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55 Olds chassis

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Midwest Rodder, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Alright guys, time to get your opinion and maybe a solution for my problem. I have a 55 Olds 88 4dr and looking to do something about the front suspension and brakes all around. I know the wheel base is 122in.and was thinking about a chassis swap with a 80's or so gm roller. I am not sure what car would be the best choice or should I spend my cash on a front sub. I am wanting to upgrade the brakes all around, and the front suspension is the biggest deal for me since this is going to be driven a ton and all over. I have the sheetmetal off the front and was getting ready to pull the 324 and trans for a sbc swap. any advice on what car has the correct wheel base or your opinons? Any help will be great.
     
  2. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    rebuild the current frontend, put the 324 and hydra back in and drive the hell out of it. That suspension is pretty darn good when in rebuilt condition. And how do you beat the original powertrain? I feel you are going the wrong direction. Just my .02
     
  3. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    I dig the 324 rocket but it is gone and has rusted out freeze plugs, I am woried it is not rebuildable. The reason for the sbc swap was that I have a sbc and trans sitting here waiting to go in something and for the parts issue. I live in a small community and there are no parts for this engine or trans at any of my part houses, if somethig goes wrong with it I am down until they can order parts in.
     
  4. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,824

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Member

    The traditional way to build it is the way other guys on a message bourd would like that don't own and won't drive the car. :rolleyes:

    I dont know what there is out there for upgrades, I have seen disc conversions, but maaan they are pricey. I put a SBC in my 55 and liked it, after going through 2 rusty 324s and the heavy shitty hydromatic, rebuilt the stock brakes and just lowered. You can pull off all that BS on the firewall so Im told and just mount a dual master/booster on it.

    If you want to drive the hell out of it good luck getting so much as a thermostat housing for that thing in stock form anywhere but a catalog or the net.
     

  5. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 780

    Racewriter
    Member

    Just a thought on the engine - you can get smallblock Oldsmobiles for damn near nothing (350s especially), and they are great engines. That would be a nice compromise between "keep it Olds" and "go modern with a SBC".
     
  6. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    well said
     
  7. I like the idea of the 60's-70's small block Olds (or big block, they're not much bigger physically). Anyway, chassis-wise, if you want a change from the original, I'd suggest contacting Fatman Fabrications for one of their front frame stubs, they have them for Olds's of your vintage and give you modern steering and disc brakes. I've dealt with em for my Mopars and been happy.
    http://www.fatmanfab.com/catalogpage.php?page=6
    Remember, it's your car, do it your way, that's what rodding is all about.
    Luck!
     
  8. I personally tend to think putting an old body on a new chassis is like an old man putting on a prom dress, wrong on many levels, but whatever floats your boat. As for the car, lots of rearends bolt into the existing suspension, the front end's not that bad, and guys put millions of miles on these cars when they were new. I'd rebuild it if it needs it and leave it alone. Have some springs made up to lower it. I mean I drove a '60 Pontiac with a fruit jar and no power on the 4-wheel drums, put 30,000 miles on it as my daily, and it always stopped when I needed it to - the suspension in that isn't a lot different than in the Olds.

    On the motor choice, cant' argue much with use what you got, but I'd at least open up the Olds and look it over. Or you could get yourself on the road with the Chev and spend the money on the Olds motor, later, as long as you don't hack it up to change the motor you could always put it back.
     
  9. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,188

    55chieftain
    Member

    http://www.pontiacsafari.com/L1Garage/BallJointConversion.pdf


    I did this on my Pontiac which I believe Olds/Pontiac shared chassis and suspension thru the years. I have an extra set of parts available to do this. Pm me if your interested.

    Also with the Scarebird disc kit, tapered wheel bearings, disc brakes . Also what was nice no cutting to the frame, set your alignments better with shims. I set in an anti dive angle and raised the caster from factory spec. The lowers bolt right up and make a mount for the upper arm.
     
  10. milkweed
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 567

    milkweed
    Member
    from SLC UT

    we used a 1972 chevy caprice under my brothers 1954 olds 98 it is the same lug patern and the wheelbase is close when he grenaded the 324 a sbc wouldnt clear the stock power steering thats why we used the 72 chassis
     
  11. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    I picked up a '69 350 Olds for $100... just keep your eye on craigslist. If you live in a smaller community you can usually get stuff on the cheap. Just got to keep your eyes and ears open...
     
  12. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Thanks for the input guys, I like the idea of just rebuilding the suspension and then upgrade the brakes. The engin is still up in the air, I may drop the sbc in until I can have the 324 looked into to see if it is rebuildable.
     
  13. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Hey Coldwar, I am thinking that you don't care for the idea:D
     

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