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Ideas brewing..1940 buick frame

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by handmedown40limited, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    I have seen plenty of threads about building from for smaller hot rods.

    long post please read if you have frame experience

    I will load a picture of the frame diagram when I am at work

    I am thinking about making a frame for my 1940 Buick Limited. Wheel base is 133 inches. Overall length of the frame is a hair over 186 inches. 49 inches wide in the rear and tapers to 26 inches in the front. I have to get back under it but the frame rails ( to the best of my memory) are 6 inch "c" channel maybe taller. Boxed from the cowl forward and has a giant "x" brace in the middle.

    I was thinking I could use 6x2 x.188 wall tubing.

    I have never built a frame before. But have friends that have, smaller hot rods.

    I runs a cnc machine shop and have access to NC punches and large shear and break. So the fab part should be no problem.

    can anyone give me any pointers on this.

    the car was my great grandfathers and I want to keep it original but at the same time I want it to be safe and modern so I can take the family in it and not worry. So I want to build a replacement frame so I can run a more modern suspension without hacking the original.

    sorry so long. Seems like I always ramble on.

    ken


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  2. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,159

    badshifter
    Member

    I'd say a frame that has serviced that car for 73 years is plenty safe. If it was dangerous, that 40 wouldn't be around any more.
    I'd put my family in a factory engineered car before I put them in a car built by a bunch of guys who have built stuff before, with advice off the Internet.
     
  3. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    thank you shifter, i get and understand what you are saying. the car has been resting since 1956.

    i updated the original post with a diagram of the frame. sorry for it being sideways


    i would like to run a more updated suspension system with disc brakes and better geometry for modern roads. I don't plan on staying on bias ply either. I will be designing around a jag front and rear.

    I could incorporate this into the stock from but dont want to hack any of that up.

    just looking for ideas.

    thanks
    ken
     
  4. dontlifttoshift
    Joined: Sep 17, 2005
    Posts: 651

    dontlifttoshift
    Member

    [​IMG]



    We did a chassis for one using the orginal rails and x frame. There is a lot of shape in that frame in side profile and top view. The parts we used aren't exactly on topic but you can see the pictures here.
     
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  5. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    greybeard360
    Member

    Here are some pics of a 40 Chevy frame I repaired/modified. The car rides like a dream and drives like a pony car !

    Since these photos, we added a front stabilizer bar... made a world of difference in the handling.

    We added the read shock crossmember and the trans crossmember and surrounding stiffening structure. The M2 front suspension was probably the easiest part of the build. The Heidt's crossmember fell right into place.... very nice product !
     

    Attached Files:

  6. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    here is the car. great grandfather bought it new.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. You do know that a 40 Buick Limited is a full Classic according to the CCCA. Are you sure you want to cut one up?
     
  8. dontlifttoshift
    Joined: Sep 17, 2005
    Posts: 651

    dontlifttoshift
    Member

    40 Chevy is a completely different animal.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  9. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,242

    KJSR
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    With the family history and the completeness of the car it would be a shame to modify it.....
     
  10. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    greybeard360
    Member

    Yup, just posted for reference and possible mods.
     
  11. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,031

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd be restoring a car like that, not "resto-rodding it. Too rare to butcher. I've got a 1940 Cadillac I'll make you a hell of a deal on if you want to cut something.
     
  12. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    don't lift, those are awesome pictures. i an gonna study them but my frame is much larger then yours. the trailing arms on mine are large "I" beams or two "c" channels like the chevy truck stuff, I will try to get some pictures tonight. everything is beefy.
     
  13. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    thats the thing i dont want to cut anything up. this is has been handed down 4 generations and when i give it to my son it will be five generations.but only 2 have driven it. to restore the chassis will be alot of money and time i want to restore the original chassis but would also like to use the car and build with my son. i know its a ccca classic. it will not be getting sold but driven. the 320 was replaced by a 1951( i believe) back in 1955, rebuilt and rodded, cammed and a 2 x 2 intake.

    i plan to drive this thing alot. It will become my daily driver when it is ready. that means more to me then aaca or rare. i drive my cars alot when i have one to drive.
    i will keep everything and restore as time goes on. one day i will swap the chassis back out. either way i have safe long term storage for the original chassis when this happens.
     
  14. dontlifttoshift
    Joined: Sep 17, 2005
    Posts: 651

    dontlifttoshift
    Member

    The only thing better than a owning a classic is driving one, worry and trouble free.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  15. Yeah, building an entire new chassis is way cheaper and will take far less time than redoing the one you have?!?!
    As far as, "someday", putting it all back to original, I've seen it a hundred times. It rarely happens. The old chassis will sit in the weeds and decompose or take up too much space and will be disposed of. A chassis takes up as much storage space as an entire car. I am not anti hot rod or I wouldn't be here, but I just think that a car, especially a valuable one, that has survived, in one family, for 73 years, should continue to do so. Rebuild the suspension, add power disc brakes and drive it.
    BTW, once you drive that enormous, gas sucking car for a while, you may want to reexamine the "daily driver" deal. I had a 47 Super with compound carbs and it was a gas pig.
    In the final analysis, it is your car and you can build a monster truck out of it, if you wish. Just be sure you have your ducks in a row and you are sure of your skill set and your ability to see it through to the end. It is a monumental task. Proper frame construction is vital if you want things to line up, doors to open and close and so on. Just lifting that body off of the frame will require a tad more than a bumper jack and a come along.
    I'd sure hate to see it on CL, in a few years, in pieces and incomplete
     
  16. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    I'm not trying to be rude but I was mainly asking for pointers on building a frame for a large car. Lets pretend its a 49 Chrysler 4 door.
     
  17. ....and I am not trying to be rude, as well. If you are not qualified to build an entire new chassis for a Buick Limited, without pointers from internet experts, then it is, certainly, not a good plan. It is a complicated and exacting build and is not for amateurs or the faint of heart.
    BTW, if it was a 49 Chrysler, my advice would be the same. Rebuild the chassis and add upgraded brakes
    Good luck and be sure to post lots of pictures.
     
  18. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,528

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    I would think the jag would be way off on Ackerman with that long a wheelbase, and the weight difference would also concern me. If I was to try to do something like you are considering I would look at using a later 70's Chevy truck front end- the weight of the truck
    with load would be similar and the front end bolts in. Bolt pattern would match your existing
    as well. A long bed wheelbase would be a lot closer that a Jags. The frame could be configured to make the car as low as you wanted or as high as stock, and disc brakes are
    part of the package. Might need to check the width of the front end vs. your buick but the
    Limited is a very big car.
     
  19. Rigante
    Joined: Apr 15, 2013
    Posts: 8

    Rigante
    Member

    in terms of safety, fitting a roll cage and door bars will make the most difference to surviving a crash. with separate chassis cars the body tends to get wiped off the chassis.

    something tucked up as close to the pillars as possible with an X across the roof and diagonals/gussets where you can.

    boxing the existing frame and rigging up more castor and decent brakes would be a big enough job without a scratch built frame
     
  20. csimonds
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 546

    csimonds
    Member

    Looks like you just need to throw some gas in that Bad Larry and cruise! Like the others have said, I think it would be cheaper to just freshen up what you have. Beef up the braking system which will be very do-able, https://scarebird.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=132. The guy who owns the company in that link is a Hamber and seems to be a braking expert from what I see. Good luck with your family Heirloom!
    Chuck
     
  21. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    Restoring the factory chassis is more $$ than building new one? Better handling for newer roads? It sounds like you want a new car with an old body.

    Part of the charm of the older rides is the vintage feel, how they drive. If you would feel better with radials, newer brakes and maybe better gearing, that would go a long ways toward the better driving experience you seek, and be easy to swap back when so desired. That car is much more advanced than a model A, I see several A's driving around my area on a daily basis.

    I would go through what you have and get it road worthy, drive it for abit, you may change your mind.
     
  22. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,146

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    If you want a modern suspension I would clip it with a rear steer 68-74 nova / 67-69 camaro subframe, swap out the rear, and go from there. CCCA or not I would have the sawzall out :D
     
  23. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    i dont want to hack up the original stuff, i was going to built new upper and lower a-arms that mount in the stock location but use ball joints and a compatible spindle, was thinking late 60's impala spindle with disc brakes and then add a rack and pinion. but then i am re engineering the steers and working off the stock locations and the upper and lower arms are hugely different in length the bottom a-arm is like 19 inches long and the top is around 8.

    so i was thinking a whole chassis. a jag xj12 can be found easily motor / jag weighs on par with my buick. so i am not to worried about overloading the stock jag stuff. i have plenty of material and can get anything i would need at a reasonable cost thru my work.

    like i said i am not to concerned about the car being a ccca car. thats cool and have bragging rights i guess, but thats it for me.

    thanks
    ken
     
  24. 2racer
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 960

    2racer
    Member

    I think your plan is sound, do it your way!
     
  25. Now what a smart guy would do, is engineer himself up some brackets for a new suspension, that he could drill and bolt to the stock frame, resulting in the upgrades he wants, without really cutting anything up.

    I agree about clipping one of these for the front end, though.

    As for the originality, I have a '40 Roadmaster coupe I've advertised for years. Nobody gives a shit. Cut it right up. When they bitch afterwards, point them at my ad.
     
  26. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,159

    badshifter
    Member

    I'd like to see just one picture of that as proof.
    Should be easy as there are a couple hundred million separate chassis cars and trucks out there. I'm not saying it's never happened, but the term "tends to" says it happens more often than not.
    So, a picture please.
     
  27. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    i kinda wish it was a smaller model. to the best of my knowledge and research there is only 3000 or so of these. it is a really big car. the third window on the side rolls back because that is actually where the back seat sits. i have to figure all this out.

    i want to build a new chassis so i can over time rework the original also i know it would be time consuming but time is what i have not so much money. to rebuild the 4 shocks i would have over a grand into them. i can get my parts car and material for that price.

    or redesign the suspension so it all bolts in. i dont know. rebuilding everything stock is probably out of the questiong for years
     
  28. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,146

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    Pack the shocks full of grease, cheaper than a rebuild and I dont think anyone uses oil in them anymore anyway. Worn shocks would not keep me from driving the car, worn king pins/ joints/ brakes would. IMO If the ultimate goal is to keep the original stuff then get the car driving and repair / replace the original stuff as time and money allow. Building a new "temporary" chassis is a waste of time and money when you could be wrenching on the car and getting it on the road.
    If yours front end is complete junk I have a complete 1941 buick century front suspension here, whole front frame clip that I cut off one of my parts cars. So I have control arms, front and rear shocks, spindles, brakes, etc.. all available cheap if needed, maybe better than what you have or rebuild one set while the car is still complete.
     

  29. Okay, this has been asked before, but if it's going to take forever to rework the original that you need another frame, just how long is it going to take to build a frame from scratch?


    The most common misconception of a frame swap is that it's easier/faster than using the stock frame. The vast majority of frame swap cars end up never finished because it turns out to be much harder than it looked before everything was all torn apart.


    Oh, and my Roadmaster they made 3600 of. I've had an ad up somewhere since day one and that was.... hell, maybe 10 years ago now, I'm not even sure, long enough I don't remember. It ain't in that bad of shape, but sitting isn't doing it any favors.
     
  30. handmedown40limited
    Joined: Mar 28, 2011
    Posts: 204

    handmedown40limited
    Member
    from tracy ca

    i appreciate the offer but i believe the Century is a 60 series? mine is a 80 and to the best of my knowledge everything got bigger. most parts are 80 and 90 series only. hard to come by.







    i dont know how long it would take to build a new chassis, not to concerned as i will be able to get most of the material up front and can be in the garage with my son "playing".

    I can't tell you condition, been sitting outside since 1956. So in my mind everything needs to be replaced. Haven't had much luck finding break parts. All stupid prices but I expect that with its rarity. But either way I would want to have everything here to rebuild new. Or most of it at least. I don't like pulling stuff apart without have everything I think I will need next to me and a wad of cash in my pocket to spend on the unexpected stuff. That is why the car has been sittin in my possession for 10 years already and nothing much for progress other then she will start right up and run. But motor has to come out to get regasketed etc.

    I appreciate everyone's input. I will sleep on it for a while more.

    Thanks
    Ken
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013

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