Auto Talk: Working on a ’67 Buick GS400

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Zach Benedict

Zach working on a '67 Buick GS400

Zach Benedict, Beacon Blogger

Firstly, welcome back, everybody! I hope you had an amazing summer! AutoTalk is gearing up for the first show of the season! AutoTalk will now air on Thursdays from 11AM to Noon. My summer was filled with oil and grease! Well, not to that extreme. However, I had the amazing opportunity to do a major repair to my Grandpa’s 1967 Buick GS400. My Uncle Tony, my cousin Jim, and myself all took part in repairing the front cover seal to the 400 motor.

Before the job even started, Tony warned that this was going to be a long, and labor intensive process. He even mentioned that the front seal going bad was the primary reason that people would junk the 400 motor and replace it with a 350 Chevy. Firstly, everything had to come off of the front of the motor. The radiator and fan, the belts and hoses to the front had to come off. Also, the distributor, the water pump and it’s cover, and the crank pulley (balancer) had to come off before the front cover could come off. Once the cover was off, we discovered we would need a new timing chain and gears as it was the original chain and gears. Not only were the gears 47 years old, but the chain itself had a large amount of slack in it, which would cause severe engine problems if the chain failed.

Once the cover came off, everything had to be clean. We used scrapers, sponges, and- believe it or not- gasoline. Gas has the high amounts of alcohol in it which makes it a great degreaser. We had to scrape all of the old gasket off of the cover, and whatever was left on the block, making sure nothing got into the engine that could damage it. Once the gears and chain were replaced, we repaired the seal, and reassembled the motor. We started it up and the car ran like new again. (Not exactly “new” but it is more responsive and even seems to have more power to it.)

Not only did I have a part in helping with the major repair, I was also able to get an exclusive video on how to do it. You can search YouTube for hours and you will not find one video on how to repair the seal for that motor. AutoTalk got the exclusive video on how it’s done. Find us on Youtube at AutoTalk WCLH. I was also able to help my dad get his Park Avenue fixed up. We got the inspection and all our hard work was finally recognized.

Of course my summer wasn’t just about getting greasy with cars. I also attended a few car shows with my Grandma and the ’67 Gran Sport. I very much enjoyed going for the rides. There’s something about riding in an old car that seems to take you back in time. It makes you realize what driving a car was like back in ’67. The attention to detail, the feel of those vinyl bucket seats, the view of the massive hood, the sound of that engine when it revs up. There’s something different about it that you just can’t seem to get from riding around in today’s cars.

I know, personally that I am looking forward to an amazing semester. Follow the conversation on our Facebook page where the engines never stop revving. Keep up to date with the latest auto tips, stories and thoughts. Search Auto Talk WCLH and click that like button! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at AutoTalkWCLH. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Tony about to remove the front cover.
Tony about to remove the front cover.
Tony pointing out the slack in the timing chain.
Tony pointing out the slack in the timing chain.
The 1967 Gran Sport all reassembled after the repair was completed.
The 1967 Gran Sport all reassembled after the repair was completed.
Front cover before being removed from the engine.
Front cover before being removed from the engine.