231 to Buick 350 swap/IT'S ALIVE!

Discussion in 'V-8 Buick Powered Regals' started by KGB, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    Alright, I think I'm on the home stretch. Famous last words. Got the fan off and installed. Didn't realize it was press fit on there, bit of finessing and it came off. Got some belts I think are going to work, and a kickdown cable. Radiator brackets made and installed with V8 rad. Transmission cooler lines hooked up. Not the greatest, but I think they'll be alright. I'll take more pictures of the specifics tomorrow. My brackets got a little out of hand today, so I was busy getting those on track. In the morning I'm going to chop up the radiator shrouds for clearance, and reinstall them and the rad. And then maybe put some fluids in and crank up the juice.
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  2. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    Like I said, famous last words. Got my fan shrouds cut and cleaned up. The bottom fits how I want, but the top needs a bit of upward spacing somehow. Thats a problem for later. After getting the rad back in and all hooked up, I made sure all my hoses were tight. I started filling the trans and got three and a half quarts in, and back out the tube it went. The ATF settled down to a proper level on the dipstick, but the previous owner notched a side out of the pan. So I hope the level isn't too far off. I figured it'd be empty aside from the torque converter so I was going for broke. Then, I started filling up the rad while waiting for the ATF to go down the tube. Had about three quarters of the rad full, when I start washing the floor. Turns out it was loose bolts on the water neck. Got that fixed and put the battery back in. After some loose wire searching, I got it to crank over. Got fuel, but no start and no oil pressure. Kinda took the wind out of my sails, so I called it a day. I didn't check for spark, but if its there, I think its the timing. Not sure about the oil pressure though. I also realized I had my damn fan belt on wrong. Hard to turn when its not connected to the crank pulley. Ended up using the power steering belt off the V6. So I've got some messing around left to do, but everything is in, holds fluid, and cranks over. And I got this trick oil drain plug from the parts store. Its got a nice grip on it so you can twist it off without a wrench.
     

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  3. techg8

    techg8 The BS GS

    You can prime the oil system by pulling the 12v off the distributor coil temporarily

    Spin the engine with the starter until you see oil pressure on the gage.

    Then reconnect the ignition voltage to the hei and start it up with oil pressure.

    Nice work, can't wait to hear its on the road!
     
  4. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    I'm glad I wasn't completely off in my thinking. I appreciate the info. So I checked timing first, and that was right. Then I checked spark, and I had spark. So I gave the throttle a small kick, and got a little sound out of the pipes. Didn't start it, but it sounded like it was going in the right direction. So I'm betting the no start was just me being stupid and not giving it enough fuel. But as I was turning the engine over to try and build oil pressure, I heard some more drips on the floor. When I looked at the hoses it wasn't the one I was expecting. Fuel line. But it wasn't the line, it's the pump. I have one that I got with the engine, and I did think to replace it while it was on the stand. But when I got my old pump off, it looked different. I'm headed back over there now to take the old one off and compare again, but I'm sure the old one has a spring and a hole where the new one doesn't. And I'll bet money that my parts stores in town won't have a Buick 350 fuel pump. I think my new pump is for an Oldsmobile, but I'm not sure about that. I also thought about using the V6 one, but figured it wouldn't flow enough for a V8 But, I'm on the right track and I'm getting closer to firing everyday. I'll have some pictures up later on tonight.
     
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  5. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    So I got that new pump on. I should've just put it on while it was on the stand, because I made that way more of a fight than it needed to be. It looks exactly the same as the old one, except its a bit smaller, and it doesn't have the spring. The hole I was talking about was actually an indent to hold the spring. I had my Uncle over to turn the engine while I figured out where the pump would set in. I thought I had it but after a good fight and ripping my gasket a bit, we took a look at the V6. Just didn't have it turned over enough. Used a bit of RTV to fix up the gasket, and cranked it just a bit past TDC and it went in like it was supposed to. So I just need to put the fuel lines back on and that should be good. Also made a bracket to replace my power plug spacer for my gauge. I think it turned out half decent, for the tools I had at hand. I started making one for the three gauge panel, but I'm not digging the way its turning out. Got a nice bend in it though, for using a hammer, a torch, and a vise. I might do two smaller brackets so its not such a huge chunk of steel hanging down, but I'm not sure. So if that fuel pump works like it should, the only thing left is oil pressure.
     

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  6. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    That fuel pump works. Not sure how much it flows yet, hopefully enough. Over the course of the week, I've been turning this thing over. Still no oil pressure. So I took the distributor out and primed it that way. Got good oil pressure, put everything back together. Gave a kick on the throttle, and fired right up. Have just under 40 lbs of pressure. Didn't run it for long because I was concerned about the transmission fluid level. And I was right to be worried because it took up all the fluid it said was in there. So I put almost two more quarts in, and it came back out the tube again. I'm letting it settle for the night, and tomorrow I will finish up the little things. My phone died right after I got it started, so I'll have pictures tomorrow night.
     
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  7. rkammer

    rkammer '71 GS455 Arctic White

    Only 40 psi oil pressure on a cold engine? Are you a little concerned?
     
  8. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    I'm more worried about the gauge itself. I've been filling the transmission, so it hasn't run more than five seconds at a time. But I grabbed the gauge while it was running, and depending on where I held it, I could get as high as 60 or as low as 18 psi. I do have some copper tubing for it, but now I need to get the trans filled and the car home by tomorrow night. Which will be interesting, considering this thing is loud as all hell. So my plan for tomorrow is to finish filling the trans, put the shroud on, and run it until it warms up for a final check, and hope I can make it home without burning up or getting impounded.
     
  9. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    The car made its maiden voyage on Friday. Made it home safe and loud. I tried fitting the copper tubing for the oil pressure gauge on Saturday, and that turned into a cluster in a hurry. Couldn't get the tubing on without a massive oil leak, so I went back to the nylon tubing. Also got the spacing figured out for the fan shroud. I'm basically sitting on my hands now until Friday, when I can get the exhaust done.
     

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  10. MrSony

    MrSony Well-Known Member

    Welp, looks like you made some good progress. Y'know, the more I'm on the internet, the more regals I find like mine:

    The resemblance between mine and yours is uncanny. There were a LOT of burgundy-ish colored 84-87 regals built, apparently.

    AC cars the box is dang tight. I knocked a hole in mine with my old sbb, I riveted a piece of tin over it and covered it with RTV, but the box needs to be notched. I don't think I could even get that VC off if I needed to.
     

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  11. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    This ones gonna be a long one, so grab a drink or a smoke and enjoy the ride. Alright so my Friday went from great to absolute crap in the course of a few hours. Got the exhaust done and drove it home. Checked fluids and made sure everything was okay. Went on a little shakedown and checked fluids again, everything seemed okay. Then I did some running around town. On my way back home I developed a tick, or squeak, or chirp, or something. Pulled over and checked fluids, ATF was low but that was it. I had oil pressure all throughout the drive, 10psi/1000rpm, but low idle pressure, 8 psi if I remember correctly. Went around to some people for help. We started with the belts, and that fixed it, for 100 ft. Then started right back up. On Sunday I tried a different power steering belt, praying it wasn't an engine noise. That didn't fix it. So today I drive to work, where my boss happens to be an old racer. He says its a valvetrain issue, lifter or rocker, something like that. Then I went to another old hot rodder and showed him. He agreed and added a wiped lobe on the cam. Then I went to leave and **** hit the fan. Started knocking like crazy. Limped it back to the shop. Come to find out my distributor hold down came loose and knocked my timing out. So that was the big knock. But I still can't find this other tick. I tried the screwdriver-to-the-ear trick, but it sounded about the same on each valve cover. So at this point, I'm not sure what I should do next.
     
  12. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill Well-Known Member

    The distributor drives the oil pump, I hope you didn't do any internal engine damage?
     
  13. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    Should've clarified that. The distributor didn't come out, just spun in the hole. I just came back from a mechanic friend, and after looking at it he said something in the valvetrain. After I left he asked me what my oil pressure was, and once I told him he told me to change the oil pump. So I've screwed the pooch pretty good on this one. Just hoping I haven't done serious damage already.
     
  14. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Just changing the pump isn't a cure, you will need to see if the cover is usable, ie the gears protrude out of the cover a few thousandths, then be sure to use a thrust plate and shim it as needed, I hardly ever measure the end clearance, I just set it up till I like how it feels when I turn the shaft
     
  15. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    Hugger, I've been trying to explain what you typed to everyone that's helped me. I've got a feeling my cover is shot. So today before I changed the oil and filter, I took the valve cover off. And quickly narrowed down where my tick was coming from. Exhaust valve #1 isn't opening enough. Whether that's a round lobe, or toast lifter, I'm not sure yet. But I've got a place to start. The oil was not great, had some sparkles, but it wasn't full of shavings and chunks. The filter had nothing but oil in it. I'll be honest and say that I hope it is the camshaft. Gives me an excuse to upgrade.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  16. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    So I've got my excuse. In post #8 I mentioned the cam, and I should've gone into it right then and there. I got the intake off and had a friend turn the engine over. With the pushrod out, and my finger resting on the #1 exhaust lifter, it didn't even move half as much as the other lifters. It's also so mushroomed it won't come out through its bore. I'm not sure what shape my rockers are in, because I'm not sure what good '68 rockers and shafts look like. They don't move the greatest on the shafts, but the shafts themselves look okay. But I also said that about the cam. So now I've got some questions, to anyone reading. What's the advantage of switching to '70 and up rocker shafts, and what are people using for a good street camshaft? Not looking to make a street/strip machine out of this, just figure if its coming out I may as well put something a little bigger back in.
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  17. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    Finally got the car to a place I could work on it. Got the camshaft out, minus two lobes. As well as two cereal bowl lifters. The rest weren't too bad, worn but not a dish. My bearings look okay, but I've got a mechanic coming over to give me a yes or no. I was already prepared to take the engine back out to do the bearings, but if they're alright I'll start putting things back together. I need to get a new water pump, pulley and some electric fans, because my fan has somehow seized onto the water pump. Tried everything I could to get it off, but it's staying on. My rockers looked a little rough, so I got the '70 and up rockers, as well as the front cover and TA 112 cam and most of the little things. So once I get my answer on the bearings, It'll start going back together.
     

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  18. KGB

    KGB Active Member

    Couldn't fit all the pictures in one post.
     

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  19. techg8

    techg8 The BS GS

    Good progress. Keep it up!
     
  20. MrSony

    MrSony Well-Known Member

    Sucks man. Hope everything works out in the end.
     

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