Anyone on here in to Buicks ?
I have a chance to pick up a 27
but it is blowing bubbles in the radiator.
I am thinking HEAD GASKET, but I'm not sure if these engines have any weakness, or are prone to cracking ??
any thoughts are helpful
The six cylinder Buick engines were used in GMC trucks even after they were phased out as car engines.I only know one guy (living) that would be knowledgeable about this. He is a firetruck collector near Lebanon, Indiana.I would be willing to bet that is a sound design
I picked up 27-27 last year myself. I was seeing bubbles in the top tank of the radiator as well this year. I looked at the water pump and it was completely worn out allowing air into the system. Luckily Bob's Automobilia in California has a repair kit (new bushings, shaft with impeller, etc.) For a decent price.
What type is it? Buick used two engines that year, A smaller 207 cubic inch in the Standards (Series 20) and a 274 cubic inch in the Masters (Series 40 and 50). So far I have been very impressed with the car. Completely different than a T. Very smooth running, and the engine itself seems very well put together. I did end up swapping the Marvel carb out for a Carter BB1, as the pot metal parts in the carb had gone a bit funky.
I don't want to spam the forum too badly, so feel free to shoot me a private message if you'd like to chat.
Thanks for reading,
Could be a head gasket or a cracked head. Usually the cracks can be repaired as these are low compression engines and quite robust.
Bobs Automobilia has parts for those Buicks and can be reached at 805-434-2963 in Calif.
Is the car a Master or Standard? The Master has a water tube that runs parallel to the valve cover and the std has a water neck at the front of the head. The biggest weakness on these cars is the WOOD. If you need to replace the wood, YOU will be making it yourself.
Hopefully Eric Barrett on this forum will chime in as he is an expert on these mid 20's Buick.
These are great cars, we have had many of them here. GMC used the Master Six engine until Buick went to eights only in 1931. We have sold parts to the fire truck collector, he has some beautiful machines. The engines are not susceptible to blown head gaskets in normal use, but they can leak if rust has affected things. Gaskets are available. The water pump can let air in, but usually will also leak water out. Rebuild with a stainless shaft, permanent repair. Is there any evidence of coolant in the oil? I have lots to offer in support, so let's take it off the T forum and PM me. If you have a chance to own one at the right price, don't hesitate. There are lots of things you will want to know. We have a 1926 model 27 sedan and a 1927 model 24 roadster.
Well, I do not mind reading about model T era Buicks on this forum! But, that is me. Several of my long-time best friends have had or still have Buicks from that era. They are wonderful, relatively fast, and reliable cars. I especially like seeing pictures of them!
As a follow-up thought, could you perhaps run a test on a sample of the coolant? I think there is a chemical test that would indicate the presence of combustion gasses in the coolant. If you are looking to purchase this car, it might be worth the money to test and see (if you can)...
Also as Bill mentioned, any Fisher bodied car (not just Buick) of the era will have wood in it, which if in bad shape will need replacing, and there is no kit really available so parts would have to be made off of existing bad components. That being said, if the wood is good, the quality and fit is very impressive. I can close the door on my car with a light push of one finger.
I have found that the Buick Club of America (There is a Pre-war Division with a Forum on the AACA website) is a wealth of knowledge with many folks who are willing to offer advice.
I would echo Erik's comment that if the price is right, the car is worth it. The picture I posted was after a tour of 70 miles in which the car (even with the coolant pump leaking a bit) ran without issue, to the surprise of some of the other drivers on the tour and to a small extent, the driver himself ;-).
Just my two cents worth...
Thanks for reading,
The inexpensive test kit that I have actually tests for carbon monoxide in the air in the radiator. You carefully draw some radiator air through the test fluid, and it will turn yellow in the presence of carbon monoxide. You have to be cautious not to draw coolant into the tester.
Rusty, it was great meeting you at the OCF this year. You have some great cars!
That era Buick is a tank of a car. They run forever, the only problems are the carbs and the water distribution tube on the head. My first old car was a 28-50, a big sedan, then a 28 Master roadster. Loved driving both, plenty of power and nice ride.
Was that picture taken at the Gilmore?
Here is a picture of Dad test driving it yesterday
I don't know much about old Buicks, but family stories include a 1928 Buick Master that my dad's father bought new. I'm told it was blue & black, so I imagine it looked very much like the one in Rusty's picture.
He traded in his 1919 Moon touring car on the Buick and drove it from 1928 until 1939. Then he traded the Buick in on a new 1939 Ford Deluxe. Boy oh boy, I sure wish he had kept those cars!
I know nothing about old Buicks. But this 1914 has been for sale on craigslist for quite some time. I have no connection to the ad. Looks like some type of speedster??
I have a 1924 Buick with a Master 6, (they were all masters in '24). The water pump situation that Rusty describes is the classic reason for bubbles/foam in the coolant. These Buicks are kind of known for that.
The big weakness in all Buicks of this era is not necessarily a serious one. There is a carburetor "stove" between the carb and the intake manifold. The stove has an outer cast iron shell and a thin wall pipe/sleeve internally. Exhaust gas is supposed to circulate around the thin wall pipe to pre-heat the mixture. The thin wall pipe is particularly prone to rusting through. Most Buicks I've heard of have/had this problem. Once repaired with a new pipe, block off the exhaust gas with a thin piece of stainless steel placed between the stove body and the exhaust manifold. With modern fuels and not driving the car in the winter, the stove is not needed.
You might also look here: http://forums.aaca.org/forum/60-buick-pre-war/
Beautiful coupe. It's a Master 6. Headlights are later, maybe 1928. Radiator looks like it might be 1928 also, can't tell for sure. You can get a CO detector kit rom Napa. They call it a block tester.
The vacuum tank can also be a bitch. If it works good, LEAVE IT ALONE.
My first antique car was a 1929 29-26S Buick. Small series sport coupe (had golf door and "Dickey seat"). I worked on it 6 years producing what I thought was a gorgeous restoration.
This was the years smallest Buick, was fast and smooth running and required your full weight on the brake pedal to effect an eventual stop with the mechanical brakes.
Mine came to me with a termite infestation so I had to replace 100% of the wood. I found a correct Marvel carburetor which was a great runner. The GM trucks with the same engine used a Marvel carby which was identical except all the pot metal pieces were done in bronze... good choice.
Here is a photo of my 26S taken at the Alpha-Omega overlook on CA Hwy 20 with my 1929 Kodak Autographic camera... a periodfolding roll camera loaded with Verichrome Pan film. (original shot, taken around 1997, was very sharp... crunching it for the forum has pixellated it a bit)
I second the water pump drawing air. Beautiful car. We also own a Buick ours is a 1921
I had a '46 Ch**y water pump suck air once--no leak when stopped, but still would suck air and cause heating problems. New pump (at the time $20) and about 20 minutes, and no more mystifying problem!
Some great advice, and beautiful cars,
now to decide, I guess worst case, I start looking for a new head, hope not, but it could be worse,
the car runs out nice, but, my Model A will beat it
It will take forever to get there, but Buick claimed 65 mph as top speed for the Master 6 and 60 for the Standard. My Standard sedan will in fact do 60 but is much happier at 45.
Believe this, or don't. Your choice.
One of my longest time best friends about 45 years ago had a '26 Buick Master five passenger four-door sedan. 120 inch wheel base, mostly original car with an older (even then) minor cosmetic restoration.
Now, I must add, that gasoline THEN was better than we can get today. Model Ts commonly went faster in those days than they can now. I could go into several things I know about how I know some of this, but do not want to drift into the politics involved. Suffice to say, the gasoline was better, and you probably could not get one to do this now.
The car also had an unusual (for Buick) speedometer (I have seen a couple other Buicks with similar speedometers). I had clocked the speedometer through speed check markings a few times, and found it to be close to accurate (a silly proclivity of mine). Late one night, we were headed down the road in the Buick at about 55 mph, and my friend wondered aloud how fast the car could go. He was always a bit more reckless than I, and decided to see what it could do. We found out that there was no stop in the speedometer dial. It only read up to about 70 mph, but the needle kept going around as we kept going faster. At about 70 plus 15 mph, he decided that was enough, even though we were still accelerating. The car didn't seem to mind it a bit.
I do like those Buick Masters! And, yes, it took a mile or so to get up there.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy! W2
I had a 1933 eight and it was a great car. The valves were mostly junk, but the machinist was able to find modern car valves that were close enough to the originals that we could use them with only minor machining. It also needed valve lifters which at the time were made of unobtanium. The very good machinist delved into part specification books and discovered that an early '50s Ford six-cylinder truck motor (see - I got in a Ford connection!) used lifters that were an almost perfect fit. The old straight-eight ran beautifully when the engine was reassembled. We did not do anything to the rotating portion of the engine.