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  • The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

    *Unfortunately several of the images were lost when my FTP site was wiped out :'( *

    Ok, I think I'll start this one now. The next engine assembly should start commencing some time next month as the last of the engine parts have showed up ;D Here is a little history on the car. It's a 1977 Buick Skylark, originally with an odd fire 231 v-6 and TH200 with a 7.5" 3.23 rear out back. My grandma picked the car up used in August of '79

    It was originally a light blue, and painted silver sometime in the early 90's, my uncle borrowed it regularly from my grandma and managed to bump into random things hence the re-paint. In 1996 when I got my learner's permit grandma offered the car to me, which at this point the car had been sitting for almost a year with a major lifter tick and it ran very poorly. My Dad and I drove it home and the beginning of my automotive experience started.

    A quick list of things I had to do to it (that I remember) before I got out of highschool were:
    New carb, Lifters (two were cupped), blown head gasket, another set of lifters, rod and main bearings with out pulling the engine, exploded battery after a starter change out, numerous carb tweaks and smog part modifications to meet emission requirements.

    Tried selling it twice, first time netted me a $75 ticket for having a "For Sale" sign in the window, second time just didn't have any takers (was only asking $800, and this is when it had uniform paint! and ran good). Bought a Firebird, and while the Skylark sat pulled the engine and rebuilt it minus any machine work, so it got rings, bearings, gaskets, a new cam and lifters, etc. It promptly dynamited the TH200 trans after putting the engine back in (My old man was driving it to work at 5:30am, when it locked the rear wheels up at 35mph causing him to skid to a 45* angle with the road infront of the police station, haha). So I bought a running but beat '83 LeSabre for $75 pulled the 200r4 out and dropped the rest off at the junkyard. Had the 200r4 rebuilt and put it behind the v-6. Firebird was wrecked and I was back into the Skylark and figured I'm stuck with the car for life

    I've always wanted more power out of it, so my quest began for a Buick 350 with an EGR and Smog pump to meet CA emission requirements. I went to the junkyard on 1/2 price day and destiny intervened, the junkyard personal had lined the ends of the rows with various engines and one of them was a Buick 455, carb to oil pan, accessory brackets and everything with EGR and Smog Pump was just sitting there, tempting me.....So for $250 I got all that! Then while the block was in the machine shop I bought a Centurion with a blown 455 engine, so the Centurion got the engine. I spent the next four or five years trying to sieze, blow, do something to make the 231 die, but it simply refused. Ran at least three of those years with less than 20psi oil pressure hot, and that was with the Buick Oil pump booster plate AND Hi-Volume kit. It would sit at zero at idle, no knocking, no lifter rattles, nothing. Finally I gave up on it and pulled it. Then a series of issues assembling the second 455 created set backs, and once the "new" 455 was installed in the Skylark (with the TKO-600) more issues popped up that ultimately lead to that engine lasting less than 500 miles :'( I ended up towing the car to Ely, where I did a January, 16*F weather, engine swap and put the Centurion engine in the Skylark just so I could drive it (after all why do I need a convertible in the middle of winter??) That is the engine I used for the Burn Out Monday Submission. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_CCLSwdLhU

    I recently pulled the engine back out gave it a bearing and gasket refresh (as it has 50,000+miles on it) and put it back into the Centurion, and have began (re-)building the 455 that dynamited on me properly with something more than a stock rebuild.

    Here are some pictures:
    My Avitar - I now have the original style grill back on the car (look at the first picture)


    The Engine that never made it


    The Centurion engine in the Skylark running


    Who would have guessed 15 years after this picture the car in the background would be the baby's!

    38P likes this.
    Escaped on a technicality.

  • #2

    Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

    Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

    The new engine. I'm going with a full all out MegaSquirt 2 fuel injection setup. Including a 7-pin HEI for timing control and probably going to try a knock sensor with it too. Hmm I just noticed I don't have any pictures of the cleaned up short block, it's cleaned up and bored .030 over.

    My intake, a T/A SPX intake with fuel injector bungs and fuel rails installed.


    My Heads, stock 1970 heads with stage 1 valves installed. So far unported and I haven't measured them out yet for cc's. Check out how close the valves are to each other!


    What the standard valves look like:


    The Stage 1 valves. I think the combustion chambers are the same, but I'm gaining a little compression from the valves taking up extra space:


    And the 10:1 pistons I bought, will probably yield closer to 9.5:1, but I'll measure them out. Check out how shallow the dish is compared to the regular 8.5:1 stock piston.



    For a cam I've walked my own path and will see how it plays out, since I don't fully trust all the "Chevy" tech applied to cam theories when Buick's have such large differences in Bore, Stroke, rod length, and rod/stroke ratio's, etc. from Chevy's. It will be my own personal experience with how good or bad my choice will be. Basically I picked a relatively low lift (~.480") cam with a huge duration (~228*,247*@.050) and an ultra wide LCA of 118*. I am told this will kill my bottom end torque, and I want to find out if that is possible with a Buick 455, and if I am unhappy with it I'll try and adjust the cam timing 4* or so to see if I can bring the power band down lower. The engine shouldn't see much over 5500rpm I figure, and the EFI I hope will help the low end torque curve. The two other reasons I picked this cam was to minimize overlap (which will probably make the cam the bottle neck of the air flow between the intake and the headers) to maximize fuel economy (and vacuum for ease of tuning the EFI) and it's advertised as very easy on Valvetrain parts to maximize the engine life and maintenance. After all this is my daily driver car when it's on the road ;D See if I can make my goal of 450HP and 30mpg with active Fuel/Spark management ;)
    Escaped on a technicality.

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    • #3

      Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

      Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

      Ah... Good to see a Buick build.

      The stage non-stage valve test is simple, I've nicknamed it the nickel and dime test. If you can barely get a dime between the vavles, its got stage valves. If a nickel fits its stock stuff.
      Central TEXAS Sleeper
      USAF Physicist

      ROA# 9790

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      • #4

        Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

        Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

        Excellent reporting on a great project. But you know I have a soft spot for Buicks anyway.

        Keep the entries coming, please
        Dan

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        • #5

          Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

          Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

          Flippin sweet.

          I've never documented a build that well and have always said I would.

          My Dad doesn't have pictures of all of his cars (he's 77 this year) and I hope to put together an album with all of mine - but to be honest - I don't know if I have pictures of all of them.... I'm not doing well on my intentions here.

          You've done an excellent job.

          I hope DF and Chad see how many junkies like silverbuick could be pretty good magazine article writers!
          There's always something new to learn.

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          • #6

            Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

            Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

            Very Nice....I love all the detail....

            Can't wait to see the project as it progresses.

            Seth
            200 mph or bust.......

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            • #7

              Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

              Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

              I think the subject matter has some of you blinded to my horrible writing skills ;) Thanks for the compliments and when I get to the point it's my only focus (current one is the T-bird ) I'll post more, this is just an entry level. Thanks Chad and DF for Project Car section. I'll keep everyone updated once I get really working on it. My goal is to run the Silver State Challenge in the car next year.
              Escaped on a technicality.

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              • #8

                Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                Nice write up! And you deserve a special squirrel award...how about a nice picture of your car from last month?



                My fabulous web page

                "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                • #9

                  Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                  Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                  Excellent job with the car! Keep it up.
                  I R Bob
                  You can't drink all day unless you start in the morning!
                  2007 LH, 2008 LH, 2009 LH, 2010 LH, 2011 LH, 2012 DNF/BLOW'D UP, 2013 LH, 2014 LH

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                  • #10

                    Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                    Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                    Thanks Jim, I was going to move the lawn mower (it needs to go to the landfill, I got a new one) and snap a current pick, but this will do. It's actually pushed forward about three more feet because I put the Centurion behind it now ( you can just barely see the T-bird behind it) and it needed the extra clearance. ;D
                    Escaped on a technicality.

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                    • #11

                      Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                      Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                      I was flipping through some old pictures and ran across these two. Taken right after my Firebird was wrecked and a few months after my Dad abandoned a re-painting effort. I sanded it a bit more and rattle canned some primer over it, this was all in 2003, haven't done anything body/paint wise since. I have pictures when the silver was fresh and looked good, but I'd have to get them scanned.



                      Escaped on a technicality.

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                      • #12

                        Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                        Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                        It's not my favorite Buick body style, but I like the Buick V8's.

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                        • #13

                          Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                          Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                          props for being different! that body style is growing on me. their was a blue one with draglites running at hotrod's dragweek this year. like the efi big block. it should be strong.

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                          • #14

                            Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                            Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                            Great project. That car is meant to be yours. Doesn't sound like it wants to leave you.
                            Keep the updates coming. Hoping you can get to your goal of 450HP with 30MPG.
                            Had the same basic thing in an Olds Omega. Living in Minnesota it turned into the rustiest car I've had.

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                            • #15

                              Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                              Re: The Silver Buick's well Silver Buick!

                              Thanks. My dash cluster came out of an Old's Omega =D The Skylark's never got the rallye pack option =/ Something is wrong with the tach. I have two of them and both do the same thing, namely not read anywhere near correctly. The temp,volt, speedo and fuel gauges work like champs though!

                              Escaped on a technicality.

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