1985 Buick Electra - Phase 2: Upgrades

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by Darcane, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    Time to start trimming. Windage tray marked up per Holley's instructions: 01_WindagePrep.jpg

    And cut, cleaned, and installed. New sump installed, new oil pan prepped for install.
    03_ReadyForPan.jpg
    Follow the instructions to the letter... The windage tray has enough slop that it was initially making contact as I hand rotated, so I had to adjust it a little for that. Holley says to clean new parts first... well, the oil pan had the end of a helicoil stuck in a crevice that would have fallen into my engine when I first test fit it. Fortunately I found that before fitting.

    And back together:
    04_PanButtonedUp.jpg

    On an unrelated note, this monster followed me home...
    11_49_AD_HD.jpg
     
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  2. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    That is an awesome truck!
     
  3. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Ooooh, needs a 572 and a biiiiig trans.....
     
  4. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    I've got a regular cab long bed dually Dodge with a gen1 12V Cummins and a NV4500 manual.

    Two trucks will become one.
     
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  5. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    I like the sound of that!
     
  6. kevdupuis

    kevdupuis Membrane

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    A Cummins 12v it's what i was thinking. :cool::cool:
     
  7. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    One of my friends converted a 2wd '73 F100 to a 1-ton 4WD with a Cummins 12V and ZF-5. The truck was a very clean and straight $500 truck.
     
  8. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    This truck conversion is right up my alley. My brother has a 96 F-350 powerstroke 4X4 dually standard cab flatbed. It was an old high way department plow truck, so it was very well maintained mechanically, but it's pretty rough. He just bought a mint 79 F-Series cab/front clip and he's getting ready to start disassembling the 96. Going to be his winter project.
     
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  9. HotRodRacer

    HotRodRacer Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Even though it is not a wagon, please consider starting a build thread on your "Cummins Monster" - "Conster" - when you get to it. I'd love to see progress on it too.

    I'm liking the progress you are making on the LS swap too. Good to see everything you run into and overcome along the way.
     
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  10. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    I started mounting the engine mount adapters. I bought these from CPP. They are supposed to generically replace mounts to a SBC. I figure a SBC came in this chassis, so it should fit right up.
    CPP_Adapters.jpg



    Well, I had an Oldsmobile engine and the mounts look like this:
    Buick_EngineMts.jpg
    They appear to be too close together.

    So I thought, hey, Vetteman has the same chassis but had a SBC. Let's look at his mounts:
    Fixing up a '71 Grand Safari

    Hmm, those don't look like they are going to work either. Weird.

    Well, I think I am going to try flipping over the mounts in the K-member, and see how close I get. Otherwise, I'll have to figure out if there are other SBC mounts for B-bodies

    Three other interesting things in that picture:
    • Top right corner. There is some sort of cardboard tube on a bracket. What is it?
    • My Quickjacks underneath the car. I love these things in a tiny garage.
    • I'm starting to clean up the wiring under the hood too. Anyone know where I can get a wiring diagram?

    Buick_HVAC_01.jpg

    It also makes sense to dig into my HVAC system. My Buick has these auto HVAC controls. It only partially works, A/C did nothing, the heater core might be leaking, and there seems to be a leak on the passenger floor.
     
  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    With the LS swap, that'll give you a modern 134a compressor, so lines to adapt to each other, a new receiver/drier, and a flush of the evap and condenser coils will get that A/C system ready to be hooked up. Then it will be a matter of a new heater core, and verifying/diagnosing)hooking up the rest. If nobody has any info on the Buick version of Comfortron, let me know and I'll see what I can dig up.
     
  12. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    Ugh, no luck finding a wiring diagram at all. I can't find shop manuals for this car or anything online. So, I've been trying to trace things which is nightmarish and time consuming. This mess is the engine compartment side of the harness that goes through the firewall on the driver's side:
    Wiring_05_Med.jpg

    One half is primarily lighting. The other half seems to be wiring that goes the the dash and controls for the wipers.



    On the passenger side, it's primarily a bundle of wires for the ECM and I'm pretty sure I can eliminate the whole lot of it: Wiring_01_Med.jpg

    As I was tracing these back, I was also trying to track down some issues with the HVAC. One, a lot of it doesn't work, this turns out to be a combination of the heater core leaking, many cracks in the HVAC housing, linkages disconnected from their actuators, etc. This led me to rip out the entire system (everything from the engine side removed here, large harness at the bottom goes to the ECM): Wiring_06_Med.jpg

    This also appears to be the source of at least one leak into the cabin. I plan to clean up the rust, cover this with a flat panel, and replace the whole system with a simple, much smaller Vintage Air system that does heat only. It'll do what I need.

    Slow and steady...
     
  13. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    Daaaaaaang! That is crummy man.
     
  14. kevdupuis

    kevdupuis Membrane

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    That's the problem with some of these projects, the rabbit hole gets deep fast.
     
  15. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    I pulled the hitch and tank off the wagon:
    Buick_Hitch_01.jpg
    Buick_Tank_01.jpg
    Does anyone happen to know if the 1991-1996 B-body wagon tanks will bolt into place? They look pretty similar.


    And rolled it outside so I could pressure wash the engine compartment:
    Buick_Outside_01.jpg

    This also gave me some room to work in the garage on finally getting those broken exhaust studs out. Two of them, on either end of the same head.
    Buick_ExStuds_01.jpg

    The easy way is to weld the stud to a washer or two and then weld a nut on top of that. The first one worked on my second try. Hey this IS easy.


    Not so fast...
    Buick_ExStuds_03.jpg
    Took me about a dozen tries on the second one. Twice I got it to rotate about one full rotation before snapping off the head. Fender washers helped.

    Chased the threads afterwards. Time to start looking for manifolds.
     

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