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Hot Rods What are my options?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SuperWildcat, Aug 26, 2021.

  1. SuperWildcat
    Joined: Jul 8, 2021
    Posts: 17


    The car is a 1941 Buick Sedanet and right now it's bone stock. I want to improve the front suspension for handling and most of all better brakes. Attached are pictures of what the existing suspension looks like. I'm not really interested in a mustang II suspension. Hoping some of you guys have some ideas you're willing to share.

    20210826_170821.jpg 20210826_170826.jpg 20210826_170838.jpg 20210826_170900.jpg 20210826_171006.jpg
  2. Everything i can think of is off topic for the HAMB and would get me stuck in detention, so I'm gonna say you could put new shocks on it? ;):D
    BigDogSS and squirrel like this.
  3. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,625


    Same thoughts here....although 'someone', back in the past, put Jag stuff under a 57 Buick. As I recall it made for a very sweet ride.
    Maybe a fresh coat of paint.....:confused:
    SuperWildcat likes this.
  4. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,338

    from VA

    There a lot of options ,
    Nothing wrong with the original design, just is not going to handle like a Ferrari.
    For years street driven & drag raced in stock 1940 PLY front end with a Blown Sbc 100 mph in 1/8th

  5. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 169

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    You Already have good pictures. Myself I would want to strip it down sanitize it and replace all bushes. I would find a spring shop, explain what am looking for. have springs tested to see if the weight of the car warrants some stiffening, or not. Carefully assemble the workings. Chase down any specs I can find. include a rebuild of the box.

    My reasons for this approach obviously would save money, maybe time, More importantly Buicks have always been a topline riding car. Compare any year Buick to a Caddy, Caddy prestige gets lost on the ride of a Buick. Also points will be won with Buick Lovers. True that we make these treasures what we want, but always It helps to have appreciation from the public.
    BTW I used to have a 40 Buick come for service.
    Algoma56, clem and Boryca like this.
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,867


    What do you plan to do with the car?

    how much money do you have?

    how much time do you have?

    I expect the shock is part of the upper control arm, and is probably out of fluid? Getting that fixed might be the first thing to try. As for the brakes....the Bendix type brakes you have are a really good design, and if you just get everything working right, they'll stop the car just fine. But you may not be someone who can drive with 70 year old brakes? I've been driving cars and trucks with that type brake since I started driving in 1977, and have no problems with them.

    I guess the most important thing is to figure out what you want to do with the car. Think long and hard about'll probably find that there are other things about old cars that might limit your enjoyment, that you haven't though of yet. If you can shift your expectations back in time, you might find that you have a pretty nice car, and it's a pleasure to drive.
    olscrounger and firstinsteele like this.
  7. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,700

    anthony myrick

    Cruiser, strip, autocross?
    That car actually rides very well.
    Handling? A fresh rebuild and sway bar improvements. Better shocks.look into changing to tube shocks.
    Brakes? Well the HAMB answer is to rebuild what’s there. You can get improved friction material for the brake shoes.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
    olscrounger and Just Gary like this.
  8. Clean up and rebuild what you have. You will find that with a rebuild it will be better than you may think. A slight lowering and smaller tires can do wonders. By smaller I mean go from the 16" currently to a 15" wider tire. Care will have to be paid to the wheel off set and width but that alone will help immensely.
  9. This is so relative! What car are you using as a yardstick to gauge 'good handling?'

    As with most above I would say rebuild the complete suspension, quality shocks (Bilstein seem to be miracle workers) and possibly up the sway bar size a little.
  10. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 453


    Glad to hear it...............Neither are we...:eek:

    If you totally renew and rebuild the original suspension, you will be amazed at how it will ride and handle............guaranteed. Lower it slightly and use the very best shocks you can afford.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
  11. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 1,093


    XXL__ likes this.
  12. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,323

    from Michigan

    The shocks are probably the main culprit. Don't even think about rebuilding them. You can put more oil in them, and it might improve it for a while, but it'll probably all leak back out after a while. Just keep it wet enough inside with oil for lubrication.
    Install tubular shocks.
    Replace sway bar links and anything else that's wiggly.
    Rebuild your brakes. Including the master cylinder.
    Have fun. Be careful. Good luck.
    Algoma56 and X38 like this.
  13. The damn cobwebs tell a story! When was that thing last driven to even check the handling. Same suspension that is in my 1950. I realize we all , mostly, define ride, handling, etc, differently. If the shocks will not nold oil, have them rebuilt. About $200.00 each. Mods to install tube shocks will cost more and will not help, riding or handling. As squirrel said, brakes are good unless you will be racing.

  14. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,189


    As everyone above states, repair the shocks. Rebuild the brakes. Those cars have decent brakes. Be sure to get brake shoes relined or replaced. You do not know what may have contaminated the linings over the years.
  15. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,323

    from Michigan

    The shocks can be repaired. I shouldn't have said "don't even think about it". But it's a fairly specialized process, not something that everybody can do, and I got the sense that you might not want to get into all that. There are those who have added tube shocks as an alternative. Not very difficult or expensive. Of course it helps. You asked for options. It's an option.
  16. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,545


    If you notice my avatar is a 41 olds same animal as your Buick.I rebuilt the front end and put Gabriel shocks on it with larger sway bar no sports car but it handles a lot better.
    Algoma56 likes this.
  17. I'm in the rebuild and refresh what you have, adjust the brakes properly, and see where that takes you. You should be pleased with the ride.
  18. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,055

    from Oregon

    Likely the old Delco shock absorbers may need more than just parts replaced. Often they need to be bored a sleeved to rebuild them, and that's when it gets expensive! But once properly rebuilt they do work pretty darn good.
    I personally wouldn't rebuild them, and instead would fit the lower control arm with a lower shock mount, and add an upper mounting point to the frame, then you can use common modern shocks. Of course you'll still want to rebuild the kingpins, and bushings wherever you can, plus steering arms, etc. And add a heavy duty swaybar to handle the weight of your '41 also. Might even retrofit a rear swaybar if you want the whole suspension to drive better, and eliminate the body roll these cars have.
    olscrounger likes this.
  19. SuperWildcat
    Joined: Jul 8, 2021
    Posts: 17


    Thanks for the advice folks. I do like the fact that these control arms are forged iron rather than stamped steel. The bushings are all solid and greasable which is a plus. It looks like just about everything is still available so I will look into that option rather than changing to something else.

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