Updating Suspension in a 57 Buick

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by 421-6speed, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    I have read that the 59-60 Buick control arms are a direct bolt on to the 57 and then disc brakes can be adapted to this setup?:Do No: Any input would be great. Thanks Dan
     
  2. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

  3. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Thanks for the link. So it sounds like the lower control arm from 59-60 is a direct bolt on but then the rest of the thread went on to talk about the 57's lower ball joint tolerances, availability and lubrication.

    I want to replace the upper control arm as well and ad disc brakes. Is there anyone else that has done this? Also what about using the 59-60 steering box is it compatible with the 57'?

    I have purchased a 60' Buick parts car but will not have it home until next weekend so was just asking prior to my tearing into this part of the project. I also have a 1960 Pontiac parts car and it looks like the upper control arm may work on the 57'. If it does I would have to use the cross shafts from the 57' on the 60' Ponticac control arm as the CtoC on the 57' is 4-13/16 while the Pontiac is 5" but the cross shafts both measure 9" so I thing they would interchange. I was also thinking maybe I could use a 65-70 Impala spindles and then use the disc brakes for these spindles. I am just thinking out loud here so if anyone has any info on this please chime in.
     
  4. 56buickboy

    56buickboy Well-Known Member

  5. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Ross, I had read those threads in my search for this upgrade prior to posting this thread. None of those threads discuse the final outcome as to what works and what does not and what brakes they used. Can you elaborate on what you have done on your 56 front end. Did you use your stock A-arms with the CPP 65-70 Impala drop spindle set up? Did you use CPP's disc brakes as well? What steering box are you using? Thanks Dan
     
  6. 56buickboy

    56buickboy Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Dan

    I am basically doing the upgrade as discussed in the crankshaft coalition web link. (Still a work in progress)

    I will use a 1958 Pontiac lower A arm, has a balljoint (1956 is King pin) and bolts in the same location as the original 1956 Buick lower arm.

    I have a 1960 Buick upper A arm and will fabricate a top "L" bracket that bolts in the same location as the original 1956 top A arm and then secure the A arm inner pivot to that.

    I believe the 57 top a arm bolt mounts are horizontal not vertical like in 56.

    I plan on using a delphi steering box.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/54-55-56-Bu...t=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

    As for brakes undecided, as not sure what size wheels I will use, but will be discs on a CPP Wilwood or similar front hub.

    I purchased 1960 Buick lower A arms as well, and they mounted to the crossmember fine, but the ball joint ended up further to the rear than was ideal (due to the a arm shape) and hopefully the pontiac lower arm which is symmetrical will resolve this problem.

    Ross
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  7. Caballero3

    Caballero3 Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Dan:
    I am wrapping up a full restoration of a '57 Model 76C and have begun my next project. I have at this time, invisioned my 56R two door HT having disk breaks also. I am however going to stick to my ol' nailhead. I have a 364 built and need of a place to nest. I think that I might try twin turbos on this engine with a '58 Flight Pitch Dynaflow.

    You are right about the '57 upper 'A' arm bolts being horizontal. I too may change out the lower arms with another. I will be watching you to see just what you do. Attached photo shows a good view of the upper 'A' arm. Also, a view of the lower control arm.

    This link takes you to another supplier of disk brake kits. I have in my files a testimonial which describes just what was involved with his '57 Buick conversion.
    http://www.braketechsolutions.com/

    Another Dan
    '57 Roadmaster Convertible
    '57 Super two door hardtop




     

    Attached Files:

  8. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Ross,
    Excellent information. Just what I was looking for. I will check out the Delphi steering box for 57'.
     
  9. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Dan,
    Thanks for your input and the link to the brakes. I am thinking about just running a manual Willwood master off the firewall rather then going with the power brakes. Don't know if I want to deal with the vacuum issue for the engine I have planned for this build.
     
  10. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    I have been working on the rear end. I have a 9.3 Olds/Pontiac out of a 62 Grand Prix that is going to work perfect. Both the upper and lower control arm brackets on the Grand Prix housing are going to work just as they are for the triangulated 4-bar. I did have to cut off the spring perches and will run coil overs off the existing shock mounts. I will cut out the crossmember on the frame for the coil springs and add a crossmember to mount the coil overs. I used a set of 59-64 Chev lower control arms to figure out my angels. This is the rear set up I am using.
    http://www.welderseries.com/blog/online-store/rear-four-link-kit-triangulated/

    Picked up a 1960 parts car for the front suspension. The 60 Buick even came with a power steering box and pump. The 605 is a direct bolt on from what I have read and I will probably go that route. I think I am going to use the column and wheel from the 60 as well.[​IMG]Once the 57 Olds dash is in I will make a decision on that...[​IMG]

    9.3 rear housing back.jpg 9.3 rear housing front.jpg 60 buick.jpg Steering wheel 1.jpg Rear Coil Spring Crossmember.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  11. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Hey Dan - What makes the '57 lower ball joint so expensive? I see Kanter wants over a grand for those?

    - Bill
     
  12. Nothingface5384

    Nothingface5384 Detail To Oil - Car Care

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    that is fricking crazy

    that makes saving up for an airride system not bad at all lol
     
  13. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    57 was a one year only suspension and apparently the availability of the ball joints are few...:Do No: I was not aware of this when I took on this project just recently but was planning on changing out the front suspension anyway. The 59-60 front suspension is a direct bolt on. At least the lower control arm is. There has been some talk about the upper not working as it will hit on the top of the frame rail but my thought is if the car is lowered then this might not be an issue. Once I get the body off and get my frame set at ride height I will figure all this out. I have a couple other options as well...:laugh:
     
  14. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Well I got the 60' front suspension installed on my 57'. Everything from the 60' was a direct bolt on with the exception of the upper control arms. In order to use the upper control arms from the 60' one would have to cut the shock mount and bump stops off the 60' frame and install them on he 57' frame. Also the the mounts for the upper control arm on the 57' would have to be trimmed slightly for clearance of the control arm. This is all very doable. Here are a few pics. Well I can't seem to figure out how to upload pics with this new format?
     
  15. BUICK 57

    BUICK 57 Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    So what your saying is with the 60 bottom arm installed you can use the 60 lower ball joint and it mates with the existing 57's spindle and lower ball joint mount? If I have that correctly, then one would only have to swap out the complete 57 lower arm with that of a complete 60 lower arm and get the 60 easily affordable and available lower ball joint in the deal and do away with the unavailability problem of the 57 lower ball joint. Is that correct?
     
  16. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    60 buick suspention installed 2.jpg C4 Clip 3.jpg Frame Braced For Cutting 1.jpg Frame Braced For Cutting 2.jpg Frame Braced For Cutting 3.jpg 3000 Ft Install Kit 36-54 Ch 55-1.gif Rear Housing on Stand 1.jpg Rear Housing on Stand 2.jpg Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    I think you could probably use the 57' spindle if you wanted but that is not what I did. I used all the 1960 front suspension components minus the upper control arm. This included the steering box, idler arm, drag link, spindles and hubs as well as the lower control arm. The 57 upper control arm must be used as the 60' upper control arm hits on the frame mount for the control arm. This mount could be modified to use the 1960 upper though. You would also have to change the 57' upper eye mount shock on the frame to a stud mount by cutting the stud mount out of the 1960. Fairly easy job. I installed the power steering box as well and, had to massage the frame a bit to make it work, but it all fit in nicely.
    So to answer your question. Yes you can use the 59-60 lower control arm and then have the available ball joint at a fraction of the cost of the 57' ball joint. Also The bump stop on the 60 lower control arm does not line up with the stop on the 57' frame. But it is a fairly easy fix. I drilled out the rivet that attaches the bump stop to the control arm then flipped it around and used a grade 8 bolt to attach it. Now it lines up fine.
    Afterward I blocked up my frame where I wanted my ride height to be. Then took some measurements. My plan was to use 1965-1970 CPP Impala dropped spindles to get my desired ride height. With that plan I was still unable to get the car to sit where I wanted it so, now I have changed plans. I have all the 60' front suspension if anyone needs it.

    I did some trading and got a C4 front clip. I am using a Flat Out engineering front crossmember. This will work better for my build plan and get the car to sit where I want it. I also made a stand that sets the rear end housing at ride height. Here are some pics of the 60' Suspension installed.

    And a few more pics of my frame all braced up and read to cut for the new Flat Out C4 front crossmember. This looks to be a pretty straight forward job. I will only be cutting 12" out of the center to install the C4 crossmember. Basicly the spring pockets will get cut out and the frame will be straight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  17. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Re: Updating Susension in a 57 Buick

    Here are some better pics of the 60 and 57 suspensions. You can see were I took the bump stop off and flipped it around I have both available and will be posting in the classified section. The ball joints on the 57' are in very nice shape. The car only had 37,000 miles.

    57  suspension 2.jpg 57 suspension 1.jpg 60 suspension 1.jpg 60 suspension 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  18. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Figured I would give a update to my front suspension. I ordered the Flat Out Engineering C4 front crossmember for 36-54 Chev pickup 29-1/2" wide. It worked out well. I also made up the brackets for the triangulated 4-bar for the rear end. Here are a few pics.

    C4 Front Frame Rails 1.jpg C4 Front Frame Rails 2.jpg C4 Front Frame Rails 4.jpg C4 Front Frame Rails 5.jpg C4 Front Frame Rails 8.jpg C4 Front Frame Rails 10.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember tacked in place 5.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember tacked in place 6.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember tacked in place 7.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember tacked in place 8.jpg rear end brackets 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  19. 421-6speed

    421-6speed Well-Known Member

    Got my C notches in today for the rack.

    C4 Flatout Crossmember C Notches for Rack 1.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember C Notches for Rack 3.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember C Notches for Rack 5.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember C Notches for Rack 6.jpg C4 Flatout Crossmember C Notches for Rack 7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  20. BUICK 57

    BUICK 57 Well-Known Member

    Been following you postings. Nice clean work. I might add that although you V cut back into the old frame do you think a long backing plate welded into the inside of the frame at this point would help with lateral shear stress forces to help support your new V cut weld at this juncture. A lot of the front is attached at that cut and weld. Just wondering.

    Also, do you still have the 57 lower ball joints available?

    David
     

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