All Wheel Drive AWD 71 Buick Skylark

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Brent, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Well it's been quite awhile since I posted again, I haven't done a lot but I have gotten a few things done over the past couple of months. We moved the car onto the lift which was pretty exciting to actually roll it since its been in the same spot on stands for over 2 years. We also dyed the front seat, which is a lot of work. Mostly prep, scrubbing it all down and cleaning it with acetone and prep before painting. It's Phantom White which is just a little lighter than the og color. Next we installed knock off dyno mat on the floor.
     

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  2. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    I had the core support and front fenders sand blasted then repaired the right side of the core support. I wonder how many of these Buick's need that spot on the core support repaired? lol After it was repaired I had them all primed and painted the core support with bed liner. Also installed the brake master cylinder and bled the brakes, only had 3 leaks so that went pretty well. I now have brakes anyway. Sorry no pics of any of this, I guess I'm not a good blogger. Next we fabricated the exhaust system, I started with a TA 2.5 system and years worth of left over parts and started fitting it all together. The tail pipes fit as factory but nobody makes an exhaust to fit around a transfer case in an A body, go figure. Turned out ok and I wrapped a fair amount of it to keep the under car heat down. Yes, I did paint it all black.
     

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  3. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Just today we installed the fenders, core support, and finished the fitting and fab on the radiator and fans. The fan fit quite well, I bent the og tabs on the radiator cover and welded a couple of small tabs to hold the fans in place. There was a lot more to it than that but that's the short story version. Now I need to install a trans cooler, fab lines, rebuild the carb, do a little wiring and I think I can start it. That would be a milestone. Has anyone here converted a factory column shift to a cable shift using the column? That's my plan.
     

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  4. DasRottweiler

    DasRottweiler -BuickAddict-

    "Fire it up, fire it up, fire it up"
    Jim
     
  5. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    I have figured out that I am not a natural born blogger, haven't posted anything for about 4 months. Spoiler, I have been driving it for the last month. Follow along for the extended version. I completed all the above listed stuff, carb, trans cooler, lines, fans, cooling, etc. and had the engine fired up the first week of August. It sounded great, but heated up really quickly and blew a radiator hose off. That's odd, so after more running I figured out it had a combustion leak into the coolant, bummer. We ran some tests to figure out what was wrong, it failed a combustion gas leak test, but showed no signs from a leakage test. We pulled it out and removed the heads, head gaskets looked perfect so I think it might have a crack in a cylinder that only shows up with combustion. This set me back a little and I had school starting in a week.
     

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  6. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Like alot of other Buick guys, I had another motor, lol. I had a motor for my station wagon, so I swapped the needed parts and put it in. It started great, broke the cam in, tuned it a bit, and all seems quite well. Next I needed to get several little things completed so I could drive it.
     

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  7. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    In order to drive it, we needed to get the hood on, permanently mount the battery and get a shifter set up. I decided to use hood pins for the hood, so that came up next as well as my old school method of attaching the modified hood scoop grills. Yes, I bolted them on. I know they have fancy new epoxy's and such but I just still prefer mechanical fasteners. I have never installed hood pins before and it is a lot more difficult than one would think it is. To even out the weight on the car and attempt to get my desired 52/48 bias, we put the battery in the trunk behind the right rear tire. We used a factory battery tray with the og mounts and added a top strap for extra safety. We also ran a shut off switch so everything can be isolated in case of a short. For a shifter we decided to use a factory Buick floor shifter with a modified stock console. I figured that even a B&M or such would have a large box around it so why not just use Buick parts and get the same result. I don't have a pic of the modified console, so I'll have to get one.
     

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  8. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    We also built a complete gauge cluster with factory gauges and a tach as well. While completing the under car work I remembered the driveshaft was pretty close to the trans, so I notched the bellhousing a little.
     

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  9. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    The power steering pump leaked pretty bad so I sealed it up and added a PS cooler. I ordered some carpet and got it last week so that's what I did this weekend. Considering the massive mods to the trans tunnel I was able to get the carpet to actually work. It's not perfect and without floor mats it wouldn't work at all, but it will suffice for what it is. I also added the "piece de resistance", I have no idea how to spell that, the radio delete plate. I have always thought a radio delete is the ultimate muscle car addition, all business.
     

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  10. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Driving report. I babied it for the first two weeks, didn't want anything to fall off and it needed an alignment. We did an alignment and everything was pretty close for just eyeballing it. We ended up with 8 and 8.5 degrees of caster and .75 degrees of -camber. It handles pretty well as far as I have pushed it. The car handles much better than I can drive. It runs pretty well too, fairly quick, especially when it drops a gear on the downshift. It launches better than I had ever hoped. We all have A body cars and with out major work they all spin the tires on a full throttle launch. I can push the throttle against the high stall mode on the convertor, about 2,700 rpm, let off the brake and completely floor it. It turns the rear tires maybe 3 revolutions, then the front starts to pull harder and you are gone. Virtually no tire tire spin at all, it just takes off. I have never had a car do that and I am very pleased with it. I guess the helical gear limited slips in both diffs payed off, lol.
     
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  11. Philip66

    Philip66 Well-Known Member

    Having experienced launching a RWD A-Body for most of my life with the resulting wheel spin, and having launched a 700 HP Duramax in 4WD with all that entails, I can only imagine what an AWD A-Body would feel like!!

    This is an awesome build and I'm glad that you've finally gotten to experience your dream! Way to go!! Excellent Job!!!
     
  12. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    That is awesome!!!! VIDEO!!
     
  13. StfSocal

    StfSocal Well-Known Member

    Yes, yes!!! Video man, VIDEO!!!
     
  14. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Just add a turbo and have some real fun!
     
  15. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Again, it's been quite awhile since I posted anything, so I thought I would give some updates and future plans.
    The car has been apart for a good part of the winter trying to solve a few problems. I had a pretty good leak in the transmission dipstick and a very serious vibration while driving. I expected some vibration since I used polyurethane motor mounts. This was speed related and got worse the faster you went, so it was definitely a rotational component. We put the car on my lift with the jacks under it so we could run it at speed with the tires off the ground. We then removed or unbolted everything that spins until we isolated the vibration, first the tires, then each front axleshaft, front driveline, and lastly the rear driveshaft. Then, poof the vibration was gone. I have some very severe drivline angles because of the modifications to the drivetrian. I first assumed that was the problem and had double cardan CV's put on both ends of the rear driveshaft where I previously had only one. That didn't fix the problem so after some research I found that the Saginaw double cardans I used have a serious propensity to cause the drivline to be out of balance. When the driveshaft was built it was perfectly strait and double checked but apparently these Saginaw CV's cause problems anyway. I had the driveshaft balanced, it was way off and had to have balance weights put on both ends on opposite sides of each other. I guess that is unusual. Anyway it fixed the problem and now you can drive the car at speed.
     

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  16. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    While the car was on the lift being ran at speed I was very unhappy with how the helical gear limited slip was working in the rear. The one in the front was working great but no matter what only one tire would rotate in the rear. The only way to get it to transfer power was to use the parking brake on on one side. I know, they need resistance to operate properly and it would work on the road, I just didn't like it. Solution? We installed a regular clutch type limited slip and it works beautifully.
     
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  17. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    I ended up running a stock intake to gain enough hood clearance and have always been bummed about the added weight. While reading some posts on here I saw a post about the Offenhauser 360 intake, I actually ran one of these back in high school in the eighties. I had forgotten about them and after seeing pictures I realized they are much lower than the other aluminum intakes. I bought one, milled the top shorter, opened it up for a q-jet, and removed all the labeling so it will look more like a stock intake to the untrained eye. Yes, I know you are all saying they don't work. Well, it works just as good as the stock one and weighs 30 pounds less. Weight is the concern here. I will be installing it this week. Speaking of weight, have any of you used fiberglass bumpers? Problem is I want it to look stock, so I want the bumpers to look chrome. I have looked into wrapping them and it looks good but is very expensive. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has made a fiberglass bumper look stock.
     

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  18. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    The plan for now is to drive the car for the rest of the summer, push it hard and see how everything works. Hopefully nothing to bad comes apart, but I guess that gives you the opportunity to upgrade, lol.
    Thanks
     
  19. cjeboyle

    cjeboyle Gold Level Contributor

    Thanks for the updates! Maybe you could post a short video of it on the road?
    Cliff
     
  20. JoeBlog

    JoeBlog Platinum Level Contributor

    Is the chrome wrap more expensive than SpectraChrome? I’ve seen a couple of examples and it’s very close to an exact look.
     

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