When a 1959 Buick frame has been damaged by accident the following procedure may be used to check alignment of the 1959 Buick frame, and the alignment of the chassis suspension members with the frame. This procedure should also be used to check alignment after repairs to 1959 Buick frame have been completed.

Checks are to be made with 1959 Buick frame assembled with power plant, body, etc. and car resting on wheels. The car should be placed on a clean floor that is reasonably level. Both sides of the front ends of the frame must be the same distance from the floor; the same condition must exist at rear end of frame. Where points are to be extended to floor by use of a plumb bob, it is desirable to attach clean pieces of paper to floor with tacks or tape so that the points can be clearly marked. Apply brakes or block wheels so that car cannot move.

  1. Using a plumb bob, extend the following points to the floor and mark where point of plum bob touches floor, as shown in figure 12-1.
    1959 Buick Checking Alignment of Frame and Suspension

    1959 Buick Checking Alignment of Frame and Suspension

  • A and A1 at rear stabilizer bracket to 1959 Buick frame bolts or holes.
  • B and B1 at sharp corner at forward edge of lower ball joint plate.
  • X at center of bolt hole in center of front spring support cross member (centerline of frame).
  • D and D1 at center of corner rivets attaching front cross member to side rails.
  • E and E1 at center of corner rivets attaching rear bumper cross member to side rails.
  • F and F1 on side rails just rearward of rear axle housing, holding plumb line fiat against side rails.
  • G and G1 at each side of torque ball flange.
  1. Move car out of the way. Using a chalked line, draw lines on the floor through the following points: A and A1, B and B1, F and F1.
  2. Divide the distance between F and Fl and mark the center point Y on line F-F1. Draw frame centerline through points X and Y.
  3. Measure diagonal distances D to E1 and D1 to E. If these diagonals are not equal within 3/16″ the 1959 Buick frame is bent.
  4. Measure the distances J and J1. If these are not equal within 1/4″ a lower control arm is bent.
  5. Measure the distances K and K1, which will be equal within 3/16″ if rear axle is not bent and is properly aligned with 1959 Buick frame. Points G and Gl should be equally distant from vehicle centerline X-Y. If distances K and K1 are not equal within 3/16″ and points G and G1 are equally distant from centerline, a bent rear axle housing or torque tube is indicated. If points G and Gl are not equally distant from centerline, look for misalignment of engine in the 1959 Buick frame.



Straightening and Welding

In case of frame distortion resulting from an accident it is permissible to straighten or weld the 1959 Buick frame if the distortion is not excessive.

Heat can be applied without materially weakening the steel, provided this is kept below 1200°F. This is a deep cherry red when viewed in subdued daylight, as in an average shop. Heat in excess of 1200°F. will weaken the metal structure and lead to eventual failure in service.

Replacement of 1959 Buick Frame Members

If a front spring support cross member is very badly distorted as a result of a front end collision, replacement is advisable because its rigid box construction makes proper straightening very difficult. Since the front suspension members are mounted on the front spring cross member, front end alignment will be affected if the cross member is not in perfect alignment.

The front spring support cross member is available for service replacement. The old member may be removed from the 1959 Buick frame by cutting the attaching rivets and welds, after removing other parts or assemblies to allow working space.

When installing a new frame member use hot rivets since they can be properly driven with hand tools. Cold driven rivets are not recommended because they cannot be securely driven with hand riveting tools. In places where hot rivets cannot be installed it is permissible to use finished bolts snugly fitted in reamed holes. Use lockwasher with bolts and draw nuts up tight. Weld a new member to adjacent members in the same manner that the replaced member was welded.

After installation of any new frame member, check the 1959 Buick frame for proper alignment as described in paragraph 12-1. After any repairs or replacements in front end of frame be sure to check front wheel alignment (par. 7-17).



At each closed body mounting point, a rubber shim is placed between the body and the frame bracket and a rubber insulator washer is placed under the 1959 Buick frame bracket. A plain steel washer and a tubular spacer limit compression of the rubber parts to a predetermined amount as the body bolt is tightened. See figure 12-2. This form of mounting eliminates metal-to-metal transmission of road and chassis noise into the body.