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1956 Buick special

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sbin, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. deaconjwh
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 60

    from Parma, OH
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Good luck. Keep the updates coming.
  2. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    from Atl Ga

    Did the '56 have an auto or manual trans?

    I've got a '54, and plan on using a GM truck trailing arm rear suspension, mainly so I can put an overdrive trans and some better rear gears in the thing. 3.90s on a driver suck without OD. I'd like to go 3.23 or maybe 3.55 with OD.

  3. buikwag
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 472

    1. Buick Nailheads

    I used a Ford 8" in my Buick Wagon. I cut the brackets off the old rear end including the panhard bar and the used a four link setup to keep things aligned. My 8" rear end was the perfect width, I"m running 1 1/4" thick adapters on the rear end to go from 4.5 to my 5x5 Wheels, and it still keeps them tucked inside the wheel well. It runs 3.55 gears behind my adapted 700r4 OD trans. Engine is the stock 322" Nailhead motor. Good Luck on your project.
  4. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Buikwag thanks for the advice!

    The car is an automatic transmission.
    Everything behind the motor will be available cheap.
  5. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,093


    Diggin that red/black tutone bro, love those rare tu-door posts. My brother has a black 56 tu-door post that we are working on come spring. Best of luck on your build. ~sololobo~
  6. powers524
    Joined: Sep 24, 2011
    Posts: 16

    from mesa

    im doing the same thing right now i started the 4link today i went with a 9in i was looking at 10 bolts but they are a bit 2 long and that 425 has crazy torque .. also you are going 2 need 57-61 exauast manaful for the drivers side 2 clear the big steering box the stock ones dont line up 2 the 425 and the 62-65 ones are right in the way
  7. Cub8556
    Joined: May 22, 2011
    Posts: 146


    Pic reminds me to find a 3 bolt oil filter unit so I don't have to deal with the canister filters. Good luck Sbin, can't wait to see what you find on the tear down
  8. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Thank god for youtube.
    Was trying to tear down the 425 wife was adding to the honeydo list and crabbing about the "the ugly old rusty car I wasted money on"
    Put some videos of old Buicks on and after about 30 minutes she changed her tune and was asking how long till it was ready and making suggestions on color combinations.
    Was able to get the motor torn down today.Not as good as I would like but definitely buildable.
    The motor had water in a couple cylinders and will probably need bored.
    Will strip the heads and drop the block, crank and heads at the machine shop.
  9. Nice car........good luck!
  10. 1951Streamliner
    Joined: May 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,872

    from Reno, NV

    Awesome, cant wait to see it come together. Would look great as a clean late 50s mild custom IMO, hefty lowering, meduim whites, some sort of custom hub cap, etc..

    whats your plan?
  11. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Dropped the block and crank at the machine shop today.Spent a few hours standing around bullshiting with some old motorheads and the owner.
    Lots if cool stuff there everything from flatheads to a stroker crank for a +600 inch big block chevy drag motor.
    Hanging around a machine shop is a good way to spend a few hours on a snowy winter Saturday morning.
    The Nailhead crank is forged it will get straightened, ground and balanced.The block will be burned in an oven then hot tanked bored cam bearings and plugs installed.

    Tore down the heads will be cleaning up the ports with a die grinder today.
    Will post some pictures later.
  12. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Metal Crankshaft Grinding is a great shop!
    The owner has been doing this since he got back from Vietnam in the 60's
    Really fortunate to have a guy like Pat to bring old American steel back to spec!
    Time to find a cam and get to work on the sp400 transmission.


    Attached Files:

  13. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I miss my '56 Special I had. Ran great, very smooth. Fixed the gas pedal start valve in the carburetor, I thought that was the neatest thing!
    I ran the original nailhead and closed rear end.
  14. Nick32vic
    Joined: Jul 17, 2003
    Posts: 3,017


    Sounds like a cool project. My dad and I are building a 56 buick hardtop. We subframed it with a 64 Riviera front clip and kept our nicely running 322. We also used the rear end out of the Riv which fit perfect.
  15. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Got a lead on a 64 Riviera rearend will see how that works out.

    Finally dragged the car home yesterday.Last time a registration was purchased Jimmy Carter was president and it expired in the first few months of Reagan's term.
    Unloaded it on the street and got a few guys to help push it into the drive.
    Got a good running start and a brake line failed almost took out a neighbors car but made it up the drive in one piece.:D
  16. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    No luck on the Riviera rear end but found a Ford 9" rear end with disk brake setup.
    Will need to rebuild and change the gears to something like 3.50.
    Want the car to be able to get off the line but still be usable at highway speed.

    Anyone use an Eaton trueloc setup?

    Will be running around 500 foot pounds of torque and between 370 - 400 hp and do not think the factory limited slip clutch packs will hold up.
  17. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,096

    from Kansas

  18. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,096

    from Kansas

    Beat me to the trailing arm suspension suggestion. If I ever change out the closed driveline on my 58 roadie, I am going to check into this method. I have some pics from a co-worker's 64 Chevy truck with trailing arm. It looks like it would work well.

    Also looking into C4 to Nailhead and to torque tube driveline using DF bell and tail housings. Would be nice to keep the closed driveline.
  19. hotrodfloyd
    Joined: Jan 10, 2013
    Posts: 4

    from Texas

    Just bought a rust free Red and White 55 Super Riviera. Have big plans! Will post pics of upgrades

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