thegnu

my first buick and now most recent

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this pic of my 76 lesabre really takes me back I got this car in the early 90's from a guy who had no idea what he was trying to do . an this is what I did with it . 80% restore with minor mods . sold it long ago . fast forward 2 weeks ago I traded a rx7 v 8 converted  built race car for a dream  I have had for many years . 55 Roadmaster Riviera ! good clean body but in its life many changes have been made that would be a pain to undo so I am going to finish the resto mod an bring her back to beautiful . I am just so happy this one still has the 322 nailhead still in it !

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You made the right decision!!!  Cool solid looking roadmaster there.  Can't wait to see more of it.

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the mazda was preety impressive . heres a couple pics . right now I am waiting on a bunch of front end parts to get here so I can start the kingpin repair an disc brake conversion on the buick . next step will be swaping out the transmission an rear end . I want to get rid of the powerglide that's in it an install a glide I took from a 70 Camaro along with a rear end  I got that we took out of a modified dirt track car, my only concern is I will probably have to beef up the oem trailing arms as they look a lil bit too light . guys keep telling me to swap them for a early 70 chevy truck but in my opinion they are so big there wont be any room for exhaust pipes an mufflers.

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Yea, there's no "beefing" up those "trailing arms".  you need to do a full rear suspension change.  The c-10 parts can be modified to work, I think Russ Martin makes a kit, or you can get a fab-it-yourself starter set.  Don't throw out stuff you don't use, post in the buy/sell section!

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My 53 Super restomod sitting at the top of my info has an 81 Ols cutlass front clip,cpp dropped spindles, 66 elcamino rear with fabricated 4link on stock coils. Runs,drives, handles great.My 55 Century was rebuilt stock from engine to rearend. Runs,drives,handles great. The difference between the two is the 53 was found in a junkyard with no running gear at all whereas the 55 was completely original to start with. I can’t really say one is better handling or riding than the other. But for the amount of fab work done,just to update so to speak? You’ve got the stance right,just go with what you got. FWIW 

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actually I think the rear needs to come down about 2 more inches I want the car level , theres not as much fab work to do as you may think theres a trans kit available to adapt any gm  trans to that motor an its fairly reasonable .

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If you don't 4-link or add heavy duty trailing arms from the rear axle to the frame, you'll swap ends fairly quickly. The torque tube that encases the drive shaft on these Buicks, from the Dynaflow torque ball to the differential carrier, takes up the lateral thrust of the rear end and is the only thing keeping the rear end where it is. The radius rod is only there to locate the body over the center of the frame when the coils are loaded.

 

Good luck with the swap, though. When you get it done, that 322 will definitely haul.

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9 hours ago, Beemon said:

If you don't 4-link or add heavy duty trailing arms from the rear axle to the frame, you'll swap ends fairly quickly. The torque tube that encases the drive shaft on these Buicks, from the Dynaflow torque ball to the differential carrier, takes up the lateral thrust of the rear end and is the only thing keeping the rear end where it is. The radius rod is only there to locate the body over the center of the frame when the coils are loaded.

 

Good luck with the swap, though. When you get it done, that 322 will definitely haul.

OH OK , I figured that but seriously wasn't sure , I had done some meausrements on space available an assumed if I at least doubled their diameter an used heavier wall tube it should make up for the loss of the tourque tube . most of the oldies I have worked on have already been swapped so I don't have much experience with them in all seriousness. you just gave me something more to consider before I make final decision to swap or not . THANK YOU !

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started doing what i can while i wait on parts doors are cleaned greased an realigned . OUT WITH the oem door panels , my son Collin helped me lay out an install the new door panels , less upholstery for now . theres a few jobs done ! gonna take a break an the realign the entire front end shortly . then back inside to make the interior 1/4 trim change out a window regulator an begin fitting the leather back seats . hopefully all this done by sunday night. thank god my wife likes my hobby !

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doors cleaned greased an aligned w new door panels 005.JPG

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I had a 55 Century 2 dr and 4 dr hdtps. I had no broken glass but the window winders, non power, were very stiff. As I have done with lots of cars in the past I disassembled everything,cleaned it all,used my high speed wire brush on all the track and winders greased liberally and put back together. Did that on my 40 sedan also. Windows and tracks then adjusted. Windows then roll up and down with very little effort. It’s one of those projects on a car that take no money,lots of labor with tremendous results.

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well its 2:30 am an I can say this if I could show a real difference in how all the body panels fit on the 55 you may notice an ya may not , I notice tho an that hood is the hardest panel I have ever aligned in my entire career ! it didn't help that obviously the cars had a love tap on the left side an it wasn't correctly repaired had to bottle jack the hinge mount  up an 1/8 inch . an straighten the hinge side of the hood a bit underneath . tore up my paint work but that happens an its getting repainted anyway . looks like 1/4 trim interior panels an maybe back seat tomorrow .

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On my 53 it’s very hard to get a good rear of hood to cowl fit though the other 3 sides are good. Did the best I could. My 55s were a lot better. If I remember the hinges had a vertical adjustment to get the rear of hood to cowl correct,along with fore and aft to get it centered. Plus the front corners were too tight so I had to loosen all fender bolts and wiggle the fenders out ward till I had about 1/8” all around. My hinges were excellent so if I closed the hood carefully it would go down straight. The hood itself has little internal bracing so it tends to wobble as you close it.Best practices are to bring it down carefully to click the safety catch then firmly close from there. Can’t slam it. Also make sure your hood bumpers are new or excellent so they will guide the hood down correctly. Finally keep the hinges lubed and moving freely. With all that said and done you should have chip free paint.

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2 hours ago, RiKi5156B said:

. With all that said and done you should have chip free paint.

CHIP FREE PAINT ! I just started treating it like any other restoration or semi restoration that comes through my garage . I may just strip it after its gotten its bumps from all the repairs an changes i'm making . I have to keep telling my self to NOT  let it snowball into a ground up restoration , I don't want to feel like a slave to my ride cause I like to drive them a lot . its more about getting it back to my vision of nice an clean an very respectable .

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came back to the garage to finish what I started yesterday , pulled both rear side window regulators cleaned greased an the one had a hack job repair that was about to fail so I repaired the lift arm . an reinstalled . an dove head long into installing the Bonneville rear seats , pulled out  the old side panels an made new ones stripped off the upholstery cleand an repainted the armrests capped them with what will be the new top faces . made a few minor mods to both the car an seats an POOF new seats . nothing left to do here except make some peripheral  filler panels an done , probable do those tomorrow night . then onto the front seats . over all a good 8 hours on the car .

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this week end  , upgraded brakes !  an dual chamber master cylinder . lot of work but worth it . im not happy with the brake lines to the proportioning valve an can only attribute that to being tired an in a slight hurry , I may go back an make new ones .

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2 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

What parts are you using for the brakes? 

scarebird disc adaptors they are the best an well worth the kit  ! it uses 76 rivi rotors an bearings , caprice brake hoses , awd astro calipers an pads . then you will need to either block the stock 1/4 in feed to the distribution block or get a new brass 3 way t fitting , summit racing disc drum conversion proportioning valve , an finally a 76 rivi master cylinder . but  you will need to make a new push rod for the master cyl , you can use the oem fork if you get grade 10 allthread in the matching diameter an thread pitch you should also find a small piece of tubing an assemble it as shown in my pics. an finally you will need to fabricate a carrier hoop for the pushrod an install it near the smooth tubing an attach to the master cyl mount . this is only to be sure that in the odd chance that rod should come out of the master cly cup it cannot . now I have brakes that are so firm an stop so much better takes about 2 days to complete .

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completed the power seat install , next up build a console an install good gauges in the dash an a new wiper motor , that's the easy stuff wiring aint one of my strong points gonna have to take my time an get it right .

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wow where to start , the list of annoyance problems continues , went under dash to change out the gauges an the wiring harness was laid in beautifully , but not a single grommet or piece of sheathing to prevent chafing where the wires pass over or through metal ,an weak connections abounded, the radio was hacked apart clearly for its parts (???why???), an not a single control cable would function remotely close to proper . an correcting these problems took me forever . now I should be able to actually get back on track installing the new wiper motor , ,replacing all the ductwork , an building the console . I'm frustrated but satisfied now these issues wont become bigger problems later especially in the electrical system!

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47 minutes ago, thegnu said:

wow where to start , the list of annoyance problems continues , went under dash to change out the gauges an the wiring harness was laid in beautifully , but not a single grommet or piece of sheathing to prevent chafing where the wires pass over or through metal ,an weak connections abounded, the radio was hacked apart clearly for its parts (???why???), an not a single control cable would function remotely close to proper . an correcting these problems took me forever . now I should be able to actually get back on track installing the new wiper motor , ,replacing all the ductwork , an building the console . I'm frustrated but satisfied now these issues wont become bigger problems later especially in the electrical system!

Yea, as long as you're this far into the car, wiring is a good thing to fix.  The heater cables due tend to lock up, I just soak my in WD40 rust soak, rinse, dry, lubricate, and good to go.

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I laid them in transmission fluid for a couple days then worked them back an forth for bout an hour then re soaked them wiped clean an installed .

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installed the new ,quality gauge set , instead of the cheapo's that were in there , also installed the electric wiper motor , easily the best an fastest conversion kit I ever have used ! just 1 thing about it I didn't like was you cannot use the oem switch bezel but I found a way .all heater ducting replaced an installed had a few minor issues with the heater control cables not wanting to move as freely as I previously had them but that's ok . (not like this will be out in bad weather when its finished . added all wiring I will need for the stereo I plan on installing an a smaller fuse panel added behind the planned console local  just in case I want to add air conditioning later . next up build a console

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