1956century

1956 Century - rough ride

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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

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Bias ply are not as forgiving as radials.  I hate rough roads with my bias ply.   Rides like a truck as you say.  

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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)

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There is a big part of your problem.

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

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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.   

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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? 

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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

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I got them from a guy that only made 200 of them and when he sold out he made no more. 

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1 hour ago, Airy Cat said:

I got them from a guy that only made 200 of them and when he sold out he made no more. 

 

That's a somewhat peculiar business model.

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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

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

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

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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.

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