Wheel Alignment & First (almost) Completed Pictures

The car is finally ready for a wheel alignment.  Below is a shot of the car getting loaded up for a trip to the alignment shop, and another of the car in the shop. The hubcaps were deliberately left off the car until after the alignment to avoid unnecessarily scratching the wheels.

With the wheels set straight (and the hubcaps finally on), Greg started doing some preliminary road tests. His reports to me best explain the progress so far:


First the “Yahoo!” part. I’ve only driven the car 6 miles so far and it is GREAT!!! Runs and drives superbly! Steering is straight arrow with absolutely minimal “bias ply drift”. Feels real good! The quick steering box is the cat’s ass! Felt a bit weird at first but I got used to it REAL quick!

I worked out one nasty little bug this morning. There was a rude little feedback through the throttle linkage. Not quite a squeak but a light thud/rub, I guess, just enough to be annoying. There is a plate that goes on the engine/bellhousing and the firewall mounted throttle linkage bears against it through a rubber bumper. The plate was slightly bent so there was metal to metal contact. This probably happened when they did the triple/twin conversion. It’s back behind the left head so there is no way in hell that you can see it. It took a while but I located it and snuck up in there with a long bar and straightened it. Until it’s in position you can’t tell there’s a problem and when it’s in position you can’t see it! Nice…..Smile

Now….the “AWSHIT!” part. Yesterday when I did the front end alignment it’s critical that the car doesn’t move. I stepped down on the parking brake hard and it went about halfway down and caught. Just like it should and had done several times in the past. I gave it a final push and BAM! it went to the floor! Corvette resto guys were watching so I was ridiculed. Fine, be that way…..I figured I just hadn’t tightened a clamp properly and it had slipped. No big, right? NOT! Turns out the brand new (at least it appeared to be) parking brake cable had sorta come apart. The collar that is crimped on the end of the housing was either made wrong or not crimped tight enough at the factory. The outer cable housing pulled through and is about 1 1/2″ beyond where it should be! Real nice!

I’ll see if I can fix it on the car otherwise I’ll have to get a new one from CARS/Buick. I think they’re less than 50 bucks but replacing one is like extracting a wisdom tooth through your butthole!

A bit of a bump in the road but overall very happy with first road test.


As I was backing the car up the slight grade in the yard the transmission started this high pitched whine, not quite a screech, but working that way. But only in Reverse under load. Well, kiss my ass! Maybe low on fluid, a hydraulic buzz. Don’t panic yet. I moved the car around to different positions and it wasn’t getting any better. Now it would do it in Park and Reverse. Low and Drive still okay.

So I pulled it over to the shop to check ATF level. On the way over it started doing it in Low. Not good…..

Pulled in the shop and popped the hood with it running. The noise was coming from the AC Compressor! Son of a …, NOW What?????

Well, as it turned out it was only the generator air duct hose rubbing on the generator fan. The hose is metal reinforced and the rotating fan on the generator cut through the rubber to the metal thus the ever increasing high pitched screech.

Ahhhh…..that made my day! Easy fix!

Also…I was able to repair the parking brake cable without removing the whole assembly from the car. Thank God for that! I was able to get the “collar” to slide back into it’s correct position and then I tack welded it. That should do it! I stood on the park brake pedal and it felt just fine.

I noticed the gas gauge was right on “E”. Not on the peg but on the actual letter “E” indicating that it was working somewhat. I crawled under the back and tapped on the tank. Sounded pretty hollow so I guess it’s pretty accurate. THAT is the end where it needs to be accurate! If it doesn’t go all the way to FULL who cares??? I want to know when it’s close to EMPTY! I poured in 6 gallons and it came to a bit over 1/4. Poured in 5 more gallons and it came up to about 5/8. Then 3 more gallons brought it up to a bit over 3/4. I’d say we’re in pretty good shape as far as gas gauge is concerned.

Anyway…since it was finally a beautiful sunny day…it was perfect for photo op. So I scrubbed the blue crap off the new whitewalls, ALWAYS big fun!! Smile I picked the best wheel covers and stuck them on after a minor spiff. Then I took it out front and shot some pics…

~ Tom Sidoti
1959 Buick Electra 225 Convertible

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