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Old 10-08-2010, 12:01 AM   #1
goldflake
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Default 303 oldsmobile

I am thinking of putting a 1950 303 oldsmobile rocket motor in my 1931 ford pick-up project but i need a little info..is the motor a reliable and finding parts like water pump fuel pump easy to get. I dont know much about the motor any help would be great....
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Great engine if in good shape. Don't know about parts.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I got a complete 303 for my A project. Not that expensive compared to some of the other early V8's.

Parts are around all the time, not too sure about new.

Read this for some background and LOADS of info..

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv vvvv


http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...alle&showall=1
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:35 AM   #4
goldflake
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I dont know if I should just go with a chevy 350.... have a line on a 303 with a hydromatic trans for $1000..I pulled the valve covers and they were super clean like they have never been used. the guy said that it was rebuilt but never driven..How do I realy know.....
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldflake View Post
I dont know if I should just go with a chevy 350.... have a line on a 303 with a hydromatic trans for $1000..I pulled the valve covers and they were super clean like they have never been used. the guy said that it was rebuilt but never driven..How do I realy know.....
Tell him you'd like to have the receipts for the parts used in the rebuild for your "build file"--303 Olds parts are pretty unique--it's not likely they would be forgeries or from another source if he had them. If he doesn't have receipts for parts I'd probably have my doubts---IMO.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Get a hold of Goatroper02 here on the HAMB. Tony is a great guy and will be more than happy to awnser all your Olds ?'s. Here is his contact info. Todd.
Ross Racing Engines
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
Steve from PA
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I also have a 303 with trans coming. I plant to rebuild and put in a RPU.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Kanter Auto has just about anything up to and including overhaul kits.
Waterpump $113.00
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Hello..Here is a very nice Cragar 4x2 Intake for the Olds 303 or 324. This setup would look so very cool on top of your engine..
This intake is available..
Duane..
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Hey goldflake,

I'm an early Olds Rocket 88 lover (I'm currently resto-rodding a 1950 coupe with a modified 303 and hydro), but what I have to offer you are just impressions, not cold, hard facts:

- the Olds Rocket V8 is a WONderful nostalgia motor. The good ones run sweet and strong, have enormous torque, are built tough and just plain look and sound GREAT! They make quite a statement.

- when the Olds motor is coupled to an Olds 4-speed hydro., that is a very heavy combination for a light Ford pickup to handle. I would guess 400 pounds or so heavier than an SBC or SBF with late-model automatic trans.

- parts are going to be harder to find, but it's still going to be a workable deal IF you know where to shop and you realize you can't get running and stay running on a bare-bones budget.

So, I'd suggest if the desire to make a nostalgia statement in your ride is a strong one AND you have the budget AND you'll equip your vehicle with suitable frame, suspension, brakes and tires to make it handle and stop safely, go ahead and consider the Olds.

If you lean more toward making a ride that is light, nimble and maneuverable without making heavy structural modifications, then consider the late-model small block and auto trans combo.

You'll be smiling either way. Again, just my $.02, and good luck!!

mr50s
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:55 PM   #11
larry woods
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

i second all of mr50s comments. originally set up my 32 (see profile) w/ 303 and hydramatic. when i redid went with 327 and 350. much happier with the lighter weight. good luck and keep us posted. larry
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

great $.02..i think Im just going to go with the 350 stricktly for the parts aspect..if im out of town on a run and somthing happens I want to be able to run to NAPA and get with I need..thanks guys for all your input...
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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Originally Posted by goldflake View Post
great $.02..i think Im just going to go with the 350 stricktly for the parts aspect..if im out of town on a run and somthing happens I want to be able to run to NAPA and get with I need..thanks guys for all your input...
where is this 303?
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I'll sell you a running and driving Olds 303 w/ 4speed hydro that's in my roadster right now for $999 . You can even drive the car before you buy it. It has the VERY desireable #10 heads and a tri-power intake on it.

Parts are eeeeeasy to find, just a little more expensive than chevy stuff when you find them. I drive my car all the time. They're great little motors.

You pull it!
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I just drove my (new to me) '52 Olds with a 303 and automatic tonight.
It's a nice combo but it feels really...heavy.
I also have a stock 85 HP flathead in a '39 Ford. Even though the Olds motor makes twice the HP it sure doesn't feel like it.

I hate to say it but if you're looking to really log some serious miles you'd probably be better of with a 350. You can't swing a dead cat without being able to get parts for one or find someone that didn't 'cut-their-teeth' learning to work on cars by taking one apart.

The 303 is definitely more original but has it's weaknesses.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

What weakness do the Olds have Alienbaby17?

Yes the parts cost more than a cookie cutter motor, but there isnt anything that is hard to aquire?
And yes I would know,lol

Tony
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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Originally Posted by GOATROPER02 View Post
What weakness do the Olds have Alienbaby17?
Tony
Oh, I just meant that compared to a SBC you can't waltz into any parts store in the middle of BFE and get this or that for it. I'd like to take mine on some serious road trips but am a little worried about being able to find parts if something fails.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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Oh, I just meant that compared to a SBC you can't waltz into any parts store in the middle of BFE and get this or that for it. I'd like to take mine on some serious road trips but am a little worried about being able to find parts if something fails.

Auhh dont be scared,if its built at all and not a yard motor, a spare water pump and a couple ignition parts in the trunk, and there isnt anything else you could need that can be fixed on the road anyway no matter what brand it is.
My dads coupe has been on many 1500 mile round trips trouble free ....371
18-20 mpg at 70-75 mph with a tripower

Dont get me wrong I like SBC's as I build many of them also in all forms

Tony
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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My dads coupe has been on many 1500 mile round trips trouble free ....371
18-20 mpg at 70-75 mph with a tripower

Wow...
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

As a slight aside, speaking of Olds,

I used to drive a stock 330 olds in a 64 F85.

Nothing I've played with, stock, ever felt as quick as that nasty thing. Beast.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:31 PM   #21
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Your info is very encouraging to read Goatroper02. I want to really put some miles on this car and was wondering if a newer Olds motor might be a better choice.
Good to know that you have some faith in these babies!
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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Originally Posted by goldflake View Post
I dont know if I should just go with a chevy 350.... have a line on a 303 with a hydromatic trans for $1000..I pulled the valve covers and they were super clean like they have never been used. the guy said that it was rebuilt but never driven..How do I realy know.....
It amazes me that someone would have a $1000 motor and not be prepared to start it up for you, unless there's some reason he don't want to..........................
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Like Goatroper said-carry a spare water pump, fuel pump and a replacement for whatever sparks your plugs, (points or otehrwise), and you are as bullet-proof as the next guy. Any more broke-down than that, and you're toast no matter what you drive.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:10 AM   #24
goldflake
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

it was sitting out on the garage floor....and has been sitting for about a year....

Quote:
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It amazes me that someone would have a $1000 motor and not be prepared to start it up for you, unless there's some reason he don't want to..........................
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:31 AM   #25
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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Originally Posted by goldflake View Post
it was sitting out on the garage floor....and has been sitting for about a year....
Tom offered you a kill deal on a very nice Olds, and you are tire kicking yourself into a Chevy. Tom will have no problem selling that nice Olds to a rodder who will not have "Chevy" embroidered on his underwear.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:37 AM   #26
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It amazes me that someone would have a $1000 motor and not be prepared to start it up for you, unless there's some reason he don't want to..........................
Is this a local thing ? I ship motors all over the world and have never been asked to start one. Some have price tags well over $10,000
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:23 AM   #27
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alienbaby17 View Post
Your info is very encouraging to read Goatroper02. I want to really put some miles on this car and was wondering if a newer Olds motor might be a better choice.
Good to know that you have some faith in these babies!

Nah stay Old style and save the newer ones for the cutlass guys

Tony
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:30 AM   #28
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Is this a local thing ? I ship motors all over the world and have never been asked to start one. Some have price tags well over $10,000
No, it's a thing I have regarding mis-represented used motors. If I asked you to start one and you refused, I would suspect a problem with the motor.

OP asked a question; "the guy said that it was rebuilt but never driven..How do I realy know....." My response indicated I thought a demonstration would be appropriate.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:33 AM   #29
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Is this a local thing ? I ship motors all over the world and have never been asked to start one. Some have price tags well over $10,000

I dont think its local.
And Im not trying to pick ,But you may want to rethink that as a shop owner.

I wont send an engine out of my shop that hasnt been run...It protects me and my customer.
Doesnt matter whether it is 5 or 40gs

Tony
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:55 AM   #30
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Please explain Protection ? I don't think any customer is going to say that since you started the engine that all his future troubles are his problems. If a shop needs to start motors as a way to try to prove that everything is right inside a motor, OK it might help an unknown shop. Just think about all the parts a shop would need just to be able to start and run say 20 different type motors, and the time needed to install and remove them.
If I were going to buy that Olds I would offer to buy a gasket set and then tear the thing down and look inside at the parts and the machine work. If it was not right and was junk inside, It would only cost me a gasket set. I would not want or need to hear it run. i am sure if it was junk the seller would say to just return the gaskets to where you purchased them and walk away.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:20 PM   #31
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

Rockets are cool motors and get lots of attention for the cool factor. There are lots of parts new and used available and great resources like goatroper.

I have a "heavy" rocket in my 32. Lots of power and torque and my four drum brakes stop it well. Very solid and reliable motor. I would never think of putting a modern motor in it so long as I have my 371.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #32
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

1k for a 303 and hydro is alot of coin for something you don't even know runs. I am not trying to sell you on an SBC, but you should be able to find something in the 300-500 dollar range.

As far as going on long trips with an old engine, Olds or whatever, just make sure you have what others have mentioned. Take the car on a reasonable run 50-100 miles before going on the long run to verify no obvious problems.

I drove both my 50 Olds 98 and my 58 Buick Roadmaster over 1500 miles each from where I bought them to my home. Result: Excellent, no problems what so ever.

Curiousity: what would you do if you had an electronic ignition and fuel injection on an SBC and were stranded down the road? Answer: call the tow truck.

now what would you do if you were driving a stock rocket down the road and the coil went bad? Answer: If you had a spare, you would simply remove and replace, and be on your way.

Think about it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:07 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29nash View Post
OP asked a question; "the guy said that it was rebuilt but never driven..How do I realy know....."

Why the fuck would I want to tear it down if it didn't need to be??? Sounds like somebody has never ran a motor to verify it's condition. Even on the floor of the garage; Get a battery. First pull the spark plugs and spin it over to verify compression. With oil in the pan, verify oil pressure. Time to start it if compression and oil pressure is good. Fill the water jacket/water pump and cap off the inlet/outlet. Crank it, run it for a couple of minutes, again verifying oil pressure and such. An hour later check if any of the coolant is gone due to cracks, blown head gasket, etc. That will be a lot more fuckin' realistic than a complete teardown..............
A rebuilt motor is a rebuilt motor, not one that just starts and runs and has "oil pressure and such" At every single Pomona or Long Beach swap meet at least one or two guys show up with a SBC in the back of their truck, rigged up to start. Throughout the day you can here the idiot starting the dam thing up, open exhaust every time. Usually by noon it's quiet because some one bought the piece of shit. I don't know if showing Colorado ID is required to purchase.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #34
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

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Originally Posted by GOATROPER02 View Post
I wont send an engine out of my shop that hasnt been run...It protects me and my customer.
Doesnt matter whether it is 5 or 40gs

Tony
I agree! I like to break them in not just start them. Check for leaks and make sure the cam is treated right. I've sent engines overseas and I don't want to leave anything to chance.

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. Just think about all the parts a shop would need just to be able to start and run say 20 different type motors, and the time needed to install and remove them.
.
This is a valid point but I build mostly Y-Blocks so I just have one run-in stand that is set up for them.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:28 PM   #35
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

By the way I think the 303 would be really cool for the car, SBC is ok if you have no imagination.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:37 PM   #36
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Wow...
Drove a 54 88 4dr. with a 324 and hydo. 2bll, PS, PB's and add on air from Sears. Used to get consistantly 18-20 and sometimes 21 mpg at 65-70 mph. Great car just bought it to resell.

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:53 PM   #37
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I agree! I like to break them in not just start them. Check for leaks and make sure the cam is treated right. I've sent engines overseas and I don't want to leave anything to chance.


This is a valid point but I build mostly Y-Blocks so I just have one run-in stand that is set up for them.
I agree as long as I'm not paying for it, and I can find someone who wants a run tested motor. I have shipped around 120 or so motors to Europe every year for at least 5 years, not counting local sales. I would have to make a significant price increase to pay for that huge bill.

I had a motor home with a 440, it needed a rebuild. I removed it and did a full rebuild, everything in the heads new. I ran it at home in my driveway for the cam break in and then parked it. later (2 years) I went a different direction and junked the motor home and removed the motor. I had a guy who wanted the short block, so I removed the heads and shelved them at my shop. Later I had a order for a 440 to go to Germany, now this guy buys at least 100 motors a year from me. I built a fresh short block and installed the heads I had rebuilt with everything new for myself. When the motor was received in Germany I got a very angry call from my customer. He said "don't ever do that again" over here people show up to buy a motor and sometimes bring there mechanic and a bore scope. If anything looks used in any way, it's a no sale and I get a very bad reputation. He had removed the heads and all the valves and hand polished them and washed all traces of soot from the chambers and exhaust ports.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:54 AM   #38
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I can see your point. My engines are custom builds for each person that orders one, I'm not into quick build high production, running them in is just part of the service and I am in contact with my customers troughout the build. it's kinda friendly that way. I don't find customers for my engines they look for me.
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Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
I agree as long as I'm not paying for it, and I can find someone who wants a run tested motor. I have shipped around 120 or so motors to Europe every year for at least 5 years, not counting local sales. I would have to make a significant price increase to pay for that huge bill.

I had a motor home with a 440, it needed a rebuild. I removed it and did a full rebuild, everything in the heads new. I ran it at home in my driveway for the cam break in and then parked it. later (2 years) I went a different direction and junked the motor home and removed the motor. I had a guy who wanted the short block, so I removed the heads and shelved them at my shop. Later I had a order for a 440 to go to Germany, now this guy buys at least 100 motors a year from me. I built a fresh short block and installed the heads I had rebuilt with everything new for myself. When the motor was received in Germany I got a very angry call from my customer. He said "don't ever do that again" over here people show up to buy a motor and sometimes bring there mechanic and a bore scope. If anything looks used in any way, it's a no sale and I get a very bad reputation. He had removed the heads and all the valves and hand polished them and washed all traces of soot from the chambers and exhaust ports.
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Last edited by mctim64; 10-12-2010 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:32 AM   #39
GOATROPER02
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

[QUOTE=mctim64;5741832]I agree! I like to break them in not just start them. Check for leaks and make sure the cam is treated right. I've sent engines overseas and I don't want to leave anything to chance.


Same here,not all people understand proper breakin, And Im fortunate to be able to test them in my dyno cell.
I'm also a custom shop where the build is tailored to each need,wether its a race or hotrod they are all treated this way.I'm not a mass assembler,
I figure its quality not quantity.
Yes it does take different attachments but after being in this building alone since 1978,one tends to aquire a few pieces


Tony
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:27 PM   #40
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I trust the guy im buying it from that is is a rebuilt motor..I dont need to hear the thing run. Im just thinking that its out of my league at this point. I would not know the first thing about working on the motor....and if I have to take it to someone I would get butt #%$&...Tom is a great guy and I do trust that the motor was rebuilt and ready to run....
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:29 PM   #41
Vandy
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

[QUOTE=GOATROPER02;5742480][QUOTE=mctim64;5741832]I agree! I like to break them in not just start them. Check for leaks and make sure the cam is treated right. I've sent engines overseas and I don't want to leave anything to chance.





Same here,not all people understand proper breakin, And Im fortunate to be able to test them in my dyno cell.
I'm also a custom shop where the build is tailored to each need,wether its a race or hotrod they are all treated this way.I'm not a mass assembler,
I figure its quality not quantity.
Yes it does take different attachments but after being in this building alone since 1978,one tends to aquire a few pieces Quote


Yesterday I had a group of Swedish customers stop by the shop to look into some motors they needed. One told me a story about a motor they had purchased from Scott Shafiroff Racing Engines. After receiving the $17,000 BBC they installed all the outside parts and put it on the Dyno and ran the break in. After the oil change they did 2 pulls and hit the 750 HP mark they needed for their customer who was watching. The customer then took delivery and installed it in his mega $ boat. first time the boat hits the water, customer fires the motor and it locks up. Motor gets returned and they find a melted rear main, which is repaired and motor returned. customer tries again, same thing, motor locked up. After a lot of midnight oil they find an obstruction in the rear main oil passage and can't get it out. After taking it to a shop for EDM they were able to remove the rest (1 1/2" ) of the broken drill bit that was left in by the block manufacturer. The hassle with Shafiroff after this is a story in itself.
Test run OK Dyno OK but it still is only right if you built it right.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:11 AM   #42
Bosco1956
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

I like the idea of breaking in a new engine on a Dyno Don't ask me why.... Just gives me a little more piece of mind
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:06 AM   #43
ROADSTER1927
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Default Re: 303 oldsmobile

my,35- ah 303 olds
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #44
Deuces
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Thumbs up Re: 303 oldsmobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by strombergs97 View Post
Hello..Here is a very nice Cragar 4x2 Intake for the Olds 303 or 324. This setup would look so very cool on top of your engine..
This intake is available..
Duane..
Very nice setup Duane!! I wonder if some 1 inch spacers under the carbs would do the motor any justice...
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:32 AM   #45
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Red face Re: 303 oldsmobile

I got 1 in the classifieds for sale needs rebuilding
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