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Old 06-24-2008, 12:35 PM   #41
Paul
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

so how does one recognize a W1 motor?
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:34 PM   #42
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Exclamation Re: Oldsmobile J2

Quote:
Originally Posted by owen thomas View Post
Anyone want to hear about Oldsmobile and Pontiac engineers street-racing against each other circa 1962?
Owen Thomas is not my real name
YES !!!
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #43
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Got to be a little careful what I say here – and my memory might be a little fuzzy too, but…
An Oldsmobile transmission engineer, Art Weidman, loved hot cars and was a really good guy, was the key player here.
Olds built up a complete 1961 ‘Daytona’ car, completely race stuff, NASCAR track ready – this included a very special engine with solid lifters. Art took this one out at lunchtime and blew the engine on the highway to Charlotte, Michigan. Heard he was wound waaaay out in second gear when it let go. The Engineering garage got a call for a tow back to the garage.
I think Art also blew up an experimental big block aluminum engine, called the X-80, in a car on the street somewhere. We only made two or three of those engines.
Art was given a car to play with, maybe to leave the others alone. This car was a 1961 Olds 2-door hardtop. That car got everything possible to hop it up. I remember that two sets of prototype 1963 cylinder heads were made for some experimental project, and we borrowed one set for Art’s car – don’t know whether anyone ever figured out where those heads went. Beautiful ports in the heads, even before we worked on them. Mostly just a polish job. There were some drums of special fuel delivered, maybe to use in Art’s car.
Anyway, Art would take this car to meet Pontiac engineers, sometimes in Lansing, sometimes down to Pontiac. Street racing at night. We would work on Art’s car and engine for days, getting ready, and the Pontiac guys were probably doing the same. We couldn’t wait to hear from Art how it went the next morning.
One story I remember: One night, the Pontiac guys came up to Lansing with two cars. Art said one of the Pontiacs beat him but he beat the other. After the action, Art in his Olds and the two Pontiacs were at a drive-in restaurant, and they were challenged by some guy with his new 348 or 409 Chevy (whatever in 1961 or 1962). Back out on the highway to Charlotte. The three cars all blew off the Chevy. Not even close. The guy in the Chevy said he could take being beat by a Pontiac, but being beat by an Oldsmobile was unbelievable. I don’t know whether he figured out who those guys were.
A long time ago...
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:26 PM   #44
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

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Originally Posted by Mopar34 View Post
I have a modified original J2 in my 57 Olds and I wouldn't recommend anything over 5k. I run mine at 3k or less, and even then it's sucking gas at 6 mpg. Mine has been modified with an Offy intake and Offie valve covers, and a moderate cam. I love it, but one of these days it will be replaced with something newer and lighter. Will probably also go with FI.

J2 will be moved from the Olds to a roadster.
Let me know when u do that..............
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:42 PM   #45
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Amazing stories Owen Thomas!

By all means feel free to keep typing until your fingers are tired!

I was surprised that you don't like the Offy intake manifold. I replaced my 56' 4bbl intake with an Offy 3x2 just like it on my 324 and I was significantly faster in the midrange to top end, but a little slower just off the line. Not to mention the 4bbl was way better for burnouts. I do also have an Edelbrock 3x2 manifold but I don't have any carbs to fit it without adapters. I've always wanted to run it though, just to see which was superior.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:22 PM   #46
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Back around ’62, Olds built what they called a ‘hot rod motor’, using all aftermarket stuff. No cylinder boring, head milling or any other machining, just built up the way a guy would do at home in his garage. I think we did a couple of versions, or tried different parts. I remember a Chet Herbert 280 roller and an Isky E7 (?), and different manifolds too. One version, on the dyno, produced peak power at 6,500 – peak horsepower at 6,500 rpm. This thing had no power at lower revs, and then came on really strong around 5,200. A real kick in the ass from 5,200 to 6.500 then fell off a cliff. The truth was that the horsepower at 6,500 was about the same as a stock hydraulic grind motor produced at maybe 4,200. But when you looked at the whole hp curve, the stock motor had good power from 3,000 all the war to 5,000, and could go to 5,400 with fast leak-down lifters, still making good power. An Olds with the stock motor would be way ahead in a drag race when the power finally came on in the hot rod Olds. No contest. The stocker would win easily.
I like the Edelbrock 3-carb manifold and the stock J2 is a good manifold too. I don’t like log type manifolds such as the Weiand. The secret (for street use) is in the runners. Those manifolds and the stock 4-barrel manifolds had long, 180 degree runners that ended square to the others. Olds changed their 4-barrel manifold runners in ’55 or ’56 by squaring the runner junctions, and picked up 10 h.p., or something like that. Good low-end. A Hydra-Matic ’55 Olds was hard to beat off the line.
You could get really great performance with the 4-barrel carbs that are available today, like the Edelbrock that I have on my truck. But I have thought about changing to a dual 4-barrel Edelbrock – those things really look cool. That’s what we’re after today anyway.
…wonder what ever happened to my 6-carb Stromberg set-up, or my Vertex mag, or my J2 manifold with a set of Rochesters that had been flowed in the Experimental carb room, the big chromed stock J2 air cleaner…I did find a set of Traction-Masters for a ’54-’56 Olds hanging on the wall out in my shop – never been on a car.
I’m going to see Charlie Johnson in a week or two. Charlie and Noah Canfield ran an Olds powered ‘modified roadster’ called the Glass Chariot in the early ‘60’s. I used to go with them to the drags sometimes. Got top eliminator, ran 8.80 the last time I went to Detroit Dragway with them. I think later Dick LaHaie sometimes filled in for Charlie driving the car, and bought it from Charlie and Noah when they built a rail. Anybody know that history?
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:22 PM   #47
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Lightbulb Re: Oldsmobile J2

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Originally Posted by owen thomas View Post
…I did find a set of Traction-Masters for a ’54-’56 Olds hanging on the wall out in my shop – never been on a car.
it just so happens i need a set of those for my '54 Oldsmobile Holiday 88,the last time i tried to launch my car hard it broke the pinion yoke and the driveshaft fell out in the street
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:29 AM   #48
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

This has been one heck of an interesting read. And co-incidentally I just picked up a complete running gear out of a 54 Olds today. Motor, transmission, driveline and rearend. It is all going in my 34 sedan and the only changes are shortening the driveline and rebuilding the 4 barrel carb. Everything else is staying as is.
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:15 AM   #49
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Cool engine,Is that in the fake 32 roadster-pickup that you got shit about earlier, I'm building one also !
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:19 AM   #50
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

A ’34 Ford with Olds power is sweet. With a Hydra-Matic you could run a real conservative rear end, maybe a 3.08. Make a nice economical cruiser.
Back in ’56, I rode in a ’34 roadster with a stock Olds but all Ford driveline. Everything was stock – the roadster and the Olds engine. Owner was a student an Michigan State and he and his dad built the car for him to use at college. Not a hot rod, just a nice little Ford roadster for school. Red with white top, and white walls of course. But it was fast, no muss no fuss, no noise. Took out to the 1/4 mile on Farm Lane (MSU) and ran about 90 on the speedo with three of us in the car. Anyone remember the 1/4 mile that the University had marked out on Farm Lane? Used to get crowded some nights.
Typical back in the 50’s was Olds engine adapted to Ford trans and driveline. The cars were light, tires had no traction, so usually there were no problems. The tires would light up before anything would break.
I’ve got this ’53 Chevy truck, Nova sub-framed, with a ZZ1 and Muncie M20. Much rather have an early Olds and H-M trans, but it’s easier to just buy a crate motor. I found a site on the net that has simulated early Olds valve covers to fit onto a sbc. Not the same is it?
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:31 PM   #51
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Owen, Wow I can't believe some of the stories. I too am at work and have spent the last hour digesting what you've talked about. It just so happens this weekend I am pulling a 371 olds with a 4 barrel and Hydramatic out of a car this weekend for my '27 T Sedan. I've been trying to find all the stats that I can on the motor but its been a depressing search. Its coming out of a 57 olds 88 4 door. I know its probably nothing really special. But is there anything that I should look for, maybe they slipped one of the W motors in a 4 door for some crazy reason maybe...?
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:50 PM   #52
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

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Originally Posted by racemad55 View Post
Cool engine,Is that in the fake 32 roadster-pickup that you got shit about earlier, I'm building one also !
I'm assuming that you are talking to me

Yes, it is in the fake 32 roadster pickup.

Post some pictures of your build!
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

I'm not even a Olds guy, but this is awesome.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:10 PM   #54
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2


Thanks for all the stories owen thomas. When I found this motor I had know idea what it was until I opened it up. Its a 56 324 bored an 1/8" and stoked a 1/4". It has a roller cam with roller cam bearings and adjustable rockers with olds part numbers on them. I added the blower setup. It a long way from running again but I can't wait to hear it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:06 PM   #55
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

great picture Sam,

my J2 motor is still in the shop,
got a new crankshaft coming,
thank you GOATROPER02

and sounds like I will have another pair of heads soon too

but in the meen time I've been playing with one of the 303's

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:15 PM   #56
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Regarding the ’27 T. You don’t need a W-1 motor for that thing. Just stock with the Hydra-Matic. Don’t need a high ratio axle either. Tons of torque.
The Hydra-Matic I really like is the early one, before the ‘Jetaway’ in ’56. Except in ’56 the standard 88 (not the Super 88 of 98) came with the old transmission. Some guys I knew bought a B&M, took it apart and then were duplicating it. The main thing was to dump the 1-2 shift oil with a valve we - I mean they made, and a link to the shifter, and grind a detent to hold it in 1st gear. Then you could manually shift 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4. Man, those things would shift hard – and fast too. Really come off the line. A 3.42 rear end was perfect, a 3.64 was maybe too much for the highway but o.k. for the drags. 8.20x15 white walls, Kelly Celebrities or maybe U.S. Royals – which we called U.S. Baldies because they wore so fast.
I like the 303, the 324, and the ’57/’58 371. Probably like the 324 best, especially given a little more compression. A little off the heads really wakes them up (and shim the rocker stands). A 1/8 over 371 is a really strong motor too. From 1959 on are good engines, I just personally like the early ones. Lots of velocity with a 4-barrel and stock ports and valves. Good low down. Maybe a little polish and port matching there. A modern Edelbrock or Holley would be fantastic on one of these old engines.
Ignition was never a problem. I had one of the old Mallory dual point distributors with ‘Mag Spark Transformer’. Anyone remember those? Anyone remember Boot Mallory and his Chrysler 300? Actually, I went back to the stock distributor because the Mallory ate a lot of expensive points. Guess what? The car ran better. Then the Magspark went in favor of a stock coil – even better, especially at higher rpm. From then on, ran a stock ignition, Packard 440 spark plug cables, AC C42 plugs if you were running hard, otherwise AC44. Some guys ran Champions, J-12Y, but I liked the AC's better. Olds had a Delco distributor available with dual points. Looked stock and was real good. The dual points gave more coil saturation.
Rambling on and on about the old, Olds days…
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:57 PM   #57
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

Photos of never used Traction Masters for ’54-’56 Olds, found hanging back in the shop. Maybe put on my Chev truck. The u-bolt spacing is o.k.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:02 PM   #58
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

sam the rail is looooooking wiiiicked ....jeffrey
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:53 AM   #59
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Exclamation Re: Oldsmobile J2

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Originally Posted by owen thomas View Post
Photos of never used Traction Masters for ’54-’56 Olds, found hanging back in the shop. Maybe put on my Chev truck. The u-bolt spacing is o.k.
seriously;I OWN a 1954 Oldsmobile,and i need those!!!
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:14 AM   #60
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Default Re: Oldsmobile J2

What a great thread! Thanks, Owen for bringing something new to the table.
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