Finding Odd Parts For my 1956 Buick

Well, I know it’s been a while since the last post, and I do apologize for that.  I have been bogged down with work plus a little back pain, and that combination had halted progress on the rebuild.  Things are moving and shaking now, though.

My newly rebuilt 1956 Buick transmission being brought home in the back of my truckI finally got the transmission back after being overhauled, and I realized that I was going to have to track down some odds and ends before reinstalling the transmission (along with the engine).  I had already purchased one of the rubber mounts that it rests on, but I was unable to find the other mount which bolts to the crossmember.  Also, the torque ball needed to be replaced because the rubber was worn out on it.

1956 Buick Torque BallFor anyone interested, the “torque ball” is the part that connects the “torque tube” to the back of the transmission.  The drive shaft on the old Buicks is actually housed within a tube, called the torque tube, rather than being exposed like most other rear wheel drive vehicles.  So, the “torque ball” connects the tube that the driveshaft is housed in to the transmission.

Anyway, back to the random parts quest…

The Hunt For Random Parts

I called the tech person listed in my “Buick Bugle” to try to get some help in tracking down the parts I needed.  The “Buick Bugle” is the monthly magazine publication that is just one of the perks of being a Buick Club of America member.  He directed me to a company called Buicks-R-Us and Fatsco to find the parts I needed.

Buicks-R-Us had the rubber transmission cross-member mount, but did not have the torque ball gasket/mounts; and Fatsco couldn’t help me. After quite a bit of searching, I ended up getting some good information from Patco (Pointe Automatic Transmission Co.).  According to Patco, Buick made quite a few changes to the torque ball design, and ended up getting rid of the rubber altogether.  So, in the end, I can make do with what I have and move forward

For more information about the torque ball, check out my post that covers that in much greater detail here.  (coming soon)

The To-Do List

So, the To-Do list is still quite large at this point, but I’m chipping away at it slowly but steadily.  I still need to repaint the engine and put the newly machined heads back on it.  I got the heads machined to clean them up and, most importantly, to convert the motor to run on unleaded gasoline. So far, I’ve had to run additive in it, and I’m just plain tired of having to do that. It’s going to be wonderful to be able to fill up and just drive off from now on.

We still have the bulk of the chrome and stainless steel parts to reinstall, but  I will soon be getting an extra pair of hands in the shop to help me out.  Luckily, I have good friends who are just as excited to get this car ready to rock ‘n’ roll as I am – thanks Roger! Also, keep an eye out for more video here at  I’m going to do a little walk through on the progress as well as some tips and tricks that I’ve learned through my experience.  Hopefully, it will help other Buick restorers out a little bit.

In the upcoming posts, I’ll cover the next steps in the progress of the restoration.  So, keep an eye out for more tasks completed.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions; I’d love to hear from you.  Do you have a classic car restoration project, or even better a Buick restoration, that you are working on?  Let me know because I love to hear about other people’s projects too.


  1. Hi Tim,
    You have a nice webblog! And helpful to. Im in the same stage with the torque ball and i don’t know what to do. You said the following: “For more information about the torque ball, check out my post that covers that in much greater detail here. (coming soon)”

    Where can i find it? Because right now i don’t know how to continue and its not described in the workshop manual as well…

    Thanks in advance!
    Bram (fellow Buick special 56 owner)

  2. The Boss says:

    Hey Bram, to be honest we haven’t even gotten the torque ball put back together. The restoration has been pretty much put on hold for months now. We are slowly piecing things together though. That’s why we never had an updated post to point to.

    At this point, what we’ve done is contact Patco, and they have supplied us wit a shim system that eliminates the problem we had with the torque ball. We haven’t actually put it together yet though. I’d recommend calling Patco and talking with them about where you’re at with yours. They helped us quite a bit. They’re phone number is 586-218-3914. Sorry we couldn’t be more help, but I hope this points you in the right direction for the answers you need.