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1955 Special with a Hemi


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28 minutes ago, NC-car-guy said:

What happens to pinion angle at "slammed height"

Through the magic of the four link it only changes a few degrees. My 2 year old son “helped” me by dropping my digital angle finder in my bucket of water for cooling hot parts so I can’t tell you exactly right now. Amazon tells me the new one should be here Saturday morning so can update then. 

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Edited by Kberjian (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Home for a few days in a row so got back to work/play. Pulled apart the front drivers side and figured out how I am doing the airbag here. It is a little tricky since the lower control arm is cast and I don’t want to weld to it. I removed the stock spring plate and then thought I could point out the rivets that held it.... not a chance. I ended up drilling them each out. I am relocating the spring plate from 3/8” plate and will remount it back on the top of the control arm with some grade 8 bolts replacing the rivets. For the top I am debating either welding on a plate across the frame and blocking off the stock spring location, or making a spacer from some 6” pipe and plate. See how I feel about it in the morning. I received the Willwood disc brake kit so that will go on too. 

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On 8/18/2019 at 12:57 AM, Smartin said:

I believe that is forged, not cast.

I agree after doing some research. I was worried about having a cast part being loaded like that but they will be fine being forged. Appreciate the feedback. 

 

 

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I now have 1 corner on air ride. Just need the compressor plumbed to it. I am happy with how it all fits and works. I will double check for clearance in the spring pocket and trim as needed to ensure it clears easily when fully compressed. 

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On 7/28/2019 at 2:46 AM, Kberjian said:

Also pulled the stock rear suspension and differential out. Quite a setup with the torque tube and how it all worked. Replacement is a 8.8” Ford from a new F150 with a four link and disc brakes. Plan on replacing the coil springs with air bags. Also doing bags on the front. Won’t be going crazy to lay frame but want it to be low when I can and also level when pulling a trailer. Will try and retain the stock panhard bar as it seems pretty solid. 

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The original rear  should be a 3.91 ratio because of the standard trans .

Wish you were closer to Maryland !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill

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6 hours ago, billbuickgs said:

The original rear  should be a 3.91 ratio because of the standard trans .

Wish you were closer to Maryland !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill

I am shipping stuff that way for work every other month or so and I might be able to get it headed that way for you. Cross

border paperwork might be my only issue. 

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Started the rear with some 6” std wall pipe and cut it into a 5” piece. Then I chopped it into six pieces and made the spacer for the airbag that will still give me access into the middle to put fasteners into the bag and to hold it up into the frame. Used some 1/4” plate for the top and bottom plates. 

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Drilled a big center hole to bolt to the stock spring mount and then the mount/airline holes for the top of the airbag. Next job is the lower bag mount plate. Looking at the picture I will need to touch up the plasma cut edges a bit more....

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  • 1 month later...

Christmas (and snow) came early this year. My delivery from speedway made it here. It included the compressor, valves and control system for the air ride system. Also had the panhard bar I needed to finish the rear end. I celebrated by pulling the engine and trans out to pull off the wiring harness and also change out the output housing to the 2wd version for this trans. 

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Had lots of fun today. Pulled the wiring harness off the engine and am sending it and the ECU to Swap Specialties for them to build me a new one and reprogram ECU to run engine/trans and omit the need for all the extra stuff like EVAP, catalytic converter, wheel speed sensors, etc. 

 

Also so did something I was worried about which was changing the transmission over from the 4wd housing to the extension housing and shaft for the 2wd. It all came apart and back together great. Just need to clean and paint the rest of engine and trans to match. Also will need to rework the trans mount since it is different than the 4wd mount... grr. 

 

Last was some cleanup of the engine bay by taking out the stock engine mounts, the brake and clutch assemblies, part of the battery tray and then finish welding the engine mounts in place. Also finish welded the engine mounts that bolt to the engine. 

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  • 1 month later...

A bit of progress, i cleaned the interior floor and primed it to be ready for routing wiring and the air lines. Mounted the compressor and air tank. Got some new steelies and will be mounting the old Buick center caps to them. Scored some freebies from work including some shelves and an old broken drill press. Changed out the motor and cleaned it up and oiled it and it works great. 

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Started my week off by installing my new throttle body. I needed something cable actuated and with a throttle position sensor and a idle air control motor so I ended up with a LS engine based Edelbrock 90mm one. I picked up a adapter but it didn’t work since the intake had centering pins which the adapter didn’t, and the bottom of the adapter and throttle body both hit the intake and needed to be filed down 1/8” or so. Fits perfect now and plugs into the Holley harness. 

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Worked on the transmission change out today. Pulled off the stock 545RFE trans and started installing the adapter I bought to hook up to the 4L80E. It is a nice kit and everything is working pretty well. Should get it buttoned up tomorrow. 
 

I also installed the new painless wiring harness and terminated the easy stuff like the rear lights and head light area. I am de sting taking off the dash to make the switch hook up easier but am not sure. 
 

I am sure that I wish my shop was heated, it is -15c here now and it is tough on the fingers trying to do wiring. 

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17 minutes ago, Kberjian said:

Worked on the transmission change out today. Pulled off the stock 545RFE trans and started installing the adapter I bought to hook up to the 4L80E. It is a nice kit and everything is working pretty well. Should get it buttoned up tomorrow. 
 

I also installed the new painless wiring harness and terminated the easy stuff like the rear lights and head light area. I am de sting taking off the dash to make the switch hook up easier but am not sure. 
 

I am sure that I wish my shop was heated, it is -15c here now and it is tough on the fingers trying to do wiring. 

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Dang...if only we all had that kind of motivation!

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  • 11 months later...
I had the spacers for the back wheels bored out on a lathe to fit on the centering hub on the rear end. Fits great! Took the shop 30 minutes!
100mm diameter by 5mm deep. Had to clean up the hub with a wire wheel to get it to fit on so it is a good tight fit. 

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So I have made lots of progress on the car since my last post, but I am trying something different to share it. I started making videos that will walk through the work I am doing and uploading them to YouTube. I have a intro video where I tell you about the history of this car and the changes up to Dec 2020, then I started making individual videos for the little project I do along the way. Here is a link to the playlist for this Buick. I will be uploading a new video every week so subscribe if you find them interesting!
 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Here is the build thread for the car I worked on before this Buick, a 1929 Willys I build from ground up!  It was alot of fun to make!
 
 
 
 
I also finished the video for the air ride suspension setup. The car has around 7" of air ride travel.
 
 
Edited by Kberjian (see edit history)
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Somehow in the past 50+ years the fuel filler assembly from the car vanished. I have tried searching for a stock replacement with no luck. I decided to make my own using a generic fuel filler assembly from Amazon, some mandrel bend 2"  pipe, and a whole lot of cutting and welding. I am happy with the result other than I need to replace the silicone orange coupler from the tank to the first hard line since silicone isn't fuel rated. I have a rubber piece on the way and will install it before I fill it up for the first time.

Here is the video!
https://youtu.be/GECzLXq5tN0

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally moved back into my place. Took quite a few trips with my big heavy 29' trailer but I made it. I am so stoked to be back! I missed the space and all of the tools I had to leave behind. I ended up finding a brand new two post lift a guy was selling because it wouldn't fit into his garage, will make my life alot easier. Will get focused on starting the Buick again soon! I have also concluded that 8 is too many floor jacks for 1 guy to have in his home garage....

 

 

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No progress on the Buick yet but I did have some fun with other projects. I worked with my brother to unload his Essex truck and put it into storage. He was working on it for a while but with a growing family he needed more space. The new project was a 1949 Olds, we cleaned it out, and changed out the rear end. His plans are a SBC, 700R4,  and air ride suspension. I also worked on finishing the inside of my shop with insulation and drywall. It is a ton of work to do the 16' walls by yourself off a ladder but I am making some decent progress. Winter is coming before we know it so I want to be prepared with insulated walls and a heater.

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