1955 Buick Special with a Hemi

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

  1. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I am currently around Calgary, Alberta. I grew up in Saskatchewan and spent a bunch of time around Scobey, MT.
     
    1972Mach1 likes this.
  2. telriv

    telriv Founders Club Member

    Any updates on this thread???
     
  3. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Sorry, between holidays and the cold temperatures I have not been out to the shop to work on it. I did get the stock rad re-cored and tested, and the stock fuel tank cleaned, coated and tested. They look great! I highly recommend City Wide Radiator in Calgary. They have worked on numerous gas tanks and rads for me and always do great work for a great price.
    IMG_2811.jpg IMG_2812.jpg
     
  4. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    So lots had changed in life since I last worked on the car. I have moved to a new place for work but this time the car came with me. The new place has a awesome 2 car garage that I built up with some shelves/workbench. I also built some cribbing stacks to hold the car at 18” high so that I have good access under for the next steps. I was able to get the wiring to the dash all hooked up and tested the lights, horn, and signals. I was surprised when I opened the reverse lights to find the bulb and socket setup wasn’t even there. Next mission is tidying up the wire routing and plumb the air ride.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Update: Hemi and trans is back in. Planning out the rad hoses and fan now. Fabricated a trans tunnel out of sheet metal and am happy with the result. Next weekend I will finish the trans crossmember if the new rubber mount comes in!

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  6. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Did a couple fun things. Pulled out the original stereo and modified it to hold the new android setup. Also finished the thread sealant on the air ride and pressured up for the first time!



    864F0A7F-5101-4A5C-B870-D6830A7AB387.jpeg 90A2E52C-68D5-4468-808E-0DD3BA316325.jpeg EF62464C-1E5C-488C-8A82-68317C5EAE54.jpeg FA131B70-AEDB-4185-AE70-255B8C54DA42.jpeg C5DBDCA0-9E0E-426D-88D1-AC112AFE970E.jpeg
     
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  7. gs66

    gs66 Silver Level contributor

    Good progress!
     
  8. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I need some help from the knowledgeable people on here. My goal is to paint to have black steel wheels with the original buick "dog dish" caps on them. The front rims are the stock ones so it is easy to just have them repainted but they are missing some of the small clips that hold the caps on it. Can you buy them somewhere?

    The big challenge is the rear rims which are 17" steelies that fit the new rear axle. They have no provision to attach the center caps to them. Any good ideas? The picture below shows the cap and the rims.
    Front Rim 1.jpg Rear Rim 3.jpg
     
  9. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I had the spacers for the back wheels bored out on a lathe to fit on the centering hub on the rear end. Fits great! Took the shop 30 minutes!
    100mm diameter by 5mm deep. Had to clean up the hub with a wire wheel to get it to fit on so it is a good tight fit.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    The stock wiring and sockets were ruined for the license plate lights and reverse lights. I bought some cheap LEDs from Amazon and then refit them to work. They are bright, energy efficient,have a fully sealed housing and should last a long time. I like them! E3AF6EF2-2335-4ECC-BEA3-8A0B9A108E13.jpeg 8DBD09C8-CB5F-4E6B-A16F-C53CCE206922.jpeg 2810D729-71ED-4180-A52B-2AFB18C0C84F.jpeg 3AF135A9-4BCE-4D7C-9D93-2D138874E8CA.jpeg
     
    docgsx likes this.
  11. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Hello from Lethbridge. Nice to see another classic Buick owner in Southern Alberta. Looking good so far.
     
  12. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    582452F8-6AD7-4ACE-84F4-210E7E090043.jpeg 4A7CED00-37EA-48D7-8A62-37CC0B4703C8.jpeg 4C50BF88-54E9-4BA1-BD23-19F435FDAA28.jpeg CC10DDFA-441F-4B50-8266-6931F2A687FA.jpeg Painting the original rims black to match the new rear steelies I purchased. Did some wire wheel work to strip them, wiped down with acetone, a few layers of primer, then a few more layers of paint. Should be good enough for a few years I think.
     
  13. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    So I have made lots of progress on the car since my last post, but I am trying something different to share it. I started making videos that will walk through the work I am doing and uploading them to YouTube. I have a intro video where I tell you about the history of this car and the changes up to Dec 2020, then I started making individual videos for the little project I do along the way. Here is a link to the playlist for this Buick. I will be uploading a new video every week so subscribe if you find them interesting!

     
    68 Wildcat likes this.
  14. 68 Wildcat

    68 Wildcat Dash Riprock

    Karson, well done! A really interesting watch! looking forward to the next ones!!
     
  15. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  16. telriv

    telriv Founders Club Member

    Karson,

    I have a soft spot in my heart for '55 Buick's. I owned 13 of them at the same time. Mostly Specials & Century's. I made a LOT of changes on my favorite one. 1st. I rebuilt a '59/401 & installed it & used the 6 bolt top cover '56 Trans. It came from the factory with 3.90 gears as it was originally a stick shift car. I then made headers for it for/from a '65 GS Gran Sport. I converted the brakes using '63 Riviera brakes which ALSO had the 12" brakes.
    Car stopped VERY WELL considering they were still drums. I could slow it down from 100+ with NO PROBLEMS. Depending on my right foot I could easily get 18MPG. Next I picked up a Dual Quad set-up from a wrecked '65 Riv. GS & rebuilt & installed them.
    I could put my foot into it at 60MPH & it would slightly break the tires loose & I'd be at 100MPH+ in about 4 secs. Not bad for an Ole '55 Buick!!!!
    IF I still owned it it would have gotten a Jag rear. Inboard rear dics, rear end suspension designed for a BIG car etc. To me a much EASIER swap.
    I would also have gone with a Jag front suspension. Includes disc brakes again & rack & pinion steering, Again designed for a big car. Installation would NOT be that hard because of the stock mounting of these components.
    I know it would BE DEPENDABLE, BUT I'm sure it wouldn't get the same fuel mileage that you can expect from a more modern fuel injected V-8.

    Anyway, I LOVE what your doing!!!!

    Tom T.
     
  17. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I have to say I love some of the unique stuff that this Buick had stock, like the fact the starter was engaged when you floored the gas pedal! Growing up we went on alot of drives and cruises with other antique cars and it seemed to be a constant that the original cars would either not be able to keep up at normal road speed, would break, or the owner didnt want to drive it far because they were worried. I am not saying that all original cars are not dependable but I felt my chance of having a modern V8 be dependable was much higher.

    I wish I did an independent rear like the Jag setup because the drive shaft is giving me grief right now as it goes through the air ride suspension articulation.

    18 mpg for a twin 4 barrel big V8 is amazing. That is damn good tuning and gear ratios to make that work!
     
  18. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Here is the build thread for the car I worked on before this Buick, a 1929 Willys I build from ground up! It was alot of fun to make!





    I also finished the video for the air ride suspension setup. The car has around 7" of air ride travel.


     
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  19. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    I did a few more little jobs while waiting for some parts. Worked on beautifying the parts you will pretty much never see because that seemed like a good use of time! It was a lot of work so I drafted in a helper. Let me know if you liked the paint schemes!



     
  20. kberjian

    kberjian Active Member

    Somehow in the past 50+ years the fuel filler assembly from the car vanished. I have tried searching for a stock replacement with no luck. I decided to make my own using a generic fuel filler assembly from Amazon, some mandrel bend 2" pipe, and a whole lot of cutting and welding. I am happy with the result other than I need to replace the silicone orange coupler from the tank to the first hard line since silicone isn't fuel rated. I have a rubber piece on the way and will install it before I fill it up for the first time.

    Here is the video!
     

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