1961 Buick LeSabre Suspension Upgrade

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by Rockable, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. Dan Hach

    Dan Hach Well-Known Member

    Are you planning to rebuild the rear suspension?
     
  2. Rockable

    Rockable Well-Known Member

    Everything looks good back here, so I am just going tonreplace the springs. I think the previous owner replaced some of that. The track bar bushings are good. I am not really looking for anything more to do. :D
     
  3. Rockable

    Rockable Well-Known Member

    If you install those dropped spindles, make sure your brake calipers are not binding on the steering arm. I had to do some grinding to provide clearance. I didnt see this at first and wondered why I couldn't get a good brake pedal. 1029220849a.jpg 1029220838a.jpg
     
    FLGS400 likes this.
  4. Rockable

    Rockable Well-Known Member

    Well, my alignment tech and I got a surprise last week. Apparently, these cars came with NEGATIVE caster and some positive camber.....plus it's a bitch to get to the upper control arm bolts. Definitely a 2 man job. We ended up with some large stacks of shims just to get .3 degrees of negative camber and ended up with about 1 degree of negative caster. I wanted 2 degrees of positive caster at least.

    I am thinking about buying a couple of used upper control arms and shortening them up. I would shorten the back side more to give me the caster. Have any of you done this? @telriv ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2022
  5. CameoInvicta

    CameoInvicta Well-Known Member

    Just a couple things to mention for future folks reading this post...

    I bought the Addco rear bar years ago. It was close but the bends did not match the inward angle of the rear trailing arms. After some back and forth, the bar I got was "to spec", so they ended up bending me a custom bar that fit like a glove.

    On the Viking products, I was an engineer for them years back (that's why the full-size Buick is in their catalog). The rear shocks are actually supposed to be mounted inverted (knobs at the top) and come with an extended eyelet. This provides enough clearance for either a polyurethane bushing or spherical bearing. I can provide pics if you'd like, otherwise your method works. Just check for stress cracks in the welds periodically, especially if the shocks are cranked up. You'd be surprised how much compression and rebound force they generate.

    It's also been a number of years but I talked with UMI Performance at one point about their front control arms and rear trailing arms for the 59-64 GM B-Body. I recall some of the components being awfully close to bolting in.
     
    Rockable likes this.
  6. Rockable

    Rockable Well-Known Member

    A Viking tech told me it was OK to mount them upside down but I didn't have the extended eye and I like the way I ended up with them. This will be a cruiser so no really stiff settings will be used, although I think my mount is at least as strong as original. Thanks for the feedback and the lead on bushings.
     
  7. Rockable

    Rockable Well-Known Member

    Well, after almost 2 months, I got the rear bar. The angle of the arms doesn't match the trailing arms angle. Do you happen to have a part number or sales order number for what they ended up making for you?
     
  8. Rockable

    Rockable Well-Known Member

    Rear bar installed and front bar should be here next week. 0120230943a_HDR.jpg 0120230943_HDR.jpg
     

Share This Page