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Technical 1959 Cadillac breaks control arm at car show

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by toml24, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,365

    toml24
    Member

    There was a nice 1959 Cadillac at a car show in Redondo Beach, CA. on Sunday. When the owner was leaving and pulling out of his spot in the parking lot the right front control arm suddenly snapped without warning. Another 5-minutes driving time and the Cadillac would have been on the freeway at cruising speeds. The owner said all the suspension was custom made. Long story short, it took 2 AAA Tow technicians, a pair of floor jacks, a flat bed roll back, and an hour of careful cable wrenching to pull the Cadillac off the ground. Photos posted with permission.
    IMG_20180722_161419963.jpg IMG_20180722_161506051.jpg IMG_20180722_161518811_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_161533458.jpg IMG_20180722_161557014_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_161628279_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_161858356_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_162246264_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_163932160.jpg IMG_20180722_164259013_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_164759378_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_165021376_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_165031012_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_165056764_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_165421753_HDR.jpg IMG_20180722_165521114_HDR.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    wicarnut and jnaki like this.
  2. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 793

    1pickup
    Member

    Was it "custom made" from eBay Hoffman Group parts?
     
  3. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,575

    NashRodMan
    Member

    Wow, that is a big car....and I LOVE it!!! :cool::D:)
     
  4. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,765

    wicarnut
    Member

    He was very Fortunate that he had a good flatbed service that had some skills, took the time and care to not damage anything further, you can see it in pictures, my hat's off to these men. Kool Caddy !
     
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  5. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,006

    catdad49
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  6. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,770

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    I guess now we know why many States prohibit welded suspension parts.

    I had an LCA fracture from rust while I was making a turn at low speed. You DO NOT want that to happen on the highway.
     
  7. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 498

    shivasdad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Texas

    You don't often see the suspension squat on the big flatbeds. Hope he can get fixed as smoothly as the rollback operator worked.
     
  8. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 7,922

    dirty old man
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    Sure would like to know more about that "custom built suspension". I have been noticing in the ads in various magazines about MII type front ends for much bigger and heavier cars than the MII, and if that's what's under this one, it's a prime example of what can go wrong.
    That's a beautiful Caddy, and the tow truck people deserve a big tip for being so careful.
    Went to work for Fisher Body/GM in '58 and the toolmaker who maintained the jigs and fixtures in my area of the body construction dept. had just bought a brand new '59 Coupe Deville, white like this one.
     
    town sedan likes this.
  9. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,085

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Are you saying what I'm thinking? Why a roll-back?

    This called for a wheel lift or was there another limiting factor?
     
  10. Irvan
    Joined: Mar 9, 2009
    Posts: 112

    Irvan
    Member

    Called the right people, the tow people appear knowledgeable and took pride in their work.
     
    302GMC likes this.
  11. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 726

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    Tow guys did a nice job. It is pleasant and unusual to see someone give d..n in todays' world. Good call on the flatbed, that car is so low a wheel lift could have easily damaged the rear quarters. Attaboy to the tow crew.
     
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  12. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 990

    town sedan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Over the years I've seen 3 Chevy Chevettes break the lower control arm / ball joint and crash down to the pavement. But it's expected in those cars. This big beautiful barge doesn't look overly low, why the need for a custom suspension? Bragging rights?
    -Dave
     
    BoilermakerDave likes this.
  13. I just moved one of those suckers last week (sold my '60), the rear overhang is a real pain when dragging it up. Good to see the towies knew their stuff, and the control arm didn't let go when on the road. The front end components on these are real big and real heavy, and designed for that weight, and more. I couldn't see the advantage of changing anything in there, the stock front end is well designed and built, for a heavy beast like a Caddy.
     
  14. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,748

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    It said the suspension was custom made not well made!
    KK
     
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  15. Would be interesting to have more details on the alternative front suspension.
     
  16. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,640

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    A good tow truck operator is getting harder to find

    Saw lots of damage done by tow monkeys working at the dealerships
    Especially on lowered cars, some just don’t care.
    Hope they got compensated accordingly.
     
  17. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,271

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    My control arm broke off on my Avatar. The bolt tore threw where it bolts to the frame. After 28 years of having hydraulics(a non-hopper). A half a mile from being on the highway. And 3 miles from just traveling over 150 mile trip home. The roll back chained up the front suspension to the wheel lift and pulled the car one mile. .
     
  18. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,227

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    Hnstray likes this.
  19. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,194

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    I've heard of recognised brand name tubular control arms breaking down here. One pair failed in NZ and when X-rayed all the welds were found to be inferior with insufficient penetration (57 Chevy). When the manufacturer was approached they denied any liability and indicated, they wouldn't be selling their product(s) to Australia or NZ nor would they be changing the manufacturing process. In their view the welds were satisfactory however engineering examination proved otherwise. All the existing welds had to be ground down and redone by a certified welder before they were X-rayed and deemed safe for use. Not long after this an independent certifier (Engineer) here signed off on similar products in a Studebaker Hawk imported from the US. A single lower tubular control arm failed at low speed due to similar inferior welds and penetration. Again it was recognised brand name. This is the same engineer that certified those Chinese tilt columns where the lower shaft is butt welded directly to the upper shaft below the tilt mechanism. :rolleyes: Inertia welding should have been undertaken however it wasn't. Inertia welding penetrates a controlled amount of depth and uses only the parent material.
    upload_2018-7-24_11-33-59.png
    All suspension and steering components here need to be certified and meet a minimum engineering standard before being used. Safety is paramount over aesthetics.
    The load bearing arms need to be fit for a purpose and engineered accordingly to take the weight of the vehicle under static and dynamic loads. Clearly that wasn't the case, had the car been driving at speed, the outcome could have been entirely different with 5,000lbs at 60mph.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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  20. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 7,922

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    MgtStumpy, I appreciate your comments about certification, etc,but they would be even more appreciated if names were given .
     
  21. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,194

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Word of mouth only and I don't want to open a can of worms as I wasn't directly involved in anything. I suspect that some people are laying low in the hope that things will blow over, that way there are no repercussions or bad publicity. Professional misconduct, bad reputation, defamation and the threat of litigation could result if I name and shame without corroborative evidence. Sadly it would take a serious injury or worse to bring this issue to the forefront, I'm sure the Coroner or Court would then be very interested in the background and any possible deficiencies.
     
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  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,924

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Was it a Mustang II suspension? What could go wrong with installing a suspension on a 5000 pound Cadillac that was originally designed for a 2000 pound Pinto?
     
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  23. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,559

    southcross2631
    Member

    A customer brought me some tubular control arms and some other parts to lower his truck.
    I took one look at the parts and told him no way was I putting that junk on . He got mad and went home and installed them himself and less than 2 weeks later he totaled his truck when one of the lower arms snapped right where the ball joint cup was welded in.
    I have made a lot of tubular a arms and lowers for round track and they have survived some pretty good crashes.
    Offshore suspension parts are dominating the market, not just for Hot Rods . Go to your local parts store and see what is being sold for your family's SUV's and mini vans.
     
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  24. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 2,944

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Don't forget tires.
     
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  25. The stock car guys know how to make parts that will take real stress, tested tough. The figure-8 guys built some monstrosities but they never broke.

    What kills is me that there is probably NO testing of anything aftermarket for hot rods. Look at the overkill factor in OEM parts, some are still in service after 70 years on the road. I'd like to know who built the Caddy.
     
    54vicky likes this.
  26. And people think it's funny parts in our country need to be certified.:rolleyes:

    Personally I think those 'offshore' steering boxes are an accident waiting to happen. Sure having no adjustment and going sloppy in 50 miles is annoying, but not as annoying as losing control and killing 3 families.

    Critical parts should be subject to some kind of control. It's life and death at 70mph.
     
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  27. The whole custom car industry is rather blasé when it comes to safety and reliability. If everyone with a modified suspension drove 50 miles a day we would see a lot more broken parts. I'm in the defense business, you should see the processes our parts go through before they are done.
     
    54vicky likes this.
  28. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 498

    shivasdad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Texas



    I was making a comment about the suspension on the rollback being taxed by the weight of the Cadillac. I am not a tow truck driver but recognize the skill.
     
    egads likes this.
  29. 54vicky
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 986

    54vicky
    Member

    there is a big difference between custom and competence and skill in the execution
     
    Unkl Ian likes this.

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