1966 Wildcat 2 door Sport Coupe

Hello All:

My name is Chuck and I am, as far as classic cars and mechanics go, a total noob. I am a certified Journeyman Electronic tech, Journeyman Telecommunications network tech, Journeyman Telecommunications electrician (Cable splicer) and a certified computer technician with a 2 year diploma. You will notice, a lot of electronics, not mechanics. Help and advise gladly accepted. My brother-in-law recently gifted me his 1966 Buick Wildcat 2 door Sport Coupe as a birthday gift. Yeah, I know, I am completely spoiled by him. It is in the mechanics right now as it required an Out Of Province Inspection before I could insure and plate her. The mechanic found some front end and steering bushings that needed replacement as well as the heater core leaking into the cabin. Ray, when he found out it didn't pass, told me to put the repairs on his credit card (he is 750 KM, 450 Miles away so couldn't go down there himself) and pay me later. Yup, completely spoiled. He even drove it down from Northern Saskatchewan to Southern Alberta, Lethbridge on the last day he had insurance on it so I wold have it. That was 2 months ago. It went to the mechanics about 3 weeks ago, I hope to have her back tomorrow. She needs a little (very little) body work. I have one hole above the drivers rear wheel. That is the only rust she has as Ray, when he got it 12 years ago, cut out all of the rust and welded in new metal. I plan to repair that and install a new stereo as soon as I get it back.

I have admired the Wildcat from the time Ray got it. When I first saw it I was amazed at how big it was and how little rust it had. Ray fixed it up and painted it himself. Now, the paint had worn off in areas and she has been outside for 12 years. One hole, not bad. I spent the first 5 week I had her fixing up little things, like the drivers side motor mount that let go while he was driving it down, the thermostat that stuck and over-heated in the middle of the night on him (he just removed it and drove without one to get here. I have cleaned her up, fixed little things that were driving me crazy, cleaned and painted under the hood, ordered new hood springs, bought a new battery, and so on. Ray had the interior refinished, new upholstery and head liner. I went over all of the lights, repaired the side markers, the front markers, checked the headlights, had a high beam burn out in front of my eyes, replaced, fixed a broken light socket on the passengers rear, lubricated the electric antenna (over and over) replaced the decal on the air cleaner (Wildcat 465) and removed loose wiring from the steering column. I think someone had a tach in there at one point and Ray never removed the wires. Like I said, little things. I cleaned, wire brushed and repainted the rims and cleaned and repainted chrome on the hubcaps. I have lubricated the heater motor (remove the fender, really?), and replaced the ducting under the dash for the defrost I repaired the defrost/heat cable as both ends had come loose and nothing worked. I lubricated all of the cables to the heater controls to avoid future problems.

As an ex telecommunications Equipment Installation Tech (retired), I am a bit of a perfectionist. It comes with the Telecom territory. In our department, if it wasn't perfect, it wasn't right. This is how I wish to treat my new baby. I think it will please Ray. I had to retire due to an automobile accident that left me with permanent post concussion (Light and sound sensitivity, headache since (Yup, a permanent severe headache for 4 years that never goes away, what fun.) and vertigo. It was the vertigo that forced the retirement as my career involved a lot of ladder and framework walking. Framework 3 inches wide to walk on. Not with vertigo. So now my most important job is caring for my Granddaughter, Aria (2 years old) while Mom and Dad, my son Mike, work. She keeps me going. Keeping up with her is better that going to a gym.

Well, that's about all for now. Here are some pictures of my baby. Hope you like them and remember, she is a work in progress


I just received the call from Ed. My car is ready! Yeah. I will be going out after lunch as he is closed for lunch hour. I can hardly wait to drive it home. that is going to be different as I have been driving pickups since 2008. In the car, you are a lot lower to the ground. Waiting is over!😀
So I drove her home this afternoon. That was a different feeling from an F150. It will take a little getting used to but, darn, it was fun. She rumbles, I am not used to that as my truck is an 3.5L Ecoboost. No rumble, turbo whine. I put my toe into it to accelerate from 60 (35) to 100 (60). Ok she goes like a scared kitty. I could feel the acceleration. I won't be doing that too much, but, it was fun.;) ;)It is wider than my F150 and about the same length. When I got in I tried to reach over my shoulder for the seatbelt. Right.... lap belts. I felt silly, but will remember next time. I am going on a trip this week, but next week I will start the body work. That is something I remember how to do.
My new (old) hood springs worked great:BANANA:I was a little leery purchasing them off eBay as the seller had "No Returns" on the page, but, they worked great. Look Ma, no Stake! Now for a little bodywork, a wash job and... the fun!
New Springs.jpg
I need to do some work on the carburetor. It drives great on the highway or city roads, but stalls when you come to a red light. (I think it just hates to sit idle
). I am going to try increasing the idle until I can have the carb kit I purchased installed. Right now, I don't have the money to hire someone. It really isn't driveable as it is though. I don't want to have to start it at every light. I really wish I would have paid attention (I was going to say closer attention, but hey, let's be honest, I didn't have any interest and didn't pay attention) when my Dad tried to teach me. I was only interested in cooking at that time and had electronics as a hobby. Who knew cooking would be a hobby and electronics my life
. Sorry Dad, you were right when you told me you couldn't always hire someone and need to know this.
. I wish I could tell him, but I can't. The car doesn't idle at all when it is cold (the COLD light works, how good is that?). When it warms up, it idles for about 10 seconds then stalls. If you put it into reverse, it stalls. It has only been driven about 1200 Km (720 Miles) in the last 10 years. I might try putting some Carb Cleaner in it. Maybe that will help as it has sat so long.Ray has too many toys to run them all. His favourite is his '57 Lincoln, then his '63 convertible Lincoln. He also has a 64 Lincoln hardtop, but it has trouble with brakes. His daily driver is a right hand drive BMW two seater. Nice little car, but it has the cargo capacity of two postage stamps. He has a Caddy for winter (has 380,000 Km 175000 miles on it). He has a 1 ton Dodge Diesel with a deck on it for work, he works in the patch as a pipeliner. They pay him for his truck.

Anyone with any advice on my Rochester carburetor problems would be greatly appreciated.

My wife is chiming in to get things ready for tomorrow. Everyone have a good day!
Your carb kit will have some instructions in the box, open it up and have a look. You will be able to identify the idle screw (on the driver's side of the carb) and turn it in a bit to pick up the idle. Then you can try to adjust the two air screws on the front. One method is to screw them out until it runs smooth, then in until you hear it work or stumble, then out about a 1/2 turn. You will have to do it a couple of times.
Could be it doesn't idle when cold because the choke isn't working. You will see the associated parts in the carb instructions.
Looks like a nice car! Enjoy!
Thank you Bob. I appreciate the advise. It also doesn't idle when hot as well, that is why I do not want to drive it until I get it solved. I am afraid of causing an accident. Not too worried about myself, but I would hate to hurt anyone else. Also, in Lethbridge we have a lot of impatient drivers. I am growing to love the car. I like the fact that it is obscure, not common as a Mustang and other similar cars. As I stated earlier, I have always admired it when Ray had it, but was irked that he only did "What was absolutely necessary to get it running. He did the body work and painted it himself, but the paint is wearing off. It was little things like the tomato stake holding up the hood that would drive me nuts. It took me almost 2 months to get a set of springs that would fit the car, out of a '65 Wildcat that was being parted out. Now, it works like new and stays up properly. This is my goal, back to new, or as close as possible. I see so many old cars that have been chopped and rodded and it makes me sad. Especially when it is an old 20's or 30's car that I would have restored.

When I get back from my trip I will give your advise a go. I purchased a bottle of CRC 1-Tank Power Renew. Other than driving it down, 450 miles, it has been sitting for the last 10 years with only a couple of short (5 mile each way) trips to town for coffee. I felt cleaning out the carb and the fuel system might be a good idea. This one had good reviews, had a capless funnel (spare for my truck) and worked with carburetors. Most of them only said fuel injectors.

Well, bed time for Chuck. I hope you all have a good night.
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Today I started the bodywork to repair the "small" hole I found over the drivers rear fender. "Small", famous last words, as usual with body work. First step, remove the trim and mud flap. The pinholes in the metal started at the front of the wheel well and continued around to the back behind the wheel. Ray had mud flaps installed on all four tires. I removed this one and, even though it rained 2 days ago, was still damp. Hmmm, now, if I remember correctly, trapped moisture and dirt = rust. Right, makes sense with what I found. I used my cordless drill and wire wheel and started to remove any rust I found. I used my wire wheel... and used my wire wheel... and used my wire wheel. Good thing that the batteries recharge fairly rapidly. Okay, I think I got it all. I put the fiberglass reinforced Bondo on , thinly. One layer, two layers three. sanding in between. I used putty glaze for the last layer. 80 grit, 180 grit, 300 grit, 400 grit. Now, use my handy-dandy handle on my primer can and spray. 2 light layers of primer. Oh oh, severe thunderstorm warnings, rain, time to quit. The last layer was dry, I was planning to sand it but, the rain interfered. When the rain quit, wouldn't you know it, 2 small bumps that I couldn't see before. Ah well, tomorrow is another day. Good start for one day.


Today I installed the stereo in the car. I haven't installed the back-up camera yet, the heat got to be too much (95 F), 36 C. I was just dripping on the seat. I tied all of the cables under the dash. While I was there, I noticed some wiring that appalled me. A connector with 6 wires, about 3 inches from one end, all wires taped, with the tape slipping. Umm.... can't have that. Even with the heat, I trimmed all of the wires, one at a time, soldered and heat shrink over the splices. Now, that makes me feel better. I am going to have to go under the dash one morning while it is cool and trace everything. I noticed some cut off wires under there, but the heat beat me. After 19 years in Lethbridge, I still cannot handle the heat. I am more suited to a moderate climate, like in Northern BC where I grew up.

I was going to install the stereo in the dash, but, in the end, I couldn't force myself to cut out that dash. It seemed like sacrilege to cut the dash so the original equipment (AM Radio) wouldn't fit ever again. Just couldn't do it. So.... I built a box for the speakers and a box for the stereo. I cut the doghouse tray Ray had in there to fit between them. I will attach a picture to show. I am not unhappy with how it turned out. Installed, but nothing modified that cannot be put back in a short time. Sounds really good. It has Bluetooth, MP5 (video), USB and SC card inputs. I installed 4 speakers in the car, so it sounds like a new car. It has controls on the steering wheel to, similar to a new car. I didn't install the backup camera yet, too hot to get under the car right now. I plan to take her out on a trip to Fort McLeod this weekend to let the carburetor cleaner I put in run through. I put some fuel stabilizer in as she is not going to be run much this year, until I get the Carb situation solved.

Stereo 1.png

Well, it's tomorrow (Feel asleep without posting this). I got home from my appointment in Calgary and, being bored easily. I purchased some Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish as well as some steel wool, just to see if I could clean up the chrome trim. $17 seemed like a small investment to test out what I skeptically saw on YouTube. Well, I have to say, wow. They were telling the truth. It doesn't take a lot of elbow grease, just time and persistence, and the chrome that I practiced with came out beautifully. I did the trim above the wheel well I repaired and the 4 housings around the headlights. I am impressed. If it continues this good, I may not need to get the trim re-chromed. That would be a major money saver.

Chrome work.png

One done and one just washed. When I watched the video, I was certain it was a gimmick, but, I am glad to say it wasn't. Wash with soap and water, dry, use Mothers and steel wool and work over all of the chrome surfaces a couple of times. Let dry a bit, then use fresh steel wool and once again work it over a couple of times. Wipe with a microfibre cloth and voila, almost like new. Me one happy camper😃. I will have to remove the bumpers to work on them but that is a weekend job (one weekend each) as there are not enough hours in the day after watching my Muffin, Aria while Mommy and Daddy work. I would highly recommend this method to anyone who wants to re-furbish their own chrome, and is on a budget. Just be forewarned, it is time consuming. If it does this good a job on the front chrome on a 53 year old car, then I have to say again, wow.

Well, everyone have a good evening. I am going to post this before I fall asleep again.;)
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I spent 5 hours today polishing the front chrome on my girl. I love the grill, but today, having to polish each one finger in the grill 3 times, (Wash, polish with steel wool and , steel wool, the a cloth), I wished for simpler grill. Now that it is done, it looks great. I love the way it shines. The shape of the grill is something you would never get today, with it's angles. The bumper was easier, still took 90 minutes to take care of. Now, when I get more money, I will do more of the chrome. For now, I hurt (Age sucks, 30 years ago I could have done the whole car.)

Chrome grill.png
I took the car for a 60 mile (103 KM) drive just to determine what I needed to fix next. First, the carburetor. If you don't give it a little gas at intersections, she will stall. After driving to Fort McLeod, I turned around at a cross road. As soon as I took my foot off the gas to wait for traffic, it stalled. It started easy enough though. Then, while parking, when I put it into reverse, it stalled about 3 times. Definitely something wrong there. Second, lots of heat in the cabin. A cable may have come off under the dash (Yup, found it). Third, there is a squeal that I think is the vent on the passenger side. Jenny thinks so as well. I will have to check that. The carburetor is the main thing though. That is a safety issue. On the highway, she goes great. Lots of power to be had. I accelerated up the hill without even trying.
I used the last of my polish to work on some of the chrome down the side of the car. The chrome on the side started out white and when I was done, looked like a mirror. I am shocked. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can afford more steel wool and polish. I love the way it is turning out.i just whish I had access to the funds to fix the carburetor. Ah well, all in good time. In the meantime, I will continue to fix rust and polish what I can. There is a small leak on the power steering pump on one of the connectors. Need to look at that.

Well, my Brother-In-Law, Ray, has rebuilt my Rochester Carb. He said that a number of the screws in the carb were loose, which signifies that the seals were shrinking. There was quite a bit of gunk in the carb, but it is clean again. Now to take it home and re-install it on my old girl. Then, make an appointment with the mechanic to tune it up so she runs like new again.
. Of course, now it is coming on carbWinter, so I plan to purchase a cover for her and have put fuel stabilizer in the tank. I am not going to run her in the winter, she is a summer girl.

I re-installed my carb. I put gas into it to prime it and it started right away. It ran for about 10 seconds then stalled. I did this a number of times, each time it would run for a bit, then stall. Ray is coming down for a visit in November, so I will get him to adjust the carb. I was going to take it to my mechanic in Picture Butte, about 20 miles away, but if it won't run, then that is definitely out.
Played with the carb and found that the large rubber hose coming out of the front of the carb needed to be plugged into the valve cover. Once I adjusted the screws and plugged in the hose, she started to run. After a little more, I got it to idle and start. Ray is coming down in two weeks and will bring a vacuum gauge to fine tune the carb for me.
I am getting less afraid to play, but still cautious. I do not understand, but I am starting to learn. If this were tech, I would be all over it, mechanics, well, still mysterious to me.
Well, I made an appointment to get the carb and engine tuned up. After that, the paint job. I just ordered a car cover. $385 US on for 1/2 price at carcovers.com. It comes with wind straps, a storage bag, a cable lock, microfibre wipes and an antenna patch. With the money I am putting into my old girl, it is time to take good care of her. As I said, I have admired it since Ray first got it 12 years ago, but never thought she would be mine. I used to hate seeing snow piled on it but it wasn't mine, so kept my peace.

A guy named Lee has left 3 notes on the Wildcat now, asking to buy it. I am going to have to call him and let him know that the car isn't for sale, ever. I used to always want a Mustang, but now, I enjoy the fact that she is a bit of a rarity while Mustangs are common. There have to be 50 old Mustangs in Lethbridge, But only one other Wildcat that I know about. It is al coming together. Next spring, a trip back up to Ray's place and re-build the motor. It only needs a little work, so will be able to rebuild it in-frame. At least, as of now, that is the plan.

For a nerd who only used to car about music, computers and drones, I am finding this expensive, but rewarding.
Well, I picked up my car today. Unfortunately, when Ray rebuilt my carb, he made some mistakes and bent some things. Bob had to rip it down and rebuild it from the ground up. Luckily, he had a couple of spare "donor" carbs hanging around. It starts nice (Pump 2 or 3 times, it's a carb after all). It starts, idles (a little lumpy, but Bob said that is the way they idle). It does idle, it does run great and has a ton of power. I gave it a little too much gas at one point, and, since we have a lot of snow right now, taught me a quick lesson. This is not my 3.5 litre ecoboost F150, this is a 425 Cubic Inch muscle car. The mechanic, Bob asked me if I wanted to sell her. He already had plans for it. Air bags, 20 inch rims, gloss fleck black body and a gold roof. Nope..... not for sale. I explained that she was a gift that I had admired for about 12 years. She is now my baby.

Now, it is winter, sort of. It is Lethbridge after all. 2 days ago, -17 (~ 1F), today +7 (45 F). The snow will be gone in a few days and I will remove the battery and put the new car cover on her. Time to put her away for 3 months.:( I got some looks driving it home. Some were admiring, some looks were "Why is that idiot driving his car in this weather?" Only to get her home. I am glad that Ray put Mud & Snow tires on her. She drove well, but a lot different feeling than a F150.
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Bob, the mechanic, seemed to be quite knowledgeable about my car and the carburetor. He told me that the usual carburetor on these cars was the Carter and the Rochester was a less common. He told me that the Carter was a better carburetor for people who put their foot into it, but for cruising, the Rochester will get you better mileage. Works for me. I want her for cruising around town, not racing around. Besides, that one trip to Fort MacLeod I took it for showed me that, even with the carburetor needing a rebuild, she had plenty of power. It could keep up and pass the other vehicles on the road. Cruising at 110 KPH (70 MPH), she was smooth and sweet. It does seem to "float" over the bumps more than my pickup does. A lot of weight, close to the ground. I will have to wait on the paint job. Ran out of money for now:oops:. Next year. For the next 3 months, she is going to sleep under her new car cover. I put an electronic battery maintainer on it. It only turns on when the battery level falls below it's float value. Since I live in a condo, I have a designated plug for my spot that I do not pay for directly, condo fees cover it. Now, here's hoping for an early spring.

I was thinking of adding a tach. Have to think about it. I do like the fact that my truck has one.

Well, a Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.


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Hey Chuck, well these cars can easily cruise along with traffic all day long and that's fine but be aware when it comes to panic stopping it's more like ice skating than stopping compared to any modern vehicle.
2 weeks ago I went for a nice cruise just me and the Electra still putting break-in miles on the engine. On my way home cruising with the traffic nothing crazy around 60 mph with a good gap in front and at a blind intersection a police car lights on pops out about 3 car lenths in front of me. Something they do regularly and not an issue for everyone with 4 wheel disc brakes with antilock, they all came to a stop in less than that 3 car lenths. Not the Electra! 2 foot the brake pedal and instant lockup and slide. Start pumping but hard, screech and stop, screech and stop all with the obligatory tire smoke that goes with it. Well the officers eyes got as big as baseballs and he punched it and disappeared. The Electra never stopped and I gave up trying once the lane cleared. I might have scrubbed off 40 mph while everyone around me was stopped dead for a while. Take this to heart as I certainly have. These cars don't stop. The full size Buick line won an award for their drum brake system in 1967 and comparatively speaking they might have been great in their day. However by today's standard they are terrifying and I'm on the search for a front disc conversion setup.
I guess my point is don't get complacent while driving at speed like I did. Leave huge gaps and stay to the right. Even though these cars have the go they don't have the whoa!
If you haven't done it yet temperature and oil pressure gauges as well as voltage are much more important on these old engines than a tach is. Actually I've done all 4 as a day 2 setup and it really looks great and is both functional and necessary. Dixco tach on the steering column and autometer gauges in an antique NOS 3 gauge wood panel. For the tach I'm not as concerned about accuracy but the other 3 gauges I wanted to be as accurate as possible so I went with retro look modern. My pictures won't post on here for some reason.