1972 Skylark Build and Ideas

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by OC72, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. OC72

    OC72 Member


    My name is Zach. Here is a little bit about my car. Let me know what ya'll think!

    What makes a classic car exciting? Is it the way they look? Bold lines and swooping quarter panels. Or is it the way they sound when being woken from a deep slumber at 7:00am on a Sunday before Cars and Coffee. Is it the smell of horsepower bleeding from the exhaust ports on a pre smog steel body beast? Maybe it’s the way people look at you in awe as your 4mpg street machine lets loose off the red light. New rubber chirping due to your lead foot like Robin birds at dawn. For myself these are just a few of the reasons I will always love an American classic Muscle car.

    About 4 years ago my dad helped me buy a 1972 Buick skylark 3504bl. One owner car from Texas with 86,000 original miles! One of the cleanest original interiors I have ever seen. Light football brown with bucket seats. Little did I realize this was going to become an addiction, just much more expensive than prescription pill dependency. This car from the factory was not designated a “Muscle Car” like its big brothers the GS350 and GS455. Never the less, In today’s world of plastic body panels and small liter engines it gets closer in designation to its brethren’s day by day.

    Now its time to get down to what I have already done to the car and what I’m planning for the future. The suspension is stout thanks to having a spare stage 4 CPP kit lying around in the garage. That kit was meant for my dads 1968 GTO nicknamed OC GOAT but was swapped for more expensive pro-touring parts. I mean if your building a six-figure road beast you might as well go big on the suspension, too right? (That car has since been finished and has already won three awards for Best of Show at a few of our local car shows.) Anyway, back to my more humbling project. After the suspension was installed, we moved onto the brakes. By the way, the suspension kit came with all new upper and lower control arms as well as QA1 fully adjustable coilovers in all 4 corners! The new cross drilled and slotted rotors were installed in the front and back with new 4 piston calipers up front and 2 piston in the back. It was all tied together with new American Racing torque thrust rims and Michelin Pilot SuperSports. 17x7 with 225/45/17 in the front and 17x8 245/45/17 in the rear. This combination handles! In the future I would like to widen out the back wheels and tires more to give it that stanced look and more traction to handle the engine mods coming soon. Next we had to move onto the rear end. Mainly due to the fact that I blew it out on the 73 freeway. (I’m good at that). There’s a few options out there for GM A body’s and the difs they came with or what you can choose to replace them with. After almost buying a used 12 bolt, we went with the building out the original 8 and half in 10 bolt instead. These differentials are extremely rare! Originally it had a peg leg rear end but we tore out the old guts and put in an Eaton posi unit with Richmond 3.42 gears and new Mosier 30 spline axles as well as a new drive shaft and a T/A Performance rear end girdle. Underneath her slightly rusted sheet metal, she has some pretty sweet parts.

    That pretty much sums up the current state of the Lark. As for the engine, the Buick 350 shares zero part with its cousins the Chevy, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. Weighing in at only 450 pounds, the Buick 350 is defiantly a light motor. We installed a new Petronix ignition and got rid of the old points system for better spark and easier starts. Here is the rough draft of the engine plan. From top end down.

    1. 770 cfm Holly Street Avenger Carb with electric choke. ($473)

    2. T/A Performance SP3 Single Plane Intake Manifold. ($435)

    3. T/A Performance Stage 1 Street Eliminator Cylinder heads. ($2,800)

    4. Comp Cams Thumpr 227/241 Hydraulic Flat tappet Cam Kit. ($453)

    5. T/A Performance 1-5/8”x3” Raw Finish competition Headers. ($425)

    6. T/A Performance 3” mandrel bent exhaust system. ($385)

    7. T/A Performance Gasket Set with Intake and header neoseal. ($133)

    8. T/A Performance 350 oil slinger. (While timing cover is off) ($20)

    9. T/A Performance Aluminum Radiator with Transmission cooler and twin electric fans. ($1,434)

    What does everyone think about this build?
    TrunkMonkey likes this.
  2. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Oh boy the 350 guys are gonna love you for this post, they have a ton to talk about right now with the advent of the new TA aluminum 350 heads you're gearing up to buy.

    And how old are you Zach? You sound like someone my age!
  3. OC72

    OC72 Member

    Hello John! Excited to get some insight. I am 24! Trying to keep the muscle car trend alive. Not so common for us "Millennial's"
  4. sriley531

    sriley531 Getting Carried Away....

    Welcome and sounds like a great car you're piecing together. If I were to critique any aspect of your build plan, it would be your cam choice. The "thumper" series cams are designed with more emphasis on sound rather than performance. You have a great list of parts there, you would be doing yourself and your car a great injustice by going with a cam that sounds "Racey" instead of one optimized for your combo. I'd suggest either running your build plans past Tim or Mike at TA, or ideally calling up Scott Brown and having a conversation with him. He will custom grind you a cam tailored to.your combo for a very competitive price.

    Otherwise you've got a nice setup planned and I look forward to updates on the build!
    johnriv67 likes this.
  5. OC72

    OC72 Member

    Shawn, thank you! This is "solid" advise! no pun intended.
    sriley531 likes this.
  6. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    If your cooling system works good as it is now, then maybe go to a roller cam setup and or roller rockers instead of the fancy radiator?
  7. OC72

    OC72 Member

    About 6 months ago I drove the Buick from Orange County CA to SLC Utah. Stopping at any point during the trip resulted in immidate puking of coolant. We made it though!
  8. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    That very well might be a product of needing more tuning, or it’s just really damn hot in Utah
  9. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    750 4150 hp style carb,..no choke needed
    2.5in exhaust is more than capable
    Cam choice is no good,..go with a Roller setup from a real cam grinder,.Bullet,..Mike Jones etc
    I'd go with the 1.75 headers if using the aluminum heads
    No need for that over priced radiator assembly
    Yse money saved on a nice converter
    sriley531 likes this.
  10. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    I dont know alot SB, but I agree that cam choice is not what you want.

    Your 8.5 rear axle really isn't rare as much as considered odd........all the internals are the same as all other gm 8.5 rears.......the only thing considered odd is it has bolt in axles..........as did pontiacs, and olds, so even though the industry calls it odd........its really not.

    As far as your cooling system......what do you have now, a high flow water pump and maybe a couple of extra fans might get it done.......something like these........now I dont think 2 will fit side by side but you can run 1 as pusher 1 as puller

    I would hold off on a expensive cooling system till the end to make sure what's needed. Good old copper is better at conducting heat than aluminum is.......but aluminum is cheaper and easier to work with ad far as tube diameter than the older copper/brass. I havent used one. But autozone shows a single row 1.250 core aluminum with plastic tanks for under 150....
    sriley531 likes this.
  11. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    To bad you already upgraded your distributor, you could of got the Crane unit with a built in rev limiter. You're still going to need a rev limiter of some sort with those heads and that intake because factory sbb rods are cast iron and don't like to be spun to much over 6,200 RPM. With the new heads and intake your engine will feel like it wants to just keep revving but don't let it or you might end up with a rod sticking out of the side of the block.:eek:

    Doing what you're doing to your engine, it would be a good idea to upgrade the rotating assembly to get the most out of the heads and intake. Aftermarket forged rods and forged pistons that would compliment the new heads would be a good idea to get the most out of you're build if you're going that far this is right there. Upgrading the rods and pistons you wouldn't have to worry about a rev limiter until you hit 7,500!:cool:

    You're going to want to do the oil mods on the block as well to make sure the engine is getting the extra oil at the higher RPM you'll be capable with after the new parts are bolted on the engine.

    Another great upgrade would be a 200R4 overdrive transmission, perfect compliment to your 3.42:1 rear gears. The 200R4 has a better first gear than a TH350 for better off the line performance and it has overdrive for highway cruising.
    sriley531 likes this.
  12. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Agree a 200r would be almost mandatory swap for a 350 imo
  13. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Hey, kid.

    You can stand on my lawn any day!
    johnriv67 likes this.
  14. Philip66

    Philip66 Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard!
    I like your writing style. It's like your writing an article for a magazine while at the same time writing a sales brochure listing all the highlights of current and planned upgrades! Nice!!

    You may want to think about getting the TA heads ported to take advantage of as much flow as you can. Also, I'm not sure if the price you listed is for complete ready to bolt on heads or not.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  15. OC72

    OC72 Member

    Thank you Sir!
  16. OC72

    OC72 Member

    Has anyone ran the Sniper EFI on a 350? Or any type of fuel injection?

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