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  1. #51
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Thank you for clarifying, I think im going to go pick one up today and install it. Are Vacuum gauges good to have? i read somewhere that you can monitor them to get the best economy for your car. Also, do you have to drain your oil to put the oil pressure fitting on the block?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  2. #52
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    You don't have to drain the oil to install the sensor. A little will leak out, but nothing a rag or shop towel couldn't handle.

    I'm a fan of vacuum gauges, namely because it's a visual reference of what your right foot is doing, and that's how you "save" fuel if you are watching it. You can easily find a sweet spot for cruising, where the vacuum peaks.

    I shoot for about 2inHg under high idle, meaning see what vacuum it pulls at roughly 1,000rpm in neutral, and cruise as close to that. This only works properly if your carb is tuned right/close though. If it's running too rich or lean at cruise or idle then that rule is out the window.

    But the main benefit is that you can see when you are giving it more throttle but not necessarily going faster. I've also used it as an early warning when the engine is starting to eat a cam if you have that unfortunate circumstance, as there will be an ever so slight tick of the needle.

    All that being said, my 231 worked so hard that vacuum was relatively low during most driving, where as the V8's don't work nearly as hard and cruise with decent vacuum.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  3. #53
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverBuick View Post
    You don't have to drain the oil to install the sensor. A little will leak out, but nothing a rag or shop towel couldn't handle.

    I'm a fan of vacuum gauges, namely because it's a visual reference of what your right foot is doing, and that's how you "save" fuel if you are watching it. You can easily find a sweet spot for cruising, where the vacuum peaks.

    I shoot for about 2inHg under high idle, meaning see what vacuum it pulls at roughly 1,000rpm in neutral, and cruise as close to that. This only works properly if your carb is tuned right/close though. If it's running too rich or lean at cruise or idle then that rule is out the window.

    But the main benefit is that you can see when you are giving it more throttle but not necessarily going faster. I've also used it as an early warning when the engine is starting to eat a cam if you have that unfortunate circumstance, as there will be an ever so slight tick of the needle.

    All that being said, my 231 worked so hard that vacuum was relatively low during most driving, where as the V8's don't work nearly as hard and cruise with decent vacuum.
    Thank you so much, you actually explain stuff the internet doesn't! Now a giant question, How do i tell that if im running rich/lean? and how to change it?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  4. #54
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    That is a challenge. Assuming no bad oil consumption issues around the rings or valve guides, you can periodically check the spark plugs. If they are usually dark and blackish then you are either burning oil or running rich. If they are a light brown/red then you are likely in running pretty good. If they have a white coating then you are likely running lean. There are more scientific ways to test it at the track, etc. But if you are driving some highway for 10+ minutes and check it afterwards (don't do any unnecessary rapid accelerations), the plugs will likely show how it's running. This just tells you if you are in the ball park, rich, lean or inbetween. Odds are the carb has been jetted pretty lean for emissions, and the way you can change the fuel mixture on the stock carb is limited. You can play around with float settings, though that can be hit or miss, I wouldn't change the float level very much. The other normal way for carb's is to change the jets. I don't know if 2bbl jets are the same as ones for a Holley or Edelbrock. I never messed with them on the 2bbl.

    Pretty much check to see if your carb is a High-Altitude/CA one or a Federal one. I'm guessing you should have a Federal one, the High-Altitude/CA ones run a little richer I think.

    Oh, and timing plays a big part in the spark plug color and vacuum levels. You could test it out, change the initial timing 2* at a time, drive at the same conditions (level road, steady speed, etc) and check the vacuum. See if there is a point the cruise vacuum increases or decreases, and narrow in on the "ideal" timing for cruising (where it peaks).

    Aren't internal combustion engines fun? There are lots of dynamics going on in there. Change the timing and it'll want more or less fuel, change the fuel and it'll want more or less timing, change the temperature of the engine coolant and it'll want different timing and/or fuel. Fun fun fun, it's all relational and each engine is different.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  5. #55
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    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
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    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Oh boy! sadly i do burn oil so i guess that really isn't an option I bought the gauges today, but i don't have the right socket size to get my water temp sensor off so i have to wait until Saturday when my friend is free to let me borrow one.
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  6. #56
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Yeah it's a big socket. Be careful installing the gauge sensor, the adapter and sensor are made of brass and a steel wrench can easily round them. Use a six point socket to install the adapter and be careful or get a tubing wrench for the sensor. Use a sealer (teflon tape, etc) on the threads.

    As for burning oil, unless you are burning oil across all the cylinders, you just have to find one or two that are comparatively clean of oil contamination to be a guide, you don't necessarily have to check all the spark plugs. Also, it'll be hard to do, but if you are running too lean it will backfire (a lean pop) under load.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  7. #57
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    I got everything installed today, had a mini volcano eruption under my hood of coolant, didn't think the 1/2 block drive from the front of my house to the garage would build that much coolant pressure. out of the whole install only tore my hand open once on the alternator bracket.

    The only thing i couldn't do is hook up the oil pressure line to the block, the line wasn't long enough from where the whole in the firewall was. I looked online and all they have is the 72" lines, that's what came with it so hopefully they sell a connector so i can connect both together to reach.
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  8. #58
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Yeah it requires a long line from the front of the engine. I personally never was good at getting the fittings to seal at the gauge and they always would seep a little, resulting in the occasional drop of oil on the carpet. I'd either not be tightening it enough or over tightening it and breaking fitting. I only used copper line though, the plastic may seal better but I have one friend who's line did break inside the car, and I know his wasn't the first time it's happened to someone.

    I run electric oil pressure gauges in both my Buick's now to keep oil out of the inside of the car, their a bit more expensive and their response time is a bit slower than a mechanical gauge, but it's really irrelevent if your gauge suddenly drops to zero and you turn the key off 2 seconds later or 2.5 seconds later, the point is it dropped to zero.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  9. #59
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    I got the oil pressure gauge hooked up today, no leaks so far
    I noticed that my oil light on my dash wasnt going off because the sender unit was obviously taken off. So i just reached up under the dash and pulled the bulb for it. Was that the right way to do it? or is there a way to trip it to think that the pressure is fine?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  10. #60
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    Ely, NV
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Looking at the picture you posted of your oil sending unit, the wiring for '78 changed from the '77 wiring I'm familar with, my oil sending unit only has one wire, so yours could be wired in such a way that unplugging it resulted in the light coming on. Though I don't know that for absolute fact. You could also at some point run a tee fitting and install the OE sensor and the gauge to have both.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  11. #61
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    I was thinking that i could just put it a T also.

    And does anyone know what happened to the Vancouver show thread? looks like it was taken down. did it fill up?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  12. #62
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    May 2010
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    Tacoma WA
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Took the buick out today to get a radiator hose for my jeep, and i noticed when i got to the auto parts store my oil pressure was at about 10psi, is that low? I was in gear but stopped.
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  13. #63
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Warmed up, at idle in gear, that is about normal. Yes it's low, but somewhat a "Buick" normal.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  14. #64
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverBuick View Post
    Warmed up, at idle in gear, that is about normal. Yes it's low, but somewhat a "Buick" normal.
    alright, thank you. i was a little panicked when i noticed it.
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  15. #65
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Parked under some power lines and some crows decided it was a good place to poop... it left a haze on my paint, any suggestions on getting it off?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  16. #66
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Found out that my glove box lock doesnt lock with my keys i have, so my question is, is there a way to reset the pins myself so it does work with my keys?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  17. #67
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Hmm, probably, but I've never tried. Search or post the question on the interior board to see. You may be able to take the lock cylinder out and to a lock smith and they would almost certainly be able to make it work I'd think.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  18. #68
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
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    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    on my triple gauge i have my lights hooked up just to the accessory plug on my fuse box, it probably isnt the smartest idea but i didnt have a splitter to put it to my dimmer, one of the bulbs burnt out so i went and bought a new one and the second i turned my car on after installing the bulb i heard a pop and all 3 lights went out on the gauge and my radio stopped working, did i just blow a fuse?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  19. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kalama Washington
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    774

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    yeah, sounds like you blew a fuse. hooking up the lights on the gages to an accessory fuse should be ok.
    Dan Lemyre
    75 skylark stage 2 455 (Bittersweet)
    2002 Trans am Ws6
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=181075

  20. #70
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Yup, popped a fuse. Make sure none of the wires on the lights are pinched or shorting out. Typically there should be enough fuse capacity to run those lights from the accessory fuse. The fuse could of been too old if your wiring is good.

    Also, isn't there a connector for lights on your fuse panel? Should be right next to a small fuse at the bottom of the fuse panel. My '77 has one.

    The bottom left wire and small fuse is the proper spot of lights. It'll even dim and brighten with your dash lights when turning the headlight switch knob. (a generic google picture)
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  21. #71
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
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    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    oh, i didnt even know that there was a spot on the box for lights! my instructions just said to slice it into the dimmer, i will get on that after the Vancouver show!
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  22. #72
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Was just wondering if anyone knew where the build sheets for our cars is? i read something that they hide them in the springs of the seats or something like that?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  23. #73
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    May 2010
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    Tacoma WA
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Was just reading on Wikipedia and found this

    "Beginning with the 1978 model year, Chevrolet's 5.7*L (350*cubic*inch) V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor, which produced 170*hp (130*kW) at 3800*rpm, also was available. Also in that year, the Skylark Custom replaced the Skylark S/R."

    So 78 came with a chevy 350 not a Buick? I'm still trying to find a Buick 350 but if I can only find a chevy it would actually be correct?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

  24. #74
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    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    Yup, that is correct. You don't want to find a Chevy. A Buick 350 will bolt inplace of the 231 with the only modification being to the removing the extension on the fan shroud.
    The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/455, SPX, MegaSquirt 2 & TKO-600 (Drag Week 2011!), '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428, MegaSquirt 1 & C6. '69 Firebird replaced, now building a Pontiac Turbo L6!

    My Skylark thread
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=208168
    My Pontiac OHC Six thread.
    http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?t=219250

    I'm just a regular guy that fuel injected an old Buick and Thunderbird.

  25. #75
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tacoma WA
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: My '78 Skylark (before starting the project)

    I've been looking for a Buick 350 and there is zero in western Washington. I'm still saving up for it because I know it's going to cost a lot once I do find one. What mods would a chevy 350 need since it was an option?
    Aaron

    1978 Buick Skylark 4 door(Whole Earth Brown) 231 v6 even-fire Auto

 

 
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