on what you're already seeing. No need to overdo lower rpm pressure for the sake of cam & distributor gear wear, especially cold start up.

    Same thing happened to me after installing the TA cover with properly set up pump, I'm doing great with 10W-30 now. Bearing clearances are at 0.002" here.

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  14. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Thank you so much for the input Devon! I'm going to try to take it for a drive around town within the next couple of days, before I move on to the next phase (disc brakes and suspension rebuild), and see how the oil pressure does. If it seems excessive, I'll drain out the 20W50 and put in some 10W30. You made me feel a lot better about it!
    Max Damage and DaWildcat like this.
  15. Gary Bohannon

    Gary Bohannon Well-Known Member

    I use valvoline 20 50 racing vr1 synthetic.
    Flows better on cold starts than non synthetic.
    Also set my distributor with soft springs. Then put the stronger springs in after timing is set.
    No knock on 91 non ethanol.
    Also use the 1968 cold air Buick option from cowel to air cleaner. Someone on here made repos. Cold air is like octaine booster!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2022
    FLGS400 likes this.
  16. Max Damage

    Max Damage I'm working on it!

    I think the fluctuation you describe above in your temperature gauge sounds more like an electrical issue than a mechanical one... looks like this car is just getting better and better!

    Nice job getting the timing case off without breaking any bolts!
    FLGS400 likes this.
  17. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Thanks Max!

    The temperature gauge is a mechanical one. I think when I pulled the thermostat I found what may have been causing it. Won't know for sure until I take it for a drive, though.

    The last time I did the thermostat and housing, I slathered the gasket thick on both sides with the Super Black RTV. I noticed that by doing this, the RTV had almost completely clogged the bypass hose fitting in the housing, when it squished out. This time I used the High-Tack on the gasket and so far so good. I have not run it with the radiator cap in place, yet. I bought a 7 psi cap for it too. I'm kinda sick of fixing that damn thermostat housing leakage... this was the 4th time.
  18. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Tonight's update...

    I was tired last night and my lady and I hadn't done anything in a while, so I took the night off on the Buick and we went out.

    Tonight, I checked the timing again, set it at 33 degrees total, leaned the idle mixture screws a quarter turn, put the air cleaner back on and took it for a drive. First off, it pinged like mad when I squeezed into the secondaries. Oil pressure was between 60 and 80 psi for the first 10 minutes. Then at idle it came down to 40 psi and ranged between 60 and 75 psi while driving between 1500 and 2200 RPM. Was consistently than way for the rest of the trip. When I got home, I reset the timing to 31 degrees total. It seems to idle a lot better there. Did not get another chance to drive it though. It was time to pack it up, so I don't keep the neighbors young autistic son up too late on a school night... LOL

    No leaks anywhere on post-drive inspection!

    Also, there was no more weird temperature fluctuations. The gauge stayed between 170 and 180 degrees the whole trip, without the high spike when I let off the throttle. So I'm pretty sure it was either the thermostat, but most likely, the bypass hose opening in the thermostat housing being severely restricted.

    Tomorrow night I'll have to cut the lawn (my least favorite chore). I'm to cheap to pay someone else to do it when I am perfectly capable. The rain we had this past weekend made it grow
    DaWildcat likes this.
  19. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    So, tonight started the suspension rebuild and brake upgrade.

    Car 041122.jpg

    After getting the car in the air and wheels off, I broke loose the brake lines (most of them) from the proportioning valve to drain the brake fluid out.

    The power brake booster was such a PIA to swap (off and on). Couldn't find and easy way to get to the nuts that hold it on to the firewall. Beat the crap out of my arms, but I got it! Being ambidextrous helps, too.

    Old Booster 041122.jpg

    A few days ago I had already painted the master cylinder. Once I get the new brake lines on it and connected to the new components, I'll take it back off and bench bleed it. I want to get everything fitted and ready first.

    New MC Booster 041122.jpg

    Arm Left 041122.jpg

    Noticed that the old master cylinder was leaking a bit, into the brake booster...

    More to come, as I have a lot to do before May 10th!
    Super Bald Menace and DaWildcat like this.
  20. Max Damage

    Max Damage I'm working on it!

    I find removing the wiper motor first makes this a lot easier?
    FLGS400 likes this.

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