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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default first Buick build

    Heya hiya,

    Just dropped off my first disassembled 340 at the machine shop. Ill be swapping out the 300 thats currently in my 66 Skylark. Originally I was going to go with a 401 motor and tranny combo that came out of what I was told was a 66 Riviera. However the mods to make it work were a lil more that my budget allows for at the moment, so the nailhead just sits in the corner waiting its turn.
    Im trying to figure our hat aftermarket SBC parts will work. stuff like HEI distributers, Holley carbs, different trannys ( the 2 speeds gotta go ) etc... If any one has ever done a 340 rebuild or a 401 swap into a Skylark, I'd love some feedback

    Jimmy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    MI.
    Posts
    2,918

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Quote Originally Posted by Captjimmy View Post
    Heya hiya,

    Just dropped off my first disassembled 340 at the machine shop. Ill be swapping out the 300 thats currently in my 66 Skylark. Originally I was going to go with a 401 motor and tranny combo that came out of what I was told was a 66 Riviera. However the mods to make it work were a lil more that my budget allows for at the moment, so the nailhead just sits in the corner waiting its turn.
    Im trying to figure our hat aftermarket SBC parts will work. stuff like HEI distributers, Holley carbs, different trannys ( the 2 speeds gotta go ) etc... If any one has ever done a 340 rebuild or a 401 swap into a Skylark, I'd love some feedback

    Jimmy
    Welcome to the board Jimmy!

    If you think you might want the look of the original factory installed sbb 300 you can use the 340 crank in the 300 and make it a 350 with a .050" overbore.

    Cylinder heads are the same so no real power gain there either. Several different rod choices depending what your budget is for pistons as well. More on rod choices if you're even interested in doing this.

    I believe there are more 300 4bbl intakes around than 340 intakes too, because no one makes an aftermarket intake for either engine you'll need to source a used factory one if you haven't already.

    If you have your heart set on the sbb 340 there are ways to get a bit more performance out of one of those as well. Nascar teams change rods after about one race that are still in good shape, but at the extremes they run it doesn't pay to take a chance. So they sell the used sets on eBay for pennies on the $$ that can be made to work in your sbb 300/340/350 engines with a little bit of altering. Its been done dozens of times and works out great, there has been a sbb 370 stroker that made 700+ HP with the help of boost, the point is the rods helped in making the thing stay together at that level.

    Here's the thing though, the nascar take out rods are for smaller rod journal sizes that are 1.889" and 1.850", but that gives the opportunity to add stroke. Either 3.950" or 3.990" for the 2 different sizes or stay with the factory stroke if that's all you want out of it. But my thinking is if the rod journals on the crank has to be turned down anyway, might as well add some stroke.

    After building a solid bottom end, the 300 or 340 can be upgraded with aftermarket aluminum heads from TA performance, their Rover heads. Don't let the name fool you, the original sbb was the sbb 215 an all aluminum block, heads and intake engine from '62(IIRC but might of been from '61) all the way to '63 when the General sold that engine platform to Rover who ran with that design until 2004 IIRC. The 300/340/350 sbb engines were all based off of the 215 that they have a lot of interchangeable parts.

    With either the 300 or 340 blocks able to be bored out to 3.840" with a 3.990" stroke you could have a sbb 370! With that many cubes and a set of the TA Rover heads you could build one heck of a runner. The expense of the heads can be added later if that would be something you're interested in. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I'll be happy to help in anyway I can. GL and Merry Christmas and happy new year!








    Derek
    64 Skylark,401 Nailhead,ST400,3.23:1Posi
    64 Skylark,305Vortec sbc,700R4,12blt Posi 3.73,low 14s. A sbb 300 stroker planned for it.
    72 Skylark Convert. in progress, Not yet assembled 455 .020 over,70 heads with stage1 valves,gasket matched and bowl blended,transmission to be determined.
    65 Chevy Impala,4,400lbs,383sbc,700R4,3.07posi,1.80 60' foot time low 13s @101mph,15mpg city,24mpg highway

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Thanks for the input! Sadly you can see the pushrods in my oil pan when you open the hood. I puched a hole that big in the block. so the original 300 block is toast. A friend of mine has a 300 with the aluminum heads out of a 64 skylark, and I didnt know if those 11:1 heads would be better or if if they would even bolt on the 340. Ive got the original heads in the shop and they said they're usable, but could use a valve job since Im rebuilding the bottom end. So if Im going to have to rebuild a set of heads anyway, should I go with the cast or the earlier aluminum ones?
    I'm usually an AMX guy, So I'm just getting into Buicks. Cant even find a Chilton or Haynes for them! ;-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Brookhaven GA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Does TA even make the performance heads anymore? Their website shows heads for BBB and V-6, but I can't find any for SBB.
    If your friend wants to sell the aluminum 300 heads (and 4bbl manifold), I could use some spares for my 215's. They are an improvement over the small valve 215 heads.
    1967 Buick Special Deluxe hardtop coupe, 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza coupe, 1967 MGB GT
    , 1976 MGB roadster

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    MI.
    Posts
    2,918

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Quote Originally Posted by Captjimmy View Post
    Thanks for the input! Sadly you can see the pushrods in my oil pan when you open the hood. I puched a hole that big in the block. so the original 300 block is toast. A friend of mine has a 300 with the aluminum heads out of a 64 skylark, and I didnt know if those 11:1 heads would be better or if if they would even bolt on the 340. Ive got the original heads in the shop and they said they're usable, but could use a valve job since Im rebuilding the bottom end. So if Im going to have to rebuild a set of heads anyway, should I go with the cast or the earlier aluminum ones?
    I'm usually an AMX guy, So I'm just getting into Buicks. Cant even find a Chilton or Haynes for them! ;-)
    Yeah, the heads aren't 11:1, the pistons make that engine 11:1. But either way with aluminum heads you can get away with that much compression for a street driven car.

    Well if you can get the whole '64 300 you could build a stroker out of it if you wanted to look factory, and go with the al. heads for some weight savings. A member here on v8(Dan Jones) his head porter got the '64 al. heads to flow 200 cfm on the intake side, which would be good for around 400 + HP. Heavily ported cast iron heads would have similar flow as the al. heads if you went that way. And yes, the 300 heads would bolt to the 340 engine but the intake ports wouldn't line up as good with the 340 intake. You could use the al. 300 intake with a set of custom made spacers if you have some fab skills and access to a mill you could make those yourself to make the 300 intake work with the 340. The basic difference between the 2 blocks is the deck height on the 340 is taller than the 300, 10.188" vs. 9.543" of their blueprint specs.

    Here's the kicker, the sbb 350 factory cast iron heads will flow as much as the heavily ported 300/340 heads with zero porting!(you can't use sbb 350 heads on the 300 or 340 engines, different port configurations) So there is more power potential switching to the 350 platform, unless you would eventually be interested in the TA Rover head swap for extra getup and go? BUT wait, there's more........,TA Performance is supposed to come out with aftermarket aluminum heads for the sbb 350 very soon with even more potential than the Rover heads. Decisions, decisions. But the 340 or 300 would look more period correct so....

    You said pushrod through the block, did you mean connecting rod?(I think you did) Now you know the carnage of what a connecting rod failure can do, that's why I like to recommend the nascar take out rods to everyone building a sbb! That would be heart breaking to do all that work just to have a rod fly through the side of your new build! All the factory sbb rods are cast iron, that with enough RPM WILL eventually fail.

    Make sure you do the oil mods to your sbb block so it will handle the extra performance you're going to build as well. There is a sticky thread in the BBB street/strip section that are basically the same mods that need to be done to both the big block and small block blocks when upping the performance. Easy stuff you can do yourself with a drill motor and various drills, well worth the effort.

    If you're interested in using the nascar take out rods I can post some links for ones that would work for either engine and the pistons that will work with them.(300/340/350) Let me know.







    Derek
    64 Skylark,401 Nailhead,ST400,3.23:1Posi
    64 Skylark,305Vortec sbc,700R4,12blt Posi 3.73,low 14s. A sbb 300 stroker planned for it.
    72 Skylark Convert. in progress, Not yet assembled 455 .020 over,70 heads with stage1 valves,gasket matched and bowl blended,transmission to be determined.
    65 Chevy Impala,4,400lbs,383sbc,700R4,3.07posi,1.80 60' foot time low 13s @101mph,15mpg city,24mpg highway

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    MI.
    Posts
    2,918

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Oh yeah almost forgot to mention with the sbb 350 engines there are 2 aftermarket intakes available for it, the Stage 1 dual plane intake and the SP3 single plane intake both made and sold by TA Performance.

    Other than that these engines don't have much aftermarket part offerings so old school hot rodding techniques need to be used to get extra power out of them. Like the nascar rods, stroking the factory cranks, using custom or customizable pistons are a few of the things to get more out of them. The hardest part about that is trying to figure out what can be done, with the internet that part is so much easier now that you found your way here.

    These engines aren't like building a sbc, but can be built to run as good or better if you do the extra work that needs to be done to get there.


    So what are your goals with your car? I know you have the 401 NH and if it runs you may be farther ahead swapping that in, if you can find the parts to make it fit? You'll need a rear sump A-body oil pan IIRC only came on the '65 and '66 GS, and the frame pads from the same. IIRC the fuel lines need to be on the other side as well as the battery because starter is or you'll need a very long positive battery cable, you'll also need new front springs because of how much more the NH weighs compared to the sbb. The driveshaft will need to be shortened and you'll need to move the cross member back or need a different one? If you may get lucky posting here in the parts wanted section to get what you need for the swap, perhaps a whole rusted out 66 GS for cheap?

    If that engine is from a '66 Riv then it may be a 425 NH. In '66 the 425 NH was the standard engine choice with the 401 as the optional IIRC. You may want to check the block numbers to be sure in case you end up wanting to sell it because a 425 will fetch more than a 401.





    Derek
    64 Skylark,401 Nailhead,ST400,3.23:1Posi
    64 Skylark,305Vortec sbc,700R4,12blt Posi 3.73,low 14s. A sbb 300 stroker planned for it.
    72 Skylark Convert. in progress, Not yet assembled 455 .020 over,70 heads with stage1 valves,gasket matched and bowl blended,transmission to be determined.
    65 Chevy Impala,4,400lbs,383sbc,700R4,3.07posi,1.80 60' foot time low 13s @101mph,15mpg city,24mpg highway

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    36

    Cool Re: first Buick build

    Hi there!
    Did i understand right?
    I have SBB 300 COULD i make a stroker 350,370 or what?
    Is that just the cranke Chang not piston,or Rod
    What about compression wouldnt that rise to high?
    I know i am a litlebit slow

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    MI.
    Posts
    2,918

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Quote Originally Posted by FINKaiser View Post
    Hi there!
    Did i understand right?
    I have SBB 300 COULD i make a stroker 350,370 or what?
    Is that just the cranke Chang not piston,or Rod
    What about compression wouldnt that rise to high?
    I know i am a litlebit slow
    That's right, you could transform your sbb 300 to over 350 cid! You would need a 340/350 crank, new pistons and different rods, plus you could dial in the compression ratio where you want it at.

    Depending on how good the block sonic tests would tell you how many cubic inches you can get out of it. If your block can handle a .090" overbore(3.840") you can make it a sbb 370. The 6.200" nascar takeout rods are a good choice for this type of build, add the AutoTec pistons, have mains ground down from 3.00" to 2.500", offset grind the 350 crank to 3.990" stroke and ta da its a sbb 370! If you have a thicker block that can be bored more you could get even more out of it, with a 3.905" bore you would get a sbb 382 that would make tons of low end torque, add the Rover heads and you can get the HP up there as well.





    Derek
    64 Skylark,401 Nailhead,ST400,3.23:1Posi
    64 Skylark,305Vortec sbc,700R4,12blt Posi 3.73,low 14s. A sbb 300 stroker planned for it.
    72 Skylark Convert. in progress, Not yet assembled 455 .020 over,70 heads with stage1 valves,gasket matched and bowl blended,transmission to be determined.
    65 Chevy Impala,4,400lbs,383sbc,700R4,3.07posi,1.80 60' foot time low 13s @101mph,15mpg city,24mpg highway

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Plans changed, so I just did a new post. got a running 401 for it. Big thanks to everyone for their input!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: first Buick build

    Quote Originally Posted by 300sbb_overkill View Post
    Oh yeah almost forgot to mention with the sbb 350 engines there are 2 aftermarket intakes available for it, the Stage 1 dual plane intake and the SP3 single plane intake both made and sold by TA Performance.

    Other than that these engines don't have much aftermarket part offerings so old school hot rodding techniques need to be used to get extra power out of them. Like the nascar rods, stroking the factory cranks, using custom or customizable pistons are a few of the things to get more out of them. The hardest part about that is trying to figure out what can be done, with the internet that part is so much easier now that you found your way here.

    These engines aren't like building a sbc, but can be built to run as good or better if you do the extra work that needs to be done to get there.


    So what are your goals with your car? I know you have the 401 NH and if it runs you may be farther ahead swapping that in, if you can find the parts to make it fit? You'll need a rear sump A-body oil pan IIRC only came on the '65 and '66 GS, and the frame pads from the same. IIRC the fuel lines need to be on the other side as well as the battery because starter is or you'll need a very long positive battery cable, you'll also need new front springs because of how much more the NH weighs compared to the sbb. The driveshaft will need to be shortened and you'll need to move the cross member back or need a different one? If you may get lucky posting here in the parts wanted section to get what you need for the swap, perhaps a whole rusted out 66 GS for cheap?

    If that engine is from a '66 Riv then it may be a 425 NH. In '66 the 425 NH was the standard engine choice with the 401 as the optional IIRC. You may want to check the block numbers to be sure in case you end up wanting to sell it because a 425 will fetch more than a 401.





    Derek

    its the 401 blue, and MT stamped on the intake valley. I was hoping it was a stealth 425 myself ;-)

 

 

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