'53-'54 Buick Skylark Club

500 Miles West of Flint

500 MILES WEST OF FLINT
By Al ‘Junior’ Malachowski

As if I don’t have anything better to do, I have another project underway that might be of some interest to 1953 Buick owners: documenting in a chronological-order, by either a change point date, Car Serial Number (C.S.N.), Engine Serial Number (E.S.N.), or Dynaflow transmission model number, all known part’s upgrades, changes, and service campaigns (recalls) that occurred during the 1953 Buick production-run and later, not all of them affecting the 1953 Skylark. My three objectives are: (1) to see if I can identify whether a Skylark is an early or late-built Model; (2) to see how close I can come to the Body Production Number without looking at the C.S.N., E.S.N., or Body by Fisher Number Plate; and (3) to be able to determine if the Number Plate “fits” that Skylark. By consolidating info from Shop Manuals, Special Service letters to Dealers, Product Service Bulletins, Parts and Chassis Manuals, Skylark Newsletter articles, and data available on today’s electronic media all on a few pages, makes for a handy and quick reference tool.   

Here’s a sampler from my spreadsheet that includes nine items Buick Motor Division thought the campaign descriptive should be attached to the more serious problems for 1953 Buicks. A brief overview of why and what was addressed is included. Browse the details and then check to see whether or not the original owner followed-through with having your Skylark serviced after receiving all of the campaign notices in the mail. Note that my 1-9 numbering does not tie-in with any Buick numbering system. 

                                                                                             1953  BUICK  CAMPAIGNS

 

ITEM • DESCRIPTIVE

CHANGE POINT

AFFECTED

SKYLARK BODY #

         

1

CAR BUMPER JACK

Early Production Run

All 1953 Series

unknown

 

Jack load member was replaced to accommodate manufacturing variations of bumper face plates. Redesigned part has a turned-up lip (L) at front edge.

         

2

BATTERY SHIELD • HOSE CLIP

Car Serial Number 16746318

50-70 Series

all before ± 140

 

Shield end inch was bent and a clip was added to secure transmission cooler & heater hoses away from left exhaust manifold. New design followed.

         

3

FRONT COIL SPRINGS • SHIMS

C.S.N. 16760415

70 Series

all before ± 200

 

To improve appearance and ride, original 1314950 front coil springs were replaced with 1335808. Added one 1/4" shim above left spring only to compensate

 

for weight of Power Steering unit. An alternative fix in some cases retained original coil springs and just added 1/4" shims:  two above the right spring

 

and three above the left spring. Toe-in was adjusted accordingly.

         

4

DYNAFLOW PRESSURE REGULATOR VALVE

C.S.N. 16833391 to 16838670

H or J-094 to H or J-100 transmissions

± 410 to ± 480

 

High oil pressure at cold start-up was due to lack of bleed hole in PRV. Installed correct part accessible by removing transmission oil pan.

         

5

GAS LINE CLIPS

April 1, 1953

50-70 Series

all before ± 680

 

Right wheel was rubbing on non-secured gas line on hard right turns. Replaced two spring-loaded clips with nut & bolt-fastened clips.

         

6

OIL RINGS • V-8 ENGINE DIP STICK

April 15, 1953

V-8 Engines

all before ± 750

 

New oil ring design with new ring set was installed in cases of excessive oil consumption. Dip stick showed no oil with 3 quarts remaining in pan.

 

Original shorter dip stick 1343634 was replaced with the longer 1163538. 1954-1956 dip sticks used 1163434. Part numbers are located near "FULL" mark.

         

7

CONVERTIBLE TOP SET SCREWS

C.S.N. 17192384

56C, 76C, 76X Models

all before ± 1600

 

Poor top mechanism operation and linkage bolts were backing out. All bolts & 20 set screws (1/8" allen wrench) were checked out.

         

8

FRONT SEAT ADJUSTER

September, 1953

50-70 Series Two-Door Models

all before ± 1600

 

Fisher Body installed wrong parts in the original seat adjusting mechanism; possible clearance problems in front seat-back hardware and inertia locking parts.

 

Correct right and left front seat adjuster actuating plate assemblies were installed.

         

9

POWER BRAKE CYLINDER

January  25, 1954 Announcement

All 1953 Buicks with Power Brakes

all 1690 built

 

Loss of brake fluid from reservoir was noticeable resulting in bad brakes. Initial findings included a bad O-ring seal, due to possible distortion, when assembling

 

the master cylinder casting to vacuum can, thus allowing vacuum to pull brake fluid from reservoir. Depending on supply, the 1953 Kelsey-Hayes

 

Model 6 C-100 PBC was replaced with either an improved K-H model or a 1954 Moraine Products (MORVAC) PBC. One visual difference between the two PBCs:

 

the master cylinder part of a K-H assembly is round with two bleed screws; MORVAC's master cylinder casting is tapered with only one bleed screw. Problems

 

continued on MORVAC PBCs during 1954 and beyond. A painted white "X" was applied on the firewall inspection panel to indicate the OEM PBC was replaced.

Worthy to note also is that the addition of the electric vacuum pump for the power brake system available on cars built after October 1, 1953, was not a campaigned-item. For 1954 Buick owners, I came across only two campaign items so far: the continual Power Brake Cylinder problem and an air conditioning compressor clutch operating solenoid issue, Upon completion of my project, my intent is to have a PDF available for all interested Skylark Club members. In the meantime, I can always be reached via Email should you need reference pictures of updated parts or additional details.

TOODLE-LOO!

06.02.15