Jump to content
1954 Buick Forum - the 54 Buick Highway

Heater/defroster controls on mid 1950's Buicks

Recommended Posts

My 1954 Special had a frame-off restoration from a Buick restorer (Gary Walker in Iowa) and everything works well but the heater/defroster controls are frozen (none of teh controls will move). I am also an appraiser and I inspected a 1955 Roadmaster last week and when I checked these controls, I noticed the same thing - the controls are frozen. 

Is there a reason whey they won't move? I do many other cars and most at least work but is there a problem with the mid-1950's Buicks? If there is, how can I free mine up?




Bill Krieger 




Link to post
Share on other sites

The control cables are a push/pull type Bowden Cable with a solid metal wire inside the flexible coiled outer casing, like an old choke cable. If someone wasn’t careful with them at some point during the restoration they could have bent the inner wire which will make them difficult to operate. However, it’s more likely that there’s some rust/corrosion inside the cable that has the inner wire frozen. You can pull the cables off and soak them in a good penetrating lube and it should free them up. It worked well on mine which were frozen when I got my Special. Or, you can replace them with lawn mower choke cable if needed. It looks the same, but you’ll have to cut to length and coiling the ends is tricky. I don’t know if anybody is selling direct replacements already cut to length and ends pre-rolled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Vindictive on the cable issue, most likely they are corroded along the length of the cable.  You may have to soak or grease the cable along its length from lever area to end where it connects to venting flapper.  You can try with WD40 to start and then maybe once free, coat the length of the cable with a light grease to keep it lubricated and rust resistant.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...