HoboBuick

1952 Buick Special: Dynaflow Highway Speeds

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Hey guys,

 

So I have done a lot of searching on this site and others, and just haven't found a definitive answer.

 

I have a 1952 Buick Special with the Dynaflow as noted in the title. 

 

The highest speed I've really hit with the car is around 55-60mph.  I've been hesitant to take it much faster than that as I don't have a tach (still 6V) and really don't want to get a rod thru the block or anything, if you catch my drift.

 

So my questions are:

 

Does anyone out there with a similar setup as mine (this generation of the Dyna, not anything later) take theirs on the highway/interstate? What do you usually cruise at and, for how long?

 

Trying to gauge if I need to stick to back roads to hit up car shows and drive to work and such. 

 

Thanks!

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SEE THIS  to determine which rear gears you have.  If the 3.6 gears, then driving the speed limit would be OK (unless you are in Texas :o)

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If you do the math, with 3.6 gears and those tall tires these cars came with, 70 mph equates to about 2800-3000 rpm.  So you CAN do the legal limit on the freeway.  But you'll find you probably don't want to.  There is an unreal difference between a '52 model and, say, a '55 model.  I always say that my '53 Special is the newest '30s car you'll ever drive.  

 

With that being said, if I'm taking a short freeway trip, I might put it on 70 to get there quicker.  But it doesn't like it.  Most of the time I drive 60 on the freeway because it doesn't feel like it's straining there, and at higher speed the temp starts to creep up on mine, always has, even after a rebuild with hot tanked block and a new radiator core.  

 

So slow down and enjoy the trip.  

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HoBo, that car can run all day at 75-80. No problem. I do with my '50.  That is , if the engine is in good shape. By today's standards it will sound like it is wound out. We have become spoiled with our low RPM engines. Max HP on the '52 is at about 3600. You should be below 3000 at 75. I drove these straight eight's when I was young. I promise I did not baby them.

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Not trying to argue with what Ben said, but right now I have a 1952 Special in my garage that threw a rod out the side of the engine block when the owner was (he says) driving it between 70 and 80 m.p.h. on a Houston freeway. There may have been something wrong, other than high RPMS, which caused that, but I have not discovered it yet. When I give him his car back with another 263 straight eight engine in it, I am going to caution him not to drive it above 70 m.p.h. unless he wants another $3,000 engine rebuild. These cars stood up to hard use and 80+ mile per hour speeds when they were new, but now you have 60+ years of wear, metal fatigue, and maybe some sludge build-up in the oil passages after that many years, and it just doesn't make sense to push an old car that hard anymore. In my view, a car that has survived this long has earned the right to have a little bit softer life. Yes, I take them out and exercise them, but never over 70 miles per hour unless it is something like a '70 Wildcat with a 455 and a 3-speed!

Pete Phillips

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1950 Super Jetback  Sedanet.

Vehicle has 263 motor, Dynaflow transmission and 3.6 rear end.

Effortless driving at 70MPH with plenty left for passing.

 

Photo taken while crossing the Nullarbor Plain back in 2012.

http://www.australia.com/en/itineraries/crossing-nullarbor.html

 

A long trip but the miles just fly by with a car such as you have. 

 

Ben is spot on with his assessment.

 

101_6135 (800x600).jpg101_6136 (800x600).jpg

Edited by 50jetback (see edit history)
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I think it really boils down to the condition of your particular engine.  Oil, sludge, wear, etc. I've never driven a pre 55 Buick. But have had a few 46-50 Chevrolet's. My 46 ch** did 70 with no issues, and it was a babbitt bearing engine! My 50 had been neglected and abused before me, and was mostly unreliable, so I never took it on the highway.

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Thanks for all the responses guys and, keep 'em coming!

 

I'm really enjoying the nature of this dialog and am honestly looking to hear both sides, just as they have been presented.

 

I will have to try and dive under the car tonight and see what I have for gears. I agree, we have been spoiled by overdrive transmissions and how they keep our rpms down. I can only imagine what this car would sound like at 70, since when I'm at 50 it seems like it's already screaming! haha.

 

Once again, I appreciate all off the responses and look forward to hearing more first hand accounts of their experiences!

 

 

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 HoBo, if yours is like mine, right on the bottom of the rearend housing will be a number with a line underneath and another number .  Yours will probably be a  3-9 or a 3-6 indicating a 3.9:1 or 3.6:1 ratio. 

 

  To be completely truthful, I have replaced the 4.10:1 that came in mine with a 3.36:1 from a '54.  My '50 is a standard transmission.

 

  I had a '50 Super convertible  in 1955 when I was 18. It had the same engine/transmission as yours. It would RUN. Just took awhile to get there.

 

  Ben

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I think the answer lies in the condition of the engine. If you plan on doing 70 mph cruising frequently, I'd at least do a compression test. In the early/mid 70's my daily driver was a 54 Chrysler NY'er. I put 40,000 miles going back and forth NYC to New Hampshire, mostly at 60-70, a couple times north of 105(stupid kid stuff) never had a problem. These cars were driven at highway speeds in those days.

 

 

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