I spent 8 years and an
estimated 5000 hr. building this
car 1968 Buick Skylark Gran Sport. It was originally a GS 400 with a Turbo 400
transmission in it.
It now has a 455 bored to 462CID with a Doug
Nash 5 speed Stick which is sold by Richman Gear. I has a reinforced
12 bolt GM rear end with after market positraction. It is difficult to
make a 12 bolt rear end that can stand the tremendous torque that the
Buick 455 has, but we did it.
This car is a complete frame
off rebuild. The Engine is a modern version of an
old muscle car big block. With electronic fuel
injection a Mallory ignition system and variable rate
valve lifters it gets 11 to 12 miles per gallon around
town compared to the 3 to 4 MPG that these motors got
when they were new using two 4 barrel carbs. It
also runs very happily on unleaded premium. It has
hardened valve seats to withstand the unleaded gas and
swirl polished stainless steel valves.
Stanley 92-824 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set,
It has an oxygen sensor in both headers for
the computers that control the fuel mixture. It runs on
the main computer under hard acceleration and switches to a
second add-on computer when running on the street. The
add-on computer adjusts the fuel mixture for maximum mileage
and the Rhoades lifters close so that the valves don't open
very far. This greatly improves the low end torque and
the gas mileage.
I might add a note here on the use of Rhoades lifters.
There is a lot of talk about variable rate lifters being noisy
and producing a lot of clatter. My Rhoades lifters do
not make any noise at all. The engine doesn't clatter or
any of the things that you read about. It has been our
experience that the problem is in balancing the oil pressure
so that you can control the bleed down profile of the lifters.
The oil pressure must not get too low at idle to 3000 RPM or
then you will get clatter. That is why when you put
these lifters in an old worn engine you have problems.
(The higher pressure valve springs also help stop clatter but
you must have a stronger than normal valve train to withstand
the pressure, that is why we use bigger pushrods and roller
rockers). You can correct the pressure with high volume
oil pump and bypass pressure springs. I do not use a
high volume pump because the engine is new and holds the
required pressure. The high pressure valve springs,
stronger pushrods and roller rockers also effect the balance
and the durability of the valve train when using variable
duration lifters. You must have everything right or they
will not work properly. You must be prepared to adjust
the oil pressure until it's right and when done correctly the
high power, high gas mileage and high "low to midrange torque"
have larger pushrods TA Roller Rockers and dual high
pressure valve springs to smooth out the valve train with the
afore mentioned Stainless Steal Swirl Polished valves and a
triple angle valve grind.
The small picture, at
the very top left of the page, shows the car sitting in my garage where it has spent the last 16
years. It is heated and air conditioned with air filters running and
yes that's real ceramic tile on the floor. This is where the car was
built. This shop also turns into a spray booth with
filtering equipment to contain the fumes and control the over
spray. We painted the GS with 14 coats of House of Kolor
Catalyzed Urethane paint. It is Candy Apple Red paint with gold base coat
containing PPG ultra fine gold metal flake. The 14 coats
are made up of, two coats House of Kolor gold base with metal flake added.
Two coats House of Kolor Inter-coat Clear with gold flake
added. Four coats House of Kolor Candy Apple Red.
Six coats of House of Kolor Clear to fill the flake and give
depth. the clear coats have ultraviolet blocker in them
to protect the red from fading in the sun.
convinced that to build a top scoring car you must have good
tools and the right tool for the job. I get my tools
as they have the best prices and the best tools.
This is the Folder that is the
operating manual for my car. It has wiring diagrams
and tells where every switch is and what it does and also
has the original owners manual in the front pocket.
The folder also includes things like where every relay is
located and how to disassemble the custom made dash.
This is a very complex car and without the operating manual
you can't even start the car. I started it after
not running it for an extended time and I had to go and get
the folder before I could figure out how to start it and I
built the car.
is an example of a diagram in the
Wiring Diagram for
find that I often have to refer to the folder when I am
adjusting or trying to figure out what a switch does. The car also has small white lettering under all the
switches and controls like the example below.
Every automatic system on the
car has a manual override.