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Thread: 215 Buick swap

  1. #1

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    215 Buick swap

    Came across a Buick 215 motor the other day . Has anyone put one of these in their D-50

  2. #2



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    I knew of a guy that did a first gen D-50 with the 60's buick 215 and a TH automatic tranny - this motor is the same one that range rover bought and used for 25+ years. Small and aluminum block - never got to see the engine bay - saw it years ago at Carlisle swap meet - he was a vendor there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snocatman70 View Post
    Came across a Buick 215 motor the other day . Has anyone put one of these in their D-50
    No,
    I did however D/D an '63 Skylark for years, had the 4bbl option, and the 'reverse pattern' 2 speed THM.
    Buick, (Fisher Body) historically, have always produced well built but heavy bodies...
    That being said, the power to weight ratio on the Skylark was nothing short of phenomenal! all that was needed was an THM 350
    (i.e, one more gear lol).

    215 in Your '80 !?!?(which weighs less than a teaspoon of unleaded).
    Sir !!!
    Holy Ground Bound Haleys Comet Tire Frying Throttle Schizoid Angry Build !!!

  4. #4

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    Never heard of this engine before. 3.5 liter all aluminum V8 sounds like something out of a 1990s Japanese executive sedan instead of an American land yatch from the 1960s. Only 315 lbs.? How advanced for the time. Are they very rare?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snocatman70 View Post
    Came across a Buick 215 motor the other day . Has anyone put one of these in their D-50
    The original '61 Skylark came with the 215 aluminum V-8. They made a downsized version called the 198 Fireball V-6 in iron. This was the ancestor of the 231 Buick V-6 whose final version was the 3800 Series III.

    Rover in England eventually bought all the tooling to make them but GM bought it back when the gas crunches of the '70s hit. Maybe they were made under license later on. Dunno.

    Any 215 you find will probably be out of a '80s-'90s Land Rover/Range Rover. Rover liked them for their 4 wheelers because they put out max torque at like 1800 RPM. LOL. I would think it's a great swap choice but you'll have the only one on the planet and it would require fab skills like Chip Foose.

  6. #6

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    ^^^
    Interesting History lesson Thx! learn something everyday.

    I, (with respects) Must add a bit more from My own research.

    The 1.8k rpm max torque value (about 240 #ft) was the 'rated' output for the 2BBL base model.

    However...
    There were an total of 3 options built. 2BBL, 4BBL, and TURBO !!!...

    Oldsmobile Jetfire, and Buick F85 were the turbo equipped variants.

    With respects originalowner,

    I humbly disagree with Your statement "it would require fab skills like Chip Foose".

    LOL, in this Community that's a second cup of coffee.

    Snowcatman70---
    I apologize for the thread Hi-Jack.

  7. #7



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    The motor mounts should be no different than any other BOP (Buick - olds - pontiac) swap. A Th350 for the same motors should also work. There should also be bell housings available that would let you run a variety of manual trannies on this motor as well. If you find a range rover / land rover version of this, I don't know what bolt pattern the block maybe. Wish I had a camera and got pics of that one at carlisle...
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    Quote Originally Posted by claych View Post
    ^^^
    Interesting History lesson Thx! learn something everyday.

    I, (with respects) Must add a bit more from My own research.

    The 1.8k rpm max torque value (about 240 #ft) was the 'rated' output for the 2BBL base model.

    However...
    There were an total of 3 options built. 2BBL, 4BBL, and TURBO !!!...

    Oldsmobile Jetfire, and Buick F85 were the turbo equipped variants.

    With respects originalowner,

    I humbly disagree with Your statement "it would require fab skills like Chip Foose".

    LOL, in this Community that's a second cup of coffee.

    Snowcatman70---
    I apologize for the thread Hi-Jack.
    OK, I'm prone to overstate stuff sometimes. No offense meant.

    The V-8 in question with it's compact dimensions is not a tough swap.

    Pennyman brings up a good point about which version it is. The 80s-90s Rover version will be easier to come by but will come with EFI and will require all that related jazz, harnesses etc.

    The 60s GM version will be carbed and overall it would be an easier swap all told but much harder to come across a decent motor.

    Since we're on the topic, I would prefer the 3800. I owned one N/A in a early 90s Bonneville. Back it with a 700R4, it's a swap that is cheap and pretty much a piece of cake. They made millions of them. You can always turbo one of those Buick V-6s...

  9. #9

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    Actually Rover, or more accurately British Leyland, used that engine in a bunch of vehicles. I had a 1980 Triumph TR8, with the all aluminum 3.5L V-8. Came from the factory with dual carbs, headers and a true dual exhaust. It was a beast after opening up the breathing on the intake side.

  10. #10

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    The MG V8 (think MGB) had opposed SU HD8 carbs:


  11. #11



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    Here is some more Skylark History Information.

    Sky Lark
    Name:  skylark.png
Views: 606
Size:  42.4 KB
    The Eurasian skylark is a small passerine bird species.
    This lark breeds across most of Europe and Asia and in
    the mountains of north Africa.

    Wikipedia
    Scientific name: Alauda arvensis
    Higher classification: Alauda


    Oh Wait!!!??? Are you guys talking cars?

  12. #12



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    for those who didn't know - transdapt made a swap kit to install a buick v6 231 with th350 tranny in our trucks - it consisted of motor mounts and headers - the drivers side was built with the collector at the front of the block to clear the steering box. Doubt it is still available though.
    Pennyman1
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  13. #13



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    I think I have seen one of those kits before in a truck many years ago. That was the first, 1st gen truck like ours I saw with a larger engine swapped in. We spoke for a while and he said something about a kit install. I never thought it would be something like a transdapt item since I was a Mitsubishi noob at the time.

  14. #14



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    yes it was - probably someone that worked there had one, made it and said "I bet we can sell a ton of these for the 4 cyl trucks"
    Last edited by pennyman1; 01-02-2015 at 03:07 PM.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMph View Post
    Here is some more Skylark History Information.

    Sky Lark
    Name:  skylark.png
Views: 606
Size:  42.4 KB
    The Eurasian skylark is a small passerine bird species.
    This lark breeds across most of Europe and Asia and in
    the mountains of north Africa.

    Wikipedia
    Scientific name: Alauda arvensis
    Higher classification: Alauda


    Oh Wait!!!??? Are you guys talking cars?
    Yep. & as soon as I figure out how to post pic's on this window$ based site I will post the
    the short block & trans pics, sadly due to divorce, the heads and manifold with 4bbl have been 'whored'

  16. #16


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    I have two motors if you're looking for more..
    They're both the OLDMOBILE version with the extra headbolts (good for turbo-ing) The 4bbl heads are the best flowing or you can swap on a set of Chevy 300 cast iron ones.
    i wanted to adapt one into my Quest when I first got it. Then plans changed..

    Errol

  17. #17


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    I'm totally following this thread. I'm enjoying the information overload.... And who doesn't like learning a bit more about birds.

  18. #18

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    It should not be that hard. I have a 340 mopar in mine, there is more room than you think. My D50 is a 1980.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19



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    Quote Originally Posted by 340D View Post
    It should not be that hard. I have a 340 mopar in mine, there is more room than you think. My D50 is a 1980.
    Side to side room, we could probably drop a big block in these trucks, BUT does that clear the hood? Looks awfully close to tapping it when closed. Looks friggin sweet though. Got a little machine work on those fender wells I see too. Definitely keep your feet warm in the winter.

  20. #20

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    hey, aluminiumv8.com

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMph View Post
    Side to side room, we could probably drop a big block in these trucks, BUT does that clear the hood? Looks awfully close to tapping it when closed. Looks friggin sweet though. Got a little machine work on those fender wells I see too. Definitely keep your feet warm in the winter.
    That 1050 does not clear the hood. I had block hugger headers on it to start with and they choked the motor so I built these headers for it. I got a cowl hood on it now.Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #22

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    Dang brad, looks like your truck on steroids lol

  23. #23



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    That's not my truck




    Mine is below

  24. #24

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    Ever since hearing from you guys about this interesting engine, it's sort of stayed in the back of my mind. Ressurecting a dead thread to let you know there's a Rover version on eBay right now.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/161814596894...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
    California BAR Smog Inspector License #EO635469
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    See what I have for sale:
    http://stores.ebay.com/zims

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