Big car & big day, what can ya say?

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by 64 Hardtop, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. 64 Hardtop

    64 Hardtop Founders Club Member

    Wildcat Wagner's at it again. Collecting and hauling. Big car to the rescue

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  2. 69hellcat

    69hellcat Well-Known Member

    Resuced this old 70 Electra 4 door sedan of Craig's List a few weeks ago outside of Altoona Pa, about 1 1/2 hours from my house. Got it for less than half the asking price. It was sitting since 1988 in a old garage. 85,000 miles. The Sears battery was still in it from 1984. I took four spare to tires to get it rolling so I could come along it onto the trailer. Unfortunately the driver side frame rail in the rear is very rusty. But after filling the points it fired right up and purrs like a kitten. Acres of perfect green interior. But the real bonus is the 3:23 9 3/8 rear someone special ordered according to the build sheet. Sometimes you get lucky. The 69 Wildcat will donate its frame for a temp dolley when I tear my 70 Wildcat conv apart for a refeshing. Lots of questions at every stop about using a old Buick to for towing. Getting ready to retire the trusty old Electra for towing and use my gulf stream blue 70 estate wagon for towing soon. Might be a good place for the 3:23 gears.
    SpecialWagon65 and OHC JOE like this.
  3. pbr400

    pbr400 68GS400

    I know the Estate Wagon rear is a heavy duty unit (uses Caddy commercial chassis bearings) but the guts are the same?
  4. 69hellcat

    69hellcat Well-Known Member

    Yep,the carrier and ring and pinion interchange. The wagon originally had a 2.78 open I put a 3.42 posi in it. I have a 3.23 in the 70 Electra tow car. Just rethinking my think about the speeds people drive on the interstates today. I did get almost 18 mpg driving the wagon home from Colorado with the 2.78 at 70-75 mph. But the 3:42 sure helps get it moving from a stop light.
    pbr400, SpecialWagon65 and bill lagna like this.
  5. bill lagna

    bill lagna Well-Known Member

    Tom ,
    Are the rear control arm and the geometry different on the 70 Estate Wagon ?
  6. 69hellcat

    69hellcat Well-Known Member

    Yes the upper control arm ears on the rear are a few inches higher and Iam pretty sure a different angle looking down from the top view. Also the lower control arms mounting brackets on the frame are lower than Electras and Wildcats. This is mentioned in some road tests that it is not a converted sedan frame but a clean sheet of paper for a 1 year production wagon. So a Electra, Wildcat, or Lesabre 455 rear would not be correct. They were changing the instant center and the angle change on the upper arms helped conering with heavy loads. Its interesting they were serial numbered like a Wildcat 46000 series. Shared the Wildcat wheelbase of 124"not the electras 126"
    bill lagna likes this.
  7. bill lagna

    bill lagna Well-Known Member

    Last night , I did a PM with Frank in Virginia , he has a
    70 Estate Wagon with a factory 3 spd on the tree !!!!
    How rare that one must be ????? WOW .
    Dano, pbr400 and SpecialWagon65 like this.
  8. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    For 70 a 3 speed GS 455 trans would been a cast iron Muncie. Since for a 70 wagon the shift lever is on the tree, can I assume that the trans is a Saginaw? If it is I am surprised that it can handle the torque of a 455. .

    BQUICK Well-Known Member

    3 on tree was a Ford trans, right?
  10. bill lagna

    bill lagna Well-Known Member

    Frank said it is a Ford ratrod top loader with a really long tail shaft ????
    I think curb weight on mine is 4775 lbs and I added the third seat .
  11. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    If it is a Ford, I can see how it would last. I was thinking 68 was the last year for a Ford 3 speed manual in a GS. Then, Buick went to a cast iron Muncie.
  12. SpecialWagon65

    SpecialWagon65 Ted Nagel

    Ok, so I had to look at the 70 Chassis Manual to try to sort this 70 big car transmission thing .
    First - the estate wagon with 3 on the column still would come with 2.78 rear.
    2nd, it does look like the Ford HD toploader was used for this application.
    Pete Phillips has a 70 Wildcat 3-speed - I will have to ask him to confirm.
    Dano likes this.
  13. jannhall

    jannhall Member

    You have a great project on this thread. I am so excited to see the upcoming progress of this build.
  14. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Well, I wasn't going to post my latest haul, but here it is. Must've been quite the sight going down the road. I tow a small utility trailer quite regularly w/this - It's hauled a full load of parts to/from the Nationals 2x plus numerous other long distance parts runs. I have an F-250 & prefer the Toyota/trailer unless towing really heavy. Tbh, I'd have towed this w/the truck but it really needs injectors (I think). Figured no tongue weight here (only reason sitting down in back is back seat/trunk loaded w/wheels/tires I picked up as well) and a bit heavier than normal but car is rated to tow 3k lb., dolly has brakes, & I've towed close to 2k w/it. Not for much distance but the more I thought about it the more I thought "it'll be fine." Going from CT to MD was a heck of a time to find out but what's the worst that could happen? I knew w/in the first few miles it'd be fine and honestly, it towed absolutely beautifully - Never had to adjust or tighten a thing. Even sprung for the magnetic lights and a provision to not have the rear glass blow out (had that happen once & need this "clear" glass to replace it). Other than going up hills, could hardly tell it was back there. Changed the tranny fluid today (it has a cooler) and it looked great.

    And the '71 Skylark has the nicest floors (pass & trunk) that I've probably ever seen on a '70-72 which was why I bought it. Don't see/feel a bubble of rust under the top either. Quarters have been patched behind w/o & wheelhouses a bit rusty but the upper lip of both seems great.

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    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021

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