Behind the White Wheel

Behind the White Wheel

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Les Caprices" of the Pagoda

Following the route towards a perfect pagoda; unexpected surprises come along the way! Hence, a month ago, while taking the car for a short drive, I suddenly felt that the automatic shifting gear lever became too loose. I tried shifting from 4 to 3 but nothing happened! The gear was stuck on the “4” position making it impossible to shift to P or to N or to R.

Luckily I wasn’t far from my cousin’s home; I succeeded to make a U-turn and to park the car.
Then Christmas came with its usual festivities all preventing me from effecting any reparations.
Like all cars freaks, I didn’t want to stay in the dark regarding this issue especially that my cousin mentioned that few years ago the same problem happened with the car!

In fact, and after a preliminary examination I discovered that the bushings (# 760 on the exploded diagram) connecting the lever to the gearbox detached from their male connection due to the normal movements of the engine and gearbox when the car is running.
Why do they detach? After careful inspection and analysis, I discovered that this happens for two reasons:
  1. The bushing itself is weak
  2. There is play in the whole lever mainly due to worn bushings number 728 in the exploded diagram.
 A quick fix would consist of re-attaching bushings number 760 to its correspondent “head” or “male” and tightening the whole with a metallic wire! Will I do so? I might if and only if I am unable to find bushings 728!

Yesterday, I decided to finally take the car to the repair shop; the same one who had put it back on the road.

Bechara Ghsoub will decide what will be the best and most practical solution. Personally I tend to change all the worn out bushings if new ones are available…Yes! If new ones are available! That is the challenge!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Observing a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Coupe

And comes the time to try something new! I admit I have never driven an American car older than my dad's 1988 Pontiac Bonneville that he owned from 1992 till 1997. I wonder how driving a 1953 Buick Roadmaster with automatic transmission would feel like.

Acquired few years ago and completely restored, this car belongs to my uncle who has kept it sitting for few years. A quick look at it shows that it might only need new tires, some normal fluids change and the usual tuning.

The year 1953 marked Buick's Golden Anniversary year. On this occasion, the old straight eight engine was replaced by a legendary new, smaller and more powerful V8 engine that would fit the newly designed Buick Roadmaster.

Simple yet rich in chrome, this Roadmaster gave Buick the needed momentum to venture into the golden era of the 50's.

The car will need waxing to give the red paint its usual amazing shine and the chrome will need polishing to take out the dull spots in some areas. I will be tackling this issue as soon as I start the car and take it for a short drive.

The interior of the 1953 Roadmaster is spacious and simple. The emblem on the center of the steering wheel was specially designed for the Golden Anniversary: It has the Buick's logo in gold surrounded by the famous "Power Steering" in gold too. In fact, the power steering became a standard equipment as of 1953.

My favorite part in the 1953 Buick Roadmaster's interior is its radio and the chrome speaker housing. The radio operates only on the AM band and is provided with the "Selectronic" also known as the "Wonderbar" among the Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts. The "Selectronic" is an electromechanical system that allows the radio to automatically search for, and stop on, available stations. I can't wait to start the car to check if the radio functions, if it has good reception, if the "Selectronic" works...etc.

Those are my preliminary observations vis-à-vis this car. Certainly, driving it will be a unique experience. I can't wait to have it running, waxed and cleaned.