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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car
Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car
Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

FEATURE ARTICLES

1937 Buick Special Business Coupe: A Restoration Journal — Part 25

By Chris Ritter

It's been too long since I've given you an update. Seriously. I know I've used the same line before but there's a big payoff at the end of this journal entry. Stick with me, we're making progress.

When I left you last, I had just finished the installation of my '37 Buick's fuel tank and rear leaf springs. To finish off the rear suspension I added the rear stabilizer bar and shock links. As soon as the rear suspension was complete, I installed my car's wheels and pushed it out into the direct sunshine for the first time in 4 years. I grinned, took a few photos and pushed the old girl back into the garage.

At this point, trout season opened in Pennsylvania and I hit the water during all of my spare time. Since I'm trying my best to be both a good father and a good husband, I only have a limited amount of spare time for hobbies. If I'm spending time fishing, I'm not spending time on the Buick. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned into a month. Then one day, a couple of interns came to my library.

The three interns that we had this year came from the automotive restoration program at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. They're young, enthusiastic and already have a large amount of mechanical ability. They were just what I needed to really get my Buick moving and I could hire them on the side when they weren't working for the library. Before too long I had an intern bending and flaring me new fuel lines. The Buick has one long line running along the passenger side frame rail and that long line connects to a small feeder line that enters the fuel pump. It's a simple run and not prone to leak.

My enthusiastic intern bending my new fuel line.  Fear not, I paid him for his trouble!

My enthusiastic intern bending my new fuel line. Fear not, I paid him for his trouble!


Once the fuel line was installed I had one of the interns over to my house to help install the brakes on all four wheels. While I could have easily installed the brakes myself, there's something inspiring about having an enthusiastic kid working on your car. His energy was the refreshing breeze I needed after working on this project for four years.

During the brake installation I opened up my wheel cylinders to peek inside. I was disappointed to find congealed brake fluid and stuck cylinder pistons. Clearly water got to these cylinders since taking them off the car in 2013 and I decided a simple hone job wouldn't be enough. The cylinders were boxed up and ready for shipment to Apple Hydraulics for brass sleeves and a professional rebuild. Normally I like to save money and do things myself but this component is pretty critical and the extra cost over new aftermarket cylinders is worth it to me. I also had new emergency brake cables made by George Martin in Myerstown, PA. If you need new brake cables, George is the man! He is extremely old school though and doesn't have a website. If you need his contact info get in touch with me.

If you are going to be using .

This mess is what I found inside my wheel cylinders. A sleeve and rebuild is in order!