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Poppy's 55

Front Brake Concerns / This Car is Baffling!

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As a side note, the rear end with four link and open drive shaft, assure this puppy is setup correctly.  Off angle axle will create problems.  Specifically when you lift the front end at the drag strip off the line.  :)    

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

 Chris, if the front suspension is original, no ball joints. Still kingpins.

 

  Poppy at least whoever did the mods stayed with A Buick power train. 

 

 Don't run off and leave us. We all are not negative.  Come down just a little to the modified forum.

 

  Ben

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1 hour ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 Chris, if the front suspension is original, no ball joints. Still kingpins.

 

  Poppy at least whoever did the mods stayed with A Buick power train. 

 

 Don't run off and leave us. We all are not negative.  Come down just a little to the modified forum.

 

  Ben

 

Yes, sorry, Kingpins.  Been a while for me to crawl under my 54.  Tinkering with a 60 at the moment.  Kingpins....another pain in the arse in a different form.  Make sure these a tight. 

 

Oh yes,  please keep at it Poppy.  Eventually the list of bugs is squashed and you simply keep it shiny.  You drive the pants off of it.   The memory of all the bug fixes fads with each passing trouble free mile.  You will have them I assure you!    Keep us posted! 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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Take it to hotrod builder who will probably say he would have done it differently, but just get his opinion if it is workable and safe.  When you get the front suspension sorted out which appears to be stock 1955, do a 4 wheel alignment.

A 'build sheet' from the original builder would have been useful, but it can be figured out.

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Thanks again guys. I'm not leaving and I probably should have posted this in the Modified section to begin with.

 

Right now the car is definitely a bunch of work sorting things out and repairing things as I find them but I am definitely not dissuaded. 

 

Today I ordered a Wilwood front disk brake conversion kit, which will also resolve my lug bolt versus lug nut issue, the bushings and new end links for the sway bar, a few other small items AND, as I was working under the front end yesterday I got dripped on by what I thought was water tight radiator. NOT! I found a spot that had been previously soldered was breaking down. The "patch" just fell right off. So, I pulled the radiator and then found a few spots in the fins that had obviously been oozing for some time. I figured it would be no problem so off I went this morning to my local radiator repair shop and he tells me he can't help me with it. Doesn't work on these old things anymore. Tried another place and they said the same thing. Something about the construction, the type of fins or coils or something. So, after a couple hours of online research I bought a direct fit unit from a place in NY. It's all aluminum and should do the trick.

 

Sure am glad I have a very understanding and supportive wife! These expenses are a little harder to swallow since we retired. 

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If you can, please post source and part numbers of your replacements and for sure tell how it worked out.  And don't throw the old parts away unless completely  not serviceable...they be of some value to others:  front drums, bearings if drums are out of specs, etc. 

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I wouldn't mind seeing more pictures of how the rear conversion was done

 

The torque tube is not my favourite part of my buick

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8 hours ago, avgwarhawk said:

Keep at it.  You will get all the bugs out.  Lord knows my 54 was loaded with bugs created by "a rebuilder" in VA. 

 

Paul - what he said ^ :)  For what it's worth my 55 has been on the road for 35 years and there are still minor bugs that crop up to chase  - a new rattle or squeak on an interstate expansion joint where the car was rattle free, a heater switch that gets flaky, a Ranco valve that gets stuck.  Right now am replacing all the wheel cylinders, a master cylinder kit, stop light switch, brake shoes and hoses.  Could have sworn I just did that not too long ago and looked in my record book and Holy Christmas it was 18 years ago.  Whoops.

 

It took me about 10 years to undo all the poor man fixes my grandfather did to keep this "stock" car going on his budget (like packing concrete and window screen around a cracked exhaust manifild - hey it worked but what a PITA to get apart), and get it reliable - although in the early 80s it was my only ride for 4 years, year round, and I just kept up with things and learned. It wasn't until I rebuilt all the suspension components, steering, brakes that the car felt road solid; the accessories (fuel pump, regulator, water pump, radiator, generator) that it became more reliable, some budget to carry spare parts,  and more recently after radial tires, transmission, engine rebuilds and adding AC the car really became relaxing and rather spirited to drive.  Life got in the way as they say causing my incremental restoration but the car has been licensed and in service every year since April of 83.  Rebuilding things for the second or third time over the vehicles life gets easier and quicker. 

 

9 hours ago, Poppy's 55 said:

Not to be disrespectful but while I can look at pictures and go to car shows and appreciate fully restored original cars, they are not for me in any way. I'm not very interested in driving around in my grandfathers old Buick. I was looking for a resto-mod and I found one. Now I need to find ways to get it right. This just doesn't seem to be the place to help.

 

I have found some other more helpful forums so I'm good.

 

You have a nice cruiser with a mix of newer parts.  It is absolutely solvable. You will get it up the power curve.   Recommend going through a list of needs and wants, get a budgetary planning number together for yearly financials to help gauge what commitment you want to put into it to avoid potential discouragement.  Helped me.  You have some good advice to get a professional "eyes on target" assessment and make sure it's safe.  You'll make it your tasteful own and you'll keep finding "stuff" along the way - that happens - if you're handy that's where we can help. The folks on this forum really are a deep bench of accurate knowledge and innovation  - keep 'em rolling.

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Poppy, You car is TOO COOL, I have been wanting to do a driveline and suspension upgrade to my old 56 Special for quite some time. If I had your car, since the drivetrain and rear suspension have all ready been upgraded why not do the COMPLETE front end too? That would only enhance the value and get it steering and stopping like it should. I believe a Mustang ll front end with a power rack and pinion and disc brake conversion is would be the answer to your problems!!!!…..Ed

Edited by Roadhog1951 (see edit history)
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Another example of why a person should keep a log book of and\y and all modifications.  It should stay in the glove compartment at all times.  In this case the new owner would know what he was working with and what parts to order.  If Poppy starts one now it will help him when/if his memory starts to get fuzzy.

Happy motoring.

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So a couple of updates.

 

I ordered my replacement radiator from Wizard Cooling and it's on the way. Looks like a great improvement over the old factory unit. This version also has a trans cooler in the bottom tank. My current transmission has no cooler that I can see so I will figure out how to take advantage of this.

 

I started the front brake conversion. The Wilwood kit seems pretty straightforward. There was a spec problem though as the lugs in one of the rotors were pressed in incorrectly resulting in the inability to fit the provided 0.20" spacer over the lugs. They are sending out a replacement. The kit part number from Summit is: WIL-140-12321. 

 

In picture form .. from here to here today.

 

wizard cooling 1955 buick century direct fit aluminum radiator.jpg

20180711_134723.jpg

20180712_142722.jpg

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Trans cooler might be difficult if there aren't any cooler lines. You've already bought the radiator but I would suggest getting an external cooler that's ribbed, not finned. 

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