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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
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    7,215

    Default Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    To all concerned; i have actually done all of the things suggested here and found them to work... there is no voo doo here, only good old common sense... i have had a lot of requests for the info....take these and then use your brain to determine the best path to follow...hope this helps....Doc.

    DOCS CHEAP TRICKS;

    1. Use good general maintenance.
    2. keep a razor sharp tune up.
    3. Clean the engine and drivetrain.[ an engine and trans is not designed to run with dirt in or on it,,, they do better clean and are much easier to work on.]
    4. develop and maintain a good cooling system. [ heavy duty radiator, of at least 3 rows of tubes that is clean, with a good thermostat, good hoses,heater hoses and bypass hoses too, fan shroud, 6 blade or more fan, or electric fans with no leaks in the system]
    5. install a ''cold air'' pkg. if the care doesnt come with one...for the carb intake system. [modify the stock air cleaner system or use a custom unit to get cold, outside air to the carb inlet...[ this mod alone is worth 8% of the total horsepower output of any engine..and doesnt fade away.]
    6. recurve the distributor advance to a performance curve...this mod is cheap, easy to do your self with the kits available... a lot of gain for a little money...
    7.low restriction exhaust system...duals or large dia. single pipe with large inlet and outlet mufflers...many times a good set of factory exh. manifolds that are smoothed out and port matched will do very well on street cars.. headers if you can afford them..
    8. Modify to heavy duty suspension and shock absorbers...and brakes.. as you increase performance ,the suspension, and brakes must be able to handel it... it is more important to be able to stop than to be able to go...
    9. Air lift air bags inside the rear springs on coil spring cars...cures wheel hop problems, cheap and easy.
    10. Wider tires and wheels.
    11. Port match the intake and exhaust manifolds to the heads.
    12. Enlarge the air cleaner opening while doing #5....most factory air cleaners housings are restrictive to air flow and some have noise baffels inside... use k&n or that type of filter element...
    13. Cut out the partition between the FRONT and REAR barrells of the factory intake manifold...leaving the partition between the two sides...[if the center divider is cut out it will kill the low end torque] this mod gives a big increase in power for the money and labor envolved..
    14. run a wire from a 12v. source to the hot side of the coil with a toggle switch in between...[ point and condenser cars only] this gives higher voltage to the coil producing a stronger spark... BUT if left on all the time will burn up the coil...DO THIS ONLY WHILE RACING..
    15. On cars with switch pitch transmissions, put a toggle switch and wire so you can switch the ''high stall'' on manually and keep it on all the time untill you choose to switch it off.. actually gives you access to 6 forward speeds and 2 reverses...and puts more power to the ground.
    16. wire sw. pitch cars to the brake light switch to make hot cams more manageable on the street... [ brake light sw to the high stall terminal of the switch pitch solenoid.]
    17. Put weight over the rt. rear wheel... [ battery, spare tire, tools ect.]
    18. run as light as possible... this is one of the most overlooked speed secrets in our hobby... a 100 lb. reduction will gain a 10th in et... remove under coating, sound deadner, tools, people, run just 5 gal. gas in competition, use fiberglass or alluminum parts... ect.] Diet to lose weight
    19. run higher pressures in tires to cut rolling resistance..
    20. run smaller crank pulleys on the engine..
    21. in competition run with the windows up and the air off..
    22. car stance should be nose low, rear slightly higher..
    23. install a larger [cfm s] carb... Buicks like big carbs..
    24. use a multiple spark discharge ign system if possible.
    25. Run without a mechanical fan, if possible... [ use electric or none]
    26. learn and do all mechanical, body,and maintaince your self ... saves a ton of money...
    27. run a good low, diff gear, with a posi , if possible... you can have all the power in the world but if you cant get it to the ground, it doesnt do any good..
    You will notice that I have not included any major engine rebuilding, transmission mods ect in this... Some things listed are not exactly cheap, cheap.... but if done will produce a low buck , performance oriented car... Good luck in your endeavors.... Doc.
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,991

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Doc,glad that you decided to post this on the board,I was never able to open the emails that you sent me.Thanks for sharing .
    Hector
    '79 Electra Limited 350-4
    '95 Roadmaster Sedan 350-LT 1
    BCA 42718
    W.O.T. without a Cat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    could I see a pic of #13 done to a 455 manifold??



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
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    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Not from me, Ihave only done nailhead manifolds...
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,909

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Great thread, Doc. Lots of the basics we all seem to forget about.
    Weight is Huge, as is tune-up and maintenance. Thanks for the reminders!!!
    No, its not a chevy motor

    Steve Mario

    '71 Skylark, street/strip beater w/JW and T/A goodies!

    (JW prepped 462 short block, ported T/A Stage 1 TE heads w/stage 3 valves, 1050 Dominator, Super Scavengers, 3400 stall TH400, runs like a raped ape, and leaves brown skid marks on the passenger seat.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Quote Originally Posted by doc View Post
    Not from me, Ihave only done nailhead manifolds...
    I assume this will work on non-nailhead engines?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
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    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Yep, i just dont have a pic of one.... the things that are in the list were done by me ''back in the day'' and initially on a 64 lark with a 300 inch ''optional'' engine... I raced more and broke less with that car than any I have had since... Won more tropheys too... Never sell the little 300 short...
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Thank you so much for the advice, I will be sure to print it out and keep it for a long time. I hope to have many years of fun with my Buick and I'll be sure to keep the compression down.
    Nick L.
    1972 Skylark: (undergoing restoration) 455, TH-400, 8.5" 10 bolt

    1982 Bronco XLT: 300 ci straight 6, T-18 4 speed, 35" BFG mud terrains

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    More detail on the switch pitch. I have seen an after market controller
    that is adjustable to vacuum. What conditions do you want normal or
    high stall conditions. Why would you toggle it on and off. How would
    it normally operate on the manual linkage. I have one, it has been removed but I have it. High stall to me means the car doesn't start
    moving until rpms go up. Fill me in please.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,843

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Usingthe factory setup, high stall is "on" at both full throttle (as you would expect) and idle to keep the car from creeping. There are two swtiched to activate the stall. They are both on the throttle linkage. Full throttle can be found at the carbs and idle can be found at the fire wall.

    I believe the manual switch would be used in racing applications.
    1965 Wildcat Convertible
    W.O.T. GrandPooobah

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    More info on the idle one. I don't believe I have seen that one on my car.
    Mark Bristol
    1966 Toronado Deluxe Trumpet Gold 425 FWD
    1966 Riviera 425 GS 2x4 Riviera Red Black Vinyl
    1966 Riviera Royal Plum Fawn interior(parts car)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    NW SC
    Posts
    445

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    #9 How much pressure normal/race in the bags on my 70 GS"

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Jan 2004
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    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
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    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    about 10 lb. give or take...... 2-3lb for normal driving..... just to keep the bags from chafing...
    Last edited by doc; 12-31-2008 at 06:48 PM. Reason: mo info
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South central Nebraska
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Quote Originally Posted by sharkeymark View Post
    More detail on the switch pitch. I have seen an after market controller
    that is adjustable to vacuum. What conditions do you want normal or
    high stall conditions. Why would you toggle it on and off. How would
    it normally operate on the manual linkage. I have one, it has been removed but I have it. High stall to me means the car doesn't start
    moving until rpms go up. Fill me in please.
    Bruce Roe is the guy that makes the switch pitch controller and there's lots more to it. They are great very adjustable and priced fairly.
    IIRC Bruce's email is xxxxxxxxxxxxx He is "THE MAN" for the S-P transmissions!
    Sorry I can't post this yet because I need to have 10 posts and only have 7 at this point. I'll come back later and add it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Owensboro,KY
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Quote Originally Posted by doc View Post
    Yep, i just dont have a pic of one.... the things that are in the list were done by me ''back in the day'' and initially on a 64 lark with a 300 inch ''optional'' engine... I raced more and broke less with that car than any I have had since... Won more tropheys too... Never sell the little 300 short...
    Doc, my first car was a '64 Lesabre convertible with the optional 300 motor-aluminum 4bbl intake and aluminum heads. I think "KP" was the engine code for that motor.
    JUDE STEELE
    Owensboro,KY
    AMCA#727
    BPG#1238
    GSCA#3114
    70 GS Stage1 Convertible
    -R26A-Stratomist Blue w/White Top
    -185-Pearl White Interior
    70 GS Stage1 Hardtop
    -14B-Silver Mist w/Black Vinyl Top
    -188-Black Interior

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
    Posts
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    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Well,,,,, actually my car started out as the 310 engine, then when my first wife burned it up because she didnt want to turn the air conditioner off when the car got hot, i rebuilt it to the ''optional'' specs,,, 4bbl/ 11;1 pistons, dual ex. ,,, recurve dist. with ''redneck'' ram air..... ran a bunch better...
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Great list!
    Just a couple little things I've learned over the years.

    1. Run synthetic fluids in everything you can. Rear end, engine, tranny, power steering. You can cut resistance by quite a bit, and get better protection for expensive equipment.
    2. Run quality ignition components. The multiple spark discharge ignitions are great, but don't overlook the small stuff. Quality plug wires like Accel or Jacobs. A quality cap and rotor with brass terminals. A high output coil. All of these will get you a stronger more consistent spark and will last longer than the cheap bits.
    3. Play around with rear tire pressure. Every set of tires likes a different pressure. You can get a lot more grip from your tires just by getting the tires in the sweet spot.

    Peace.
    My new signature.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St Louis
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    11,472

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    As to number 22 see Gesslers car . It goes down the track nose up and very fast too.
    John & Terry Kemper
    GSCA #4322
    BPG #1373


    70 Sportwagon

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    1,209

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Quote Originally Posted by staged70 View Post
    As to number 22 see Gesslers car . It goes down the track nose up and very fast too.
    True, there's always a compromise. Weight transfer to the rear wheels is important too....traction for launch.


    Craig Ray

    `72 Skylark 455
    Ice cream getter / track toy.
    11.6 @ 117 mph with 1.71 60'
    10.8 @ 124 mph w/100 shot (on delay), traction limited of course...
    http://www.youtube.com/user/cray1801.../0/t8GLCth-fkM

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    new london MO
    Posts
    282

    Red face Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Block the heat risers on your heads-dont need that extra heat(helps when engine is not up to operating temp-but hurts at operating temp)good for about 5 horse.
    I'm no expert just something I read in the past.
    Thanks for all the great tips.
    Neil
    1973 GS STAGE1
    462
    10.25-1(adverised)
    C-118 cam
    Self-ported heads
    Stock intake/carb
    Unilite-Dist.
    TH-400 stock conv.
    3.64 limited slip
    14.29@98 with stock manifolds.
    Now has headers
    Work in progress.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Watch your unsprung weight. A light wheel and tire combo, and a disc brake setup will quicken you up a bit.
    My new signature.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Houston / Galveston
    Posts
    4,113

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Thanks for posting this. When installing electric fans, what needs to be done to keep them from sucking the life out of the battery? Bigger alternator?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
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    7,215

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    Yep , a good alt. is the basis for electrical systems, you need the battery that will handel the drain and a alt that will out do the drain....
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Houston / Galveston
    Posts
    4,113

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    What size alternator comes stock on the 66 Riv's, and what size should I get? I recently had the alternator rebuilt by a local shop. Would it be possible that they could beef it up while retaining the housing for original appearance?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Shelton, WA
    Posts
    2,447

    Default Re: Docs cheap tricks.....sticky

    OK... how about a "cheap trick" on fixing the horn ground on a 63 Cat...
    1963 Wildcat 4 Dr. HT



    W.O.T. SERGEANT MAJOR AT ARMS

 

 
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