Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

13
May
09

1970 OLDSMOBILE 442 FOR SALE!!! CHEAP!!!

442I was driving one evening and spotted an old unrestored looking 1970 Oldsmobile 442 sitting in someone’s back yard. I made a U-turn and went to the house to speak to the owner about it. There wasn’t a for sale sign on it, but I wondered why someone would let a car like that just rot away. The owner said the car had not been driven in 15 years, and hadn’t been started in 5 years. I asked him if he’d be interested in selling it and he told me he’d take $1,500 for the car. He and I walked out to the back yard, so I could further inspect the car and as soon as I saw it up close, I could instantly tell it was a true 100 percent complete 1970 442. The car looked like it had been sitting for 15 years, but it had a very straight, unwrecked body. I took the battery off of my H/O that I was driving that day and put it on the 442. I also noticed this 442 had the correct “F” heads on the 455. The guy got in it and turned the key while I gave it some gas on the carb, and it fired right up after 5 years of not being started! I promised the guy I would write an article about the car and let everyone know it is for sale.

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16
Apr
09

The strong, Long Lasting Olds 455

olds455The Oldsmobile 455 engine was produced from 1967-1976. The earlier year models had very high compression and HP output. As 1975-76 rolled around and the emission laws began to come into affect, Oldsmobile lowered the compression and HP output on the 455 engine. These “smog” motors are easily identified by the casting letter on the cylinder heads being a “J”. Olds 455’s with “J” heads are not the best HP performing Olds 455’s but there are some advantages to having one of these “smog” motors under your hood. Number one, is you can find them relatively cheap, because most Oldsmobile fans dislike the smog “J” heads they have. Even though this is not the best performing 455, it will still give any two door G-bodycar the  get up and go it needs, due to the fact that they were designed to move  the heavy, large 1970’s models Oldsmobile cars. They have a  very long life. These smog 455’s are typically found in the 1975-76 Oldsmobile Delta and Nintey Eight. My first car was a 1987 two door Cutlass, which had an Olds 307 in it when I purchased it. Two months after I purchased the car, the 307 that was then in the car, blew a head gasket. Instead of repairing/rebuilding the 307, I simply went to several local auto salvages and was lucky enough to find a 1975 Delta 88 with 74,XXX miles on the dash and a running 455. This was a “smog” 455 with the “J” heads, but I was able to buy it for only $300, fully assembled. After towing the engine home, I removed the intake, in order to inspect the internals, before installing it. Since I had the intake already off, I went ahead and installed all new top end parts, (push rods, lifters, etc.) I reassembled the engine, installed it in the car, and fired it up. It sounded like the 307 that was in there to begin with, since the car had the original exhaust. Even though the exhaust was quiet and stock, after driving the car out on the highway, I could quickly tell this was not the orignal 307. The car had a far sharper acceleration and the top end speed was improved also, pegging the 85 mph speed odometer needle. Over the next two years following me installing that 455 in my first Cutlass, I did here and there performance modifications, such as aluminum intake, MSD ignition, Holley carb, headers  (and in case you’ve never tried finding a set of headers for an Olds 455 in a G-body car, let me tell you, it’s not easy or cheap), and I also added a true dual 3″ Flowmaster exhaust to the car. As far as the 455 itself, I rebuilt/replaced the entire top end, including the cylinder heads, but never did any bottom end work. The pistons and entire rotating assembly were stock and original. Believe me, after those simple bolt on performance parts, that 455 no longer ran, nor sounded like a smog 455. That engine was so healthy and ran so good, it ended up destroying the stock tranny in the car, which resulted in me having a custom TH-4OO tranny built. Installing the 400 transmission involved as much modifying as the headers did, as I had to shorten the drive shaft, build a custom cross member, and yoke. The good news is, after all that hard work, time, and money I invested in this car, I drove it for a total of 10 years, before selling it. This 455 was manufactured in 1975, I bought it in 1998, and drove it daily until selling it in 2008, which means that “smog” 455 ran for a total of  33 years, with the original, stock bottom end, as I never had to repalce it. That’s proof of how durable and long lasting these smog 455 Oldsmobile engines are. Who knows, the gentleman I sold the car to a year ago is probably still driving it today, wtih the same engine! Never under estimate an Olds 455!

13
Apr
09

HOW TO INDENTIFY A BIG BLOCK OLDS FROM A SMALL BLOCK OLDS

olds-455-motor I’m an Oldsmobile fanatic and I’ve owned many classic Olds cars. Many people have been wondering how they can tell if they have an Olds small or big block engine. For example, a freind of mine bought a 1984 2 door Cutlass Supreme from a guy for $750. My friend brought the car over my house to let me see it later and he told me the guy he bought the car from stated the car had a 350 Olds engine in it. Looking at this engine, I immediatly noticed the engine looked too wide and tall to be a 350. Then i noticed the engine had a casting letter next to the #1 spark plug on the cylinder head, instead of a number, as found on small block Olds heads. This information let me know that the engine in this car was actually big block Olds motor. I then checked the casting letter on the block found next to the oil fill tube, which was 396021, and this let me know the engine was a 455. The Olds 455 is a very good engine and really gave this 2 door 80’s Cutlass some get up and go. The casting letter on the heads on this engine was a “C” which has been said to be one of the best flowing BB Olds heads ever produced. These heads were manufactured from 1967-1969 and are found on 442’s, Cutlass, and Toronado cars of those years. The 455 was a high output engine until the state emission laws took effect in 1975 causing Oldsmobile build a low compression 455 with small valve “J” casting letter smog heads. For this reason, the “J” head is not recomended for performance BB Olds engines. BB Olds head casting letters are “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, “G”, “Ga”, AND “Ka”. THE BIG VALVE HEADS ARE THE B’s, C’s, D’s (very rare and valuable), E’s, F’s (very rare and valuable), Ga’s, AND Ka’s. There is also a 4 or 6 digit casting number found on all Olds heads. This 4 or 6 digit casting number is found around the center exhaust side rocker arm cover bolt or among the rockers on really early heads [pre-68]. Really late heads have #’s like 4417 or such, they might be out closer to the top of the exhaust port. This number is also found on each side of the lower middle valve cover bolt, split into 3-n-3 on each side of that bolt.

Be aware that most heads made before 1968 use a pushrod hole that corresponds to a 45&#degree; cam bank angle. What this means is the pushrods will rub the sides of the holes if the heads are used on a block with a 39&#degree; cam bank angle. All blocks 1968 and after use the 39&#degree; cam bank angle. Check the Cam Bank Angle, Lifter Size Considerations section for more information.

ID Casting # Combustion Camber Intake Valve Exhaust Valve
A 383821 80cc 2.000″ 1.625″
1965 400/425 motor. Shallow spring seats. No hard exhaust seats. Unique 3/8″ stud and nut rocker mounting, using a 3-piece rocker pivot assembly – may present difficulties in rebuilding or finding parts for the rocker assemblies. There is also another “A” head that has adjustable rockers, and look like Chevy heads that have screw-in studs. There is a single machined flat surface for each pair of stud holes. There are no rockers or pivots. Correct for 1965 442, etc. RH head will have the engine ID code stamped into the front. Some heads might have a B following the casting number, eg 383821B.
Applications:

B 389395 80cc 2.000, 2.072″ 1.625″
1966 400/425’s. Toronado and 442 heads had the larger 2.072″ intake valves. Shallow spring seats. No hard exhaust seats. RH head will have the engine ID stamped into the front. First to use the one piece aluminum rocker pivots with 5/16″ mounting bolts. Some early ones used the 3 piece rocker arm pivots with studs.
The big valve “B” heads with the -1 casting number are somewhat unique. As of 22 Apr 66 the head castings wore the -1 after the number. Looking at the build time of the 66 W-30 cars being June of 66 the later date codes on the heads would be correct for these cars. I’ve been told that this was a running change or update for the heads.

The L-69 (Tri-carb) cars were available in late December 1965. Therefore these cars should have regular “B” heads. Not -1’s. The W-30’s will ALL have -1 heads due to their late build date. ALL 66 W-30’s were build on the Lansing line in one production run. Build dates of these cars should be around 6180 (meaning 1966, 180th day) or so. Therefore, all of them will wear the -1 heads. So did all the other cars that year.

The heads I’ve got are date coded for the 137th and the 138th day of 1966. This means these were in the window of the 90 days prior to all the 66 W-30’s being nuilt. The point here is that the later the date codes the better they are for the W-30’s. So far one of the latest date codes on a -1 “B” head is around 6150. There could be later, but this is the latest we’ve noted. Remember that for most restorations the acceptable dates for parts being installed on the car is a MAX of 90 days prior to the build date of the car. Anything farther out than that would require extensive documentation.

C 394548 80cc 2.000, 2.072″ 1.625″
67-69 400/425/455’s [except W-30 and most Hurst/Olds], including 1968 H/O with A/C. Valves commonly 2.000″ and 1.625″, but Toronado and 442 [except Turnpike Cruiser] heads had the larger 2.072″ intakes. Presumably the H/O with C heads also had the large valves. Shallow spring seats. No hard exhaust seats. On 1967 engines, RH head will have the engine ID stamped into the front. Correct for 67-69 442’s, even 68 H/O with air. Heads for 1967 W-30 or California cars had the A.I.R. passages [that boss on the exhaust port] drilled, tapped, and plugged. Some ’68-9 442’s with auto trans may have had small valves. This is reputed to be the best-flowing head, and is still fairly easy to find.
Our local head porting guru and engine buiding maven (“trained” by Mondello) both say that the only real difference between “B” and “C” heads is the size of the pushrod hole. Starting in 1967 there was more than one lifter angle necessitating a pushrod hole large enough to accomodate both. I have examples of both in my collection and this appears to be right. Small holes in the “A” and “B” heads. Drill out the holes in a “B” head and it will fit anything the “C” will. Don’t and you may eat pushrods.

CA ?? ?? ?? ??
Both ID letters are quite small, about 3/8″, with the C being just a bit larger than the A. Not sure of casting number, combustion chamber, port and valve sizes maybe the same as C’s?

*D 400370 69.75cc 2.072″ 1.625″
68-69 400/455’s, with W-30 or H/O [except A/C ’68 H/O’s- see C]. Large valves, 2.072 and 1.625″. Shallow spring seats. No hard exhaust seats. Smaller combustion chambers than other BB heads, possibly due to the small bore of the G-block 400 motors. Rumored that the ’68 versions had both center exhaust ports connected to the crossover, whereas an improved later version as used in 1969 had one port blocked off from the intake heat crossover port for better power. “Improved port configuration for better flow”- according to Supercars Unltd. book 442 by the Numbers. Very rare and valuable.

*DA ?? ?? ?? ??
Not sure of casting number, combustion chamber, port and valve sizes maybe the same as D’s?

E 403686 77, 80cc 2.000, 2.072″ 1.625″
1970 455’s, except W-30. Valves commonly 2.000 and 1.625″, but Toronado and 442 heads had the larger 2.072″ intakes. Valve rotators on all valves, therefore deep spring seats. Maybe have hardened exhaust seats.

*F 404438 80cc 2.072″ 1.625″
1970 455’s with W-30. Large valves, 2.072 and 1.625″. Maybe have hardened exhaust seats. Valve rotators on all valves, therefore deep spring seats. One center exhaust port blocked off from the intake heat crossover port for better power. ‘Improved port configuration for better flow”- according to Supercars Unltd. book 442 by the Numbers. Very rare and valuable. *THE* head to get, if cost is no object, or for an investment. Watch out for an E ground to look like an F; check the 6-digit casting number and the 3 digits on the underside as well (should not be 686). Always look for the two raised ribs on the end of the head that are nearly impossible to duplicate, even with JB weld. Only F heads had these ribs, never E’s.

G 409100 80cc 2.000, 2.072″ 1.625″
1971 455’s, except W-30 [see H]. Valves commonly 2.000 and 1.625″, but Toronado and 442 heads had the larger 2.072″ intakes. Common heads use valve rotators on all valves, but 442 [and Toro?] heads used rotators on exhaust valves only- according to 442 by the Numbers. Wherever rotators are used, the thick rotator/retainer required the use of a deep spring seat. Maybe hard exhaust seats. The A is like ‘A’. Some are large, some are small in size.

Ga 409100 [same number as G head] 80cc 2.000, 2.072″ 1.625, 1.685″
1972 455’s, including W-30. Valves almost universally 2.000 and 1.625″, even 442’s had small intakes, if auto trans models. Even the Toronados were relegated to small intake valves this year. Only 442’s with W-30 or MT had the larger 2.072″ intakes. No way to tell valve size without measuring a valve. Strange combinations of exhaust valve sizes and angles, depending on application. Weird combination of valve sizes and seat angles that no other heads matched. This might make finding valves more fun, should you need them. Exhaust valve with a unique 1.685″ diameter and 30 degree face. All Ga heads use valve rotators on all valves, therefore have all deep spring seats. Hard exhaust seats.

*H 409160 80cc 2.072″ 1.625″
1971 455’s with W-30. Large valves, 2.072 and 1.625″. Valve rotators on all valves, therefore deep spring seats. Maybe have hardened exhaust seats. One center exhaust port blocked off from the intake heat crossover port for better power. ‘Improved port configuration for better flow”- according to Supercars Unltd. book 442 by the Numbers. Improved *over what* they don’t say. Very rare and valuable.

J 411783 80, 82cc 2.000″ 1.625″
1973-76 455 “smog” motors. Standard [small] valves: 2.000 and 1.625″, even Toronado, 442, etc. [presumably]. Exhaust port is choked off to about 1″ diameter just under the valve. No blocked heat crossover. Rotators, deep spring seats, hardened exhaust seats. Very common. Avoid.

*K, Ka 413191 80cc 2.072″ 1.625″
1973-76 factory W-30/ Marine/ Irrigation head replacement unit. Rumored to have possibly been supplied as original equipment on some ’72 W-30’s. Accepted by the NHRA as a stock W-30 head. Large valves, 2.072 and 1.625″. Big 80cc chambers which yields poor compression figures, but so are the C’s, etc. unless you shave them. Rumored to flow not quite so well as C’s [source: Mondello]. Valve rotators on all valves, therefore deep spring seats, allowing either rotator retainers or very stiff springs. Hardened exhaust seats. Exhaust heat crossover is NOT blocked off. Not quite so rare or expensive as the other ‘exotics’ (F, H’s). Also said to be found in 1973-1974 standard shift big blocks found in Cutlass’.

HERE ARE THE SMALL BLOCK HEADS, WHICH HAVE CASTING NUMBERS, INSTEAD OF THE LETTER FOUND ON BIG BLOCK OLDS HEADS.
ID Casting # Combustion Camber Intake Valve Exhaust Valve

1 385101
The rocker assembly is the same as later non-adjustables, except the aluminum cross pieces are stamped steel, and don’t bottom out on the head. The pivots are individual and made of steel; they are linked together by the steel cross piece. These are adjustable rockers.

2

3 389394 60cc

4 394497 60cc 1.875 1.562

5 397742 64cc 1.875, 1.995 1.562, 1.624
All 1969 350s use the #5 head, 2bbl, 4bbl, or W-31, they all use it. The 2bbl and the 4bbl use exactly the same head. Same valves, springs, etc. Only the W-31 got the big valves and springs. Only W-31’s were fitted with the larger valves.

6 403859 64cc 1.880, 1.995 1.567, 1.624
All 1970 350s use the #6 head, 2bbl, 4bbl, or W-31, they all use it. The 2bbl and the 4bbl use exactly the same head. Same valves, springs, etc. Only the W-31 got the big valves and springs and were filled with larger valves. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

7 409147 64cc 1.880, 1.995 1.567, 1.624
All 1971 350’s use #7 heads. Valve springs were different depending on application. Rotator style spring retainers were used on ONLY the exhaust springs. Induction hardened valve seats for use with unleaded fuel.

7A 409147 64cc 1.875 1.622
All 1972 350’s use #7A heads. Valve springs were different depending on application. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

8 411929 79cc 1.875 1.622
1973 – 1976 350 only. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

10 550362 57cc 1.517 1.305
260 only. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

2A 1.517 1.305
260 only. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

3A 554716 75cc 1.880 1.507
1979 – 1980 350, possibly 1977 – 1980. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

4A 554717 83cc 2.000 1.507
1977 – 79 403’s only. This head’s BB size chambers will reduce the CR (and power) of other SBs. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

5A 3317 64cc
1981 – 1985 307. Used on the regular hydralic lifters engines. This head is preferred for 307 performance use because there are port matching problems between aftermarket intakes and exhaust headers with the 7A heads. 5a heads are rumored to flow slightly better. The 5a ports are larger than the 7A’s, so this makes sense. So, if you switch from 7A to 5A heads you should get the intake and exhaust manifolds from the donor engine. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

6A 5844 67cc
307. Possibly used only on non-ECM Canadian cars. AIR bosses, but not machined. Square ports, height equal to port width, which flows less than 5A heads. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

7A 0142 67cc
1985 – 1990 307. Used on the newer hydraulic roller-lifter engine. Possible port matching problems with aftermarket intakes and exhaust headers. Square ports, height equal to port width, which flows less than 5A heads. Rotator style spring retainers were used on the intake and exhaust springs.

D3A 3948 1.875″ 1.622″
The 350 Diesel used intake 1.875″ and exhaust 1.622″ in all applications. Flat combustion chambers for 22.5:1 compression! Get out your die grinder for custom heads!

13
Apr
09

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