1970 Pro-Touring Lark

Discussion in 'Pro-Touring' started by BuickBullet, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    Thanks Darron!

    Well, some kid whose dad bought him a 69 mustang coupe (302 C4) thought he had the coolest car, until (with the help of 510 ft-lbs and 4.11 gears) I pulled on him coming out of the school parking lot. In all seriousness, super fortunate and see this car as a great connection between my Dad and me, she's not perfect, but she's mine.

    Good to know with the repop tach, I was looking at OPGI or another order to DieCastMuscleCars, and am leaning towards a stock appearing tachometer, as long as it works, the current Sunpro tach gave out entirely on lighting up and looks a little out of place.

    The bucket seats took a ton of time, but make a huge difference in the car. If anybody wants my measurements or templates, let me know and I'd be happy to share. The seats go on sale all the time, and for the money, I don't think there's a ton of things that can change the driving experience.
    breakinbuick11 likes this.
  2. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Great update Tom.

    The seats match your interior color perfectly! Are you planning on dropping in a rebuilt 455 and 6 speed all at once? Can’t wait to see the trans swap progress.
  3. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    Hey Louie!

    Thanks! Yeah, I'm really fortunate the seats matched, it's surprisingly hard to find beige/tan interior items sometimes. Yes, the engine and trans swap are supposed to be this summer's project, but with classes all online this spring I hope I'll get started early. I'll try to do a better job of documenting that work, and will definitely be looking to http://www.v8buick.com/index.php?threads/sick-speed-gs-project.346534/ for guidance.


  4. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    As I am waiting on some parts to arrive, and picking others to order, I got the chance to wax the car for the first time in 4 years.

    Figured I should throw some new pictures up, although the uphill slant makes the front look higher than it is.

    I'm also considering throwing on a GSX spoiler but painting it a satin black to match the chin spoiler. Has anyone seen any photos with the spoiler and a black color similar to that? IMG_6925.jpg IMG_6924.jpg IMG_6923.jpg IMG_6922.jpg IMG_6921.jpg
    BUQUICK and breakinbuick11 like this.
  5. alvareracing

    alvareracing Well-Known Member

    looks great! don't add the spoiler, it's perfect the way it is. No spoiler no scoops, no stripes, simple and clean.
    Clarkie and docgsx like this.
  6. redsixty9

    redsixty9 Platinum Level Contributor

    Wow! love the color in the sun. What color and paint is that? I've been color shopping for my 69. It looks very similar to what's on my car now which I want to kind of match. I've been milling over modern GM/Buick reds. I think your rear spoiler idea of adding a little more black would balance it out nicely. Have you thought about window tinting or a carbon fiber wrap on the chin and rear spoiler. The car is looking great no matter what you decide. :D
  7. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Alvareracing! And I'm back and forth on whether to do the rear spoiler or not. I really like the way the car "squats" in the back, but with all this time in quarantine, I'm looking for things to do!

    Thanks, RedSixty9, I've been following your thread for a little bit and it's good stuff. I have the paint code around here somewhere, I'll check on it and post it/pm later today hopefully. It's definitely on the darker side of red, almost a maroon. I haven't considered carbon fiber wrap, as I've always a little apprehensive of wraps in general. Window tinting isn't something I often see on Skylarks, I'd be curious to see photos!

    Once the shelter in place ruling is up, I'll hopefully take the car out for some better-staged photos, but in the meantime, we're confined to the driveway.
  8. alvareracing

    alvareracing Well-Known Member

    please don't take this as negative but something I would most likely do " if it was mine" I would detail the front grill with some silver to highlight some of the cross pieces on it, or perhaps the perimeter and the center one coming down. Just a small touch to give it some depth of field. I've always like the clean look of the Skylark. Just my opinion. Maybe even paint it the original color which I think it was argent silver and black. Love it either way!
    docgsx likes this.
  9. gsxnut

    gsxnut Well-Known Member

    Really like the look and the stance with wide wheels. Sweet ride. ! ! !
    Clarkie likes this.
  10. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    No offense is taken! I really do appreciate the input and feedback, and the grill I have is so broken that it is zip-tied on two sides instead of being bolted. I think if I were to invest in a grille I might buy a GSX one. Personally, I like the blacked-out grille and think it makes the car look a little more modern, and I've been trying to update the car in a tasteful manner with the larger 17" wheels, the headlights, seats etc. There's already a ton of chrome/silver on the car I'm not sure how much I'd want to add, but, to each their own!

    Thank you! That was always a big consideration. The 315 is tight in the rear, but worth it! I know some people are fitting a 275 up front, but I don't know if I could do that and not get any rubbing. The nose of the car will come up about an inch once we add the new transmission to take advantage of its double overdrive for highway driving!
    docgsx likes this.
  11. gs66

    gs66 Silver Level contributor

    Looks great! Any road trip plans like maybe the Power Tour?
  12. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    Hi Jim!

    Thanks! In terms of Road Trip plans my best friend may be working down in Los Angelos, and I was thinking that I could drive down and visit him for a week. Being in Seattle, Washington, traveling to and from Power Tour would be a huge venture, let alone the trip itself. I think I'd be interested in doing that one day but would start with sticking to the west coast. Right now I'm trying to work out all the little things so that once I do the engine and transmission swap I can have a super reliable driver that I'll be able to take on long trips.


  13. RoseBud68

    RoseBud68 Well-Known Member

    Dam....that's one bad azz looking lark. The stand, wheels, all spot on. Must handle great.
  14. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    Thanks! The car handles well, it is pretty stiff. I still need to take up some slop in the steering and think that the car would really benefit from wider front tires, when going into corners the car seems to push a little.
  15. redsixty9

    redsixty9 Platinum Level Contributor

    try running more tire pressure in the front tires less in the back to help with the push to start. It could be your spring rate or caster/camber but I'm not a suspension guru. Maybe some of the guys that are auto crossing can chime in. Now that I have my new wheel and tire combo on I'll be heading to Schwartz perfomance to set up the chassis instead of trial and error on my own. I really don't intend on doing much more than having fun driving it instead of making a race car out of it. I found out a long time ago there's no such thing as a street/strip car or street/road race car. It's either all in or be happy settling with good all around performance and dependability instead of expecting all out race car performance from your street car. That's just my opinion of course either way it takes a lot of seat time and tuning until you get it to where your happy with it. Learning to drive the car and getting to know it's capabilities takes seat time and time slips. Example.I helped a friend build this badass Camaro. We raced it the first time ran 11.40 with the car. When we got everything all straightened the car went consistent 8.20's with a 8.02 @168 best same drive train. It was a frustrating and embarrassing journey. It takes time.
    BuickBullet likes this.
  16. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    There's definitely a lot of tuning to be done, and research as well. The car will not be a race car as I want it to be a fun semi-daily driver, I had to remind myself that as I talked myself out of a full cage we have sitting in the shop. I believe the caster and camber were tuned to angles provided to us by Global West, so I am hesitant to assume those are in error. With the spring rates, I know they are pretty stiff in the front, but with the dual adjustable shocks maybe we'll be able to tune the understeer out. I fear it's inherent to the cars set up, with the 315s steamrolling through the narrower 245s upfront. If we can't tune out the understeer, I'm considering selling the front rims and tires at a loss and ordering new 9.5" wide rims for the front, or giving all the rims to my dad for his convert and ordering a new set of a cheaper style that might be better balanced for sizing... Time will tell, but it looks like fewer people are carrying the billet aluminum Buick rims so time may be running out.
  17. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Can't believe I've missed this thread! Another young guy like me!
    BuickBullet likes this.
  18. pbulski

    pbulski Well-Known Member

    Hi Thomas,
    Great build and great process so far. All good things take time... and unfortunately some $$$.

    I'm coming in late but can answer a few of your earlier questions.
    HARNESS BAR: I installed one from Chris Alston Chassis Works. https://www.cachassisworks.com/p-3284-harness-bar-kit-dual-clevis.aspx Fit and quality are great and the clevis pins allow it to be easily removed. I stripped, primed and painted mine chassis black.

    I got my Tremec T56 Magnum, hydraulic clutch, and other misc parts through Silver Sport Transmission. GREAT to work with and great instructions.... they also have a tunnel cutting template but don't tell em I told you ;) If you get to that point IM me and I can share what I learned. Because my car sees regular track use, the T56 was an easy decision for me. Not just another gear, much stronger internals as well. Expensive, but I only plan on installing one transmission... if all goes well

    TIRES: I was able to fit a 275/35-18 in front without rubbing but you have to remove the TOP inner fender bolt.

    HANDLING: This is tricky. Sooooo dependent on the sum of all the parts you have, stock and/or aftermarket. And even then, two similar cars work differently. This is where the real magic happens if you want a 50 year old car to handle like a new sports car. I can share that a street/track set up that works well for me is -2 degrees camber, 6-8 degrees positive caster, and a very slight tow out. Seat of the pants testing and taking good notes on what did/didn't work and the adjustments you made.

    SPOILER/AERO: My first Optima Ultimate Street Car race of the season (Atlanta Motorsports Apr 18-19) was just cancelled. Bummed! But that will buy me some time before Road America where aero really makes a difference. I'm planning on building a custom spoiler in tribute to the GSX wrap around style, but a little wider, little taller, and more functional. I do that same on the chin spoiler up front. When/If I get there I'll be sure to share pics and build info on this forum

    I started with little knowledge of how to build a ProTouring car from an old classic. I got some great advice from friends, forums, and a lot of trial and error. I'm happy to share pics, part #s, whatever I can do to help.

    Good luck and keep it up!
  19. BuickBullet

    BuickBullet Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all the input, that's all very insightful.

    Harness: if you would could you show me a picture of the harness bar installed? Very curious to see how it looks.

    Tires: Maybe I'll have to throw 275s on the 8-inch rims, but I've read that's not what they were designed for, so I'll have to do some thinking.

    Trans: For the Transmission I'll definitely be hitting you up this summer, and I am upgrading to the Magnum through SST as well.

    Handling: Definitely a lot of time to be put in here on my side, and those are good benchmarks to look into.

    Spoiler/Aero: Sorry to hear about the Ultimate Street Car event being canceled, and I'm sure Road America will be an awesome experience. As a road focused car I'll probably be pretty hesitant on putting really functional aero on the front, as ground clearance for driveways and speedbumps will matter more for this car than additional pounds of downforce.
  20. pbulski

    pbulski Well-Known Member

    Here are a few pics of the harness bar installed. I still have to make some small ABS trim rings around the mounting brackets but you can get the idea. If you're not planning on racing, you may find other solutions for mounting racing harnesses, especially if you want to continue to use the backseat.

    Harness Bar Bracket.jpg Harness Bar1.jpg Harnes Bar2.jpg
    Darron72Skylark and BuickBullet like this.

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