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Old 12-14-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
krackerjack88
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Default 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Might be picking up a cadi this week. A 54 coupe. Anyone know anything about the original motor and trans? That's what is in it and it's all og. Just need some input. Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:21 PM   #2
bobwop
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

ain't worth a hoot. I have an old dodge flathead six and fluid drive tranny that I would trade you if you pay the freight. should bolt right in that Caddy. lots more torque. worst part about those caddy engines is the restrictive air cleaner. I would give you five bucks for it if you ship it to me.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

ha ha. sure no prob!
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

331 Cad is outstanding! Arguably the best engine ever
The transmission is fine as long as it works. If it needs to be rebuilt, you might consider an adapter with a more modern trans like a 700R4.
Speed parts for early Cadillac are VERY expensive and hard to find. The stock valve covers look stunning when chromed nicely.
Congrats.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Caddys are a Love Hate relationship...and they take all your money...But the pretty much RULE!!!!
Mine and a few friends


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Old 12-14-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Engine is still the extended bell type, but overall a good engine for a rat rod. If it was a 55 it would be even better, since 55 331's had no extended bell and better breathing heads. The hydramatic transmission will be fine if it is still operable. Going to a 700r4 gives you an overdrive gear, but you can get equivalent ratio by reducing the rear end ratio. The hydramatic has more than enough get up and go with the stout 1st gear of 3:82 to one even with the lower rear end gear ratio.
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Just to add more pics of well done Cadi Motors !










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Old 12-14-2008, 06:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

..more







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Old 12-14-2008, 06:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

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Originally Posted by JohnJoyo View Post
331 The transmission is fine as long as it works. If it needs to be rebuilt, you might consider an adapter with a more modern trans like a 700R4.
A 700 R-4 cannot be adapted to a '54 Caddy engine (neither can a 200-R-4 nor a T-350, T-400)...the bellhousing is an integral part of the engine...and there are no adapters avail...best bet is to rebuild the Hydramatic...or go to a later engine that can be adapted...

R-
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Yup-- them old non-small-block Chevy motors are no good!
Especially the Cad 331's! Some idiot took his 55 Cad 331 (with stock Hydro) powered model A all the way to Bonneville and back... Did I mention its the original motor, never rebuilt?



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Old 12-14-2008, 06:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

We just pulled my brother's 331" engine out of his Caddy...beneath the hose clamps we found paper tags that read "Genuine Cadillac Parts" and a part number...that told us the engine had never been out of his car and the inch and a half of grease and crud below the engine confirmed it for us.

Here's a pic of it, we've been driving it for five years now since we pulled it out of a field here in ColoRODo...we dropped a couple of valves cuz of the unleaded fuel we've put thru it...so, time for a rebuild.

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Old 12-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Well i guess i'm going to have to go this piece of junk then. Thanks guys.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

There is a guy in California that modifys 700R4s to fit the extended bell housing. I had one that we installed in a 53 Cadillac. PM me if you end up wanting to go that route.

To see what your other transmission adapter options are you can go to the wilcap website.....here is the link to adapt to a muncie 4-speed....
http://www.wilcap.com/cad.html#cadefm

Bentsen's also sells transmission adapters and has one to adapt 331 to an automatic (not sure which). I believe they also provide Wilcap with the Cadillac adapters they sell.

I know I'm probably in the minority, but I like the way the extended bell housing blocks look better than the later ones....maybe just cause they are earlier.

Good Luck with your new project.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Oh, Bentsen's website is
http://www.transmissionadapters.com/
look under kit pricing for details I think. They're pretty helpful on the telephone too.
John
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by d2_willys View Post
Engine is still the extended bell type, but overall a good engine for a rat rod. If it was a 55 it would be even better, since 55 331's had no extended bell and better breathing heads. The hydramatic transmission will be fine if it is still operable. Going to a 700r4 gives you an overdrive gear, but you can get equivalent ratio by reducing the rear end ratio. The hydramatic has more than enough get up and go with the stout 1st gear of 3:82 to one even with the lower rear end gear ratio.

RAT ROD ? ? ?
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60'coupe View Post
Just to add more pics of well done Cadi Motors !










Is that copper fuel lines?
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Here's a 57' 365" using a Bendsten's adapter to a Muncie 4 spd.

On a side note: Check the starter gear to flywheel gear mesh.
Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

ewwwww a caddy...who would want one of those!

Mine's a 390 though..great engine..I also have a 331 that will soon see a rebuild


Speed parts can be found but you have to look real hard and be ready to shell up some $$$

Check Wilcap for the tranny adapters..the best in the business for caddy engines
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

Mine is not as pretty as everyone elses, but it's what I have. Thanks for all the pictures... I have motivation again! Excellent post!
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:32 AM   #20
hudsoncustom
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Default Re: 331 Cadillac motors any good?

I've got a 49 331 myself that is going in my 39 Lincoln Zephyr. It's a LONG way from getting to that stage yet, but at least I've got one. ha ha.

Beautiful photos posted above. and thanks for the links for the trans adaptors.
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