1955 Buick Special with a Hemi

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by kberjian, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    8E87C93E-28B1-4DC4-901F-5D392F2F41F2.jpeg 128831C2-3EA9-41B0-A32E-07888808ADFE.jpeg 5D2C04EB-AB8E-4502-9A99-DB7239D92925.jpeg I am from Calgary Ab Canada and am building up the Special to be a family friendly cruiser for my four kids and wife and also to pull around a camper. Car is a 45,000 mile original with no modifications that I purchased from a family friend about ten years ago. I only started working on it about 2 months ago and the progress is going well. I removed the stock drivetrain and dropped in a 5.7l hemi and RFE545 trans from a new dodge truck. The only rust on the car was drivers floor board which I removed. Also had to modify the trans tunnel to get the trans to fit well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  2. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    F980A494-B273-4870-B091-4C72C5E9EF6B.jpeg 2B83695C-58B6-410E-9FE8-D17EA1774787.jpeg Here are the engine and trans mounts I made to get it all secure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  3. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    04A7D76D-E0D8-4BE4-B598-B9FE64C36573.jpeg 14089D8F-726B-41FD-96F4-3CF930D61899.jpeg 9AD6064C-6F5C-4656-9653-2D5CE20412FA.jpeg Pulled out the stock differential/torque tube setup and am getting ready to put in a 8.8” ford limited slip with disc brakes. Also keeping the Triangulated four link setup that came with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  4. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    B1C26BF5-1A1B-4A45-A533-FF92004332FE.jpeg D0453ECA-42D0-43D5-A59C-C0C87409F868.jpeg 2C75DBB1-2DD5-45F2-B355-9BB4C19435F4.jpeg Nailhead was running when the car was parked in a shed in the early 1980s. It can be turned over with a bar now. I pulled it out because I wanted a auto trans and efi for dependability and ease of use for my wife.

    Engine and trans are still assembled and sitting inside my shop on a stand. If someone is interested it is for sale. I also have some other stock parts in good condition that I don’t plan on reusing.

    My name is Karson Berjian. Built some other cars before this and participated in other forums with the same username. Kinda just stuck. Other builds were a Dodge Neon that has around 1000hp I have been trying to get down to the Bonneville flats but my schedule hasn’t lined up with it well yet. Second major project was a 1929 Willy’s Whippet I built a completely custom frame, fabbed up half of the body panels from scratch, and put a turbo 4 cylinder and transmission in the trunk driving the rear wheels.
     
    322bnh and Bad Boattail like this.
  5. John Codman

    John Codman Platinum Level Contributor

    I like your style - you do what you like, not the same stuff that has been done a hundred times before. I'm a Nailhead guy, but your '55 Buick project is cool, and the 5.7 Hemi is a good engine.
    Welcome aboard!
     
  6. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    AA7FC38B-84D9-4740-8BF4-B2A2A78EB4CC.jpeg 7BA478C7-565C-4C59-93CB-372F5EB69CF8.jpeg 34018375-9488-40FA-A030-11107490D566.jpeg Fit up the new rear end. It is the perfect width and the triangulated four link will work awesome and not need any big changes to the stock frame. I will retain the full four link with the sway bar. I need some 3/8” plate to make the mounting plates and some new grade 8 bolts for the connections to the frame. My fancy jack with the adjustment screws was a life saver as it could rotate it on both axis and also go up and down very finitely. The connection for the driveshaft is perfect too! I have all morning tomorrow to hit it so I am expecting big things!
     
  7. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    7A4368A2-BA83-428A-B7CD-9AEDB4CD8C59.jpeg E217F044-E2CD-42FD-9247-951F3372CF08.jpeg This morning I ran to town and bought the steel and bolts and got straight to work. Fabbed up the lower mounts on both sides from 3/8” plate and used grade 8 bolts for the connection. The frame Ys at the spot I was tying in so I plated it across to ensure it has enough strength. The frame is kinda weird as the X crossmember actually goes inside the perimeter frame rail so my platting ended up level. I triple checked the squareness and the alignment in the fenders and tacked it all in. This afternoon I will tackle the upper mounts. I will finish weld everything after I make sure it goes through the motions without binding.
     
  8. 68 Wildcat

    68 Wildcat Dash Riprock

    Very cool build. I'm jealous of your workshop! I'm working outside on a small spit of asphalt in front of my garage with people walking by all day asking questions! I'm going to make a sign
    "It's a 1968 Wildcat"
     
  9. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Not to rain on your parade, but a Jag rear suspension would have been so much easier to accomplish in my opinion. For that matter also a Jag front suspension could be done also quite easily.
    Just my thoughts.
     
  10. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I never considered this option. I looked for something complete with disc brakes and limited slip and four link for a good price. For the next project I will look into the jag option.
     
  11. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Started the upper mounts and then ran the diff up and down through its paces and it worked great. Next step is to gusset and brace these mounts and weld it all up. I will take the assemblies out so I can weld all sides well then reinstall and weld to the frame. I ran out of MIG gas so my tacks started to suffer. 1EBF7510-D2A2-4EE9-926C-CFD8497EDBC9.jpeg 8D8D2513-50E7-46E7-9240-E49E648E3CFE.jpeg
     
  12. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I did some work on my driveway before and my neighbors were more annoyed then curious. Yours sound much nicer.
     
  13. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    E8BFF585-B71C-4C1A-88D6-3815A890179E.jpeg So finished welding on the suspension. Over 14” of travel if I really need it. I will go from 12” of ground clearance at normal height and down to less than 3” when slammed just need to get the bags in now and it will be self supporting again. I did see that this stock suspension setup had a Panhard bar so I may add one on here too. C5E62C09-5D53-401B-9610-0F53F49C6F95.jpeg E7F69468-ECD4-4053-9A0B-EF23D495D4EC.jpeg
     
  14. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Panhard bar keeps everything stable & aligned.
     
  15. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    With the Jag rear you get disc brakes that can handle the weight, coil springs made for the weight, an fairly easy parking brake set-up, & somewhat able to do alignment easier, ALL the suspension is already done at the factory plus some other things I may have forgotten. And, the mounting is so much easier with the Jag mounting system.
    The front is the same somewhat. Disc brakes, rack & pinion steering, more modern front suspension, etc.
    For a rundown go to a website that I will have to look for.

    Tom T.
     
  16. 1972Mach1

    1972Mach1 Just some guy.....

    For sure, add a panhard if you've got the room especially with coil springs or bags. They help tremendously in the handling department, and with my stage building (add one thing and test, add another and test) on my "racetruck", that was probably the biggest improvement even above the sway bars. So much more solid feeling around corner.
     
  17. 1972Mach1

    1972Mach1 Just some guy.....

    Oh, and killer project, by the way! Diggin' the Hemi.
     
  18. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Sold on the Panhard bar. This is my first venture into a triangulated four link so I wasn’t sure how stiff it would be without it. I think the angles on the upper bars are not steep enough to hold it side to side well. According to mr Fedex the next shipment of parts including front disc brakes, air bags, and new master cylinder should be here next week! Only pain left is the duty/brokerage when you ship it across the border. Usually 10% of value or so.
     
  19. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Karson,

    The forum I'm talking about is www.teambuick.com It's free to join just like this site. They are more into the older cars rather than basically only about '70-'72 GS's. If I remember correctly his name was Luke & he did front & rear on a '56 Buick along with others. IF you find it in a search you can spend hours.
    You'll also find what he did for power brakes that he sells a kit for.

    Tom T.
     
  20. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Karson,


    Found what I was looking for. His name is Jacob NOT Lucas.
     

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