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New project: '57 Buick Special 2dr ht

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gggholson, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. gggholson
    Joined: Dec 9, 2007
    Posts: 127

    gggholson
    Member

    l am starting a new project and taking a new direction. I have spent most of my seven decades being one of those dreaded "restorer's". Now I headed down a new path with the '57 Buick and need some solid advice. I want to keep the body basically stock but want to make some serious alterations to the frame and suspension. I would like to upgrade to a more modern front suspension and eliminate the closed drive shaft. I plan to use a '66 Buick 425 dual quad and possibly a TH400 transmission.

    I saw a beautiful '57 at the Good Guys show in Del Mar this spring and it had a "Scotts" power rack and pinion and then I have seen cars with Fat Boys systems in them.

    My question is, has any one done a similiar project. What is the best system? What or where is a good source for information. What direction should I be considering for a rear end conversion? Any pros or cons on tubing the rear end?

    Appreciate any information that is out there.
     
  2. jasonp
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 706

    jasonp
    Member
    from Aurora,IL

    check out my 57 special in my profile album, its got a 455, TH400 combo
     
  3. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    I have a Jag suspension under mine. Though really the stock stuff rides and handles nice. I wanted disc's up front and it snowballed. Now there is the Scarebird kit.

    [​IMG]

    Not sure how I'd do it at this point. But most likely I'd end up bagging it.
     
  4. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    The '66 425 should have had a ST400 or SP400 behind it. That is the same as a TH400 but with a Nailhead bellhousing pattern.

    As for the rear, I would probably chase down an 61-63 Buick center section and trailing arm it. But if you are asking about tubbing the rear? I'd say no. wrong car for the pro street thing.
     
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  5. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    How about some pics of this bad boy?!
     
  6. twochops
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,510

    twochops
    Member

    They do look good with a mild chop.
    TwoChops
     

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  7. fryguy
    Joined: Nov 26, 2005
    Posts: 1,233

    fryguy
    Member

    Twochops, everytime I see your Buick, I start to foam at the mouth. One of the best looking customs of one of the Best Buick years.:)

    Fryguy
     
  8. twochops
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,510

    twochops
    Member

    -----------------------------------------------
    And I thank you for the kind words.
    TwoChops
     
  9. gggholson
    Joined: Dec 9, 2007
    Posts: 127

    gggholson
    Member

    Nice rides! '57's are COOL. Thank you for your pics and comments.

    I am a long way from having a driver. I just brought home a nice solid Colorado body (pics attached I hope) with solid floors and very little rust else where. Also have parted out a rusty WI car. I probably have 95% + of the parts for the car with exception of the modifications to the chassis. I have spent a good part of the day looking at web sites for new front suspensions with rack and pinion steering and air bags. Still have more research to do and still looking for additional input.

    I did error in that I have a SP400 tranny so should be good to go there. I am one to get everything planned out in my head and have most all of the components before starting a project so I am still thinking!! Hope to be making a serious start by spring.
     

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  10. Nick32vic
    Joined: Jul 17, 2003
    Posts: 3,017

    Nick32vic
    Member

    My dad and I are building a 56 2 door hardtop right now. I have a build thread on here. gonna update it in a little bit. We are subframing it with a 65 riviera and using the rivi rear end too. We are bagging it.

    Good luck with your project.
     
  11. PITRE ART
    Joined: Nov 25, 2009
    Posts: 99

    PITRE ART
    Member

    Love those Buicks!
     
  12. Sauli
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Sauli
    Member

    I don´t know what rear track-width You´re after exactly, but if I had a pre-´61 Buick and wanted a different trans/rear end for it, I´d find a later-model full-size donor car with a 4-link rear suspension and a close-match track width, and go to town.
    Like I´ve mentioned several times on here before, I´ve seen at least ´50,´52, ´54 and ´55 Supers where a whole rear cross-member with its coil springs, all 4 ctrl -arms and the complete rear axle assembly out of an ´80s GM B-body (Caprice, and ´85-back RWD Delta 88, Buick Lesabre, Pontiac Parisienne sedans) was grafted on to the rear frame of the old Buick eliminating the whole closed torque-tube rear-suspension, thus affording the choice of whatever kind of transmission You might want with Your new open driveline now. Some careful measuring, cutting, heavy lifting and -welding required, but You probably knew to expect that already, LOL. Do Your homework on track-width regarding Your smaller-body "Special" though, as the STW rears are slightly wider than the sedan -ones. Also worth a mention might be that the ´80s Caprice 9C1´s (police/fire/taxi -package cars) as well as the top-of the-line Caprice Broughams also came with a rear sway bar standard, as well as with the 5X5" B-O-P bolt-pattern hubs, which also happens to be the bolt-pattern on all the wagons, incl. Chevies. On the later, ´91-on bodystyles, a disc-brake rear can be had at least on the said cop-cars. Just my 2c, perhaps an option to look into. HTH, best of luck.
     

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