'55 Century Disk Brake Conversion Thread

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by Poppy's '55, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Poppy's '55

    Poppy's '55 Member

    Back Story: Recently purchased a 1955 Buick Century Resto-mod. Reportedly restored 4 years ago adding, among other things, a 401 nailhead, dynaflow 3 speed and unknown rear end (converted to open driveshaft), chrome, interior, etc.

    When it arrived (bought out of state at auction) I knew there would be work to do. The entire fuel system was heavily polluted with rust from the gas tank so I replaced the gas tank, rubber fuel lines (flushed out the factory metal ,line and it was fine), fuel pump/filter and had the 4 barrel rebuilt. Car runs bitchin' now but a tad hot.

    I formulated a list of to dos including front disk brake conversion, wheels, new window [felts], sound system, chrome wheels, rebuild front end (which was wandering and swaying badly) and whatever might come up.

    As I was working through the car I found the wheel lug bolts were essentially pulling through the wheel holes! I've never seen that. A lug nut would seat well but the lug bolt head was too small. I search for a 1" 9/16 lug bolt with a larger head (maybe 7/8) but was unsuccessful so I moved my front brake conversion up the list.

    I ordered a Wilwood kit from Summit and started working on the swap only to find that the .20 spacers the provide (and will likely be needed) would only fit one of the rotors. The other rotor was poorly assembled with the pressed in lugs off just enough that the spacer would not slip over the lugs. Trying to force it would just trash the threads. So after 6 hours on the phone between Wilwood and Summit, they are shipping out a replacement rotor. Boy I don[t have patience for this kind of BS. Then they tell me it might not ship until the 27th! WTF. I got the entire kit in 2 days from Summit but Wilwood wouldn't let them just replace the whole kit and now I have to wait for Wilwood to ship a replacement rotor.

    So, While I was under the car I also noticed a spot on the lower tank of the radiator that had been soldered and was now leaking. I removed the radiator and took it to 2 different radiator repair shops and neither was able to fix it due to some old design issue I didn't understand or care about. I ended up ordering a direct fit all aluminum replacement from Wizard Cooling. Dang man this thing is getting expensive. Now I know why it was running a bit hot though so it was going to need to be done sooner or later.

    Here's my baby:


    You can see the spacer just quite won't drop on. It does easily fit the other rotor:


    Harlockssx likes this.
  2. Poppy's '55

    Poppy's '55 Member

    Today was a short day. I had a little difficulty getting the brake line disconnected. Well, actually it was my fault because the only brake line wrenches I had were metric, DUH! Took a drive to my local Harbor Freight and picked up a set of SAE wrenches. SO I finished taking the OEM brake off the drivers side and mounted the caliper bracket. I test fitted the caliper too.

    Just for the heck of it I contacted Wizard Cooling to see about a tracking number and man was I glad I did. Apparently I thought they had a radiator in stock to ship right away but not so. It wouldn't have been built for another few weeks. They did have a version with the built in auto trans cooler so they offered me that one at the same price ... score! It went out today and should be here in 1 week. That's better. Here's the new radiator $599, free shipping (that deal is gone).

    wizard cooling 1955 buick century direct fit aluminum radiator.jpg

    A couple shots of today's work:



    Harlockssx likes this.
  3. Harlockssx

    Harlockssx Brother Graw Mad

    Beautiful! My first car was a 56 Century wagon...So I have a soft spot for the 55-57's. I love their styling, but not as much of a fan of the Dynaflow/Torque Tube setups they had...I always wanted one with a nicely done 455. I'll definitely be following your build!

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