Buick 3.8 to Buick 350-1981 Century Wagon Build

Blake442

Geezer
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2007
6,852
113
Minneapolis
Firing up the old thread!

After baking in the California sun for 5+ years, I bought the car back from Lue in June 2017...
I cleaned it up, replaced the stolen hubcaps, and parked it in my storage spot.

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Fast-forward to August 2021 and it was finally time to get things moving...
Fired right up with a new battery, but the master cylinder was soft from sitting.
A couple quarts of atf and it drove onto the trailer...

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Hauled the car out to my buddies place to finish up a few loose ends... Ended up hurting my shoulder and the car sat in the barn all winter...

Until last weekend!

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Dirty from sitting in CA...
Lue changed the carb to another 2bbl, but the throttle linkage isn't positioned the same, I'll address that later...

Finally having the car and tools in the same place, first thing I did was cut about an inch and a half from this upper alternator bracket and weld it back together. Poorly.

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With that beautiful achievement under my belt I then cut apart the next bracket, lengthened it about 3/4" and welded it all up. Poorly....

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With those checked off my list I made my way under the car and installed the Jegs trans cross-member.

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Gonna tackle the master cylinder in a few days, then it's ready to haul in to town for exhaust and tires...

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More to come!
 
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Blake442

Geezer
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2007
6,852
113
Minneapolis
Master cylinder is done and brakes are safe again! Rockauto had some on close-out for like $15.
I also ordered up a torque converter inspection cover since that's missing apparently...
Once the hoist is free we're gonna take a quick peek and see if we can spot the trans leak, otherwise it's pretty much ready to haul in to town...
 
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MrSony

Geezer
Nov 15, 2014
6,510
113
Des Moines, Iowa
Ah yes, one of two things that inspired me to go the SBB route.
This, and that horsepower TV Buick 350 build.
 

Blake442

Geezer
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2007
6,852
113
Minneapolis
Didn't have a chance to get the car up in the air yet, but I did get the throttle linkage sorted out by hogging out the hole in the cable mount to get some adjustment...
Fresh picture!

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Ugly1

G-Body Guru
Oct 26, 2021
859
93
Lost in the woods of NH
Finally got my pics up from this weekend's progress... Not a ton to report, but moving along.

I finally bolted the passenger side valve cover on for the last time.
The lower rear-most bolt was tough to get into place due to the heater box clearance, but luckily you can still swing a wrench under the heater box, so that's a relief. 8)

You can also see the stock V6 temp sender in the intake for the idiot light on the dash.
I used a 3/8" to 1/2" brass adapter from Home Depot. I think it was like $2.

Here we are with the new water pump, fuel pump and thermostat in, and the power steering back in place.
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Got the A/C compressor and alternator mocked up for now. The stock V6 alternator belt is too short, and thanks to tobyp for doing the homework for me and steering me towards the right one, even though I haven't gotten it yet... :lol:
I was having a bit of trouble with the compressor wanting to sit crooked, and I ran out of time before I could get it right, so here's how it sits...
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I also got the heater hoses hooked up, and had to re-use the original molded hose from the V6 to clear the alternator bracket... Without the molded curve, you can't get around it without pinching the hose shut, and you can't sneak it through the bracket and alternator without pinching it shut. The original V6 hose bends out to the front and goes all the way around the A/C compressor and up to the heater core. I flipped it around and shortened it and ran it back behind the bracket and to the heater.

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They're forcasting a beautiful weekend, and I plan to knock out as much as I can on the wagon... :banana:
Something to think about in the future is to put the studs in for the valve covers. It might give you a little more ease than the bolts. Also I saw you had trouble with the installation on the bolt poking the firewall. If you find them(think I save a set) Olds,Buick or Pontiac (I’ve put in all of them in at some point or another) had tabs for pulling and putting motors in from the factory. One went to the intake and the other to an accessory hole. Nice job documenting!!
 

Blake442

Geezer
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2007
6,852
113
Minneapolis
I was all excited to do the headliner this weekend, but my material showed up today and it's not even close to the right color...
Sad face
 
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