'67 Special

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by HuckleberryPie, Aug 13, 2017 at 2:32 AM.

  1. HuckleberryPie

    HuckleberryPie New Member

    Greetings gentlemen.
    I have a '67 special 2-door sedan that I bought in '01.
    300-2 with ST-300.
    Used it for a daily driver for years.
    Sold it in '09 and got it back last year.
    How often does that happen?
    Now I'm wanting to upgrade the engine.
    350, 430, 455, LS?
    So much to choose from, but I'm on a limited budget.
  2. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Welcome to the club! You wont find much love and support here for going LS. Plenty of info about going big block or staying stock appearing.
  3. 455monte

    455monte Well-Known Member

    Depending on how limited the budget u could probably find a take out good running 340 on here where someone has removed to put in a bigblock.
    It would be a direct swap. That would save money on not changing mounts and new exhaust etc etc.
    I have heard the 350 buick is a direct swap but have not verified that.
  4. gsfred

    gsfred Founders Club Member

    Welcome aboard from NY. You'll find lots of info here on doing an upgrade as lots of folks have already blazed the way.
  5. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Dear HuckleberryPie, Briz, Chris, Fred, and V-8 Buick fans,

    Congratulations on getting your classic Buick back!

    As Briz has noted, there aren't many fans of Chebby engines around here, but it can be done. The simplest and least expensive swap is a Buick 350. Any Buick big-block is much more involved because the engine bay really wasn't designed for it. If you want to try to go for period correct, a Buick 400 swap would get you closer to a Buick GS clone.

    It depends on what you want to get out of the car. For something that is enjoyable without being a chore to maintain, it is hard to do better than the Buick 350.

    Cheers, Edouard
  6. HuckleberryPie

    HuckleberryPie New Member

    Thanks gentlemen.
    Not interested in a 340.
    Might as well keep the 300 if I'm going to do that.
    Wanting to get away from the nail-head design.
    I was actually leaning toward a 350/350 set-up.
    Concerning the engine bay not being designed for the
    big-block, are not the 400, the 430, and the 455 the same block?
    The 67 Skylark, which my car is the base version of, was available with the 400.
    Reason I bring it up is that I know of two cars for sale with donor 430s and 400 trans.
    Major reconstruction?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 11:19 AM
  7. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill Well-Known Member

    That's right, the 400/430/455 are basically the same blocks with different bore diameters and are basically the same size when assembled.

    The frames on the '64 to '67 cars are slightly narrower than their later counterparts so headers are tighter and may need mods to fit but manifolds bolt right in.

    If you get a set of TA Stage 2 heads and Stage 2 headers there are no fitment issues with the '64 to '67 frames. That is if in you're planning to upgrade the BBB in the future? But if in you're just planning on taking the engine and trans out of the donor car, might as well just use the manifolds for now.

    You'll need the '67 GS motor mount frame pads and motor mounts, IIRC TA sell both. Then I think you'll need a different shroud, driveshaft will need to be shortened, or if you find an A-body driveshaft then the big car donor trans will need the output shaft and housing changed. The gear selector will need to be converted from a 2 speed to a 3 speed selector. Plus a few other things I'm forgetting at this moment but all in all a pretty easy straight forward swap to do.

    A sbb 350 with a TH350 would be a direct bolt in with the same motor mounts no driveshaft altering, the trans is the same length as the st300. A very simple swap.

    With either swap, consider using a 200R4 trans for better performance and economy.

    If you just want a little more performance out of your car then more modern gearing will get you there WITHOUT changing the engine will give you more than you think. Just swap in a 200R4 and 3.42 or numerically higher rear gears and it'll feel like you have a performance engine in your car! Get the 200R4 working well and if you still want more power then change the engine and the better trans will already be in there.

    Your car is more like a base model and they set them up more for economy with technology that was available back then with horrible gearing. Even the base model engines have gobs of torque and that torque is what makes them somewhat drivable, add modern gearing to that torque and you'll think you have a different engine! A 200R4 and a 4.10 rear gear would go a LONG way to adding the get up and go that you're after! Do the engine later if you think you want more power, an then you'll already have the rear gear and trans upgraded. But I think you'll be happy with the trans and gear swap. GL

  8. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Dear HuckleberryPie, Derek, and V-8 Buick fans of more!

    That's the most straightforward swap. The 350 fits "comfortably" in the 67 engine bay and because so many guys want to go big-block, it is relatively easy to come up with a 350 in decent condition.

    Buick did put the 400 into the 67 GS, but it was a tight squeeze. It was a minor redesign year and it wouldn't be until a later model that the engine bay would be actually designed for the big-block.

    That is correct. In addition, there is less height for the engine. Here is a photo of the big-block engine in my 1965 Buick Special wagon (the basic design was the same from 1964-67)


    As you can see there isn't a lot of extra room and because I have a throttle-body EFI system, I had to change to a 2-1/2" filter element because 3" caused the air cleaner nut to tear into the hood insulation above.

    This is true but that is a pricey setup (that's what is on my wagon's engine.) Even if you go with manifolds it is still a tight squeeze. Getting the steering shaft past the exhaust is tricky no matter what setup you use.

    My wagon also has a 200-4R and I absolutely love it, but it is another expense. You can't just use a stock 200-4R with the big-block, you will most likely kill it. For the power of the big-block, you need a hardened 200-4R. For the 350, any 200-4R should be fine.

    I have a list of the issues associated with putting a big-block in this generation of cars. If you are interested I could dig it up for you.

    Cheers, Edouard
  9. HuckleberryPie

    HuckleberryPie New Member

    Nice Edouard!
    My lowly Special will most likely be carbureted w/stock pulleys and belts.
    2004R seems to be the choice of trans among you guys,
    but 700R4 is much more available and affordable.
    Realistic choice behind a B350?
  10. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Dear HuckleberryPie and V-8 Buick owners who's cars are members of the family,

    Well, I did her engine up extra nice because this car has been such a hard working member of the family. We bought her second-hand in 1968 and she has been with us ever since. Until 2010 she was still a daily-driver. After all those years of faithful service I thought she deserved some extra luv!

    That will obviously work just fine. You might look into electronic fuel injection for someday. It really improves the cars manners and can even reduce engine noise.

    The 700-R4 will work just fine but you'll need an adapter plate. The 200-4R is a BOP (Buick Olds Pontiac) and will bolt to any of those. The 700-4R is a Chevy pattern. You'll probably need to shorten the drive shaft as well. The other advantage of the 200-4R is that it is the same length as the TH-350 and the ST-300. My wagon still has her original driveshaft from the Fremont factory in 1965.

    Cheers, Edouard
  11. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill Well-Known Member

    I said it in my earlier post but I guess it was to long so people didn't read that far?

    Keep the sbb 300 and just install the 200R4 behind that engine and get a set of 4.10 gears with a posi and you can keep the original engine in there.

    With the better gearing it will feel like you have a big block in the car, plus you'll have overdrive to keep the rpm down on the highway.

    Those 2 mods will be the best bang for the buck, plus with the sbb 300 you'll probably get 16 city and 28 highway(with a lockup converter) setup this way.

    Later if you think you need more power then swap a different engine in after your wallet heels from the trans and rear gear swap. But you just may like how the 300 runs with better gearing and not have to swap engines?

    If you need just a little bit more power after the trans and gear swap then a cam and 4bbl intake and 4bbl carb swap would work great with a higher stall speed converter.

    More power doesn't always mean you need to swap the engine, smaller engines work better with more gearing. GL

  12. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Dear Derek and V-8 Buick fans of the 300 cid,

    Okay, I hadn't understood your suggestion. Yes, I've heard of people very pleased with the 300 cid V-8 with a 200-4R. This engine is clearly underrated I assume in part because rarely do people put the effort to rebuild them correctly. These cars are relatively light and these engines are peppier than most people realize. I remember when my Dad put our wagon through some strong accelerations just after the engine was rebuilt in 1979. The whole family of 4 was in the car and stomping on the accelerator was enough to be scary to me! So you are correct - sticking to the 300 is definitely a reasonable choice.

    Cheers, Edouard
  13. PatricksBuick

    PatricksBuick PatrickBuick

    Actually the 67 300 is not a nailhead.
    Other than that I agree with which was said above: a well built 2004R does make a difference and yes change gears. I haven't yet but am looking forward to it ;-))

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