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Old 07-10-2006, 11:48 AM
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51 Buick front clip swap

Hi guys,
haven't been here too often but I finally have my Buick down to the bones.
I've read a pile of the info here & it's very cool!
So heres my thought.....I have a 1985 Olds Delta 88 land yacht - my daily driver & I was considering yarding all the suspension & brakes out of it to spank onto the 51 Buick.
Perhaps welding the entire front clip onto the ol girl & using another 12 bolt hooked up with the Olds rear suspension or leafs as a temp thing.

The Olds yacht cruises wonderfully....hoping to transfer this to the big old RAt.......any thoughts?
I appreciate the years of experience here. After or if it all worx I plan to slam it in the weeds too.

Thank you

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Old 07-16-2006, 02:02 PM
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WELCOME here to Hotrodders.com

I would suggest measuring the wheelbase and the frame width ... it may be easier to sit the 51 on the entire 85 frame ... or shorten the 85 to the correct wheelbase ...

NOT a easy job ... but certainly a worthwhile project ...

Again ... WELCOME ...

Deuce ...
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:14 PM
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Thanks Deuce!
Funny you should say that because the original idea was why I purchased the Olds....LOL!
However it only has a partial front subframe - the 51 Buick weighs 2 billion tons & fits its own frame nicely. However, the jury it still out on this and I'm deciding which is less grief - the old girl is now stripped to the bones now.
thanks for yer imput!
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:28 PM
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If it is an 85 Olds Delta it has a full frame. It has perimeter rails that run down close to the outside of the floorboards.
I just had one hauled off a couple of months ago.
The best thing is to get under it with the tape measure and measure the width of the frame behind the cross member and at the drop down. take several measurements and then measure the Buick frame to see how close or far off they are.
Also measure the cross member to floor/ground distance of the Olds as this is the ride height you would use if you used it as a subframe on the Buick.

What I did on my 51 Merc was to Level the body at the final height I wanted it to sit at and then block up the front frame section at the height that it should sit at. When joined it left me with a comfortable ride at a lowered stance. That was using a rear steer Nova subframe. Cutting a frame off and using it as a stub will take a bit more work .
If you do decide to do it, leave as much extra material on each to trim back for a good fit as you can and then trim and fit a bit a time to get the proper wheelbase and ride height. Make sure that the crossmember and frame rails stay parallel and square with each other.
From reading betweenthe lines in your questions I would suggest that you hunt around your area for a fellow rodder who is experienced in subframe and or frame swaps. Their suggestions may save you a lot of grief later.

Last edited by Chopt 48; 07-16-2006 at 03:37 PM.
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