Need some help finishing up my Skylark

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by Eric the Ricer, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Good morning all, hope you had a great turkey day! My Father and I bought a '71 Skylark a few years ago as a toy to work on together. I drove up to NY and towed it back, car ran/drove fine when we got it. Flash forward a few weeks, we were spending a good amount of time driving/tinkering, 4bbl swap, little maintenance items here and there. Dad is experienced in this area, I grew up holding the flashlight and helping him rebuild C3 Vette's. Then we popped the motor. When I say we I mean he, got a little too carried away remembering his hot rodding days. We grabbed a used 350 and stripped it in prep to build/replace.

    Since then Mom/Pop have started prepping for retirement, the car is now mine as it won't be moving up to the mountains with them. I had the trans rebuilt and the engine is fresh with a nice parts purchase from TA. 3.8 bore 10:1 pistons, TA212 cam, all new timing and oil components, new rods/lifters/springs, everything has been replaced. Motor ran up great with the builder, numbers are in the range I was looking for and oil pressure was good. Drivetrain went in the following weekend.

    Haven't touched it since. I need some help. Between being a shift worker and the car being stored in my brothers garage 20 minutes away I haven't had the desire to finish this damn thing. It feels like I've lost my groove with it because when I look at the stack of random parts and the engine bay I just get a puzzled feeling not knowing where to start. I'm having the car towed to my house to sit in my driveway (brothers wife is quite tired of me taking up their garage) and it will be much more accessible to finish now.

    I've attached some photos for reference, as it stands I know I need to do the following:

    Radiator install (have new champion 3 row ready to go). Fairly certain the hardware has been misplaced.

    Lines from trans to rad

    Accessory drive needs to be finished up, alternator is mounted up but I feel like I've forgotten something

    I know I lost the trans mount bolts, they definitely got swept up and trashed (thanks sis-in-law). Will have to track down size on that.

    That’s where I start drawing blanks on what else. I know there's obvious things like wiring harness and hooking everything back up, but what else? GF isn't thrilled that the driveway will be perma-occupied but once I get this thing running/driving her mind will change. Thanks in advance for any help/insight you can pass along. Cheers!
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  2. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Where do you live?
  3. Hey Larry, I'm in the Northern VA area
  4. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    If I was close, I'd help. Maybe someone on the board lives close.
    Eric the Ricer likes this.
  5. gokitty

    gokitty Gold Level Contributor

    And Larry means it too. I remain appreciative of the kindness shown to me by Larry,Ajesh and others of the V8 brethern for setting the timing on Birdie over in Alamance County a couple of years ago.Larry was the "lead"tech with enthusiastic vocal and hands on contribution /input from 7/8 of the other Buick aficionados who were there for the Turbo v6 event. Also tickles me to recall hearing the sound of squalling rubber from Birdie as they were "testing" the tune. Definitely "no pings"anymore! :) Archie
    Eric the Ricer likes this.
  6. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Trans mount bolts are 1in long 7/16-14 thread size, with a thick washer
    Eric the Ricer likes this.
  7. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Make a list.

    I make headings.

    For example. One sheet of paper for each.

    -Engine mechanical

    -Engine Electrical

    -Engine Cooling

    -Engine Ignition

    Then I write everything I know of off the top of my head in the appropriate headings.

    If it triggers something not in any of those areas, I make another heading.

    Then I take my list and go look at the area corresponding to the heading and look at those topics and write down things I "see" not already listed.

    Once I have a good list, and about all I can think of, I then set order of operations as best I can, do the things that get "covered up" or hidden, and think the process through in my head as if I am assembling.

    That helps get my head around a project.

    Then I pick a task and start on it.

    At the stage you are, you can just about go in any order, and even if you have to take something back off, unless it is a gasketed item, you will not have wasted much time, and you will gain familiarity of the process.

    And there are a lot of folks who can offer direction and advice every step of the way.

    If you have the service manual, you are way ahead. If not, order one. They are always on eBay under $50 bucks in very good condition and the information in them are invaluable.

    It is a good looking car!
    blyons79 and Eric the Ricer like this.
  8. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Looks like a VERY clean car Well worth the effort to put into it to get it going again
    Eric the Ricer likes this.
  9. Your profile says you're in NY? I picked the car up on Long Island, I should've just come straight to you!

    OUTSTANDING! Thanks so much, I was having a hell of a time navigating around to find that answer. Is this size fairly standard on this vehicle or just specific to the trans mounts?

    Wonderful idea, this will definitely get me headed in the right direction. As far as service manuals goes I have a Haynes but it isn't specific to the Skylark. It's a general guide for what seems like all Buicks in a pretty wide range of years, I haven't used it because it didn't seem to have any pertinent info for this car.

    Thanks! The exterior has some work to be done but I'll deal with that well down the road. I'd rather she run well than look good!

    Thanks again for all the info everybody
  10. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

  11. Purchased, cheers Larry
  12. cjeboyle

    cjeboyle Gold Level Contributor

    I agree with Trunk Monkey. Make a list. I prefer roadkill style with a piece of cardboard and a black sharpie but that’s not the point. Write it all down and just start crossing things off as you go. Start with the little, easy stuff and keep going. Every time you cross something off it gives you a sense of accomplishment and that motivates you to do more.
    Good luck and have fun. It looks like a really nice ride.
  13. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    I'm in Reston - not an expert but happy to stop by and see if I can help. I have a 70 I purchased disassembled, slowly piecing things back together. Feel free to PM me.
    Thanks, Tom
  14. Thanks! I've got my list going, gonna swing by my brothers house tomorrow to start packing up what I have and making notes on what else I may need. Hope to get it brought over this week and have a long weekend to tinker.

    Hey Tom! I'm down in Woodbridge, not tooooo far. I'd definitely be willing to throw something your way if you wanted to lend a hand. Wonderful beers being brewed in VA this time of year.
  15. Small progress being made here and there, but it's going to be upper 50's on Saturday so I plan on trekking to and from Ace Hardware a handful of times to figure out what bolts I need. Thanks again for the help everyone!
    300sbb_overkill likes this.
  16. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member

    I see you mentioned some missing bolts in some of your posts.

    I stock 1,000's of factory Buick bolts, screws, fasteners etc...…. I'll be happy to help if I can.

    You can see all my fasteners (and a lot of other Buick stuff) on my website >

    300sbb_overkill likes this.

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