Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

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Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Alexxx1966 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:12 pm

Hello!
I am Alex and I am from Moscow, Russian Federation. Driving 1998 Dodge Ram Conversion Van daily and couple a weeks ago I bought another car. 1978 Buick Skyhawk with 231 engine. Bought it by chance. Went to my friend's garage to pick up some stuff and suddenly saw this Buick. The story of this car is rather interesting. It was brought to Russia very early of 80's. Was rarely driven. Then it was a collision with it in mid 90's. It was partly repaired but after his owner lost interest to it and the car was in the garage without moving for almost 20 years. The car is pretty solid generally no rust at all. After a small collision as said. Bodyworks already done. Need to be repainted and assembled. The only one Buick Skyhawk H-body in Russia. It is starting and running generally but with jar of gas under hood as there is no gas supply from tank. May be fuel pump is dead or the is no power supply to the pump. Will find it out when take off gas tank.
I got experience in restoring cars as I did it with my Dodge Ram Van which was in quite poor condition when I bought it.
But still I'll ask for your good advises and expertise while restoring my Buick. I've already bought GM shop manuals from e-bay. They will arrive soon.
What I really need now is couple of front parking lamps which are under the bumper. Mine are broken. Did not find them on e-bay. Could you give a hint where to find. Delivery to Russia is not a problem. I've got a friend in Mustang, OK he can buy 'em out and after send 'em to me
And secondly what is fuel pump rated sending pressure to test it. May be it is just low because of old pump.
Thanks in advance. Below is my car. A lot to do but I will restore it to stock for sure.
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby cammerjeff » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:20 pm

Welcome,

I wish you luck restoring that Buick! I hope you do not need many parts as I am sure they will be much more difficult to get in Russia! Please keep us informed on your progress,
Jeff R

78 Sunbird Safari Wagon, 3.8 N/A, 1971 Catalina Freeway Enforcer
77 Astre Formula, some day soon powered by a 215 Buick V-8
1973 4-speed Lemans Safari STOCK!!!!! 1978 Catalina Safari
1971 Lemans Safari/GTO Clone, 1969 Firebird Sprint 301 ci OHC6, T-5, 4.10 12 bolt posi
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby hammerdown7 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:38 pm

Welcome to the site. You must have the only h-body in Russia, never heard of another one. Let us know your progress. I think the fuel pressure is 6 pounds.

Dick
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby cammerjeff » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:49 pm

6 PSI = 41.36 kPa if that helps.
Jeff R

78 Sunbird Safari Wagon, 3.8 N/A, 1971 Catalina Freeway Enforcer
77 Astre Formula, some day soon powered by a 215 Buick V-8
1973 4-speed Lemans Safari STOCK!!!!! 1978 Catalina Safari
1971 Lemans Safari/GTO Clone, 1969 Firebird Sprint 301 ci OHC6, T-5, 4.10 12 bolt posi
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Sunula66 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:51 am

Alex, WELCOME!!
Nice to have a member from Russia! We are now an Official International Site!!.( well I think we already are actually lol) I don't believe there are any members in Japan or China yet :shock: You probably have the only H-Body in your area I would estimate.
I had trouble with my fuel pump a long time ago and myself as others have done in the past is install an electric pump in line along the frame somewhere as close to the tank as possible if the sending unit is not pushing fuel. This was done before dropping the tank as I was broke down on the highway. The sending stock pump might be plugged up and the pick up screen deteriorated and /or the pump itself has the pickup tube off or broken. Once the tank has been removed you will see everything but if you want to make it run for a longer time just hook up a quick electric one for now. :th:
Please keep us informed with your progress and ask away for anything you need. We will help you as this is the best place for information on these vehicles! :th:
Again Welcome!!
"remember... not everything is good on TOAST!"
3 Birds of a Feather...
#1 the Silver '80 W-66 code Formula purchased 9 years ago
#2 red "80 W-66 code Formula purchased Mar./16
#3 black '78-9 coupe with spoiler kit and 4spd 305...parted out to a Terrific H-Buddy
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby EVL VEGA » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:21 pm

"In Soviet Russia..car finds you" -Yakov Smirnoff

I'm always fascinated when cars find their way to interesting places.
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'73 Vega Hatchback (former Super Gas car)
406 SBC, AFR 210 Eliminator Heads, 9:1 comp, pump gas, 328RWHP/412RWTQ (old heads, no N2O 1/17/04), 6.86 @ 100.8 in 1/8th (No N20 9/4/16), Mike's Trans TH400 (reverse manual), 5000 stall, 12 bolt, 35 spline strange axles, 4.33 gears, spool, hipster transbrake, linelock, backhalved, Alston 3 link, 100 shot NX Hitman+ kit, LC1 Wideband sensor, 31x18.5 MT Sportsman Pros, "Plum Ugly"™ Purple paint.
"Pound to fit..paint to match"
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby beakerztoyz » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:38 am

Wow, an h body in Russia and I thought it was hard to find parts for them in Canada..... anyways if you and your friend stay active in this group I'm sure someone will be able to find the lights you need in a boneyard somewhere that they would sell to you (or to you through your friend anyways). Welcome to the forum this is THE place to be for info on these cars, I'm almost certain that every bit of known knowledge about these cars is on this site somewhere or if it isn't someone on this site knows it.

On another note, why's this posted in the off topic forum ??? this is on topic isn't it ????
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1980 monza spyder.... v8

If I woulda known then what I know now....I never woulda got an h body
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby zeke » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:32 am

Добро пожаловать в H-Body!

Yep, this is definitely on topic.
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Alexxx1966 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:50 pm

Спасибо всем! (Thanks to everybody!)
Will keep you updated on the progress. The plan is as follows.
Today went to the shop and bought metal brush for power tool, spray gun and 5 cans of rust protection. Early next week will take off gas tank to see what is with it.
Hope there are no rust and holes. Will clean the tank and wait for a new pump ordered from rockauto.com (was buying a lot from them while restoring my dodge ram van). May be as temporary solution will use pump from volvo 240/740/940 with 2.3 engine as application chart is showing pumps are the same. Find in Russia fuel pump for volvo is much easier as they are more common here.
Will brush rocker panels, floors i.e all bottom parts of the car with metal brush. Degrease it and cover with rust protection. So bottom of the car will be ready
After I need to change all filters fluids and belts will check brake pads and shoes and order all required parts. While waiting for them will give car for repainting
Checking suspension now is making no sense as car was staying for long years. I will need to drive several hundred miles and after check it. All faults will come out then. Then I will order second batch of parts for suspension steering and most probably brakes if they will leak.
So in short this is the plan for next coming weeks.
Contacted with our Colleague Peter Ziegler in Holland and he gave me a hint where to find pair of front parking lams. Alain from Belgium is having two pairs - amber and clear. Now waiting for photos to make my choice.
By the way can you give me photos how fuel pump and sending unit assembly is looking to match with mine
Will keep you posted with photos and stages of the progress.
Best Regards Alex
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:42 pm

Alexxx1966 wrote:Спасибо всем! (Thanks to everybody!)Checking suspension now is making no sense as car was staying for long years. I will need to drive several hundred miles and after check it. All faults will come out then.
Early next week will take off gas tank to see what is with it. Will clean the tank and wait for a new pump ordered from rockauto.com By the way can you give me photos how fuel pump and sending unit assembly is looking to match with mine Alex

Welcome Alex! That may be a tough job "Over There", but we on this board all pretty much think it is worth it! Make sure You grease that suspension before you move it too much. Sometimes the components will gather some rust and the movement may destroy a perfectly good part needlessly without some "Lube". And "Ask and Ye Shall Receive"! Installed in the sender bracket. Harry
Fuel Pump Monza I R.jpg
One Side
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I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Alexxx1966 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:33 pm

Little update.
Today take off gas tank. What can I say. 20 years without moving seems to be too much. Outside it is looking quite good. But when we take out sending unit what we see.
It is rusted inside. Sending unit is also quite rusted. Not sure fuel level will work after. Pump is dead, fuel pump stainer is dead. Inside some crazy substance mix of gas water and rust.
From the bottom car is a bit rusted but no holes which is quite good. Exhaust is made from pieces. Need to be changed. Otherwise floors and rocker panels are quite solid.
Now will clean tank inside to the extend we can and paint it outside. Find another tank (new alternative or barely used) I guess mission is impossible. If face problems with current tank will order custom one welded from aluminium locally. But this if no way out with current one.
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Sunula66 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:26 am

Alex,
that Buick is in nice condition!! The rear quarter panel(back fender) in picture looks new! Yes the liquid in the tank won't even mix with Vodka! :lol:
I was told, "If it doesn't mix with Vodka, Don't drink it".....the car I just brought home also sat for 27 years, the smell sitting in the driveway for 2 days now is like paint cleaner from the old fuel...hopefully you solve this soon , the electric pump in-line makes the best option....good to see you going ahead, have Fun!!! Ron. :th:
"remember... not everything is good on TOAST!"
3 Birds of a Feather...
#1 the Silver '80 W-66 code Formula purchased 9 years ago
#2 red "80 W-66 code Formula purchased Mar./16
#3 black '78-9 coupe with spoiler kit and 4spd 305...parted out to a Terrific H-Buddy
2015 Cruze Turbo Diesel/ Just replaced by the 2016 Sonic
'98 GMC 1/2 ton with corporate 3/4 ton driveline still makin' it all possible
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Alexxx1966 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:16 pm

Thnanx Ron!
Some photos from the bottom of the car
Do anybody still making exhausts for our cars?
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby NVEGAR8D » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:51 am

Hi, Unfortunately nobody makes exhausts for our cars anymore. You will have to fabricate something.
nick75vega
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Re: Restoring 1978 Buick Skyhawk in Russia

Postby Alexxx1966 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:09 pm

What happened since my last post.

Negative. Passenger door glass gone(((. Evening it was intact in the evening but morning - Gone((( Car was parked on secure territory with security cameras. I watched all night records in guards room - nobody aproached to the car but the fact is - glass is broken. May be self blown? Now need to take off drivers door glass and go to glass shop. We have one in Moscow they are making all types of glasses triplex and tempered any shape any size. Making by sample or by measurements. They told if I bring them drivers glass they will make passengers. They need it also to make it same color and tint.
It will take 2 weeks and will cost around $100

Positive. Fuel pump ordered from http://www.rockauto.com arrived. So we with my friend washed tank by high pressure on car wash. A lot of rust and dirt came out. After we also washed it with gas. Found some rust holes where filling nose is welded to the tank. Repaired it. If more holes will appear after will order new tank welded from aluminium. After pump and fuel sender unit assembled we painted tank with anti rust paint.

Then we cleaned up all floors with metal brush and painted it with anti rust paint. After gas tank was installed.

And... the car STARTED. From service Buick drives itself.

Next steps. Now I am waiting for new right fender which should come from rockauto. Found it by chance. Price is so low that I hardly believe in it. Just $11.81 plus shipping
The fender is new. When I receive it will post photos of it

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/buic ... ender,1380

After will give car for repainting

Below are some photos and my friend who is helping me with the car

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