1956 Buick Special Project

jacob

Member
Next I plan on tackling this monster of a wiring harness. Luckily the wrecking yard that pulled it left it all completely intact. I was able to find some schematics after sorting through 900+ pages of wiring diagrams that will be helpful for making this a standalone system. It looks like getting the computer tuned for standalone will be around $250 so thats not terrible. I'll be making my own system of fuses and relays, with some luck this will only be a few hours.



 

jacob

Member
Who sells sheet metal parts for 56 Buick?

Also does anyone know a company that makes good rocker panels for this car? I've seen some advertised that are .035" thick! thats not even 20 gauge, seems a little thin.
 

jacob

Member
I did some more work (mostly planning) on the exhaust and fuel system today. I will be using an aeromotive 340 pump with a standard LS1 style fuel filter / pressure regulator (from a 98 to 02 LS1). As you can see, a standard 6an bulkhead with a barb adapter is most of an inch too long. I think I can make a different bulkhead fitting thats a lot shallower, I did something similar in the past. the pump won't be mounted in this hole, this is just for height reference. where it will be mounted is about 1/2" deeper. I plan on cutting a hole on one of the flat areas of the tank and making my own bracket. I will use the factory sending unit as the return line. Also, I trimmed up the X pipe to get it a little tighter. I will have to mount it in place with the rear cage, then remove the rear cage and finish building. It looks like I can position the pipes in a way that doesn't interfere too much with the brake rotors cooling ability.








 
erk!

you're going to have a fuel line run cheek by jowl with the exhaust crossover?

isn't that going to heat soak the hell out of the fuel?

man, i would go a long way out of my way to make sure those two things didn't impinge on each other.
 

jacob

Member
erk!

you're going to have a fuel line run cheek by jowl with the exhaust crossover?

isn't that going to heat soak the hell out of the fuel?

man, i would go a long way out of my way to make sure those two things didn't impinge on each other.

They will be plenty separated, don't worry. It's not my first rodeo haha
 
i didn't really think you would, most of the stuff you're doing is pretty advanced. not very many people would have a go at a modern wire loom, for instance.

but that was all run together in a single paragraph like those two problems were impacting on each other and i figured i ought to make sure.
 

jacob

Member
Moving along on the Special. I had a custom 90 degree bulkhead fitting made to allow for more clearance for the fuel pump. I had to remove the differential from the rear cage anyways, so I put just the empty cage in to work on the exhaust. pretty small clearance on the back of the differential cage to the exhaust, but nothing I haven't seen on a solid axled car. I will be building the exhaust with v band clamps so that if it needs to be removed, or if the gas tank needs to come down, it will be quick and easy. For mufflers I went with flow master 50 series. they should sound good, but not too loud.
I also began on the transmission cross member (believe it or not still haven't finished this, hanging in place by a chain!) I am using 1/8 angle iron and 3/8 bolts to hold it. I broke my only drill bit so I want able to get this finished today.








Here's a view of the filler neck, its sitting even high than I expected. I plan on cutting it down 2 or 3 inches and using rubber filler beck hose with hose clamps to bring it down.

 

jacob

Member
Most of my brake parts came in this week, I'll be going with ebc brake pads all around, a chrome 9" booster, a chrome 1 1/8" master cylinder, and a bottom mount proportioning valve. Oddly enough the brake calipers came in different colors.


 

jacob

Member
I pulled the gas tank, differential cage, and exhaust today for final cleaning and assembly. I pressure washed the suspension parts and realized while I was at it, I should pressure wash inside the gas tank too! Endless dirt and rust came out. I'll be using a gas tank sealer after the water is all dried out. Here are some pics of the gas tank, the second is inside the gas tank:



 

jacob

Member
Here are some pics of the suspension cleaned up and going together. the Differential was rebuilt using an Auburn limited slip, 3.73 gears and all new timken bearings. Also the u joint yoke was replaced with a standard strap style yoke. I'll be using standard 1310 u joints. Getting the parking brake to work will be a challenge.





 

jacob

Member
But wait theres more.... here are some pics of the exhaust removed from the car. the exhaust will be going above the diff cage, through the factory holes in the frame and will all around be impossible to remove if it can't be disassembled, so I'm using a total of 5 v band clamps so that each part can be removed easily enough, and the gas tank can be removed as well. I will be painting the pipes an aluminum color, and wrapping exhaust wrap around them where they are near the gas tank and the rear brake rotors.




Heres a pic of the new griffin radiator and some of the intake piping. I bought a universal 3" maf housing that accepts the factory style maf. more pictures of that to come. In the past I have had others do the tuning for me, but I am debating buying HP Tuners and tackling this myself. After all this motor has original internals so how hard can it be?

 

jacob

Member
I painted the rear section of the exhaust in an aluminum colored exhaust paint and put a heat wrap on it in the areas it goes over the axle because of the proximity to the inboard rear brakes, the gas tank, and the fuel lines.






For the gas tank, after it dried out from pressure washing, I used a shop vac to get the rest of the dirt and debris out of the tank and then used a tank sealer to coat the walls and prevent any future rusting. It seems to hold water just fine, but was surprisingly dirty. I will be putting two fuel filters in the car, one on the high pressure side before the fuel pressure regulator, and another between the regulator and the engine. My last fuel pump was able to handle a lot of debris so I'm hoping this one does the same. The bolts will be welded to that flat piece of sheet metal. A tiny cheesy looking but very effective and very inexpensive, while maintaining a low profile for these shallow tanks.





 

jacob

Member
I finally finished up the transmission crossmember this weekend! this is made from simple angle iron and 2x4" steel. The angle iron works really well, I first make the side rails that bolt to the frame and then weld in the cross piece after those are made.










 

jacob

Member
Got the rear suspension re-assembled! exhaust and suspension went back in for good.



all new U joints in the driveshafts (4 U joints back here!)



exhaust before the suspension





and finally:



The gas tank will go in next, driveline will get made, then on to plumbing the engine!
 

jacob

Member
Got some more exhaust, fuel plumbing, brakes plumbing, and the passenger side shock mount welded in.










 

jacob

Member
I started cleaning out the inside of the car and began on the floor. I vacuumed, used an angle grinder and wire, vacuumed again, then did some cutting!










 

jacob

Member
Some pics of removing the bad metal. More will come out, you can see the area around the rockers isn't too solid.





 

jacob

Member
This is slightly off topic, but I rented a 2018 Camaro SS recently and this car has a similar Gen 5 chevy engine, albeit the more powerful 6.2L! I was blown away at how great it felt and how powerful it was! cruising on the freeway I was able to get 26 mpg from phoenix to Prescott, AZ without trying. I averaged 17 mpg round trip (I drove it like a rental car after the first highway trip LOL)

Its got me excited to get this old Buick on the road!

 
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