Now a Buick owner

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by 66_Skylark_455, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Hey all!
    I just joined after buying my first V8 Buick, a 66 Skylark with a swapped-in mildly built 455 backed by a 700R4. I have only had it a few days, so I don’t know everything about it, but it has had a ton of work done to it, and this is what I have receipts for or can see myself:
    Stock rods and crank milled .010 under
    Speed-Pro hypereutectic pistons
    Ported heads with Elgin valves
    TA 310 cam
    TA SP1 intake
    FiTech GoEFI 600HP system
    ACCEL/MSD HEI ignition with rev limiter
    2.5” stainless exhaust with X-pipe
    10-bolt rear with Eaton posi, 3.73 gears, and TA girdle
    MBM rear disc brake kit
    Front disc brake swap
    17” Ridler wheels with 235/45R17 Tires
    All poly bushings in suspension
    Aftermarket control arms in back, front upper tubular control arms
    Lowering springs with rear helper airbags

    It has a few quirks, as to be expected. The gas pedal is so stiff my foot went numb driving it home, there’s a pressure buildup problem in the gas tank blowing gas out of the vent (I replaced the cap but haven’t had time to check if it fixed it), it starts hard when hot, and sometimes the transmission decides to pretend like the kickdown cable is extended and forces 4K rpm up shifts and downshifts at 3K. But otherwise it rides and drives well, and is a nice alternative to my daily driver Jetta which was boring me to death. Not my first run with an A-body, as I also have a 72 Monte Carlo which has been an ongoing project for a decade.
    442FA895-05D8-497A-A41A-F948E6B621B6.jpeg 4F7DEA5F-EC19-47CD-A546-5AFBC49476CF.jpeg BDF4E245-F1B1-4E01-89F3-40E0D01D04C0.jpeg
    BYoung, MRP, johnriv67 and 1 other person like this.
  2. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Nice car! First gear has to be just about useless with that gearing and the 17" wheels and tires?

    If you want 1st gear with that trans and the torque of the 455 to be a bit more tame where maybe you'll still have a little traction with a downshift after you're rolling would be a 2.93:1, 3.07 or 3.08:1 rear gear. These 3 choices would still allow you to shift into overdrive @ 45 mph without the engine lugging because the RPMs are to low.
  3. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Welcome! That car seems like it was well done and a lot of fun to boot. You're gonna have a great time. Where are you from? Most of us have our locations to better help each other out with parts, expertise, etc. It can be added in your profile
  4. sriley531

    sriley531 Buckle up, this could get rough....

    Welcome and super cool ride!
  5. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Welcome. Tank pressure with the EFI and electric pump is probably due to tank venting.
  6. Thanks everyone, while there are a few Buick boards out there, I chose this one based on what I saw as far as participation and friendliness of the members.
    I haven’t really had a chance to get on it yet too hard, but I had to squirt out into traffic and you’re absolutely right @300sbb_overkill first gear doesn’t leave much for traction. Instant wheelspin was the result. A swap to a higher gear set is a distinct possibility, but it will occur later on once I get more used to the car.
    @Briz the car uses a low-pressure pump at the tank to feed the FiTech fuel command center up front, and I checked all the lines for everything and couldn’t find a problem. Since it is a sure sign the tank is able to vent somewhere else, I started with the cap first. If it still leaks, I’ll continue my investigation until I solve it. Or give up and switch to an EFI tank setup like the Aeromotive or Holley one.

    I really just need a few days to go through the car and figure out what I missed on my original walkthrough. My first upgrade will probably be to lighting, I haven’t had a car in a while without HIDs, and the old-school sealed beams make me want to cry at night. I have my eyes on some Harley LED headlights that have really good reviews. After that I either need to swap the master cylinder out or add a power booster because the brakes work great, but you have to stand on them way too hard.
  7. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    If you install relays to the head lights so they have full power they will be much brighter, I think there is a tread on how to do that somewhere on this site. Also get the halogen sealed beam head lights if you can, those are much better than the regular sealed beams and you won't know you're driving an old car at night.

    I haven't done the relay deal yet but did swap in halogens and was a night and day difference, the new headlight harnesses I installed probably helped as well. One of these days I'll do the relay thing to them.

    You use the head light switch to activate the relay to give the lights full direct battery power. You get that yellow dim headlight glow because of the power loss from travelling to the fuse box to the switch back to the lights or something like that and with 50 plus year old wiring sometimes the electricity has more resistance than it once had.

    Even if in you still want to swap to HID lights using the relay as said will also help give those lights the full 12 volts directly from the battery so you get the most out of those as well.
    MRP likes this.
  8. Buicksky

    Buicksky Silver Level contributor

    Welcome from Ohio all the best Buick motoring. Tony
  9. 2001ws6

    2001ws6 last of the v8 interceptors

    Welcome aboard! :cool:
  10. gsfred

    gsfred Founders Club Member

    Welcome aboard from NY.
  11. Thanks again everyone, I’ve spent a few days checking things out and trying to fix my vent line fuel issue, and I’ve narrowed it down some but haven’t solved it as of yet. Pretty sure it’s because of the vapor line on the fuel filter pumping fuel back to the tank.
    Been putting 90-100 miles a day on it regardless, figuring out the rest of the quirks. I fixed the throttle linkage and it is so much better it’s not even funny. I can actually use more than 10% of the throttle without being on the floor. I’m a little tentative of it now, as I gave it maybe half throttle and the back end stepped right out on me. My last vehicle with this much power weighed 6K pounds and had full-time 4WD so sideways required a lot of work. This is a lot more fun.
    I’ve decided I’m replacing the exhaust with a pair of Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers and then a pair of Vibrant resonators. While I’m on the near side of 40 still and half deaf, I find it obnoxious so it needs to go.
    My list has already gotten decently long on things to do, but I gather that’s expected with a Buick. And I think I’m going to enjoy it.
    johnriv67 likes this.
  12. Gulfgears

    Gulfgears Gulfgears

    I seriously looked at that car when it was up for sale. Wife threw a hissey fit and that was that.
    I have the duplicate to your car, only still original. Believe me, I could not duplicate the car you have for the money they were asking.
    Well bought!!!
  13. That’s amazing you looked at it, I’m sure the contrast between this one and your original is pretty striking. We went opposite directions, as of all the cars I looked at, this was the one my wife approved of, even though she may never drive it. I paid quite a bit less than the asking price, so it felt like an even better deal at the time. It even came with the original sales receipt from 1966. C57EF63D-10CF-4BEF-81C8-7929A1474595.jpeg
  14. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

  15. Philip66

    Philip66 Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard from Maryland!

    Nice car too.
    Looks really nice with that interior color and the factory tinted glass.
  16. 1972Mach1

    1972Mach1 Just some guy.....

    Welcome from Montana! Sweet ride! I also have a Fitech system on my daily beater truck (well did, but that's a loooong story). Lots of guys put a return spring on like a carb, but it isn't necessary with the throttle body, so you can remove that if your pedal is still stiff. Your tank venting issue might be caused by the return line going back to the tank depending on what kind of fuel system it has. If your tank is non-vented and depends on the cap, make sure that's working, and you may need to add an auxiliary vent to the tank with the EFI. Make sure your IAC steps are around 15 when warm, and depending on if it's rich or lean, you can add or remove fuel like you used to do when you'd pump the gas pedal on a carb by using your "prime fuel mult" setting. This will adjust the fuel squirted when the key is turned on. You can also get into your handheld and use the "Crank Fuel" adjustments at the different temps listed (20, 65, and 170 degrees). Here's a good forum for learning the Fitech and the guys on there are very helpful with issues, although if you use the search function, you will no doubt find guys that have already asked questions about your issues and the answers others provided.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    Freakazoid likes this.
  17. Freakazoid

    Freakazoid Gold Level Contributor

    Welcome. Very nice ride.
    Personally. I love the 700R4 with my 3:73. In running a 28" tall MT ET Street. . Best of Both worlds. Bet your car has a really great ride and very fast. Somone put alot of time and $ in it. Glad your with us. Lots of great people here.
    1972Mach1 likes this.
  18. Your post is super helpful, particularly the FiTech info. I’ve been hunting the quirks of the system, such as the starting where I have to sometimes tap the gas, and I think this will make it much easier to get it working correctly.
    I was able to solve both the stiff pedal and the fuel vent issue. The pedal was a bolt that held the linkage together had come slightly loose so it was basically at the bottom of its travel. Once I adjusted the linkage it’s been great, though I did eliminate the throttle return spring, because, as you said, that throttle body spring is plenty stiff already.
    Fuel venting was the electric pump in the rear in combination with the stock fuel filter and it’s vapor port. Because the command center closes the inlet, it was blowing all the fuel back through the vapor line. I swapped in a new filter with no vapor port and capped that vent line and haven’t smelled fuel or seen any wetness since. I’m really happy with it now.
    1972Mach1 likes this.
  19. I’m only running 26” tires, but this far I haven’t been bothered by the low gearing. On the highway it is actually great because it runs right on the cam at 60 and above, and everything around me is 65+. While I can’t floor it in first gear, it is very controllable with the EFI so it has been fun.
  20. Freakazoid

    Freakazoid Gold Level Contributor

    Great, just curious. What RPM at 60 and 70 MPH? your tire is only 2" shorter. I'll guess 2400 at 70 MPH. Larry, A member schooled me on the math equation. I really need to take notes. Real smart guy along with many more.
    So did you remove that extra throttle return spring off your fitech?

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