First I installed the generator and starter followed by the cooling system's bypass, hoses, fan and water pump. My original water pump was truly the original pump that came on the car. This pump featured a small oil reservoir on the top that fed a wick that was used to lubricate the pump shaft. This design was only used for a short time so replacements and Buicks made after 1937 had a sealed bearing in place of the wick. The new design was clearly superior so the pump I installed on my rebuilt engine was of the new style. After the cooling components were installed the radiator and front end nose was set in place. With the nose on the car my heart really started to race — my car was looking more and more like a car.
The starter slides into position, the solenoid would go in on top soon.
The cooling fan is set in place.
The radiator mounts into the nose. Extra sheet metal sure looks great!
Taking a peek at the top hose.
Before I attempted to turn the engine over I knew I'd need to oil prime the engine. During normal operation the distributer turns the oil pump. A long, slotted shaft connects to the underside of the distributor which is turned by gears that mesh with the camshaft. Before installing the distributor I had good access to the oil pump shaft. I installed a cold chisel into a cordless drill, placed the spade of the chisel into the pump shaft and started spinning the oil pump shaft counterclockwise. In just a few seconds oil was flowing throughout the engine and pressure measured on the oil pressure gauge and visually verified by looking at the rocker arm shaft. In case you're wondering why I used a cold chisel, it is because I didn't want to cut a large screwdriver and the chisel's wide tip fit nicely in the pump shaft.
Rocker arm shaft is set in place.
Rocker arm shaft is torqued down and engine is oil primed.