Tony’s 23 Buick SD4 Truck


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I bought it in March. Since it was made of wood mostly, all that was left was the hood, fenders and frame. the motor and trans were there but way too far gone to be saved.  Anyway, if all goes well this should be my beat around car for Bonneville Speedweek in 2015, provided it doesn’t rain again.

Powertrain 3 Powertrain 2 Powertrain 1

I found a 77 Mustang ll and used the V6 engine, C4 auto trans and 8″ Ford rear end. I paid $500 for the 23 Buick, $500 for the Mustang ll ( it had spun a rod bearing) only cost a couple hundred to over haul it. Thank god for Rock Auto parts, they have everything for every make car you can imagine.

When I was done stripping the donor, all that was left was the body, doors, hood , trunk and bumpers. I took the entire wireing system with the dash and fuse box, steering column, front rack and pinion( had to torch it off the uniframe body) rear  end, seats engine , trans, just left a shell. I’m using everything except the seats and dash,  they were too big. I had to do some cutting and grinding on the brake pedal assymbly but it works perfect and I left the power booster off, took up too much room and I also had to get a mechanical rack and pinon because I had no room for the power steering pump, but the ctoss member and coil springs and A frames are all in use.

 floor framephoto 2photo 1

Tailgate 2tailgate 1box bed 2

I finished framing in the bed and tailgate, and adding in the wood. All that’s left here is to do some sanding and varnishing and adding metal runners to the floor of the bed( for looks only) and then on to finishing the cab and dash. I still haven’t decided on what color to paint the metal.  I haven’t located a bench seat yet. Everything I have looked at in vans and Suburban rear seats are all too high and too wide. After I get back from my King Salmon fishing trip this week end, I’ll head up to Pick and Pull wrecking yard and see what I can find there

photo 3framing 2framing 1

I  continued framing the cab and the bed today. Yes, the 23 Buick SD4 light truck had a cab like that, only about a foot smaller. So small the driver had to get in the passenger side. The cab was 3 feet deep, I made mine 4 feet. The bed was 5 feet, I made mine  6 feet. I will be adding doors which will be two feet, the original  were 18″. I will be adding a dash that is 10″  deep, the original had only a flat dash right under the window. One big difference, the original wasn’t framed with steel, it was all wood.


I located a bench seat with a low back on Craig’s list. I was running a “wanted” add and a guy responded who only lived 15 miles away. He said it was a rear seat from a Dodge Voyager, I believe that’s a minivan. He said it was out of a model 2002 and he had long since traded the vehicle in and forgot to include the jump seat. The price was right. He said if it would work for me to come  and get it out of his garage, no charge. I had to make a few changes and it fits perfectly leaving me room for my battery box under the passenger side. With the seat mounted I can now move on to finishing the dash board and locating the steering column, right now it’s hanging with bailing wire. I originally had the battery box under the driver’s side of the seat, but I forgot the floor mounted transmission shifter has to go there and the E brake too.

Steering Column 1 Steering Column 3 Steering Column 2


The steering column from the donor vehicle,  was a tight fit to get past the exhaust manifold, and keep within the confines of the hood.

Likewise, the donor car provided brake assembly and cable gas pedal unit, easily mounted to the floor/firewall board.


Cab door 1 Cab Door 3 Cab Door 2

I made and hung the doors today. Yes those are house door hindges. The original doors used barn door hindges. And I was able to make the original handle latches work perfectly. I’ll be doing the lower panels tomorrow and the upper panels will have glass in them so they will be a bit more difficult to do and yes, I’ll use safety glass. Then on to wiring it.
The original running board system was only boards sitting on a cross member and attached to the front and rear fenders, I added an angle iron frame. Seemed like a better idea. Also, it only had one cross member going under the car from one running board to another, I added one more. There were two U shaped supports attached to each side frame rail but only one cross member connecting two of the 4 U shaped running board supports

Front right side Rear Front left side

Here’s where I’m at on my latest project. Note; I didn’t take these pictures up side down. I don’t know why they flip over. anyway, I finnished wiring it, I finnished the dash, I still haven’t mounted the headlights, I’m waiting for brackets to hang the front bumper, my glass should be in by the end of the week and yes I was driving it on the street today. So far everything works good. note the model T sun shade I got on ebay for $95. I also installed an Uugga ugga horn. note the tiny little orange dots on the sides of the headlight housings. they are LED turn signals. work bitchin.

Dash Capri Engine

I used LED’s for turnsignal indicators on the dash and for the high beam selector. once the windows are in I’ll seal all the wood with a black sealer, then carpet the iside of the cab with marine carpet, it’s thin, durable, looks good and isn’t expensive and is easy to cut and put down with contact cement. I’ll be getting the license plate this week too. That little V6 Capri motor hauls ass too. 2.8 with solid lifters.

bed linerCab windows rear viewSide Windows

I wasn’t sure how to finish the bed. I decided to Rhino coat it and then I put those polished stainless steel runners down just for looks. I’d used that Rhino Coat stuff before and it goes down easy and sticks real good and has a nice rubbery non slip feeling to it and it cleans up easily. So I also did the running boards with it.
Side and rear windows are in just waiting on the front windows

I located a good used VW Bus gas tank from the 60’s era that is just the right size for the only location I have to hang it. I had to alter the fill neck a bit and install a universal gas gauge sender unit. these tanks had no sending unit. they checked fuel level with a stick. anyway, it wasn’t tuff drilling a hole and installing it. what was tuff was finding the right ohms which my local parts house was able to do.

VW Tank 1 VW Tank 2 VW Tank 3

 Then it was just a matter of putting the steel straps in the right place and hanging it. Since it’s black it’s not too noticeable from the rear. you can see the fill neck coming out at a 90 degree angle. The tank holds 11 gallons.

VW Tank Install 2 VW Tank Install 3 VW Tank Install 1



















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