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1986 S10
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It’s been a while since I posted, been pretty busy lately. In my original post with this truck last year I indicated that I was going to put a twin turbo’d 3.8 Buick in it, but I have since abandoned that idea because I decided that it was just gay, so I went ahead and put a small block Chevrolet in it instead. So glad that I did! The engine is a 317 ci SBC with a nice little cam in it with a TH 350 behind it with a nice shift kit in it. Right now it still has the stock rear end with the 3.08 gear. I have acquired a 3.42 gear set and a posi traction unit that I am going to put in it very soon. This thing is a blast to drive. I lowered the front end by cutting the springs, right now it’s sitting on the bump stops. I do intend to put some drop spindles and some new springs on it, but I just haven’t gotten there yet. In the back I removed two leafs from each spring and then added a 1 inch block and I also fabricated some traction bars that weld directly to the lower spring plates. The traction bars made a tremendous difference in the way this thing drives.











 

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Boozebag
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Looks pretty nice from here.

If it makes you happy... nothing else matters Dood.
These trucks can be a blast to drive with a little more bag under the hood.
Looks like you have that cornered pretty well! (y)

Traction bars make a HUGE difference. No more axle hop.
Nice fab work.
Nice wheels too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. It does run very well, it’s quite a bit faster than I expected it would be. I have built lots and lots of small block Chevrolet’s over the years and in my best estimate I think this one is probably making somewhere around 250 to 275 hp. It doesn’t have anything down low but it really comes on strong around 3500 rpm or so. It’ll surprise ya.
 

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Been there Done it
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Small V8 and and 3.08 gears tend to be a bit weak getting going. The 3.42 will help. With 317 cubes, 4.10 and 700R4 would be ideal. Highway rpms would be lower than what they are now in OD. The lockup converter would help keep them down. Your launch with the step 1st gear in the 700R4 would be much improved. 3.06 1st vs 2.52 in the TH350. Combining that with a 4.10 rear would make the truck a beast. Over all first would be 12.55 vs the 7.5 you have now. And it would bet better gas mileage.
GM dropped the TH350 nearly 40 years ago for a reason.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Small V8 and and 3.08 gears tend to be a bit weak getting going. The 3.42 will help. With 317 cubes, 4.10 and 700R4 would be ideal. Highway rpms would be lower than what they are now in OD. The lockup converter would help keep them down. Your launch with the step 1st gear in the 700R4 would be much improved. 3.06 1st vs 2.52 in the TH350. Combining that with a 4.10 rear would make the truck a beast. Over all first would be 12.55 vs the 7.5 you have now. And it would bet better gas mileage.
GM dropped the TH350 nearly 40 years ago for a reason.
lol...I'm fully aware of the math. Not planning on doing any highway trips with this thing, it's purely just a toy. In fact, I like the 3.08 gear just fine. You might be surprised how hard it pulls. The biggest problem it has with the current configuration is ZERO traction. It'll spin that right rear wheel 200+ yards if you stay with it. I'd keep that gear if I could find a 2 series posi unit, but it doesn't appear that they exist for a 7.5. I picked up a complete axle with a 3.42 and a gov-loc for $100, so I'm going with that instead. It came out of a 4wd blazer, so it's too wide. I'm going to gut it and install the parts in my existing axle. I'll have to get different axle shafts because it's 28 spline, my originals are 26 spline.
 

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Boozebag
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A suggestion:
You can buy a ratchet type unit that is a bolt in for about $400.
They work pretty well, but the only drawback - they can be noisy.
You may be aware that they are available. They take the place of the spider gears.
The Gov lock unit will hatch pretty quickly with V8 power. They are know to pop the centrifugal section of the unit.

$100 is cheap, but it probably won't last very long. And... it is not a direct swap from one axle to the other as you know.
You need to set the pinion depth and gear lash.
I have seen guys swap from one to the other, but many times the gear set howls.

LOCK RIGHT LOCKER BY POWERTRAX - FITS GM 7.625 inch - 28 SPLINE | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A suggestion:
You can buy a ratchet type unit that is a bolt in for about $400.
They work pretty well, but the only drawback - they can be noisy.
You may be aware that they are available. They take the place of the spider gears.
The Gov lock unit will hatch pretty quickly with V8 power. They are know to pop the centrifugal section of the unit.

$100 is cheap, but it probably won't last very long. And... it is not a direct swap from one axle to the other as you know.
You need to set the pinion depth and gear lash.
I have seen guys swap from one to the other, but many times the gear set howls.

LOCK RIGHT LOCKER BY POWERTRAX - FITS GM 7.625 inch - 28 SPLINE | eBay
I've been building rearends for 30 years. I'm pretty sure I'll have success with this one. I have also had good luck with gov-locs over the years. The key to their longevity is good maintenance and not abusing them. Properly applied they work fantastic. Especially in a light weight vehicle. One trick I have used on a gov-loc is adding some weight to the governor so it engages more quickly - before the slipping wheel gains too much speed. This drastically improves their reliability.

There are 2 series posi carriers available for the 7.5, they're just very uncommon. I haven't been able to locate any new ones in stock anywhere, but they did come from the factory in some F bodies. The vast majority of which are now Chinese razor blades. There is one on ebay right now for $200, but I liked $100 better - plus it came with a 3.42 gear.

Those ratcheting type lockers are really intended for slow-moving off-road type use. They will work in street car type applications for a little while...but they do wear out fairly quickly in those kinds of conditions. Also, they will put a lot of metal into your gear oil, too.
 

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Boozebag
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Sometimes it's really difficult to gauge what a person has done (mechanical ability) by a single thread.
There have been forum members that say they will simply swap internal rear end components from one unit to the other. You know how that can go.
I wasn't saying that you don't know what you are doing, I was trying to help out a little.

I have had "Detroit Lockers" in a few of my vehicles - they can make some scary noises.

If you use this rig as a fun mobile, and not for everyday use, I think it will probably not be an issue for the unit wearing out quickly.

I have installed an aluminum cover with bearing support on 2 of my S10s, they have both fill and drain plugs built in for a higher maintenance style performance carrier.
One is a Gov Lock 3.42, the other a custom built Eaton Posi with 4.10 gear. Both are disc brake examples.

You are probably familiar with TA Performance. They make a cover for the S10 axle. They are on eBay for about $165

Ok, enough of this - again, it sounds like you have a solid handle on this build so I'll cut out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep, very familiar with TA performance. I have a 1966 Buick skylark with a hot 455 in it. I don’t plan to put slicks on this thing or drag race it so I will probably just stick with the OEM cover. So far I only have $1800 tied up in this project from the very start and that includes the brand new engine. You can see my Skylark on the lift in the background in this picture.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
More Buquick pics please.
This car is a rust free Carolina survivor. It has not had very much restoration work done, just a cheap paint job and a new vinyl top. It still had the original 300 in it when I got it and I promptly removed that and put a 455 in it.



 

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Boozebag
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Hmmm...
I have a '64 Special with an Olds 350/400 in it, a '65 Special that is pretty rusty 300/turbine 2 speed and a '68 GS 400 with original engine and TH400. Needs a total restore.
I also have a Buick 350 engine that was used by a mechanic school with zero miles on it. GM donated it so the kids could take it apart and reassemble it. It doesn't have any engine numbers on the block.

On top of it all, I have a '65 401 nailhead with a super rare 4 speed set up which I planned on installing in my '64 Special. The engine has the correct engine mounts and oil pan for for the 64 chassis. The transmission is an M21 close ratio. I had a factory dual quad intake, but someone offered me a lot of $$ so down the road it went.

I have way too many other Buick parts - a 78 Toyota Celica with a '63 3.5 liter (215 CID aluminum) V8/5 speed, and a 1970 MGB GT with the same engine/M21 in it.
I have 2 barns and a tractor trailer box full of stuff.
I could jack for a while, but I've already said enough.

Anyway, super nice looking Skylark. I've always had a spot for Buicks. Thanks for posting pix!
What did you do for the engine build? T/A has some really nice aluminum heads/ parts for the 455. ($$$$)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, now do LUV pics please.
Hahahaha! Funny you should mention that - you know, out of all the neat stuff I own, that LUV truck draws the biggest crowd anywhere I go in it. It has a homemade plywood seat in it and you can see the road through the floor. The only reason I have it is because it's 4wd - that thing will climb a tree. I use it off road mostly on my place here. I have about 21 acres, mostly wooded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hmmm...
I have a '64 Special with an Olds 350/400 in it, a '65 Special that is pretty rusty 300/turbine 2 speed and a '68 GS 400 with original engine and TH400. Needs a total restore.
I also have a Buick 350 engine that was used by a mechanic school with zero miles on it. GM donated it so the kids could take it apart and reassemble it. It doesn't have any engine numbers on the block.

On top of it all, I have a '65 401 nailhead with a super rare 4 speed set up which I planned on installing in my '64 Special. The engine has the correct engine mounts and oil pan for for the 64 chassis. The transmission is an M21 close ratio. I had a factory dual quad intake, but someone offered me a lot of $$ so down the road it went.

I have way too many other Buick parts - a 78 Toyota Celica with a '63 3.5 liter (215 CID aluminum) V8/5 speed, and a 1970 MGB GT with the same engine/M21 in it.
I have 2 barns and a tractor trailer box full of stuff.
I could jack for a while, but I've already said enough.

Anyway, super nice looking Skylark. I've always had a spot for Buicks. Thanks for posting pix!
What did you do for the engine build? T/A has some really nice aluminum heads/ parts for the 455. ($$$$)
That 401 woulda never had an M21 behind it from the factory, but I guess you know that. Shoulda been a Borg Warner. I have 3 complete Buick 300's, one of them has an ultra rare 4 barrel intake on it off of a 340. Also have 2 working ST300 transmissions. I'd make you a deal on all that stuff you couldn't refuse if you want it. One of the 300's is brand new.

My 455 came out of a 1974 Electra 2 door and had a factory stage 1 option. Sadly, it had mix-matched heads on it when I got it. One had been replaced at some point. Didn't matter though, I put a set of big port 430 heads on it off of a 68 430. Has a crower cam and a B4B intake with a 750 Edelbrock carb on it right now. I figure it makes 400+ ish HP. Right now it has a Th350 behind it with the stock 8.2" BOP 10-bolt and a 2.73 gear. It's a great cruiser. I am slowly accumulating parts to put a 4-speed in it. Not sure if I'll ever actually do it. I just can't come to terms with paying $350 for a parts store grade flywheel for the 455. Not that I can't afford it - it's just a matter of principle for me. I hate price gouging. I have built several 455's over the years, this one will probably be the last one. They're just about cost-prohibitive to work on these days. I got WAY more money in this one than just about any engine I have ever built. I ended up spending nearly a grand on machine work alone. The engine was stuck BAD when I got it. I had to bust all 8 pistons out of it with a hammer and a chisel. After that it cleaned up on .030", it was nothing short of a miracle.
 

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Boozebag
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Excellent...
I used to race big Buicks in Enduro racing on the East Coast (225s, Centurions... remember those? and le Sabers). That and big Pontiacs. They were hard to run off the track...
I used rotted junkers that could be dumped after a race

Yeah, I know about the M21 behind the Nailhead. I didn't get the 4 speed with the engine. I had the M21.

I also had a 421 Pontiac out of a very rotted '65 2+2. I put it in a '71 Nova SS I had a long time ago. I'd give my azz to have that back.
Ever seen a long tail T10? The 2+2 had one.
I have never seen another.

I have several Buick 300s and I also have a 340 4 barrel intake. You're right - rare and Heavy!!
Right now I have more 300/350 parts than 400/430/455 stuff.
I do have the same intake as you - Edelbrock B4B, as well as a Mallory dual point (old) and other stuff -cams, heads etc..

I get it about the 455 flywheel. Buick stuff is not cheap.

I don't know if you've seen these guys:
FW10001 401/425 Buick Nailhead Flywheel
They have some great parts for all sorts of swaps.

I may be interested in some of your Buick clutter. Only prob is I live in hotels. I work for Unkl Sam and travel everywhere.
I am rarely home and need to finish too many projects.
I guess I should quit and pay attention to all of the stuff that needs to be finished and sold.
I'd have a pretty decent pay check from finished/sold projects...
Just have to find the time

Great to hear about your Buick adventures!

Oh, I also have a 79 LUV with a Buick 3.8 in it... It's totally rust free and in great condition.
 
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