dagibsonsg

1954 Buick Super 56R Frame-off restoration

97 posts in this topic

one thing I noticed when removing the engine was that the front frame horns are bent towards the passenger side. The rest of the frame appears straight Is the front an easy fix and anyone have an idea how much it would cost? looks like they are just slightly bent sideways probably from a previous accident.

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I called one place and they gave me an approximate amount of around $500.  Is that reasonable for just the front horns? seems a bit high I would think but then again several shops didn't want anything to do with old frames.

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Avgwarhawk, thats good to know as I've never had it done before. This is an unexpected setback as I was just about to get it completely stripped, blasted and painted. I can't remove the suspension as they said I need it rolling so they can mount it on their machine.

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If they are using a machine to true up the frame and straighten the front portion of the frame then yes, I would think $500 is a good investment.   Time worth taking because when you are ready to start mounting fenders/bumpers and cross members it will be as it should.  I can only imagine the struggle getting the front straight with the frame moved to the side like that.  

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Maybe they were using the beast to plow snow!

Sorry, I didn't have anything to add... I know, children should be seen and not heard. I'll go back into the corner.

old-tank likes this

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Hey Jerry the car is from Minnesota so I wouldn't doubt it... lol. You guys get a ton of snow up there.

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On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 9:01 AM, dagibsonsg said:

 

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Judging from your first picture, your Super looks like it took a hard hit on the passenger's side front bumper corner to buckle the top frame rails. My guess is that the bumper most likely was replaced along with other parts. Did you compare the left and right bumper brackets for straightness?

For a rough estimate, drop a plumb bob down from the four outer corners of the frame and mark the points with chalk on the concrete floor. Roll the frame out of the way, measure the diagonals to see how far your frame was racked from where the diagonals meet at the center point. Plenty of dimensions in the 1954 Buick Shop Manual, page 432, for reference.   

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

MrEarl likes this

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Hi Al, I ran the measurements in the book and the rest of the frame is straight except for the front horns. Seems like it was hit on driver side as they are bent toward the passenger side.  I'm about to take apart the engine to see if there are any issues with it. have you had any engine work done and if so where could I take it to get machined if necessary as everyone advises to have it only taken to someone with knowledge of 322 so they don't screw it up.

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What is the mileage on the block?   If not that many and the insides look good perhaps just a hone of the cylinders and new rings.  Put it back together.   

old-tank and stealthbob like this

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Take a lesson from me who did not listen to these guys, I did a full rebuild which I believe now was unnecessary.

There are some little items that need to be referenced if a full rebuild is done, first do not have hardened seats put in the heads and secondly (and I am sure someone will chime in on the specifics) there is an oil plug that many kits get wrong and is too deep which blocks flow. Not sure if that second point is true any longer but it was about 4 years ago.

 

 

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Avgwarhawk, The speedometer shows 70,000 miles if correct. I'll open it up and see how it looks and hopefully it doesn't need a ton of work. If I can get by with just a hone, rings and gaskets to put together that would be great. the full rebuilt kits are expensive.

Stealthbob, Thanks for the info. I ran across some information on the hardened seats as well and they mention they would ruin the heads  http://centervilleautorepair.com/tech-info/15-most-common-mistakes

Where did you buy your rebuild kit from? I saw some that said they were deluxe kits with everything needed and they were over $2000. Hopefully I won't need to use one of those.

I dropped off the frame at a body shop this weekend, emailed them the specs from the book so hopefully I get it back by the end of the week.

stealthbob likes this

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70,000 is not a lot.  I would bet a hone,  new rings and clean up the heads.  

Concerning hardened seats,  my 264 was rebuilt prior to my ownership.  The heads had hardened seats installed.   One seat failed with very little mileage on the motor.  Lot of dollars later she has a new set heads without seat.   Anyone who looks at your heads and recommends the seats....run.  This ain't a Chevy motor.  The manual is thorough on head work. 

 

old-tank and stealthbob like this

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Started taking the engine apart last week. Took the covers off and they are rusted on the inside and a ton of gunk. looked more like mud coming out of the engine and not antifreeze when I removed the water pump and mounts.

 

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I finally brought the frame back from the body shop this past friday. The entire frame needed work to get it squared. I spent all day friday and sunday removing the suspension and removing grease and dirt from the frame and suspension. that took forever. doesn't seem to be any easy way to do it.

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MrEarl and wndsofchng06 like this

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Hey guys I have a question for you. since I have the steering all apart, is there anything I should replace while its disassembled? Such as the tie rods or anything else that wears as a preventative measure? Should I paint everything in black to match the frame?

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I just saw a video that old-tank posted regarding rebuilding the power steering pump which is great. I'm going to follow that to rebuild mine and I also saw the colors he used for the steering linkage which I'll use as well. looks great. Thanks for posting that info, link and video to your site old-tank!

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Good idea to do the steering box now since it is a "beach" to get out later.  The other parts can be reused if tight especially if the the car will be used sparingly on local roads.  But if you anticipate lots of miles driving all over the country, then replace or rebuild all components.  When I did my convertible 20 years ago, I replaced and rebuilt everything...got a total of 5.000 miles now (stupid, stupid, stupid!!!).

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 0:07 PM, dagibsonsg said:

I finally brought the frame back from the body shop this past friday. The entire frame needed work to get it squared. I spent all day friday and sunday removing the suspension and removing grease and dirt from the frame and suspension. that took forever. doesn't seem to be any easy way to do it.

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IMG_20171022_103928.jpg

I had mine sand blasted for $200, then I epoxy primed the entire thing...

043.JPG

wndsofchng06 likes this

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Old-tank, yeah it probably won't be a daily driver so I guess once I cleanup all the steering linkage and take a good look at it might not replace everything as it adds up in cost. By the way if it wasn't for your video I was a bit hesistant to open up the gearbox but your video will be a big help. Thanks!

Jerry! That frame is looking good! I should have mine back next week and it'll cost $250 for blasting. I bought the eastwood epoxy and 2k paint for it. Can't wait to get it back. just ordered new shocks and springs from jamco to lower it a bit. I called Brad on the heavy duty sway bar he was selling but is all out. Might have them this winter..

72gs455 likes this

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The sway bar is well worth the money, Brad makes a great product.  It makes a huge difference on that heavy front end!  Nice work!!

For front steering tightness, pay more attention to the idler arm bushing and the connecting rod springs.  The steering gear is a beefy unit, it will likely only need an adjustment beyond the new seals.  Watch the video Old Tank did, and then just follow the factory manual.

Be sure to check for leaks before it goes on, I had a problem with gear oil leaking at the side plate, and it was a pain to do on the car with the inner fender on...

 

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