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65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: August 26, 2018 03:37PM

In early February 2018, I became the next caretaker of Ken Arnold's racecar.

Since I am not into drag racing, my goal is to convert the car to a very nice street machine but keep the Buick 215 in the Corvair engine bay and retain the PG transaxle.

The best part is that I get to learn first-hand from Ken Arnold himself as we rebuild the 215 engine.

Obviously, I started this build thread AFTER beginning the project, so I do not have as many photos as desired for documenting the progress.

The following were taken in February after trailering the racecar home:













Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: 2ragtops ()
Date: August 26, 2018 03:44PM

You lucky dog hot smiley

That is really nice.

Bob Bauer

Show-Me Corvairs

1966 Monza Convert 140 P/G with A/C, plastic wheel with tele-column am-fm posi-traction
1966 Corsa Convert 180 wood wheel tele-column am-fm sport steering posi-traction
1965 Corsa Coupe Crown V8 mounted mid-body temporarily red lined for repair
House Springs, Missouri



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2018 03:46PM by 2ragtops.

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: August 26, 2018 03:49PM

Powertrain Removal:







Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: August 26, 2018 03:50PM

Rebuilding the 215:





Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: August 26, 2018 03:55PM

Oil Pressure Testing Video:


Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: August 26, 2018 03:58PM

Luv those PG HotRods!





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: August 26, 2018 04:09PM

I always liked that car. Ken built some really great stuff.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Oklahoma City, OK

Click for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Forecast

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: August 26, 2018 05:37PM

Some Disassembly Photos:














Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: August 28, 2018 04:52AM

Checking new oil pump end play to determine gasket thickness
( timing cover housing is inverted for this measurement)
:



Ceramic powder coated exhaust manifolds :



Cleaning the block:





Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: August 28, 2018 06:58AM

Wow that is great!

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block
86' BMW 325es
98' Dodge 2500 12v Cummins Diesel with 1200 lb torque!
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo

NFCC
Grand Island, NY

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: September 03, 2018 03:21PM

Today's progress included installing the valley pan, intake manifold & rocker covers then mating the PG & Diff to the engine.

I'm learning a lot from the President of the "Old Fart Foot Brake Racing Team" grinning smiley

Getting closer to the "break-in" run...(can't wait) hot smiley











Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: September 03, 2018 03:25PM

Dean, can you or Ken tell us how it WAS built for drag racing.....and how it's built now for street?





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: September 03, 2018 04:25PM

I hope that Ken will chime in with details because I could never do it justice.

Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: kenvair ()
Date: September 03, 2018 04:58PM

The changes to the engine were to lower compression from 13.7 down to 9.5 with the new dished top pistons shown in earlier post. New larger radiator, add front brakes,replace and old 1973 Hi-stall torque converter with stock Corvair. This engine has the Buick 300 crank,.030 overbore from stock, 215 rods modified for the metric pistons and is now 266 cid, stock 215 heads and stock Buick 300 exhaust manifolds.When car was originally built in 1987 it had a 3.89 rear gear and ran in the sportsman bracket class of 13.00 and slower and would run this number consistently (Driver not that consistent). However, after engine was getting tired and rear gear change to 3.55 car was still good for 13.50's at 100 mph in the 1/4 mile. Matt, hope this answers your questions, Ken

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: scottymac ()
Date: September 03, 2018 05:16PM

Just found out today the Kelmark adapter I bought is probably for a sbc instead of the hoped for 215. Is that an Art Silva adapter? Wish I'd thought to ask you to make tracings of the faces and measurements for the depth while the drivetrain was apart. Were the previous pistons flat tops or pop ups? Could you have retained the previous pistons by using the 300 aluminum heads with the 54cc combustion chambers to lower compression? Will those pistons be for sale?

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: kenvair ()
Date: September 03, 2018 05:46PM

The adapter was made by me from a transadapt BOP 215 to early Ford transmission and a Corvair standard shift bell housing--cutoff and discard the early Ford---cutoff and discard the Corvair engine part of the bell housing---do all the math to make the adapter no thicker than necessary---use my special arbor to align halves and then have it welded together. Previous pistons were flat tops but piston pins were damaged so scrapped. Yes, we could have used the 300 heads but had to buy pistons anyway so to retain all the stock 215 parts ,gaskets etc. we stayed with the 215 heads.Keep in mind on this street engine we are not going for max power but just a good reliable regular fuel engine. Ken

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: September 04, 2018 08:54AM

FWIW, my 255 (215) conversion started with an open radiator in the trunk too. I found out that the uninsulated trunk "firewall" to the cabin got really hot after a bit of driving. Even the cowl-vents blew hot air.

I ended up making a duct to carry hot air out the bottom of the car and that solved the uncomfortable cabin heat problem.

For a drag car, Ken's setup would be no problem. For a road car you might end up in the same boat I was in.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: kenvair ()
Date: September 04, 2018 11:43AM

Craig,you are correct and Dean is looking at all options and most do just what you did..enclose the area and let the hot air out the bottom and under the car.I had my setup so that I could come back to the pits and cool the radiator with water spray while the electric pump circulated the water. As you make more rounds there is less turn around time and this system only worked for racing.

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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: Jim Stukenborg ()
Date: September 04, 2018 03:53PM

Dean, Ken Arnold had a hand in building the car that I have. It has a rear mounted 215/266 Olds engine in it. This is how the radiator was mounted in my car. A custom radiator core is mounted in the deep part of the trunk. It is positioned a little higher in back than the front. A metal frame/vinyl box encloses the rad and is covered by a 1/2" thick piece of aircraft honeycomb to form the floor of the truck. I wonder where Ken got that!! The water pipes run through the left front wheel well, under the left sill and up through the left rear wheel well. A stock shrouded electric cooling fan (unknown car donor) is mounted on the bottom side of the radiator. The nice thing about this setup is that you still have a usable trunk. I have had no cooling problems with this setup. I should have cleaned up the radiator a little before taking the pic. I'll post the finished trunk in a separate pic. Jim



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Re: 65 V8 Coupe w/Buick 215 - Racecar to Streetcar Build smoking smiley
Posted by: Jim Stukenborg ()
Date: September 04, 2018 04:03PM

Dean, here is the finished trunk, Jim


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