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Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 9:21 a.m.

I aquired this car by trading clemsparks my 1990 Miata for it. On a cold November morning (11/11/18 - this past Sunday). We both had to drive 3 hours to meet in the middle, and three hours home. Luckily everything worked out just fine.

The tires on the Skylark are sketchy at best, so we both kept it slow on the highway, an indicated 60-65 for the most part.

The 'lark cruises really nicely on the highway, and a few times I found myself going 70-75 without even trying. And I did pass one semi so even though I was close I wasn't the slowest vehicle on the road!

Here we are safe at home

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 9:33 a.m.
stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
11/14/18 9:34 a.m.

Nice!  Needs some hubcaps, though.  smiley  Does it have the 300ci V8 or the 225ci V6?

 

edit:  The specs were posted up at the same time I was typing, so it does have the V8.  If it has a TH350 transmission that must have been swapped in at some point.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 9:48 a.m.

One thing I noticed driving this home is that it is really slow. Like it does normal driving just great (keeps up with modern traffic no issue), but basically there is no point in the bottom 3/4 of throttle travel. 1/4 throttle feels normal, but any more throttle than that does nothing extra. 

So yes, I had to do a test 1/4 mile. There are a few long straight roads near my house with almost no traffic. I found one on google maps that has a light pole 1320 ft from the stop sign. I drove there. I used a stopwatch app on my phone. 

19.97 seconds at about 64 mph (indicated). Drag racing calculator says that time gives me 85 ish hp. same drag racing calculator gives a 1990 miata 100 hp. same calculator again says the skylark would drop 1.3 seconds if I swapped in the miata 1.6 instead of the buick 300. yikes. I think we can improve on that a bit. Here are the things I want to look into. 

1. The car feels like it shifts WAY too early. Since this th350 trans is not original (a 2 speed buick trans would have been original), I have a feeling the governor in the trans may need some adjustment. Seriously the 1-2 shift at WOT comes at 30 mph (indicated). If my suspicions are correct and the rear gears are like 3.09 or something, that means the 1-2 shift is happening at 3k rpm at WOT. Even if the rear gears are like 3.90s, that still means the 1-2 WOT shift is happening at 3600 rpm. Still not getting to the powerband of the venerable "wildcat 310".

2. General tune-up. Points, dwell, spark plug gap, timing, mixture, oil change, etc. I'll first try to set it back to as close to factory specs as possible, then I might try to mess with the timing a bit to see if we can make some power. 

3. Choke is clearly not working properly. May be running lean on a cold day like yesterday even with the engine fully warmed since the choke is basically stuck 100% open. 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 9:51 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

Nice!  Needs some hubcaps, though.  smiley  Does it have the 300ci V8 or the 225ci V6?

 

edit:  The specs were posted up at the same time I was typing, so it does have the V8.  If it has a TH350 transmission that must have been swapped in at some point.

The hubcaps are in the trunk. I may try to put them on, or I may try to paint the wheels red. 

I verified the engine 'production code' yesterday to be "LL" which means it is a 1965 300ci V8, with 9.0:1 compression and a 2bbl carb. Supposedly that meant 210 hp and 310 ftlbs of torque, but this was back before the SAE really clamped down on figures, so it could be 210 hopes and 310 dreams. Many folks say this engine was underrated from the factory, but I sort of have a hard time believing that. 

akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
11/14/18 9:54 a.m.

Do you need a dwell meter?  On second thought just drop a newer HEI in it.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 9:58 a.m.

Ok, goals and other to-dos for this car. 

PRIMARY GOAL: This will be a fun cruiser for the family. Go get ice cream. Drive around on holidays. Use it as a dd on nice days. 

In order to meet the primary goal, i have set this next SECONDARY GOAL: Do no big projects. This must stay available to drive. Maintenance or mods should be kept to a week of downtime maximum, and even over winter there should only be small things happening to it. 

Other to-dos: 

  1. The car came with a dual circuit master cylinder. I need to swap that on. And check the wheel cylinders to find the brake fluid leak and fix it. 
  2. Needs better tires. Currently scoping craigslist for something but might just bite the tirerack bullet. 
  3. Paint needs some help, especially the hood and the top. Need to figure out what to do there. I'll post some better pictures soon. 
Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 10:01 a.m.
akylekoz said:

Do you need a dwell meter?  On second thought just drop a newer HEI in it.

I DO need a dwell meter. I think a newer distributor would be nice but I also want to see how well I can do with what I've got. Bonus of the dwell meter is they also usually have a tach for setting idle RPM right? Maybe that tach would also help me setup my transmission governor for shift points at WOT. 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
11/14/18 10:07 a.m.

Love it. As far as I'm concerned these are THE most capable 60's cars out there. Good suspension design, beautiful shape, classic GM interchangeability. 

 

Enjoy it. I'll be following along with quiet envy. 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
11/14/18 10:27 a.m.

If  you won't drive it very fast or very often, then points should work just fine, well new ones anyhow.

    Paint the hood and roof white, you will never match to old paint anyhow.

        Great car, hope I don't find something like this, since there is no more room....

cmcgregor
cmcgregor Dork
11/14/18 10:35 a.m.

Nice! Quite a change from the Miata. I'm interested to see how this goes, as I've had similar thoughts of finding something with 4 seats that the whole family can enjoy. 

Also - you just can't get enough of driving that Miata long distances through winter weather, can you cheeky

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 10:48 a.m.
cmcgregor said:

Nice! Quite a change from the Miata. I'm interested to see how this goes, as I've had similar thoughts of finding something with 4 seats that the whole family can enjoy. 

Also - you just can't get enough of driving that Miata long distances through winter weather, can you cheeky

haha! nope, I guess I can't. It was a great winter weather road-tripper though, both times. 

4 seats and family enjoyment was exactly the point. I never drove the miata because I hardly ever drive by myself anymore (for a full round trip that is). And we took many trips in the minivan that could have been done in a 1965 skylark...

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/14/18 11:02 a.m.
Robbie said:

same calculator again says the skylark would drop 1.3 seconds if I swapped in the miata 1.6 instead of the buick 300. yikes. 

I love that comment!

NOT A TA
NOT A TA Dork
11/14/18 11:03 a.m.

I have an extra tach/dwell meter still in original package I'd be happy to send ya. Can't bring myself to throw out stuff like that and I have more I rarely use.  Send your mailing info to laboratoryfourteen@gmail.com

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
11/14/18 11:24 a.m.

FLAKE THE ROOF

Duder
Duder New Reader
11/14/18 11:38 a.m.

Rad car. The A-body Buicks seem to be a good value compared to more popular but otherwise similar stuff.

And rolling projects are the best. It can get frustrating having to get everything back together quickly after finishing a single job, but then you get to start the car up and enjoy it again until it's time for the next thing.

One of my buddies recently took custody of a '65 Sportwagon from a mutual friend. It had been sitting several years but it's his semi-daily driver now. I've ridden in it and enjoy the great visibility and laid-back feeling that immediately washes over as soon as you sit in that squishy relaxed bench seat.

Here it is: http://www.dailyturismo.com/2018/07/another-day-another-project-car.html

I'll bug him to post some updates.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/14/18 2:06 p.m.
Patrick said:

FLAKE, LACE, AND PEARL THE ROOF

now you're talking!

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/14/18 2:10 p.m.

GM intermediate 5x4.75" means corvette rally's are a bolt-on.  It also means E12/24/28/31/32/34/36/38/39 rims are also bolt-on.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 2:34 p.m.
NOT A TA said:

I have an extra tach/dwell meter still in original package I'd be happy to send ya. Can't bring myself to throw out stuff like that and I have more I rarely use.  Send your mailing info to laboratoryfourteen@gmail.com

that is an awesome offer - emailed - thanks!

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 2:35 p.m.

In reply to Duder :

that is an awesome wagon. all the good options!

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 2:37 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:

GM intermediate 5x4.75" means corvette rally's are a bolt-on.  It also means E12/24/28/31/32/34/36/38/39 rims are also bolt-on.

yeah, i've been looking at lots of wheel options. I even think my honda odyssey snow tires would bolt on. 

But realistically I will probably go buy a brand new set for stock wheels from tirerack, since I can find some whitewalls for effectively $55 each. Brand new anything tires will be a huge improvement over what came on this car stock...

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 2:39 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:
Patrick said:

FLAKE, LACE, AND PEARL THE ROOF

now you're talking!

maybe i'm showing my lameness, but what if I don't know what that means? Is that like 'high-end' hot rod paint or something?

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/14/18 2:49 p.m.

Well, I may have just initiated scope creep, but I'll be going to pick up a front disk conversion tonight that I'll install at the same time as the dual circuit master. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/64-67-GM-A-Body-Front-Disc-Brake-Conversion-Wheel-Kit-Set-Caliper-Rotor-Brackets/191826887530?epid=1134277134&hash=item2ca9c6036a:g:6QcAAOSwMPxaoY1L:rk:7:pf:0

Its that kit that a guy bought, never opened or installed, and then sold the car so is selling the kit on CL. $300 instead of $355 on ebay. Considering just refreshing the front drums with rockauto parts would be around $170, I'm good with an upgrade to disks. 

02Pilot
02Pilot SuperDork
11/14/18 2:55 p.m.

With a car that heavy, I can't imagine a reason not to upgrade to discs in the front, scope creep be damned.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/14/18 3:03 p.m.

Google "lace roof paint".  It is literally stretching lace fabric across a panel, then *lightly* painting over it, then removing the fabric.  flake is metalflake, pearl is another type of additive that makes the clear change color a little depending on viewing angle. 

here's a good example:

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