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1957 buick suspention upgrade


layenbodyon22s
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Recommend that before you go "gutting" the suspension on your car, that you go to a car show and see if you can find someone with the same year and model that is in well-maintained stock serviceable condition. Get a ride or possibly drive one that has been properly maintained in authentic condition. Then you can make a decision as to whether to "gut" it and try and adopt a later era's technology to it.

My personal prejudice is that people shouldnt bother trying to maintain an old car, unless they like old cars.

There are lots of oh, say, 10 year old and newer low-mileage properly maintained cars that encorporate all kinds of the latest technology. And these can be purchased for far less than the cost of screwing-up /"bastardizing" an earlier era car.

If your '57 Buick dosnt drive and steer right, my recommendation is THE FOLLOWING:

find a shop that 1) HAD THE MANUALS 2) KNOWS how to get the correct parts & 3) KNOWS how nicely your car drove when properly mantained, and GET IT FIXED RIGHT.

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56 was the last year for king pins. 57's are ball joint front suspension.............Bob

Again, Bob is right. 1957s have ball joints. It's the first year for them, and new/rebuilt ones a pretty pricey, but the car does have an essentially modern ball joint/coil spring suspension. There really isn't much that will improve on it with a car this big and heavy (at least in design terms, you can always upgrade spring rates/add anti-roll bars/stiffer shocks/etc.).

The brakes on '57s are a little weak, and while upgrading to discs is a fairly common street rod mod for this car I believe you can get 90%+ of that improvement simply by installing a 1959/60 (aluminum drum) brake system. Street rodders use these a lot, and setups aren't cheap to come by but will likely be less money and work than a disc conversion. Also I think it does preserve more of the car for the next guy who wants to put the car back to stock.

If you post this question on the BCA section of this forum you'll get a much more authoritative set of opinions from people who've done this already.

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this is a cutomers car not mine i tryed talking hime in to redoing all the original stuff and he keeps insisting on up dateing the car

If he wants to just p**s money away reccomend that he "upgrade" to a 58/60 ball joint system. The control arms look totally different and new ball joints are available. There is info on the Buick forum how to do the change over. It's not just a bolt on. One thing you should check on his car, especially if you do any work on the front suspension. The upper control arms are bolted to a bracket that is skip welded to top of the frame. The welds are weak and the geometry of the suspension exerts an upward force on the brackets whenever the car is braked. Complete failure of the welds is not unusual, cracks are common. ....Bob

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this is a cutomers car not mine i tryed talking hime in to redoing all the original stuff and he keeps insisting on up dateing the car

wow - sounds to me like you have a real money-making opportunity here.

Here's an idea - explain to him that if he just changes the suspension arms and does some frame welding - yes, he could have a ball-joint front suspension. Then explain that he will still have an old car's wheels, chassis, brakes, differential, generator, starter, door panels, power windows, air conditioning evaporater, heater blower, dash-board instruments, etc.

With a little "public relations', you should be able to talk him into doing what many people who own pre-war cars do. THEY STRIP EM OUT AND JUNK EM, saving only the exterior body panels, which they mount on a nice modern car with all the nice modern improvements.

A few years ago, I was tearing along an isolated section of what was U.S. Highway 66 in northern Arizona, doing about 80-85 in my pre-war twelve cylinder Packard. A fellow "blew by me" like I was standing still in what LOOKED like a '39 Mercury. He had the right idea. NO WAY a authentic old Ford product of the pre-war era could do what his car could do. His car, of course, was a "big block" super-charged GMC engine and transmission, modern front and rear suspension, incredibly beautifully done dash and interior.

You need to understand your customer better. With a little counselling, you should be able to get him to be honest with himself, and get him to admit he really dosnt like old cars; knows what he wants, and get him into a modern car with the exterior body panels of that '57 Buick.

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