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Technical dropping the buick

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 51_special, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. beerczar1976
    Joined: Jun 20, 2013
    Posts: 24

    beerczar1976
    Member

    51_Special, I've got a '50 Special I'm looking to lower. I took a quick look on RockAuto for the 78 El Camino rear springs...which ones brand/part# did you end up buying? There were quite a few different ones listed. Even I can afford $60-$70 for the pair, just want to buy the right ones. I'll look into getting some local help for cutting the 1-1/2 coils on the front.
     
  2. fifty5rod
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 185

    fifty5rod
    Member
    from El Paso TX

    Looks good!!

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  3. 51_special
    Joined: Dec 20, 2012
    Posts: 83

    51_special
    Member

    Thanks guys. beerczar i pmd you. Anybody know how much lower i can go without notching or anything crazy and on the cheap
     
  4. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    51_special, Im curious about the springs too. I'm thinking the cargo coils are the way go wondering what you used and your satisfaction with the results as I'm looking to do the same with my 55 Special
     
  5. layedout49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2008
    Posts: 483

    layedout49
    Member

    Can I get a pm too ? Lol thanks


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  6. 51_special
    Joined: Dec 20, 2012
    Posts: 83

    51_special
    Member

    As requested here is the info for the rear springs. I got mine from NAPA auto parts. the part number i used is 277-5171 they are a progressive rate so make sure you install them the correct way (tighter coils install UP). really simple. disconnect the shock linkage, Jack the ass up till the weight is just off the wheels, install jack stands. remove the upper bolt holding the coil retainer, then remove the rear. remove the springs.(You may have to jack the ass up more) slip the new spring in make sure you install the insulator on top then bolt the top in. After the top was in i jacked it up and lowered the jack stands so that as you lower it the bottom of the spring just comes into contact with the axle housing. install the lower nut and torque everything down. Jack it up and remove the jack stands, once on the ground reattach you shock linkage. Last step take her around the block and enjoy the ride.
    Hope this helps out. if there are any more questions just let me know and i will do my best to help. If any one knows how much lower i can go with out major mods please let me know. right know my frame is sittin 6 inches off the ground. i dont want to notch it and cant afford the dropped uprights for awhile so it limits the altitude.
     
  7. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    Thanks for the info. Thats exactly what I needed to know.

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  8. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    Ok gents, I finally got phase one of the drop done on my 50 Roadmaster more door fun mobile. 1.5 coils up front equaled 3" drop and it's on the bump stops so it could be more. .75 ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1398372933.121369.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1398372951.338227.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1398373001.268369.jpg drop in the rear with 67-72 chevy 1/2 truck springs. This left a 1.5 rake in the car and about 2" before hitting the rear bump stops. I have some jeep springs p/n 105AA or 52090105AA to try in the rear as well which will be done this weekend. This stance will have to last for the summer and then will go to kingpins etc. thanks for the help along the way guys.


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  9. DoinBrodys
    Joined: Jul 11, 2012
    Posts: 7

    DoinBrodys
    Member

    This is a great discussion, with a ton of valuable information. Thank YOU! I've have a question I was hoping someone could answer. Now that my 50 Buick Sedanet is running I want to get it down low while keeping most of the stock suspension. For the rear, it seems the 79 Elco springs are the way to go, 4-5 inch drop would be perfect. For the front, I was planning on getting the dropped uprights from Fatman, and then cutting 1 - 1.5 coils, thinking the outcome would be about 5.5-6 inches in the front. I spoke to Philip at Fatman Fabrications and he indicated going lower than 3 Inches in front will dramatically affect the geometry of the front end, creating some major problems? I know you have to bend the steering arm to mate up with the dropped uprights, but I thought the goal of dropped uprights was to preserve the geometry? Anyone successfully used the dropped uprights in conjunction with either cut coils or drop springs to get a front drop closer to 5-6 inches? Thanks for your help in advance!

    Also, what tire size are you guys running? 225/75/15
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  10. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    UPDATE - had time to throw the Jeep springs in and although it looks awesome, I wouldn't want to ride any long distances on them. Total drop from stock was 4".

    ANSWER TO PREVIOUS POST.
    Like many, I took 1.5 coils for a 3" drop which puts my frame rails by the drivers door at 6". If you add a 3" spindle (sorry upright) to that then in theory you would be at 3" frame height which for me would be too low but may be fine for some. I could see combining an upright and a half coil or full coil (if half wasn't enough) but I would start thinking airride if you want a 6"/5" drop. Just my 2 cents


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  11. DoinBrodys
    Joined: Jul 11, 2012
    Posts: 7

    DoinBrodys
    Member

    YIWORK, Thanks for the response. if I could get my frame 6" off the ground that would be good. The fatman dropped uprights only get 2.5" drop, and hardly seem worth the 400 bucks. Although, 2.5 inches is not going to get mine at 6", probably closer to 8 inches. Did cutting the coils cause any problems with the steering geometry, handling, etc? I swapped springs on my 65 Buick without any problems, and it sits 4.5 inches off, drives perfect. That seems to be a good height for that car, but the 50 is much different. From most guys I talked to they indicate the stock 50 suspension has problems if you go to low, but from this thread it seems that is not the case...
     
  12. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    Anytime you change spring heights or pivot points you affect the suspension geometry and shock travel. This is what makes the upright swap so popular because the geometry and shock travel can be retained while still lowering the ride height. If I had the funds right now I would install uprights and cut half a coil up front but I'm not in a position to do that right now and cruising season is upon us so I went low tech.

    I want to just have fun with this car and not start chasing every upgrade or kit known to man on it because once that starts, it never seems to stop for me. I'm trying to leave it as original as possible and build/modify to preserve it with the belief that if I had to go back to all original, I could do that in a week without leaving a bunch of shrapnel behind.


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  13. DoinBrodys
    Joined: Jul 11, 2012
    Posts: 7

    DoinBrodys
    Member

    YIWORK, I'm with you on keeping this a budget build. Did you need to heat and bend the steering arm when you cut the coils, or is that only necessary with the dropped uprights? Thanks again for your input, its been very helpful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  14. 51_special
    Joined: Dec 20, 2012
    Posts: 83

    51_special
    Member

    Only need to heat for the uprights. I cut coils as well and it rides and steers just fine to me
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  15. tommyduncan
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 27

    tommyduncan
    Member

    Thanks for the update. I will check my Jeep spring part#s to see which ones I have. The stock 05' Jeep springs I put in my 62 GMC were too soft... then I remembered they were too soft for my 05 Jeep also!
    When I get my 55 home I think I will try what I have, couldn't hurt and they were free!
     
  16. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    Hey 51_Special are you on the bumpstops up front now? How many coils did you cut? Would love to see pics to compare to mine thx


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  17. 51_special
    Joined: Dec 20, 2012
    Posts: 83

    51_special
    Member

    YI_Work -The bump stops barely touch. It rides great haven't hit any big pot holes so its been nice. Frame at rockers is 6 inches from the ground. I need to take her out and enjoy this wonderful SoCal sun.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. 51_special
    Joined: Dec 20, 2012
    Posts: 83

    51_special
    Member

    I cut 1 1/2 coils out of the fronts. When i get the cash i may do the uprights as well and look at notching the rear. still run it as a static drop, no bags. I know that would put her at like 3 1/2 inches off the ground.
    But hey that's the fun of rolling traditional right?
     
  19. DoinBrodys
    Joined: Jul 11, 2012
    Posts: 7

    DoinBrodys
    Member

    Looks good 51_Special. How's the ride in the back with the elco springs? What tire size are you running? Thanks.
     
  20. tommyduncan
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 27

    tommyduncan
    Member

    Looks good!

    +1
     
  21. 51_special
    Joined: Dec 20, 2012
    Posts: 83

    51_special
    Member

    Thanks DoinBrodys and tommyduncan! the ride in back is great and all around a huge improvement. my lever actions are empty so they don't help a whole lot but i dont mind it for the time i usually have the wife and both kids when its time to cruise as well and there has been no complaints. even the wife says she likes the way it rides much better. when i get time i fill the shocks. once i get a chance i will get out there and get the tire size for you guys. i will also get some measurements of what the clearance is between the axle housing and the frame.
     
  22. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    So a friend who has been helping me on the car did a 'photo chop' of my Roadmaster on bags with some red wheel/ caps and wide whites. What do you guys think? ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1400904504.240215.jpg



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  23. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    My 8yr old daughter gives her approval. Lol. Looks awesome down low.

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  24. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    Tell your daughter thanks from Seattle haha


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  25. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    Got the hood and caps back on for mock up outside on a nice day. Just the motivation I needed for the final push to get her back on the road! ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402088573.151304.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402088595.245718.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402088620.556845.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402088636.206448.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402088649.046604.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402088672.036821.jpg


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  26. Y I W O R K
    Joined: Feb 19, 2014
    Posts: 54

    Y I W O R K
    Member

    Ok finally road worthy and rolling around town on 215/75 15's. It's on the bumps stops but rides very nice considering that fact. Took it to the local burger joint on SAT night after a quick test run earlier in the day. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407736311.096040.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407736353.603861.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407736415.624766.jpg


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    richard price and studeboy like this.

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