1951 Oldsmobile 88 (Deluxe) by 1951Olds88

By diyauto
( 3 )

5 minute(s) of a 31 minute read


The day after our Saturday drive in the country, started up the car to fill up at the local ethanol free pump (luckily have two between 4 and 8 miles from home). No problems with starting, either at home or at the gas station. However, while filling, the nozzle got caught on the lip of the filling pipe on the gas tank (actually it was the spring on the nozzle that got caught). Couldn't leave with a gas pipe hanging out of fuel door, and I don't think that the gas station would have liked it either. So tried twisting and turning the nozzle but to no avail. Finally took my tire iron, pushed the filling tube to one side and managed to extract the gas hose. All well and good I thought.

As we had another weekend planned in the mountains with friends, Friday morning I pushed the car out of the garage to give it a good wash. My garage floor is pretty much level, but there is a 1" small step down from the garage to the drive way and my driveway slopes noticeably to one side, away from the garage. Now the car is not level anymore and I notice liquid spreading at the back of the car. I think, funny, this car does not have airco, so where is the water coming from? Not water, gas! Running off the gas tank and dripping right next to the exhaust pipe. Am I glad that I did not start the engine and drive the car out for its wash, who knows what might of happened.

Could not see why this was happening, was it a break in the filler that I had manhandled, a break in the fuel line to the engine because it go pushed up against something when I was wrestling with the nozzle or something else? As I did not want to drive the car I called my garage and had them pick it up so they could put it up on a lift and find out what was going on. They ended up dropping the fuel tank and discovering that sometime in the past the tank had rusted through around the opening for the sending unit. It had been repaired with what looked like epoxy, and the epoxy had deteriorated. The garage said I ought to be able to drive with less than 1/2 tank, but I decided to get Fusick to send me a new tank. The car was flatbedded back home to await the tank. A few days I returned to the garage with tank and we were ready to roll again.

So now that the tank was done, I was ready for my next road trip. The local chapter of the Oldsmobile Club of America (Dixie Olds Club) was showing some cars at a nearby show, so I decided to join them. Set of Saturday morning excited to meet other enthusiasts. I was about hallway through the 40 minute drive when the car stalled at a light. Although I was able to turn the engine over a few times, slowly the battery was dying. So I called my wife and asked her to bring the new Optima Red-top that I had just bought and charged, but not installed or even put in the trunk.

Half an hour she arrived with booster cables and the battery, but now even the starter would not turn over. Time to call Hagerty's and have their road service take me home, not quite as excited as when I left a few hours earlier.

BTW. Once home, I did jump in my daily driver so I could meet the fellow car ethusiasts and see what a local show is all about.

The following week, called my garage again and asked them to take out the starter so I could drop it off at a nearby company for an overhaul. (I seemed to have chosen a good place to live because there plenty of classic car friendly services very close. The only thing that seems to be missing is a well stocked salvage yard. But I am sure there must be one somewhere in the Atlanta area.)

I am also mentioning the local garage that is helping me out quite a bit. After taking the car there for the compression test, I decided they were probably a good place to continue to patronize because I noticed an antique car in a state for major disassembly in one of their bays. It turned out to be a 1940 Ford something, owned by one of the mechanics. But that gave me confidence that they knew about classic cars and were not just wet-behind-the-ears grease jockeys. Although I was hoping to do work on the car myself, a reoccurrence of a back problem meant it was useful to have somewhere that could attend to urgent maintenance.

A day later the start was ready, looking very spiffy with what looks like a new solenoid. The garage replaced the starter but when I picked it up mentioned that instead of the earlier heat soak problems, it seemed to be starting intermittently even when cold. They suggested taking the car to the rebuilders and having the starter tested in place. As I had requested, they had checked the cable gauges and everything was as it should, albeit that the cables looked a little old. I soon found out that we still had a problem.


Nice car!

Posted by stevegolf on 11/21/20 @ 5:46:10 PM