Some more progress this week, but I also bit more off, so it will take longer to chew. I was originally going to just replace the U-joint and trans, then go through brakes afterwards. Then I saw how crusty the axle looked after cleaning it up so I decided to paint it and use some powder-coated backing plates and torque tubes I already had. Then I thought, if I am going to do that I'll have to have the brake lines off so I may as well replace those with stainless.
So, I have more parts on order. The brakes looked great in back, so I just cleaned everything up and put them back together and adjusted them. It's not perfect, but a big improvement I think.
The rear short driveshaft went through a few changes in 57, as the grease on the rear splines would work its way out, and the splines would then strip out. Late in the year grease fittings started to be installed. This car never had one, so I opted to add it. This meant I had to add a hole in the correct place in the rear torque tube for access to the fitting. In addition, I added a hole further up for access to grease the new U-joint; I will plug these.
I have a couple of the original special grease fittings, and was going to install one, but then I decided to look at the 2 extra shafts I have. I actually have 3 different design iterations. The one in the car was the first pictured, which used a retainer with a felt seal to keep the grease in. The one in the middle uses no retainer and seal, but has the fitting in back, but was still prone to leak grease. The third is the later design, which is not prone to leaking grease in back and also already has a grease fitting. I opted to utilize and put on this one, of an improved design. It is shown here after the new u- joint is installed.
I will expound on the short shafts more at a later time, and maybe even do a writeup for the Bugle. I think there are a lot of 57 Buicks out there with ticking time bombs in these shafts. I was lucky, since my car has under 60k miles, that I got to mine just in time; it was dry and starting to shine up.