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Buick 300 build thread - Joining the dark side... eventually

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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
Well, it's begun...

I bought my 80 roadster specifically because it needed some work. I'm far from a purist and wanted to put my own stamp on the car so a rubber bumper model fit the bill. I also targeted the late models because I had hoped to do a V8 conversion. My original thought was a Rover or Buick 215 which, over the course of the last year or so, has given way to researching bigger Rovers, small block Fords, V6s, and simply supercharging the 4 cyl. that's in it and running fine.

Along comes Jim Blackwood. In a few threads I saw him extolling the virtues of the small block Buick. "Not a lot of people doing it. I wonder why?" I thought to myself. Well, it must be a lot of work and not a good engine and other things. But I'm intrigued and start doing some research. Hmmm... tons of torque and good hp without doing anything to it. Iron heads and intake are heavy! But with the aluminum pieces it lightens up a lot. Matched with a T5 I'll be about 25lbs heavier than the I4 and OD. I won't have a front bumper so I'll actually be ahead by 20 lbs or so on the front end. Something that isn't like what everyone else is doing? Sounds good. More research...

Then one day my wife looks at Millie (the MGB) and says "I thought you were going to put a different engine in that?" Boy, that sounded like permission at the very least, maybe bordering on a command. A brief conversation followed and ended with "Just do it. But not this year because I want to drive it!" So I started shopping. smiling smiley

The current plan is this:
Buick 300 with aluminum heads and 4bbl intake
FITech or Holley Sniper fuel injection
Bellhousing from 75-80 GM V6 w/ external slave for clutch
T5 Chevy version 5 speed
Dana 44 rear end w/3.31 gears
Bill Guzman's 4 link suspension

I've been scouring eBay and Craigslist for a while. Trying to get a gauge on pricing and availability of parts. I picked up a set of gears for the Dana and have several leads on the rear end near me. If it would ever stop snowing I could go check them out. I figured if I couldn't find an engine these could be turned easily enough.

Then this week I saw an ad for a 64 Buick 300 engine for sale. Ad said aluminum heads and 4bbl intake. It was about 40 minutes from me so I went to go look at it. It was a 64 Buick 300, but it was in pieces. The heads looked good, the intake looked good, and the carb was still on it. All usable pieces to be sure, but it wasn't a complete engine. During our chat the guy said he had another 300, but it wasn't a 64. We went into one of the very many sheds and there sits a 65 Skylark with a running 2bbl 300 - with 62,000 miles on it. Sold. Now I have 1 1/2 Buick 300s.

This thread will get an update here and there when I get some of the other pieces together, but the bulk of activity will be when it's time to pull the 1.8 and install the V8. It won't be a conversion on the scale of Chris Gill's as I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible. If I find I need more power I'll build another to swap in.

I'm excited. And I can't thank Jim enough for his help so far!

Here are a couple pictures of where I started and just after paint...



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260mgb Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA, USA   USA
Clinton, Good choice on the motor! Car looks great. You didn't specify, but you probably want the V8 T5 2.95 first and .63 fifth. The right width Jeep Dana 44 is also found in 72-75 CJ5 4x4's in addition to the mail Jeeps.

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Ricey30 Avatar
Ricey30 Phil R
Chessington, Surrey, UK   GBR
Love the colour. Always jealous of the US with the abundance of good muscle parts!

Look forward to next update

Phil

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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 3900491 by 260mgb Clinton, Good choice on the motor! Car looks great. You didn't specify, but you probably want the V8 T5 2.95 first and .63 fifth. The right width Jeep Dana 44 is also found in 72-75 CJ5 4x4's in addition to the mail Jeeps.


You're right, Jim. I had originally looked at the TKO500 because I liked the .68 fifth (2000 rpm = 64 mph with my 195/60/15 tires). The light weight, smaller size, and smooth shifting put the T5 in the plans, though. I also figure I won't need the increased capability of the TKO.

There's a guy about 15 minutes from me with 2 Danas available. Both from 72 CJ5s. I'd have one already if it weren't for the 45" inches of snow we've gotten since Christmas. smiling smiley

I should also thank you for the information in Chris' build thread. Chris and Neil too for taking this swap on and documenting it so well.

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gonzosal Avatar
gonzosal Sal Gonzalez
Hillsboro, OR, USA   USA
1968 MG MGB GT
1977 MG MGB
1979 MG MGB
Clinton,

Smart move not to pull your motor until you were ready to drop in the V8. My sensei (Glen Towery) told me 2 years ago not to pull the motor from my 77B until I was ready to drop in my 3.5 Rover. Did I listen to his advice? NO! Needless to say I have not driven my B or dropped the motor in yet. I hope to get a fresh start this spring.

I did pick up a good stash of Buick 300 components which I may someday drop into my 70 BGT.

I look forward to following your progress.

sal

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gonzosal Avatar
gonzosal Sal Gonzalez
Hillsboro, OR, USA   USA
1968 MG MGB GT
1977 MG MGB
1979 MG MGB
Love your snow shovel collection.

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billymgb1000 Avatar
billymgb1000 Silver Member william gaulin
harrisville, harrisville RI, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB
1974 MG MGB V8 Conversion "Sweet Thing"
Clinton, wow your choice of color and wheel combo is AWESOME!!!!! My favorite color is green but looking at the color on your car makes me second guess my self, LOL. Did you paint the car or have someone do it for you. I can't wait to see the finished product. As i'm sure you can't wait either. Keep the pics coming and good luck with the build.

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260mgb Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA, USA   USA
Clinton, check the V8Buick site and BritishV8 for more 300 build info.

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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 3900905 by gonzosal Clinton,

Smart move not to pull your motor until you were ready to drop in the V8. My sensei (Glen Towery) told me 2 years ago not to pull the motor from my 77B until I was ready to drop in my 3.5 Rover. Did I listen to his advice? NO! Needless to say I have not driven my B or dropped the motor in yet. I hope to get a fresh start this spring.

I did pick up a good stash of Buick 300 components which I may someday drop into my 70 BGT.

I look forward to following your progress.

sal

Yeah... less advice from a sensei and more of a directive from my wife. She got to drive the car for 3 months and then it's been down for over a year already. smiling smiley

The other reason is that I can sell off the motor and transmission from a running, driving car right before I tear it down. It's probably worth more if someone can hear it, drive it, shift it, etc...

In reply to # 3900906 by gonzosal Love your snow shovel collection.

LOL... I live 2 miles west of Lake Michigan. We get so many types of snow here it's amazing. Each of those has a purpose and get used - way too often this year

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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 3901031 by billymgb1000 Clinton, wow your choice of color and wheel combo is AWESOME!!!!! My favorite color is green but looking at the color on your car makes me second guess my self, LOL. Did you paint the car or have someone do it for you. I can't wait to see the finished product. As i'm sure you can't wait either. Keep the pics coming and good luck with the build.


Thank you! The wheels are the Silverstone's from Hap. The car is painted Atomic Silver from the newer Lexus' performance versions. Like most paint it looks better in person.

I had a local guy do the finesse welding and finishing work on the car and then he painted it. I don't have any experience in painting and wanted it done right the first time.

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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 3901497 by 260mgb Clinton, check the V8Buick site and BritishV8 for more 300 build info.

Yes! I've joined the V8Buick site (clinghoffer over there, too), but have just been reading so far.

I am so thankful for everyone that has added information to all of these threads on conversions. It never ceases to amaze me how much people know - and how much they're willing to share and help out.

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psmg Avatar
psmg Silver Member Paul Schils
Fredonia, WI, USA   USA
Clinton, I live 7mi from Port Washington and have done 2 conversions, one with a 215 BOP and one with a 5.0 SBF. If you'd like to get together, let me know.


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1744 Avatar
1744 Gold Member Bill Guzman
CA, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT "Renegade I GT"
1974 MG MGB "Renegade"
Paul you only live a few miles from me. come and visit.

Paul your B is one of my favorite B's.



It is our attitude that will determine the outcome


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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 3901840 by psmg Clinton, I live 7mi from Port Washington and have done 2 conversions, one with a 215 BOP and one with a 5.0 SBF. If you'd like to get together, let me know.

Hi Paul

Your car is the reason I have an MGB! My wife and I saw you driving past the car show in Grady Park 3 years ago and she said "that's what I want!" I knew it was an MGB, but didn't realize the extent of the modifications at the time. I did notice the V8 though.

Then we almost met at the stop light in downtown Port when you were heading east. The light was red and we were eating at Beanies on the patio when she wanted me to jump the fence and ask you about your car smiling smiley I knew I wouldn't make it in time so I just kept eating. It wasn't until I joined here that I realized who's car it was.

I'd love to get together some time. It would be great to pick your brain if you wouldn't mind.

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BMC Avatar
BMC Gold Member Brian Mc Cullough
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA   USA
I'm jumping in here late and was just thinking you must be someplace near Paul. If you don't visit Paul, that would be a shame as he is very knowledgeable, has built a couple of very nice cars and is a super nice fellow.

As for your budget posted on a previous thread, you haven't exceeded it yet, so I know your not going to believe me, but believe me, you've already exceeded your $5k budget. smiling smiley

As you go and find out things just need to go a bit further, keep adding the invoices to a lock box. Preferably one that the key has been mailed to a distant relative that only visits every 5 years or so, and just visited yesterday. This way you can live without regrets.

-BMC.


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