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1953 BUICK SPECIAL EXHUMED !


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Hi y'all.  New here even though much older than my Buick.  As i am 76 yrs. old and on a fixed income I can not go around to junk yards and ask people there what I need.  They would just sell me anything.  I need to know from someone that has done what I am about to do to my Buick.  I want to get rid of the torque tube and install and open drive rear end.  What rear end I need? Not, I think this would fit or that one but I have heard, and so on.  I need to know again from someone who has done it and gotten good results.  The same goes for the front clip if I should want to cut the frame and install one. WHICH ONE ?  Thinking about swapping the frame if I could figure out which one would be the closest one I could use without too many changes.  I have hoists, all tools needed, just lack of energy so I have to do the easiest one possible.  PLEASE if you have undertaken any of these three chores AND DONE IT TO A 1953 BUICK SPECIFICALLY, then Please try to help me with this.  If you should need my phone number it is 678-523-7977, at any time. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS !   

BTW, IT WAS IN STORAGE FOR 67 YRS. EVERITHING ORIGINAL, 9000 ORIGINAL MILES, STRAIGHT 8.

 

Edited by Manny Perez
FORGOT SOMETHING (see edit history)
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Thank you all, but the main reason in replacing the torque tube is that I can not have a visual at any time of its components in the joint on the rear end as it would be with a normal joint and in front either.  I don't think anyone that has done what I am attempting to do with mine has seen this post as I have not gotten any answers for it.  Thank you again

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Hello again,on my 49 I rebuilt or replaced the front suspension components as needed after that had it realigned. Other than greasing it really doesn’t require much maintenance,Also the differential was bad on this car once again when replaced and resealed other than fluid checks little has to be done. With only 9000 miles on it may only need seals replaced and some other servicing, like oil and fluid changes. I would also go over the complete brake system replacing all rubber hoses ,check the steel lines and rebuilt or replace master and wheel cylinders, and check the linings.  

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Also .with only 9000 miles on it and assuming it original, it would be valued as an archivists car , that is how Buick’s of this era were built so people restoring one can check the fine details of original factory construction I was lucky to find a nice original 49 to compare to I was surprised and some of the less than prefect body panel fits and some of the lead work that probably would not be acceptable on a restoration.

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HERE is a starting point.  I have ridden in a few cars with this upgrade and the ride is brutal.  Maybe because the car was lowered also, but did not ride like a Buick.

Or THIS  or THIS

Or as some have done put the body on a more modern frame.

And consider moving your post to the Performance modified forum ...may get less posts about you cutting up YOUR car.

 

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The work involved is certainly detailed.  The 56 story was entertaining to read and the pictures told the story visually.  And it should be noted that upgrading the rear end suspension is probably all for naught unless one does the front suspension as well. 

 

 The only thing I question is how come the original set up was deemed un-highway friendly?  I find no problem with my 56 on the highway, although I do enjoy it more on the back roads.  When I think of how much something like this will cost I always picture it in terms of how much gas I can buy to drive mine.  I am sure that in the end I will have a lot more miles on mine for a lot less $$$ than any one of these three conversions. 

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 Just my few cents worth here. As Old Tank has it said it is your car, so your choice.

 

So, my thoughts are what do you want to do with the car? Are you wanting more power, handling and general performance than the original is capable of?

That would seem to be the key question to me. A good original car will be a good driving and riding car, but all of this is somewhat subjective of course.

 

The other thing is how well everything has survived the long storage, some cars and engines are toast due to poor and if it was in particularly damp storage conditions.

 As others have said, if it really is a super low mileage car and it is in good condition it would be a simpler and much cheaper to refurbish the original components than to install a different driveline.

 You mentioned the u-joints. These have one at the back of the transmission which gives very little trouble in my 50 years of experience with these cars. The torque ball and rear seal tend to leak, sometimes very badly. Again, if it will have little mechanical wear at a true 9,000 miles.

 My '56 Roadmaster has at least 160,000 miles on it's original u joint, and it has had serious driving over the 40+ years of my ownership.

 If you do want to go the resto mod route, then as Old Tank said you will likely be better off in the modified forum.

 Keith

 

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Before this gets moved to the performance modified area..........

 

You can find used/junkyard stuff and spend a bunch on rebuilding them to be streetsble.

But, results will probably disappoint you.  You may end up having to cut up the tunnel just to make the

front clip selection work...... as an example.   One thing always leads to another when doing that level

of modification.   Getting the front track width just right to look right in the wheel wells will not

be a trivial task.   Using a “new” after market Mustang ll crossmember may seem good, but

consider the size and weight of a Buick on such a suspension.  Plus, the after market crossmembers are ALL

designed to lower the vehicle substantially.  Now you’re looking at wheel well cutting, etc. etc.

As for the “Torque tube” issue;  To make a junkyard rear end look and fit correctly in the wheel opening 

will require a great deal of planning, measuring, and pinion angle mock up to match whatever

has been done to engine / trans placement up front.

All this is lots of time and money with “iffy” results.

 

I’d suggest.....seriously.....to call a chassis builder like Art Morrison and discuss your project of putting a

a 9000 mile Buick body onto a rolling chassis.  They will study factory measurements from Buick manuals and

ask you to provide measurements, too....... based on your engine transmission preferences.

Everything will be done and engineered to ride like a new car with discs all around, adjustable ride height,

proper pinion angle, suspension travel within the Buick body, etc etc.  Some tweaks to body mounts or floor interference

are probably inevitable, but would be minor fabrication tasks.

cost will probably be in the $20,000 neighborhood.  Sounds like a lot, but you’ll be offsetting

that number with all that you’d spend on trying to make used stuff work.......AND, a lot of time.

 

Plus, you can sell that 9000 mile chassis with engine and trans in place to a 53 Special restorer to recover

more cost.

I’m 73 and Been doing this stuff most of my adult life and if I were to embark on such a project today, a new rolling chassis would be

sitting in my shop!

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

 

 

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I'm 72 and been doing this stuff since my preteens. I have been looking at a '59 Thunderbird convertible major project that I would like to cut into quarters and remount on a Lincoln MKVIII platform, two years I have been thinking about it.

 

The actual Bird:

1959-ford-thunderbird-convertible-parts-car-fomoco-custom-rod-other-58-60.jpg.29a0077362bcb55e7bb99e309da874fe.jpg

 

Cars are an interrelated group of systems. The best way to describe how connected they are is to substitute the correct words the second time you play this video.

 

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:42 PM, old-tank said:

HERE is a starting point.   

And consider moving your post to the Performance modified forum ...may get less posts about you cutting up YOUR car.

 

 

The idea that a 1956 Buick is sluggish is pure hogwash.

As I recall, the '56, and especially the Century, were among the best accelerating cars of that era with Zero to 60 in less than 10 seconds !

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone
, just got a 2000 S10 ext cab with 122 wheelbase and a V6. Buick WB is 121.5 or 121.1 so it is pretty close. Starting to dismantle body and will cut out the S10 firewall and attach it to the 53 to keep everything that is on it to transfer it. The 53 is known to have poor brakes as mentioned by many and I do not want to use a straight 8, even running that can break down on me out there and have no parts for it to get me home. 53 power train parts will be up for sale once it is done. God Blees y’all

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