My engine build at Richard Clarks Turbo Regal Farm...picture heavy


Cometic HG stress tester
I have had my share of bad luck with my car to say the least. I wont go into details as it would just lengthen the thread.
Richard offered his services to me after the last issue at the Nationals in May of last year as long as I was there for the entire build. I left my car and trailer at his shop when I left.

In December Patrick (SloGN) let me know that the motor and trans were out of the car and the motor was torn apart, I can not thank him enough for the work he did to my car on his own without me being there !!. I called him and Richard to get a date setup as I needed to get vacation approved ahead of time. I planned the 850 mile haul on Jan 2nd but mother nature didn't agree and left 6" of snow here in the St Louis area. I left out on the 3rd. Patrick was generous enough to let me stay at his place for the duration of the build, very cool of him and very much appreciated. I am fortunate to be able to call him and Richard both friends.
Patrick said that the #4 rod bearing had spun and that all of the rest of the rod bearings were beat to hell. #4 rod had some damage but the rest were ok. Richard tried to polish the crank on the #4 rod journal but it was out of round luckily...yes I said luckily. The heads had been repaired from my previous meltdown, The heads were CC'd by Mike a local machinist and pretty cool/funny guy, and measured for how much had been milled from was a lot, .044 !!! Patrick dropped the crank at the machine shop a couple of days before I left for NC. The shop found that the crank was bent about .007 if I recall which is what caused the bearings to get beat to hell in under 50 miles...that's the luckily that I mentioned earlier. The shop was able to turn the crank to get it straight, had Richard been able to polish the rod journal we would not have known the crank was bent and I would have had yet another motor failure in short order. If you have been to Richards place before you know how meticulous he his ( severely understated...) and how he takes measurements to the extreme, sparing no expense on his equipment and tools. If you have not been there before you need to put this on your calendar for 2015 as there will be no 2014 open house...sad to say as I have been to all of the events there.
The first day at the shop I was nothing more than a clean up boy...I got to remove GINORMOUS amounts of silicon from the oil pan, girdle, front cover, intake, heads and block. The oil pan and girdle require the use of a serious wire wheel setup that Richard made that has 12' wheels on it. I had to use this outside and the weather was not the typical NC nice at all. After the the basic clean up the block was put in for a hot bath, rinsed and oiled. My girdle was not exactly was out by .003...Richard fixed that !!! LOL. Now comes the measurements using a $3000.00 bore gauge that measures to the ten-thousandths....and honing of the mains. I think I assembled and torqued the girdle, caps, shims at least 5 times to measure during the honing process...did I mention that Richard is anal with measurements??? Patrick picked up my crank and delivered to the shop( while he was working his regular job). Next was the resizing of the rods, yes he has a machine for that too. Resizing and honing complete onsite. On to the weighing of the pistons, pins, rods. the scale reads to a tenth of a gram. The rod weighing fixture weighs each end of the rod so that both ends can be balanced, not just overall weight. After all weighing is done and written down, I get to start the balancing my self. All pistons and rods are within a half of a tenth of a gram now. Richard now writes down all of the bore sizes of the rods, opens 6 sets of rod bearings and measures with digital micrometer to the ten-thousandth of an inch to find the bearings that give the most even clearances. All rod bearings now have a .0018-.0022 oil clearance. Reassemble pistons to rods. Thread chased the block and gave her another bath, rinse and oil spritzer...
I had to take a day to drive to GBodyParts to have Lonnie take a look at my tranny and replace some weak springs. Bought some stuff and headed back.....lost the entire day of building as the drive is 5 hours round trip plus repair time on the tranny and dyno testing the tranny, plus BS time while there.
Time for balancing the crank...yes onsite as really didn't expect any less did you?? Drill press is directly behind the balancer, no need to remove the crank for drilling. done in short order. Gave the crank a hot bath, rinse and oil spray down. Time for head gaskets...separated the Cometics, hung in the spray booth ( again...did you expect any less ?) and gave them a copper coat, let cure and another light coat, left to dry overnight. Time to get busy and start the build process. Cam bearings installed, crank installed, girdle installed, cam installed, cam end play adjusted, pistons and rods installed, head studs coated and installed, heads installed, lifters, push rods, rockers installed and adjusted, intake installed, timing chain and gears installed, front cover done, BHJ balancer and SFI flexplate installed....time to fire it up on the engine stand...yup....( it's a BEAST!!!). Richard has chips burned for many different injectors for a stock ECM as well as a harness, fuel pump, MAF, headers with an upward mounted muffler, a radiator and fan setup, oil pressure gauge, etc, just for test running engines before dropping into a car. Pretty cool !! Engine runs great, had a couple of very minor water leaks that were quickly remedied with GM tabs. After the engine cooled down we mated the tranny to the engine and dropped in as a unit. This was done at about 9:30 pm Saturday night and was fired up at about 1:30 am Sunday and we left the shop around 2:15 am. The drive to Patrick's house is 45 minutes so we get to bed at 3:15 and and back up at 8 to head back as we were goint to drive the car and do some tuning before I left. Eric S called early Sunday morning after we arrived with car problems and needed to be towed off of the raod. Patrick and Richard fired up the rollback truck to rescue him. We took a short ride in the car to make sure all was OK and I let them go rescue Eric.I needed to hook up my trailer load the car and drive back home so I could be at work Monday so tuning didn't get done but we will address that over the phone and email.

I have no words to express my appreciation and gratitude to Richard, Patrick and Mike. Many thanks to you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hearing my car running again was as majestic as a bald eagle getting a ....well I cant finish that here...LOL.

Actually , come to think about it Clint came by and got his hands dirty too !!! That is a rarity. Thanks man !

Sorry there wasn't time to just hang out with people, this was a pretty brutal build schedule that was done in about 6 days with some very late nights at the shop.

A few people came by the shop to BS , Tommy ( Megawatt), Eric ( Esinger), Jim ( dont know screen name).
I also met Megs Dad and Steve V and a couple of others, sorry bad with names.

I have pictures that I need to transfer from my phone to my laptop, I will load some tomorrow.

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Bryan this is the Best News to hear you got it running with the help from some of the Best Buick Pros around , I know its been a long road and I bet the ride home was wonderful listening to your engine running in your mind after the sleepless nights you have been through . Can not wait to see it when you get it all together and see them 9.00 second time slips . Hell yea !!!!! Thanks for the update keep us posted .

That sounds like a vacation well spent. Glad to see you back up and running. Been a long time.

Did you ever get to the bottom of the meltdown?

I read your other thread aswell about your paint job.

Glad the ordeal is finally done and you can enjoy your GN.

RC, Pat and the rest of the guys up there in Burlington are top notch and always feel welcomed by them.

I'm the dude that was with John (Meg's Dad) and Steve V. ;)
Eric S called early Sunday morning after we arrived with car problems and needed to be towed off of the raod. Patrick and Richard fired up the rollback truck to rescue him. We took a short ride in the car to make sure all was OK and I let them go rescue Eric.

Yes, there was something kind of surreal about our cars being towed and passing each other in Burlington on Sunday.
Glad you were able to get the car back together and running again Bryan and yes Richard loves to measure to the extreme.
It was great to meet you and really happy that everything worked out as expected. For those who haven't met him, Phoneguy is a fantastic dude and deserves several years of the best luck with his Buick. All the best to you and I look forward to seeing you at RC's next year.

Dear Bryan...........................

It's was one hell of a ride..............

But please don't break it............

Bryan is so destructive than when locked in a round room with padded walls along with a bowling ball and a anvil.......The anvil will be missing and the bowling ball be broke in half...

HELL YEAH..............