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1955 Roadmaster Rear Shock Absorbers - A replacement ?


John_Mereness
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Not that I just do not love a lever type shock, but I do not love a lever type shock - very 1930's throwback technology.  Does someone make a set up to replace the rear shocks absorber on a 1955 Buick Roadmaster to replace the lever shock with a piston tube type shock.  

 

I keep hearing reference to a replacement set up all be it have not found anything definitive.

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6 minutes ago, First Born said:

You CAN replace them with tube shocks, but will NEVER ride as good. 

 

  Ben

And they will outlast many pairs of replacement tube shocks.  If you keep them full of fluid they will never wear out.  The only things that goes wrong are leaks and links.  Rebuilders will fix the leaks (or you can fix yourself --- see my website); links are available replacement items.  The reason they went to tube shocks:  they are cheaper!

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I believe it may be able to be done by using 1956 mounting technology, as 56's went to tube shocks. I have ridden in two cars that were altered and I drove one. They all bounced around and felt like complete shite. The geometry wasn't right and since I love hot rods, but can't build one, I pulled the bouncy tube shocks off and replaced them with lever shocks. The owner was pleased. 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
8 hours ago, 1mortician said:

Why change? Didn't Buick invest millions of dollars on a million dollar ride? 

 

Ford did too, for the 1963 Galaxie.  Got them more rubber isolation and special strut rod bushings (which would fail with age . . . not solid, but had "voids" for a controlled compression to decrease impact harshness).

 

Perhaps tube shocks from an application other than a '56 might be investigated?  Possibly from an Olds with a similar frame configuration?  Got to be something so others are not "following the bouncing tail lights".  Whre's Brad54 and his special anti-sway bars???

 

NTX5467

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Why did Buick go with tubular shocks in '56?

Not because of technology, but because the tubular shocks saved GM money. 

 

They weren't concerned with what the car's owner was going to face when the tube shock wore out

 

You might as well throw away the oil bath air cleaner. And put a paper element on there. 

Edited by JamesBulldogMiller55Buick (see edit history)
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As good as the '55 system might have been, it was "old tech" and tube shocks were "new tech", which everybody else was already using (and had been for quite a while).  Buick "had to keep up", so to speak, even if it might have been "a step backward" to some.

 

NTX5467

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Think the closest you could get is mocking up a 56 set up in how they attach to the axles.  Maybe there is a way to fab up some U bolts and a plate or something and attach it to the axle. 

 

Since no known bolt in easy way exists to change them out yet for tube socks :), is there another way to get a response change that you are looking for?    If you are thinking adjustable shocks for any reason you can put Air Lifts in the springs to pick the back end up or tighten the response.  Used to run those for years - kinda miss them actually. Also if you want to change the damping rate of the lever shock I seem to recall the metering valves or orifices can be replaced. These were one of the first things sent off to get rebuilt on my car and they came back with 2 different damping rates - because the rebuilder put 2 different valves in the L and R.  If you ever get them rebuilt hang a 2-5 lb weight or equivalent off the lever and time how long each takes to compress/rebound prior to installing. 

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On August 14, 2016 at 11:07 PM, NTX5467 said:

 

Ford did too, for the 1963 Galaxie.  Got them more rubber isolation and special strut rod bushings (which would fail with age . . . not solid, but had "voids" for a controlled compression to decrease impact harshness).

 

Perhaps tube shocks from an application other than a '56 might be investigated?  Possibly from an Olds with a similar frame configuration?  Got to be something so others are not "following the bouncing tail lights".  Whre's Brad54 and his special anti-sway bars???

 

NTX5467

Mine is riding just fine. Probably because it isn't a Ford. ;)

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