72 GS350

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Taulbee2277, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..

    So the story begins with my ownership of this fine green 72, how I got it can be found here:


    Had an amazing summer/ fall cruising the shows and driving as much as possible. The car even had a cameo at this little event:


    So at last winter came and it was time for me to do my little improvements. Here is where I caution all would-be restores to beware the dangers of the rabbit hole and how deep it can lead you. But as my Buick buddy would remind me.. doing this would make your 9 car a 10. (Sriley)

    Now I will say that the car needed nothing to perform, I am strictly going on this adventure to preserve what I already have. And in the process not to give Mr. Cook a heart attack for diving in to his beloved former ride..

    So here we go..
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  2. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    The teardown; bolt and bags.

    As this chapter implies, this mechanical beast was broken down methodically into tiny sandwich size ziplocks. More time was devoted to inventory then it was disassembly.

    Now we talk about the rabbit hole.. At first it was to replace a leaky rope seal and leave well enough alone. In the past I have replaced a rear main seal with great success on my back with the engine in the car. However this time the plan was to clean and preserve the engine and its surroundings, so out it came. (See attached pictures)

    The mighty 350 was yanked and free (save your comments BBB guys). At first I did not dare to take anything apart. Pressure washing and 4 cans of brake clean kept revealing more and more gunk in hidden places. I had purchased an engine gasket kit earlier and the inner demons to go deeper kept getting stronger. So saving you a novel of late night adventures I decided to go all in and disassemble to the short block. My oh my what I discovered. In its low milage 46 year life, every gasket had decided to fossilize itself to the iron on which it was placed upon. Ill save yet another novel of late night gasket removal, but I'll sum up 3 months of gasket removal as a giant PITA.

    And we haven't even gotten to the rear main seal yet..

    Heads come off and the valves looked like they were dipped in the BP oil spill, valve seats were mini maps of the grand canyon, the pickup tube looked as if it were trying to inhale shredded beads from Mardi Gras, and the timing chain was from that newly overweight fella who was holding on to his high school belt..


    Did I mention every gasket was putrified?

    The best news was that the bearings were clean, the bores were superb, and the overall health of the block was way beyond what I expected from its age.

    A wiser man might say that it is time to rebuild, and that may be why they are wiser.. However the car ran beautifully and I cant justify tearing everything apart. It is down to the short block and it will not go any further without the supervision of a bonefide buick builder.

    Oh by the way.. the engine compartment needed some TLC as well. But I cant make scrubbing a firewall dramatic so lets just look at some pictures.

    The block looks painted in the bearing picture because it is, timing is a bit out of order there.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    300sbb_overkill likes this.
  3. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Alright so we have a starting point, I can work with that..

    Engine and transmission are out, the first priory is cleaning. 8 rolls of paper towels, pressure washer and some more cans of brake clean later I think we are making a dent. Well a sane person might think that having certain parts cleaned by the machine shop may be the wiser choice. Here to tell you they are right..

    Heads, intake, bolts, and other random parts dipped by the machine shop was cheaper than paper towels, brake clean and the long term affects of inhaling chemical cleaners. I may have brained my damage of all the stuff lingering in the garage..... o_O

    But dagnabit the machine shop had to go an show me the wrongs done to the heads from age after they cleaned them up. Well what is a little bit of money between friends so they got a valve job, guides, reassembled and paid for. Nothing fancy, just back to performing.

    Then came the timing cover. Lets review: http://www.v8buick.com/index.php?threads/would-you-reuse-this-timing-cover.329118/

    Now it seems I have crested the hill and all smooth sailing. The parts are in the garage and all that is left is a bit of scrubbing and elbow grease. No problem there :cool:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
    BYoung likes this.
  4. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Back to the goal of the winter, the soul of the GS350 will not leave this garage. Preserve and protect.

    Thanks to my wallet and KBS paints, everything got a nice healthy coat. The factory intake got some love, exhaust manifolds were treated, the block got a covered, the frame was dealt with, and all was happy.

    Transmission is next on the chopping block, the same goal of gaskets and paint. Oh and maybe I should mention a Jim Weise converter is patiently waiting in my basement to be installed ;)

    Timing cover, heads, gaskets (ugh!!), and floor pan look great so far. Not done yet.. Still have rear end to scrub, paint, and bushings. Been a few months in the project and thought you guys and gals would like a story. No happy ending yet but springtime may yield better results.

    And the rear main seal has been replaced :)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  5. Gallagher

    Gallagher Founders Club Member

    Place holder for a response.
  6. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Haha good one Mike ;) Did not think anyone else would be up at this hour! Still typing..
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  7. 72STAGE1

    72STAGE1 Runnin' with the Devil

    You will be 10x happier in the Spring when you back out of the garage into the sunshine once again, like Chief Dan George said..." Endeavor to Persevere"
  8. Gallagher

    Gallagher Founders Club Member

    I notice the number of members drops off dramatically after about 8:00pm. I check in pretty frequently while I'm working. Last night was a late one.

    Nice looking work. All of it.
    I think I would of done the same as you with that car. Clean, Inspect, and re-do the heads. Keep us updated on progress.
  9. Mart

    Mart Gold level member

    I think I would do a cam, lifters & springs, along with that valve & guide job (which was a great thing), to compliment that JW convertor you paid dearly for......

    You'll be good for another 100k!:)
  10. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    You did a great job Justin! Looks awesome. Your really bringing it to the next level. I cant want to see it together! I see it still had the plastic cam gear.
  11. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Hmmm,..a 4 hole crossmember, what plant was it built at?
  12. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Thanks for the kind words fellas, hard to imagine 3 months work summed up in 3 paragraphs!

    I had thought about a cam while I was in there but decided against it. I am sure I will regret that at a later time. I am the most excited about driving with that new converter and clean fresh heads!

    Glad you like it Jason, I remember most of our negotiations revolved around me not screwing up the car haha.

    Ethan, its a Z; Freemont build
    SpecialWagon65 likes this.
  13. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    What I figured, I'm starting to think all Fremont cars got the 4hole frame
  14. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Oh I totally forgot to mention another pet project of mine before winter set in. I had read that California Qjets were a bit on the lean side from the factory and to be honest it could use a cleaning. The car started quickly and ran fine, but knowing me I had to go get my grubby paws in everything.

    Disassemble, clean, measure, pick parts, primary bushings, test, disassemble again, tweak, repeat.

    Resulted in 18" of vacuum at idle, a smooth secondary transition, quick starts, no nozzle drip, and a peppier engine. And this was before I tore the car apart. Once the carb was set the thing was parked and chaos ensued. Hope everything still works as it did once all is bolted back together.

    Thanks to Ken for holding my hand through this little side adventure, could not have done it without him.

    Attached Files:

  15. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

  16. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Very cool!

    When you're done you can bag it up and store it for a later day and start building a sbb core to have some fun with the car!;)

    While its out anyway................?:cool:
  17. rygelca

    rygelca '72 GS 350/auto

    Very nice job getting her cleaned up! Question: Do you happen to have photos of the head casting codes and other markings? I just bought a spare set to play with for my '72 SBB but cannot determine what year they are in the '72-'80 span they were produced. No external “7_” marking on the exhaust side on these. Here’s my original post:

  18. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Temping but not for this car ;)

    Although assembling a core motor for whatever el-cheapo project comes down the line sounds like fun :D
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    300sbb_overkill likes this.
  19. 70staged

    70staged Well-Known Member

    Just got done with the motor clean up and re-install on my Buick a few months ago, I’ve got a few tweaking to do still.
    Yours looks a lot nicer than mine. I didn’t detail just pressure washed the engine bay. Getting all that oil off that had been leaking for the last 5 years or so.
  20. sriley531

    sriley531 M.M.O.G.

    I've eyeballed and oogled and stared at this car almost as much as taulbee has (accept for the fact he's lucky enough to have it in his garage instead of it being in mine....) and he really is putting in the work and elbow grease to take it to the next level. As many here know, this is about as solid an unrestored car as you get, it's got as good a set of bones as about any you'll see. But the effort he's put in to slicking up the less-than-shiny bits is really starting to come together, that thing is going to stand exceptionally tall at any show we attend this year. I personally am thrilled at the effort taken to "preserve and promote" without sidetracking into the "modification realm". It'd be tempting to hot rod it out, but this car really does wreak purity, and preserving that is a beautiful thing. Well done Taulb, there's a nobility in your approach, I dig it! I only wish I had the time to have participated in the preservation of such a gem.
    300sbb_overkill and Taulbee2277 like this.

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