Low-Ball Offers

After too many low-ball offers and dumb questions (“does it have any rust?”) I’ve decided to keep the Buick. I’ll be fixing it up a little bit at a time. I don’t want to look back sometime in the future, regretting that I sold it. It may not be a popular car compared to an Impala, but it’s pretty bitchin’ in my opinion! So it is no longer for sale.

For Sale

I’ve decided to sell the Buick.  I’ve enjoyed it for the past few years, but honestly I just don’t have the time, knowledge, or money to do this car justice. I have my ’60 Impala flat-top restoration project to finish, which is what I’ll do with the funds I get from selling the Buick.

The starter issue that was plaguing me is “fixed” finally… I ended up re-building a starter from parts of the original and the new re-manufactured one. Never did figure out what the problem was, but.. it works now. Of course the starter does have a tendency to grind on a semi regular basis, just like it had been since day one.  I guess I’ll leave this one for the next guy to figure out!

I have a brand new exhaust system that the next owner can install. Also have the bottom pan and accumulator seals for the tranny that need to go in. I just don’t have the time or desire to do these things myself.

Note:  Some photos on this blog show the seat being equipped with factory 6-way power setup. This was non-functional (broken transmission). It has been replaced with manual seat tracks and appropriate aluminum trim. The power setup will not be included with the sale of the car. I’m saving it in hopes of finding repair parts, then using it in the restoration of my ’60 Impala Convertible (someday).

The Buick is currently listed for sale on eBay.

If you have questions, email me at dave@nostalgic.net. If you’d rather talk on the phone, email first and I’ll give you my number.



Starter Relay

It’s been just over 4 years now since I bought the Buick and over 3 years now since I last posted to this blog. I still have the car, but after the initial repairs were done, very little has changed. I haven’t done any more restoration work to the car. It’s been driven just over 3000 miles since then, with a total of 14207 on the odometer (I’m sure it’s rolled over once).

The starter issue from the last posting was fixed by installing a rebuilt starter. It was never quite the same though, as the starter would occasionally grind, but it was manageable, and for as often as I was driving the car, I just tolerated the problem. That is until mid summer of 2013, when it apparently ground itself enough to no longer properly engage with the flywheel. That parked the car until now because I didn’t have time to work on it. I removed the starter and saw that the gear was actually only chipped on the leading edge, so why this was preventing it from working I don’t know. I figured perhaps the solenoid went bad and wasn’t engaging all the way. So I replaced the solenoid, but it didn’t change a thing! So rather that mess with it, I bought a rebuilt starter from a dealer on eBay and put it in. Now it engages fine, but it won’t let go! The starter will not disengage or stop cranking! The only way I could get it to stop was by  yanking off a battery cable. Turns out this is a problem that occurs with these old Buicks with their strange carb-mounted ignition switch (operated by pressing the gas pedal all the way to the floor). The wiring system for the ignition is a strange one that I don’t even fully understand or can explain. Bottom line is, the service manual suggest that I should replace the starter relay. No biggy right? Well, you can’t buy this part new anymore! It’s a strange relay with 4 connectors on it, mounted on a bulkhead on the left inside fender skirt behind the battery. Looking on eBay, I see that you can buy them NOS…. for $125 or so! Yikes! Not the $30 I thought they should be. Well, after Googling a bit I found that you can buy a similar replacement part that is supposed to work. You can find this part online for about $45 or so… it’s GM #1116969.  The original part was very close… GM #1116967. The difference? Something to do with the original being only rated at 6v continuous, while the new one is 12v.  Anyway, the newer one is supposed to work, but I got lucky and was able to buy an original one off eBay for $66 after shipping… I figured rather than spend $ to try something that MIGHT work, I’d go a little extra for the “correct” part.  Not that it matters, but it turns out that this relay is a something GM was using as a general-purpose relay on all sorts of different things, such as the rear power window on a 1960 Oldsmobile wagon. So after installing this part, the damn thing still won’t disengage! Wasted $66.00. What’s wrong with it? No idea at this point.

Here are a few shots of the car…. one with the wide whitewalls I ran for one summer. They SUCKED bad! Dried up old bias-ply tires. They look cool, but they are a nightmare to drive on.



And how the car looks today, up on jack stands while I figure out this starter crap.

Buick as of 2-22-14

Starter Grenade

I finally was left stranded by the Buick. About 30 minutes from home, I stopped at a gas station to use their ATM. When I came back out, it wouldn’t start. It wouldn’t even try. Just a single click, and that’s it.  Having no idea what happened I called Marty for advice. He had me try some tricks like whacking the solenoid with a crow bar I had in the trunk, but it made no difference. The headlights did not dim when I would engage the starter, so I guess this means it isn’t stuck and drawing a lot of juice. After about 3 hours, my dad was able to get away from work to come give me a tow-start. Fortunately I had read in the service manual that you could start a Dynaflow equipped Buick by putting it into low gear and towing or pushing it. We had to get it up to about 35-40 mph before it would start.  I drove it back home and took the starter out to find that the gear had been completely reamed off, and the brushes in the motor were broken and ground into small bits, which also destroyed the armature while it was at it. DOH!  Apparently the starter had engaged while I was driving it… which, obviously it isn’t supposed to do… but, considering that the starter button is part of the throttle linkage, apparently whatever mechanism bypasses this while the motor is running must have failed. I have yet to figure out what the problem was. I have a new starter installed now and it seems to work just fine. Oh well, I’m putting the car into storage for the winter and will figure it out in the spring when I get the car back out.  I could install a starter button under the dash and just disable the original switch, but I think its pretty cool how it works and would like to keep it that way if possible.

Blown-up Starter

Blown-up Starter