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Thread: Need To be pointed in the right direction

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Need To be pointed in the right direction

    Hey Guys I have a 76 Buick skylark s/r. I blew the engine this last marchh and I dont know what I should do. I see this as a great oppurtunity to upgrade to The 350 preferably sbc "/ sorry guys lol. But I was wondering what complications if any will I run into when doing the swap. LuckilyI work at Napa autoparts so I can get damn good deals on all engine accesories. so I will be getting a block of craigslist nd transmission. So if anyone could help me out Id appreciate the help nd thanks In advance yall

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    Your Skylark is a GM X-body. This is the same platform used for the Nova, so a sbc should be basically a bolt-in using stock Nova parts. The swap will be easiest if you can find a 75-79 Nova for a donor. Later Skylarks were also offered with the Chev 305 and 350 engines, but Novas are just a lot easier to find.

    What engine/transmission did your Skylark originally come with?

    Ray
    Last edited by raycow; 04-13-2012 at 11:17 AM.

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    Engine/Trans

    It has the 231v6 in it right now (rebuilt) as well as the th200 i believe..?

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    Ok then, to install a sbc you will definitely need the engine mount frame brackets from a Chevy-powered X-body. I forgot to mention earlier that you can also use parts from a 2nd gen Camaro, because its front end is almost identical to the 75-79 Nova, Skylark, etc.

    Your engine will also need Camaro or Nova exhaust manifolds (or headers) if you want the least amount of hassle when laying out the exhaust system.

    Ray

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    Ray

    thanks for the help Ray I found a nice running 350 block # 3970010 that just need to be dropped in. Im gonna purchase the transmission sometime this week. Th350. Other than new mounts nd the headers. Is there n e thing I should expect to give me a problem?. Every mechanic is acting like its an outrageous swap but I feel diffrently.

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    The front end accessory drives can be a huge PITA on these engine swaps, so your mechanics may be speaking from personal experience. The best way to keep bad things from happening is to get EVERYTHING off the same year engine. By everything, I mean balancer, timing cover, water pump, crank & water pump pulleys, and all mounting brackets for the alternator, PS pump and AC compressor (if your Skylark was so equpped). If you don't do this, you can easily go nuts trying to find drive parts which will work together.

    There are a couple of parts compatibility issues to watch out for, and they hinge mainly on whether you are running a long or short water pump. The water pump change was sometime in the late 60s - I think around 68 or 69. You can run either water pump on any year 1st gen engine. That is, the pump will bolt onto the block and work. However, with a short pump you will need a left side exhaust manifold with mounting holes for the alternator. The long pump will work with any exhaust manifolds, but then you will need heads which have accessory mounting holes on the end of the head.

    If you aren't very Chevy-oriented, some of this may not make a whole lot of sense right now, but it will once you start looking at parts for the engine. If you are unsure of what you might need, ask here before you lay down any money for parts. If you can't get adequate answers here for your questions, I recommend that you visit a very good Chevy board called Chevy Talk.

    The other annoyances you will run into are mainly wiring-related. This is because some electrical components are located in different places on the Buick and Chevy engines. An obvious one is the distributor, but you also need to accommodate the oil and temperature senders, and possibly the alternator. Short pump Chevys mount the alternator on the left side and long pump Chevys mount it on the right. The good news is that Chevy and Buick starters are both on the right side, so you shouldn't need to do anything to the starter wiring or battery cable.

    Good luck with your project, and please keep us posted on how it is coming along.

    Ray

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    Motor

    Im sorry ray I didnt mean block! I got a complete 350 from pan to air filter! 500 dollars. heard it run on the engine stand. oil pressure was great.plugs were ok.Listened with a mechanics stethoscope. so far i replaced the intake manifold wit an edelbrock 1201 and replaced the rochester carb with a edelbrock carb (600 cfm). i trashed the old water pump nd will be replacing with a weiand. Once i get that one she will be ready for her transmission:] . I appreciate alll the help ray! My power steering pump from my skylark? That can stay right)

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    suspension question??

    also ray I was wondering will I have to upgrade my front suspension for the heavy a load of the 350?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jno1987 View Post
    My power steering pump from my skylark? That can stay right
    That's a real big maybe. The Buick pump mounting bracket likely won't fit the Chevy. If the Chevy came with a bracket, try mounting the pump on it - you just might get lucky. If it doesn't fit, you will need a Chevy pump the same year as the engine. If no bracket on the Chevy, get that first (same year as the engine) and try the Buick pump on it. Worst case: you will have to get a Chevy bracket AND pump.

    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by jno1987 View Post
    I was wondering will I have to upgrade my front suspension for the heavy a load of the 350?
    It depends on where you want the car to ride. If you want stock height, you will need V-8 springs, possibly even V-8 with A/C, because I think the small block Chevy weighs slightly more than the small block Buick. I suspect you could just run V-8 Nova springs instead and end up at the same height. A set of shocks would be a good idea too, unless you know the ones in there now are relatively new.

    If you are planning to lower the car anyway, I would say leave the front end alone until after you get everything bolted in so you can see how much the Chevy pulls it down.

    Ray

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