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421-6speed

1957 Buick Super Build

95 posts in this topic

I have been reading a few posts here where members are asking how to update their suspension. Every project is different. It all depends on what your trying to accomplish. In my case I was looking for a car that retained a mostly stock looking body with a nice stance and a updated suspension. More of a Street Rod so to speak. Now I know that most of the members here prefer the original restorations and in some cases I would agree. In this build I mixed it up a bit buy using a 87' C4 front suspension a 66' 425 nailhead coupled to a SP400 and a 57-64 Olds/Pontiac 9.3 Posi. After looking at several different front suspension and doing a ton of research I chose the C4 because I thought it had the cleanest look and packed a big bang for the buck. I found a company in CA. Flat Out Engineering that makes a after market crossmember for the C4 components. Most of the crossmembers that Flat Out Engineering make are for pickups but, it just so happens that the crossmember that they make for 36-54 Chevy pickup measured 29-1/2". That just so happens to be the exact same measurements between the frame rails on my 57' Super. To add a plus to the situation the C4 tracking width is the same as the 57' Super 59-1/2". Well this was a no brainer. For the rear suspension I built a triangulated 4-bar. For the driveline I used a 2-piece from a 66' Wildcat. I did have to shorten it in the front and lengthen it in the rear. By using the 2-piece driveline I was able to adjust the pinion angle down giving me ample room for clearance in the driveline tunnel to achieve the ride height I desired. It is getting a bit late so I will continue this later and post some pics of my progress.

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Here are a few pics showing the process. Before I cut anything I used some Angle steel to support the frame. I also blocked the frame at ride height and then built all my suspension to accomodate. I also made some rods up that measured the length width and cross width of the front of the frame and used a center punch to establish reference points.

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Here are a few more pics. The rods I spoke of in the prior post to establish reference points are shown here.

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I also built all the brackets for AC compressor, alternator and, power steering pump. I am using a Gen ll power steering pump with a remote reservoir. Once the front inner sheet metal was installed I did not like the way the stock radiator mounted so I made up a template for a new radiator that will mount under the core support from the front. This will allow me to build a fan shroud that will mount on the back side of the core support and I will run a mechanical clutch fan. I also decided to use a hydroboost power brake assembly that came out of the same Chevy Astro Van as the remote reservoir for power steering.

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What I have been working on this past week is the bumper ends. I did not like the shields that the factory used so I made my own sealing off the bumper ends from exhaust fumes that rot these out. I cut out the plates inside that attache the mounting brackets and delivered them to the chrome plater to metal finish. When he is finished with his finish sanding I will weld the plates back in and then return them to the plater for final plating. Here are a few pics.

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Wow! What quality workmanship. Obviously you have spent a lot of time in this hobby. Would love to hear more about your background in this type of work.

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Wow! What quality workmanship. Obviously you have spent a lot of time in this hobby. Would love to hear more about your background in this type of work.

Me too! I would enjoy helping with such a project. Keep up the good work and updates.

Ben

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Wow! What quality workmanship. Obviously you have spent a lot of time in this hobby. Would love to hear more about your background in this type of work.

John, Thanks for the complement. I have been around cars my whole life but only as a hobby. I am just a regular do it your self kind of guy that is pretty handy. And I do like tools.

I finished up a restoration on a 1961 Bel Air Sport Coupe in August of 2011 and was looking for a new project. I was looking for a 54-57 Olds or Buick when this car crossed my path. I brought it home on January 10, 2012. I decided I wanted to use the 57 olds dash in this car so kept my eyes peeled for a dash and even comunicated with some of the other members here that had 57' Olds parts. I managed to find a couple of parts cars this past Spring and was able to disect the dash out of one and then install it into the Super. I also chose to use the Olds steering column and wheel. I also used a brake peddal assembly out of my 60' buick parts car. The back seat I am using is from a 62' Olds Starfire and then buckets out of a 64' Grand Prix. I also have a split bench seat out of a 55' Cadillac but I have not yet picked it up so I will decide once I have it what front seats I will use. Of course these will all be recovered to match. Here are a few more pics of my progress.

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Me too! I would enjoy helping with such a project. Keep up the good work and updates.

Ben

Ben,

Come on out. I am know for heaving a knack to putting people to work...deal.gif

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Here are a few pics of the modification I made to the steering column. In order to clear the exhaust manifold I had to flip the shift dog around and extend it 1-1/2". I pulled the shift tube out drilled out the spot welds on the shift dog cut the sift dog off at the Z bend then welded on the 1-1/2" longer arm slipped it back on and plug welded the dog back on. Notice I am using a 401/425 exhaust manifold...brow.gifI also cut 1-1/2" off the end of the column tube then cut the coupler off the end of the steering shaft to make room for the new Bogeson U-joint. Then I machined a new end piece using a roller bearing to support the steering shaft and shift tube. I also used a rubber dampend Borgeson U-Joint at the rack.

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I am certain I would have never thought of those possibilities. Please keep posting updates, I would love to see this car finished...

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I am certain I would have never thought of those possibilities. Please keep posting updates, I would love to see this car finished...

John, my plan is to put a windshield and back glass in, install the newly rebuilt 425, and make it road worthy. Then drive it this summer working out the bugs. No side glass or door panels just the bare bones, front and rear seats. Then next winter tear it down for paint and upholstery. When I bought it last January I figured it to be a three year project.

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I bought a set of Ed Miller C4-C5 caliper brackets so I could install my C5 Zo6 Rotors and Calipers. I was a little disappointed in the bracket. I could have made these myself but decided to buy them as his site said included all hardware and figured it would save me some running around as I don't stock Metric Fasteners. The abutment brackets that mount to the spindle use a 14-2 mm bolt. Ed tapped the bracket for a 12mm bolt and then supplied 12-1.25mm bolts. Well needless to say that was a sloppy fit and I was not to happy so I drilled out the brackets to 9/16" then used the stock abutment bracket bolts from the C4 and bought four 14-2mm nuts. Then set everything up and tacked the nuts to the brackets. What should have taken me fifteen minutes ended up taking half a day by the time I ran into town...cussing.gifAll in all it did turn out good. Here are few pics.

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Got the bumper ends back yesterday in copper. Welded the plates back in with the new shields I made to seal up the bumper ends from exhaust. Now I have to block out the copper to 220 then take them back to the plater for final chrome.

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what size are the tires and wheels.i wuold like to put the discs on my 57 but want to use the stock rims,4 bufords from ct

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what size are the tires and wheels.i wuold like to put the discs on my 57 but want to use the stock rims,4 bufords from ct

I assume your stock wheels are 15". I know that some disc brakes will fit 15" wheels but I can't tell you if they will fit your stock wheels. That would be a question for the manufacture of the disc brake assembly. The tires and wheel I am running are 18's & 20's.

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I got the bumper ends blocked out today. I took them down with 220 then hit them with 320 and then hit the edges and a quick once over with 600.

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Just wondering why you didn't use the Vette front cross member? Did you not like the width it would have given you.

I did the same switch, but used the Vette cross member, and saved a lot of time and money, NOT PICKING ON YOU, just wondered.

Looking good for sure.

Dale in Indy

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Just wondering why you didn't use the Vette front cross member? Did you not like the width it would have given you.

I did the same switch, but used the Vette cross member, and saved a lot of time and money, NOT PICKING ON YOU, just wondered.

Looking good for sure.

Dale in Indy

Dale, I considered using the stock crossmember but I think the Flat Out cross made a cleaner install. What car did you make the switch on? I would love to see some pics. Did you use the stock mono leaf spring or make the brackets for the coilovers or bags?

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Dan, I sent you a PM. Where are you located?

Send me your E-address, I included mine in the PM.

Dale in Indy

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Dan, I sent you a PM. Where are you located?

Send me your E-address, I included mine in the PM.

Dale in Indy

Dale,

I am in Washington State.

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If you check out the ME & MY BUICK, (December 30,2011) you will see pictures on a couple three posts.

Dale in Indy

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