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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:10 AM
Mutt's37Buick's Avatar
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I'll admitt it's not pretty, but the graft will all be hidden under my big fenders.
If you read the attached stovebolt.com thread, the installer later boxed it all in.
I'll contact him and try to get pictures of the final result.
Mutt

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2014, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick View Post
I'll admitt it's not pretty, but the graft will all be hidden under my big fenders.
If you read the attached stovebolt.com thread, the installer later boxed it all in.
I'll contact him and try to get pictures of the final result.
Mutt
The problem I have with that graft is the gross mismatch in the width of the frame rails. That was a very poor selection of a crossmember for that application and the actual execution of the splice was horrible from a load transfer standpoint. I'm also guessing that the track width was substantially wider than stock. It was a complete waste, since there are MANY better front suspension swaps for those early trucks. I can't speak to your Buick application, but I'm going to guess that the B-body suspension is substantially wider than your stock track width, as are the frame rails.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2014, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
The problem I have with that graft is the gross mismatch in the width of the frame rails. That was a very poor selection of a crossmember for that application and the actual execution of the splice was horrible from a load transfer standpoint. I'm also guessing that the track width was substantially wider than stock. It was a complete waste, since there are MANY better front suspension swaps for those early trucks. I can't speak to your Buick application, but I'm going to guess that the B-body suspension is substantially wider than your stock track width, as are the frame rails.
The 95 Roadmaster has front track of 61.7 inches and I've measured 1937 Roadmaster has a front track at 60.5 inches. The big fenders have plenty of room for the added inch of width.
Have researched this for some time and all front ifs I've considered for this '37 have compromises:
* Mustang II - Vehicle weight will be near 3800 lbs complete so typical aftermarket kits probably will not cut it. There may be a high end kit that would work.
* The 37 BOP upgrade Wiki - is not straight forward for a 37 Roadmaster because there are not stock control arms as long as the '37 20" inch long stock arms. Redrilling the mount position of '58 Pontiac arms does not work because the spring pockets are not in correct position. Custom C10 arms from Porterbuilt with a 20" length and adjustable spring pocket is one option I considered.
* Full front subframes - are not a good option because most frames are too wide to fit inside the front fenders and front grill.
* Late model Crown Vic - aluminum cross member not a good option because front track is 64" even with high offset wheels used to those cars.
* Jag IFS - front cross member are dated as a donor and Jag does not have a notable record for relibility.
Here are some additional reasons I have to make the 95 Roaadmaster crossmember work:
1) I have a complete 95 Roadmaster donor car in the garage with only 50K miles on it and I will be using the drive train and rear axle from that car.
2) The 95 Roadmaster is close in weight to my final weight so suspenion and brakes can handle the weight
3) I think it would be nice to have as many of the donor parts be from a single vehicle from a maintenace and compatibility standpoint.
I plan on getting help from experts with the grafting of the subframe and believe we can make the car safe and handle fine for a daily driver.
I'll model and post some grafting concepts when I get a chance.
My plan is to notch the 37 frame and graft the 95 in a manner similar to the Volare graft : http://www.clubfte.com/users/jniolon...ip/volare.html. The 37 frame will be resting directly on the 95 cross member and the welds will keep place.
Thanks
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2014, 11:00 PM
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i recently assisted a fellow employee to strip down a 40 Buick Special. These cars have a chassis that would make a F350 blush with embarressment. No wonder the US steel industry was once so huge...
What sort of chassis does the 1995 Roadmaster have? Is it the same as the GM A bodies of the 70's?
How about using more of the chassis if that is the case and having the join as far back as possible?
Look under most 1970 through 80's GM midsize cars and you can see the front sub frame goes right back under the front seat area. This gives a better load distribution and less strain on the mounts.
The same could be said for your chasis join.

Simple is best... and the hardest to achieve.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:00 AM
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You are right that the frame on the 37 is very significant, plus it's allready boxed in. The 37 frame is narrow at about 31" outside at the firewall and it narrows to 26" at the front axle. The problem with changing the subframe behind the firewall is that the front fenders and front radiator shell bolt directly to the outside of the 37 frame (see picture) and the radiator is also supported by it. That is why I would like to keep as much of the existing frame in place as possible. All I really will be removing is the old spring pockets and creating a notch for the 95 cross member. There is room in front of the side mount spare tire wells for the 95 cross member shown in green at the beginning of this thread.
Thanks
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercmad63 View Post
Look under most 1970 through 80's GM midsize cars and you can see the front sub frame goes right back under the front seat area.
The "sub frame" keeps going all the way to the back bumper on those cars - they're full frame cars...

The 95 Roadmaster is a Chevy Caprice wagon with a different grille. It's the same chassis as on the 1977-1996 B-body wagons.

Back to the original question. Again, as a structural engineer, you REALLY want the frame rails on the old and new frames to be as close as possible in spacing. The fact that you happen to have a Roadmaster and a torch is NOT the reason to use it. What is the spacing on the Roadmaster rails where you plan to splice in to the 37 frame? If the mismatch is like the ones on that Chevy pickup, it's a bad choice.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2014, 10:39 AM
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Thanks everyone for your feedback and insight. All of your advice is exactly what I'm looking for in a post like this.
You are correct that my 95 Roadmaster is a full frame.
I was describing the descrepency in frame shape, and why using more of the 95 sub frame was not an option.
I also understand that when joining a front sub frame that the rails should match up.
If anyone can show me a subframe or stub frame that will fit inside the 37 Roadmaster fenders and front shell, I will be glad to consider it.
I have not found such a subframe, which is why I'm considering grafting the 95 cross member.
Think of this as a building an ifs kit out of the 95 front suspension & steering.
I would guess you would not be as concerned if I was using a Jag cross member.
I contend that the biggest difference between my approach and using a Jag ifs is there will be added work to remove it, fittment and reinforcement.
I do not have your experience, because this is my first custom car, but I am a professional mechanical engineer with 35 years experience, so this modification will be made in a safe way.
If anyone has other approaches that I've missed, then I'm open to suggestions.
Thanks
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 03:09 AM
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Ahh ,I see now. Yes I agree,using the 95 front cross member is a good way to approach this but i would be unpicking the whole 1937 Buick front of the chassis and then adding the 95 cross member to a pair of bare chassis rails . You can fabricate a new radiator mount which could be lighter,stronger and better looking I think. If you use the original front crossmember and the the later unit you run the risk of having a chassis that looks like something from mad max.
The founder of lotus cars, Colin Chapman , had a great moto.."add lightness" .

here in Australia, a few guys use the jag front end or the mitsubishi L300 Van front end to get around our restrictive laws but i feel they are missing out on a real gem and that is the Ford Falcon AU alloy front crossmember. i think thunderbirds and lincoln town cars in the USA had them too.
Re the GM B body Chassis ,it was used in Australia in the HQ holden Ute as perimeter chassis unit , and I put one under a 1955 Ford mainline ute . The mainline had the1955 Fairlane convertible chassis and was grossly obese with pitiful handling. I have seen a 1948 Buick with the same chassis too.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 06:59 AM
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jag parts

K & K uses jag components with a new crosmember and different geometry, and coilovers
http://www.barryslc.com.au/gallery.a...action=display
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 09:41 AM
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Does anyone know what year thunderbird & lincoln towncars would have the front crossmember mercmad63 referred to?
Is the k&k crossmember avail in the states?
Thanks
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 03:09 PM
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Here's one for you . Start looking around the wrecking yards for better prices or pick up a donor car.


03 05 Crown Victoria Grand Marquis Town Car Complete Front Suspension | eBay
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 10:11 PM
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mercmad63: Now I see the suspension you meant. Checked them out before and would work well for pick-up (A friend of mine put one in his F150). Problem is they have a track of 64" with high offset wheels. My 37 Roadmaster has a stock track or 60.5. Not sure I can fit in my car. Found a rod shop in the states that narrowed one, but seemed like a lot of effort and risk to cut and weld the aluminum cross member.

1) Has anyone used one of these set-ups from Fatman
1928 - 1933 Buick Independent Front Suspension (IFS) Kits - Fatman Fabrications Fatman Fabrications
My concern with this if it uses a rear steer chevy citation r&p combined with Chevy pick-up spindes then there will be limited 6" throw and a very large turning radius. For a car like mine with a 131" wheelbase this may be a deal breaker.
Thank
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 10:50 PM
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Looking at that,he seems to sell a "one front cross member fits all " type of deal . A 33 Buick chassis is a lot different to yours. Yours resembles most Detroit chassis right up to the roadmaster you have now where they followed the time old engineering principle of "if in doubt...go bigger..."
Thinking about thisd,you will be ahead of the game by removing the 37's front crossmember completely ,and as i mentioned before, just keep the Chassis side rails.
The idea being to adapt the 95 crossmember as cleanly as possible and leaving remnants of the original crossmember will make it look ugly .
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2014, 04:15 PM
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If I was to cut the 95 Roadmaster clip (Green Frame) a little farther rearward than is shown in this picture, then this could be a more traditional front clip swap.
My concern is still that the 37 fenders bolt to side of the original frame (Gray Frame).
1) Is keeping the 37 rails in tact as mercmad63 suggested still the the better way to graft in a different suspension?
Thanks
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2014, 08:37 PM
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Have you considered a jag front end from an XJ6 or XJ12? they are very compact and will support the Buick.
If you have a look at what you propose,you will be adding a lot of unnecessary weight to the car,basically carrying two chassis around .
As for the Jag front ends , I am not sure of the width but i have seen a lot of these added to Chevies of the 30's.

The USA was big market for these jags so you should be able to pick up the parts for very little money .
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