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'55 Buick Century home after 13 years

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Nailhead dodge roadster, May 20, 2012.

  1. Well, i've been stashing this car away since '99 as a future "family friendly" cruiser, posted about it a couple times and even tried to sell it here a while back. After all that, I packed up yesterday and hooked up the trailer and drove up to N. idaho where i've had the car stored for the better part of 13 year now and atleast 10 years since the last time I've seen it in person. it turns out that quite a few parts have been stolen over the years, but atleast they only shot the windows out of it instead of shooting up the body.
    The rust is minimal and the body is still fairly straight, so I guess im going to just end up keeping the old thing.

    This was a complete car when I parked it, not so much now.

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    So this isn't going to turn into a build thread, I don't have the time or money to make it worth following, But I am open to suggestions as to what the hell I should do with it. I've started stripping the paint off the front clip, but i've hit old filler over even older lead work, so I think the clips going to the blasters to speed everything up a little.
     
  2. So what have all you other tri-5 buick owners done to get rid of the dynaflow and torque tube?......any options for axle swaps? I've seen all the lowering springs and disc brake conversions, and i've got a few ideas as to what I'm going to do to update the drive train, but I would love to hear from some of the other buick owners out there. I did do a search, and there are a lot of nice cars and great ideas, now im just looking for new ideas that may not have been posted yet.
     
  3. nwbhotrod
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,243

    nwbhotrod
    Member
    from wash state

    Did you happen to notice it has to many doors
     
  4. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894

    S.F.
    Member

    aint nothin wrong with 4 doors. especially hard tops
     

  5. mcnally351
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 437

    mcnally351
    Member
    from boston

    Cool Buick. Four doors are cool. Straight eight?
     
  6. 322 nailhead, the guys that were stripping parts off the car left the hood in the weeds when they stole the intake and valley pan so its locked up solid now. I do have a line on a 425 nailhead to drop in its place, just need to loose the torque tube and rear end.
    Yes, it is a 4-door but the price was right at the time, so I've held onto it as a family cruiser. I have my model A and my Coronet, so it is finally time to put something together for the whole family to ride in. Not to mention that the 4 door hardtops are great looking mild customs.
     
  7. I was planning on doing the open swap on my 56. After a lot of reading, here and other forums I was set on doing a 700r4 tranny with a 3rd gen Camaro rear end (i actually have all the parts minus the adapter). May still do it, but found a local shop with an old timer who can rebuild the dynaflow for me so depending on how bad it is(currently doesn't have high gear/direct drive) and his quote estimate, i may or may not still go that route. The adapter for the 700r4 runs about 700 though, but thats if u want to mate it to the original 322. IF the engine is shot, a 57+ nailhead till have a much cheaper adapter. Also the rears out of the mid 60s chevy trucks work as well with their trailing arm suspensions.
     
  8. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,990

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My '55 Special has the complete axle/4-link/coil spring setup from a Chevelle which works very well but was a bugger to install. Photos are on the HAMB tri-five buick social club site.

    Similar year Oldsmobiles have a very similar frame but with leaf springs which might be adaptable. Worth a look-see.
     
  9. Thanks for the ideas, i've seen your build on the social club site, very nice car. I'll look into the oldsmobile rear spring idea, I do think i know where a parts car is sitting and I need to try and grab the front half of the olds fenders to graft onto the buick pieces. I like the olds look over frenching the stock lights.
     
  10. Well its been a few weeks since my last post, so its time for a small update. I managed to get the entire front clip off the car and over to the media blasters. Other then some very small pin holes in one corner of the hood and some shaddy body work under some very old lead work on the right fender, the entire from end is as perfect as you can get for a car this old.
    I've also decided to run chevy truck rear trailing arms in place of the original torque tube and rear end set up. A couple people have sent me links to a few posts here dealing with this conversion and aside from actually fabricating the front mounts, it really looks like the best/easyest option to modernise the rear of this car.
    I'll get some picture posted as soon as I can find my camera. The front end pieces still need some hand sanding and a good cleaning before I can shoot some high build primer but the weather is supposed to stay dry and nice into the weekend so im not to worried about flash rust.
     
  11. mcnally351
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 437

    mcnally351
    Member
    from boston

    Nice, making moves! Get that more door going. The best builds are the ones that were sitting in a field.
     
  12. Im trying, still a long way to go and a very small budget and only a few hours a week to even look at it....The blasting job wasn't cheap but it saved me hours on striping and prep.


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    Its hard to see here, but this a good sized dent on the top of the fender that was filled and leveled with lead at some point, had to melt out as much as I could then grind what was left over.
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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  13. And here are a few more of the car with the front end off, notice that there isn't anything more then surface rust in the lower cowl and rockers and the now rusted up engine. I hope to have it out of the car this weekend. The frame is going to come out from under the car soon so I can start the axle and trailing arm swap.

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  14. 73super
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 778

    73super
    Member

    Alrighty now... I just saw this thread.. not sure how I initially missed it... but now I'm subscribed and want updated and detail photos of what your doing.. kapeesh?

    Let's just say I have a certain motivation to see what it is you're doing.. ha!

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    I'm not sure which way I want to go right now. My nailhead is long gone unfortunately.. I picked up a 70's El Camino rear which will work.. think I'll leave the front, just rebuild it and upgrade the master cylinder.. but I'm certainly open for ideas... Very curious to see what you do with yours... SO LET'S SEE SOME PROGRESS!!!! LOL.
     
  15. Looks like you've got a good start there. I plan on leaving my stock front end in place with just a good quality rebuild, lowering springs or lowering spindles and a larger sway bar. I will also be swaping to disc brakes since I am building this for the family, so it has to be 100% safe and reliable.
    The only progress i'll probably be able to show will be the prep and epoxy primer on the front clip, spent most of my budget this month on the media blasting and paint/supplys.
     
  16. 73super
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 778

    73super
    Member

    Latest? Any updates?
     
  17. Keep it coming! This is good stuff! Especially the bits about alternatives to the torque tube, etc. Nice to see her out of the woods.
     
  18. No new updates at this time.....the shop is still full of snowmobiles getting tuned up for the upcoming winter. Once the snow starts falling, I can get my space back and maybe get a little progress on the buick.
     
  19. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,432

    'Mo
    Member

    Good on you for bringing it back! I love the 4 door hardtops. :cool:
    Here's one that was in R&C a while back, to keep you motivated.

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  20. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,716

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Not a 55 but a local Ozzie 56. 2 tone looks great and really suits these cars.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. 73super
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 778

    73super
    Member

    Hello? McFly? Anything?
     
  22. Well, I'm sad to say the car was sold.....well the rolling chassis and body, I kept the front sheet metal and and engine for a future project. Tracking down all the pieces that had been stolen off the car over time was going to kill my budget and all my free time, and I had a '64 dodge wagon come up for sale near me so the buick went off to another hamber so he can finish his project and a wagon slipped right into the buicks place.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  23. 73super
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 778

    73super
    Member

    What the heck!!!!

    crying.jpg
     
  24. Marv64
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 37

    Marv64
    Member

    In my opinion you made the right decision. My dad bought one new that was blue and white, and it was a pretty car but the only part of the drivetrain that held up was the engine. Marv
     

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