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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello; I am new to this forum, I just got a 78 Skylark and am toying with converting to a 4 speed manual. What will work for pedals, linkage ect. I have had pre 67 nova's when I was younger and always had a junk yard full of standard trans parts. Those days are gone. I will be using a 383 stroker with a 373 rear. The car is a one owner old lady story with 40,000 original miles with that awful V6 Buick put in it. It also has one of those half vinyl tops that is in great shape but I think it looks cheezy. Does any one have any pics of a Skylark like this with out a vinyl top so I can get an idea of what to do? Any input will be greatly appreciated Old Timer
 
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here's an image of the pedals and linkage you'll need, i saved it from a post that Philip posted and put it in an album, maybe it'll help you.

click on image to view:



Philip said:
I was told that 72 - 81 Camaro would work, they do not. You will need to find a used set from a 75 - 79 X body. The 6 cyl and V8 models are the same. Besides Nova, parts from an Omega, Ventura and Apollo (or Skylark starting in 76) will also work. Here is a photo of a 2nd gen Camaro set up next to a 4th gen Nova, Nova parts marked with a white X. The Camaro cross shaft (z bar) is the same length but has different shaped arms and hole locations (the shadows show the difference in shape). Nova pedals are longer and have different bends in the arms, frame plate is different and the pedal to cross shaft rod is different. I hope this helps.
 

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Leave it auto..you can do a bigger burnout with a th350 and a 3000 stall!!..78-79 MONTE'S HAD FACTORY 4 SPDS AND SO DID THE MALIBU'S..SAME AS YOUR CAR!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My Monte is an 87 and I have a beefed up 200 4R in it. It has been a great trans. I really don't plan on alot of burn outs and you are correct with the 200 4R and my 373 axle smoking the tires is not a problem. I just would like an old Muncie 4 speed in this toy. I have quickly found out some performance parts for the 75 thru 79 Xbody are not rare but not abundant either. Just letting all you guys who have done this to your cars help me make my project go quicker and with out wasting my money away in trial and error. Thanks for all the info. Keep it coming Old Timer
 

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Bill they are not the same. The Monte Carlo and Malibu are the A/G body and his Skylark is an X like ours.
Pedals, linkage, motor mounts and engine side motor mount brackets are all unique to this generation.
Actually the Skylark is an A-body car and the Apollo was the X-body.

We need to clarify what it says on the side of the car. before we continue with the advise.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mine says Skylark, my research says 1975 4 door was an Apollo and the 2 door was a Skylark and all 1976 thru 1979 were Skylarks and were Xbody cars. I also believe this was the when they went to front steer configuration too. If i'm wrong please enlighten me.
 

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The Buick Apollo was the X body variant of Chevy's Nova.
Nova
Omega from Olds
Ventura from Pontiac
Apollo from Buick,
and Cadillac called their X-body variant a Seville built from 1976-'79

The Skylark was an A-body car based upon the Chevelle platform and has a staggered four link with coil spring suspension in the back. All X-bodies use the older Hotchkiss live axel suspended from two leaf springs. The number of doors doesn't change the body type from A to X. The wheel base and suspension under it determines the body classification.

Rear steer became front steer in 1975 on the X-body the Skylark was rear steer until it was discontinued I do not think they made a G-body Buick (the A-body morphed into the G-body in 1975 with there being enough changes made to the suspension to warrant a new designation though a lot of old parts still interchanged).

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was using the information I researched from answere.com The question was what platform is the 1978 Skylark it says the source is wikipedia 1975 trhu 1978 Skylark, Nova Ventura, Phoenix, and Omega are X-body rear drive cars. I guess my original question should have asked what other cars can I use for parts on my 1978 Skylark? I thought all 73 to 78 Nova's ect. were the same. I have quickly learned other wise. Thanks for the great info Old Timer
 

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So do you have a staggered four link coil spring rear Suspension. If so any performance upgrade for a Chevelle will work (such as cast iron bars to raise the instant center adjustable top control arms and fully boxed in with polyurethane plastic lower control arms, and double adjustable shocks).

If you have two parallel springs holding your rear axle in place then congratulations you have an X-body and anything you read here will work (including my coments on building yourself a killer Buford 455)

http://carcraft.automotive.com/112326/ccrp-0907-buick-455-cylinder-heads/index.html

Big Dave
 

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Willy I will let you know if I run across a clutch pedal and linkage set up. If you are going to use a hydraulic type set up pedals from a Camaro may work. I have a set and I'll check to see how close they are to my Nova.

Also power and manual brakes have different pedals. I can post some photos later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK folks I went to were I store this car and looked much closer at what I have. It is a 1978 Skylark 2 door coupe, rear leaf springs, front steering. power brakes. I am still not sure what other GM cars I can use as donors for my clutch parts, interior parts ects. As for the 4 link conversion I would like to have one but it is not as important to me as getting the standard shift converted. I would also like to install a correct floor shift steering column at the same time. I would like to install the correct manual linkage for the clutch not hydraulic. I just like the feel better. I truly appreciate all the info you guys have supplied and hope I'm not boring the heck out you folks. I will not start this project until early spring, I want to get all the needed info and parts lined up before I disassemble the car. Thanks Old Timer
 

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There are also after market pedals from Lokar (they do not look anything at all like stock). The factory went to a hydraulic clutch mechanism (a slave cylinder at first then switching to a hydraulic expanding throw-out bearing for a reason: and it had nothing to do with the feel of the pedal, or even under hood room.

The factory switched to a hydraulic throw out bearing when they switched over to fine splines on the transmission input shaft as they will bind if even slightly out of alignment (which often happens with mechanical linkage and a stiff pressure plate spring). So if you are thinking of a mechanical linkage I hope you are thinking of a ten spline Muncie or old T-10 transmission as the newer 26 spline (27 splines for Tremec T-56) transmissions will require a super stiff mechanical linkage (Make your own as the factory stuff is too weak), or hydraulic with a precision centering of the bell housing on the centerline of the crank.

Big Dave
 

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The factory switched to a hydraulic throw out bearing when they switched over to fine splines on the transmission input shaft as they will bind if even slightly out of alignment (which often happens with mechanical linkage and a stiff pressure plate spring). So if you are thinking of a mechanical linkage I hope you are thinking of a ten spline Muncie or old T-10 transmission as the newer 26 spline (27 splines for Tremec T-56) transmissions will require a super stiff mechanical linkage (Make your own as the factory stuff is too weak), or hydraulic with a precision centering of the bell housing on the centerline of the crank.

Big Dave
Well Dave that is not entirely true. The Muncie transmissions were changed to fine splines in the early 70's and still ran mechanical linkage. There are many cars that have TKO transmissions and are not having problems with factory clutch linkage. I do not think the move to hydraulic clutches had anything to do with the transmission itself.

Having the bell housing centered will benefit any transmission with smoother shifting and longer life.
The centering of the bell housing is important for the Tremec transmissions, but not because of the clutch, but due to the tapered roller front bearing not being as forgiving as the old ball bearing used in the earlier transmissions. The same reason applies to the need for the parallelism of the mounting face of the bell housing to the crank shaft also being within spec.
 

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G body was a designation used on the 69-72 GP (Pontiac Grand Prix) and 70-72 Monte Carlo, continued with 73-77 GP and Monte carlo. All 78-80 mid size body on frame metric RWD cars were A body. A body designation was "taken" for the planned FWD disposable/throwaway cars that were to debut as 82's - Buick Century, Pontiac 6000, Chevrolet Celebrity, etc. G body designation was used on remaining run of mid size RWD through Dec 87 probably continued longer than GM originally planned due to continued popularity of "obsolete" chassis - mid eighties Monte carlo super sport, Buick GN, Olds cutlass/442, etc.
 

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For the record.........

'82 - '87 Buick Regal = G body.
It wasn't just the Buick Regal's, but Pontiac's Grand Am, Grand Prix, Le Mans, and Bonneville, along with Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo and Oldsmobile Cutlass and 442.

G body was a designation used on the 69-72 GP (Pontiac Grand Prix) and 70-72 Monte Carlo, continued with 73-77 GP and Monte carlo. All 78-80 mid size body on frame metric RWD cars were A body. A body designation was "taken" for the planned FWD disposable/throwaway cars that were to debut as 82's - Buick Century, Pontiac 6000, Chevrolet Celebrity, etc. G body designation was used on remaining run of mid size RWD through Dec 87 probably continued longer than GM originally planned due to continued popularity of "obsolete" chassis - mid eighties Monte carlo super sport, Buick GN, Olds cutlass/442, etc.
Technically you are both correct, but calling the 78 - 87 mid size RWD GM cars G bodies simplifies distinguishing that frame, suspension and brake system from the earlier cars.

GM did the same thing in 88 when the new style trucks were introduced. The C and K designations were carried into the new style, but the Suburbans and Blazers were then called R and V until they were changed in 91. There were no differences in the Suburban or Blazers from the earlier models, just the model code for parts purposes.
 

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Sorry I can't help with the peddles for the X-body conversion.

I have sets from the 68-72 A-body gm mid size cars (chevelle, cutlass, 442, pontiac lemans, buick skylark, elcamino, montecarlo, malibu, etc.)

I have a g-body set (78-82? malibu, 78-87? monte, regal, cutlass, grand prix, grand am, etc.)

67-69 camaros, firebirds

70-81 camaro, firebirds

68-74 x-body (nova, apollo, omega, ventura)

but I don't have a set for the 75-79? x-body skylark, nova, omega, phoenix, etc.

Now i don't know if that speaks to its rarity, but I haven't ran across any in the last 30 years but I haven't really been into x-bodys until just recently.

Good luck on the search.
 

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The Buick Apollo was the X body variant of Chevy's Nova.
Nova
Omega from Olds
Ventura from Pontiac
Apollo from Buick,
and Cadillac called their X-body variant a Seville built from 1976-'79

The Skylark was an A-body car based upon the Chevelle platform and has a staggered four link with coil spring suspension in the back. All X-bodies use the older Hotchkiss live axel suspended from two leaf springs. The number of doors doesn't change the body type from A to X. The wheel base and suspension under it determines the body classification.

Rear steer became front steer in 1975 on the X-body the Skylark was rear steer until it was discontinued I do not think they made a G-body Buick (the A-body morphed into the G-body in 1975 with there being enough changes made to the suspension to warrant a new designation though a lot of old parts still interchanged).

Big Dave
Hi Big Dave

I just wanted to clear up a very foggy topic a little.

I had a 1975 buick skylark that was a two door hatch back x-body.
I know one buick in 75 was the century until 77 and was the chevelle, etc type A-body I think you were thinking of.

Gm definitely played around a lot with names, didn't they!!!
 
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