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1967 Buick Lesabre convertible frame


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I have a 67 Lesabre convertible that needs the frame replaced. I was wondering if anyone knew if a 67 wildcat 2 door hardtop frame would work or a 67 gran prix convertible frame was interchangeable? Also wondering if there were others that I could use as a replacement? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I suspect that ONLY a convertible frame would make a good replacement. There usually were some extra braces and such on convertible frames to help compensate for the lack of a solid roof on the vehicle. As to other similar GM donor vehicle candidates, wheelbase would be a KEY issue. I rather suspect that a '67 LeSabre frame would work, but I would not know about the '65-'66 or '69-'70 cars due to the different body sheetmetal on the cars.

As for body mounts, the casting numbers on the frame rubber isolators I've found on my '68 5467 (LeSabre Custom Conv). are the same as what are listed in the Chevrolet parts book for a '68 Impala. Therefore, you might be able to find new rubber isolators under the "Chevrolet" application . . . but make sure of the casting numbers (on the outer circumference of the mount itself--top and bottom) as if you ask a Chevrolet vendor if his body mounts will also fit a Buick, they'll probably say "No".

You might inquire at a salvage yard as to what their Hollander Interchange Manual might show for interchangeable frame applications for your Buick. These would be "will fit" rather than "exact fit" situations, so there might need to be a few things done to the "will fit" frame to make it useable (drill holes, swap brackets, or find extra holes and brackets) on your vehicle.

In some cases, you might be able to repair your existing frame by sectioning in a part of another frame OR welding in some new metal in specific areas. Finding an "industrial grade" welder would be highly important, here! In this case, finding a convertible-specific frame might not be quite as important--depending upon where the failed areas might be.

Just some thoughts . . .

NTX5467

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  • 1 month later...

I finally found a 1968 Buick Wildcat convertible frame and everything seems to measure up. I will now be looking to replace the Body Mounts, update the rear and front suspension parts. Any suggestions on some good suspension kits and vendors?

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1967 and 1968 Full-Size Buicks were basically the same car other than some cosmetic differences and possibly some engine calibration changes, but should be the same frames, I suspect.

Body mounts should cross with similar Impala items, from the casting numbers I researched years ago for my '68 5467.

It might be "popular" to use the polyurethane bushings in the suspension, but I think I'd stay with the OEM rubber items. Less money and keep the designed-in "factory feel".

Just some thoughts . . .

NTX5467

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Guest my3buicks

In 67, the Wildcat and the LeSabre had a 3" different wheelbase. The Wildcat ran on the 126" Wheelbase with the Electra, the LeSabre ran on a 123" wheelbase

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I dont know how bad your top frame is , but I know I have been able to find everything I have needed to fix my Grandvilles convertible top in a Hemmings magazine. Pumps , switches, roof material and frame parts. The only thing I havent found so far is the courage to actually start ripping into the top issues on this car.

Dan

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In 67, the Wildcat and the LeSabre had a 3" different wheelbase. The Wildcat ran on the 126" Wheelbase with the Electra, the LeSabre ran on a 123" wheelbase

Yes looking at the specs. and adjustment page from the 1967 fisher body manual, shows the length of the frame is made up of three measurements.

(U) - Center of Chassis sheet bolt to center of number 2 body mount bolt.

The Lesabre measures 43 7/16, Wildcat measures 46 7/16.

The other two length measurements are identical.

(V) - 71 1/16 Center of number 2 body mount bolt to center of number 4 body mount.

(W) - 72 1/16 Center of number 4 body mount bolt to center of number 7 body mount.

Also the frame widths are identical front and rear. I believe the frame is the same with differring mount holes for the different wheel bases??

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After a little more research I found out that the wildcat 67, 68 body is the same as the the lesabre except for the front fender. It's 3 inches longer. I wonder how or where I might need adjustments using the 68 wildcat (convertible) frame with the 67 lesabre body if at all?

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Guest my3buicks

Surely with some searching you can find a proper frame instead of "making one work" - 67 LeSabre's are not all that uncommon to not be out there for parts, although the conv will be a bit tougher.

http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/allamericanclassics/

This seller on ebay has a ton of frames listed on ebay, perhaps he would be a good person to contact to see if he may have one.

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)
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Apparently the 67 lesabre convertible frame is hard to find. They only made 3000 or so that year. I have checked with this vendor before and he does not have any or know of anyone that does. I found one in arizona, but it cost more to ship it than it does for the part.

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Guest my3buicks

4624 in 67, and with some research your should be able to see if the 68's are the same of which 5257 built.

A frame whole seller like the one I linked to you should be able to tell you what other GM models would fit from the same year/years. I would think a good candidate to check would be the Old's Delta 88's, possibly Bonneville's, etc.

When looking for parts you need to keep checking back with a vendor. just because he didn't have one before doesn't mean he doesn't have one now.

how bad is your original frame? I have seen amazing results with frame repairs to the point of not even knowing repairs were made.

You could end up spending more in modifications etc than you would if you bought a good frame such as the one in Arizona. I was looking at some on ebay from the fellow in Washington and shipping was $400 from Washington to PA - moral is, if you want it you got to pay for it, the old car hobby is not cheap.

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)
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the wildcat frames are longer than the lesaber frame due to the fact that the wildcats came with heavier suspension for the 430 motor in them, the lesaber came with the 350 motor, so the length of the fenders where as more

that goes back all the way to the 65 cars as well

the body's are the same, but that is it

Greg

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4624 in 67, and with some research your should be able to see if the 68's are the same of which 5257 built.

A frame whole seller like the one I linked to you should be able to tell you what other GM models would fit from the same year/years. I would think a good candidate to check would be the Old's Delta 88's, possibly Bonneville's, etc.

When looking for parts you need to keep checking back with a vendor. just because he didn't have one before doesn't mean he doesn't have one now.

how bad is your original frame? I have seen amazing results with frame repairs to the point of not even knowing repairs were made.

You could end up spending more in modifications etc than you would if you bought a good frame such as the one in Arizona. I was looking at some on ebay from the fellow in Washington and shipping was $400 from Washington to PA - moral is, if you want it you got to pay for it, the old car hobby is not cheap.

The current frame is rusted on both sides behind the front tires almost completely through. holes about 3 to 4 inches wide on the sides and soft enough on the bottom surface that jacks completely make it crumble. The rest of the frame seems to be ok.

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I know that "frames" are something that few people have expertise in, BUT there are other parts of the automotive hobby where building frames is somewhat commonplace. Not unlike what is done with "clipping" many '50s straight front axle pickups with first or second gen Camaro front subframes. All it is is metal that's welded onto existing frames to make all of that work. I would think that somebody in the NC area should have expertise and facilities to do frame repairs of sectioning new metal in place of or over existing weak areas.

I rather doubt, from what I know about things, that the three inch longer wheelbase of the Wildcat vs the LeSabre is something that is done just with different suspension mounting holes! I highly suspect that if you look at the rear seat legroom in the LeSabre vs Wildcat, you'll find where some of that additional three inches turns up . . . in the center section of the frame rather than on the ends, or with more space between the engine and the cowl. The 430 V-8, I suspect, would not have anything to do with it at all as the Buick 350s and 430s are about the same size and weight (as I recall).

Now, about shipping bare frames, even new ones . . . as they are shipped "bare" and "unpalletized", they can be easily damaged by freight company handling. It might be just a little tweak on the front or rear frame horns, but it could also be a really BAD bend that is not in a reallly repairable location. I've seen one Chevy dealership that had to order three frames for a Chevy C-10 pickup (1970s vintage) to get a good one, or at least one that was useable! Therefore, purchasing a used frame from a vendor cross country might need to be "rethought", or take a flat trailer out there to get it and haul it back yourself. BUT considering all of the Buick convertibles that might populate the eastern seaboard areas, I would think there would be something closer to you, especially in the southeastern USA where more convertibles were probably sold (due to the warmer climate).

If you look at any automotive frame closely, you'll see that it's basically flat metal that is shaped into a "C" or "U" before it's welded together. Sometimes, it's just bent metal and not "boxed" at all. For repairs, think "race car fabrication", whether drag racers or otherwise. Only thing is that how/what they do might be more obvious than not AND that they'd probably charge hourly rates which could get somewhat large quickly. BUT considering the very limited number of those cars still around and the related future value, it might be a more viable alternative . . . depending, of course, upon how incognito the repairs end up being.

Another alternative would be to find out just what the differences were in the 2-door hardtop frames and the convertible frames. The floorpans would be highly similar, I suspect, as would the body mounting locations (ALL of them). The convertible and coupe frames would probably start out as the same basic item, but with some additional gussets and/or reinforcements to add strength to compensate for the "no roof" situation. Once you know what the differences are, then these items could be transferred from the existing convertible frame to the replacement coupe frame.

SO it might be time to "hit the road" to seek out similar coupes and see just what the "real world" differences might be! YOU AND the person who'll actually be doing the work, or helping you do it. Putting your car on a drive-on lift and taking extensive pictures can be a first step. The salvage yard Hollander Interchange Manual might also be a good resource in this search. KEY THING is to not make a mistake that could be expensive and ruin the ultimate value of the vehicle. The Hollander manual would also list ALL model years and makes of frames which would be compatible with your particular vehicle . . . and possibly what modifications would be needed in some cases.

Gut suspicions strike again!

NTX5467

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RE: convertible top frames, 1968 full-size GM cars

When I was initially researching the convertible tops for my '68 5467, I discovered that GM had only TWO full-size car convertible tops -- one for the Chev Impala-type cars, Pontiac Catalina/Bonneville, Olds Delta 88, and Buick LeSabre-size cars . . . one for the larger Olds 98s, Buick Electras, and Cadillac DeVille convertibles.

As I considered what I'd found, it made sense that on these lower-production vehicles, to use common top mechanisms related to basic wheelbase lenghts . . . and probably have several model year overlaps, too. One way to help spread the costs yet also keep parts costs more reasonable ("factory cost", that is) for the whole mechanism.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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  • 4 months later...
I have a 67 Lesabre convertible that needs the frame replaced. I was wondering if anyone knew if a 67 wildcat 2 door hardtop frame would work or a 67 gran prix convertible frame was interchangeable? Also wondering if there were others that I could use as a replacement? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Just wondering how the frame replacement went? I also have a convertible 67 LeSabre.

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  • 7 months later...

I finally found a 1968 Buick Lasabre hardtop frame that is idenitical in wheel base. Will have to reinforce the side rails for use as a convertible frame. Any one know what the cast numbers are on the body mounts for a 67 or 68 lesabre? Trying to find some replacement body mounts.

Thanks

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