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Projects 57 Buick special project

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Mack0331, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    Hello guys.

    I grew up working on classic cars with my dad and I am now a ASE certified master tech. I've been busy racing motorcycles for a while but wanted to start a classic restoration. I found this 57 Buick special and thought it was a perfect project. I drove from the Seattle area down to Boise area to pick it up over the weekend.

    The body is in pretty good shape no rust other than some surface rust. Everything is there about the only thing missing is one piece of fender trim. Needs complete restoration but its a solid starting point.

    Going to be pretty much all stock I really like the look of stock 50's cars so no big modifications planned at this time.

    Here's some pics check it out. I'll probably move it into my shop and get started on it next month or September. I'll keep this post updated as I go. Even though I am a master tech this is my first restoration so I'll probably ask a lot of dumb questions lol
    20170716_161536.jpg 20170717_095836.jpg 20170717_095856.jpg 20170717_095947.jpg 20170717_123156.jpg
     
  2. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 145

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    That's the one with the cool rear glass. I don't know if you've looked at that big classic car forum, AACA, but the Buick part of it is really active and the geezers, (I'm a geezer now) know everything about all Buicks.
     
  3. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    Yup I'm on that forum. Found that forum before this one.
     
  4. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,433

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I had a 55. Loved it. The Dynaflow will leak no matter what you do. The nailhead is a great, great engine. There are adapters out there, as well as the th400 from mid 60s Buick. The enclosed driveshaft will limit your trans choices, running an open driveshaft will create rear end install issues. Missysdad (I think that's his name) did a good write up on how to install a Chevy truck suspension on a 55. Look it up. Sounds like you have the chops to make a nice car. Best of luck.
     
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  5. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,407

    indyjps
    Member

    Great start, all there and in good shape.
     
    Mack0331 likes this.
  6. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 1,978

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    That is a really solid looking unmolested Buick. I like your plan for it. Looking forward to updates.
     
    Mack0331 likes this.
  7. Belair. I had 1 Dyna flow trans that didn't leak. It was when I replaced the motor and trans in my 56 buick.wagon.I have owned many Buicks over the years and this is the only one that didn't leak. Too bad the electrical problems were so bad. Bruce. 002.JPG
     
    quick85 and tb33anda3rd like this.
  8.  
  9. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 145

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    My 53 doesn't leak. Reckon I better go see if there's fluid in it?
     
  10. taildragger1957
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 162

    taildragger1957
    Member

    Good looking cars. Here's my old 57
    Pictures-271.jpg
    Pictures-293.jpg
    Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.05.14 AM.png
     
  11. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,433

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Great car, taildragger. 57 Buicks and Olds just slay me.
     
    Bruce Fischer and Mack0331 like this.
  12. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    Its going to be a while before I start on the motor but I want to at least get the block cleaned up and check it out make sure there's nothing big wrong with it. Mixed up 7 gallons of molasses in a big tub to soak it in. Should come out pretty much like new in 3-4 weeks.

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  13. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    People are telling me that's not a nailhead block. This is my first Buick build so I'm not familiar with them. That sucks. Was told that's was the motor that came out of the car.
     
    toolmaker likes this.
  14. RAT "T"
    Joined: Mar 27, 2010
    Posts: 284

    RAT "T"
    Member

    HERE'S A PIC I FOUND OF A 55 BLOCK
    1955-buick-special-264-block-hot-tanked.jpg
     
  15. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    I ran the numbers its a Ford 352-390 block. So guess I need to find a 364 nailhead block. I do have the correct heads though. No big deal I still would have bought the car anyway.
     
  16. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 1,978

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    20141106_152111.jpg 20140814_131415.jpg 20141106_152600.jpg 20140814_131415.jpg Here is a shot of a low-mileage Roadmaster for some inspiration on your engine search. I'll post all 3 of the pics I have. SUPPOSEDLY original mileage.
     
  17. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 1,978

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    That Roadmaster also had a leaky Dynaflow.
     
    Bruce Fischer likes this.
  18. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,415

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    All of the above is true. My suggestion would be to put together a detailed plan and cost estimate before you get too deeply into this project. This will be a very expensive proposition with almost no prospects of a reasonable return on your investment. That having been said, your best bet...in my humble opinion...would be to find a complete, original, running stock power train to drop into your car. Changing to an open driveline, doing it right, is a huge undertaking and not for the weak of heart or pocketbook. You'll get lots of different opinions on this, but having been through it I can tell you that those who tell you it's a "piece of cake" are blowing smoke up your skirt.
     
  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,433

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    If you're set on a nailhead, don't overlook the 401. They seem to be the most common and who can complain about 36 more cubic inches? May or may not be a bolt in. Someone here will know.
     
  20. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    I'm not going to switch the drive line. Keeping it stock.
     
    kbgreen likes this.
  21. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 857

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    I think you have the best plan for your 57. I have a 55 Special 4 door that had set in a warehouse since 78. Got it home, cranked it over a few times, changed the oil and filter ,filed the points, hooked up a small gas can and had it running like a top in no time. I would recommend you check all the engine and trans mounts as they tend to be bad after 60 years, also the rear trans seal kit usually needs replaced as it leaks back through the torque tube and fills the rear end with ATF. I grew up with these old Buicks (Dad was a Buick guy through and through) and we never had a major problem with any of them. We had a 58 Estate Wagon that had almost 200K on it before the Ohio winters eat the body off it and it never had a valve cover off it.
    Good luck with your project!!
     
    Bruce Fischer likes this.
  22. jbsutton
    Joined: Jun 17, 2017
    Posts: 7

    jbsutton

    Just did the motor in a 55 for a customer. You can't beat those cars for a fun cruiser. And the nailhead is a fun piece of history to play with.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  23. jbsutton
    Joined: Jun 17, 2017
    Posts: 7

    jbsutton

  24. jbsutton
    Joined: Jun 17, 2017
    Posts: 7

    jbsutton

    I know the paint isn't period correct but the customer wanted it that way don't hate me!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  25. Evil Emery
    Joined: May 10, 2017
    Posts: 72

    Evil Emery
    Member

    Nailheads are really well built. They all came fro the factory with forged cranks, rods and pistons. Find a 401 from a later car and drop it in.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  26. WOW a 58 Estate wagon.That was a thing of beauty!!!!Bruce.
     
  27. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    I got it into my shop today and tore the front apart. Broke a few bolts but it cane apart pretty easy. 20170813_133357.jpg 20170813_133425.jpg 20170813_181052.jpg 20170813_181105.jpg
     
    biggeorge and tb33anda3rd like this.
  28. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    Well I got the body off. That was fun without a lift. About half the body bolts broke no prob I planned on getting new ones anyway. The one just before the right rear wheel well just spun so I had to cut a small hole in the floor to get to the other side of it. No big deal there's almost no back floor left anyway . my first attempt to pull the body off was almost a disaster. I got it up on jackstands. I had one big ratchet strap so I figured I I would use that to hold up one side by hanging it from the big center beam in the shop so I could pull the chassis out sideways. When I let the weight down on the strap it moved the body and yanked it off the jack stands on the other side . not good. That's the first pic. After that I went and got another big ratchet strap and just hung the whole body so I could pull the chassis out. Kinda redneck buy hey it worked.

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  29. Mack0331
    Joined: Jul 17, 2017
    Posts: 57

    Mack0331
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    Today's progress I got the rear bumper off. I actually had to cut it off cause the bolts were not budging. Got the rear end out that was incredibly easy. Then I cleaned up the rear of the frame with various wire brush attachments for a grinder and drill and got it painted with por15.

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  30. Mack0331 likes this.

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