'71 Skylark

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Skippy597, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    This is the starting point on my build. The car is a 1971 Buick Skylark 350 2 barrel auto A/C car, and it is not fast. The build plan is a ratty muscle car, concentrating on engine, drivetrain and chassis not so much body. The idea is daily driver that I can drive without feeling guilty about nicks and scratches from gravel, etc. also want something I can continue to build on so my newborn son will be brought up working on it. Right now I'm gathering parts, both cheap and not so cheap, then I'll start to dive into it.
  2. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

  3. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Cool project! What engine platform are you considering?

  4. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    I'm planning an all out build on the 350, I just love how light it is and since I'm planning on running autocross events I like to keep the nose light. But the temptation to go 455 is huge!
  5. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    I can help you out with building a sbb 370 stroker(or bigger if your block sonic tests good enough for a bigger than .040" over bore, maybe even a 383 sbb?) out of the 350 if in that is something you would be interested in? Or do the plans include some sort of boost?

    A stroker isn't much more than a standard stroke performance build would be if you have a good crank shop near you. I just talked to a crank shop in San Antonio TX and they charge $175 for a standard regrind and $250 for an extra .140" extra stroke to use a set of nascar take out rods like these;


    Those teamed with the AutoTec piston and ring kit;


    The above pistons can be customized to what you need rather than try to have the block machined to an off the shelf piston. They come in flat top for a high compression around 12:1 build or in 2 different dish sizes to dial in your compression with your cam choice to run pump gas. These 4032 forged pistons can handle around a 200 HP shot of N02 or around 6 PSI of boost.

    If your plans are for big boost or lots of N02, then a 2618 forged alloy would be better suited for those extremes and would require a totally custom piston.

    I have priced out a stroker build here before and came up with $2,300 to $3,000 for the short block depending on what your plans are and your cam choice, that is doing the work yourself as well. If you're interested and have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Dano and Skippy597 like this.
  6. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    This has gotten me very excited. I'm new to finding Buick engines, I've always been fascinated by them and have read slot about them to know I wanted one but before this all my experience is with SBC and some BBC engines.

    I really appreciate the help and if you don't mind I'll probably have plenty of questions when I plan out the build. I would love to do a stroker build with forged internals and H-beam rods but will have to look at those Nascar rods you listed. I want to be around 450 on engine then have a 100-150 shot. I plan on using a quadrajet tuned by quadrajetpower because I like being different and as good as they are, I get tired of SBC 350 with Holley 4150's on top.

    The idea is mid 12's and be able to turn while looking like a beater.
  7. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Shouldn't be a problem to make 450 HP with the right parts with a stroker build. The right roller cam with a set of ported factory heads with 10:1 compression to run pump gas and 370 to 383 cubes should be no problem to get those numbers! Finishline Performance did a sbb 370 stroker setup for boost with IIRC 8.5:1 compression and it dynoed N/A around 430 HP!! That was with a mild flat tappet cam as well.

    A stroker setup with more compression and a matching roller cam could see 50 more HP on top of the above numbers! You just need to make the heads flow some air and you can get there. You should be at mid to low 12's(if you can get traction) without the N02 and possibly touch high 11s or lower with a small shot you have planned.

    TA performance will be selling sbb 350 aluminum heads if that interests you to top your engine off with. With a ported set of these you should be able to make even more HP over your goal, and you can add those on later if there not in the budget now?

    Dano likes this.
  8. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Those are encouraging numbers! I want to keep compression around 10.5:1-11:1 and I'm thinking of shooting for the 370ci displacement (if for no other reason than its not an engine size you see often). And yes that's what I was thinking mid 12's on engine then bottle feed it to high 11's.

    I'd love to go with a roller cam as I'm a big believer in that route vs flat tappet. Also I'm hoping to use a set of the TA alum heads that they keep teasing at as this will also lighten the nose further. I am on a budget as of now mostly because it comes with a kid and buying a project car at the same time but things will balance back out soon and I don't mind spending money where it's warranted. And like I stated I most likely will be selling the samurai just to build the engine so I'd like to keep the engine build around $5000 or under.
  9. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Here's the long term build plan as it sits in my head
    Build the 350 into a 370 stroker
    Th400 swap with a ratchet shifter (was planning a Muncie swap but decided against)
    rebuild rearend with 3.42ish range, Limited slip and chromoly shafts or find an A body 12 bolt to build
    BMR 2" lowering Springs (they're cheap and worth trying so I ordered them)
    Boxed rear control arms
    QAI anti hop whatchamacallits
    Airlift Drag bags
    Install Heavier Front and Rear Sway Bars
    Poly bushed Sway Bar Links
    KYB shocks
    Pro forged 1/2" taller upper ball joints
    Moog offset control arm shaft
    Moog lower ball joints
    New Control arm bushings
    Proforged complete steering linkage
    Front Disc Brake Conversion
    Rebuild Steering gear box with Quick Ratio conversion
    Wheels will be Vision wheels American muscle 531 wheels 15x8 front 15x10 rear
    Tires for street will be Cooper Cobra GT's 245/60R15 Front 295/50R15 Rear Maybe some drag radials in the future

    Right Now I just accumulating parts little by little as well as doing some simple stuff to the engine for more power in the mean time. I just ordered a factory 4 barrel intake for it from a member on here as well as I will be ordering a Quadrajet from quadrajetpower for my birthday in august. As well I'm doing stuff such as head gaskets (believe there to be a small leak), ignition, new fluid and filter for trans and new fluid for the rear and just a couple of small other things to kinda keep me busy with what little free time I have currently.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  10. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    If you get the engine in the car running decent, find another one to rebuild so you can enjoy the car all the while you're taking your time to build your 370 stroker. When engine is done the car would only be down for a weekend engine swap and if you wanted you could sell a "running" engine that potential buyers can hear run before you take it out.

    Fun stuff!!

    Skippy597 likes this.
  11. hwprouty

    hwprouty Platinum Level Contributor

    Good project you got going!
    Skippy597 likes this.
  12. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Hey do you any recommendations on where to get a roller cam and lifters for the 350?
  13. 70skylark350

    70skylark350 Well-Known Member

    looks like a real solid car to start with Derek. I too was tempted to go straight for the 455 swap but I have been improving my 350 on a budget, while I drive and enjoy the car. the 350 responds well to small improvements.
  14. Red Skylark

    Red Skylark Well-Known Member

    I have a 71 Skylark as well. I have been contemplating engine upgrades as well. Anywhere from a 455 to an LS swap. Mine is an original 350 2 barrel that now runs a 4 barrel carb.
  15. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    So after figuring out the pricing on the soon to be TA alum heads I just don't think I can justify it, so I was wondering if anyone had any input on the iron reman ones TA is selling? How much better than stock are they? Being a Chevy guy it kills me to pay $1500 for iron heads being that if this were an SBC build that places me squarely into aluminum head territory. So I was just wondering if anyone had some input as to what kind of numbers I could expect to get.
  16. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Also here's some pics of the interior I can't believe how nice it is. IMG_20170421_123348801.jpg IMG_20170421_123407617.jpg
  17. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Ok, so I started to think (never a good idea) and now I'm heavily leaning towards a twin turbo build. I even got my wife on board so the hard part is done, but I had some questions and ideas that I would appreciate some feedback on.

    So to start I still plan on building a 370 stoker with Nascar pull out rods and autotec forged dish pistons, also I am planning on running a hydraulic roller cam (blank from TA then sending it to Scott for a custom grind) and morrel hydraulic roller lifters. I would really like to run roller rocker but just can't do the $1k one from TA so unless Burton machine is making the conversions then I plan on just running the HD stock style ones that TA offers.

    My plan is to build the engine and run it NA for the time (well when it's done). Then as funds recover from the engine build I plan on installing the Twins from Burton machine along with a FItech setup.

    One question I had is who here is running an intercooler setup and do you think they are necessary? I only plan on running low boost at about 6-8 lbs. Also I was looking into eventually doing a water / meth injection for track days and was wondering if anybody on here runs a similar setup?

    Could use any info towards building a boosted motor as this would be a first for me. What compression should I shoot for? Will those pistons work well for it?

    Thanks in advance,
  18. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    The pistons should be ok for low boost, probably not much more then 6 psi though. If you think you'll ever want to turn up the boost, then you should probably get a custom set of forged 2618 aluminum pistons made for boost, around $400 more than the AutoTec piston and ring kit. But you would be able to crank up the boost until you blow a head gasket without to much fear of hurting a piston!(unless of coarse you're well into detonation but that's tuning not pistons)

    Pistons made for boost, they will recommend heavier duty wristpins and better rings. If you know you can resist the temptation of cranking up the boost then the AutoTecs should be ok, but probably upgrade wristpins. With the A/T pistons, probably don't go more than 8.5:1 with boost, with 2618 forged pistons you can probably run as much a 1:1 more than the A/T 4032 forged pistons.(if you're not aware what 2618 and 4032 are, that is the grade of forged alloy aluminum)

    Turbo kit will more than likely cost more than heads though, just so you know.

  19. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Thanks Derek, I figured you would be a good voice of reason :(. Yeah I didn't really think of it that way in terms of cost vs just going with the alum heads but I see what your saying there. Figure I'd probably be in over 3k on the turbos with the FItech and everything.

    But, I mean think of it... BOOST!!! o_O LOL

    Like I stated I have never been one to do anything with boost and normally prefer NA builds myself (while resisting the pressure from my boost happy friends). The only thing would be driveability, I want 450-500 hp and I figured with 6 lbs (I could live with 6 lbs) of boost I could have a much more tame engine for street driving while still having the power available. The idea is this car will be driven a lot and I want to make something that can possibly touch 11s and happily stay in the 12s while driving too and from the track across the state.

    On the other hand aluminum heads will ditch a lot of weight off the nose and I don't have to educate myself on running turbos (plus the added weight of said turbos) and any problems related with such.

    I'm lost, I got carried away with the turbo madness.

    Help me Derek-wan kenobi your my only hope! :D

  20. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    No need for roller cam, aluminum heads or roller rockers for your goal

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