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Thread: 1951 Special with Engine Issues

  1. #21
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    Just from observing your pictures, I see corrosion on a battery post, big sign for cranking problems. Spark plug wires are all old and should be replaced, the high tension lead wire between the coil and the distributor is sagging I bet it is loose in the distributor cap, that coil looks like it came with the car when it was new, probably all those ignition wires need a good inspection also. I think you need to count the filler caps on top of your battery and multiply by two that will give you your voltage of the alternator. Remember a 12 volt battery and a 6 volt starter work great for starting. Your engine looks good from the outside. I am sure most of your problems can be fixed without and engine rebuild. Find a good mechanic and that old girl will make you smile when you drive her.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstofeight View Post
    The distributor and points do not care what the voltage is. Neither do the plugs or plug wires.

    Ben
    Hi,

    Thanks for your input. Right now, I'm just going through all the electrical components to make sure that they are in good working order. So I want to make sure that the inside of the distributor and the points are clean and I also want to see what the resistance of the spark plug wires are, to see if there is a need to replace them.

    Pat
    Last edited by PFJN; 07-08-2018 at 11:01 PM.
    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntreemcanic View Post
    Just from observing your pictures, I see corrosion on a battery post, big sign for cranking problems. Spark plug wires are all old and should be replaced, the high tension lead wire between the coil and the distributor is sagging I bet it is loose in the distributor cap, that coil looks like it came with the car when it was new, probably all those ignition wires need a good inspection also. I think you need to count the filler caps on top of your battery and multiply by two that will give you your voltage of the alternator. Remember a 12 volt battery and a 6 volt starter work great for starting. Your engine looks good from the outside. I am sure most of your problems can be fixed without and engine rebuild. Find a good mechanic and that old girl will make you smile when you drive her.
    Hi,

    Thanks for the input. I will definitely make sure to check the lead between the coil and distributor sometime this week.

    Thanks again

    Pat

    PS.
    I do think that the coil is a replacement though, since the car when built was 6v and the coil shows a 12v rating.
    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

  4. #24
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    Sir please do not take my comments as offensive but I think you need to change your attitude about repairs. All of these parts we are talking about are cheap and any one of those will stop your engine from running and leave you high and dry. Your mechanic obviously only repairs the immediate problem and gets it running again. Cleaning the inside of the distributor cap is great if you are broke down on the side of the road. That car needs a complete tuneup with ALL new parts. My observance looks like you need a new battery and battery cables and all connections completely wire blushed to a shiny finish. This will all save you money in the long run. No good mechanic would send a car out the door with all those old parts unless he was told to only get it running and don't spend any more money than is absolutely necessary. This advise does not come without experience, I have driven my 52 Buick straight eight many thousands of miles, we just completed a three thousand mile trip last fall and I only lifted my hood to check the oil, these cars are real dependable but they require good parts and regular maintenance. Your are either going to spend a lot of money on tow trucks and repairs to only get it running again of repair it right and spend your money on gasoline going down the road to the next car show. nuff said!

  5. #25
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    In post #5 you wrote: " As such, currently I am already "in the hole" by $3-5K on the current engine, and have concerns that spending more money on the existing engine may not resolve my issues."
    I don't see $3-5.00 worth of work on that engine!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntreemcanic View Post
    Sir please do not take my comments as offensive but I think you need to change your attitude about repairs. All of these parts we are talking about are cheap and any one of those will stop your engine from running and leave you high and dry. Your mechanic obviously only repairs the immediate problem and gets it running again. Cleaning the inside of the distributor cap is great if you are broke down on the side of the road. That car needs a complete tuneup with ALL new parts. My observance looks like you need a new battery and battery cables and all connections completely wire blushed to a shiny finish. This will all save you money in the long run. No good mechanic would send a car out the door with all those old parts unless he was told to only get it running and don't spend any more money than is absolutely necessary. This advise does not come without experience, I have driven my 52 Buick straight eight many thousands of miles, we just completed a three thousand mile trip last fall and I only lifted my hood to check the oil, these cars are real dependable but they require good parts and regular maintenance. Your are either going to spend a lot of money on tow trucks and repairs to only get it running again of repair it right and spend your money on gasoline going down the road to the next car show. nuff said!
    Hi,

    Thanks for your input. No offense taken. As I have noted previously, one of the several options that I have been considering was to have the engine rebuilt and to also replace things like the battery and spark plug cables, and possibly even most/all the main engine bay wiring etc. In addition I was also going to look into whether the gas tank, radiator and whether the rest of the car's wiring should also be replaced. However, others have seemed to kind of suggest that it might be a good idea to first looking into what I currently have and see if I can get that running, to determine whether a rebuild of the engine is needed and/or warranted.

    So right now I am just looking through what I have got and trying to identify any potential issues, to assess where I am and decide the best path forward.

    In addition to the other items mentioned I next also want to pull the plugs and make sure that they are properly gapped for a 12v electrical system, as several sources have indicated that the appropriate gap may vary a bit from 6v to 12v.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Pat
    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

  7. #27
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    Plugs

    Voltage has nothing to do with plug gap. If your distributor has points, gap 25 thousandths. If electronic, 40- 55 thousandths.

    Ben

  8. #28
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    Hi,

    I have seen in several places recommendations that the gap for a 6V system may be different than for a 12v system, such as in these links below.

    Regards

    Pat

    https://www.teambuick.com/forums/sho...ern-spark-plug
    https://www.teambuick.com/forums/sho...Spark-plug-Gap
    http://www.yesterdaystractors.com/cg...mall&th=150123
    https://www.stovebolt.com/ubbthreads...&Number=636022

    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

  9. #29
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    The gap is related to the coil being used. I would suggest that your try a .035" gap with a replacement 12 volt coil. If it were a performance coil, you could go wider.


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  10. #30
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    Plug gap

    \
    I think if you read closely, the consensus is the voltage matters not. The first one has 12V and an electronic [Pertronix ] ignition. It is the electronic that makes the difference.
    Get a picture of the inside of your distributor and let us see.

    I suspect some of the folks responding, while Buick folks, know little about the Straight Eight engines. Myself and a couple others DO.

    Ben

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