Build Thread: Project Rusty Hulk

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by sriley531, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    So this project has been 5 years in the making, and I finally decided to make a build thread. I'll try to keep it short and sweet, but theres a ton of pictures and stories that go with this car, so bear with me.

    It was my first car, purchased in 1999 at the ripe old age of 15 with the help of my folks. The ricer craze was the rage, but I was in to the classics as the old man had gotten me into going to car shows and cruise ins at an early age. I wanted a chevelle, but it was way outta budget, and efter looking past this granny car for weeks, my dad proceeded to educate me on A bodies in general and that these old buicks were pretty cool cars.

    I could fill this site with stories on the car, but we'll just stick to the project itself.

    I bought iit as a bone stock 350-2 car with 72k on the clock from the original owners grandson. He inhereted it, and drove it 2 winters to keep the salt off his honda (ugh....) before deciding he didnt want it. I scored a set of 15" olds rallyes at a swap me with birthday cash, rattle canned them green, and away I went! Flowmaster dual for christmas and thats pretty much how it remained for 10 years, 4 of which it was 24-7-365 driven. Here are a few pictures circa 2000.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    BeatersRus and Nailhead Ronnie like this.
  2. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    Fast forward 10 years and life has finally started to slow down. My career path is going good, Im married, and I realize the buick hasnt been fired up or moved in almost 4 years due to a tanked transmission. I realized it was now or never, either I started the restoration I had always dreamed of doing to it, or it was going to rot away more than it had. I went with option A.

    I started out with intentions to just patch a few holes, swap the transmission, and call it a day. The original interior was still pretty nice, it just sufferent from the usual A body rot spots and now the once beautiful original top had dry rotted and split. Sounds simple, and mini resto and Id be on the road again. BUT, for whatever reason, something got into me....

    And so started the tear down........

    Here's how it looked when we drug it out from beside the garage:

    (and the High Life you'll see in many of the pictures was courtesy of the sick sense of humore by our own Taulbee.) Which leads me to something I need to add now so I dont forget; him and I have spent hundreds (more like thousands) of hours working on eachothers rides over the years. He's been involved in every facet of this project from the beginning. It wouldnt be as far as it is without his help, and I need to pubicly thank him for that.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  3. Luxus

    Luxus Gold Level Contributor

    Wow that guy lives in BIZARRO world. Everyone I know would drive the honda (ugh) to keep the salt off the classic car (which I assume was in better shape at the time).
     
  4. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    Yeah, this guy was an odd duck on many levels. The car was purchased new by his grandmother, had the window sticker and 27 years of documentation with it, and he couldn't care less.

    But i digress.

    The tear down was an adventure to say the least. The car was like an onion, and with every layer we peeled, we found more rough spots. Luckily the floors and frame were solid. Here are some tear down pics.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    We always try to make it light hearted and fun, even on frustrating days. Afterall, that's the point right??
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    By this time I had decided (with a lot of persuasion from Taulb) that we were going this far, what's a few more bolts to pull the body off the frame??!! This is the point in our story where the snowballing effect really happens. The wheels really came off (pun intended) the entire plan (and car). It was one of those deals where you stand back and go "boy, that really escalated quickly..."[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The body would stay in that location for a few years while I moved (twice), and focused my efforts on the drive train. Stay tuned for more to come, here's the part of the story that gets interesting....
     
  6. Mr. Sunset

    Mr. Sunset Platinum Level Contributor

    looks familiar..I too am a victim of "just a few more bolts". let the snowball roll.:Dou:
     
  7. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    Oh, this snowball has long since ballooned!!

    So, here's where my original intentions took an even harder turn. When scanning Craigslist for parts, I ran across I guy parting a gs not a mile from my work. So I run up on lunch to have a look. The hood was pretty rough, but when he raised it to show me the underside there was a fairly clean looking 455 still in place. I proceeded to check it out, and he even started it up for me. So I left the hood and took the engine instead. So much for only a trans swap...

    Proceeded to tear it down, and although it was clean inside, I decided to go the full route.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Proceeded to do all the block prep per Georges website and here.
     
  8. 70staged

    70staged Well-Known Member

    looking good. BPG 2015........ For some people body work usually takes the longest than reassembly (like me) good luck remembering where everything went.
    I also believe that you peeps from Ohio have tranmission problems. Yours went out in this car and Taulb leaks....lol
     
    billiegoat likes this.
  9. 70staged

    70staged Well-Known Member

    Seeing that you finally started a build thread that I probably should start one as well.....
     
  10. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    Yeah, but my luck with transmissions is nowhere near as bad as taulbees! My goal is to have it roadworthy by my birthday (mid April). That'll give me a few weeks to work out the bugs before BPG.

    But let's not skip too far ahead on the timeline!
     
  11. Hey Man Greg

    Hey Man Greg Gold Level Contributor

    Good luck with the restore!
     
  12. 70skylark350

    70skylark350 Well-Known Member

    Diggin it....... Keep the updates coming!
     
  13. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    So off to the machine shop it went. The block was checked out, tanked, and although the standard bores were really quite nice, it was bored .030" and all the standard lining honing was done. In went speedpro slugs attached to recon'd rods and the crank was ground .010/.010 and ARP hardware all around. [​IMG]

    The decks were checked for flatness and all was well. This is important later...

    So after having my 70 small valve iron heads rebuilt, the snowball grew and I decided the allure of aluminum heads was too much. I planned on some TA stage 1se's, but I caught a smoking deal on edelbrocks and couldn't pass them up!
    [​IMG]

    Not content with leaving them alone (snowball effect again!!), off to Greg Gessler they went to be checked out and have his level 2 porting done. He did a fantastic job!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    After very long discussions with Mike and Tim at TA, I settled on the 288-92h cam. An SP1 was the choice for the intake, and it was home port matched.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Roller rockers, pushrods, and all the other goodies were put on
    [​IMG]

    The intake was topped with a 4150hp 950cfm Holley carb. I do plan to experiment with qjet down the road, but that'll be later.
    [​IMG]

    And then came the valve covers and final assembly. An NOS front cover with oil mods, MSD distributor, TA comp headers and all the small odds and ends were put on and it was ready to dyno.
    [​IMG]
     
    billiegoat likes this.
  15. turbotimmer

    turbotimmer Stage 1 4 speed

    Nice project. Subscribed.
     
  16. stickshift

    stickshift Silver Level contributor

    Cool thread.
     
  17. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    So I got word (after a very long wait) that my turn on the dyno was finally coming up. I had long been agonizing over the numbers this engine would make, and finally got a good sit down talking to from Bob Kammer (owner of Kammer racing) that I need to quit thinking of it like that. He schooled me on how the numbers are superficial, a dyno is meant to be a tuning tool, not bragging rights. But he also proceeded to inform me that he was very proud of the fact that his superflow dyno didn't give some inflated number, and that if anything it was a bit on the low side. But he said he wanted to be sure no one could ever accuse him of one of his engines not making the power he said it would.

    It was at this time that I discovered my biggest oopsy. I had calculated my static and dynamic comp ratios wrong. Which explains why they pushed back when I told them not to mill the decks other than to true them up. I had calculated we would hit around a 10.4:1 and I was happy with that. Turns out I screwed the numbers up, the piston was deeper in the hole, and this resulted in a 9.3:1 cr. The shop offered to pull it apart and make any changes I wanted, but they strongly urged my not to.

    I had a goal in mind of 525hp/550tq (although its a tuning tool remember?!) And now wasn't sure I'd hit it. That cam would want more compression. I said screw it, and we went ahead with break-in and dyno pulls.
    [​IMG]

    Here's an abbreviated dyno run I recorded. (Unfortunately I was too excited to record idlding/revving and such when I was in the room with it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOvVYsO3e5c

    Much to my surprise, peak HP numbers ended up in the 530's and torque numbers in the 560's (although they estimated higher due to the rpms they were measuring). Needless to say I was a happy guy. It would be very pump gas friendly, thats for certain! I've long maintained if I had to crack this engine open for any reason I would be bumping the compression, but as of now Im content to leave it be as long as its not having any issues. Its a cruise night/pleasure car, not a race car. Not to say it wont see some good use of the loud pedal. I mean, got these ponies, got let em run once in a while, right??!!

    But now I needed to focus on the vessel for this heartbeat....
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  18. Luxus

    Luxus Gold Level Contributor

    Ain't it nice when the screw up works out for a change? You got what you wanted and you can use pump gas.
     
  19. sriley531

    sriley531 Big green hunk of $#*^....

    Yeah, I'd rather be lucky than good sometimes! I still can't help but wonder what the extra 1 point of compression would've done for me, but oh well. It has enough oomph to get me by for now.

    So in the period of time while I was waiting on the engine to be run, I finally got my act together and bought a house with room to work. On top of the large attached garage, it had a nicely equipped pole barn behind it that would become home base for the rest of the build.
    [​IMG]

    With a good roof over my head to work in, I changed my focus to the car itself. The frame and all suspension components were sandblasted and I coated the frame with this extremely tough coating, almost like a less rough rhino liner.
    [​IMG]

    Now I know many folks will turn their nose up at this and question why I didn't use por15 or something similar. The fact is, the frame had some pitting I thought might show, and this is not meant to be a 100% correct uber clean show car. This car will probably never win a trophy. That's not what I'm after. I want something nice I can be proud of, but this car will be driven fairly regularly on nice days. It will be a Friday night cruise in/local Saturday show type car. My goal was to make something that looks good and is fun to drive. Not be perfect to the Nth degree. This coating is tougher than heck, and I traded some vanity for durability. It doesn't look horrible by any means, just not all shiny and pristine and that's ok. Plus it actually ties in nicely with the black krinkle paint on the valve covers which I think is kinda cool.

    Next came the suspension. Its painted a satin black. While at it, I went ahead and put all new disc brake components on (this was a factory non-power drum car).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mr. Sunset

    Mr. Sunset Platinum Level Contributor

    So far so good. keep 'em coming. that engine couldn't have worked out better IMHO. there's nothing wrong with pump premium for a street car.
    I'm am going with 9.5 / .30 over. that's 464? I may have to follow your lead on the aluminum heads. Looking good.:TU:
     

Share This Page