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#402613 - 12/26/09 06:02 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: markjohnson]

Hey Mark!

Those are pretty much dead-on observations on these cars. As you know, they were basically unit-bodies with a sheet metal "frame" underneath. Even the glass is thin. This example has aluminum bumper beams. Some even had aluminum rad supports. I had an El Camino ('78, which I bought new) that had an aluminum hood. It was because of that flexi-flier syndrome that I spent the time bracing everything. The bars that tie the forward trailing arm mounts together are a pain to install (and you can pre-load them..which is the case here), but they certainly work. Before I started (when the car was more or less stock), I could jack the car up and watch the door gaps change! Today, nothing moves or droops. I like going to car shows and taking a close look at Grand Nationals. You can easily spot the ones with extra heat under the hood and little or no chassis bracing (tweaked quarters, cracked windshields, cracked t-tops, "B" posts that are cracking, etc.)<g>. Of course, light also equates to quick for most cars!

And speaking of that, do you have any pix of your '79? I'd like to see some. Sounds like a real bad boy! I like the part about getting kicked off the drag strip I can relate...

Take care man...
Wayne Scraba

#402614 - 12/26/09 11:26 PM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]

Here are some details on pieces I used in the rear suspension on Buford. I think you can also get some useful rear suspension tuning info from the following as well:
I used upper and lower trailing arms from TRZ Race Cars (I have parts from both AutoFab and TRZ Ė both companies have really, really nicely finished hardware). This first photo shows the rear end setup before the gas tank was installed and before the brakes and other pieces were completed. I spent a lot of time concerning myself with the suspension geometry on the car, and as I probably mentioned previously, Iím not big on altering the instant center by a huge amount. Iíve seen so called ďlift barsĒ actually oval the holes in suspension mount points. Folks in the know figure this is because the lift bars are actually attempting to rip the rear end out of the car.

This photo shows upper trailing arms from both TRZ and AutoFab (I picked up a set of uppers and lowers from both companies). TRZ pieces (the ones I installed in the car) are at the top. These components are very nicely welded, have great machining and are finely finished. Both companies also have outstanding reputations within the stock suspension ďfast street carĒ drag race crowd too. In this case, I decided to stick with one manufacturer for rear suspension hardware instead of mixing and matching.

Whatís appealing with these pieces is the fact theyíre easily adjustable. Some people figure you can adjust the factory four link by way of preload (like folks do with a drag race four link Ė on those setups, you can shorten the upper right bar to increase the pre-load on the right rear tire; If you lengthen the same bar, then more load is placed on the left rear tire.). That isnít really correct with a stock style suspension system since the factory four link is triangulated, not parallel. In my case (stock style GM triangulated suspension), the upper bars are used to center the rear end housing from side to side (by adjusting one upper). The upper bars also used to set the pinion angle (by adjusting both uppers the same direction and same amount). The adjuster for the top trailing arm bars is shown in this photo (the build quality here on the TRZ pieces is fabulous by the way):

I removed the top bushings and bushing sleeves from the rear end housing and installed a set of spherical bearings from TRZ Race Cars. Actually, I used the billet bearing retainers from TRZ and swapped out the spherical bearings (exchanging the supplied bearings which I believe are from QA1) for pieces from Aurora Bearing. Iíve always had good success with hardware from Aurora. Their good bearings are manufactured in the USA, and they donít cheap out by injecting plastic into the piece as a bearing surface (more common on Chinese made bearings than you might think). Itís for this reason that Pro Stock chassis builders such as my old acquaintance, Jerry Bickel use Aurora hardware. The good quality Aurora rod ends are definitely pricey, but I figured I could justify it on this build. By the way, pretty much everywhere you see a spherical bearing or non-solid rod end (there are two solid rod ends used for lower shock mounts), on this car the bearing came from Aurora. And there are a lot of rod ends and bearings in use on this car!

The lower trailing arms I used on the Buick are also from TRZ. In this photo, you can see both the TRZ and the AutoFab pieces. TRZ bars are on the top. The big difference is the Delrin (very hard plastic) bushing on the frame side and an adjuster on the rear end side. The Delrin-equipped bar is more street friendly than one with rod ends on either end (less harsh and less noise). Delrin material doesnít deflect like poly. That means, for a street driven car, itís a far superior material. In truth, poly bushings cause ďstictionĒ (where the bushing momentarily seizes) and that causes all sorts of traction tuning issues. The lower bar adjustment is to set the wheelbase on the car (and obviously attempt to simultaneously center the wheels in the wheel well). FYI, this setup allows for minute wheelbase changes. And like their top bars, the TRZ lowers have a fabulous build quality.

When it came to the setup, I didnít use lift bars. I didnít use air bags. I didnít use trick springs (the stock six cylinder springs are in the car). And as youíve probably gathered, I didnít use revised suspension geometry either. So how do you make these things hook? The key is in the anti-roll bar along with the shock absorbers. To pre-load the suspension in an A or G-Body, a sway bar (anti-roll bar or ďARBĒ) is most often used. When the car is driving straight down the road, an anti-roll bar is effectively in a ďneutralĒ position. That means it has no effect upon the way the car feels or works (drives, rides, handles). It also has no effect upon ride height. Get on the throttle though, and the anti-roll bar counteracts torque rotation. Increasing the diameter of a stock rear bar or using a weld-in anti-roll bar (like the really cool TRZ piece I used), allows you to tune the amount of torque rotation the car has. The beauty of the weld-in ARB is that you can physically climb under the car and adjust the links that locate the bar to the rear axle housing. That means you can add or subtract pre-load at will. And itís pretty easy to disconnect or disable should it be desired.

The other key at the rear of the car is the shock absorber arrangement. I wanted a high quality double adjustable shock here. It just so happened that Strange Engineering is now building high quality aluminum body shocks in the USA. Theyíve been a Koni distributor for a long time, and it was only natural for them to branch out into shock absorbers. Both adjusters (rebound and compression) for each of the back shocks are located at the base (because of the adjuster size and location, I had to rotate the shock at the lower mount).

In the Buick adjustment is super easy to set. I set the rebound first. For a baseline, I set the rebound adjuster to the hardest (full clockwise) position. This means the shock will be hard to extend. Basically, this means the body will not be separating easily. Itís essentially a very conservative starting point.

Next, I set the compression adjuster to full soft (full counterclockwise) position. This means the shock will be easy to compress. The car will droop at the back (again, a very conservative setting to get started). At this point, I can tune the car for various drag strip conditions. When the car is set up for street use, then its easy to turn both adjusters (rebound and compression) to four or five clicks back from full hard). If thereís a need to firm up the handling for some reason, then itís easy to simply turn both of the adjuster knobs clockwise. As you can imagine, these shocks from Strange are super nice pieces. It's not necessary to remove the shocks from the car for adjustment either. You simply crawl underneath and twist knobs (no tools are required either).

Thatís it for now, but Iíve found a couple of pix of the front end pieces, and Iíll see if I can find a few more. When I do that and find some time to add some captions, Iíll post them here. Til next time!

Wayne Scraba

#402615 - 12/27/09 02:35 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]
markjohnson Offline


Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 1965
Loc: STL, MO.
Neat stuff, Wayne. I ran my "G" body Drag Radial car initially with an un-adjustable Hotchkiss rear suspension, air bags, and 200 LBS of sandbags in the trunk! First few passes with the "big" motor required holding the steering wheel quite crooked, just to make the car go straight and to keep it off the guardrail! Really made for some scary passes. I installed an adjustable Metco rear suspension (I really like their stuff), QA1 adjustable rear shocks, and a stock F41 rear sway bar from the local junkyard. After setting the correct pinion angle with only the upper left arm installed, I'd re-install the upper right arm and then shorten it a full turn. This actually made the car sit a little higher in the right rear at static rest but would level out beautifully at the launch. I also stiffened up the right rear shock with the dial, totally de-flated the air bags, and was able to get rid of that 200 LBS of sand in the trunk! It took a long time to get all this sorted out and once done, these little things really worked out great for me and the car would launch and track straight. It became very easy to drive.....straight like a missle, compared to how terrible it first was. Mind you, this was all on a BF Goodrich 275-60 Drag Radial back when they were the only manufacturer of Drag Radials. These days, I hear the Mickey Thompson Drag Radial is far superior and quite an incredible tire for getting power to the ground.
Z06 Carvette, 1962 Biscayne A/MP "0-21669" MKIV/M-22

#402616 - 12/29/09 06:58 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]

I figured I'd show some photos of the front suspension pieces fitted to the Buick along with some various engine compartment shots. My idea for front suspension was to swap out the OEM a-arms for a set of tubular aftermarket models. There are plenty of different shapes and sizes of a-arms out there. Some are really good. Some (as you can well imagine) are really bad. The ones I chose are from AutoFab Race Cars. I really liked them because not only were they (extremely) well built, they were built from 4130 steel (chrome moly) and were nicely TIG welded (which is pretty much mandatory with 4130). Another big bonus was the fact they used large rod ends on all four (per side) mounting points. I should also point out that in stock form, there is quite a bit of camber change when the suspension on these cars goes through its travel (similar to the antics of something like an earlier GM A-body). Much of that camber change is fixed with the geometry of the AutoFab a-arms. Here's a photo of the a-arms as delivered from AutoFab.

I decided to make a few mods to the a-arms. Like the rest of the car, I swapped the supplied rod ends for high strength 4130 jobs from Aurora (they're almost $60Ö.eachÖYikes!). Another question I had was this: The uppers came with nicely machined aluminum cross shafts. On a racecar, you don't concern yourself with potholes and other road irregularities. On a car that sees street use, obviously you do. ďWhat if?Ē entered my mind, so much so I called a pal who is a mechanical engineer and asked him. Although he figured the loads might not be that brutal in this location, he thought it would be safer on a street car to use a steel cross shaft. As a result, I had steel cross shafts machined to replace the standard aluminum models AutoFab supplies. Finally, while the hammer tone powder coating AutoFab uses is of an excellent quality, I didn't really dig the color. So I stripped the a-arms and had them powder coated black. You can see the upper here, installed in the car. In this photo, you can also see the fabbed brake hard lines. I installed armor on the lines anywhere the lines would be vulnerable (actually I used an entire roll of stainless armor for the car).

This photo of the left front shows the upper and part of the lower a-arm. The big bolt that goes through the top of the upper is a suspension travel limiter. Basically, it's a suspension stop bolt used to adjust and limit the amount of movement the front suspension has. The limiters can be backed right off for street use or you can "tie the car down" so that the front has little travel on a super sticky racing surface. I powder coated the spindles and the brake calipers. The flex hoses are from Russell while the frame bracket for the hose is stock, but cad plated silver. Wheel studs are long models and the dust shields are new old stock from GM (okÖI smashed the originals with a pickle forkÖ.twiceÖoops). Springs are stock Buick V6. You can see some of the fabricated brake line in this photo. I spent a huge (Huge) amount of time on the suspension and chassis for this car. I always thought that details really made the difference in any car. I hope it shows up well in the photos (particularly since it likely doesn't seem like much when you first look at the Buick).

The steering box is a new piece from Borgensen. These folks are wonderful to deal with by the way. Everything I've ever worked with from them has been top notch. And service is great too. Someone sent me the wrong pitman arm, and when I asked about it, it didn't take very long for another correct model to be in my hands (next day Fed Ex if my memory serves me correctly). I chose a slow ratio box. There were two reasons for this: It makes parking easier with manual steering and on a fast car, a quick ratio box is, uhm, rather delicate from a "darting" perspective <g>. I know someone who used to habitually jerk the steering wheel on the gear change on a 427 4-speed Fairlane. It came back and bit him (the result was a guard rail encounter Ė not pretty)!

Here are a few photos of the master cylinder and brake lines. The master is a Lamb Components modified Mopar unit. This is a darling of the dragstrip. It's light. It's reliable and it's easily adapted to other cars. The only catch is the fitting size (goofy by goofier). Roger Lamb works that out in his modified units. They supply fittings that go to -3 AN. The adapter to the firewall is a billet piece from TRZ Race Cars. What you can't see is a Lamb pushrod retainer captured in the back of the master. It ensures that the pushrod cannot back out (I've had one come out on a Pro Stock style car I had Ė luckily if fell out while servicing the car in the shop Ė I've been nervous about this stuff ever since). The actual pushod (which you can't see) has a spherical bearing that attaches to the brake pedal. The geometry of the stock pedal that is used with Buickís infamous (notorious?) "Power Master" booster arrangement is correct for a manual conversion. All I had to do was have the pin removed (replaced by a high strength AN bolt). These photos also show more of the plumbing. If you recall, I said this was a real pain? I wasn't kidding. Iíll bet there's two weeks of my time plumbing the thing (brakes Ė fuel was another matter entirely). I know for sure that it took 30 feet of certified (origin) stainless steel tubing to get the job done.

Here's why you donít use stainless without knowing the source. I bought a thirty-foot roll of stainless brake line tubing from a speedshop. The price was right. Now I know why. I threw away every piece I flared. Thinking my high quality flaring tool was junk; I tried flaring some small pieces of certified origin tubing I had left over from an earlier racecar-plumbing job. Bingo. It worked perfectly. After doing a bit of homework, I came to the conclusion that the speedshop tubing was most likely sourced from China. Nice. And the name on the packaging was from a name brand brake component supplier.

This is a good look at the uber-cool aluminum radiator Ron Davis built for me. It's the largest rad that can fit in the stock G-Body rad cradle. I had to cut and trim the upper mount to clear the thing (after that was done, I had the top mount powder coated). The rad is huge. Davis' handiwork is over the top too. Beautiful welds. The built-in shroud is tightly sealed as well. The fans are the largest Spal jobs that will fit (Davis provided those with the radiator). You can't see it, but ahead of the rad, mounted on a hand whittled aluminum bracket is a B&M stacked plate transmission cooler. It's fitted with -6 AN ports. Itís a nice piece (and so far, they're made in CanadaÖbut I see a lot of the Hurst and B&M hardware is moving offshore. Yuck).

Here's the anodized aluminum heater block off plate along with an aftermarket cowl piece (when you remove the ac box on these cars, there is no cowl panel remaining). I had it engraved with the Buick logo (the guy who built the plate engraved it). It's pretty cool I think. The round piece with four fasteners in it (top of the delete plate) is a firewall feed through for the coil. The coil takes up residence inside the glove box.

Right now I'm working on finishing the instrument panel. I have a custom GNX style cluster I'm putting together. Down the road I'll include some interior shots and maybe a photo or two of the trunk. I made some neat doubler plates to hold the fuel pump and one of the filters in place, and they show up inside the trunk. Also I have some photos (somewhere on my computer) of the Mark Williams pieces inside the rear end. After all of my years involved in drag racing, I'm convinced Williams builds the nicest rear end pieces in the business. Iíll show 'em to you down the road.

Take care!

Wayne Scraba
and again...

#402617 - 12/31/09 06:32 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]
flyingn Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1188
Loc: Cinnaminson , NJ
looking good wayne. You would be my hero and Ill buy you a beer if you put a twin turbo v6 in that beast:)

1971 Torino 351c 4v GT convertible. White/white with black,4 speed, shaker, am/fm, ps/pdb, buckets/console, ac, flip headlights

1969 GTO Judge Warwick blue/blue, RAIII, 4 speed, tach/gauges, safe t track, flip headlights, 3.55's, ps and radio.

#402618 - 12/31/09 07:14 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: flyingn]


looking good wayne. You would be my hero and Ill buy you a beer if you put a twin turbo v6 in that beast:)

Ha Ha. I'm blushing about the hero part. I'm just a dumb old drag racer. In truth, if you go back through the posts, you'll see I'm eventually going to sell Buford along with my menagerie of big cubic inch rat motor hardware so that I can finance my new online blog/magazine/e-book site (which pretty much will cater to old fart street..err...drag racers and day two musclecar guys like me <g>).

And if you ever buy me a beer, I'll buy you one back. I have a sneaking suspicion where that might lead

Take care man!

Wayne Scraba

#402619 - 01/01/10 06:05 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]

Here are a few photos of some of the rear axle parts before I assembled them into the housing. I've used Mark Williams hardware for a long, long time, and as far as I'm concerned, it's the best you can get. Buford the Buick has one of Williams' brute strength aluminum through bolt Pro Street 9-inch Ford center sections. It's equipped with a massive pinion support and as you can see in the photos, the billet caps attach by way of through bolts rather than having threads in the bare center section.

When you take a look at the rear, you can see how Williams' safety wires the ring gear hardware (it's all ARP pieces). This car has a 3.89:1 ring and pinion. The Detroit Locker is actually a billet steel piece. The yoke is also billet steel and setup for a 1350 Spicer universal joint (the same as used on many medium duty trucks). Aside from the street gear and the Locker instead of a spool, this is pretty much state of the art for Pro Stock a decade or so ago. They have since gone to larger ring and pinions.

These are photos of the axles I used. They're (obviously) from M-W and are large 35-spline jobs (the biggest possible with a Locker). I've used lightened axles from Mark in the past (he offers them rifle drilled with heavily milled flanges), but those are only for racecar use. In this case, the axles were drilled for Ĺ-inch and 5/8-inch wheel studs. I used the honking 5/8-inch drive studs in the car. FYI, to get all of this stuff to fit with a conventional style backing plate (I used 9-1/2-inch early GM midsize parts), the center bore of the plate had to be milled. The axle register on the brake drum was milled (larger) and obviously, the wheel stud holes in the drums had to be enlarged. I'm now on a first name basis with at least two machine shops <g>.

A few folks have asked me if the car actually has an interior <g>. Yes it does! This is a photo of it with the instrument panel removed. The second shows the back seat and the third is of the door panel. Iím pretty sure the interior is what most would consider to be in pristine condition. There are still places where the factory shipping plastic wasnít completely removed.

I removed the console because I wanted to run one of these shifters. It's built by Precision Performance. They're big in drag racing with air shifters. I had them build me one in a more conventional hand shift mode. I had the carpet section made up to cover the floor where the console once lived. This little mod actually proved trying. Plan "A" was to simply swap the original carpet for a repro from the, uhm, well known restoration carpet place (since GM cuts the carpet under the console). SoÖ..I stripped the seats out of the car and ordered the carpet and it eventually showed up. As soon as I opened the box I knew I was in trouble. It was (a whole bunch) more brown than GM Carmine. Then I put it in the car. The fit was worse than horrible. Plan "B" was to create a removable center section. After a couple of tries, the upholsterer got it right. There are four snaps used to hold it in place. By removing a snap, there's access to the cable or to route wiring.

Here are a couple of shots of the instrument panel. The panel surrounding the radio is a cool aftermarket piece that allows for the heater delete. I decided to keep the factory AM-FM and the cigar lighter. As you can see, the cluster is out of the car.

At this point, I've reassembled the dash but the actual instrument cluster still isn't installed. You would not believe how much plastic (and how many small screws) is involved in these dash assemblies. Back in the day, I wouldn't have wanted to be the squeak and rattle guy at the Buick dealership. It must have been a nightmare, but I'm getting off topic. I opened up the OEM dash harness connector and peeled out the wires I'd need for a new instrument panel. I used three weatherpack connectors Ė the big one does everything except for the turn signals. Each signal indicator has it's own weatherpack. I use a lot of weatherpacks in cars. Once you get the hang of assembling them (MSD sells the necessary tools and weatherpack parts), it's pretty easy. I like them because they make for extremely reliable connections.

This is a look at what I'm installing. I built this setup with a custom aluminum panel (anodized black) and eight gauges from SpeedHut (Revolution Gauges). Included in the mix is a tach, speedo, fuel level, voltmeter, oil pressure, water temperature, transmission temperature and fuel pressure gauges. These are all stepper motor instruments. That allows them to be super shallow and of course, to have 270-degree sweeps like a mechanical gauge. The wiring harness assemblies for the senders are similar to the mil spec stuff you see on aircraft. There are ton of options available too. For example, the tach has a three-stage shift light. There are "low" and "high" warnings on some of the instruments. The odometer is a digital readout. Gauge bezels have a polished stainless look and they match the trim in the Buick office. I chose a cobalt blue back light package and traditional red pointers (you can select all of this stuff). It's uber cool, but I screwed up. I had it all assembled, but forgot to order turn signal indicators and a high beam indicator in the speedometer. So that's why it's not in the car. I'm waiting for a speedo with those features (supposedly, in transit).

Once the cluster is completely installed, I'll shoot some photos and add them here. I should track down some fuel system pix too. I sweated some details on that and I think it came out pretty nice too.

And by the way, thanks again for letting me indulge myself here! In the meantime, Happy New Year! See ya' next year.

Wayne Scraba

#402620 - 01/03/10 01:55 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]

I figured Iíd share the fuel system build on Buford, and maybe at the same time give you some insight into how I assemble AN hose and hose ends. I picked up my first piece of AN hose (and hose ends) in 1978 and Iíve been using it ever since. Over those years, Iíve managed to pickup a tip or two (and theyíre included below). None-the-less, hereís how I build and test fuel lines: The first step is cut the line. A fine tooth hacksaw is what most recommend, but I like this better. Itís a cut off wheel on a 4-1/2-inch angle grinder. It works super slick and leaves fewer stray wire ends. By the way, I wrap the hose tightly with duct tape, and then clamp it before making the cut.

Next, tap the junk out of the cut hose. I usually give it a blast of compressed air too.

Push on the hose end socket. Sometimes you have to twist it a bit to get the hose to seat correctly inside the socket. This is where a nice clean, square cut on the hose can pay dividends.

I always mark the hose behind the socket before assembly. The reason is the socket (and consequently the hose end) can back out when you thread in the hose end nipple. Itís a rare occurrence, but it does happen once in awhile.

I really like assembling hose with Aeroquipís soft jaws. They have a magnetic insert and you simply drop them onto your bench vise. Slip the hose with the socket into the vise jaws, leaving maybe 1/16-inch or so of the socket above the vise jaws.

You should lube the threads of the nipple carefully before assembly. This is one place where you shouldnít be cheap with lubricant. The best lube Iíve found is from the folks at Aeroquip. Itís designed just for this and definitely makes assembly easier.

Thread in the hose nipple and tighten. Donít use an aluminum hose wrench for this job! Aluminum hose end wrenches are designed to tighten completed hose assemblies to aluminum adapters. If you use it to assemble a hose end, the jaws will flex (open). Itís a quick way mar the fittings. I use a tight fitting Mac open end wrench for this job. I tighten the hose nipple to the point where the respective hexes are aligned and the gap between the last nipple hex and the socket is no larger than a fingernail.

Hereís the finished hose end. I always check to be sure the hose end hasnít backed out (against the mark I initially made).

This is the finished hose assembly. What you see here are -10 AN fittings and hose. Other sizes and shapes (bent tube and so on) are similar to work on. The only exceptions are hose ends for Teflon line. I donít like making those at home, and prefer to use crimped ends for those applications.

Not done with the hose end yet. Next, I install a set of Earlís test fittings (note the use of aluminum wrenches Ė this is where you use Ďem).

At this point, I charge up the completed hose with twenty of so pounds of air.

Then itís off to the sink to test for leaks. See the bubble? This hose end was simply leaking at the flare (I didnít tighten the test fitting enough). But itís still better to test this stuff before it goes on the car.

The next part of my fuel system was the gas tank. I bought (actually, my wife bought me) a new Turbo Buick gas tank. The old one was perfect. I just donít like having fab work done on a used gas tank. Additionally, the repro tanks have metal internal baffles around the sump. The OE Buick Turbo tanks have plastic baffling. One of the steel AN bulkhead fittings is for the pickup (the larger -10 size). The smaller fitting on the left is for the pump by-pass (return line).

I built this -10 AN hose to go inside the tank to the pickup. The end you canít see is slash cut. Internally, the hose is captured inside the tank baffling (by peening one baffle over another) so that the slash cut end resides in the rear section of the sump.

See the string? See the duct tape surrounding the sender hole in the tank? My arm just fit in the hole, but it was so tight I couldnít risk losing the wrench inside the tank (the baffling is pretty convoluted). Since the AN wrench is aluminum, using a magnet to fish it out wouldnít work. So I tied a string to it and if (when) I dropped it, I could fish it out. The duct tape around sender hole saved me from going to the local clinic for, uhm, personal repairs <g>. Itís a bit of a reach to get to the fitting, but I got it done.

This is the pump I used. Itís a bad boy setup from the folks at MagnaFuel. In reality, MagnaFuel is one of two (reliable) companies that are used by Pro Stock teams for fuel delivery (Weldon is the other one). MagnaFuelís stuff is like jewelry. If you fondle it, youíll know what Iím talking about. Anyway, the pump is a flow through model. That means the fuel passing through cools the pump, allowing it to function full time (continuous duty). Itís actually engineered for fuel injection use, but can be adapted for a carburetor with a different regulator and by-pass valve. As you can see by the tape measure, itís one honking fuel pump.

Hereís the by-pass setup (stainless steel). Thereís a big needle inside that operates much like a carburetor bowl needle. Reach a specific fuel pressure level and fuel is bypassed back to the tank. What this does is to reduce the aeration in the fuel by a considerable margin. Fuel pressure is very stable with this setup (you donít see surges that you see with other pumps). By the way, these pumps can pull a prime; so mounting it above the gas tank isnít an issue.

The folks at MagnaFuel recommended that I use two filters Ė one before the pump and one after. Like the pump, these are massive. They have internal filter elements that are easily cleaned or replaced.

Youíve probably seen this view before. Itís the mounted pump and pre-filter installed under the rear axle kickup. Given the size of the pump and filters (not to mention the inlet lines are -10 AN), packaging was an issue. This was the only likely spot, but I was really concerned about ripping the sheetmetal due to the weight of all of the components.

After looking through several aircraft airframe repair manuals I have on hand, I figured the solution was to use a couple of doubler plates Ė one for the fuel pump and one for the filter. The idea here is to distribute the load and prevent the pump and filter from tearing the kickup sheetmetal. The doublers were fabbed to size, and then installed with -3 AN fasteners.

This is a birdís eye view of the trunk. You can see the filter and pump doublers on the kickup. I can cover them with a trunk mat, but I think they look good they way they are.

From the pump, fuel goes forward to the after-filter shown here. I installed it on the passenger side frame rail, just ahead of the lower trailing arm pickup point. The clamp is an aircraft fuel pump piece from Weldon. Part of my plan was to make both filters accessible. Thereís no point hiding this stuff, but I wanted it away from the scrub line.

The fuel line is -8 AN out of the pump. I routed the line inside the OEM frame rail channel. Itís clamped by way of Adel aircraft clamps, and bolted to the channel by way of short -3 AN fasteners. I usually measure the distance between clamps and make them all equidistant. I think it makes it look nice under the car <g>.

The fuel line wraps over the frame rail near the leading edge of the door. Here it runs upward in between the fender and the inner fender. I installed a -8 AN bulkhead fitting on the inner fender. That allows the fuel line in the engine compartment to be easily removed and installed.

This is the MagnaFuel high flow regulator. It can be installed right on the engine. Moroso has recently released a bracket that allows this regulator to be installed on the carburetor (between the respective studs on the passenger side). In the case of the Buick that means a relatively short -8 AN line can run from the fender to the regulator. Like other components from MagnaFuel, itís a gorgeous piece of machining.

And thatís it. I think Iíve covered most of the construction, at least in abbreviated form. I also hope didnít mind me sharing these vignettes of Buford the Buick on your website. Thanks folks!

Wayne Scraba

#402621 - 01/03/10 02:41 AM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: ]
kwhizz Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 7383
Loc: LS Make'um Better Guy
Wow!!..........Talk about "Neet" how to do things .......very Informative Wayne ......Great Job!!! ......Again.......Talk about attention to Detail


The "Best" things in life......Aren't Things

#402622 - 01/03/10 11:51 PM Re: Buford the Buick [Re: kwhizz]

Hey man...thanks for the Kudo's!

Wayne Scraba

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