Decisions, decisions. Motors!

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by superlark, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. superlark

    superlark Guest

    Hello fellow Buick people,

    I've got a '65 Lark. Owned since 2000. Came with the a 300-4V. I mashed this engine until it really didn't sound good. I never really knew how to get it running good and I was young& stupid(er) then too.

    So in 2002 I replaced it with a 350 Chevy. I know, sucky choice. That's what is still in place today.

    I'd really like to take it out now. I did save the 300 which sits in Dad's garage. It also had the ST 300, but the reverse was shot. At the time, I even bought Poston full length headers for it.

    So here's the conundrum. I don't have the best of health, which is why I consider a built 350 Buick from TA or similar.
    The 300 definitely needs work and I did see some cracked cam bearings in there when I looked.

    I mainly just cruise the car, it's a second car for me. I really like windy type backroads and I could probably use a little more power. I don't want to extensively modify the car although it probably needs some wiring work.

    I know this is just a personal kind of choice, just looking for input. I haven't used this forum much but recently I have been reading and it's bunch of good stuff. I'll put up a photo or two so you can see what I got going on.

    Thanks everyone
  2. 350Bandit

    350Bandit Well-Known Member

    Buick 350s are really solid motor swaps. All buick builds are pricey especially a complete motor from TA but in my opinion I prefer keeping buick with buick motors. The choice is yours brother if you have the funds you can rebuild 300 or chevy 350, I'm sure the buick 350 is a little more pricey but like I said it all falls under what you want to do with car and what you want for your own pleasure. I have a Buick 350 in my 72 skylark and I'm happy with the power even though I am building a 455.

    Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
  3. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Hi there, well since the Chevy 350 is in there already why not just fix it up a bit? I do think a Buick 350 swap is a good way to go however you really will not gain too much other than keeping your Buick all Buick which is cool I understand. I kind of like the idea of fixing up the 300 engine however it will lack a lot of torque compared to a 350.

    I am sure there is a lot of extra power hidden in the chevy 350, try to get it out.
  4. alec296

    alec296 i need another buick

    Are you near ta performance? Do you have a core ? How much you looking to spend? What trans and rear end do you expect to use with it or are you going to match those to the engine?
  5. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Do a sbb 300 stroker with TA aluminum Rover heads and a ported '64 aluminum intake! One of those can be built less than a TA crate engine?(not sure how much a TA sbb 350 costs, so maybe not, but probably) The cool thing would be it would look totally factory!

    You can go even further by not only using a sbb 350 crank to add stroke, you can have the crank offset ground and add even more cubes, which the TA Rover heads would support, would even support the extra cubes better with ported TA Rover heads! Going this way one could use a set of the many 6.200" long nascar take out rods on eBay for next to nothing.

    If you get the block sonic tested and it checks out thick enough for a .155" overbore to 3.905" and stroke the crank an extra .140" to 3.990" you can have a sbb 300 that is actually a sbb 383!!! :shock:

    I think a heavily ported TA Rover headed sbb 383 stroker and a roller cam would run pretty dam SWEET, with plenty of power to make that sbc seem like a punk that was in your car!

    If in you're interested in this route shoot me a PM for more details.GL

  6. superlark

    superlark Guest

    The Chevy has got:

    Full length headers. 76cc heads, stock. Firing on 7 cylinders, 8th don't know why, mechanics don't know why. would have to be taken apart. 570 holley 4V carb, edelbrock intake. HEI ignition.

    So apart from swapping heads, which I have always thought to be silly b/c of the 8th cylinder problem, there isn't much I can do. Mechanics say valves are adjusted correctly.
  7. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Was there a leak down test done by the "mechanics" that worked on your car? If not, that would be a good place to start to see what is not sealing in the one cylinder. Or at least a dry and wet compression test would be VERY helpful in determining what is wrong with that cylinder. GL

  8. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    I've been trying to talk myself out of getting involved in this one but for this statement I have to wonder why you think it was a "sucky choice"? Have you not been happy with the 350 Chevy for the past 14 years? I'm not knocking Buick engines here so don't get me wrong but 9 years ago I did the same thing with mine, 350 Chevy, mainly because I already had the engine intended for a Nova that I no longer had. It was meant to be temporary but it's still in there and I've been perfectly happy with it. It has a mild cam, Edelbrock intake, headers, Holley, a 200-4R and a 4.10 gear. It'll cruise 70mph at 2,400rpm, and although it's not a race car it has run 8.41@81mph in the 1/8th and 13.50@101mph in the 1/4 when I feel like going to the track for a day of fun. It has been extremely dependable and has no quirks, so much so that I'm confident my 92 year old mother could get in and drive it without any trouble at all. I have a `73 350 Buick engine with 59,000 original miles on it that I've thought about putting in the car but the only reason for contemplating that is to put a Buick engine back in a Buick, which would honestly be my only real motivation for it. Of course, I'm having some serious doubts about it because I know it won't perform like my Chevy without spending a ton of money on it. So what's the right thing to do here? Buick engine for the sake of having a Buick engine or just leave the car like it is since it's been so good to me? I'll probably just leave alone and keep the 350 Buick for when I get old and don't feel like I need that extra power anymore. Although I'll be 62 in less than 6 weeks, when do we expect to out grow this stuff? Just my $.02 worth. I guess all I'm really suggesting here is to do what is best for you but budget wise you're probably better off with the Chevy. One last bit of logic, is if your Chevy 350 is toast you can get another one before the end of the day, craigslist is full of them.
  9. sailadams

    sailadams Platinum Level Contributor

    I'm going just partway in this direction. I've got one high compression 300 w iron heads and 4bbl intake, one low comp 300 w 2bbl intake. Both motors will get a turned down 340/350 crank and 340/350 connecting rods and appropriate height/bore pistons. Over bore only as needed. The 4bbl iron head motor stays that way and probably keeps its TH350. The 2bbl gets a 4bbl aluminum intake and aluminum 300 heads and probably keep its switch pitch ST300.
    Not quite so high dollar! Except that both get EFI.
  10. superlark

    superlark Guest

    Well you're absolutely right. It has been a very dependable motor with almost zero problems. I guess I just said it was a bad choice b/c it is a Chevy in a Buick. I thought Buick people against that.
    Originally the 300 was becoming expensive and difficult, which why removed it.

    So in this case, I value your input.
  11. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    Well, most of them are, which is fine, I respect their points of view but I'm not a purist. I'm of the opinion that everyone has a right to have their car they way they see fit, and to have it that way without ridicule. Actually, I was a Chevy guy long before I got my Buick 13 years ago, and since I already had a fresh ready to go Chevy engine I figured 'why not?' And so it goes.......
  12. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    If you like the sbc engine in your car, that's fine, but that wasn't what it sounded like in your previous posts in the beginning of the thread. It sounded like you wanted to go with Buick power again, so I gave you a couple sbb alternatives.

    The sbc may only need a valve job if the bad cylinder is because of a burnt valve, so a new set of heads could fix the sbc? You won't know until there is a dry then wet compression test done. If that test doesn't reveal the problem then a leak down test would. The 2 tests I mentioned are simple tests to preform yourself, you just need the tool(s) to preform them.

    A dry compression test to get your initial compression reading(Google or Bing, compression test, there should be tons of YouTube videos that explains it) , then the wet test is done by simply spraying that cylinder down with WD-40 through the spark plug hole or whatever spray type oil you have handy. Using the spray oil extension that usually comes with a spray type oil taped to the can, to help direct the spray deep into the cylinder. Make sure you hold onto the extension though in case it gets blown off so it doesn't end up in your engine. If the compression goes up in that cylinder while doing the wet test means the rings are bad in that cylinder. But if there is little to no change then the issue would be the head gasket or a valve that isn't sealing. Easy peasy.

    If it ends up being a valve as the culprit then an head upgrade would be a fast and easy fix that can be done in the car and won't cost nearly as much as an whole engine swap. If you take this route I(we) can recommend what head would be a good swap.

    If it ends up that the sbc has bad rings in the "bad" cylinder, then perhaps you may want to swap a different engine in? You are wrong about the sbb 300 being really expensive to rebuild too. You can even do a stroker using the factory 300 crank and doing only a .006" over bore and pick up 14 cubes and a very inexpensive set of nascar take out rods for right around $2,200 if you do the assembly work yourself. A standard rebuild using good pistons would only be about $100 less for the crank grinding and the cost of the nascar take out rods which ranges from $100 to $600 + depending which ones you chose, but the sets that are only $100 have plenty of life left in them and more than just fine for this kind of build(even with heavily ported TA Rover heads). Adding the TA Rover aluminum heads would be the costly part of the build if you went that way, but rebuilt factory heads would work good and give good low end torque for street driving if you use those. Dealers choice, a lot of options. GL

  13. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Here's another option:

    Buick 350's are practically a dime a dozen now. Get yourself one before their popularity soars when the aluminum heads come out, and you can pick one up ridiculously cheap. They're also more abundant than pretty much any other Buick engine, other than the Buick v6 (which has a ton of parts that interchange with the 350, making it less expensive than other Buick v8s to build).

    It doesn't take much to make a Buick 350 turn on. The main thing is decent compression, and the rest will almost literally fall into place.

    You like partial/full throttle back road windy twisty fun? A 2 barrel intake can be had pretty much for free, since no one seems to think they're worth anything more than the iron scrap value.

    A 2 barrel intake newer than 1969 will give you the large base Rochester 2g bolt pattern and plenum holes for the (also cheap) Rochester 2g 500 CFM carb.

    Use 9:1 to 9.5:1 static compression, and your choice of cam ranging from OEM GS replica Federal Mogul cs647 or Melling sbc-5 cams, or Crower level 2 or 3 (the level 2 needs no more than 9.25:1 to run on 93 octane premium). I also have a couple of custom cam grinds I posted elsewhere that would fit the bill, depending on how you wanted to build it.

    Use smaller diameter dual exhaust with crossover (2") or a good flowing, larger single exhaust using a scavenger type "Y" pipe for low-mid range flow.

    This combination will better utilize steeper gearing (2 series rear end and/or the ST300's tall 1st (low) gearing) and keep you smiling as you eat up those back roads. :TU:

    You'll be amazed at just how much more (and wider) the torque band is over your current combination. Build it for torque and let the HP end up wherever it ends up. For pure street fun, this is where you'll be happiest (and safest).
  14. Phil

    Phil It really *is* a 350...

    Playing Devil's Advocate, you already have the makings for a price competitive Chevy 350 setup. Unless you're comfortable in spending a somewhat disproportionate amount of cash on putting a Buick engine back home under the hood, I'd stick with the Chevy. Personally, I find the Buick 350 to be a great engine and pretty underrated, but the cost of a pair of headers... *ouch*.

    I've personally resigned myself to the notion that when the time comes for me to pull my Buick 350 the only thing replacing it will be a 4.8 or 5.3 turbo LS engine.

    You should build what you're happy and comfortable working on, and have fun at it. :)
  15. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Even though this is a Buick site many of us use Chevy engines as well so we can help with that SBC too if needed.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    If you put a well built stock or slightly modified (read better cam) Buick 350 back in that Buick, it will be a whole different and better animal. More bottom end grunt. I have nothing against sbc's, but the buick motor makes a lot more torque (stock for stock).
  17. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    It's your Buick car rejecting the Chevy engine. :grin:
  18. Sebambam

    Sebambam Well-Known Member

    i love my SBB and since its pretty beefed up i am more than suprised that i hang in there with good SBC performance builds ( buddy got a chevelle with a 383 stroker)
    But in order to be simple and cost effective stick with the SBC... you can do a lot to that turd even on a budget.
  19. superlark

    superlark Guest

  20. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Likely an increase in mileage as well as acceleration.

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