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I have a 56 model 48 so I am really interested in this car in the link below. I have always wanted (dreamed) to modify my car just like this one!! Can any one tell me what the make/year of this suspension is?, It appears that there might have been a complete frame swap?  Anyone familiar with this car?,,,Thanks, Ed

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-Buick-Special-Custom/293318919763?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

 

 

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Brad, I'm sure they would have to add a couple of grand if they swept out that trunk!!!! It does appear to have the original 56 front suspension, except for the disc conversion but the change over to open drive shaft required those long trailing arms and a complete different rear end, looks like a pretty straight foreword and fairly easy job. I would sure like to know the make of that rear end and suspension!!!!!  

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That looks like a 1956 Buick frame and suspension to me. The rear suspension appears to be a mixture of original and aftermarket components grafted onto a GM 10-bolt axle. The factory trailing arms seem to have been modified to allow a tube-type shock mount and to bolt to the bottom of the axle tubes using a single U-bolt. They also appear to have created a mount for the panhard rod on the driver's side. That isn't a suspension from another car bolted onto a '56 Buick frame. There's a lot of work there. Whether it's quality work that I would trust at high speeds on the road is another topic altogether (I recon if you really stomp on the gas, that axle housing will eventually rotate in those U-bolts and start to wreak havoc with the rest of the mounting points and geometry, but that's just speculation).

 

If what you're really asking is whether there's a bolt-in suspension you can use to easily transform an old car into a less old car underneath, the answer is no. Nothing is a "simple bolt in" regardless of what the "kit" manufacturers claim. Nothing just unbolts from one car and bolts onto another one and miraculously works properly. If you are not a fabricator with a quality set of tools that include a welder, precision measuring devices, and some kind of chassis jig, this is a project that will quickly get you in over your head. If you don't have three times as much money to spend as you think you do, this project will break you. Making it fit is one thing; making it work properly is something else. As I said, the engineering on that car looks a little suspect and I'd bet that the risk of the axle rotating is but one of the issues that this particular Buick brings with it.

 

All old cars are crap. Modified cars are usually worse. Home-built modified cars are the worst of all. There are plenty of cars running around with owner-designed suspensions that technically work well enough to keep the car on the road. Would I want to drive many of them? Absolutely not. And I can say with certainty that 100% of the unfinished projects out there have started with, "Well, that looks easy enough!"

 

That also seems like a heck of a lot of work for no real reason other than to get an open driveshaft. Keep your Buick all Buick and spend that money elsewhere and you'll probably end up with a better car in the end anyway.

 

Nevertheless, if that green car is the car you want, you should buy it instead of trying to duplicate it. The money that they're asking for it probably won't get you where you want to go even if you start with your own car and work for free.

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The rear suspension arms look like the 1960-66 Chevy truck rear suspension, but they are not exactly the same as the Chevy parts. This "truck arm" type suspension is popular to use when converting a torque tube to an open driveline. And frankly, you'll spin the tires long before you rotate the axle housing in the U-bolt. As noted, this is a mix of aftermarket and repurposed parts. It's not a frame swap.

 

The Chevy truck arms look like this:

 

Dii1158.jpg

 

And yes, I realize the Chevy application puts the coil springs in front of the axle instead of on top of it. That's just a simple welded on bracket.

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=470290&stc=1

 

And FYI, the Panhard rod is stock 56 Buick.

 

56frameback.jpg.b0002268445b4f3d1063611d

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Getting rid of the torque tube is an invasive, expensive process. Using Chevrolet truck arms is probably the most common way to so it. Those sure look like Chevrolet truck arms to me. If they're not the same ones, I wonder what they came from?

 

For what it's worth, there are 2 types of the Chevrolet truck arms. The 60-61 version (used in the trucks with a torsion bar front suspension) ran at a wider angle than the later trucks (through 1972). The arms attach to the axle out much closer to the wheels on the 1960-61 trucks.

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58 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Getting rid of the torque tube is an invasive, expensive process.

 

Probably not nearly as difficult or expensive as you think. Looks like there's a plate welded just behind the center of the "X" to mount the forward pivots for the truck arms. The trans and rear axle are already designed for an open driveshaft, so once you have them mounted, just have a driveshaft shop make up the correct length shaft.

 

1956-buick-128.jpg

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1 hour ago, Roadhog1951 said:

I've been wanting to do this swap for some time and have looked a numerous conversions but this one looks like the neatest and simplest one yet! I have already located a doner truck!!! THANKS!!!!!,,

 

I think that if you are serious, you should call the dealership selling that 56 and tell them you are interested in it. Go look at it and take a LOT of pictures. 😉

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  • 3 weeks later...

To keep the axle from rotating you would weld the U- bolt cup to the axle at the natural angle the trailing arms attach to the axle.

 

When doing suspension work, you need to make sure you do everything under full weight of the car, which can be difficult if your axle is disconnected. Otherwise, you can potentially throw out all of your important arc angles. Take measurements of where the axle sits before the mod and then when everything is disconnected, try sand put the axle back in the correct place with the correct pinion angle. 

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Yes. And the pinion angle is probably going to need to be different with an open driveline. The angles should be equal and opposite (i hear equal and additive also works). There should be a little angle on the joints. About 2 degrees or so oughta do it. If there is no angle, the needle bearings in the u joints will never roll, and will pound dents in the races right away.

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  • 4 months later...

Considering that most of the suspensions, back then, were typically designed for "ride height" to be about in the middle of the travel (compressed to fully extended) of the shock absorbers, you could probably mock up something using that as a guide as to where "design ride height" would be.  Which would also keep the pinion angle in its correct neighborhood.  In other words, the approximate middle of the rear shock absorber's travel, with them installed.  That spec is usually in each shock's listing in catalogs like RockAuto.

 

With that mock-up, you can position the trailing arm saddles on the axle tubes, mark them with a position reference point, then tighten the u-bolts, for now.  Once everything's assembled and completed, then you can re-check the pinion angle and complete the job of welding the saddles to the axle tubes.  Adding some black satin paint to the axle and such to complete the job.

 

Using the shock absorber stroke to do the settings with is dependent upon ending with a factory ride height.  If you seek something lower, that's fine, just compensate for that in your mock-ups and don't finish-weld the saddles until everything is completed, with the car sitting as desired.  That should keep the pinion angle in spec, too, for THAT ride height.

 

IF there is a shudder on acceleration, then the pinion angle might need to be checked with a bubble device.  As might the height of the carrier bearing support for the two-piece driveshaft . . . which another something to consider in the situation.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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