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any one use a buick 350 in a hot rod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Duration, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    Duration
    Member
    from Wayne, MI

    I got a chance to pick up a 350 buick engine out of a old century. its cheap and it runs great. i was told by a local hambr that these are light engines that run good. any one here ever mess with one? i have no need for it right now but its hard to pass up a good deal on an old engine! does it take the old buick/olds/pontiac transmision?
     
  2. Yes, it'll take the BOP trannies. If I remember (I'm not a GM fellow) the internals of these have very little in common with their 350 Chevy bretheren. Also, you'll need Buick specific intakes, water pumps, etc.

    I don't know the power potential of these, but I'm sure someone here will know. Squirrel, are you awake?
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 38,472

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    yup, it's a buick engine, completely different from a chevy 350. Has quite a bit in common with the older Buick 3.8 V6
     
  4. Mudslinger
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,946

    Mudslinger
    Member

    I have used them. Good engines. Has the front oil pump/ timing cover.
    I have a factory 4v intake for one still and new pistons and rings.
     
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  5. Silhouettes 57
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 2,793

    Silhouettes 57
    Member

    I ran one in a '58 Chevy pick-up I had back in the late 80's. Used it to haul cars on a trailer with it, pretty good old motor.
     
  6. Rocky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,221

    Rocky
    Classified Editor

    I had one in a winter-beater 79 full size wagon. It was stock as a bone and had a Q-jet on it....used more gas than any 350 V/8 of any make I ever had. After I sold it, the new owner finally found the sporatic knock when the vibration dampener fell off.
     
  7. Frosty21
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 959

    Frosty21
    Member
    from KY

    Isn't the displacement actually like 310 or so?

    Ah...one guy I know hacked an Wildcat all to hell to get the engine out of there. Read about them a little.
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 38,472

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    by the time they made the 350 V8 they got away from showing the torque rating on the air cleaner. The engine we're talking about is actually a 350 cubic inch engine.
     
  9. Sam F.
    Joined: Mar 28, 2002
    Posts: 4,225

    Sam F.
    BANNED

    i stuck one in this truck i built...

    ,,it was CHEAP and ran great!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ,,man,,,..i still trip out on that truck,,i sold it SO cheap....
     
  10. telriv
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 67

    telriv
    Member
    from Conn.

    The 350 Buicks have been known to make in excess of 1000 HP. It's the lightest of all the 350's at about 450lbs. Used to be a throw away engine in favor of the Buick 455's but can make more HP without it's bottom end ending up on the pavement. The block's bottom end is reminesent of the "Ole NailHead" with modern heads.

    Tom T.
     
  11. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,704

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    I did a brief overview of these motors on here...seems a thousand years ago maybe?! (Might find it in the tech section???)

    Anyhow...I built one for my ex-wife's old car and really came to like 'em. They're a nearly 'sqaure' engine, that is to say, the bore and stroke are nearly the same. At a glance, they look much like the "big block" Buicks...430s and 455s...but they're physically smaller (lower deck height) and things like intake manifolds don't interchange between them.

    The Buick 350 came about in 68 I think, and was used up until at least 1980 (my ex-wife's car was an 80) before the Buicks started getting the "corporate" Chevy and Olds V8s. In addition to old Buicks, you can find these engines in some old Jeeps as well. I've even seen a few late 60s Cherokees with the Buick 350 engine and manual transmissions...so you can find stick shift parts for them if you look hard enough. A classmate also had an early 70s Apollo (looks like a Nova) with a Buick 350 and a 'three on the tree', so there were GM stick shift applications for these mills as well...however rare they might be! Aside from that, they bolt up to your common B-O-P automatics.

    These engines are indeed light...somewhere around 450lbs, making them rivals with the small block Fords for the lightest of the 'modern' cast iron V8s. The distributors are up front at an angle and the oil pumps are integral with the front timing cover.

    When it comes to building one of these motors for performance, they do respond well and the one I did really surprised me, amking me love them all that much more! Crane makes a decent selection of cams for them, as do some of the Buick sepcialty guys like Poston Enetrprises, T/A Performance and Kenne Bell. You'll have to go to those specialists for anything other than a factory cast-iron 2v or Qjet intake, though...as the aftermarket guys such as Edelbrock never bothered to offer an aluminum intake for these. You can get one from the guys mentioned above, though...and that would just make your motor even lighter...in addition to building a few more ponies!

    Headers will likely be something you'd have to whip up on your own, unless you could modify or adapt 455 headers destined for a 70-72 Skylark/GS to your application or something?! I just ran the stock exhaust manifolds on the one I did with true 2" duals out to the back of the car and that was fine for a mild 'street motor'.

    When you go to buy your gasket set for the timing cover, you're more than likely going to get a rope seal for the crank/balancer seal, as this is the way they were from the factory and how they were offered by Fel-Pro and such. My old machine shop clued me in to the fact that the timing covers on the Buick 350 are the same as the ones used on the older 3.8 V6 Buicks, and they installed a modern neoprene seal into my old cover and tossed the rope seal in the garbage. You can also buy two different TRW oil pump rebuild kits for these engines...a standard and a high volume. The machine shop advised me to go with the high volume kit, so I went with that.

    These engines came with points distributors up until 1974, and had HEI distributors after that, so you can run either points or electronic, whichever you prefer in these motors using factory parts. I ran the HEI because it came with the car. I just had the speed shop re-curve the stock distributor and then I equipped it with an Accel HEI coil for Buick engines, a new cap and Blue Max wires.

    Initially, I ran a 525cfm Carter carb on the old Buick 350 and that worked fine...but after the divorce, when she gave me the car, I ran a Holley 600 on it for a little better performance overall. My ex was more concerned with fuel economy and easy starts, so I ran the electric choke Carter on it for her.

    I ran a fairly healthy Crane cam in that old engine and it had a nasty sounding idle, but still enough vacuum to operate the power brakes...barely! It came off the line pretty good and REALLY came on from about 2500rpm +!! My ex was always telling me how guys would look at her and the car kinda funny when she'd be sitting at a light with it rumbling like that. Make no mistake...she was a leadfoot and worked that thing out plenty of times! The only thing she ever complained about was that it didn't get the same mileage it did when it was stock. Ha Ha...oh well, ya can't have EVERYTHING, right?!

    All in all...the little Buick 350 is a GREAT motor in my opinion...and terribly under-rated. Maybe that's a good thing, though?! I'd consider one in any heap where weight was a concern and a low buck performer was the order of the day. The engines are usually cheap to buy, but be warned that intakes and such from the Buick specialists aren't gonna carry small block Chevy price tags!! I spent some bucks building the little 350 several years ago...and maybe coulda just swapped in a stock 455 for the same money...but I wanted to see what I could do with that 350, and I wasn't disappointed!!!

    :cool:
     
    Richard D likes this.
  12. skyphix
    Joined: Mar 13, 2007
    Posts: 20

    skyphix
    Member

    I've run a Buick 350 in both of my 70 A-bodies. Current one is slightly built. Performance parts aren't cheap, nothing major swaps with the chevy/olds/pontiac 350's, but I've loved both of mine, especially the one I just sold.

    You can get 350 Headers from TA Performance or Postons ( I have Postons on my car ) but probably nothing for you application. You may even be able to get just the flanges from Postons but you'd have to call to find out.

    Also, Buick 350's are fully skirted, and the block is considerably stronger than the large Buicks.
     
  13. JSBriggs
    Joined: Nov 9, 2006
    Posts: 122

    JSBriggs
    Member
    from Auburn, CA

    I know that they dont last in diesel guise....:rolleyes:

    -Jeff
     
  14. skyphix
    Joined: Mar 13, 2007
    Posts: 20

    skyphix
    Member

    That would be the Oldsmobile Diesel 350, different from the other 350s.
     
  15. peanut
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 488

    peanut
    Member

    i have a 77 regal with a bone stock buick 350. and i really like it. i am going to upgrade the carb and intake and a very mild cam. i just put a high volume oil pump in it with a upgrade plate for worn pumps. really the oil pump is the only weak spot about them. my grandmother gave it to me about a month ago it only has 34k on it!!! she is 94 and still going srtong!
     
  16. skyphix
    Joined: Mar 13, 2007
    Posts: 20

    skyphix
    Member

    Watch out with the high volume oil pump on Buicks, can put some wear and tear on the distributor drive gear. You're probably better off with the spacer plate like you've got an the adjustable spring kit from ta performance with a stock-type pump.
     
  17. dezaster
    Joined: Oct 21, 2005
    Posts: 162

    dezaster
    Member
    from u.k.

    hey sam F you got any more pics of that truck, looks pretty damn cool.
     
  18. got one in a 69' wagoneer. they were stock in those from 68-71. also have one in a 71 skylark 4dr hdt., they run great and can be had cheap. nothing like something cheap to get you rolling. the skylark will blow the tires off the rims and spin you around in the street. go for it!
     
  19. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    Duration
    Member
    from Wayne, MI

    i got the engine today and its a 400 buick. from what i can tell it's from a 67. the seller thout it was a 350. thank you for all of the information any way. looks like a big block buick to me. like a 455.
     
  20. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,704

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    The 400 from 1967 is a member of the big block Buick family, along with the 430 and 455. Stuff like intakes, headers, distributors, heads, etc will swap amongst those three. It's not at all related to the 350 Buick as far as parts interchangeability goes. Not a bad motor if you got it for a fair price, though.

    Whatchya gonna do with it???
     

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