Project Stage2r

Discussion in 'Pro-Touring' started by breakinbuick11, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    After 8 years of planning, it’s finally going to happen- the pro touring build I’ve been dreaming about. Dr. buick’s 3GS (pictured below) is where the obsession with pro-touring old cars came about.

    The goal is to have an a-body drive like a modern car, while paying homage to it’s original race car roots. Growing up in my era, I didn’t get to experience the mid-late 70s when high school parking lots were filled with hand-me-down/used car lot muscle cars. I envy those who have. Below is a brief outline of the build, with a few highlights and pics that served as inspiration. The goal is to have all the suspension work done by June, I will start ordering parts at the end of this month. This will eventually spiral into a 500+ HP BBB w/ fuel injection, a 6 speed, a full custom interior, tucked bumpers w/ N25 cutouts, etc.

    The car: 1970 Buick Skylark, aquamist

    Suspension: Detroit Speed’s tubular A-arms and drop spindles
    Detroit Speed front sway bar
    Viking coilovers on all 4 - 550# spring rate (I think)
    Rear suspension is undecided, looking at full sway bar and control arm kits that the big name brands offer. I would love to hear what others are running.

    Brakes: Wilwood 6 piston 12 inch rotors on the front, 4 piston 11 inch rotors on the rear. Thinking of running their full manual system w/ adjustable prop valve and master cylinder.

    Wheels/tires- BozeForged pro-touring wheels.
    18x9 in the front. Shooting for 275/35/18, but fearful of potential rubbing. Need to figure out backspacing with the suspension and brake setup. I may just go with a 255 to be safe
    Rear will be 18x10 w/295/40/18

    Stock 74 455 with 72 heads, edelbrock B4B, Qjet, Mickey Thompson super scavengers and a 3 inch exhaust with walker turbo’s. Budget is obvious here. This is all in my current stock and I want to spend as little as possible before doing a full engine build next year. The car currently has a rebuilt TH350 with a shift kit.

    I can’t wait to get this project started. I’m open to suggestions, advice, etc on the parts I plan to purchase or just tips building a pro-touring car.
    10A6DC1E-D59B-4650-9A0B-886ACC0F2CD1.jpeg 7963B91F-EE41-4E36-B9DD-C5E1D80F3D89.jpeg 0F69271A-BBC2-4D36-B53C-4697FCF3C5BB.jpeg 18DBE90E-6910-4DF3-84C5-BC4024DE7FF6.gif E48FCBFD-141B-4F94-93D2-E047629910A5.jpeg 931AD6FF-8B9C-417D-BB73-3FA2689C8C51.jpeg 18F1F694-A555-46EC-9988-65744D06F8F4.jpeg
  2. Grandpas67

    Grandpas67 Well-Known Member

    Nice. Can't wait to see the updates...and finished product.
  3. Tom Miller

    Tom Miller Loch Ness Monster

  4. Will be PT Buicks!!
  5. Yanchik

    Yanchik Well-Known Member

    Detroid Speed Suspension?! Daaaamn you got moneyyyyyyyy.
    Also, I think you can run wider than a 9inch rim on the front. I've been reading through many forums, and some Chevelle owners run 17x10/18x10 in front with no rub. But if you do have info that says otherwise, let me know, cause I plan on running 18x10 squared

    Edit: This is a comment I received from the Chevelle forums:

    "I have 275/40/17 all around on my 66. My wheels are 9.5 with +6 offset or 5.5 backspace. 70 has more room, so you should be ok. I think the 275/40/18 is on the tall side about 27", probably would fit though. You could also consider 275/35/18. I think you could go as big as 315 on the back of a 70."
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  6. pbulski

    pbulski Well-Known Member

    Beautiful car and a perfect donor to start with. Best of luck to you! Looking forward to following the build.

    WHEELS: I'm running 18 x 8" Budnik wheels with 275/35-18 on front and with minor modification (you'll have to remove inner fender well bolt at top) it fits with no rubbing. Looking at the invoice from Budnik it appears the backspacing is 4.75" which they calculated based on a list of measurements they needed from me. 18 x 10" rear with 6.00" backspacing and 295/35-18 Nittos

    SUSPENSION: Detroit Speed is great stuff! Kyle Tucker (owner) is a top-notch guy, deeply involved in racing in the Optima Ultimate Street Car series and runs/tests a lot of the same stuff he sells. I went with the Ridetech Stage II coilovers, Strong Arms, and beefy sway bars front and rear. Drop was about 2" front and 1.5" rear. I love the stance! Handles AMAZINGLY on the track!

    BRAKES: I'm also running Wilwood brakes but 4 piston 12" rotor fronts and floaters on the rear. With the Track Pack pads the braking is super strong and never fades through all race sessions on the track. I installed the adjustable proportioning valve but I'm not sure I'll ever adjust it after initial set up. We'll see...

    Very happy with "Phase I" of the build: suspension, steering, braking, and wheels/tires!

    ENGINE: No apologies to my Buick heritage but I just ordered an all aluminum LS3 (495 hp) and Tremec Magnum 6 speed trans. Installation starts next month. Performance, Price, Tuning Potential are tough to beat in my opinion but many here disagree... and that's cool! I really appreciate the opportunity to hear so many other people's thoughts. I thought long and hard and did a lot of research. hey, build what you like!

    Best of luck! Let us know if we can help.
    Road America 2.JPG
  7. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks for all of the replies! In short, no- I don’t have a money tree growing to fund this. I am single with minimal expenses and have been saving to do this right for years. I’ve decided to cut coil overs out of the project for now, due to expense. I’ll just go with DSE’s stage 1 kit for now in the front.


    Thanks for your reply. The info you shared is very helpful. I would love to fit a 275 up front. I’m struggling to get the right back spacing locked down. I am not quite sure if DSE’s spindle will move the hub mounting point from the stock location. Any insight here?

    Second, are you running a manual brake setup on your wilwoods? If so, how you like it compared to a power brake car?

    Lastly, any other pics? Your car sits perfect!!
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  8. Troys69GS

    Troys69GS Well-Known Member

    If your canvas is blank, have you thought of all wheel drive? My junk yard had a number of beautiful Cadillac AWD, but I already spend my budget for 69 build. If I were to start over, id look at that. There is an article that a guy did with a 72 Chevy a body.
  9. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    How do burnouts happen with AWD?!

    In all seriousness, I don’t think this is the car for an AWD setup. While it’s a cool idea, it wouldn’t be worth the amount of work that’s required in my opinion. I also want to make sure every modification I do can be easily switched back to stock if needed.

    Thanks for the suggestion!
    Lucy Fair likes this.
  10. pbulski

    pbulski Well-Known Member

    Do you have the wheels already? If not, I'd highly recommend letting the wheel manufacturer help you to get the correct backspacing. Clearly they've worked with someone putting those wheel, DSE suspension, and Wilwood brakes on a GM '68-72 A-body a few thousand times before. Same thing with DSE and the spindles.

    As for brakes, I do have power brakes but several other racers told me you really don't need them with the Wilwood all-disc setup. If you had drums in the rear like I did, the proportioning valve has to be eliminated since the pressure needs for rear discs is very different than drums. THEREFORE, you will have to run all new brake lines. You can save money and do this yourself. I'd highly recommend using Ni-Cu (Nickel Copper) tubing, corrosive resistance similar to stainless steel but much easier to work with. You can bend it by hand or with some inexpensive tools then a flaring tool. Not hard at all but takes patience. When you get to the point there's a lot more info out here.
    Lucy Fair and (deleted member) like this.
  11. pbulski

    pbulski Well-Known Member

    Oops... .forgot to add the pic. The Wilwood manual proportioning valve can mount right along side the master cylinder. I had to replace the leaky brake booster after everything was installed (PITA to get to those back bolts). I stripped the zinc plating off the new shiny gold one, used etching primer and 3 coats of gloss black to match the MC. Looks better than it did!
    Brake Master and Booster.jpg
    mild2wild and docgsx like this.
  12. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Look Tom, I already made the car worse!

    I’ll start restoring the grille this week. I’ve been holding off on buying anything until after Carlisle. Next week, I’ll order all of the suspension.

    Pbulski, thanks again for the insight. I hope you don’t mind me shooting a PM or two your way as I really get going in this. I’m an LS advocate, so no ill will from me!

    Thanks again for everyone’s kind words. I look forward to getting this underway.
    Tom Miller likes this.
  13. gs66

    gs66 Silver Level contributor

    Will be following along!
  14. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    After a bunch of weekend research, and a few conversations with Matt @ MCBparts, I ended up going with a full ridetech stage 2 kit, and Baer brakes all the way around. I wanted the best combination of track performance and comfort for cruising. After all, it still needs to drive somewhat like a Buick!

    Wheels are up next. Hope to have everything done sometime during summer. The budget is the number one constraint right now!
    Tom Miller likes this.
  15. pbulski

    pbulski Well-Known Member

    Congrats! I think you'll really be happy with the RideTech suspension. A lesson I learned the hard way... attach all rear bolts lightly then lower the car and tighten everything up when it's sitting at normal ride height. I didn't and my rear suspension was binding and super super stiff!

    As for that pesky budget being the #1 constraint, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for that to change. No matter how much $$$ I make, budget is always the constraint! Be patient and enjoy the process.
    Demoman likes this.
  16. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Sourced an SF 455 off of craigslist today. $275. It’s currently locked up, but I think it will free up with a a little persuasion.
  17. redsixty9

    redsixty9 Platinum Level Contributor

    You'll be very happy with your choice. You can't go wrong with that package. It rides nice and you'll be impressed on how flat it feels in the turns and stops. Don't forget the muscle bars.;)
  18. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Here we go!

    I bought a parts car years ago that had this rough GS grille. I got a base coat on it last night. I probably won’t install any of the suspension/brakes until the wheels are ordered.

    For now, I’ll work on getting a 455 lined up for the car. D66FB4D2-BFEB-43C6-806B-E17C5FE26674.jpeg 314CDCF2-F2A8-4DB5-BCB6-C2648B5183E9.jpeg AD4E6B2A-F197-4E47-B61F-A796EDD16A3D.jpeg
  19. alvareracing

    alvareracing Well-Known Member

    I believe you want to install the brakes and suspension first then measure for the wheels. That is what I was told and that's what I am doing. Nice wheels are not cheap and if they are ordered or made incorrectly you own them! Once the bigger calipers are installed, the dimensions-spacing will change from the back of the wheel to the face of the caliper, they could rub. Something to check before you get wheels, think about it. Better save than sorry. JMO
    Lucy Fair and Julian like this.
  20. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks for the advice! I am going to go that route, hopefully starting next week!

    Grille looks good from 5 feet away. I like How the black waffle sections came out. I only have 1 stud in it right now so it will straighten itself out. DACB09D7-74D9-4314-A15F-1793721D0AE8.jpeg

Share This Page