Twin Turbo Skylark 350 Progress by sean Buick 76

By diyauto
( 2 )

Twin Turbo Skylark 350 Progress

Compliments of sean Buick 76 @


The twin turbo Skylark is coming together! This car was a mess when I got it for $1500. I should have bought a $8,000 car and re-done it but hindsight is 20/20. We added new quarters, a front lip off another car, etc etc. Mark Burton put SO many hours into this car and it shows!

I had a HUGE holdup waiting for the paint shop to paint it. Eventually I just pulled the car out and going to get it on the road first then deal with pant. The colour will be 1970 GM Shadow grey, what a nice paint it is! Leanne my better half picked it out off a car at a car show. For now the primer will do, I will make the car earn a paint job by pulling a wheely!

Ignore the rear bumper, I have a re-chromed one to swap on. 

I will look in my fridge and see what is around for 350 recipes!

I came up with a nice little 355 cubic inch engine. It made 398 HP at 5600 RPM with a Poston 114 cam. I have since added better rods, better pistons, better ported heads from Sonny Seal (they ran low 11s NA with high compression), better single plane intake so it should be about 30+ HP more. I am using custom tube headers from Burton machine, T3/T4 hybrid turbos with dual 3 exhaust. The camshaft is a mild street cam (Poston 114), later I will add a custom roller cam. I will add engine pics once it is ready! 

These are custom made Hershe rods that should be safe to about 850 HP with my nice light pistons, I save about 100 grams EACH vs stock:

Diamond custom pistons put me at 8.5:1 They are 555 grams, that is about 150 grams lighter than stock! Times that by 8! That is a lot less stress on the crank and rods!

The interior is almost done, it features camaro bucket seats, new black carpet, replaced the dashpad (thanks Cole), custom gauges etc. Notice the custom 6 point roll cage really matches the lines of the car! 

I am really happy with how it turned out!


I do not really have a goal for the HP, I have a goal for 10.50 in the quarter with this all steel street car. 

I project it will make about 600 HP without too much boost.... I think it is capable of hitting 750 HP at about 18 PSI however not sure I want to push it that hard. The turbos are sized so the car will make lots of boost quickly as this is a street car not a race only car. For torque, that is the key! Even at a paltry 600-650 HP the torque should be massive from about 3200 RPM on up. I expect the car to have great mid range torque alowing me to run my goals and keep the RPM under 6000. 

I know a guy with a 355 inch chevy running high tens at 12 PSI of boost using the same turbos. He is using heads that flow about the same so it gives me a good idea how it will react. He leaves the line at 2000 RPM with no trans brake and his datalogging tells him he gets from 0 PSI at the line to 12 PSI in 1.2 seconds. 

I will be leaving the line off the trans brake so I should be able to make about 6 PSI at the line. 

I am buying another set of the same rear 15X10 wheels so I can mount 27X11-15 drag radials, on the street I will run these 11" wide 31" tall BFG tires. With the 3.42 gear the RPM on the highway with the tall tires is exactly the same as the original tires and highway gear were. At the track the shorter tire will help my gearing... This was my way to get the gearing I want at the track and the RPM on the highway where I wanted it without overdrive. The 2004R is a great trans but massive torque kills them.... I stuck with the tried and true Th400 with all the goodies and a nice tight converter (2800 stall but good quality so low amount of slip) 

I will not post the engine pics till it is all pretty, but it should look a bit like this:


Thanks! I think it will look very good once it is painted! Do you like flat hood hiding the twin turbos???

Here is the car that inspired the paint this car is getting:


Yeah, my effective gear ratio (compared to stock tires) is a 2.73 now with my tall street tires and the 3.42 gear. So I will rev 2500 at 65 MPH which should be a good RPM to keep from lugging but not burn too much fuel. I really do not think I will bother with a gear vendors, if I want to drive fast I will rev about 3000 RPM at 75 MPH so that is not too bad. Sure I will only get about 10 MPG at 75 MPH but who cares, it will be a lot of fun with the twin turbochargers singing and dual 3" exhaust rumbling away under the rear bumper. I might add 2.5" tailpipes if I find it noisey. I am using good mufflers too so it will not be too loud! The turbos really remove a TON of noise from the exhaust as it smooths the pulses out. The X pipe further reduces noise, and I might add 2.5" tailpipes to make it even more stealth. 

Of course when it is under boost at 6000 RPM it will make some VERY loud music!!!!!

I added this really good sound deadening material in the whole interior and that should really help make the car nice and quiet on the highway! Who cares about adding 25 pounds when you have a hot little 355??


Here we go! the custom sheet metal intake and turbo kit are done!!!! All this goodness and torque fits under the stock hood without a scoop!!! SLEEPER!!! When people ask i can just say its a mild 355 inch with low compression!

Now I just have to install the good engine and trans and have some fun!!!!!!

I was planning on using the trans brake and leaving off the line with that, but that trans has a manual valvebody and I figuer there would be a lot of slip on the highway with my 3200 stall converter... Being a street car I decided to save that trans for a spare.

So I got a great deal on this SP-400 all rebuilt by a pro with a new converter (3200 and 1800 stall) and that one is auto shift...

So the plan with the SP-400 trans is to leave off the 4 wheel line lockers at 2600-2800 RPM in high stall mode and then have the converter switch to low stall at the 60 foot mark. 

I might try foot braking it before I instal the line lockers, gonna take some trial and error to get it to hook....

The car is going in for a 4 link rear suspension as soon as I get it back from the US.... I have to drop the engine off for final assembly and then I just need to swap in the engine and trans and mess with the details.


Sorry, those are the best pics I have. He just took the dash and made a template of the gauge opening and used alum to make the custom gauge panel. It does look clean!


For the tire sized jsut remember it like this:

The first number is the width in mm

The second number the height of the tire in a percentage of the width. So for my 295/55/R15 the height is 55 percent of the 295 mm width

By the sounds of it you want the look of something like my car:

These are the rims I am using. 15x10 with 5.5" backspace:

I like the 15X10 wheel, it really spreads the tire out and makes it look full and also a better contact patch than using a 8" wide rim. My tires are 285/70/15 and they fit with not mods:

For the track I got a spare set of the same 15x10 wheels with 295/55/15. I could fit a bit wider tire but I like to have a little extra clearance:


Keep me posted if you do try them! Both our cars were so rough when we started that we really can do whatever we want to them without feeling badly

Some guy at work was asking about the car and if it was a 455 GS, I said no just a 350 Skylark. He asked if I was going to do a 455 swap I said no I just built a mild 355 inch for the car, and had a roll cage installed. He just kind of looked at me shook his head and said the 350 was a waste of money and the car would be too slow to need a roll cage.... 

Maybe I will have to take him for a ride since I am sure he will not even want to see the 350 under the flat hood. I might have to put some oil obsorbing sheets on the passenger side though LOL. he never asked if it was turbocharged LOL!


I would guess it was the extra weight causing more load against the engine and this causing the boost to come on harder and quicker. Turbos love resistance many people run faster in the quarter mile with a 2.73 gear than a 3.73 gear just due to more load against the turbochargers. You just might find your car pulls harder for the same reason with the taller tires if you do go with them. 

I know a guy at work who runs 9.1 @150 MPH in the quarter with his twin turbocharged Mustang. He started out with a 4.11 gear, went to a 3.55 and finally to a 3.00. Each time he went with less gear his 60 foot time got better, his 1/8th mile was faster, and his quarter mile time. He was running 130 MPH with the 4.11 gear so the 3.00 gear picked up HUGE for him. He said the car pulls better and makes more boost quicker. I think he is running about 20 PSi of boost, and I know he just got his cage re-done so he can run in the 8s.


The car is finally safe in my garage so i can complete it!


I know me too! It is a long road ahead with this project, I work WAY too much to get things done quickly. 

I am about to place an order with TA to get the last few things I need for the engine, then a few trips to the local parts store for some random things like battery, fuel pump, fittings, harnesses, parachute etc. 

The main things I am doing are:

-Completing the fuel system to handle 1000 HP

-Adding the driveshaft loop

-Dropping in the good Buick 350

-Putting the interior together

This will get the car up and running and will start with 8 PSI of boost, get the car insured and plated and put on a few miles and break in the engine. 

The next phase will be the next winter where I will pull the th350, move the X member and put the built up SP-400 trans in place, custom driveshaft, Water/methanol injection for intercooling, crank up the boost to 20 PSI, sort out the tune on a chassis dyno, and finally some track time in the summer of 2014


Yeah I hear ya! I bought a nitrous kit for the car today! I am running a 50 shot of the good stuff and it is set to shut off when the boost hits 4 PSI... When I have the 8 PSI boost setting this will help the car get up to boost even quicker and then after the boost hits 4PSI the nitrous will shut off automatically. The kit is actually designed to run with turbos and to shut off at whatever boost setting I pick. 

Then when I crank the boost up to 10-20 PSI I will leave the nitrous on the whole time as the nitrous also intercools the air and fuel!

People have been running a small 50 shot on Turbocharged V8 engines and gaining 80-100 HP at the wheels due to the wonderful way nitrous works with turbocharging! 

So my plan on low boost is to leave off idle without any boost, have the nitrous spray till 4 PSI and then the turbo will take over from there... It takes about 1.5 seconds for the turbos to go from 0 to 20 PSI however with a little shot of nitrous it will be even quicker!


Well after about a month of research into my fuel system I finally sorted it out LOL.... The stock fuel tank and pickup, lines etc are NOT going to work for my application.

I found a fuel tank built for EFI applications and it features extra baffles, and a large hole so I can mount a MASSIVE fuel pump in the tank, and it is galvanized so it should last well. I always say start with a good clean fuel system and a rebuilt carb so I am taking my own advice. Top of the line 10 AN fuel lines go to and from the fuel tank. A Boost referenced fuel pressure regulator will feed the Holley 650 Carb which is modified to handle boost. The fuel pressure will rise with the boost to keep things in check. 

I did not want the fuel pump out of the tank due to cooling issues and being that I wanted to ensure it was never "pulling fuel" up hill out of the tank or running dry. Ideally an elect. pump is either in the fuel tank or down under the fuel tank and gravity fed. Obviously the factory setup does not work in my application. 

The reasons I avoided a fuel cell are: I want the trunk space and I do not want possible fuel fumes in the car. I also like the sleeper look of the stock tank in place and I also want the capacity as I want to drive the car 200 miles between fill ups. I considered sumping the fuel tank but then I have to worry about it leaking and it would be obvious with the sump and my car is a sleeper... Tinting the widows to hide the cage LOL.... Flat hood etc. 

An air fuel sensor on each side of the exhaust along with exhaust temp moitors will help me keep the carb in check. A throttle position sensor will be attached to the carb and the megasquirt computer will data log everything from the air fuel ratios, exhaust temps, intake temps, throttle position, RPM etc. This way I can tune the car like a modern tuner WITHOUT any computer actually controling the fuel or ignition system. At some point I may swap in the EFI system I have but I think I can get it running 98% perfect with the carb, MSD triggered HEI and MSD ignition box. Using a MSD Boost Timing Master ignition box so I can set the timing to retard under boost. 

For timing I am starting with 18 degrees initial timing, 12 degrees of mechanical advance all in by 2300 RPM and 10 degrees of vacuum advance on a ported vacuum source so I will only get vac. advance at part throttle. One way check valve in the vac. advance line so it does not blow off under boost. Then I will play with the amount of boost that the box takes out. Starting with 0.5 degrees per PSI of boost (so 5 degrees with 10 PSI). This should be conservative and leave me with 25 degrees of timing at 10 PSI of boost.


My latest improvement to the project is a 4L80E 4 speed auto with a lock up torque converter. RPM on the highway at 70 MPH will be 2000, and 2800 at 100 MPH. This is with a 30.5" tall tire, 3.42 gear and the 0.75 overdrive gear. At the track I am using a 28" tall tire.

A toggle switch on the dash to lock up the torque converter, with a brake switch to make sure it shuts off when I hit the brakes. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel will manually control the transmission. The column shifter is still hooked up and will be used to select park, Reverse, or Drive and then once in Drive the trans will only shift when I use the paddle shifters up and down. A LCD display will show if I am in gear 1,2,3 or 4. 

I had the trans built up to handle 1000 HP, and ordered a custom torque converter that has a 3000 RPM stall and the lockup. a little pricey for this setup but the MPG gain over the Th400 will be substancial.


I actually ended up changing my mind and going with a stock style tank but mounting a Walpro 400 fuel pump in the tank connected to a Rob MC 1/2 pickup setup. I am cutting a trap door at the top of the fuel tank to install some baffles, the fuel pump, and then welding it back shut.


Took a few pics of the car today:


Got a nice big intercooler! It is used however helped make 1200 Wheel HP on a Twin Turbo V8 in a GN, custom made by Ken Duttweiler and cost $1100 new. Snagged it for really low $ so I will re-plumb the boosted air to this big sucker in front of my radiator.

Also got my 4L80E custom torque converter from Hughes, it was $900 but it was custom built and will handle 1000 HP without an issue and has electronic lockup for highway cruising with 100% lockup. I also have the electronic shifting kit which was custom built so I can run either a mouse to shift the gears or push buttons on the steering wheel. manual shift only no auto shift but the column shift still selects Park N, and Drive. A LED shows gears 1 through 4. 


$300 custom controller for the push button shifted 4 speed 4L80E trans built for 1200 HP:

Quote from the seller: "I saw that you weren't running an intercooler in your twin project, and I have this kicking around the garage. A friend of mine ran a GN in twin turbo form on the street in Brooklyn for a few years before it became a full on tube chassis car, and this was the intercooler Ken Duttweiler built for him. The car ran pretty hard (9 second quarter mile) but I don't know much about the flow rate or anything like that. The inlets are 2.5 inch pipe, and there is one 2.5 inch outlet at the bottom."

I should take a picture of the SFI rated ATI balancer and the TA SFI flexplate... Next move is POR the underside of the car then add re-chromed rear bumper, add the tubular adjustable rear suspension and rear disk brakes. Then drive shaft loop, install the engine and fire it up, complete the interior etc.


pushed the car out of the garage to coat the floor with epoxy and decided to snap a few pics:

car poised and ready for the re-chromed bumper and new lenses:

Nice angle:


No I am staying with a 71 front end and rear, long story bud I actually prefer the regular 71 Skylark to the 70 GS Clone I was planning when I started. I found the 71 stuff actually less $ to find so it has worked out really well. I was planning on using a lot of fiberglass parts for the front clip however changed my mind and kept it all steel. If the car is not running as fast as I want I will raise the boost instead of lightening the car. 

It is not easy working on this car in the garage here at the house so I am working on getting approval from Leanne to build a big shop with a lift at our little house about 40 min drive away.... Then I could tear into the car without worrying about clearing off her side of the garage for when she gets home from work.... 

Working 7 days on and 7 days off so I finally have the time to get things done.


I was about to do the final assembly on my good 350 however I realized I need to make one more order to TA before I start. Here I was getting ready to get her together:

I had the top end assembled for a test fit while I was getting the bottom end together.

Don't worry the stock bolts are only in the mains to keep the threads clean. ARP studs are used everywhere. 


I mounted the 295/55R15 drag radials on the 15X10 wheels, the front end is sitting high as there is no engine in the bay right now:


I would decide if you are going to stick with the Regal or keep looking for a Skylark before you decide to cut your frame apart... Only cut the car up if you are going to keep it, otherwise just hold out for a Skylark. 

One huge advantage the 70-72 GM A body have over lots of other cars is that they can fit large tires in the stock non modified wheel wells. Generally you can fit a 30" tall 12" wide tire but the 28 tall and 12" tire is very popular. 

There is nothing to take pictures of in the rear suspension really, it is stock geometry with adjustable uppers and tubular lowers, new bushings. There is no work done to the fenders, frame, or even wheel well lips this is all bone stock. The 315/50R15 fits although the 295/55R15 gives lots of room and no need for a raised ride height or trimming anything. I have fit as tall as a 285/70R15 (31.5" tall in there however it would need a bit of trimming on the wheel well lip to fit well.



Next week we are doing the final assembly on the good engine and then dropping it in the car! The engine assembly will be documented and photographed for the book.

Many sites only list them as a 28X12.5R15 which is the same as the 295/55R15:

90000000974 3755R P295/55R15 28 X 12.50R15

Well I found a guy getting rid of a "stock 400 SBC", but when I went to look at it there were AFR alum heads on the engine... Scored the whole engine complete from carb to oil pan for $700... A friend of mine is retiring from building stock car engines and he just got his last SBC bottom end assembled and needs some heads.... Then traded the AFR heads to my stock car buddy in exchange for ALL his engine building and measuring tools which are worth over $2800, he was happy to give them to a friend not a stranger. Now I still have the rest of the 400 and and an engine stand that came with it... Selling the 400 for cheap to another friend and keeping the stand. Great day!


The pistons have a 15 CC dish, sit 59 thou in the hole, and static compression works out to 8.9:1 which is about as high as I would want to go being turbocharged. I set the ring gaps slightly looser than for a naturally aspirated build. 


I will get you the compression height spec when I get home however it is very close to stock spec. With a Zero deck and 52 CC chambers it would be over 10:1 compression.

In my case with a block that is not milled much just squared the pistons sit 60 thou in hole and the head CC is being enlarged over the stock 58 CC. Shooting for between 8.7 and 9.0 for compression. 

I just noticed a few days ago that from the factory the heads chambers are slightly smaller than the bore and it creates a major "hot spot" around the whole perimeter of the chamber. There is about a 1/8" ring around the head and that with just a 30 thou overbore! I am going to match up the chambers with the cylinders with some grinding then equaling out the CC of the heads. I am making the head chambers smooth as glass and polished right up anyways. Plus I need to gain a few CC in the heads to lower the compression a tiny bit. 

My plan is to put the heads on the engine with the pistons out and with the engine upside down I will use a thin marker to draw on the head chamber edge, then remove the heads and remove material up till the marker line is gone, blend it in and then do a rough smooth on the chambers, CC match them all, and finally polish them all up perfectly. It takes a lot of time but I think this is WELL worth the effort!

Until the other day I had never put a set of heads on the head and then flipped it upside down without the bottom end together... the 350 is an open chamber head design and by its nature it is very efficient however somewhat prone to pre-ignition. I feel this will be a huge prevention in Pre-ignition. 

I will post pics of this ASAP... 

Here is some info on pre-ignition and "hot spots":

Pre-ignition is a technically different phenomenon from engine knocking, and describes the event wherein the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder ignites before the spark plug fires. Pre-ignition is initiated by an ignition source other than the spark, such as hot spots in the combustion chamber, a spark plug that runs too hot for the application, or carbonaceous deposits in the combustion chamber heated to incandescence by previous engine combustion events.

Typical causes of hot spots are sharp edges in the piston head or head chamber. 

Pre-ignition and engine detonation both sharply increase combustion chamber temperatures. Consequently, both effect increases the likelihood of the other effect occurring, and both can produce similar effects from the operator's perspective, such as rough engine operation or loss of performance due to operational intervention by a powertrain-management computer. For reasons like these, a person not familiarized with the distinction might describe one by the name of the other. Given proper combustion chamber design, pre-ignition can generally be eliminated by proper spark plug selection, proper fuel/air mixture adjustment, and periodic cleaning of the combustion chambers.

Causes of pre-ignition include the following:

- Carbon deposits form a heat barrier and can be a contributing factor to pre-ignition. Other causes include: An overheated spark plug (too hot a heat range for the application). 

- A sharp edge in the combustion chamber or on top of a piston (rounding sharp edges with a grinder can eliminate this cause).

-Sharp edges on valves that were reground improperly (not enough margin left on the edges). 

-A lean fuel mixture can also cause this issue.


I have been busy building up my daily driver which will also tow the Buick to the track:

In the next few days I am going to take the old engine out of the Skylark and start removing the rear end and fuel tank and then I am going to wire brush the whole underside of the car, use POR15 on any surface rust, and then paint the underside black... Then I can move onto installing the rear end with the tubular adjustable arms, rebuilding the brakes etc.


I was about to button up one of my good Buick 350s when I decided I needed to take it back apart and improve some things first. 

1. There are some sharp edges on the Custom Diamond pistons and I am pretty sure they would have caused some detonation which would have damaged the engine. 

2. A few of the piston rings had sharp edges from where I had file fit them to the bores of the blocks. 

I took the pistons out of the engine, removed the pistons from the rods (easy due to spiro lock retainers), and then removed the rings and numbered them so they could go back on the right pistons when I was done smoothing the pistons and smoothing the rings with a file.

Here are some pics of the pistons before and after smoothing them out. I still need to polish them but they are 100% better then they were:

The black marker was used to draw the areas I wanted to "roll over" to eliminate the sharp spots. 

Someone "rudely interrupting" my progress by phoning me LOL. I used the cardboard box under the piston holder so that Leanne would let me bring it in the house as the piston holder was dirty. 

I used the little stands again today as they are very handy... And I added some "art" to the walls. 

Here is one completed piston, just needs to be polished:

All cleaned up and stuff moved so Leanne can park on her side:

That was yesterdays progress and I will post today's progress tmrw morning.


I got all 8 pistons smoothed and polished:

Now I am going through all the piston rings and smoothing the edges from where I file fit the rings to the cylinders...


Here was my technique:

1. Used masking tape to protect the piston from possible damage on the sides

2. Draw out the areas I wanted to "roll over the edges"

3. Use a variable speed pencil grinder with a stone tip to roll over the edges. 

4. Used a coarse Emery cloth by hand to slowly remove small amounts of material on remaining areas that needed more work.

5. Went to a 200 grit emery cloth and removed scratches left by the heavy cloth

6. Went with a 800 grit to smooth out the scratches from the 200.

7. Used some "Never Dull" to shine it up

8. Wiped the piston clean and blew it down with air

9. Removed the tape (you can see a tiny bit of tape in one of the pictures)

10. Cleaned the pistons well, and put them away for when I am ready to assemble the engine for good. 

I am sure there are better ways to do this but this worked fine. There are some scratches that I could not get out but overall I am happy with the results.


More work to all 8 completed:



I put it inside for tonight and in the morning I will take it back out and work on de-greasing the engine bay, pressure wash under the hood and the underside or the car and then one more de-greasing, pressure wash, marine clean spray, blow down and then the POR 15 on the surface rust and Tremclad outdoor gloss black paint overtop. 

The body is rust free, mark replaced the quarters, front clip from a 71, removed the glass, and built it properly. 

Yes there is surface rust on the underside of the car and frame. Por 15 will work perfectly. 

The paint is going to be 1970 GM Shadow Grey:

I think it will look very good once it is painted! Do you like flat hood hiding the twin turbos???


$40 in hardware and cable:


I had to take a break from working on the Skylark so that I could whip the garage and backyard shop into order... I needed to make my garage a functional place to work, and I needed to build lot of shelving and workbench space as well as free up some floor space so just to show you guys I have been busy here are some before and after shots:

This was the mess I was starting with, no room to work that is for sure (before picture):

View looking down to show that the engines are for the most part out of the way:

Out in the back yard wood shop I added another shelf 53" by 12" shelf at the upper part of the garage on the left. I need to center it between the supports, but it is 1.5" thick:

Added a drill press:

After adding more storage in the Shed I felt like the garage deserved a huge 4X8 hanging loft over the garage door. I just need to wait till I have a 11" wide by 48" long 3/4" plywood to complete the end:

Before picture of this corner:

The progress I have made in this corner:

The Garage heater was added a few months back and that will come in handy this winter!!!!

Now I can get back to work on de-greasing and prepping the Skylark for painting the underside and engine bay... Then I can start putting the car back together!


Shane Buick Gaskin was born on Sept 25 2014 so that is exciting!!! 

I got my truck ready for winter:

And I have done more in the garage to fix it up.... With that out of the way it is time to tear back into the Skylark. 


Blake the new owner of this car has been flat out getting it together... He is doing a GSX clone with it, and already painted the jams, did the interior, brakes, suspension, rad and intercooler setup: 


Blake the new owner of the Turbo Skylark has been busy! He went with a Glass hood. The suspension is all rebuilt along with the brakes, interior, intercooler added, etc Now the car is in paint! It is going to be a GSX clone with a black stripe, larger rims, and he is going with the mild 355 Buick engine with TRW forged pistons, ARP bolts in the 73 rods, all balanced etc. He is also building another engine for the alum heads when they come out, it will include a block girdle from Gary just like mine! 

I am super excited about this build! With the 200R4 and 3.42 gear it is going to be a great street car!


No garage work done but some Muscle car Education. He turns the pages himself and squeels at the cars he likes... So far he prefers the yellow, red, and white cars! 

Its his favorite book! Big pictures! 


Its here!!!!! 



I did not rev it over 3500 but it sounds good!


Yes the track is not going to be open for a few more months at least, we are expecting snow tmrw. I am taking the engine out, doing some stuff to the car, and it will not run again until the girdled engine has been dynod with the alum heads and turbos. I have some things I need to do to make the car street legal again, and other things need to be done to pass tech at the track. I am not going to rush for anyone else I am doing it how I want and I am not going to rush out to the track. My life is worth a heck of more with a family to take care of and I don't think it makes me a pussy because I want to upgrade the axles etc to handle the power. I recently found out the engine has bone stock early style rods so it is not going to last long. As many of you know when a rod lets go in a Buick 350 it makes a huge mess, taking out a lot of parts when things start hitting each other... Im sorry but I have seen pictures of 350s that have let go and i certainly do not want to oil down the track and or loose control at speed
WHEN the rods let go. Sonny Seal lost his car over a coolant line they are pretty sure, it happens quick! 

I considered taking the car as is to the chassis dyno and cranking the boost to see what it does, and I might still do that. 

It must be making about 650 hp as is, would be nice to see the dyno chart and I may still do it.. If the engine blows no big deal on the chassis dyno compared to at 130 mph. 

I am out, you guys can wait and buy the book if you want to hear how it turns out or not I don't care... All I know is that this is a hobby for me and I enjoy helping others... I have been helping others on here for years and I really enjoyed it. In fact when I joined I needed a lot of guidance from people on here and I am still learning as we all should. 

I am not afraid to hire a pro to build me an engine or do my head porting, its a smart investment! I never claimed to know everything or be a pro engine builder i just love helping people build better Buicks to enjoy. Part of that is compiling information, data, and knowledge about sbb performance. This does not mean I claim to know everything or have the fastest car etc. Someone will always run faster, run to your own goals and enjoy the hobby. 

Like Jim in another thread I do deserve to be given a hard time by the 455 guys because i bash their week blocks, but its the 350 crowd that should help join my effort to prove the 350s advantages over the 455 not just give me a hard time. 

Even if i never shared any of my future dyno or track times the truth would come out about the potential of these engines. With the heads and intake, it wil be a home run! Thank goodness we kept promoting the potential!! 


I have been having a blast with it so far!

Yes the Tubs and Twins car is here in my garage and running very strong. I have had the engine apart a few times lately and I think I have most of the bugs worked out. The car gets a lot of complements, MANY people are surprised by how quite it is! It idles like a stock NA T212 cam 350 till the boost comes on and it is just plain scary fast with the current 20 PSI setting.

My little man Shane Buick Gaskin loves the car! He grins ear to ear when I start it up and he claps and cheers! 

Look daddy there is a Chevy in the rear view! 

And my old car now Owned By Blake at Roadrunner Towing, now a friend of mine lives just down the road! 



Over 6000 I had valve float so I got some better valve springs in there. Revs to 7000 fine now... 

Had a head gasket leak at 23 psi, got that fixed by adding arp studs and MLS gaskets. Lowered boost to 20 psi.

Had an electrical issue on the dyno got that sorted out but ran out of dyno time that day...

It is coming along. 

Have not got a clean run on the dyno yet, but it is frying the tires at 60 MPH. Working 13 hours night shifts right now but taking the car back to the dyno a week today.

No we did not get any dyno numbers because of a bad connection at the distributor that we did not track down till it was too late to run it again.

It smokes the big meats even at 60 MPH in second gear when you cruise and then ease into the throttle it gets insane when the boost hits, although the street is not good for traction anyway. It does hook up well on clean road, almost breaks your neck when it shifts under full throttle... But you can cruise it around at light throttle and it just drives like a low comp 350. 


Well guys just 6 days till it hits the dyno machine. I decided to take it for a spin with the camera rigged up for your viewing pleasure! 

I did not have much time so I just did a quick drive but as you can see and hear it runs very strong. 

There is a part throttle hesitation that I need to get worked out, hopefully the dyno tuning will get that sorted out. I have a full carb calibration kit and the guys at the shop have done a lot of these blow through setups. 

In this video I have it in second gear for pretty much the whole video, I try not to get into boost in first gear as it gets crazy so second gear is where i test the boost out. I also avoid getting into boost in third as it gets to 120+ MPH QUICK and I need to keep my drivers license! It has a 4.56 gear, 3800 stall converter, mild cam, 8:1 compression, pump gas setup. 

Yes my spedo is not working, and the rattles you can hear are the windows, as I have not put the new weatherstripping and window sweeps in after the new paint job... 

So without further delay I hope you guys enjoy, crank up the computer speakers because this is pure MUSIC to a SBB Lover: 

I am trying to be very responsible with it... I have never driven a car with this much power, it is a powerful tool and must be respected... I floored it once in first and I was NOT prepared for the crazy acceleration, tire smoke, and car drifting sideways at speed. At NO point in the video did I floor it, this is just dipping into the throttle for a second or less at a time. It is a HUGE rush!


Yes I have the Rev limited set at 7500 because I HATE hitting the limiter, I do not think it is good for anything. Ever watch a video of some car bouncing into the rev limited over and over, no thanks. I set it a little higher than my max RPM and I would rather see and extra 200 RPM than bounce of the limiter. So I try to keep it under 7000 but if it goes a little higher oh well. 

Like Jay 3000 was talking about recently when I leave the car in drive and let it shift itself it really seems very fast even at part throttle if it shifts at 5000 it just pulls so hard in the next gear that it almost makes you wonder if it is worth it to rev it up over 5000 but only track testing with different shift points could tell us the answer to that. 

When the previous owner had this car he spun a rod bearing, and called me... I gave him all the info about the oiling mods, smoothing stress risers on the rods, late vs early rods etc. as well as the ARP part numbers and my advice for a custom camshaft. I am not sure how close he followed my directions but I guess we will see when I take it apart after the next engine goes in. 

I have 2 sets of Herche connecting rods for the Buick 350 and they are stock replacement specs so no machine work or BS, they work just like a stock rod but WAY stronger. I have one set for my mild engine that is a fully blueprinted block, internally balanced stock cranksahft, SFI balancer and flexplates, the Herche Rods, Diamond Pistons, ARP studs throughout, Poston 114 cam, Ported iron heads with oversized valves, SP-3 Intake. 355 cubes. 

And I have another set of the Herche rods for my girdled engine with the Billet crank and also Diamond pistons in that one. This one will be roller cam and external belt driven oil pump, ported SP-3, and the alum heads with max effort porting. Also 355 cubes

I am looking at ordering a custom aftermarket rear end assembly, it may be a better option than beefing up the 8.5. I am currently going to leave it together as it works well and the 4.56 gears are absolutely crazy for low end pickup, and the 32" tall tires cut down the RPM on the highway to a reasonable number. 4.11 will be in the next rear end though.


I am working night shifts but I managed to find time to get the car on the dyno today quickly before work.... 

I felt a little bad for the poor original numbers matching 350 so just before the test I lowered the boost to 16 PSI from 20 hoping to keep from spitting the stock rods across the dyno room.

The dyno operator let off the throttle at 3500 RPM as we had a header gasket blow out. So we do not know the peak HP or TQ yet but we did get some good data. The carb was set a little bit lean for a boosted engine so I will dial that in before it goes back. The calculators say that 450 HP at the tires is about 550 HP at the crank. I guess 450 HP at 3500 RPM is pretty good! Was planning to rev to 7000, oh well next time! 

It may be a little while till I get it back on the dyno, work and the new little guy are keeping me busy...

Yes it was running great at 7000 RPM yesterday but it is a lot of pressure on everything when running high boost levels.... I have a lot more than 3 Buick 350s though, got a whole stockpile here in case I need em... Going to go get another 350 soon and two 455s. I ship the 455s to my buddy Chris Skaling who builds em up and sells em.


Thanks for the support you guys, I am having a blast driving it! Got the header gasket fixed today and drove it a bunch, then had to go to sleep as I am working nights... It gets a ton of attention, smoked a young guy in Porsche today and at the next lights he hung back about 3 car lengths so I couldn't even see his sad face LOL. 

I have a G-tech pro SS in the car and it tells me it is running 11.06 in the quarter mile. Not sure how accurate that is but it must be close. The spedo is still not working but my GPS logged a top speed of 140 MPH on a 3rd gear pull I did on the freeway. 

Jay there is a guy by the name of Ethan (V8 user name Hugger) who is going to be making a turbo kit for himself and he has offered to make them for others. He knows his stuff

Yes I am very fortunate to be on one of the only big projects that is busy right now! I am currently taking 11 University Occupational Health and Safety courses to keep my credentials up so hopefully in a few years when this job is over I will get another good one right away. 

On a funny note I had my car on the trailer in the parking lot at work the other night and the workers thought it was pretty cool that the Safety guy had a fast car...


Here is a winter project I was working on about 6 months ago... I drove 250 miles each way to get 7 Buick engines.... It snowed like crazy! Had to tow in 4x4 the whole time. I know i needed a lower drop hitch to level the trailer but it towed well anyway. 

Got 10 mpg towing in 4x4 not bad..

The roads were still pretty bad yesterday when I went out to drop off the engines.... Most of the way I was able to keep it up to 70 MPH, revving 2500 RPM in 3rd gear is where the engine was happy:

I got them all unloaded at Blake's Shop using his forklift! Blake is the guy who bought my project Skylark and he was in need of a few 455 engines for another car so we worked out a deal where he would drop off the 4 engines to be shipped at the depot for Chris Skaling... And he bought the other two that were not on pallets. 

Then I got home and took out my new 68 $50 350:

Mission complete! 

Got the car out for another spin, added some more footage to the last youtube video:


Well I was looking for some intercooler stuff on line and found this Hc5a Holset turbo off of a 20 Liter Kta-19 Cummins engine. 

This turbo is brand new remanufactured with 0hrs. Has an upgraded dual vain 41 cm exhaust housing with T6 flange. Both compressor and exhaust wheels are brand new. Center journal bearing section is brand new. 

Compressor is 88mm and exhaust is 139mm. Turbo produces 2450 cfm peak. Good for close to 2000hp.

My plan is to use this huge single on the engine dyno to test my good engine when it is done. Shooting to break the 1021 HP world record. 

Will keep the two small twins on the car, but just want a big single for testing purposes. Added some better head gaskets to the car tonight. Went great, so easy to work on this car... I know all the wrench sizes and keep em handy!


I have been putting some miles on the car, no issues cruising around at idle to 100 MPH at part throttle. Got the steering tightened up, and an alignment, much improved. I borrowed the old tires that were on my other Skylark when I sold it, little tiny 12" wide BFG street tires made the car look ridiculous and spun big time on the dyno. Blew a head gasket again, third time on one side, and the other side has not given me any problems. I took the head to be milled flat and will put it back on ASAP then get a few more miles on it before winter hits. I am lowering the boost to 8 PSI for a while as my converter is getting blown through when the car is on high boost levels. The dyno guy said it went RIGHT up to 6000 RPM as soon and he floored it and he knows what it is like when a converter is overpowered. On the street the converter feels great, but the resistance against the dyno and likely drag racing causes the engine to fly up out of its usable powerband. If I reduce the boost then this should reduce the overpowering of the converter and help things out till I can replace the converter. 

Which brought me to the custom Hughes converter I had built a long time ago for my other car... I bought a 4L80E yesterday and have a paddle shifter steering wheel setup to electronically manual shift the trans, will have toggle switch on the dash. No rush to tackle this trans swap I want to keep the car on the road and make good use of it with the minimum of changes as it is really well engineered by Mark. Lowering the boost, and hopefully solving the head gasket issue on the one side should result in some good reliability gains. 

The stock 350 bottom end is really impressing even me! 

Thanks Walt, used ARP studs after the first time they went. They should be fine for a few uses. 

Mark, the fel pro gaskets are blowing out at their thinest locations and the MLS gasket it is tough to determine where it started leaking as they stay completely intact but once the seal is broken coolant got into all the holes. 

The best I can determine so far is that the felpro gaskets are not going to hold up well to high boost, and that the MLS gaskets should have a fresh smooth surface to seal best. 

Next up is the factory steel shim gaskets, then pulling this engine if that head gasket goes again...

Im super proud of the passenger side head though, its hanging in there without an issue.


Here is my old car! It is now running, but not tuned:

Lowering the boost to 7 or 8 PSI for a while till I can swap out the converter... The bottom end has passed my torture testing so it deserves a break, RPM limit is 6500 now.

On a good note I got my torque converter. Talked to the techs with TCI and they say it should stall at about 3800 RPM with my combo and can handle 1200+ HP without an issue. In fact they said they have guys running 2500 HP on these converters. My current converter was a 3800 stall rated for 700 HP but it could not handle my little 350 on high boost both dyno shops said it blew right through the converter: 

TCI 251412

UN-loaded my 4L80E, may be a while before I install it but will be a good winter project for maybe next winter. I love these little carts, makes it easy to un-load trans, and the 80 is not light! Still have my paddle shifter setup on the shelf ready so I can manual shift electronically. 

And a pic of the TINY 12" wide tires on the car, they spun on the dyno so looking at getting some bigger street tires for street and dyno testing so I do not have to use the ET streets on the dyno... Seen too many horror stories of blown up drag tires on the dyno:


I keep on buying good running 350s for between $50 and $150 they are piling up! I need some more cars I think! these are so cool, well designed engines weighing 450 pounds fully dressed! Remove the stock intake manifold that weighs 53 pounds, bolt on my 14 pound custom intake, remove the exhaust manifolds, and bolt on some turbos and at about 440 pounds total you have a kick ass engine!

I ran a 125 shot on stock 350s on the highway for a long time.... 2.56 gear and nitrous made it a stang killer. Spun a rod be\earing at about 7500 RPM one time, got a replacement engine for $100 back in and going. But hey I am just a typer not a doer, but at 16 I had a lot of fun:

The data that we have so far about the stock rod strength is based on Dyno testing completed way back when when Darryl R was building circle track engines with custom singleplane intakes, high compression, and nitrous. They had experienced rod failures in the 6200 RPM range and I do not remember off the top of my head what HP was however when the nitrous hit like a sack of potatoes the rods let go... They even rebuilt the engine again using a new block and the same thing happened. I think they were forcing a 200 shot or something at an already 450+ HP NA engine. So that is where the limitations came from and if you search back in my previous posts over the years I have this data documented and on my other computer I have it as well. 

Other than that not one has even broke a rod on the 350 that I know of... Even when Bill M did his testing he was at about 700 HP before he decided to have custom rods made and the stockers never did break for him (he used the 74-80 rods). 

I will did up some quotes to help quantify my info: 

Quote from Bill Mah regarding the stock rods: 

"We had mine hummin' at the 700hp mark before we decided to have the billet rods made. That was also in excess of 7k rpm.
The late model rods seem to handle the pounding well."

Quote from Darryl Roederer, A.K.A. "Professor Buick"

"Jim- The rods WILL be the limiting factor, and will fail somewhere around 575-600 HP in the 6500 RPM range..... WATCH OUT!!! 

I'm assuming your running "late" style cap screw rods in this engine? Side beams polished? Balancing pads "shaved" to reduce weight??? Mine were completely polished on all surfaces, sonic treated, and hard chromed... and 600 HP was "THE LIMIT"! Tho I was running heavier 10:1 "street" slugs and nitrous. With the "light weights" your using, you may have bought a little insurance."

Another from Darryl Roederer:

"Bud's engine made 580 HP at 6000 RPM [rev-limited] and was clearly capable of over 600 with more revs.
It used 10.5:1 forged slugs, MILDLY ported heads, small tube headers, that intake, Holly 900 cfm 3V carb, and a hot ignition.... And a HUGE cam.

Everything else inside the engine was pretty much built up from stock parts!

I do remember that engine had MEGGA torque in the 4000 rpm range, pulled like a hot big block, and it kept it's power right up to the 6000 limit.

With the tunnel ram, my engine[s] made 540 on motor alone at 6500 with a smaller cam and the same mild heads. We tried to feed 200 hp worth of nitrous into it, but experienced that gut-wrenching rod failure at about 6200 revs..... TWICE. That's right, I built two motors,,,, and blew both of them up on the dyno."

And the success of these engines off the nitrous was impressive they were winning races and having a good old time with these little 350s with little more than home porting and some hard work:

I do not think that running 20 PSI on a stock bottom end is a good idea, but I wanted to try it anyway for gaining data. Sure it held but not going to be long term reliable I would not think. 

The felpro gasket is living just fine on the passenger side so I do not think that head gaskets are the limiting factor right now. Either I made a mistake when I did the head gasket, or the head is warped, or I have some strange issue causing the one gasket to blow. 

Yes there are a million things I would love to do for dyno testing, track testing, etc. however I can only do so much while working 80+ hours a week and having a young family.

I have been attacked on here, but those who know me know I am a hard working guy doing my best!

There are two separate things:

How much PEAK HP can a stock Buick 350 rod hold with a turbo application
How much LONG TERM HP can a stock 350 rod hold with a turbo application

So if I said that stock rods should be limited to about 600 HP I stand by that, I do not expect people to push the limits like I am and why should I. Lets give sound advise to help people build reliable engines. 

Naturally aspirated, I would not be scared to make 500+ hp with a stock rod, but you always stand a chance of having a defective rod or bad lemon. 

Here is some more info on the rod and piston topic:

The stock 68-73 rods are 630 grams each
The stock 74-80 rods are 675 grams each
The Herche rods are 545 grams each (stock dimensions)

Stock piston is about 704 grams
Diamond piston is 555 grams (stock compression height and 30 over)

Lets do the math:

630 x 8 (number of rods) + 704 x 8 (number of pistons) = 10,672 grams
545 x 8 + 555 x 8 = 8800 grams

That is a savings of 1872 grams of weight saved and a huge upgrade in strength. PLUS now I have a BOB weight of 1755 so now the crank gets to be lightened to match the parts. Both my good engine and my other OK engine both have Herche rods and Diamond pistons so now I can interchange parts if I ever need to. And when I had my custom Billet crank made they made it an exact copy of stock except with my custom bob weight and custom pin diameter to get my oil clearances perfected. No balancing needed, bolt in and go. 

At 7000 RPM the mean (average) piston speed of a Buick 350 is 4491 feet per minute or 22 metres per second, how much will 1872 grams LESS reciprocating weight help my engine life?

And another note here is the weak part of a early 350 rod, although obviously many people have made power and never broke one so I use the term loosely: 

17 psi is the highest i have dynod at... 

The huge Holset HC5a will be engine dyno tested on the girdled alum head engine and 20 psi from it will be way more cfm than the same psi with my small turbos... That Turbo can produce 1800 hp. The engine dyno will remove a lot of variables... Then I will swap that engine into the car and retire it to an easy life at low boost.. Should still be able to run my goal of 10.00 on low boost with the alum heads. 

Yes the book will be worth the wait... New Iron head flow head porting project as well as the alum head porting project etc will all be released in the book. The publishing company will print it as soon as I give the final draft. Then it will be fo sale on here, in chapters stores and on amazon!

Got my car back from an alignment, and some new steering components... Hope to get it back out before the snow flies.

I looked into stroking the 350 and man is it TIGHT between the cam and the big end of the rods. I did not even bother pursuing plus it is cool to stay with the factory specs for rod length, piston height, stroke etc I think. 355 cubes in enough for me with some boost. The only way I see it working is using a smaller diameter rod pin on the crank to gain clearance with a smaller big end but then you give up some crank strength. I just do not think it is the answer for most people. 

Derek has the tools, skills and he can make the nascar rods work with a stroker combo but most of us would be paying a lot of money for machine work etc and you never really know if the rods will clear the cam until you mock it up in the engine (after the machine work) and get a cam installed to see if the lobes hit the big end of the rods. 

Boring the block out larger seems to have potential, especially for a NA build, but for boosted I will keep the bore as close to stock as possible and leave more material for both strength and options for more rebuilds later.


Good news! The head was in need of milling and the surface irregularities are most likely the cause of my head gasket issues. The head is back from the shop now all smooth and freshly milled. Waiting on some intake gaskets and then I can get some miles on this car before the snow flies.


Pulled the engine out today so I can swap the new converter in without removing the trans. Had the heads off anyways so decided it was easier this way. Was my B day today, bought another 350 to use for dyno testing with the alum heads NA before i put them on the good engine. Will be 10.5:1, huge solid lifter cam, stock rods.

No I do not have the heads but I will get the first set once they are done the prototype phase. I got an update from Mike jr today things are moving along well. 

The heads are going to Torque Master Performance for a max effort porting job. And my new 350 was purchased at his location so I don't have to ship an engine to him to test the alum heads on. Before and after porting flow tests then dyno test at the end NA with high compression and big solid cam but stock fresh shortblock.


I also had time to measure up a Buick 350 engine I am rebuilding! It only had 35,000 original miles on it but I had to take it apart to put it in Leanne's SUV for transportation across the country a few years back. She told me "no engines in the back of my SUV on this trip"... So I took the engine apart and loaded it up rubbermade bin each day till it was all in the back:

A few years back I yanked a great running Buick 350 out of a car I was parting out due to rust... Here is the engine running in these video, it is bone stock and has 35,000 miles on it. The car was owned by an old guy and it rusted out under the vinyl roof from too much rain in the area and not being garaged. 

After I pulled the engine I sat it on the engine stand, removed the plugs, and squirted in a bunch of engine oil then rotated it over a few times and put the plugs back in. This engine was stored at my parents house which is 1200 KM or about 800 miles away from me over a snow covered mountain. 

Leanne and I were going back home for X mass anyways so instead of flying like we normally would we decided to drive and take back this engine and some other stuff. My truck is in the shop getting a lift kit so I decided to stuff the Buick 350 in my wives SUV. The first trick to this is not telling her it was a complete engine.... They are just "Engine parts" that happen to be a complete engine together LOL... Bought some rubbermade containers, tore it down and loaded it up. 

So if you need to move an engine and don't have a truck to use at the time, steal the wives baby mobile and make it a parts hauler:

I am going to have to make a run to my little house and drop off a few engines.... 5 Buick 350s here in the garage at the house we live in....

Then engine came apart SO easy! Not one bolt was tough to loosen, they all came right out! When I pulled the rocker arms off I was impressed with how tight they are! When I pulled the lifters out they were all looking brand new even after the abuse I put the engine through, same with the cam. 

The only thing that needed to be replaced was the timing set, it was LOOSE! So anyone with a stock timing set should think about getting it off and a new one installed. Keep in mind this was with 35,000 miles and it was sloppy.....

The heads looked really nice, and the cylinder bores and pistons all looked like new. 

My plan is to rebuild this engine with a custom cam built for turbocharging, re-ring kit from Northern, no machine work, TA intake to save weight, and use it in my 75 Regal when the original engine has an issue after adding the turbocharger. 


Yes for sure the heads will be flow tested before porting... I will have pics of the porting, information and dialog from the professional head porting guy etc... Then we will dyno an engine NA with the heads. Otherwise if I just use them on a boosted engine it will be tough to say how well the heads actually work... 

Even with poor heads it's easy to make lots of power with boost.


I have always planned to build a 4x4 winter beater but have never got around to it... This $500 Range rover fell onto my lap today, has the 4.6 L V8 that derived from the old 215 Buick engines. A small turbo sure would make things interesting! 

Some better pics of the custom Billet Crank:

No velvet case just a girdled block to keep it all cozy! 


Santa brought some new Buick's for Shane and I: 


Just got off the phone with Blake who bought my old car. He says the car is now up and running well. They are heading to the dyno soon and I will take the day off to see this as well. The car presently has a fully fresh 350 with balanced assembly of 74 rods, arp bolts in rods and mains, TRW pistons, 9.3:1, stock camshaft (you will love this Gary!), ported iron heads with stock valve size, and X factor intake with blow through Holley carb. 200R4 by CK Performance, 3.42 Moser 12 bolt, all new suspension, steering, 4 wheel disk. new interior etc. 


Not much new with the Buick, but I have been busy buying and selling vehicles, and collecting stuff...I normally would never buy a Ford but this one was a super deal so I grabbed it: 

1991 Ford F-350 with 460, 5 speed overdrive manual, 4x4, 4.10 gears, 10 foot tilt flat deck, 25,000 pound PTO winch. It even has an engine hoist setup that mounts into the flat deck. 

Well I have been up to my old tricks... Got some more Buick 350 engines for pretty much free: 

My new enclosed trailer, dirty, but darn nice unit. That is my friends truck he loaned to me but it pulls well. 

A friends Vette that just got painted:

Most of the snow melted it has been WARM: 


I was going to pull it out this winter anyway so I set the boost at 20 psi and rev limiter at 8000 and wanted to see what would break:

It spun a rod bearing and blew a head gasket. 3rd time on the same gasket found it was a warped and that's why it kept blowing gaskets. The oil pressure was low on the engine to start with and the early rods and stock pistons somehow survived the beating. 

Now I just need to decide if I want to swap in one of my good engines or wait till the girdled alum head engine is ready. I am leaning towards waiting for the girdled engine as I have a ton of car and truck projects going on right now.


Getting ready to assemble a good engine with Herche rods and Diamond Pistons, just waiting for a custom Scotty Brown cam... And I have to clear out some chevy and ford engines!! 

Got my cool old chevy truck outfitted, body work will be done this summer: 

And got a spare 460 for my tow truck: 


Got the parts I need to complete the mild iron head engine: 


I was able to fit 4 LS engines in the back of my truck, and tons of LS parts in the back seat. Picked up a bunch of LS engines for my NON Buick projects, including a few turbochargers... Check out the GT-45 turbo I got compared to my big holset one! 

Maybe I need to build a compound turbo setup??

I measured up the smaller gt45 

Inducer diameter = 70mm
Exducer diameter = 82mm

Larger holset turbo

Inducer diameter = 88mm
Exducer diameter = 96mm


Why not buy a 3/4 ton version suburban with the 6.0 and 4l80e? 

Don't think about fuel mileage it's a 4 ton boat.... 

I only got a 1/2 ton because I could not get a short box quad cab in 3/4 ton it was extra box length added. 

Thanks for chiming in. I won't talk about how nice these LS engines are to work on and how good the fuel mileage is but I will say that my plan is to have a well built 4L60e trans and do no other mods to the truck other than conputer tuning and the turbo. I had my local trans shop spend some time researching the weaknesses and upgrades and then swapped out trans in 4 hours and I was on my way. They rate the trans to hold about 400 hp with sticky tires or 600 hp with my all-terrains. This was a lot less hassle than switching the driveshafts, crossmember, wiring etc for the 4l80e. If it was 2wd I would use my 4l80e that's in my shed all built fresh and ready but 4x4 makes a big diff. 

If I were drag racing I would use a 4l80e but it still cost $2000 to have that done well I have the papers. For mild street use truck the 4l60e can do the job. 

I know I won't have this truck for over 2 years, will be a newer used version so for me the trans should be fine.


Well Blake has been driving my old turbo car and it's working great! AC, leather interior, overdrive, 4 wheel disk, and 11 psi of boost!i

Here these pics show the kick ass super short piping that Mark designed: 

Well yeah, eventually I will put the new stage 1 grille in there but its low on the list of "to dos" with the little guy running around and the new baby on the way... I

I think it was more "mad max" when it was in primer: 

And here is the plan for the tow truck to car hauler conversion, paying a pro to weld it up for me: 

Derek, just using the gas 460, it runs great and the gearing is perfect. I have already drove it around with my 75 Regal 4 door on the back and it rides nice and has enough power for the hills... It is not the type of truck I would want a mega HP engine in, it is great for normal speeds not something you would want to go super fast with. I do have a spare 460 engine that I am going to slowly build as a stroker engine for max low RPM torque but no rush as the current engine works great so I am leaving it alone. The only thing I am doing to the tow truck is the flat deck upgrade, then use it and see what upgrades I want to do. I already have some long tube headers to add, and will get a shop to do new exhaust with magna flow mufflers.... 

I personally don't use diesels as they are tough to start in -30 F and they stink LOL! This gas truck fires up great after sitting no issues. I don't care about the MPG, its not an issue for me... I would guess I would use about the same if not less fuel with this car hauler truck compared to pulling my enclosed trailer with my pickup but it would be interesting to compare the two setups for MPG just to know. 

Had my 88 Daytona 2.2 Turbo car out today and it is a blast, 20 PSI down the throat of that little engine and it just loves it... Tires don't stand a chance under 30 miles per hour, fun highway car. 

I also have my 80 Chevy 3/4 truck running really nice and I can use that to tow my enclosed trailer, it also has good gearing for towing.


Got some skinny street tires mounted and balanced, lots of tread on these ones should keep the cops from pulling me over thinking my tires were slicks. Will use the big meats for the track and these pizza cutters for the street. 


Well some good news from Blake who has my old car! He put it on the chassis dyno today and it made 460 HP and 460 TQ at the wheels with max RPM limited to 5500 RPM! There was some tire spin so there is a lot more left in the combo and this was at 10 PSI of boost. The engine in the car is a fresh build with 74 rods, TRW 30 over forged pistons, and ARP studs in the mains, No fancy parts. The cam is a used poston 114 and the heads are fresh but almost stock 71 versions with stock valves and a little bit of home porting done. X factor alum intake, and blow through carb. 

The car has a 3.42 gear, 200R4 trans and hauls down the highway at 100 MPH like its nothing... All steel, about 3900 Pounds, full street car setup. I will post pics and video when I get it!

I see your point, but here is the scoop! 

I have a publishing deal for a book about Buick 350 engines, so I need to break the world record for Buick 350 HP and build the best one around. 

I will have the dyno testing done naturally aspirated once the alum heads are ported, and with a custom turbo camshaft. 

Mark Burton is building me a single kit to use with both of these turbos on the engine dyno (ran separately) so that we can see what it does for power. 

Then I will drop it in the car and run it on low boost to see 10.00. 

Because I have this publishing deal I need the best of the best, I need the cutting edge parts such as the girdle, the billet crank, etc etc. I want to show what the Buick 350 can really do and I want it to be reliable... 

Reading many books about max effort engines, I found that many good engines go bad due to a crankshaft that flexes and causes bearing and block issues... There was a crank failure recently that spooked me into the billet crank, better safe than sorry.... 

Weaker parts can be good for a while, and maybe a long while but you never know when they will give up.


More pics! 


Some pics of my engine coming together. I plan to use my belt driven oil pump but I wanted to be able to use the stock setup if I wanted to for some reason down the road: 


Dragged home another cool chevy truck... 383 stroker, 5 speed, swapped the starter out and now it runs great! 

Much lower than my daily driver truck: 

Pulled my friends vette out of my trailer so I can put my stepside in there... 


Got my tires mounted and balanced, these are for dyno use only so I don't trash my drag tires on the rollers: 

15X12 Steel rim with 295/50R15 BFG Notice how I used a nice wide rim to make a really wide flat contact patch... Put these on some 15X8 rims and you get far less contact patch: 


$200 got me a running parts car: 

It's too bad it sat in a field so long the frame is rusted out. Glass is good, engine is good, trans was rebuilt before it was parked, even came with a nice rear bumper and two new quarter panels... I was surprised to get it so cheep!


Well, just an update... My girdled short block is at Chris Skaling's shop, he will do the alum head porting final assembly and dyno NA then ship it to me. 

The car hauler project is coming along! I will use this to carry light vehicles around when I don't want to hook up the big enclosed trailer. Next thing to do is headers and new exhaust off the 460, and then air bags in the rear to help level it out under load. 


Unfortunately the new owner of my car is having some issues. This is the same thing I had happen on my engine, so we are closer towards sorting out the problem. The car was running great on 7 PSI of boost, good at 10 PSI and then at 12 PSI it blew the head gasket on number 3 cylinder. I gave him some Scotty Brown gaskets and again it blew the number 3 cylinder head gasket. It was making 460 HP at the tires on 10 PSI and running 11s in the quarter. 

This is the car: 

The plan for both of us is to add a Air Fuel (02 sensor) in the header tube at the #3 cylinder as well as an Temperature probe so we can monitor things better. Right now we are only seeing an air fuel ration of an average of the 4 cylinders on that bank.


Well things are coming together with the car hauler project it is 95% done I just need to finish up a few details like fine tuning the ramps, and then adding some air bags to help carry the load when hauling. There are spare ramps secured at the rear of the deck as well to help with low cars. 

And the 88 Daytona is QUICK! The boost is raised up on the turbo and it is a nice little car! Going to sell it though once I have it fully fixed up: 

And the 75 Regal is running well... It has a SP code 10:1 350 in there and a 200R4 right now, makes a great highway hauler: 


I traded some crap I had laying around for my old engine and trans that I sold with my other Skylark last year. The new owner had it making good power but blew the head gasket due to a bad tune up and then he dropped in a LS engine with turbos and it is now 1000 rear wheel HP street car with 6 speed and 4 wheel disks. 

I had bought this engine from Jay 3000 a while back, nice setup well built and the short block has handled the turbos well:

Balanced engine with some mallory metal: 

74 capscrew rods with ARP: 

It sat for a while and then I sold it with my old car: 

I sold the car with the second turbo kit which I also got back! 

And as tough as it was to let go the nice single plane intake went with the car too so its nice to get that back! 

These ported heads came with the engine from Jay but I never did let them go, I gave him some stock rebuilt heads instead. 

This 200R4 trans was $3600 originally was happy to get it back. CK Performance rated for 800 foot pounds of TQ: 

Here was the results of that good bottom end with some stock un-ported heads with 10 PSI and this is rear wheel HP. He had some air/fuel distribution issues and it looks like it went lean on cylinder 3 as it blew that head gasket a few times. It ran 11s in the quarter at almost 4000 pounds and 3.42 gear.


Well today I picked up a cool car! I am going to put a Buick 350 with forged pistons and a single turbo kit in there and back it up with the CK Performance 200r4 trans and make it a street/strip car. I am planning to paint it all black myself and have fun with it and not worry about scratches or rock chips. The rear end is a fully built and spooled 10 bolt with 4.88 gears. With the gears and overdrive trans I will be able to launch it like a bastard and still drive the highway. I could not resist it and the price was right! I have been around this car for years, it was last running 10.35 in the quarter with a 6.0 LS engine and it hooks and goes straight so it should be a lot of fun!

I am not into the stroker builds personally or large overbores I will stick with 355 cubes either boosted or NA... 

I have considered doing a mild NA build with so much gear it could still run well... Will likely go single Turbo though as I have the kit and it would be easy to get it to run fast. Plus boost is addictive. The sound is fantastic and no need for high compression big cam etc... 

This will be a low buck fun car no alum heads or expensive parts.

I have built plenty of good running 350s,old street versions with self done head porting, mild cans that kept the low rpm torque etc. And yes I may build an NA engine but not a max effort one. 

Yes Anthony's engine was 630 hp at 5 psi but they did raise the boost after that and that is where the higher HP estimate came from after they swapped to a higher boost level they never re dynod. 

I have a nice engine here that just needs 60 thou milled off the block (pistons are 60 thou in the hole) and it would be 10.5:1 with diamond pistons and hershe rods and I have 2 big flat tappet solid lifted cams new in the box. That would be a good combo and cost me nothing. This block is all blueprinted and align honed and internally balanced with arp studs in the mains. I likely won't ever use it for boost as it was setup to run iron heads and if it was zero decked it would be too high of compression for boost and the alum heads... And for the alum heads I want a zero deck piston like in my girdled engine. 

Or my other engine I just got back with the high compression TRW forged pistons would be 10.5:1 with some 48 CC ported heads I have and steel shim gaskets. That one is proven reliable bottom end with 74 rods arp etc. It may not have stayed reliable under high boost but it handled the abuse fine at about 580 crank HP on low boost. It only has about 500 miles on it, most of them about 120 mph lol!


Got some better pics of the new car and getting parts together for an iron head NA engine.

Some rod weight info:

Herche rods are 542 grams I measured them today on my good scale. 

The eagle rods we just had done are 580 grams

And from an old post we have the weights of the stock rods and the Nascar take outs: 

The H-beam nascar takeouts for Andy's engine weigh about 530 grams.

So all in all I am happy with the weight savings of any of the aftermarket rods that we have available all of them are much lighter than stock, and also much stronger. 

This is the cam I am stuffing in there:

I will have to have 60 thou milled off the block, and then use the steel shim gaskets but it will give over 10.6:1 compression with these heads. TA roller rockers. the Herche rods, Diamond pistons, X factor intake, Holley 750 carb. MSD dist, just stuff I have kicking around. It will not be optimum but it will run well I am sure. I will drive it around a bit on the street but more of a track car. 

Better pics: 

Got the rear end opened up and holly crap its a 5.57 gear, WOW!! This may just run okay without boost. 

Crunching some numbers with the 200R4 trans and 26" tall tires and 100% converter lockup via toggle switch:

RPM at 65 MPH would be 3135 RPM which is not that bad actually and the car would not be driven long distances on the highway. 

RPM at 125 MPH would be about 6030 RPM so that would be good for a relatively low HP engine to run fast in the quarter. Lots of torque multiplication. 

The last time this car ran with a Th400 trans it would have been revving the below RPM and actually more due to converter slip: 

RPM at 65 MPH would have been 4700 RPM
RPM at 125 MPH would have been 9000 RPM

Will be using fully ported iron heads with oversized valve and TA roller rockers.

Thanks for the info and relevant experience with your Nova. This one is a 75 Omega with a 77 Skylark front clip. A car like this I would not be too worried about fuel mileage, and I will have the car hauler done before this is done so I can piggy back the cars anywhere I want and not have to worry about breakdowns or issues at the track I can just winch it on and drive home... Best of all I will not have to use my trailer its a pain in the butt trailering. I know you mentioned before that a turbo diesel would be a better option for the car hauler and that is what I am doing now its a 2000 E-450 with 7.3 Turbo Diesel and a tank that costs about $900 to fill up LOL!

Roller rockers are 1.6 ratio

I am not sure if Burton is making the roller rocker kits again? Last I heard he was understandably annoyed because there was a ton of interest in turbo kits and then he made them and had very little sales so not sure whats up...

I looked up the specs on the trans and torque converter package and it is a 3400 Stall converter so that will flash up nicely...


I am not interested in more than 10.5:1 and that is the max I could get with these spare parts I have. Not interested in stroking the engine, 355 cubes is fine and I think the big solid cam is enough for the combo. 

The head flow numbers are: 

1.92 and 1.55 valves


.050 - 35
.100 - 62
.200 - 118
.300 - 177
.400 - 218
.500 - 249
.600 - 258


.050 - 28
.100 - 54
.200 - 104
.300 - 147
.400 - 177
.500 - 179
.600 - 180

I did some dyno testing on a hot 350 with 1.92/1.55 valves on a 355 cube Buick 350 a long while back with a single plane custom intake, 10:1, large cam, large tube headers etc. Note there was a typo it was a 350 not a 455.

We were not going any higher than 6500 RPM due to stock rods however with better rods there was more RPM potential in the engine if not for the rods.

This was with the very first single plane intake that I had built and the engine used was Rob Margel's that he let me use for testing. 

As a generality I feel that the optimum operating range for a close to stock Buick 350 with ported heads is 2500-6000 RPM. Any time you push up to 6500 or 7000 RPM the reliability and maintenance needs will be effected. Sure with fancy parts and high $ builds 7000 may be a reasonable goal for peak HP, but like always the idle to 3200 RPM range will be losing torque as a trade off for the high RPM power.

This is where I come to the conclusion that turbocharging is the best way to make about 450-600 crank HP with the 350:

1. You can use the stock bottom end and get adequate compression without milling the block or custom pistons
2. You can use a mild cam that does not give up the bottom end torque
3. You can extend the RPM range of the engine with properly sized turbos, my engine was peaking in HP at about 5500 RPM (Poston 114 cam) before boost and it kept rising past 6300 with boost
4. You can make good power with 4-6 PSI and no intercooler and then it simplifies the setup not having an intercooler. 4 PSI is enough to turn a stock 350 into a healthy engine.
5. Even without expensive head porting or alum heads you can still make 450 HP at the wheels as we proved with my old car as it had stock heads on it, 9:1 and also a Poston 114 cam, this was at 10 PSI with intercooler.

yes we do have to dial in the tune up and ensure that #3 cylinder is getting the right amount of air and fuel and we are not sure yet if it is a carb issue, manifold issue, or if it is making so much torque the engine mount is twisting so hard on the block that the block distorts. Is MPFI the answer or can it be dialed in with the carb? We will see. Either way on low boost things are happy and long living, it is when the boost is raised that both me and the new owner of my other car are blowing out #3 head gaskets while the rest of the engine is happy. Adding exhaust temp probes in the headers to gain more data, and going to try to systematically rule things out and get things happy in all 8 cylinders. it is no issue for me to do a MPFI but this is not an option for a great many people that may be on a tight budget so I am not going to be too quick to get away from the carb. 

I set the rev limiter at 8000 RPM on this run, just to see what would break and although I thought it was a spun rod bearing initially it actually turned out to be that the timing chain broke and the bottom end of the engine looks fine, including the stock rods and pistons. The heads are in good shape too, no issues to be found. 

I did this as a test dummy to see what the stock 350 bottom end can handle, take pics of the broken rods or pistons etc for my book but the engine survived 17 PSI and 8000 RPM. 

Turn up the speakers, it sounds good! 


This was the engine was was claimed to have made 551 HP at 10:1 compression and then was sold to a fellow who is not into drag racing. He has the engine healthy and burning rubber in a 70s regal street car. As far as I know it has been reliable over the years, regardless of the actual HP numbers this is a nice engine. 

Jim B did complete a lot of really good engines, however when he tried to step up to help Buick people get the "Bulldog" 455 blocks he ended up involved in a HUGE fiasco that led to him going out of business. Jim B seemed to have good intentions and good Buick knowledge and reputation in the early years however by the end his reputation was screwed and he was putting up some bad engines due to a various amount of reasons which involved stress and who knows what else. I know of a few guys who got the Bulldog blocks, one of which broke in half.. many others ended up loosing the money. 

I do not think that Jim B meant to screw people around but when people gave HUGE deposits to him so that he could get them a Bulldog block and then "Bradshaw" the guy behind Bulldog who was a real con artist never really made good on the promises of all the blocks even after taking all the deposits from Jim B. So after going through all that and Jim trying to pay people back the deposit money he went under... 

All accounts from old school Buick guys say that Jim B was a far different guy in the early years then how he was perceived at the end...

I could be wrong but this was the impression I have gotten.


Custom oil pan was needed as the stock pan was hitting the frame with the girdle:

More pics of the pan: 

Chris Skaking Whi is breaking in and dyno testing the engine will for the pickup into the side of the pan. 


Got a few things done today while waiting for the TA alum heads... Took down the winter tires for Leanne's SUV and put them on... NO snow on the ground and its mid NOV!!!!:rocker:

Welded up this engine lift crane as it was leaning sideways and getting dangerous. Nice and true now. 

Washed up the car...

Put these tire skates under the car so I can push it around the garage... Nice quality bearings, wheels and THICK plates really sturdy. Shane and the neighbour boy were super happy to help me do this...

Added some winter weight to the back of the truck:

Been messing with a lot of LS trucks too... Doing a single turbo on one of my 6.0 trucks.


While waiting for the alum heads I am keeping busy! Sold the two transfer cases that came with the truck for more than I paid for the truck. 

Putting a Buick 350 and 4L80E into this truck that had a solid axle swap with 1 ton suspension and roll cage.

This 1990 gmc came with independent suspension but for real off road abuse you want some solid axles... Tons of work went into this and it's really well done. 

Pulled it up onto the flat deck for safe keeping, love that PTO winch: 


Some cool pics of my engine build: