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Thread: 1968 Wildcat

  1. #1
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    1968 Wildcat

    Hi all, I had great success restoring a 1957 mercedes 219 by joining a Yahoo group and hope this forum will help me get my next project sorted out. I found a 1968 2dr. Wildcat in Alberta, had it checked out at a local (Alberta) garage and after some repairs, had it shipped by rail to Montreal. Perhaps I was spoiled working on the Benz, but it seems a lot of the fasteners in the car's interior are simply missing. I was the first to remove the padded dash and found both A/C vents held by 3 out of 4 screws (no threads in the fourth mounting hole). both front door panels are missing clips that retain the piece behind the armrest. Again, no indentation where the missing clip would have been. So far, this car seems to be somewhat slapped together. Was G.M. on strike or something or is this the normal build quality on these cars. No Matter, I still love it!

    Gary

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    60s and 70s was the hay day of the unions and they got away with a lot of crap.

    that's why the American market was ripe for the Japanese to expand into. as awful as the build quality on a lot of the early jap cars was, the American cars weren't that high of a bar to reach.
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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    Window lifter parts

    Hi All, I'm trying to find the white nylon rollers that fit into the upright channels on the window lifters (crank windows) at the back of the front doors. The pass window disengages from the lifter mechanism when you close the door. Strangely, the drivers door window, also missing the roller completely, stays in place altho moves in and out at the back as one would expect missing a roller. I have seen some rollers on E-bay, but they appear to be different. Did G.M. use one type of window lifter on all full size cars? or are the window parts specific to Buick.

    Gary

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    Assembly quality

    Ford Motor Co was the strike target for the UAW in '67. A 66-day strike resulted, but only affected Ford plants. (As a result there were no '68 model Ford Econoline vans.) GM was the target the next time in 1970, resulting in a 67-day strike affecting '71 model production.

    In their time the '68 Buicks were average in their frequency-of-repair record compared to other cars. See attached excerpt from Consumer Reports detailing owner survey results. The 69 and 70 models were rated better than average. As expected Mercedes scored much better for all years. Like Bob noted, quality for American cars went down from there on reaching the low point in the mid-70s.

    It would be interesting to look at your vehicle data plate to see where it was assembled and what time of year it was built. That might lead to some more ideas on the build quality.
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    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Front window guide rollers

    The parts book shows the rollers were supplied as part of the guide plate, item 13, in the attached drawing. The early type had two rollers on each plate and was superceded by the single roller type. If yours had two rollers per door, the second one farther down in the channel might still be giving partial window support. Indications are GM did not supply these rollers as a separate part. The part number for the RH plate is 7682222, with the LH part being 7682223. The official name is Plate, front door window lower sash channel guide.

    The 9711820 rollers used on the rear windows are removable as a nylon roller mounted on a threaded stud. These are still available and may be the ones showing up on eBay.

    The guide plates are the same on 1967-68 GM B & C body 2-doors with a few exceptions: 67-68 Pontiac Grand Prix and 68 Chevrolet Caprice. Those cars did not have front ventilator windows and use a different mechanism. The Chev and Pontiac 2-dr sedans are different and use the 4-dr sedan mechanism.
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    Last edited by TODD; 07-19-2017 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Add 2-Sr sedan exception
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TODD View Post
    Ford Motor Co was the strike target for the UAW in '67. A 66-day strike resulted, but only affected Ford plants. (As a result there were no '68 model Ford Econoline vans.) GM was the target the next time in 1970, resulting in a 67-day strike affecting '71 model production.

    In their time the '68 Buicks were average in their frequency-of-repair record compared to other cars. See attached excerpt from Consumer Reports detailing owner survey results. The 69 and 70 models were rated better than average. As expected Mercedes scored much better for all years. Like Bob noted, quality for American cars went down from there on reaching the low point in the mid-70s.

    It would be interesting to look at your vehicle data plate to see where it was assembled and what time of year it was built. That might lead to some more ideas on the build quality.
    Thanks, Bob and Todd. Here's a pic of the data plate and the serial # 464878X156763. Seeing the excerpt from that old Consumer reports (with all the dots) brought back old memories of my Dad researching his next car purchase. In the early going, it seems that finding parts for a 68 Wildcat seems to be daunting compared to all the other cars I have restored over the years, so it's really helpful to know what parts interchange with other G.M."s of the day

    Gary
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    Quote Originally Posted by TODD View Post
    The parts book shows the rollers were supplied as part of the guide plate, item 13, in the attached drawing. The early type had two rollers on each plate and was superceded by the single roller type. If yours had two rollers per door, the second one farther down in the channel might still be giving partial window support. Indications are GM did not supply these rollers as a separate part. The part number for the RH plate is 7682222, with the LH part being 7682223. The official name is Plate, front door window lower sash channel guide.

    The 9711820 rollers used on the rear windows are removable as a nylon roller mounted on a threaded stud. These are still available and may be the ones showing up on eBay.

    The guide plates are the same on 1967-68 GM B & C body 2-doors with a couple of exceptions: 67-68 Pontiac Grand Prix and 68 Chevrolet Caprice. Those cars did not have front ventilator windows and use a different mechanism.
    Thanks for that insight Todd! I have both the Service and Chassis service manuals, but they cover such a wide range of models I'm having difficulty locating my car. In the illustration on page 6-35 , the area where the roller is located was hard for me to Decipher. I now see that the side bolt above the latch holds it all together. Thanks for supplying the part numbers for the roller assemblies. If I may ask, Where did you find the part numbers. Mercedes had a parts book with exploded views which was a great resource for putting it all back together. Is there a G.M. equivalent?


    Gary

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    ID plates

    The X in the VIN and the BK prefix on the body plate indicate the car was built in Kansas City. Ones built in California were known for worse build quality than those coming out of another plant. Sometimes the salesmen in the dealership would cancel a customer's new car order if the acknowledgement showed it would be built in California. Then they would re-enter the order until it was assigned to a different plant.

    The 06D entry on the body plate indicates it was built during the 4th week of June at the very end of the production run. Typically the plants would shut down about the first week in July for the summer shutdown and annual model changeover. The exploded view of the dash in the parts book shows there were supposed to be 4 screws attaching the A/C vents.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Parts books

    The best resources are the Buick Master Chassis Parts Book and the corresponding Body Parts book. Attached is a cover shot of a typical chassis book from '63 which has over 1200 pages. I used the '72 versions on your car. The '72s are available online at www.wildaboutcarsonline.com. They are excellent at showing crossovers to earlier and later models. One drawback is that these have been digitized during scanning of paper originals. Some of the detail has been lost in scanning tiny print, fractions, and chart graphics etc.

    The year-specific 1968 combined parts book is tremendous also. Cover shot of the 700 page book is attached. This one shows every part available on a '68 Buick at the time they were
    built before any revisions or cancellations occurred. The ability to find year-to-year crossovers is limited.

    Once the part numbers are in hand the next step is to Google "Buick xxxxxxx" using the part number. This will find parts on eBay and many vendor sites. Then I Google "GM xxxxxxx". This will find more items for sale and pull up crossovers to other GM brands. It also searches a bunch of GM parts books in the www.gmpartswiki.com site Those volumes sometimes discover part number supercedures, prices, and discontinuation dates. It also searches through Chevy, Olds, and more recent Buick parts books. Each GM division apparently compiled their own data, so bits of information on a part show up in an Olds catalog that are not shown in Buick.

    Secondary resources compiled from the original Buick data are useful and less expensive. It is easy to pick up MOTOR's and Chilton' Flate Rate manuals, A-C, DELCO, and other supplier catalogs.

    There are mistakes in all of these resources (including me). The closer you can stay to the "original paper" source the better. New errors get created during recompiling and old errors frequently perpetuate into later secondary sources.

    Buicks are are a little off the beaten path in the old car world. Production however was plentiful with Buick frequently coming in fifth, fourth, and even third in the yearly sales race. Chevy and Ford have long dominated the hobby to a degree even more pronounced than their share of production would indicate. Those who have been around a while remember Buicks carried a lot of prestige, being second only to Cadillac in the GM brand hierarchy.
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    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Todd, You are simply a font of information! Thanks so much for all that info. I used to go to Booksforcars in Seattle when I was living in Vancouver, but I'm sure I can find something at the places you mentioned. I have been doing some bedtime reading and sort of have a handle on things now. For me, it was making the change to American car manuals from the ones that I used on the Mercedes. I do admit I'm having a difficult time with the exploded views in the Buick manuals, but I will adjust. I know what you mean about scanned manual reprints. I purchased one for the Benz before I found a factory one and all the info on the left margin was unreadable, so indexes were useless and poor rez on the illustrations. Live and learn.

    Gary

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