Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects Advice for a 63 f85 cutlass Project.

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Donuts & Peelouts, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. WHAT'S UP,
    Im new to the site, but have been lurking for months you could say. A little about me, Im a little green around the ears due to circumstance in life to do with my past I have not had the time or the car guys in my life to pass down knowledge. I have in the past 3 years have had my nose in books, my ass in auto shop class in community college, and under a car or hood…to the point now if I aint talking about cars, Im really just wondering when the conversation is going to go back to cars. Im a 31 years old sponge aka virgin who has yet to do an engine swap but all that is changing. My acquired knowledge will now put to test and use, but like I said earlier I can still smell the green around my ear.

    Recently I got a real good deal for two 1963 Olds F85 for 850$. One a convertible 90%complete with engine and tranny that I will be leaving stock. The other a hardtop with no engine/tranny that I will be building up with something more ballsy than the 215 v8/ slimjim option
    . IMG_44181.jpg IMG_17041.jpg

    While researching this what I have came to understand. My car shares similarity to the Buick special. Cutlass, jetfires, and specials from 61-63 share the same engine, trans. The tempest and the corvair are different respectfully. the car is a unibody structure. the 63 is an one year car. the trans tunnel will need to get hacked. my differential is week and unique. my steering linkage will also be problematic it being behind more than usual. Ive heard of people swapping in mustang ll front suspension but need for info on it. So yes I understand this will be a tall order, but im up for it.

    to have strong engine. to be drivable across state lines and to able upset the neighborhood ricers and new school plastic muscle cars off the streetlight.

    to retain my heat and factory AC. or find an option to retro fit.

    to upgrade to 5 bolts/ disc brakes.

    to not spend an arm and leg.

    real end swap


    While researching and lurking in forums I have come to the conclusion (but not yet sure) that the Buick 350 would be the best fit due to its light weight (450 lbs, my engine was the olds 215 that weighted 330lbs)
    the distributor is in the front and I hope this might clear the the heater core on my firewall. So what would you do in a budget situation for my goals, what engine should I also consider, keep in mind I will only put a General Moters engine in this car.



    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  2. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 1,334


    Welcome to the other side...Years ago I had a 62 Buick Skylark convert I ran the 215 aluminum v-8 with a 650 Holley and a m-21 Muncie 4 SPD stock rear with stick gears and it held its own I later found a factory turbo charged 215 but I never got it put in the car...It was fun little car....On your convert don't ever jack up the car from one end or the other with both doors open and the top down.....Good luck with it....

    Sent from my QTAQZ3 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  3. Thanks man.

    "don't ever jack up the car from one end or the other with both doors open and the top down." Ouch, thanks for that one. Appriciate your post. Im looking to switch up the auto trans in the convert to a stick too. Alot of people have told me the 215 has been real good for them, which makes me happy for sure.
    rudestude likes this.
  4. You made me laugh lol. Those air inlets man, they are nice. This is a beautiful car I agree with you on the wheels. I wonder whats under the hood?

    Sent from my SM-J700T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Wow, I really like this body style. And the blacked out grill makes it sinister.
    This should be Another one for the most overlooked cars thread.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  6. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 1,942

    from SW Wyoming

    You can also use a 455 Buick instead of the 350. Light weight, and lots of torque. They are the same engine externally.
  7. Thanks s55mercury66 I didn't know they are the externally. When I was 16 my old neighbor took for a spin in his chopped buick 51 with a 455 swap in it, I think my hit the back on my head it had so much go.
    I appreciate your post

    Sent from my SM-J700T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 1,334


    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. Thanks man I appreciate it. I'm The junkyard right now check this out 20170319_140921.jpg

    Sent from my SM-J700T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. Not the same.455 has a taller deck height. 350 heads and lower components will interchange, but not the intake manifolds. 455 will have additional clearance issues.
  11. My friend, you've picked one of the harder cars out there to modify, especially for a self proclaimed newbie.
    The farther you get from original with the drivetrain, the harder this will become.
    You haven't mentioned the transmission yet...a major consideration to the plan.
    Have you thought about or researched how you will strengthen up the rear end assembly?
    My advice, from what I've heard so far, is to put the convertible back together, near to stock as possible, and use the coupe for a parts car.
    Probably not what you want to hear.
    belair and Just Gary like this.
  12. Markyac - dont trip I need that info but have heard it in another forum I frequent. And the way you wrote it makes me feel your just looking out for me, thanks.
    "The farther you get from original with the drivetrain, the harder this will become."
    I do agree with you, Ive spent days and nights in constant thought on an attack plan and your quote comes across my thoughts. Prior to the purchase, I did not know to this extent how hard of a car I picked for my first. Oh how easy if it was just 64, but its not. And for that reason I like it more plus other reasons.
    As far as the transmission, I plan on cutting the transmission tunnel and reenforcing it. Ive seen online a company selling chassis stiffening kits
    some bodys told me they use a ford explo rear end, ive read on s10 rear ends.
    I do need help though, thats why I am here.
  13. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,675


    The 215,was used by Buick and Olds,but in different configuration I believe.Rover took over the buick 215 and used it for many years I believe.Also some other buick engine parts interchange.But do a search on the internet.
  14. You are right. One more year makes a world of difference.
    I'm sure nobody makes a kit like what's shown, for your car. It's going to be a complete fab and welding job, with your current plans.
    Hate to see you stuck with that Slim Jim, but anything else will be major surgery.
    Here's how I did the tunnel in my Tempest.No fancy tools..but even a sheet metal brake. Just two pieces of angle iron and a bench vise.
    You up for something like this? 100_2956.JPG 100_2958.JPG
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  15. for Buick performance parts.

    Buicks are a little more of a challenge for parts.
  16. I am up for something like that. Luckily my Grandpas gonna start teaching me to weld, he used to paint hearse's in his day. I like you set up. Thanks alot

    Sent from my SM-J700T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. Steve Ray likes this.
  18. Forgot to mention my Miller 220v mig.
  19. chryslerfan55 likes this.
  20. Slim Jim was used by Buick, your Olds, like mine used a Roto-Hydramatic the forerunner of the dual mass flywheel transmission. It takes an adapter to run ANY automatic behind the 215, the olds is harder due to the "flywheel" they used with the ROTO. I am in he process of building a Oldsmobile 215 to put in a radical custom. ^ as stated above the Buick and Oldsmobile share a few parts, but a lot is different. You will need to change over to a 300-340 water pump as you cannot get a new or reman 215. Cardone may be able to rebuild yours. The heads and every thing about them is different down to the valve locks. Compression ratio is where this motor made its power. A friend in high school had one that won the burn-out competition 3 years in a row.........every time I see one of those bodies it screams GASSER......
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  21. Thanks Ricks Garage for your info, I plan on a manual tranny behind the 215, I'm hearing the t5 have had good luck behind them

    Sent from my SM-J700T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. Yes, if you are going to do any suspension work with it.
    Incidentally, this is not a good area to be practice- welding.
    Lincoln 180 HD..minimum. Don't waste your money on any lesser units.
  23. No. Not correct.
    Buick used a dual path Dynaflow in the 61-63 Special. Model 10 Roto -hydramatic IS nicknamed the slim jim, and used in F85's and full sized Pontiac and Olds.
    Anyway, it's going away, and that's a good thing.
    I assume one can get a Rover bell housing and flywheel. Clutch linkage ; probably easiest with hydraulic t.o. bearing..
    Still, much more fabricating
  24. No, not really.There are racing chassis books, but you're not there yet. LOL
    First thing you might want to do it learn how to make cardboard patterns of brackets, braces ,etc. Then learn how to transfer to metal, and tack-weld into place. Find someone who's real good with a mig, and grab a second helmet from H-F, and watch how he does it. Then practice on some scrap metal.
    Don't practice on your car, at first. Follow me?
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  25. Lol I follow you. Im going to do just that, u've been such good help. So glad you came accross the my post. its funny the other day I spent the a night mocking up a whole LS engine from cardboard and tried to get a visual,a used ALOT of tape lol thats when I saw the heater core needed to go...
  26. long island vic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2002
    Posts: 2,147

    long island vic

    I have a 62 jetfire,, just cut out the floor and firewall. add a 2x3 chassic,, bbc , 9 inch , wac tube axle some custom rear springs and your on you way... do it on a tv show and you should be on the road a two for a rear, a g body 9 inch is a bolt in
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.