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Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 24, 2018 11:25AM

Hi, after calling D&D in Michigan it just seems like he was trying to sell me kits... He was sort of helpful but also not willing to give up some other information questions that I had... I would basically like to drop in a 3.9 in replacement of a 3.5 also known as a 215 Buick in a 63 Buick Skylark. According to him the crankshaft is longer which leads me to believe I will need the Rover starter but he also says the crank pilot is either too big or too small. I honestly forgot. If it's too big I figure I can just put a bushing and if it's too small, I thought I can drill it out to use the original transmission. Any help with dimensional differences would be greatly appreciated and I'll make my decision based on that... I might just have to find an original 215 that runs of course if I can do a direct swap... I really don't want to spend $900 how to swap in an overdrive transmission and then have to buy the overdrive transmission as well along with the modifications that goes with it... Thanks in advance for helping this "newbie"...


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3496 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 24, 2018 12:41PM

Mark is in the business of selling stuff, not giving out a lot of free info. He was correct with the info he gave you.

When people see 3.5, they think Rover. Yours is a Buick 215. I have two Rover 3.9 cranks, as well as a 215 in my MGB. The 3.9 cranks are a bit longer & the pilot busing is different. Mark should have a pilot bushing that fit the 3.9 & the GM T-5. His dad, Dan, sold me one many years ago.

You either have to cut down the back of the crank or add a spacer (Mark has it, or did) between the block & bellhousing. I use a mini-starter on my 215. I have to add a spacer ring to switch to the 3.9.

This link will help:

[www.britishv8.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2018 12:43PM by MGBV8.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2909 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: roverman
Date: October 24, 2018 06:55PM

"OR".... if you feel really lucky, you could carefully mark amount to be cut-off and use a friction cut-off, just like in the picture. Use calipers to check the new length of spigot,(several places). Your results will vary. Use at your own risk ! I am NOT suggesting you do this !


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 24, 2018 08:50PM

you said that he has a bushing that fits the 3.9 Crank that goes to a T5 but what about an automatic, I'm using the original automatic or at least I want to... When you say the crankshaft is longer are you talking about where the actual flywheel bolts on?


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5646 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 25, 2018 07:31AM

Mike, if your car is a Skylark you might want to rethink what you are doing here. The 215/Rover uses a unique bellhousing and transmission choices are limited, expensive and difficult. You say you have an automatic and I expect you want to keep that. Pilot bushings are not your issue, the bore for the nose of the torque converter is.

My recommendation is that you forget about the 215/Rover. Yes it is a bit lighter but not all that much, and certainly not enough to disregard the alternatives. Let's say you go to the largest small-block Buick engine, the 350. You pick up 80 lbs for the iron block and 75 lbs for the heads and intake. An extra 155lbs on the front end of your Skylark isn't a lot of weight, you can sit on the hood and get an idea of what that will do.

Here is the upside:
-You now can use the 2004r transmission which is absolutely hands down the very best choice for the vintage Buick. (Or I'll sell you a Switch Pitch with 50K miles on it quite cheaply, PM me.)
-The 350 is the most common Buick engine ever built and plenty of relatively low mileage ones are still around. You just about double the horsepower and fuel economy really doesn't change.
- reliability and durability go up a great deal.
-Everything should bolt right up as if the car was made for it. In a way, it was, even though the 350 hadn't been made yet. The 300 is the same engine as the 215 with a taller deck, the 340 is the same as the 300 with a taller deck, the 350 is the same as the 340 with a different port layout. Your exhaust manifolds will have to be changed, but there is a robust aftermarket for the Buick 350. (see TAPerformance.com) I'm pretty sure the same header pipes will bolt up to the 350 manifolds.

I think you will be a lot more pleased with the result than continuing to mess with these aluminum motors which really aren't all that good by comparison.

Jim


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 25, 2018 11:05AM

Do you know which pilot is bigger? Because most times you can just grind the crank off the back and as long as the pilot is inside the crank it'll be fine... on that 2 speed automatic it does look like that it also sits flush, kind of reminds me of how a Cummings Diesel pilot is, but What I was going to probably do was carefully grind it off as best as possible, off the back of the crank, and then take the torque converter to a torque converter place local to me that builds converters and they can machine the pilot down to fit the Rover or I can have somebody else make a bushing if it's the other way around... You have any idea of the sizes of the pilots?


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3496 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 25, 2018 11:15AM

The reason to do the cutting to the crank (& Art, I did just what you mentioned, but have not yet used the crank) is because the input shaft of the T-5 will cause the engine to lock up when assembled, if not cut.

The pilot bushing is not in use ( & sometimes the crank is not even drilled for one) for an automatic trans.

Which autobox are you planning to use?



roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2909 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: roverman
Date: October 25, 2018 04:23PM

Mike, What year of Skylark ? Unless you want a lot of tunnel work, the 61'-63' "compacts" have too small of a tunnel to readily fit a GM od. auto. Just like the Vega TH250/350 = too big in girth. Internet search BW auto to RV8's. First I think was BW35 and later BW40, from Rover cars,(3500's and later). These direct fit and are smaller in girth. I put a Vega TH350 in my 61' Cutlass. Too much output angle, but soo much better than the orig. slip-n-slide. Car felt like another 50 hp. added and would chirp 2 nd. If you must have an od. auto, I suggest the Aisian-Warner 3 spd. of., pre- electronic control,(no computer and has a throttle kick-down). Good little trans and with "some" work will use the 215 stick bell housing = direct bolt , crank spigot aside. Look at how D and D adapted TH convertor snout to fit 215 crank., IE. step-up pilot adaptor. Good Luck, art.


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 25, 2018 07:54PM

What I want to do is use the Rover engine but the stock transmission which bolts to it... But I think the pilots are different sizes... On a automatic it just sticks in the whole it doesn't rotate so I'm not worried about that but of course it has to be correct because it lines up the pump properly... It's probably easily machinable because the fins unbolt from the torque converter...

Either way I know the torque converter Rebuilder should be able to do what I need him to do but I just don't know about putting a grinder to the back of the engine... I almost want to grind off more and if it's the other way around where a bushing needs to be put in the crankshaft, then make the bushing stick out further to the proper depth... I have a feeling it's not going to be that fussy but I have to see the back of the 215 crank and which I have not pulled out the motor yet because I'm not sure how the torque converter rests on the crank or if it just uses the pilot and it just bolts to the flexplate...

so to reiterate the goal is to make the engine look exactly the way it did it's just using a more modern engine that will probably run better and just not need as much work... The original starter should work on the Rover engine or I can get a Rover starter but in the end, I think it's just the pilot nose sticks out about three hundred thousands of an inch. That would need to be ground off and then I'd have to adapt something for the pilot but I just wanted to know if anybody knew what size the pilots were...


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 26, 2018 07:52AM

I did my first sentence I said use the stock transmission... I want to use the stock transmission out of the 63 Buick. The Rover motor will bolt up to it but it's just the thing with the Crank pilot...


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3496 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 26, 2018 10:28AM

We are trying to follow you, Mike.

In your first post, you wrote "original transmission". We really didn't know if that was 3 or 4 speed manual or automatic.

In your next to last post "I want to do is use the Rover engine but the stock transmission which bolts to it". One could take that to mean the tranny that came with the Rover 3.9.

If I have this correct, what you want is to use the Rover 3.9 with the original Buick Skylark Dual-Path 2 speed automatic trans. If so. I would recommend much more pondering on this project.


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 26, 2018 12:40PM

Yes that is what I'm trying to do put a Rover engine onto the original 2 speed automatic transmission...

I have already pondered a bunch... is there something wrong with my philosophy that I am not seeing?

Again does anybody have the crank pilot size of either motor?


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3496 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 26, 2018 07:56PM

If you really want to keep that Dual Path trans, go for it. I have a spare you can have. It only has 70K miles on it, but has not been used in a very long time.

As for the Rove 3.9 pilot bushing size, the link I posted above gives those dimensions. Add .300" to the length for original full size.

Or, are you looking for the outside dimensions of the crank at the bushing part of the crank? Pilot bushing snout? Not sure of proper name.

Again:

[www.britishv8.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2018 08:05PM by MGBV8.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5646 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 27, 2018 12:07PM

No Mike, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your thinking if that is what you want and you are happy that way. Is this a car for your wife or daughter perhaps?

I hope you will forgive us for being inclined to try to get more performance, it's just sort of the way most of us are around here. That car was fine just the way it came from the factory. Well, except that the engine was never all that reliable or durable compared to the iron engines, leaving power out of it. And that 2 speed transmission being an early design is pretty basic.

Anyway I understood you to say you want to keep the stock appearance. Well, anybody who can't tell a Biuck 215 from a Rover isn't going to be able to tell a 300 painted silver from one either, is all I'm saying. And most won't know it from a 350. So if you put a 350 Buick and the 2004r in it that little car would become more valuable to almost any potential buyer because in terms of performance, reliability and almost any other metric except originality it is a big improvement. Anyone but a purist would approve, and if you're hanging out with purists I'd respectfully suggest that you might not find us very appropriate here. Regardless, we will try to help you.

Jim


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 28, 2018 09:06AM

Are you saying that I can fit a 200 4r without modification? I'm sorry but I have to put this in a certain way but the cars that we drive meaning, NOT you, but me and the people that I know, OUR CARS ARE @#$%& THAT WE USE IN TV AND MOVIES, LOL... They just have to get to where they're going so they can make us a living... Not particularly worried about reliability but you'll have to admit that because of Metallurgy the Rover engine is probably a better choice... The .300 that you are mentioning, is that .300 SMALLER as far as with goes or length? Hands down, when you compare it to the original Rover engine, what's the difference between the crank snouts? Yes I want to run the original transmission because I don't want to run transmission lines I just need the car to move with little modification is possible...



BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5646 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 28, 2018 12:28PM

No wonder we couldn't help you, we were missing critical information.

So Carl, you have both cranks on hand don't you? What's the difference in the pocket for the converter pilot? Is the Rover one deep enough to make up for the extra snout length?

Jim


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 28, 2018 06:56PM

It's hilarious how the forum automatically changed a 5 letter word I said that meant prostitute, LOL...

That being said, yes the depth of that pilot snout and the width of the Pilot's snout on both cranks Would be helpful... That way I know if I have to make a bushing to fit in the Rover engine and or if I have to machine down the torque converter on the original 2 speed transmission...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2018 06:58PM by Mikefaster.


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 29, 2018 07:26AM

Perhaps someone can lay a 215 crankshaft and a Rover crankshaft next to each other?


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3496 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 29, 2018 02:58PM

My only 215 crank is in use in my B. I do have Rover 3.9 & 4.2 cranks I can measure, though.


Mikefaster
Mike Mattani

(11 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2018 11:14AM

Main British Car:


Re: Crankshaft Question regarding replacing 1963 Buick 215 with a 3.9l
Posted by: Mikefaster
Date: October 29, 2018 09:40PM

Thank you!
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