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Buick flightpitch and dynaflow


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Dear fellas!

 

I'm Ron and new to this forum here, this is my first question...

 

I've bought 58 Super 2dr hardtop coupe and want to get rid of stupid flightpitch convertor and maybe swap to a 3 or 4 gear overdrive auto like TH350 or 200R4!

 

Which options did i have here, read about a fully swap to open driveshaft, cuz tq tube won't work?

 

What about to swap to a fixed stall converter instead of flight pitch?

 

And any options on a shorter rear gear ratio like 3.91 or 4.11, and gear sets from prev or similar Buick rear ends may match here?

 

Tia,

Ron

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What are you trying to fix?

 

How is a fixed pitch converter going to work against a 1:1 ratio final drive? There is no gear shifting......🙄

 

Dynaflow only automatic transmission I know of with a passing gear in Reverse!😉

 

Also, there is passing gear in L (Low). Not the best for longevity, but put it in Low and floor it, see if it takes off nice. Raise foot to get into regular Low, then shift to Drive. Yes, it IS hard on internal parts/u-joints/etc.😲

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I want more/better acceleration, they all said, most of the power from engine is lost in flight pitch and auto trans, so these r the 3 parts where i can change to get more acceleration,  converter, trans and rear diff ratio...

 

To use the mechanical way like shift from L to D doesn't sound healthy, in regards to longevity?!

 

And every connection from radial seal on inlet main shaft to the rear is pissing, so i have to change every gasket and i'm thinking of, why not do anything better here, while i'm in there?!

 

Regards,

Ron 

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There are adapters to put a more modern transmission behind your engine. Then you have to change the drive from torque tube to open drive, this means replacing the rear axle and re engineering the rear suspension. A good hot rod shop should be able to fix you up for $20,000 or so. The adapters are so expensive, it doesn't cost much more to replace the engine while you are at it. Maybe $25,000 all told. They will also put in a modern rear axle with a good selection of ratios. Then, it will only cost $500 or so to try each different ratio until you find one you like.

 

Or, if you want a more modern, better performing car you could just buy one.

 

Or, if you like the looks and style of your Buick you could learn to enjoy the smoothness and performance it has. If it is running right you won't be passed by any boomers on mobility scooters. Have you even tried driving it as is?

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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I forgot you are in Germany. Forget what I said above, those are US prices. If you can find a shop to do the work in Germany expect it to cost considerably more. Are you even allowed to make such drastic alterations on a car used on public roads?

 

Best and cheapest answer is to replace seals as necessary, if the transmission has to come out it may be a good time for an overhaul or rebuild. Who can do this in Germany and how much it might cost I don't know.

 

I should add, that newer transmissions may be more efficient but yours is not the hopeless mess you have been told. Enjoy its smoothness and convenience, that is what it was made for. As for performance you will have lots of power for all practical purposes. It's not a race car and was never meant to be one.

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 Things to consider;

Dynaflow was made because it's makers wanted a smooth seamless automatic void of proper gear changes like other automatic's especially GM's own 4 speed HydraMatic which Buick's executives called HydraJerk, conversely HydraMatic engineers called Dynaflow the Dynaslow or Dynaslush . In Dynaflow It's ratios Are the converter itself. The stator is what gives Dynaflow it's seamless ratio changes. If you went to a fixed stator then you would either be according to the angle of the stator either be in multiplication ( reduction) or a high ratio for cruising, so I would forget about doing that.

 

Like Rusty says; " I should add, that newer transmissions may be more efficient but yours is not the hopeless mess you have been told. Enjoy its smoothness and convenience, that is what it was made for. As for performance you will have lots of power for all practical purposes. It's not a race car and was never meant to be one. " A case in point in today's CVT automatic's. I have a CVT in one of my new cars. When accelerating you actually don't feel like you are accelerating at a rapid rate until you observe the speedometer.

 

If you wanted to modify you car which I wouldn't recommend, the best way to make the car appear like a Buick would be to get a complete Drivetrain from a 1964-1966 full size Buick. It would still have a large ( 401 or 425 ) Nailhead V-8 that already adapts to the ST400 automatic, open driveshaft, and a rear differential in the range of 2.56 to around 2.69. You wouldn't need a deeper rear end gear because of the torque of the big engine and the T400 has a switch pitch torque converter of 52 degrees for multiplication and switches for economy/high mileage cruising at 32 degrees which equals high torque big engine, a automatic with torque multiplication of 52 degrees means you don't need a deep geared rear end ratio.

 

Food for thought: I'm a HydraMatic fan. Up until 1964 if you wanted a HydraMatic you had three choices in G.M's family. Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Pontiac.

 Personally I would accept the Buick for what it is. To radically change it with another type of non Buick engine would mean it's not a Buick anymore.

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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I owned a 1960 Buick Electra for about 15 years. It worked really well with the Dynaflow trans. It kept up with modern traffic and could regularly overtake the moderns. The acceleration was very strong with the 401 engine and in 'low' it would leave two black lines on the road. What more do you want?

 

It is not a car for drag racing, or burnouts, if you want to do that go and buy a Nissan drift car.

 

It is a very smooth and characterful road car. Lots of fun. Honestly!

 

Adam..

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I think if Mr Fanatics had his Buick on the road and working correctly he would find the performance satisfactory. What would make him scream is the lousy gas mileage, around 11MPG hiway and 8 city, according to contemporary road tests. I don't think there is any way to improve that significantly and any mods to that end, would take at least 100 years to pay for themselves. The only thing to do is grin and bear it, and reflect that for the limited amount he would be driving the car , it is worth a couple of hundred Euros a year.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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It's all good, i can hear ya all and i don't wanna track a '58 Buick, it isn't the only car i own, it's only that German engineer in my self which keeps me trying, to make good things even better, u overrated my post or questions here so please be calm and don't try to interpret things, i never said before, so no track, no burn outs and in the end no better fuel mileage was the goal here, ty guys!

 

So to say, it's a complicated system at all, i can't change the converter with another loss on the other side, if i want something "better", i have to swap everything to a drivetrain of a newer car or better buy a newer itself, is that correct?

 

Regards,

Ron

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7 hours ago, Riv_fanatics said:

It's all good, i can hear ya all and i don't wanna track a '58 Buick, it isn't the only car i own, it's only that German engineer in my self which keeps me trying, to make good things even better, u overrated my post or questions here so please be calm and don't try to interpret things, i never said before, so no track, no burn outs and in the end no better fuel mileage was the goal here, ty guys!

 

So to say, it's a complicated system at all, i can't change the converter with another loss on the other side, if i want something "better", i have to swap everything to a drivetrain of a newer car or better buy a newer itself, is that correct?

 

Regards,

Ron

 

 Correct, but not exactly, If you do a engine, trans, driveshaft, third member. Remember this; A 364 nailhead almost looks like a 401 or 425 nailhead. If you make that swap from a 1964-1966 Buick drivetrain your car will not be stock,  but at least your car will be ALL Buick. Their won't be too many people looking underneath the car, but in the engine compartment you can make the swap almost invisible. To a great many of us partial to a particular brand  the engine IS the brand. The worst thing you can do is drop in a engine from another make of car. 

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The way the Buick is built, makes it very difficult to change any part of the drive train without changing everything else. The best thing to do is keep everything stock if possible. The design philosophy at Buick, was to make the smoothest, quietest, most comfortable car they could make. Performance was secondary, but don't think the Buick was a slow car on the road because it wasn't. Economy came well down on the list. Gas mileage was hardly considered. Gasoline in the US cost 20 cents to 25 cents per gallon and Buicks sold in the next to highest price class, in fact their most expensive models cost as much as a Cadillac or Lincoln. So the cost of fuel was not a big concern to the typical Buick buyer.

So, get it running as well as possible and enjoy it for what it is, one of the best luxury cars of the Detroit chrome and tailfins era.

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36 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

The way the Buick is built, makes it very difficult to change any part of the drive train without changing everything else. The best thing to do is keep everything stock if possible. The design philosophy at Buick, was to make the smoothest, quietest, most comfortable car they could make. Performance was secondary, but don't think the Buick was a slow car on the road because it wasn't. Economy came well down on the list. Gas mileage was hardly considered. Gasoline in the US cost 20 cents to 25 cents per gallon and Buicks sold in the next to highest price class, in fact their most expensive models cost as much as a Cadillac or Lincoln. So the cost of fuel was not a big concern to the typical Buick buyer.

So, get it running as well as possible and enjoy it for what it is, one of the best luxury cars of the Detroit chrome and tailfins era.

 

 

 Suggesting a complete 64-66 Buick  matching drivetrain.

 

Buick was not a slow car, California HWY patrol had a fleet of them in 1955.

 

Buick's did sell in the next highest class, however Buick did a lot of undercutting Sloans price structure ( which made Buick #3 in U.S. maker sales in the 40's and early 50's ) example;

1955

Cadillac...…. $ 3882-6402

Buick...………. $ 2291- 3552

Olds……………$ 2297- 3276

Pontiac...……$ 2164-2962

Chevrolet...…$ 1685-2472 

 

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Yes, would be the best to leave all as it is for less stress, i want drive, not wrench...

 

Btw, my first car is a Cadillac, but "only" 2005 CTS-V 😁

 

Thx for ur input here guys, i will follow ur advice and stay original in drivetrain, if i want more, i have to buy another car with better options for tuning and no, i would never swap to another makes engine, the Nailhead was 90% the reason to buy this car and it has a 401 in it from prev owner...

 

Regards,

Ron

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52 minutes ago, Riv_fanatics said:

Yes, would be the best to leave all as it is for less stress, i want drive, not wrench...

 

Btw, my first car is a Cadillac, but "only" 2005 CTS-V 😁

 

Thx for ur input here guys, i will follow ur advice and stay original in drivetrain, if i want more, i have to buy another car with better options for tuning and no, i would never swap to another makes engine, the Nailhead was 90% the reason to buy this car and it has a 401 in it from prev owner...

 

Regards,

Ron

 

 

So you are saying the '58 Super's 364 engine was changed out for a 401 before you bought it?

I didn't know that could be done.

Does the engine / block number bear that out?

Externally they appear the same just looking at them.

 

Would love to see pictures of your car.

Doug

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I looked at the valley pan, but there where no letters visible, only difference i see is one bolt hole from power steering bracket is missing on thermostat cross member from head to head and oil dipstick part# said it's from a '65 engine, any additional ideas how to verify a 401 engine?

 

Sadly i forget to introduce me and my car in the welcome area, will do that asap...

20190718_201114.jpg

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What a stunning car. I have never seen one in such an eye popping color scheme. I bet it makes quite an impression on any German street. My uncle had one just like it, in aqua with a white roof, he loved that car. The first 4 lane, limited access hiway (autobahn)  in this area was hiway 401 opened in 1963. We used to cruise to Oshawa 60km away at 110MPH (175 KM Hr) in his 58 Buick. In those days you might pass 2 or 3 cars the whole way.

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Thank u gentleman's, i bit restrained color would be also fine for me, but it is, what it is, not that big choice here on a 2dr hardtop coupe and yes, ppls in Germany freak out everywhere, if they see that car !!!

 

Where r numbers or letters on that engine to determine which one it is?

 

I heard about in the distributor area on the block and see some numbers on the head?!

 

Regards,

Ron 

20190718_201027.jpg

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Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated fame tested the 1958 Buick Century in June of that year. I have the magazine in front of me. The Century was like your car but with the more powerful Roadmaster motor. Since your car has a newer motor they should be comparable, in fact your car should be faster.

He reports 0 to 60 acceleration time of 10 seconds, 0 to 30 in 3.9,  good but not sensational for a powerful car. On the other hand it got from 40 -60 in 5.4 which is really good. He also reported driving at over 100 MPH for 40 miles without stress. Top speed, above 110MPH. In other words up to 50MPH performance was just average, while at higher speeds it was better than average. He doesn't say so but I suspect the transmission is responsible for this.

He was impressed with the brakes which feature aluminum front brake drums for better heat dissipation but was not so happy with the cornering or handling. He felt it rolled too much in hard cornering and the slippery bench seat made it hard to stay behind the wheel in hard left turns. He described the steering gear ratio of 28:1 as resembling the old Bridgeport trolley. He liked the windshield which he found nearly free of distortion, unlike some other wrap around jobs. It gave plenty of visibility but also was low enough to shade the driver's eyes from sun glare.

He described the Variable Pitch Dynaflow transmission as being as smooth as a steam turbine and completely nude of harshness. The manufacturer claimed the new dual exhaust system, standard equipment on Limited and Roadmaster and optional on Special and Century, gave an extra 18HP and better gas mileage.

He liked the trip mileage indicator on the speedometer, a little nicety not found on all cars and the Trailmaster Light, an accessory spotlight/rear view mirror which his test car had.

In summing up he called the car as comfortable as electric drawers in a blizzard, and undoubtedly will prove as reliable as high tide twice a day at Coney Island. As your car is still going strong 60 years later I would say he got that right.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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41 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated fame tested the 1958 Buick Century in June of that year. I have the magazine in front of me. The Century was like your car but with the more powerful Roadmaster motor. Since your car has a newer motor they should be comparable, in fact your car should be faster.

He reports 0 to 60 acceleration time of 10 seconds, 0 to 30 in 3.9,  good but not sensational for a powerful car. On the other hand it got from 40 -60 in 5.4 which is really good. He also reported driving at over 100 MPH for 40 miles without stress. Top speed, above 110MPH. In other words up to 50MPH performance was just average, while at higher speeds it was better than average. He doesn't say so but I suspect the transmission is responsible for this.

He was impressed with the brakes which feature aluminum front brake drums for better heat dissipation but was not so happy with the cornering or handling. He felt it rolled too much in hard cornering and the slippery bench seat made it hard to stay behind the wheel in hard left turns. He described the steering gear ratio of 28:1 as resembling the old Bridgeport trolley. He liked the windshield which he found nearly free of distortion, unlike some other wrap around jobs. It gave plenty of visibility but also was low enough to shade the driver's eyes from sun glare.

He described the Variable Pitch Dynaflow transmission as being as smooth as a steam turbine and completely nude of harshness. The manufacturer claimed the new dual exhaust system, standard equipment on Limited and Roadmaster and optional on Special and Century, gave an extra 18HP and better gas mileage.

He liked the trip mileage indicator on the speedometer, a little nicety not found on all cars and the Trailmaster Light, an accessory spotlight/rear view mirror which his test car had.

In summing up he called the car as comfortable as electric drawers in a blizzard, and undoubtedly will prove as reliable as high tide twice a day at Coney Island. As your car is still going strong 60 years later I would say he got that right.

Good Ol Tom. A legend for sure. What a way with words. 

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Yes, most of his sayings r still true, think i need a full adjustment on carb and ignition, then acceleration can be better, we will see...

 

I have a Super, only Century has the low compression ratio 8.5, all others has a 10 and 300hp instead of 250, for sure big numbers in that time, if all wents good, i hit a dyno this year for adjustment...

 

Regards,

Ron

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3 hours ago, Riv_fanatics said:

Yes, most of his sayings r still true, think i need a full adjustment on carb and ignition, then acceleration can be better, we will see...

 

I have a Super, only Century has the low compression ratio 8.5, all others has a 10 and 300hp instead of 250, for sure big numbers in that time, if all wents good, i hit a dyno this year for adjustment...

 

Regards,

Ron

 

The 58 Buick Special series 40  M/T has a 210 hp 364" eng. with 8 to one compression and 2bbl carb. The automatic has a 250 HP 364"eng. with 9.5 to one compression and 2bbl carb. 

 

The 1958 Super, series 50 automatic has a 364" engine with 8.5 compression 4bbl carb and 290 HP

The 58 Super, series 50 Automatic optional engine package is a 364" engine with 10.0 to one compression and 300 HP

 

The Buick Century with Flight pitch Automatic has a 364 " engine, 10.0 to one compression, a 4bbl. carb and 300 HP

The Buick Century with Variable pitch Automatic has a 364" engine, 10.0 to one compression, a 4bbl carb and 300HP. 

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3 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

I thought your car has been changed to a 401 engine?

My thoughts as well until he brought up;

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                         <  I have a Super, only Century has the low compression ratio 8.5, all others has a 10 and 300hp instead of 250, for sure big numbers in that time, if all wents good, i hit a dyno this year for adjustment... >

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I pointed out the Century has no low compression engine, but the Special does as well, as the Super here is the spec's:

 

The 58 Buick Special series 40  M/T has a 210 hp 364" eng. with 8 to one compression and 2bbl carb. The automatic has a 250 HP 364"eng. with 9.5 to one compression and 2bbl carb. 

 

The 1958 Super, series 50 automatic has a 364" engine with 8.5 compression 4bbl carb and 290 HP

The 58 Super, series 50 Automatic optional engine package is a 364" engine with 10.0 to one compression and 300 HP

 

The Buick Century with Flight pitch Automatic has a 364 " engine, 10.0 to one compression, a 4bbl. carb and 300 HP

The Buick Century with Variable pitch Automatic has a 364" engine, 10.0 to one compression, a 4bbl carb and 300HP. 

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