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Projects Bagged 55 Buick build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by EVL401, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Also, before engine mounts welded in I made 2 small oval sections & filled holes in. They would have been underneath where engine mounts were welded so got more surface area for my welds!!
     

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  2. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    So this is Whst the engine mounts look like tig welded in place. Sorry for the lack of updates have been busy mucking round with the front end!! More pics to come....
     

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  3. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Gday again HAMBers!! Past few weeks I've worked very closely with a good mate to redesign the front end making it bigger & better upgrading everything as we go. Using a modified 55 Buick hub we have managed to upgrade the bearings to quality tapered type. This was no easy task. The hubs had to be modified on a lathe, various spacers machined & a lot of fine tuning with the engineer who machined the spacers.

    Why the hell did we go to all the trouble u ask? As we are modifying front disc brakes from a 2000 model Holden Commodore (which run a factory sealed & pressed hub) we decided that whilst modifying the hub anyway to fit inside the disc rotor that a bearing upgrade would be a good idea. The old ones were absolutely shot & needed to be replaced anyway. I'm very glad we did the upgrade but man it took some time to nail the design!!

    All sleeves/spacers were set in place using a primer & a special retainer adhesive. Then bearings greased & slipped into place. Tomorrow we start the brake caliper bracket setup - like previously stated I've never attempted any of these modifications before so please bare with me as I'm learning as I go!!

    Hope these pics & info I'm documenting here will benefit some of you considering a similar conversion. It's costly if you don't have a lathe (like me) however the amount I'm learning at the moment from all this is worth it's weight in gold. More pics to come!!
     

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  4. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Mock up stage......
     

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  5. Cool to see the progress, and paying attention to your challenges and results. So which bearings & seal did you end up using? Any real reason for the commo rotor over adapting a hq hub/rotor ? Offset different?
    keep at it,
    Drewfus
     
  6. Crazyolman
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 188

    Crazyolman

    I put the 401 with the rear sump pan on my 1955 Buick along with a Turbo 400 switch pitch transmission and a 1962 Buick rear end housing.
    Scarebird makes a complete adapter kit for putting disc brakes on a 55 Buick that I used for my conversion. $150.00 total cost then all new rotors, bearings and calipers was another $800.00.
     
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  7. Crazyolman
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 188

    Crazyolman

    Here are a couple pictures of my 55 Buick and 53 Boles Aero trailer

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Thanks for the kind words & advice gentlemen!! Drewfus I used Timken tapered bearings & a very thin seal at the rear. The empty bearing boxes are in the garage but I'd be than happy to pass on the size & details of them & also the spacers neccessary to complete this conversion a bit later. Like I said I haven't driven it yet so will have to wait & see if it was all worth it!! I stuck with my stock 15" Buick rim over a HQ rim/bearing setup as I needed the bigger rim to clear the VT front disc/caliper combination. We designed it so offset still exactly the same using Buick hubs with the rivots from the drums drilled & punched out. Have almost finished the VT commodore front disc caliper mounts today will post few pics bit later!!
     
  9. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Also thanks very much Crazyolman for your info wouild be interested to see some build pics of your sweet ride!! Funny u should mention those figures because that's very close to what my front bearing/front disc conversion owes me.
     
  10. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Caliper is fully mounted & bearings functional. Winning!!!!
     

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  11. Stud pattern? Commodore is metric. Seems close to HQ/GM, but is different.
     
  12. Crazyolman
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 188

    Crazyolman

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  13. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Awsome thanx Crazyolman will jump on & have a good look!! Have kept Buick stud pattern we drilled the VT commo disc & machined the hub to suit. Pretty trick for something you'll never even see!! All worth it in the end
     
  14. Crazyolman
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 188

    Crazyolman

    Hope it helps.
     
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  15. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Got both caliper mounts fabricated & bolted up. Discs run true & pads locate perfect. Well happy with how they've turned out. Will bolt them into the car then once I work out the different steering geometry the calipers will be overhauled & everything painted. Progress is good peeps!!
     

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  16. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Pretty happy this morning!! Mocked up the front end on one side. Been a long time coming to get to this point !! Slam RE6 bags sitting in the custom made bag plates, Fatman 2" drop spindles with new kingpins, all new bushes throughout, fully machined stub axle spacers in with modified hub to take upgraded Timken bearings, VT commodore front disc rotors & twin piston calipers, blasted & painted wheels the list goes on!! Up next gotta fab the shock in the somehow, install Airide height sensors & possibly make/modify some steering arms or tie rods. Anyone ever made some streering arms for this sort of setup?? Would love to hear from you!!
     

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  17. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Anyone out there installed aftermarket power steer rack setup to a 55 Buick? Bit unsure as to how much clearance steering arms will have.....
     

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  18. badsco
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 104

    badsco
    Member

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  19. 56buickboy
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 41

    56buickboy
    Member

    Mario Colalillo's 55 cadillac has a modified commodore rack in it. According to Cruzin magazine (Oct 03) and Street Machine (sept 03) it was modified by Terry Cartwright and the RHD conversion engineered by Wayne Colquhoun. I don't know where you can contact them but some of the work was done at Bonnyrigg Smash . Neil Bakers 57 Buick also has a commodore rack fitted and that was done by Terry's Chassis Shop in Auckland NZ. These guys may be able to give you some leads in the right direction.
    Doug Breden in Wellington has a 55 Buick with a modified Ed Juniors Kustom rides front end and is using a Subaru power rack, article in NZ Rodder (May 2014).
    Send me a message if I can help further.
     
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  20. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Thanks heaps Badsco & 56Buickboy I really appreciate the help!! The cadillac build thread link was a great read & very interesting to say the least in regards to steering setup.
     
  21. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Many apologies for the lack of updates lately bloody life always gets in the way! Doesn't help that I'm prepping our other car for paint either!! So anyway enough excuses; I've finally found some time to sandblast, paint & fit the brakes, drop spindles, steering arms & front hub assemblies & damn it looks good in hi gloss black!! I've used POR15 paint outta the spray gun in a mates booth & I'm very happy with the results...
     

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  22. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    I've fully rebuilt the VT Commodore front calipers with new paint, seals, pistons etc
     

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  23. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Both sides assembled with Airride RE6 bags sitting on freshly painted bag plates...
     

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  24. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    So, as u can see I've hit a pickle; when the front bags are fully aired out the tie rod end is 3" from the steering arm whilst on full lock!! Got few options now (and please feel free to comment). I could bend the steering arm down, however I believe it'd shorten it & the point at which the tie rod bolts to it. I could also get some new steering arms made. Hhmmm decisions decisions!!
     

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  25. make some from plate with a drop to suit. Use some quality thick plate (not just 250 grade), and you should get the bulk of the way there.
    Ideally you'd adapt something factory, thinking early F100, what are the mounting bolt size and centres, and ideal arm length (and drop)?
     
  26. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    Just been mucking round with steering all arvo. With bag fully deflated the tie rod end will ever so slightly touch the chassis. To get round this problem I'm going to run a lower arm bumpstop. I was told to bend my steering arm however engineers in Australia are very crucial towards bending or welding or heating any suspension/steering component. Happy days!!
     

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  27. why don't you make an stout adaptor plate that allows you to drop the arms down an inch?
     
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  28. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    [QUOTE: why don't you make an stout adaptor plate that allows you to drop the arms down an inch?

    Thats a top idea mate will look into that!! Cheers!!
     
  29. ConstantCustoms
    Joined: Sep 14, 2015
    Posts: 14

    ConstantCustoms

    I'm working on my '53. Kinda along the same lines, deciding what suspension to upgrade to, engine swap, chop the top, different glass (replacement or fab in another model). Lots of ideas out here!
     
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  30. EVL401
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 143

    EVL401
    Member

    IMG_7526.JPG

    Longest gap between posts ever!! Apologies for the updates as life has gotten in the way. On the home stretch now!! Brand new motor/box/diff/Brakes/tailshaft/exhaust etc are all done, painted & in the car. More pics to come!!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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