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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    32

    Default Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Hi everyone!

    I just bought a 69 Skylark. This will be my daily driver and all around town car, but my commute is about a mile.
    Originally a 6 cyl, now a 455/th400/12 bolt, with a 2004R ready to go in at some point. Pretty solid overall car, with the exception of some things that will have to be replaced.

    Wheels/tires: Currently a 90's fabulous set of 15x7's and worn tires. Looking at the MB Wheels "Old School" in 17x8, and some BFG G-Force sport comp-2 in 255/45/17 for about $1100 mounted and shipped.

    Brakes: Currently non-power 4 wheel drums, with one front wheel locking up under moderate pressure. I'd like to go to power front disks, seems like there are sooo many options...

    Suspension: Currently stock and just plain worn out. I'll need to do a full front end rebuild, but also would like to improve handling and comfort with some modern parts. The rear has air shocks. I'm somewhat overwhelmed here with endless options, and what is really needed for a safe, well performing suspension.

    I'm just looking for any ideas, and appreciate any help! I've been wrenching on cars old and new for about 20 years, had more F-body's than I can count, but new to the A-body. I'm also a helicopter mechanic in real life haha. Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Welcome to the site Hunter,

    The search function on this site is great and can answer a lot of your questions if you have the time to read through old posts, lots of information out there. As always specific questions can be answered by many on this board.

    Good luck
    Terry

    Most Wanted
    - NOS GS - 400 Marker Lights - #910530
    - NOS 69 Stage 1 Hood Emblems
    - NOS AC Delco 12" Rear View Mirror 917492/916904
    - Original 69 - Declo 6x9 Rear Speaker - 7290934

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Lots of brake upgrades out there in kit form. Take your pic. If you want something bigger you'll have to step up your wheel size to 16 or 17s. I put late 4th gen Camaro brakes (12" rotors, 2 piston calipers) on mine but also run 17s. Also used the booster and master cylinder from the Camaro too.
    Russ
    1969 Wife. Stock, no mods. Factory redhead package.
    2005 Son. Special edition hell on wheels package.
    A couple of cars too...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Edmonton Alberta
    Posts
    15,464

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    I say start with the new rims and tires that you want, and then go to the suspension, brakes and steering before touching the engine and trans unless you have to. What rear end gear ratio? Keep that 200R4 it may come in handy, I really like them. Make it safe, to start with.... Try to take on small projects at a time so you can keep it from getting to overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is to start at the rear bumper and slowly work forwards to the front of the car.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    My book called Small Block Buick Performance covering the V6, 215, 300, 340, and Buick 350 engines will be released soon.

    http://www.v8buick.com/forumdisplay....rformance-Book
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    1970 Buick Skylark Turbo 350 street/strip

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    The rims and tires are getting ordered today, and the car is in "project status/not driven" until that, the brakes, and suspension is sorted out, with the front rebuild at the very least. The engine runs fine, and the TH400 will work for the moment. The interior needs some love, but the body is solid.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    26,530

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Make sure you measure twice for the correct back spacing on those wheels.
    Jim Lore
    BPG 1037
    "If you cannot clear up the confusion at least make the confusion clear."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Berwyn,il
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Brakes! put some disc brakes up front. Steering box and front end parts. That's a low buck start. Suspension next. Make it stop and steer then get into a-arms,spindles,control arms,coil overs,sway bars etc. etc. Boy it's fun spending someone's money compared to my own. lol Best thing I can say is don't mismatch components. Go with a reputable company and get a kit you can upgrade when you can afford it. Big Brakes are nice but don't necessarily stop better. I run smaller 4 piston brakes that stop great and I have a ton of wheel choices. I can run 15" wheels at the strip or street and does it ride nice compared to a 17" or 18" wheel. Do your home work it will pay off. My next one will have a Morrison Chassis. O'boy somebody pinch me I'm dreaming again. Good luck with your build.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Quote Originally Posted by flynbuick View Post
    Make sure you measure twice for the correct back spacing on those wheels.
    They are offered in 4.75" and 5" on the 17x8.5 Wheel. Double checking which will work best

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Quote Originally Posted by redsixty9 View Post
    Brakes! put some disc brakes up front. Steering box and front end parts. That's a low buck start. Suspension next. Make it stop and steer then get into a-arms,spindles,control arms,coil overs,sway bars etc. etc. Boy it's fun spending someone's money compared to my own. lol Best thing I can say is don't mismatch components. Go with a reputable company and get a kit you can upgrade when you can afford it. Big Brakes are nice but don't necessarily stop better. I run smaller 4 piston brakes that stop great and I have a ton of wheel choices. I can run 15" wheels at the strip or street and does it ride nice compared to a 17" or 18" wheel. Do your home work it will pay off. My next one will have a Morrison Chassis. O'boy somebody pinch me I'm dreaming again. Good luck with your build.

    Thanks, just scored a 70 Chevelle disk brake front end, everything from the arms out for $100. Going to get a new master cylinder and booster, and that should do for now.

    The rims/tires/brakes along with ball joints and other front end wear items should get me on the road. There are a set of new looking monroe sensatracs allready installed that again should do for now. Just want to get it safe, then sort out anything else i would like

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Quote Originally Posted by sean Buick 76 View Post
    I say start with the new rims and tires that you want, and then go to the suspension, brakes and steering before touching the engine and trans unless you have to. What rear end gear ratio? Keep that 200R4 it may come in handy, I really like them. Make it safe, to start with.... Try to take on small projects at a time so you can keep it from getting to overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is to start at the rear bumper and slowly work forwards to the front of the car.

    Its a 2.56:1 rear gear haha. Should be quite the freeway cruiser, shame the nearest one is about 2 hours from me

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    hazard,ky
    Posts
    5,918

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    sway bars
    66 skylark 2 dr hartop...... in progression
    07 silverado 3500 hd 6.0
    12 kia sorento sx
    99 f150
    89 dodge spirit
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v237/nekkidhillbilly/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,470

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter7389 View Post
    They are offered in 4.75" and 5" on the 17x8.5 Wheel. Double checking which will work best
    Measure BOTH sides for the offset .. its not uncommon for these cars to be 1/4 - 1/2" off side to side.

    .. I trimmed the wheel wells on the Sporty back to the moldings slowly with a flapper disk
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,470

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    .. Oh, and WELCOME to the StepChild Nation
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Berwyn,il
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Quote Originally Posted by nekkidhillbilly View Post
    sway bars
    Good idea but don't buy stock sway bars if your going with after market suspension. Don't mix and match suspension parts. The manufacturer already did all the R&D. Stock sway bars with stock parts. IMO

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    So far, 17x8 and 17x9.5 MB Old School wheels with 235 and 275 BFG G-Force compt 2 A/S will be here tomorrow, and a Right Stuff signature 13" front rotor disk conversion with a power booster will be here in a few days.

    Whats the good parts to rebuild the front suspension? Moog? Other?

    Thanks again! She should be on the road soon

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Blythewood, SC
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Do you have any pics after installing your tires; I also have a 1969 and looking for wheels/tires
    Thanks
    Jaye

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    N. Mankato, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Lots to replace and upgrade on a budget: 69 Skylark

    Used Moog on my 65. Still made in the USA as far as I know, good quality.
    Jim
    N. Mankato, MN

 

 

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