From the Reference Section:
- Buick Compound Carburetion
- Buick F-263 Head/Gasket Swaps, effects on compression
- Straight Eight Engine Specifications
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263 Head X-Sections
    - Building a High Performance Straight Eight
- Buick Straight Eight Lifter Adjustment
- Straight Eight Intake Manifold X-Sections
- Straight Eight Oil Supply Update
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Thread: Anything new from the straight 8 hot rodders?

  1. #21
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    Matt it's nice to see you have been working on the Buick again. I thought your original plan was to build a nice driver but it seems as though the restoration bug has bitten again. Just kidding as I do the same thing.

    I am very interested in your book Allycat as I have been keeping up with your posts. I can't wait untill you put it in a form that I can take to someone with the skills I lack to perform some of the neat things you outlined. I really like the idea of changing the water flow for better cooling as I would like to be able to tow my 46 Spartan or my 53 Boles Aero travel trailer with it.
    Jim Carmichael 55 Buick Special & 65 Buick Riviera GS

  2. #22
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    Matt, I didn't recognize your name 'till I checked out your site, awesome '41, been to the site before. Charley, thanks for some dimensions I've never seen in print before. 39CENT, you're coming to the same conclusion I have(about supercharging). Jim, good point, cooling will need to be addressed. Like I posted earlier, with these ideas, the 263 becomes "THE" hot rod motor (well, maybe I'm just a little prejudiced). Speaking of 263 hot rods, where's Chopper Johnny!

  3. #23
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    I certainly didn't mean to imply that anyone was wrong about the 263 and its specifications, nor that I was an authority on the subject. I will defer to those who seem to know more than I. I was just trying to help out the gentleman who was thinking about replacing his 320 with a 263, which I think would be a mistake. Pound for pound, I'd still rather have the cubic inches to move the heavy iron regardless of how "new and improved" the 263 was over the 248.

    I also think with some modern tinkering and tricks, you can make one of these old engines run nearly as well as a modern engine. At that point, cubic inches matter because you can't spin them much faster to make power, and stroking them is insane. An overbore will help a little, but you're still limited by the head & manifold designs to move the air. The long stroke is the limiting factor no matter where you're starting--320, 263 or 248. Manifolding and cam timing are probably the best way to make more power on these engines.

    Hope this helps.
    Matt Harwood
    Chesterland, OH
    My 1941 Buick Century restoration

  4. #24
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    straight 8 performance

    I agree that if you have the 320 incher, keep it, lots of room to improve it, and for the average guy you can really wake them up. But they have thier limitations, and I believe the biggest one is the CRANKSHAFT. Its HUGE, and worse its LONG! The six,s have trouble, with crankshaft length, but they can turn about 1000 more revs then the str 8,s. That builds horsepower,and can make use of better gearing. Somewhere i read an article about Toyota or some other Japanese co. designing a straight 8. It was just a prototype design and it was for front wheel drive! But it was lot smaller than our Buicks! also they had 9 main bearings, such as the old Packards.So, and this is my opinion, just for discussions sake. I think that turbos or blowers are the best way of getting the most for the least amount of time, $$$, and effort.It would be best to build it with eutectic or forged pistons, slightly larger valves, mild porting, and balancing. A bored out 263 will give you about 280 cu inch displacement and with a blower it will give it more power than a 320 plus if you turn up the pounds !

  5. #25
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    Matt, 39, good posts! You guys are getting close to the real crux of the matter.

  6. #26
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    compression

    Compression = power. Years ago I read everything Buick I could get my hands on. It looked, at least in print, that Buick while not exactly steping up to the plate, was at least in the game with progressive comp increases. At a later date it poped into my head that, perhaps, some heads may be better than others in the way of compression. So I spent a summer pulling heads and cc'ing chambers. I went through a lot of heads looking to get as large a statistcal base as possiable. I regretably, did not do 320's. What I found was: All heads cc the same within a few cc's. Early heads, late heads, stick engines, auto engines, no diff. I got a few "ringers" that had been milled, but after the fact. Pistons never changed. In order to get a comp increase volume must decrease. I, for the life of me, can not find the source of the comp and resultant HP increases. The only thing that changed was the head gaskets, steel shim vs. composition. About 10cc's. Not enough. Hmmmm...alleycat

  7. #27
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    straight 8 compression

    Yea compression was one of the first things we did to hop up an engine. Its one of the quickest ways to get horsepower. then a cam, and finally more carburetion, the 3 C,s. Some of the boys are milling the head 1/4 inch. but you,v gotta watched that the valves dont hit anything! My century had a 1/8 mill on the head and it helped a lot, but it blew a head gasket so I put on a stock one.

  8. #28
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    chevy heads on buick?

    hey alley cat! have you ever looked at using another type of head on a strait 8? In leo santucci,s chevy 6 book it shows how they took 2 chevy aluminum heads, cut off a cylinder each and welded them together? Also he shows many different ways of porting. I am also looking at someway of angling the intake ports entrance and flatten the floor for better flow, as you know flow is more important than size on ports. and also discovered that one of the well known chevy guys found that with the right porting, siamesed ports will flow good numbers because of large shared area of the 2 ports. I think the buicks port, 'straight shot and then right into a wall' needs work.. anything would do wonders on them ports ????

  9. #29
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    Actually, the bone I threw out for you guys to chew on, was not so much as to weather or not we can raise comp in our engines, we certainly can, but did Buick? What I turned up by cc'ing heads was that perhaps Buicks claim of comp increases, is nothing more than that: a claim. It could mean that our 7.2 engines or whatever are not even close.

    Do I like the str8 head? No. I do not. Have I thought about trying to bolt on other heads? Absolutly. Lots. Bolt-up issues totaly aside, What has become most apparent to me is, what kind of port is best for the str8? With the absolutly astronmical amount of effort poured in to the chevy head, the choise seams to be a no brainer: chevy port. The 292 boys put a LOT of work into installing these heads on their 6's, but the power gain is not all that huge. Perhaps the chevy head is best on a chev V8, and the 292 needs a purpose designed head for it. The str8 is almost certainly in the same boat. With all the work I've put into the str8 head, and I'm getting some fairly good flow numbers, its looking like, with work, the head CAN work not too badly. My heads already out flow any intake available for the str8, so now the problem is not the head, but the intake! At this point I don't think I'll beat my brain about alternate heads. alleycat

  10. #30
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    straight 8 mods

    I have some ideas just gotta do somethin. my son moved his car from my drive way so maybe i can do things, now that i have a little more room. I have my 39 chevy 2dr waiting, and my 39 century needs me too. I have a milled 52 head for my "340 ci", so now i will have a test car.I did get a chevy V8 shorty exhaust header from a friend, and it looks like it will be an easy way to get some cheap headers for a straight 8, maybe i can at least do this project. take some pix of it if it comes out alright.

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