Project HP 69 S/S Skylark

Discussion in 'Race 400/430/455' started by Graham, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. gdbuick

    gdbuick Well-Known Member


    Hi Graham,

    I did have two questions for you on your car regarding your recent rear seat firewall. Did you use sheet metal screws or rivets to attach? From the pictures it almost looks like the panel directly behind the seat towards to floor maybe two pieces? Almost like you added another piece to tie the larger panel into the floor as there looks to be two rows of rivets/screws at the bottom. Perhaps it's just a reflection. I'm working on something similar.

  2. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Hey Greg, good to hear from you.

    The firewall is a 0.040" aluminum sheet fastened by rivets.

    Yes, I added the aluminum strip at the bottom and made it to mold around the wiring cable and to secure the whole bottom sheet to the upper floorpan rail. I then used clear silicone to seal every thing up.
    I'm happy with the results. :) Graham
  3. DEL

    DEL Well-Known Member

    Cool plates! :beer
  4. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Its been a year since the last post and thought I'd update it.

    Car ran great the last year, went thru 3 sets of tires, and 2 bbls of Sunoco Standard.

    Just last week during a lash/tuneup I noticed a little white smoke & moisture coming from one of the 3" duals.

    Upon further inspection the head gasket has developed a slight leak on the #8 cylinder.

    Noticed the spark plug was slightly wet on the #8 hole.

    I did a leak down test which was perfect and the compression test checked out fine at 225-240psi. 225 was the lowest on the #8 hole.

    No worries, got a full year out of the orange crush head gaskets concidering the higher compression (have the extra cyl head bolts).

    Its time to go right thru this thing, check out the bearings, upgrade to the 308 solid cam, and go with new cometic 40 thou head gaskets. (Thanks Chris S. aka Torque Master:pp )
    Will also install the AMP Crank scraper, windage screen and new ported SPX / Dominator setup.


    Attached Files:

  5. gusszgs

    gusszgs Well-Known Member

    Graham, I'm kinda suprised you had some leakage with the 4 extra bolts for sealing. I'm running the Cometic's with no issues at 12:1 comp.
    Did you ever get to the track?
  6. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Jim, yea it was using some coolant the day I found the source area. Was somewhat suprised as well... We'll know for sure when the heads come off. Sure hope there isn't a hairline crack in the block...:pray:
    The Orange Crush Gaskets are good but I've heard other stories that they can develope leaks after some time. The block is zero decked, chambers are 69 CC's and the 0.040" Cometics should hold up better. Should lower the compression a tenth of a point also.

    Went to the track, But didn't make it out due to rain the one time. And the other two times, the car was loaded up in the trailer but plans changed at the very last minute. (Ricky and Bubbles jamed out on me:moonu: ). Long story short, the intent was sure there, but it hasn't transpired yet.
    I did get out to the Rimby 100' street drags and it went 2.01 sec @ 100'. (Have the slip here somewhere.) They had the water box, vht sprayed down, and crappy mainstreet ashvault. Was using the ET Streets. It was fun, opened the electric header dumps, heated the tires right up, staged and went thru the traps darn near sideways. Johnny Force style! The crowed loved the Chevelle.. oh I mean Buick..:rolleyes:
    Will have it out next season for sure, as I moved closer to a couple of tracks this summer. Actually looking forward to getting out to a couple of near sea level tracks this spring (Mission, Victoria).
    Judging from a buddys desktop dragstrip sim program, with all the perameters entered, if it hooks it should be close to 10.33 @128. But we'll see for sure.
    Drove this thing frickin hard the past year, so I'm curious to see what the rod and main bearings look like.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  7. D-Con

    D-Con Kills Rats and Mice

    I had a water leak at number 8 after having the intake off; turns out it was the intake's water passage leaking to the #8 intake port. A little snugging of the intake bolts took care of it. It might be something to check if you're on the fence about tearing it down.
  8. RonJ

    RonJ Silver Level contributor

    It just dont get any better the this
    Good Job

  9. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Been working lots and finally found some time to look into this further...

    Fired the engine up and sure enough it started to smoke just before full operating temp.
    There have never been massive amounts of moisture belching from that exhaust bank but it definately was noticable...And it was coolant.

    Haven't pulled the heads off, yet. But found some problems:

    #1) Checked head bolt torque specs. Found that the extra head bolt on #8 was stripped at the threads tapped into the block deck. The other three bolts were fine at 55ft/lbs. Pulled them, used hi grade petrotape with a light coating of high temp silicone to seal them up. Retorqued the three to 55 ft/lbs. Set the sealed up #8 bolt in as tight as possible without restripping it again (est.15 ft/lbs). Great machinist work huh?
    Also pulled the 4 header studs from the head and re-sealed them up as well.

    #2) Yes I did find a few intake bolts that needed certain snugging to 45 ft/lbs, especially at the back of the intake.

    Replaced coolant, fired it back up, monitored everything closely.

    The exhaust moisture consumption indication has almost cleared up entirely.

    Wasn't able to drive the car due to winter weather, but warmed it up to full operating temp and watched the exhaust at different rpm settings.

    But without driving it under different loads and ensuring full evaporation of residuals thru that exhaust bank, will I know for sure.

    The new plugs were tan and completely dry.

    Didn't notice any coolant loss.

    *Note* (Before) The coolant moisture smoke from the exhaust bank would not start until the engine was almost up to operating temp...
    Also, never at any time did I notice any instant pressurizing of the coolant system on initial start up.

    I also remember when we first put the engine on the dyno, we had to reseal the leaking additional head bolts twice.

    A few possibilities exist:

    -It is possible that coolant was leaking thru the extra head bolt on #8 and getting past the header stud and into the exhaust manifold if the gasket was burnt and slightly leaking.

    -Adams theory with the intake leaking.

    -Or the head gasket has developed a slight leak and now the source is just sealed up.

    Irregardless, the fact that the additional tapped thread in the block is stripped and can't be properly torqued, sucks...
  10. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Whats that RonJ?
  11. 69GS400s

    69GS400s own amusement ride!

    I think he means your BadAss Buick ...
  12. Snowbound

    Snowbound Well-Known Member

    You got winter there already? Man, we are still golfing here! Too bad you moved out there.:bla:

    Merry Christmas buddy,

  13. jerry455

    jerry455 Well-Known Member

    Any updates on this awesome '69?
    Did you have any et's yet?
    Nice looking car & interesting combo
  14. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Hey guys, I'm still alive. Been busy workin (thank god) and haven't been around the board much, but still pop in now & then mostly to check on the TA Block updates.

    The machine is still under cover, safely tucked away in the shop.
    It doesn't have more than 4-5 hours <100 miles on it since the buildup. The ODO still has a hair over 68,000 original miles. Fixed the minor coolant leak and it runs stellar. Should hopefully have the traction issues worked out now. Haven't really :Brow: had it out on the street since we moved to BC as its not fully out of province insured yet.
    The goal is to find the time and get it out to one of the local tracks here this summer. I know I said that yast year.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments & take care.:)

  15. 455buickPoncho

    455buickPoncho Active Member

    Hi, you still in the Williams Lake area?
  16. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Hey Josh, good to hear from you. I'm still out at the 150.
    Haven't ran into you or the old man in awhile. I sent you gearheads a PM.

  17. standup 69

    standup 69 standup69

    hey graham maybe we will se you in mission this year?
  18. Graham

    Graham Registered User

    Adam, Thats a good possibility, I'll be taking July and August off this year. Will be in touch with ya.:TU:
  19. Sleekcrafter

    Sleekcrafter Well-Known Member

    Hey Graham were are you going to be running your car at.


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