1963 Buick Wildcat Convertible 425

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by 1963Wildcat425, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Hey everyone. Just looking to see where to buy some good brake conversion kits and possibly a front end kit (joints and ends), maybe even a lowering kit if its easier to find? Thanks everyone!
     

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    66electrafied likes this.
  2. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Well-Known Member

    I wish I could help you; - I've kept both of my cars completely stock. My experience with full size Buicks is that once the drums are in good order with good dry shoes, they'll stop as good as any late 60s disc set-up. In fact, hammer on them hard enough, a little putty knife should come out of the glove box to scrape your face off the windshield. Fade out on the highway is minimal as compared to other drum set-ups.
    The one thing that should be done is to convert to a dual master cylinder. I still haven't done on my Electra, but my Cat has one.
    Ball joints, tie rods go to "Cars" or Kanter Auto Products. Can't vouch for the quality of their current lines, but the older stuff wasn't bad.
    I guess it all depends on what you'd like to do with the car. If it was mine I'd be putting back as stock as the General made it, but that's just me.
    Lovely car though, always like the 63 Cat.
     
  3. My plan is to only modify what I have to. I want it to be as original as possible but if there is a lowering kit say 1 inch or so that includes new brakes and such that is quality I might go for that. I will be keeping all the original parts no matter what. Thank you for the parts contact. I know there is rock auto and a few others but wasnt sure of the quality. The main reason I would like to upgrade the brakes is that I live in the Seattle area of WA. So water is always on the road and the brakes could stop working because of that. I dont want anything I have to cut or weld on. Bolt on stuff so I can just bolt the original stuff right back on.
     
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  4. cobravii

    cobravii Well-Known Member

    I have done a disc conversion on the front of my '64 electra with a dual master and so far so good. I got one through scarebird.
     
  5. Wow I looked up the brackets you mentioned. That seems like a good fit. Can you run the stock drum brake wheels?
     
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  6. cobravii

    cobravii Well-Known Member

    Yes, I currently have the original rims on it however I an looking for a set of mid '70's GMC rally wheels. They are wider.
     
  7. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I almost found out the hard way that drums that have been totally submerged do not work very well, I drove through a puddle after a storm (that went up to just under the floor,) and promptly blew a stop sign on the other end. Luckily there was no one coming.
    But I drove a drum brake Invicta out on the Wet Coast (Vancouver area) for 2 years with no issues. Now the caveat; I learned how to drive on cars like these, and only bought my first real "modern" car just over 10 years ago. Believe it or not, I'm still more comfortable in an older car than a modern one. :D
     
  8. Modern Cars :eek: Yeah I found out the hard way as well going through a large puddle. If its just me id say the heck with it but Ive got 3 little girls to think about so its all about safety these days. Im 28 years old, can I retire yet!?
     
  9. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Anyone ever hear about keeping your foot on the brake as your going through water??? You should be going a SLOW speed anyway. If you keep your foot on the brake to get some heat in them to dry them out, it doesn't take long, then you will have brakes when you need them. DON'T expect to be doing 60 & stop on a dime. The brakes on ALL full size Buick's were the next best thing to disc brakes, even today with the proper linings which are getting more difficult to get as time goes on.
     
  10. Yeah I have heard of doing that. There are many other factors though. Is it truly just water in the puddle or is it a silty slop with dirt, sand or clay in it (especially after a storm) you could be going 10 mph through it and still not have brakes for a dangerously long while.
     
  11. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Well-Known Member

    Tom, I'd heard the same thing, call it being overcautious, but I didn't want to risk warping or causing the liners to start to separate. My Invicta did that, started to actually delaminate the steel from the aluminum, that was back when I couldn't find the right aluminum drums for that car. What a bone-jarring stop that always was. My girlfriend at the time always wanted me to ride the brakes for some reason...I always thought it had something to do with the power...teenage naiveté I guess...
     
  12. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Marc,

    You just kept your foot on the brake TOO LONG. No need to get them that hot. With your foot on the brake WHILE you are going through water it helps to keep the water separated & not go between the linings & drums & while you drive out keep your foot on the brake until you can feel them starting to grip again. It doesn't take as long as you think
     
  13. TheRev

    TheRev Silver Level contributor

    To the OP - Jamco makes lowering springs and has appropriate shocks if you decide to drop her without running bags.
     
  14. I literally just put them in the cart. My biggest concern was if I do a 2 inch drop how that would effect my steering angles and stuff. Know if it would mess things up?
     
  15. TheRev

    TheRev Silver Level contributor

    no issues with any of that on my car, but.....be prepared to adopt an entirely new thought process when driving - you will drag on even moderate sized approach angles (or tall speed bumps). Looks really good though, and corners better than stock in my opinion. I went with the Bilstein shocks and that made a major improvement.
     
  16. John Codman

    John Codman Platinum Level Contributor

    'Ol pharts such as yrs truly learned to drive in drum brake cars. "Dragging the brakes" through deep puddles was just standard driving knowledge - even driving schools taught it. If the H2O level doesn't reach the drum there is no issue. For the most part watcha get in the brakes is water, because the sand and other crud sinks to the bottom of the puddle. Dragging the linings against the drums when the drum is partially submerged squeegees the water out of the drum quite fast. Centrifugal force does the same job on discs, so water acting as a lubricant between the pads and the disc isn't an issue. BTW - some of the batter drum brakes would match the best discs for a single stop. I removed the power brakes from my '62 Chrysler 300 because the huge 12" drum brakes were too effective; I found my arse almost on the floor a couple of times. (I had two '62 300s - one was an H, the other a "regular" 383 model). The non-letter series 300 came from the factory with the optional big brakes that were on the 300H. Damn, would those cars stop!
     
  17. Kqqlcat

    Kqqlcat Well-Known Member

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  18. Wildcat GS

    Wildcat GS Wildcat GS

    Just want to mention that it`s pretty unusual to see a `63 Wildcat with a factory 425. The 425 wasnt available until Dec or Jan of that model year. Not sure how many they built but most have the 401.
    Tom
     
    1963Wildcat425 likes this.
  19. I was suprised when I saw it for sale but the numbers match so cant argue that! even came with reg tags from way back in the 60s and 70s until now so its a pretty well documented car by the previous owner.
     

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