Glenn Miller - At Last!


1950 Cadillac Engine Specifications

Model Designation: Series 60S, Series 61, Series 62, Series 75
Wheel base: Series 60S: 130; Series 61: 122; Series 62: 126; Series 75: 146-1/2
Valve Location: In head
Bore and Stroke: 3-13/16 x 3-5/8
Piston displacement, Cubic Inches: 331.0
Compression ratio: 7.50
Maximum Brake Horsepower: 160 @ 3800 RPM
Maximum Torque Lbs.Ft. @ RPM: 312 @ 1800 RPM
Normal Oil Pressure Pounds: 35
Spark Plug Make: AC 48X
Spark Plug Gap, Inch: .035
Firing Order: 18436572 (front to rear: Right bank 2-4-6-8, left bank 1-3-5-7)
Timing Mark: "A" mark for premiurm fuel; "C" mark for regular fuel; location: Vib. Damper
Engine Idle Speed, RPM: Standard transmission: 375; w/automatic 375 (in drive)
Cylinder Head Torque Lbs.Ft.: 65-70
Compression Pressure & Cranking Speed: 120 min.
Voltage & Polarity: 6 volts, negative ground
Fitting Pistons with Scale: Pistons removed from above. Shim thickness: .002
Pounds on a Pull Scale: 11
Ring End Gap: In tapered bores, fit rings in tightest portion of ring travel
Compression: .010
Oil: .010
Clearance in Groove: Compression: .0017-0035; Oil: .0015-.003
Wristpin Diameter, Inch: 1.000

Operating Clearance:
Intake: 0 Exhaust: 0
Valve Seat Angle, degrees: 44
Valve Timing: (BTDC = before top dead center; ATDC = after top dead center)
Intake opens: 14 BTDC
Exhaust Closes: 24 ATDC
Valve Spring Pressure Pounds at Inches Length:
Inner Spring: 60 @ 1-11/16
Valve Stem Clearance: Intake: .001-.0025; Exhaust: .0015-.0035

Connecting Rod Bearings:
Journal Diameter, Inches: 2.2488-2.2493
Bearing Clearance, Inch: .0005-.002
Rod End Play, Inch: .008-.014
Rod Bolt Tension: Lbs.Ft.: 40-45
Main Bearings:
Journal Diameter, Inches: 2.4990-2.4995
Bearing clearance: .0008-.0025
Shaft End Play: .001-.005 (Thrust on Rear Bearing)
Main Bolt Tension: Lbs.Ft.: 90-100

Cooling System:
Without heater: 18 quarts
With heater: 19
Fuel Tank: 20 gallons
Engine Oil: 5 quarts
Transmission: w/out overdrive: 2-1/2 pints; Automatic: 12 quarts
Rear Axle: 5 pints

Distributor part number: 1110819 (distributor rotates counter-clockwise)
Cam Angle, degrees: 24-30
Breaker Point opening, Inch: .016
Condenser Capacity: .18-.23 Mfds.
Breaker Arm Spring Tension: 19-23 Oz.
Centrifugal Advance: (degrees at RPM of distributor)
Advance starts: 3/4 @ 300 RPM
Full Advance: 16 @ 1800 RPM
Inches of Vacuum to Start Plunger Movement: 4-6
Inches of Vacuum for Full Plunger Movement: 12-16
Maximum Vacuum Advance Dist., Degrees: 10

Generator Number: 1102700 (generator rotates clockwise, 6 volts, Negative Ground)
Generator output: 45 amps @ 3500 RPM
Brush Spring Tension: 25 oz.

Regulator Number: 1118357
Cutout Relay:
Voltage to close points: 6.4
Reverse current to open points: 0-3
Voltage Regulator Setting: 7.3 volts
Current and Voltage Armature Air Gap: .075 inches
Current Regulator Setting: 42 amps

Part number: 1107969 (rotates clockwise)
Bush Spring Tension, Ounces: 24-28
No Load Test: 60 amps, 5 volts @ 6000 RPM
Torque Test: 600 Amps, 3.0 volts, Torque, Lbs.Ft.: 15


1950 Cadillac

I was wondering what I could post here for more useful reading and I came across this cool website talking about the 1950 Cadillac and a little history behind it.

The website is Cadillac History that features information about Cadillac from the time it was born to today. As I was peering through some of the pictures and years (which I could do for hours), I came across the 1950 Cadillac which has always been my favorite. The car itself sports smooth flowing lines, tons of chrome and a 'sign' of sophistication of it's day. The V8 engine, amazing powerful without all of the computer add-on's. Simplicity at its best.

Let's jump into some technical information and history now shall we: (1)

Cadillac began reaching for U.S. luxury-car leadership in the Thirties, and clinched it for good in the Fifties. Symbolizing its achievement was the 1958 death of Packard, once America's premier prestige make, due to an over-long reliance on medium-price products and a crippling 1954 merger with troubled Studebaker. Lincoln would never threaten Cadillac's supremacy in the Fifties, owing to a more limited lineup. Nor would Chrysler, even after spinning off Imperial as a separate make after 1954.

Several developments in the Forties laid the foundation for Cadillac's high Fifties success. First, the division returned to prestige cars exclusively after 1940, abandoning its medium-price LaSalle once the luxury market recovered from its Depression-era doldrums. Then Cadillac landed a formidable one-two postwar punch: tailfin styling for '48, followed by a landmark new overhead-valve V-8 for 1949, when the division also pioneered (with Olds and Buick) the instantly popular new hardtop convertible body style. About all Cadillac needed in the Fifties were styling and features that pleased most buyers most of the time, which it delivered.

Initially sized at 331 cubic inches, the Cadillac V-8 was the product of 10 years research and experimentation. It was mainly engineered by Ed Cole, Jack Gordon, and Harry Barr, who aimed for less weight and higher compression (to take advantage of the higher-octane fuels promised after the war). These factors dictated the overhead valve arrangement, a stroke shorter than bore (3.63 inches, versus 3.81), compact wedge-shape combustion chambers, and "slipper" pistons. The last, developed by Byron Ellis, traveled low between the crankshaft counterweights, allowing for short connecting rods and low reciprocating mass.

With all these advantages, the ohv arrived with 160 bhp, 10 more than Cadillac's last 346 L-head V-8 -- and from less displacement, testifying to its efficiency. The ohv had other advantages. Though built of cast iron, like the L-head, it weighed nearly 200 pounds less, yet would prove just as durable and reliable. Initial compression was only 7.5:1, yet could be pushed as high as 12:1; the L-head couldn't. The ohv also boasted more torque and 14-percent better fuel economy. Equally important, it had room enough to be greatly enlarged -- as it soon was.

This superb engine combined with a surprisingly competent chassis to make early-Fifties Cadillacs some of the best road cars of that day. Chicago enthusiast Ed Gaylord, who backed the short-lived Gaylord car of mid-decade, owned a 1950 Series 61 with standard shift and 3.77 rear axle. He also had a new Jaguar XK-120 at the time. Gaylord later said that "the Cadillac was the faster car up to about 90 mph. [It also] set what was then a stock-car record at the original quarter-mile drag races in Santa Ana, California .... The only competition I had in acceleration was from the small 135-horsepower Olds 88 coupe, but the Cadillac engine was substantially more efficient both in performance and economy." Indeed, such a car could clock 0-60 mph in around 13 seconds and easily top 100 mph.

Further proof of the V-8's prowess was provided by sportsman Briggs Cunningham, who entered a near-stock 1950 Cadillac in that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Driven by Sam and Miles Collier, it finished 10th overall -- a performance unmatched by any other production luxury car -- tearing down the Mulsanne Straight at around 120 mph and averaging 81.5 mph for the entire event. Cunningham himself drove a streamlined Cadillac-powered special that the French called Le Monstre. He went even faster than the Colliers, but lost top gear and finished right behind them. Perhaps most impressive, a British-built Allard J2, powered by the same Cadillac V-8, finished third.

Of course, such exploits mattered less in showrooms than the smooth, powerful V-8 itself. And Cadillac had another advantage going into the Fifties: GM's equally smooth and efficient self-shift Hydra-Matic Drive, by then standard on all models except the low-priced Series 61. Together with the V-8, it made for luxury-car performance demonstrably superior to that of rival heavyweights with less vigorous drivetrains. Though the V-8 would remain at 331 cid through 1955, it gained over 100 bhp in the interim, reaching 270 on that year's Eldorado.

Prices for the 1950 line started at $2761 for the Series 61 coupe (although few models went for under $3000) and reached up to about $5000 for a 75 sedan or limo. The 61s cost about $575 less than comparable 62s. Division sales topped 100,000 for 1950

Alas, Cadillac styling ultimately drifted to chrome-laden glitter, reaching a low point with the 1958-59 models. But the basic 1948 tailfinned design, inspired by wartime aircraft and originated by Franklin Q. Hershey under the watchful eye of GM design director Harley Earl, was good enough to remain largely intact through 1953. A fairly important change is that, unlike sister GM divisions, Cadillac completely abandoned Forties-style fastbacks for 1950, switching pillared coupes to notchback profiles with hardtop-type rooflines inspired by the successful 1949 Coupe de Ville.

Alot of other great photos at:

(1) Reference: Cadillac History


New Addition to the Vintage Metal Corral

I wanted to share my new addition to the Vintage Metal Corral. A 1955 Chevrolet Sedan. 2-door; 210 model. This car has a rebuilt inline 6 with 3-speed on the column, which came original with the car. It runs very good since I gave it a 'strong' tune up.

It came with some goodies not original to the car. A Sears and Robuck underdash AC system. A side mounted Techumsa AC pump with custom brackets...a whole complete working system. It's a nice thought to have AC; and yes it worked. But, because it was bulky looking and 'out of place', I decided to remove it. It's for sale for any interested parties. $250 or best offer. I would like to see this get put to use instead of the trash bin.

There are some plans in the works...keep coming back to find out what may happen next.


1940 Buick Turn Signal rebuild

Back to our 1940 Buick.

The original 40 Buick turn signal switch was old with tattered wiring. Lucky for us; the shop manual I got had a nice simple breakdown of the unit to assist in disassembly and reassembly; and operation of the unit in neutral and both directions.

So, the next thing to do is take it apart and replace the old wiring to make it new again.

Lots of small parts, so as you take the unit apart, put each part on your workbench in a careful spot so you don't loose anything. Try finding replacement parts for this thing.

After the switch is apart, take the switch in your hand and inspect it to better yourself while you take it apart. This simple slide switch is used to direct the electrical current to its perspective directional lamp on the rear and front fenders. Lucky for us, the wires are screwed on for an easy removal and replacement. Most switches have the wiring soldered in place. This should be easy.

After the wires have been removed; (Oh, be careful of the small screws...I dropped one and spent a half hour trying to find it. ) get your new wiring, crimp on the correct hoop connector, solder and heat shrink. The Heat shrink will keep the wires from any possible shorts.

After the wiring loop terminals have been installed and connected to the switch, re-install back into the housing and reassemble the whole unit.

I took my time, it took about 2 hours from disassembly to reassembly.

Remember, please take your time when repairing these switches or any others. These old units are hard to find. Make them new for another 68 years of use.



Adam-12. I remember this show when I was growing up. It was one of my favorites. I know its a change of pace to what is normally posted here, but I would agree that this could classify it as 'Vintage'.

This episode is pretty cool to watch.


Lets take a break; The Excelsior -

What is an Excelsior? - Watch the video.

SUHR Speed and Custom. The owner is truly talented and amazing. Watch the process, and the final. This thing really cooks!


1940 Buick - Light Sockets

Ever wonder what to do with those old dash light sockets? You can purchase new ones from the local parts store or you can fix your own like new and save $3 - $5 each.

Some of the differences betwen the old ones to the new ones are; the old ones are made of metal and the new ones are all plastic. I dont know about you, but I prefer the old metal ones; specifically for longevity.

This is what I do and it gives life to those old units for another 10+ years.

First: Take your old harness and document its dimensions, lengths, etc. I like to add an extra inch or more to each length for a little more slack when it comes time to plug them in. Remember, when harnesses are made from the factory, they use as little as possible, which puts the wires really tight. How many times have you pulled a light switch from the dash to check out the wiring and the length of slack there only limits you to tilt it downward - and you still have to get on your back to look under the dash to see what's going on.

1. Here is what I have to work with. Old cloth wiring, stiff and ready to fall apart by the touch. A fire waiting to happen. The little rubber rings behind the bulb holders keep the holder from sliding down the wire when changing the bulbs out. These ones were old and crusty so I cut them off and threw away the crumbs. O-rings work well to replace them if you want to add them back.

2. Lets get started working: Cut off the old wiring about 1 to 1.5 inches from the bulb holder.

3. Carefully disassemble the parts from the wire; setting them aside: then strip the old sheathing off to expose the original wire. Be careful not to break off the bulb contact end. (where bulb makes contact at the bottom of the light socket.)

4. Take a small piece of new wire, here I use brown. All aftermarket kits color code the harness for the dash lighting in brown. Typically a 16 - 14 gauge wire. Strip back your new wire and twist it in this fashion as tight as possible to keep the diameter of the twist the same size as the original wire. Dont forget, you have to re-assemble the light socket with the original parts. Dont want any additional issues. (grins)

5. Up Close view of wire twisting. You can see the new copper and old 'silver' wire.

6. Solder the wires together sparingly. Remember, excessive solder will cause the wire size to get too big.

7. Heat shring the exposed wire from UNDER the bulb contact end to about 1/4" down the new wire sheathing. Reassemble the bulb holder components. Check it out.

8. Remember the loom were trying to make. When joining the wires like the original, instead of using those nasty red/blue/yellow butt connectors, strip back the sheathing and twist and solder the wires together. Use the correct size heat shrink to insulate it properly.

9. Our final product of our labor. If you have to add other 'branches' of wire from your main loom, strip back and solder each one. Also, remember to use a larger wire if you plan on branching off mulitiple light sockets.

Plug in new bulbs to your new holders; and connect the end with your proper connector and terminate to source.

Hope this helps; good luck. Post any comments if you follow this to let me know how it went.

Motor on!


Rebel Wire NEW 6 Volt Wiring Kit: Wiring a 1940 Buick Limited - Part 1

NEW, NEW, NEW. Rebel Wire has finally done it, a 6-Volt 8 circuit wiring kit for your early 6v cars and Hot Rods. Each of these is made in the USA. A small company, up and coming fast. A "soon to be" if not already, a major player in the Hot Rod Community with their high quality, easy to use, clean and simple car electrical fuse kits and accessories.

After a few years of discussion; I had the pleasure to help in the development of the new 6-volt 8-fuse wiring kit. With surprise, I was given the honor to first install this item into a project to test its performance and ease.

Let’s get started:

I’m going to install this kit into an original 1940 Buick Limited 4-door. It’s powered by the original Straight Eight motor, 6v Generator for power, 3-speed on the column to the transmission.

Before installation of the kit; I sat down with the owner to verify what he was wanting; placement of fuse panel and any accessory items that might be added to the car. That was simple – wire it to operate in its stock original form; down to the gas pedal engine start switch. Now, the owners’ only concern was to have the fuse panel in a place where he did not have to get on his back just to look at the fuses. Seems like a tough call, but I came up with a simple solution for that.

Under the dash there is plenty of room for the new wiring. With very limited places to put a fuse panel, I had to get creative with the new placement and had to consider a location where the owner could easily see the panel. What I came up with was a swinging mount for the fuse panel so it can be dropped down for easy viewing. Get down on one knee, pull the quick release and swivel the panel down in front of you under the steering column. Check it out.

Now that the fuse panel is in place – Here we go!

~ Now comes the time consuming task of ‘combing’ the wires so that they can be run to their proper locations throughout the car. What is ‘Combing’ mean: Pull each wire where it needs to go, untangle and route as if you can see each color from one end to the other without having to move. A good wiring job is not only being able to turn the key and start it up; it also has everything to do with the aesthetics of the installation as well.

~ Once the wires are pulled to their prospective locations, now its time to form them into each area of the car. I normally start under the hood with the lighting system to get all the long wires out of the way so all the engine hookups are easily done without having spaghetti in the way. ‘Comb’ the wires and start placing them in stock wire pathway (using the manufacture provided clips on the fenders or firewall.) I was very lucky on this car, since it’s in great condition, all the clips were present. If they are not; get re-pop’ed clips or use the insulated/rubber wrapped wire/hose clips that you can pickup at your nearest auto parts store.

~ Now that the wires are in place, it’s time to start connecting. I prefer to use the stock screw terminal junction blocks or provide a new one on the inside of the fenders. Each wire should be cut to length to each terminal.

~ Strip back your wire approximately 3/8”, twist the copper, grab your terminal and crimp. I take it an extra step, and highly recommend it. Solder each terminal to the wire and place heat shrink to insulate the new soldered ends. It’s my opinion that any crimped red, blue or yellow plastic insulators look terrible. It ruins the look of a new install and most of the time serves no purpose because they fall off. How many times have you looked under the hood of a project and saw butt-spliced wires, poorly crimped terminals all over the car.

~ Let me reiterate, if you’re going to do it right, take your time and go through the steps.

~ Now that each wire is connected to the terminal strip, it’s time to pull to the other side to each part it is going to feed. If you look at the wire colors you have: Green – High Beam, Tan – Low Beam, Blue – Turn Signal, Brown – Parking Lights. (Since there are only (4) screw terminals, one wire will have to pass over or under the stock terminal strip to be routed to the other side of the engine compartment. This wire is the right side turn signal light.) Pull each; using matching colors, new wires to each location. This is the making of ‘tails’. One for each headlight, one for each turn signal, one for each parking light and one for the cross-over wiring to the passenger side. Just like Buick did in 1940. Because this car has the turn signal and parking light in the same bezel, both wires are run together.

~ An important note, a Black ground wire should be run for each headlight back to the terminal strip or ground location on the inner fender.

~ Where the wire passes through the fenders; I use heat shrink at each of those locations to protect the wires from being cut or exposed causing any future problems or short.

Stay tuned for Part II, Wiring of the Generator and Horn assemblies.