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Projects Oh No!!! It Can't Be...Another Gasser Build? Yup, 1961 Buick Skylark

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BloodyKnuckles, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. great post! I also owned one of those cars. Mine was a 62 special 2 door sedan with the 215 aluminum V/8.....had leaky head gaskets and it was in the army in way to get my new gaskets then so I drove it with jerry cans of water in the trunk.
    I sold it to one of the cooks who said he was gonna drop a 401 in it. I came back to the states...never got to see what he did with it.
  2. Stevie,

    I plan to raise the axle mount to make the panhard bar level with the axle. Also I have a bracket that connects the frame rails together that connects to the upper panhard bolt.

    Thanks man,

  3. Today sucked.

    I planned on starting on the front spring mounts but everything went a bit haywire today. I first had to spin the car around so I used the engine hoist and moved it around. Worked real well. Then I decided to screw with the springs and the axle. The springs are tapered from front to back in width. The front mount is narrower than the rear mount so I fooled with ways to get them to become parallel. I can make them work well. Then I wanted to change out the drums for discs but the spacers for the disc kit does not slide over the spindle. Another hurdle. Then decided to slide the engine over and do more figuring and found that the 401 is going to be real tight. Real tight.

    So all in all it wasn't as productive today as it's been but now I know what I'm up against.

    One pic for today;


  4. hotdamn
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 2,082


    a little pda,
    I couldn't be more proud of you bro!

    you have been busting your ass on this thing.

    I really appreciate your focus and drive.

    I'm proud of you boobie...
  5. Damn that looks good....just my .02....but i'd leave the black walls on it. I like the look
  6. Looking good Ron, keep going brother.

    I know you said you're going to keep the body stock, but those rear wheel wells are screaming out to be radiused (and moved forward about a foot).
  7. Black walls are definately going in the back but whitwalls are going up front. Also, I would love to radius the wheel wells but I don't have the balls. We'll see though.

    Thanks again for the vote of confidence guys. It'll keep me pecking along.

  8. doc's
    Joined: Mar 5, 2006
    Posts: 201


  9. Great day today!!!

    I went to the shop today with a clear mind. I decided I was going to slide the engine under the car and slowly pull it up into the engine bay. With help from fellow HAMBer and friend Brad Todd we raised it into place. It took a while but we were able to get it moved around to allow enough clearance. The heater core location is centered on the firewall and is now the home for the distributer. I then fabricated the transmission mount crossmember. It took along time as well but I couldn't be more happier.

    Here are some pics from today;


    A shot of the shop from my car leaving at 1:30am...fuck it's been a long day!

    The amazing thing about this car is it's interchangeability with the Electra. The transmission mount location is real close to the original tranny. The linkage for the transmission bolts right up including the original frame pivot point. The speedo cable also fits. I have been surprised how similar the two cars are.

    Thanks for keeping up with my build. I have truely enjoyed everyones comments. It gives me a bit of a drive to continue. Thanks.

  10. Great progress for the day, it's pretty cool how everything is just falling together for ya... How about you take half a day off... go and buy yourself a "good" shop camera... you deserve it...
  11. Great progress on this. You´re really getting this done fast!
  12. Hey Bloody,

    The "Freaky Gasser Thingy" is really coming together! Man you work fast! I wish I had the room and drive you have. I'd be toolin' 'round in my pickup in no time!

    Can I come by and see it in person April 2? I'm coming in for the Friday edition of the AutoFair.
  13. JeremyJames
    Joined: Aug 11, 2008
    Posts: 432

    from concord NC

    so much for the race to the finish between the two of us....i think your car is gonna be done a good bit quicker.
  14. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,565

    from Garner, NC

    LOL, now I know why you are putting the engine in from the bottom, I see a VW, dude they are not the same. :eek::eek::D

    Good job man...
  15. rjgideon
    Joined: Sep 12, 2005
    Posts: 522


    Looking good, Daddy Sac.
  16. ironhunter
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 406

    Member don't mean it?? Could it be because...they're both Buicks :D

    Just playin. I did a '64 Skylark a few years ago and stripped out a '64 Cat beside it. Dropped the 401/ST400 in the Skylark, moved the rear crossmember back 4" (if I recall correctly) and bolted the tranny down with stock mount. Had to fab the front mounts, but if '65-6 GS mounts weren't so scarce I wouldn't have had to do that. With a set of 3.73's out of a 65 LeSabre rear, that little car was a screamer.
    Love ya little Buick, buddy...keep up the good work. The Skylarks are the best-looking mid-size cars GM built through the '60s IMO, and nothing looks better when well-executed.

    Ray Elkins
    Building hot rod Nailheads since most of ya were shittin ya diapers :D
  17. ironhunter
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 406


    hehe...I wish when I built the '64 Skylark that I could have done that. The Skylarks are tight, even for a physically small V8 like the Nailhead.

  18. Even though they are both Buicks of the same year, one's a fullsize and the other is a "compact". I'm just amazed that with 2 cars of completely different statures could be so similar. I have been very lucky up to this point.

    Thanks for the compliment.

  19. Today was a nothing day. I went to the shop and did a bunch of figuring. I am now working on the engine mounts. The frame goes up in an arch which doesn't give you much choice when fabricating the mounts. I was completely ready to make them but was not satisfied with all the ideas I came up with. I really don't want it to look like I just slapped it together. This may be the toughest thing on the entire build.

    I'm not sure when the next update will be but you'll know.


  20. I need one...huh?

  21. This one quote and all the other picture updates that start with "sorry for the shitty pics..." Prompted my comment... :confused:

    The car is coming along sweet and looks great, keep on plugging and keep the updates flowing, crappy camera or not... :D
  22. Oh...I am totally with you on the camera!! I need one so bad. We have a great one so when she gets home I'll take some better pics of the whole project.

    Thanks for sticking in there with me and my shitty pics:D

  23. So...I don't normally ask for this kind of assistance because I like to figure things out on my own. That's what I like the most about building cars is using that lump of grey matter in my skull called a brain.

    I have the engine in the hole. The tranny mount is made and installed. Now I need engine mounts.

    Here is a shot of the frame and engine mount;


    Now I know I could come off of the frame mount with a piece of 2x2 to the front of the frame level and then attach mounting legs for the engine mounts to that but my thought process would be that it would look peiced together. Then I thought of plating the side of the frame and bringing the arch down lower and the attaching the legs, nope. On top of the engine mount I also need a location for a steering box.

    So how would some of you tackle this? I love the arch of the frame and would rather not block it with another frame rail. I could have already had this done but I'm not thrilled with what I think the final result would look like. So any bit of feedback would be great.

  24. Man you are kickin' butt on gettin' this thing done...sleepin' much?

  25. :confused::confused::confused:Quick thought, not knowing what the engine to frame rail space dimensions are... have you considered a cradle from frame rail to frame rail going under the front of the engine? You could come off of it for your engine mounts, and probably mount a steering box to it as well. Maybe fabricate a u-shaped mounting plate to fit around the frame that bolts in... you could still drop the engine out the bottom... :confused::confused::confused:
  26. Not really any ideas, but you should definitely try to keep the ability to drop the engine out underneath.
  27. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,230


    I think this may a good solution and it'd allow you to get creative too.
  28. Here's some more pics of the one running around SoCal, these are from Goodguys OC last weekend...







  29. This is one of my thoughts also. I will definately make it so I could still remove it from the bottom. I also need to figure out which steering box to use. I may just incorporate the steering box mount into the cradle. Good thoughts. Thanks!

    Ken, I don't need no stinking sleep. You need to see what time my update posts appear:D.

    SoCalCC...Thanks so much for the additional pics of this Skylark. I've been hoping to see a few more. Nice car!!

  30. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,489


    JMHO, so take it for what it's worth.

    If it were mine, I think I'd do a lower cage that cradles the engine, and has the front suspension as well as the steering box mounted to it.

    If the cage were made out of "roll bar tubing", it could enhance the "maximum street effort" look without taking away from the existing lines.

    Also, as a complete unit, you could un-bolt the 4 or 6 places the cradle ataches to the frame, the "rag joint" from the box, and 2 brake lines, and then lift the entire body off the engine and front suspension assembly.

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