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231 Buick in a Lark??

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  • 231 Buick in a Lark??

    Here a thought I had while digging through a big drift at my parents house.

    Not that I am going to try this any time soon, I have other projects to finish but I have access to a 231 Buick V6 with a turbo 350, I think. It's something I have and why send a good drive train to the scrapper.

    Are Buick and Chevy motor mounts similar? Can I use the 65/66 V8 brackets to install a Buick V6 in a Lark? (or even my ugly truck using Jeep parts) I know that I would have to adapt or fab up a rear crossmember... and figure out how to wire the thing and... and... and...

    While digging I was saying to myself, Yea, I can do this and also saying to myself... Geez, how much is this hairbrained idea gonna cost

    Jeff T.

    "I'm getting nowhere as fast as I can"
    The Replacements.
    \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
    The Replacements.

  • #2
    You may be better off to keep digging. In my limited experience I would not touch the Buick swap. My brother and I spent tons of time swapping a 75 231 Buick in a 70 Datsun pick-up...it wasn't worth the time and money involved. The Buick did not make much power, although it did have good torque. Speed parts at the time were expensive. In my opinion we should have swapped in a 4.3 Chevy v6, overall much cheaper, way more power in stock form (195 hp vs 115), oil filter and oil pan would pose no clearance problems like the Buick, and in the case of swapping one into a Stude, the mounts are already available. Just because the Buick is free does not mean that it would be cheaper or more satisfactory in the long run. I feel there are better choices. While on the topic...I was wondering what it would be like to swap the Chevy Trail Blazer inline DOHC six into a Stude. That might be cool...that beautiful inline 6 exhaust note and engine balance combined with the modern power and reliability. Junior



    54 Champ C5 Hamilton car. In my family since 1958.
    sigpic
    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

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    • #3
      Oh ya, forgot, by reply was based on the fact that the Buick was a non-fuel injected, non-turbo engine. If you have a GN or GNX engine it would be worthwhile to spend the time and $ to install it in a Stude. That would be FUN.



      54 Champ C5 Hamilton car. In my family since 1958.
      sigpic
      1954 C5 Hamilton car.

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      • #4
        I had a 53 coupe with a Buick turbo and it was the most pleasing swap I've ever owned. R2 power with a lot of weight off the front wheels.

        JDP/Maryland
        JDP Maryland

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        • #5
          I think you have to be careful when you're tempted by a freebie. A swap is a ton of work more than just going stock. And unless you plan to drive it infrequently, better have an injected motor to make the most of your gas. An injected 5.0 or 305 will usually get better mileage than a smaller less powerful motor that isn't injected. So, if you're tempted by the V6 mileage, it had better be injected, or it might not pay off as you would like. And if the rear is geared low, that 350 trans won't help out in the mileage dept either. A midsized V8 injected, with a high geared rearend, like a 3.07 and a 350 trans would be a nice all around powertrain. Carburetors are notorious for wasting a certain percentage of fuel, and the larger the engine, the more that percentage turns into gallons.

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          • #6
            The Buick doesn't use the same mounts as the Chebby. This would not be a bolt in swap.

            As someone brought up the turbo motors, I always toyed with the idea of swapping the internals of the 3.8L supercharged engine in a RWD block (FWD blocks are different from RWD) and putting the supercharger back on 260HP!

            Of course you can get over 200 with the 4.3L and get a Vortech supercharger, but that wouldn't be CASO.

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Tom - Mulberry, FL

            1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2161.27)

            1964 Studebaker Commander 170-1V, 3-speed w/OD (Cost to Date: $623.67)

            Tom - Bradenton, FL

            1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
            1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

            Comment


            • #7
              Trick Titanium a few years ago took a '59 or there abouts Hawk and installed a complete Buick GN drive train and interior. It was painted it all black and was sharp, featured in Hot Rod. I believe a SDC member now owns this car. This was probably one of the best swaps I have ever seen. I have often thought this would be a neat swap in a later model Avanti as well.

              Dan White
              64 R1 GT
              64 R2 GT
              Dan White
              64 R1 GT
              64 R2 GT
              58 C Cab
              57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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              • #8
                Those non turbo 231's are on about the same caliber as OHV 170 engines. Not much power and both were not real long lasting engines.

                66 Commander R1 Clone
                51 Commander 4dr
                1962 Champ

                51 Commander 4 door

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                • #9
                  Not so... Don't let the others scare you away from this swap.
                  IF...you don't want to do any hop-ups...then it's an ok swap. If you don't mind doing some head work and an Edelbrock manifold...it will be a very nice way to go.

                  In stock form, the 231 runs..ok (WAY better than any 170!!!)

                  In slightly modified or the turbo version, they can be right on par or better than the Chevy V-6.
                  How do I know...I've built both, raced both.
                  A stock block Buick CAN easily put out 300hp with some basic modifications.
                  OR...over 1000hp with lotsa modifications...!

                  But once over about 350hp, the Chevy V-6 will start to out-do the Buick.

                  And no, as others have said, the Buick and Chevy mounts are/will be different. As will the trans.
                  BUT the BOP bellhousing trans. will bolt up to either engine and work fine.

                  Though...with either engine...I'd use the T-200-4R transmission. Just personal preferance.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    I've had tranny jobs come in that had the bop bolted up to the chevy block because the alignment pins and two bottom bolt holes were the same. The small area (about an inch) on each side where the trans pattern matches the block pattern wears away the aluminum and the top of the two start coming closer together. Whereas the 2004r's I've seen have both patterns.

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                    • #11
                      OK Maybe I was a little hard on the 231 comparing it to a 170. My point was that without some work you would not gain much by switching to a bone stock 231. I am as big a Buick fan as a Studebaker fan, so I know a fair amount 231's. 231 is a generic term anyway. We don't know if we are talking about an old odd fire 231 or a turbo GN engine. I hope this help clarify my earlier post.

                      66 Commander R1 Clone
                      51 Commander 4dr
                      1962 Champ

                      51 Commander 4 door

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ya, I thought you were a little hard on the 231 too, except that the small amount of power gain isn't worth all the extra work to swap it out. So, I felt that the statment was warranted. And just because the buick runs good, who knows how long it will really last? If it was a fresh motor, that's one thing, but what if he has to start making repairs on it after all is said and done?

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                        • #13
                          Jeff, The stock Buick mounts are on the side of the block. Just a couple of holes like the 289 Ford. It is in the way of the Stude pitman arm. You have to build custom front mounts for the motor. In the rear you would be better off to use a Trans-dapt adapter and a Stude 3 speed. The trans mount is easy, just a little piece of angle iron. Oil pump is no problem if you use the metric cover and pump.

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                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by Swifster

                            The Buick doesn't use the same mounts as the Chebby. This would not be a bolt in swap.
                            As someone brought up the turbo motors, I always toyed with the idea of swapping the internals of the 3.8L supercharged engine in a RWD block (FWD blocks are different from RWD) and putting the supercharger back on 260HP!
                            Of course you can get over 200 with the 4.3L and get a Vortech supercharger, but that wouldn't be CASO.
                            Way over 200 hp. Check the GMC Syclone 4.3- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_Syclone 0-60 in under five seconds...




                            Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Daytona convertible, '53 Commander Starliner, Museum R-4 engine, '62 Gravely Model L, '72 Gravely Model 430

                            Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                            '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by Kurt

                              OK Maybe I was a little hard on the 231 comparing it to a 170. My point was that without some work you would not gain much by switching to a bone stock 231. I am as big a Buick fan as a Studebaker fan, so I know a fair amount 231's. 231 is a generic term anyway. We don't know if we are talking about an old odd fire 231 or a turbo GN engine. I hope this help clarify my earlier post.
                              GM used the 3.8L Series II, non-turbo engine in the 1995 & up Camaro & Firebird as the base engine. The horsepower was 200HP and was available with an automatic and 5-speed manual. The 200HP is about the same as the Chevy 4.3L.

                              ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Tom - Mulberry, FL

                              1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2161.27)

                              1964 Studebaker Commander 170-1V, 3-speed w/OD (Cost to Date: $623.67)

                              Tom - Bradenton, FL

                              1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                              1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

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