My 76/77 Buick regals going to the darkside!

Discussion in 'V-8 Buick Powered Regals' started by Norman Martin, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. 64 skylark mike

    64 skylark mike Well-Known Member

  2. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    So tonight was super aggravating. First, I had to find the axle bearings and seals. Autozone, nope. Oreillys, nope. Napa, nope. Advanced auto, we only have one but the warehouse....blah blah.

    So 15 min to the bigger store/warehouse. Got the parts. 20 min back home. So I decide that it would be better to install with the axle bolted in. Well I have to get the driveshaft second u joint half installed in the flange.

    I go to install it and immediately realized that the custom driveshaft does not have a 1310 ujoint. I had bought a 1330 to 1310 u joint for this occasion. Well I need a 1330 to 1330. Damn.

    So back to advance auto with my part number. The store closest to me of course does not have it. So another 15 min to the bigger store. Got the part and 20 min home. I got some food that my wife made me and get to installing the joint. Hammer, hammer, hammer then started to get the second half when ....Oh crap! This part looks exactly like the one I took out. 1310 to 1330. Damn, between the google search and the advanced auto website, the number got changed. Sooooo....
    I call advanced auto, they have the correct part but he says, you need to get here before we close. Now get this, it is 8:47pm. If you can do math and were following earlier, you will realize that I will be going to bed pissed off because I live 20 min from a store that has my part but closes in 13 min.

    Adding injury to insult, I close the garage and walk into the house only to hear my wife tell me that the freezer is broken and all the food is thawing. Im like. "Really?!?! Wtf?"
  3. Max Damage

    Max Damage I'm thinking about it!

    Tomorrow is another day.
  4. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member


    So I wake up and get on the road to Advanced Auto. I get there as they open at 0730. I dial into my first conference call of the day and simultaneously exchange the U joint for the correct one. I get back into the Jeep and get home at 0748. I grab my tools and at 0802 the job is complete. All while still on a conf call.

    Sucks that I spent a few hours running around for a part that I installed in less than 4 minutes.

    Attached Files:

  5. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

      1. bolt the rear in
      2. bleed the brakes
      3. Install the axles
      4. fill the differential
      5. install the driveshaft
      6. Put the rotors, calipers and pads on
      7. Bolt on the wheels with adapters
      8. LET HER RIP!!!

      • swap the driveshaft u joint-
      • Re-program ecu/tcm for the new gear ratio
    Max Damage likes this.
  6. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    1. bolt the rear in
    2. bleed the brakes
    3. fill the differential
    4. install the driveshaft
    5. Put the rotors, calipers and pads on
    6. Bolt on the wheels with adapters
    7. LET HER RIP!!!


    • swap the driveshaft u joint-
    • Re-program ecu/tcm for the new gear ratio
    • Install the axles
    • Install new axle bearings and seals
    20210604_195744.jpg 20210604_195734.jpg 20210604_195723.jpg 20210604_195716.jpg 20210604_195713.jpg 20210604_195708.jpg
  7. Max Damage

    Max Damage I'm thinking about it!

    Looks like you need new e-brake shoes? Or maybe that cable is too rusty for it to matter?
  8. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    I found a little bit of an issue that I am about to go to the store to find a part to solve it. I guess my shock mount angle is not correct. I thInk I willl just buy or make a U bracket and bolt it to the shoch mount location as it exists.

    1. bleed the brakes
    2. fill the differential
    3. Bolt on the wheels with adapters
    4. LET HER RIP!!!


    • swap the driveshaft u joint-
    • Re-program ecu/tcm for the new gear ratio
    • Install the axles
    • Install new axle bearings and seal
    • bolt the rear in
    • install the driveshaft
    • Put the rotors, calipers and pads on
    20210605_130616.jpg 20210605_130618.jpg 20210605_130635.jpg 20210605_130716.jpg
  9. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    Well the good news is that there is only one thing left. The bad news is that it is bleeding the brakes. I made a quick attempt but nothing came out. It was kind of baffling. I know all about the portioning valve nonsense. I have not hit the brakes since they got disconnected so it cant be tripped. The lines are all new so it cant be clogged. I may be replacing the calipers. I will make another attempt to bleed in the morning.

    I was too tired to keep trying today. Temps were above 90 most of the day and I was under the car from about 10AM til 7:45 and am just too tired to keep at it.

    Hopefully tomorrow I will be driving.
    Max Damage likes this.
  10. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    Well, there is good news and there is bad news.

    8.8 is in and I drove it a couple times around the block. Brakes work and there is a notable increase in acceleration.

    I noticed something that I new was going to be problematic. Due to the fact that my new axle is about 3 inches narrower than the factory, this puts my calipers 2inches directly under the frame. This is a problem because...well that means 2 inches of suspension travel. Needless to say, this aint gonna work.

    The fix-
    I will be forced to drain the diff, pull the axles again, unbolt the bracket that holds the calipers to the axle tube and flip them 180 degrees. This will put the calipers in the 8oclock position vs the 2oclock position. This should work to remedy the situation.

    That said, as I reflect back, I wish I had widened the axle vs narrowing it. Here is why.
    The factory axle was 60.5in wide. Widening the 8.8 would have been62.5 in wide. That is 1 inch wider each side. This would have allowed me to run a 1 inch spacer on the front wheels with longer studs. Each wheel would have been 1 inch closer to the fender. I would have loved the wider stance.

    While my solution will work, I honestly wish I had just widened the axle instead. Oh well. Disappointing but now all is lost. I will probly wait to correct this as I am tired of working on it for now.
    Max Damage likes this.
  11. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    And as it goes for people like me (ADHD and OCD), O could not just let it go. So. I got my arse under the car and busted the diff open, removed the axles, and flipped the calipers. I am curing the diff sealant for the required hour before I go out and tighten fully.

    I think I will have to replace one of the brake hoses again because it is leaking. I think the contact with the frame damaged it. No worries there. That will be a quick swap.

    Tomorrow I will fill the diff, reinstall the springs, fix the hose and re-bleed the brakes. I should then be back on the road to do the second shakedown.

    Wish me luck!
    20210606_175004.jpg 20210606_175007.jpg 20210606_175014.jpg
  12. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    Now thats what the F I'm talkin bout!

    First two wheel peel!

    Attached Files:

    Taulbee2277 likes this.
  13. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    So, I have done a few shakedown drives and a few things are very apparent.
    1. I need new shocks (which I already knew)
    2. I need to build the new control arms
    3. I most definitely need a new portioning valve or simple metering valve for disc/disc brakes
    4. I made a good choice with the 3.73 gears over the 4.10 gears
    5. Lastly but very important, it is time for some wide tires.
    I can safely say that at the moment, this ain't a wet pavement car. Giving it a third gear burst while rolling, it will break the tires loose. It no longer just lugs around. It seems to stay in a lower gear that before. It is like the car is ready to go. The old 2.73 gears were good for calm driving. The new 3.73 gears seem just perfect.

    I am going to take a few days to rest and then get back at it. I am just glad that it is up and running again.
    Max Damage likes this.
  14. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Good work. I run 15x8 wheels and 295/50R15 and 235/60R15, I think it works and looks good.

    Attached Files:

  15. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    That is the kind of meat this thing needs. My SRT Jeep has 295 tires and I think it will have to be 295 or better. Seriously, this car can light these tires up with ease.
  16. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    I took a 20 min break from work to get a shakedown drive in on dry pavement and I can say for certain that this thing is mean! So mean that apparently a mint 69 convertible driver followed me for a while to tell me so. He guessed 1977 and I told him 76. He called it a definite sleeper. I gave he and his 3 passengers a red light rip and they were all smiles. It is so calm during cruising but has a nasty roar to it with some pedal action.

    The car does not seem to want to go into 6th gear as it used to when cruising. It keeps itself in 5th and drops to 4th for rolling rips. While I do like that it stays at the ready, I do want to make sure my tranny tune will let it go into 6th at some point. Eventually I will want to highway cruise it in 6th.
  17. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    Alright, I had a little break after the rear end install. It is super muggy around here and I had not wanted to be working in mid 90 degree weather.
    It is time to move on to the next major project. Getting the interior ready for epoxy. So with my newly built vac blaster, I am going to start blasting the interior floors. I do not think it will take that long but who knows. Once blasted, it will be primered with SPI epoxy primer and then seam sealed. Over that will be lizard skin spray on deadener then lizard skin ceramic heat treatment. This car gets super hot from the floors. I am attempting to try to control that heat.

    After the Lizard skin, I am tempted to use more knu kolossus deadener that I already have. Then the car will receive closed cell foam, mass loaded vinyl and then carpet.

    Once that is complete, I will start working on the seat design. I am thinking of hitting the junk yard to find some seats with all electronic adjustments. These old seats dont have enough adjustment. I would love to get seats like my SRT Jeep. They are very comfy and hug your body well. Maybe some challenger seats might work better though since they are 2 door and should tilt forward for rear passenger access.

    Stay tuned!
    Max Damage likes this.
  18. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin Well-Known Member

    I began blasting the floors today and quickly realized that the rear passenger floor needed replacement. So I quickly cut up a pattern, cut out some 18ga, bead rolled it and welded it in.
    Hopefully the front passenger side is in better condition.

    It was hotttt today and I am now going to shower the funk off my butt. I stink to holy hell. I basically sweat through my clothing completely. Once you are completely drenched in sweat it is not so bad. At least that is what I learned from my repeated deployments to the middle east. Just let it happen. LOL!

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  19. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

  20. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Looking forward to your interior sound deadening and seat update, really diggin the progress.

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