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Help Rudy - my 85 year old neighbor with 1930 Buick

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rcrahn, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. rcrahn
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 8

    rcrahn
    Member
    from San Jose

    Rudy is this cool 85 year old guy in my neighborhood with a 1930 Buick. He loves his car. So one day last week Rudy said he wanted to look into installing a new front axle. Told me the ride was real rough. His front axle has leaf springs.
    Not knowing alot about these cars I'm hoping HAMB members can help suggest some vendors that offer a IFS for this. Thanks....
     
  2. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    mustang6147
    Member
    from Kent, Ohio

    I would not change it.... Change the shocks/springs.... Solid axles are cool
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  3. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Actually, if it's an all stock original type car I'd be willing to bet that all it needs is the springs dissassembled and cleaned, painted and tefloned to get the stock ride qualities back. And if you really wanrt to help him, that's pretty easy to do as a nieghbor. I taught my 12 year old nephew last year how to detail spring packs, so just about anybody could. If you want more details, I'd be happy to walk you through. or as suggested above, the stock shocks could be frozen up...
     

  4. Yep, as was suggested, go through the spring packs and clean and lube. Maybe even remove a leaf or two.
     
  5. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

    Not much love around here for IFS conversions on straight axle cars, if you couldn't tell already. This is a traditional hot rod site.

    If Rudy really has his heart set on IFS there is a fat man that can help him. Google is your friend.

    Just make sure he keeps all those old parts. They can always be reinstalled.
     
  6. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    That conversion isn't going to happen overnight, a lot of engineering involved, and at 85 YO Rudy should just concentrate on tuning the suspension that is under it now. I bet he has no idea how complex doing this swap is going to be and at his age he won't be doing all the labor himself.

    It could also be that as his body aged he feels every bump now, I know I do and I am about 20 years his junior.

    Don
     
  7. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    mustang6147
    Member
    from Kent, Ohio

    I wish my truck was a straight axle......
     
  8. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member


    Absolutely the points I was trying to make without actually saying it...
     
  9. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,800

    40Standard
    Member
    from Indy

    start with a new frame form So Cal, drop in a 283...............
     
  10. rcrahn
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 8

    rcrahn
    Member
    from San Jose

    I will PM you about how to detail the spring packs. Thanks....

    I'm a newbie here and was just passing along Rudys request. I can appreciate how the majority like straight axle cars....If we can keep it and improve the ride quality I'm certain Rudy will be interested. I'll post up some pics soon of the car and Rudy...Thanks
     
  11. rcrahn
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 8

    rcrahn
    Member
    from San Jose

    Just want to get back to HAMB about Rudy and his 1930 Buick. He came down the street today honking his horn and I waved him over to take some photos. Incidentially, I was wrong on his age, he's 87.....
    I told him about repacking the leafs with the teflon sheets. As I look at his spring packs there's no doubt in my mind these are absolutely flat, hence his harsh ride. He told me today that some time ago 2 leafs were removed. Also, his wish is for the car to sit lower. I told him rebuilding the leaf packs is gonna do the opposite and raise the car slightly but he'll have a better ride.
    Note: he does have a rack and pinion installed. Yeah, I know it's not good and when you see the angle of it you'll agree. This is another issue that needs to be sorted out. but for right now I want to focus on the leaf springs.
    Where can they be sent to be re-arched? Any assistance is most appreciated.
    Rich
     

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  12. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438

    raidmagic
    Member

    Fantastic looking car and I think it's not only awesome that he still drives and enjoys it but that he is wanting to improve the drive ability of the car. Good luck. Keep us posted on how it goes.
     
  13. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,322

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Part of the problem looks like those angle iron shock mounts would bottom out on the frame, there looks to be very little clearance, so he's not getting any suspension travel.
     
  14. Window Licker
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 288

    Window Licker
    Member

    i agree ^^^^

    also what is the steering rack mounted to?
     
  15. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 968

    Ice man
    Member

    Keep it stock and cut those angle plates so they give more frame travel. I'll bet that's all it needs. 15 mins with a burning torch and he will be a happy camper, and you will be his friend for the rest of his life. Iceman
     
  16. rcrahn
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 8

    rcrahn
    Member
    from San Jose

    Great point....

    Not sure, below are additional pictures. The angle to the steering arm is steep. Not good. I know it's not good.

    So where on the angle plate should I make that cut? Are you talking about narrowing the base where it rests on the leaf? I have a Milwaukee cold saw that can cut angle iron easily.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. carlisle1926
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 536

    carlisle1926
    Member

    Man what a mess. I believe I would try to unbolt and remove that piece of angle iron that the shock is mounted to and test drive it without shocks to see if that piece was bottoming out or not. If the shock brackets is bottoming out, cut it so that it clears the frame or make a new shock mount. I would also be concerned that the springs might be bottoming out on the bottom of the rack unit.
     
  18. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    I don't want to sound like a dick and I know you want to help out Rudy but he really should to take to a shop that knows what they are doing. The fact that somebody has already installed that rack and those shock mounts tells me whoever has been working on it doesn't know much about suspension and steering.

    But if you insist, the shocks being straight up and down are hurting the ride, they should be at an angle, the shackles are at a pretty bad angle and the ends of each leaf should be ground at a taper so they aren't grinding into the other leaf.

    And for sure the tie rods need to be straightened out, at that angle a good dip in the road could snap them right off at their pivot.
     
  19. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I really agree with T McG, that car needs taken to a shop that does really good hot rod fabrication and have them sort it out. The shock mounts are really bad, the springs are flat, and that rack and pinion steering would be of concern to me if it were mine.

    At 87 Rudy needs to get this thing in good working order as soon as possible and a competent shop can go through it and give him back a car fairly quickly that he will enjoy driving for the rest of his life.

    I know you are trying to be a good guy, and that is great, but this thing has all the earmarks of becoming a full time job for you if you get involved too deep. We've all tried to do someone a favor and before we knew it we were regretting it.

    Don
     
  20. rcrahn
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 8

    rcrahn
    Member
    from San Jose

    Guys, I appreciate the input...I have plenty on my plate as it is. I do want to collect the information from this board and explain to Rudy what the feedback has been. Then I'd love to see him take it to a shop that can do the work correctly. Now, we live near San Jose in the SF bay area. So I'm asking for input on shops that you know of in this area. It is most appreciated.
    Thanks again....
     
  21. Jiminy
    Joined: Oct 25, 2012
    Posts: 361

    Jiminy
    Member

    Gambino is in town and an alliance vendor - not sure who else. PM them and see if they will take a look?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  22. 32ford5
    Joined: Sep 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,100

    32ford5
    Member
    from Australia

    I've always thought that the opposite is true. I can remember our mechanics teacher specifically drawing this up on the blackboard in high school.

    The way I remember it; shocks "straight up" work most efficiently and any angle away from straight up reduces it's effective dampening rate. For example, shocks laid way over (towards being parallel to the ground) will have almost no shock absorption and shocks straight up (90 degrees to the ground) will have the most efficient shock absorption. I think shock absorber angle is more of a function of available mounting points than a design feature to make them work more efficiently.

    Could be wrong but that's how I remember it - makes sense to me.
     
  23. All i'm going to say is the picture of him and his car is pretty damn cool.
    Both look great for their age.
     

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