Jump to content

1956 Century - rough ride


Recommended Posts

I'm trying to address the rough ride from the front end of my Buick.  Driving on a flat road is fine, but as soon as I hit a pothole or uneven road surface, it gets pretty rough.  Shocks, sway bar bushings, links, and tie rods are new.  Coils seem fine.  There is a tiny bit of play in the king pins and lower control arm bushings (checked when I had the coils out).  Currently running Remington bias plys.  The rear end rides fine.

 

Compared to my '63 Chevy, this thing rides like a truck.  Any input is welcome.

 

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheap shocks like the Gabriel classics tend to be rougher rebound than say a pair of $200 shocks. By nature, bias-ply tires are also more rigid than the radial counterparts. Your play in the kingpins may also throw the alignment off just enough to give you wheel jiggle going down rough road. It sounds like my car, but everything is tight except my steering box.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, 1956century said:

I'm trying to address the rough ride from the front end of my Buick.  Driving on a flat road is fine, but as soon as I hit a pothole or uneven road surface, it gets pretty rough.  Shocks, sway bar bushings, links, and tie rods are new.  Coils seem fine.  There is a tiny bit of play in the king pins and lower control arm bushings (checked when I had the coils out).  Currently running Remington bias plys.  The rear end rides fine.

 

Compared to my '63 Chevy, this thing rides like a truck.  Any input is welcome.

 

Thanks

 

Are you talking about the vehicle's bounce from pot holes, or keeping control of the car when hitting rough/deteriorated roads?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I should mention that I tried a set of higher end KYBs as well as mid range Monroes.  Didn't make a difference.  Rear track rod arm bushings are new as well.  

 

The steering box is new and tight.  The bias plys do tend to follow ruts in the road, but that is to be expected. 

 

I'm more focused on the harshness over bumps, rough patches, potholes, etc.  It does not really absorb any of the road imperfections as you would expect a Buick of this era to do.  That coupled with the fact that it sounds like a city bus going over bumps (loose bolts under the dash?), makes it a little less pleasant to drive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, if you are talking about "impact harshness", that's a tire issue NOT specific to bias-ply tires.  Typically, bias ply tires are easier on bumps and such than radials, especially the radials from the 1960s.  Bias ply tires CAN follow ridges, especially with the "rib" tread designs they usually had . . . but they did that back then, too, just that we lived with it and didn't know any better.

 

With most of the front end hardware recently-new/replaced, about the only things might be to make sure the toe-in is near the minimum specification AND tire pressure is in the 28psi range.  Remember that the balloon tires on that model Buick were spec'd for lower-20psi inflation pressures, so that's how the bushings and such were probably calibrated for.

 

The earlier radials were harsher at speeds below about 45mph, especially on unit-body cars, but less "feel" of that came through on body/frame cars and their greater rubber insulation/isolation from where all of that harshness happened.  Above that speed, the "radial feel" happened and things got nicely-smooth . . . BUT this varied with brand, especialy so in current times.

 

There's also more places for "flex" to invade the steering system on older vehicles, compared to modern vehicles with rack and pinion steering.  Be that as it may.

 

NTX5467

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, 1956century said:

I did not buy them new, but they are Remington Cushion-Aire Poly-4 tires.  A quick google search shows they were sold until 2006, but I don't know how old they are.

 

At least 11 years if they were manufactured to 2006.      Not sure how supple the rubber is after 11 years. 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, buick5563 said:

There is a big part of your problem.

Old bias ply tires ride rough and wander even more than new ones. 

 

 

Concur.  Replaced a very old set of Denman bias ply.  The ride of the Buick completely changed for the better.  I find as well that lower tire pressure helps smooth the ride.   

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Those old flat top Remingtons ride rough when new and only get worse.  They are wider than the original 760-15 tires (wide tires hit more bumps) and they are much heavier (unsprung weight added will give bigger jolts).  For short term help inflate to 26 psi, but don't go far from home or drive high speeds on those old tires.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 1980s, many independent tire dealers sold Remington tires.  Allegedly used on Rolls-Royces back then!  The used car dealers loved them as there was the "consumer" version and the "used car dealer" version.  Difference?  Tread depth!  The consumer versions looked normal in all respects, as expected.  The used car dealer version looked good, nice deep tread, for about 5000 miles, then they looked 1/2 wore out.

 

The deeper the tread (used to be 11/32" or so for normal top-brand tires), the less harshness comes through, especially on the old Michelin X radials.  On steel belt radials, the closer the tread gets to the placement of the belt in the tire, the more harshness will be felt.

 

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, old-tank said:

...don't go far from home or drive high speeds on those old tires.

 

Concur.  Irrespective of ride issues, one should give serious consideration to replacing them if it's a car that gets driven.

 

BTW, one might think that if there's "a little bit" of play in the control arm bushings when inspecting them in the garage, there's a lot of play when going down the road.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The current tires might look good and hold air, BUT if you're driving it and you have to make a sudden lane change or stop, the aged and becoming-fragile internal adhesion situation could start unravelling, some times quicker than others.  That happened to me TWICE.  Once in the 1980s when I had to dodge a dog running across the highway.  The farther I drove, the more the car pulled to one side.  Then air started to be lost.  Luckily, I'd made sure the 15 year old OEM spare tire had air in it, as I gently drove home.

 

A few years ago, I had to dodge a deer in the road.  No impact.  Then I started noticing a slight tire "shake" in the steering wheel, which got worse over the next few weeks.  The tires on the car were Korean radials (even with the outer tread ply cap for better capabilities).  A new set of Michelin MXV4s (almost fainted at the price, as I used to buy BFG tires for $75.00 each), BUT end of wheel shake AND much improved ride/handling than the prior radials ever had.  Those radials that came on the car were date coded 7+ years prior (it was a used car when I bought it).

 

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Buicks I got rid of the skinny  front sway bar and installed one that is 1 1/4 inches thick plus new Monroe shocks. Roadmaster springs in the rear.  It holds up real well on curves. I don't like squishy rides.  I like them firm.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Airy Cat said:

On my Buicks I got rid of the skinny  front sway bar and installed one that is 1 1/4 inches thick plus new Monroe shocks. Roadmaster springs in the rear.  It holds up real well on curves. I don't like squishy rides.  I like them firm.

Where did you get the sway bar from? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 2:54 PM, old-tank said:

Those old flat top Remingtons ride rough when new and only get worse.  They are wider than the original 760-15 tires (wide tires hit more bumps) and they are much heavier (unsprung weight added will give bigger jolts).  For short term help inflate to 26 psi, but don't go far from home or drive high speeds on those old tires.

 

Used to be, prior to P-metric sizing, that any good H78-15 size tire weighed between 28-30 pounds EACH.  The P-Metric sizes were driven by the desire of higher (generally) inflation pressures for easier rolling and less fuel consumption.  As a result, the 90-degree angle of the base carcass plies are not quite 90-degrees anymore, in an effort to decrease the ride harshness associated with the higher inflation pressures, I suspect.  "Radials" not quite as "radial" as the ones in the earlier 1970s, leaning more toward the "bias-belted" design criteria?  The OTHER side of the P-metrics became thinner sidewals, when compared to the H78-15 era tires.  AND THREE POUNDS LESS total weight in the tire!

 

These weight issues were easier to track when there was a Federal Excise Tax on tires, 10 cents/pound.  Now you have to look in the respective tire specs area of Tire Rack, PLUS also noting the specified tread depth!  Some of those 18-22" rim diameter tires have 8/32" tread depth, rather than 10-11/32" tread depth, but the same mileage rating.  Tread depth is important as it has a direct affect upon wet weather performance, given the same tread designs.  LOTS of things to look at and be concerned with!

 

The tire's serial number also contains the date code information.  Several websites indicate how to read that date code, which I believe has changed over time, but is still in the end of the heat-stamped serial number.

 

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites

He probably desired some for himself, found somebody to build them, and did the min quantity to justify the set-up charges and such.  Not sure why anybody would want THOSE tires, from experience when they were new, all things considered.  Might have saved a few dollars in the unit cost and made some on the sale.  Lots of effort to go through, though!

 

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Airy Cat said:

I live in California.  All the roads here are junk. Pot holes, ruts, uneven pavement, you name it.

I live in The Pipples' Republik too.  When I drove my 1947 Desoto Suburban to Ft Benning GA in 1966, our Calif roads were the best in the country, and roads worsened the farther east I got.  Today our Calif fuel and car taxes have been raided for social programs and to subsidize commuter ferries,

 

But wait!  Effective Nov 1 the gasoline tax increases by 12 cents per gallon, diesel by 20, and registration by about $38.  As it is, the cheapest registration now, pre-increase, is $103 per year. CalTrans is already hiring.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They are dual exhaust 1 3/4 inches in diameter, same as the stock factory. They look good.   I have the rectangular exhaust tips which extend out at the ends of the bumper and they are in perfect condition.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
On 8/29/2017 at 12:04 AM, Airy Cat said:

I run WW Radial tires on my Buicks.  225 x 75R - 15.  Corners good, good traction, I couldn't be happier.

 

Second that.  After procrastinating and running L78-15 Coker bias plys for the past 30 years put a set of 225 75 R15 Diamondback II on this summer (the Toyo brand).  Was a big expense but made this Buick a whole different car.

 

Stopped all the harshness over bumps, potholes, patches and expansion joints.  No more wander following road crown or unsteadiness on grooved pavement.  The wheel stays straight at highway speeds - you can hold it with 2 fingers and it will track straight down the highway.  Much more positive control in single lane, narrow construction zones.  Very very quiet road tire.  Less exercise to drive but well worth the investment.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

In the middle '50s, everybody was more focused on that "smoooooth ride" and the larger air capacity "balloon" tires seemed to work pretty good at 24psi, it seems.  Most of those tires didn't last past about 20K miles, usually.  But with people usually not driving more than 11K miles/year, a two year replacement cycle.  The narrow treads were known to wear the outer tread ribs first, too . . . "cornering wear", even with low speed turns.

 

We had a '61 BelAir in the earlier '60s.  Dad would take me to school and make a U-turn to drop me off.  That outer tread rib on the rh  frt tire was the first to go on the new BFG Silvertowns we had back then.  The other outer ribs took longer.

 

24psi cold inflation pressure was what everybody usually ran back then.  More psi meant a rougher ride, not desired.  If you were carrying a load, the sidewalls would bulge, so that was visible sign that more air was needed.

 

In later years, tire technology took out more of the impact harshness and allowed the base suspension to be firmed up for better higher speed handling.  In many cases, making the older suspension designs work better, as long as the rubber bushings and such were in good condition.

 

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
On August 28, 2017 at 9:20 PM, Grimy said:

I live in The Pipples' Republik too.  When I drove my 1947 Desoto Suburban to Ft Benning GA in 1966, our Calif roads were the best in the country, and roads worsened the farther east I got.  Today our Calif fuel and car taxes have been raided for social programs and to subsidize commuter ferries,

 

But wait!  Effective Nov 1 the gasoline tax increases by 12 cents per gallon, diesel by 20, and registration by about $38.  As it is, the cheapest registration now, pre-increase, is $103 per year. CalTrans is already hiring.

… Actually you can thank the libertarian Jarvis Property Tax bill for doing away with the then well established progressive property tax system in California starting in 1979 that had been a staple mark since the 40's thereby among a slew of other destructive things effectively froze property taxes …. with that said … so what does everyone think is the source that pays for roads, bridges and schools  … ?  

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, buick man said:

… Actually you can thank the libertarian Jarvis Property Tax bill for doing away with the then well established progressive property tax system in California starting in 1979 that had been a staple mark since the 40's thereby among a slew of other destructive things effectively froze property taxes …. with that said … so what does everyone think is the source that pays for roads, bridges and schools  … ?  

We're on different sides of that issue.  I bought a house in 1974 for $53,500 and the taxes were $975. Next year $1,250, then $1,600, then $2,100 and had Prop 13 not passed, taxes would have been $2,800. My parents and uncle and aunt would have had to sell their homes.  No one was painting or roofing or remodeling; neighborhoods were looking shabby.  It all went for social programs.  For 4 years after passage, streets were full of tradesmen's trucks performing long-deferred maintenance and improvements.

Link to post
Share on other sites

…. well George all I can state are the facts … a democratic commons is financed by the people for the people … and yes the commons as defined means society or social … kinda hard to run an equal democracy without including everyone … or by excluding the same … I have lived as a working adult in Ca since 1972 and was in the trades as well as real estate during that time and beyond and yes I have seen the difference things have become and why … but then again this is a car club so I will get off my soap box and get back onto my car lift …. ha :lol:   …. peace   - uncle dave

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...