My new '78 Skylark project

Discussion in 'The "X" bodies' started by IronCross, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. IronCross

    IronCross Member


    I'm a real newbie on this forum so let me first introduce myself.
    My name is Joey and I live in the Netherlands.
    Since my childhood I've been an fan of the BMW E30 (2nd gen 3-series), so when I got my drivers license I immediately bought my first BMW e30 316i. That thing went to the scrapyard when it had run km.
    Then I bought a BMW e30 320I which I fully restored. I replaced the fenders, put some bumpers on it which where missing, new wheels, spoiler, leather interior.....the whole thing an did an very nice paint job to it. It took me almost a year to finish that project. But after 1,5 year I was tired of that car because it began to rust again an there was huge maintenance left to do so I sold the damn thing. Something I regret now, they have really good value nowadays.

    I'm working on cars for almost 10 year now but the thing I missed was a project. So I began to search for a new car to work on. I'm a fa of the more angular shaped cars, like the e30, but I also love American cars. Therefore I began to search for an angular, American car which soon turned out to be an X-body type car. And last week I found the right one!

    It is a Buick Skylark 1978 with a 5.0L v8 under the hood. The engine runs very smooth (some valve adjusting may be useful though).
    The car wasn't to expensive because there is some work to do on it.

    Here's a picture of me and y family and the Skylark:

    This car is perfect for me, not to expensive, drives awesome, some work to do on it.

    There are however some parts missing on it and I hoped you guys would like to help me with in some way. It is very hard to find American cars on a scrap yard and especially a '78 Skylark here in the Netherlands.

    Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and I'll keep you (and myself:grin: up-to-date).
  2. ss4825

    ss4825 Well-Known Member

    Welcome. The are several members here with x-body cars that can help you find parts.
  3. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    Great to have a new face/car here! let us know what you need, we will be willing to help in anyway possible.
  4. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Welcome! We'll see what we can do. Trim and such parts at times can be difficult to find, but the engine is likely a small block chevy engine, which means it should be a bit cheaper and simpler to locate parts to keep it running, or to upgrade.
  5. IronCross

    IronCross Member

    I'm gonna post my to do list here. Mainly for myself and also for people who can help me with parts or any type of info.

    First thing I did today was cleaning the whole car. The vinyl roof was a real pain in the ass.
    Up next is the headlining. Fabric is already ordered. Never done this before but I guess it shouldn't be that hard.

    my parts list:
    - Rear bumper fillers (found them on but I have read on some forums that they don't fit very wel)
    - Side view mirrors (already found them online)
    - Emblem on hood (I don't believe it was original on a '78 skylark but there's a hole in the hood which must be filled)
    - Chrome trim on the rear panel (not found yet)
    - Fender flare rear-left (also not found)
    - (maybe) a new passenger-door, there's a little rust hole in it
    - new weatherstrips for rearwindow

    Fix all the rusty parts, including the roof under the vinyl-cover.
    After that I'm gonna paint it black. I did not figure out yet what's the best way to do it. Either a pro paint-job, or do it myself by hand.

    All-in-all, there is a lot work let to do!

    Yes it's a small block engine. Parts are not hard to find for it, not eve here in The Netherlands.
    Also the engine runs very good for now. So i guess I'm not gonna need parts for the engine in the near future.
  6. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    I can comment on the replacement bumper fillers as I have a set on my car. They are fiberglass and not OE rubber style. Which means they should last longer BUT the fitment is very very very rough. The rear ones I ended up using sheet metal screws to pull them tight up against the body because they were not contoured correctly. I'm sure it has something to do with how the fiberglass cures to their mold. The mold is probably spot on, but then as the fiberglass dries/cures it warps. The fronts required similar amounts of trimming and work to fit into place. Given that there are no other replacements I'm aware of, they beat the alternative of nothing. The "other" alternative is to ditch the bumper shocks and fabricate up some brackets and tuck the bumper up to the body, which may also require cutting the bumper in the middle and narrowing it (then getting it re-chromed or painting it) to make it look right.
  7. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    You can see the front one there is cracked, just at the top corner of the bumper. It is like that on both sides as the fit wasn't that great. The crack on each front one is by far the worse part of all the replacement fillers. The screw to hold the rear ones in shape is not noticeable and I don't seem to have a picture that obviously shows it.

    The silver color helps, but as you can see, after a distance of about 20 feet, the ill fitment is not really noticeable.


    (the center piece is not a replacement)

    And I don't have a good picture of the rear ones easily accessible right now. The screw holding the rear piece in place is located at the bottom left of the filler. Not really noticeable unless you are looking specifically for it.
  8. IronCross

    IronCross Member

    @ silverbuick: thans for the sharing your information. That surely helps a lot.
    The previous owner had the same thoughts about replacing the rear bumper. I'm just gonna go with the replacement fillers. There has to be some way to make them fit in a decent way.
    Can you tell me how to remove the rear-bumper? Haven't given myself a chance to figure it out either.

    I just removed the headlining. Had it outside the car (which was the hardest part) within 45 minutes. Fabric should arrive tomorrow. Nice job for my wife :)
  9. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Sounds like I need a wife, my car has no headliner :laugh:

    The bumpers are super easy to remove, there are 8, fairly easy to access, bolts holding the bumpers on. Two supports each, and each support with 4 bolts. The bumpers are fairly heavy, so be ready for that as the last bolt or two are removed. The fiberglass replacement fillers all probably fit slightly differently depending how they cure. You may have better luck with straightness than I did, or at minimum, hopefully not worse!
  10. 71GS455

    71GS455 Best Package Wins!

    @silverbuick - it looks like the wheels on your car are the big car wheels. But the big cars have a bigger bolt pattern (and have the curved, sweeping ribs instead of the straight ones). Are you running different hubs, or am I seeing them wrong?

    Also, since I don't know much about these mid 70's Skylarks - do they run TH200's or TH350's? Is the rear an 8.5" or something else? If they've got TH200's, is it just a trans/convertor swap to use a TH350?
  11. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Very observant! I am running big car rims with a 5x5 bolt pattern. I swapped in a Cadillac rear axle with disc brakes (before the 9") and bigger 12" Cadillac front rotors. Both came in the 5x5 bolt pattern. I may go back to the small pattern as when I got the aftermarket 9" rear and axles I had them drill the axles for both the 5" and 4.75" bolt pattern, and there are rotor's available that are 12" and use the 4.75" bolt pattern. I just haven't wanted to spend the money to buy rotors AND rims all the way around to convert back. I could conceivably drill the rotors for the smaller bolt pattern though. I'd like to find out some day if the stock black steelie rims will fit over the larger discs brakes, as I kind of want to stick the stock hubcaps back on it =P

    90% of the '76-'79 Skylark's came with TH200 transmissions and 7.5" rear. I don't actually think any came with an 8.5" rear, but could be wrong and some certainly got the TH350 depending on engine option. The Cadillac stuff I used was off a '77 K-body Seville, which is just an X-body with a stretched body and exactly same sub-frames, but came with bigger brakes and 8.5" rear. Yanked it all out of a junkyard.
  12. IronCross

    IronCross Member

    I'm looking for a pair of side view mirrors, the passenger side's mirror is different and I can't see a damn **** because it can't turn enough.

    So I checked ebay and there are hundreds of these mirrors but none of them seem to fit, according the sellers information.
    However they look quite the same. So can anyone give me the approval that they do fit?

    For example these :
  13. Sliver

    Sliver Member

    Cut and tuck those bumpers! No fillers needed. 20140827_190950.jpg 20140906_182751.jpg 20140906_130816.jpg

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