76 231 Skylark needs more getup

Discussion in 'The "X" bodies' started by Neuro, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Neuro

    Neuro New Member

    Recently purchased a 76 skylark with 231 and 47,000 miles. Body is straight just needs paint, sun damaged interior, but not a leak one in this motor. I am going to swap it eventually but for now I just want to give it some more oomph until my resto is done. Any ideas? This thing is crazy to find parts for.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  2. pbr400

    pbr400 68GS400

    Welcome! You didn’t say what engine, but every engine should respond to Larry’s power timing sticky thread posted elsewhere on this board. That, a better exhaust (without the catalytic converter if you can get away with deleting it), and then pit better gears in the rear end-I think those cars have 8.5 rears, Monzas on here can help with that. Whetever you do, don’t go throwing the shiny or colorful Summit catalog at it.
    Neuro likes this.
  3. partsrparts

    partsrparts Silver Level contributor

    Welcome, I have a 76 skylark that came with the 231 V6, turbo 200 trans, 7.5 rear end with 2:56 gears. These engines only produce about 100hp. Like pbr400 said you can do Larry's power timing to the dist. and a different air cleaner set up but if you're going to put a V8 in it I wouldn't throw a lot of money at it. All most all the body, suspension, and interior parts are the same as the Nova. I picked up a 75 Nova for a parts car and all the interior parts are the same, even the right color.
    I'm running a 350 engine and turbo 400 trans out of a 68 Lesabre, a 8.5 rear end out of a Nova.
    there's plenty of people on here that can walk you through anything you need on this car.
    Neuro likes this.
  4. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Add a turbo
    Neuro likes this.
  5. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Ditto!! I have a complete 78 Qjet carbureted turbo motor you can have for $500, just add fuel and 12 volts.
  6. dr

    dr Well-Known Member

    I might be interested in the motor if Neuro passes.
  7. Neuro

    Neuro New Member

    Edited to say its the 3.8
  8. techg8

    techg8 The BS GS

    Those setups have a very high cool factor if anyone is asking me.....

    I built one and put it in an 83 cutlass a few years back. Even had the knock retard system functioning.

    In stock form it was able to make 10 or 11lbs boost before diminishing returns set in
    Mark Demko likes this.
  9. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    I'd keep the 231
    Put some compression in it (10 to 1)
    Maybe look into some aluminum heads.
    I think TA carries an aluminum intake for it, they list as having the rest of the Kenne Bell #1 4 bbl intake
    Add the Q-Jet or a Holley DP carb
    Mild cam, headers, and make more power than was available in the 350 for that year (155/165 hp)
  10. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    don't forget, you have a 76' 231, and that means that its an odd-fire. a lot of the even fire parts wont work with your motor. I think that the post 79' 231 is the even fire.
    Mark Demko likes this.
  11. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Good point!
  12. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    I may be a little biased but you could LS swap it for a easy, reliable 300hp and 20ish mpg. Not so cost friendly but will bring a smile to your face when you hit the loud pedal.

    Attached Files:

  13. newmexguy

    newmexguy Well-Known Member

    Better upgrades are to swap that weak T-200 with a T-350 and find an '71-'75 X body 8.5 rear end.
    philbquick likes this.
  14. ken betts

    ken betts Well-Known Member

    Its easy to get power from these. You will never match a 350 or 455 without a turbo but remember we ran that same odd fire engine in a 75 sky hawk with a stick. 2888# plus driver 155#. It set the record first pass at 14.46 or faster. What we didn't tell people was I shifted at 4800 rpm, 5000 and 5000 went thru the lights at 5200. I can only remember that Jim Bell came running over and said to slow the car down! He did not want to set the record that low. Even with all the testing we never considered what the air at Fremont Raceway would do for a very low compression stocker with a 2bbl carb. It was basically a warm up run. I suggest a mild cam, 4bbl 500 or even 625 carb. The Skylark is heavier but if you want more power I would just put a 350 of 455 in it down the road. Yeah thats more money but with alum heads the 455 does lighten up nicely. We did run a 4:10 gear. The KB legal stocker did run times faster than a stock 455 from the factory which was around 14.20's. It would never beat a Stage 1 factory stock. Mark D is right on the mark! (no pun intended)
  15. stk3171

    stk3171 Well-Known Member

    I put a 4 barrel intake and holley 450 cfm economaster on it and it runs like a small v8. Makes it have great thoughtel response for drivability.
    Mark Demko likes this.
  16. RAMKAT2

    RAMKAT2 Randy

    Swap in a complete 3.8 turbo engine/trans setup from a Grand National.
  17. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    what ramkat2 said. that would be awesome

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