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Milestone Motor: The 1949 Cadillac 331

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 2,701


  2. schwerko
    Joined: Jun 18, 2010
    Posts: 150

    from bristol ct

    Good read, thanks.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 5,417


    Very kool and pretty damned accurate. Those "monkey motion" engines from Cadillac, and also Oldsmobile, clearly led the charge of doom to our beloved Flatty. Thanks for the story.
  4. grander
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 58


    What is monkey motion?
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  5. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 15,137

    from California

    got to love the Caddy motors. I'll take a later 390 with factory dual 4bbls and the big funky air cleaner.

    can a person tell the difference between a 390 and the earlier models from the outside?
    Joined: May 13, 2002
    Posts: 901

    Alliance Vendor

    Thats What i'm talking about!!! Hope I can get mine in my Merc SOON!!
  7. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 32,157


    Wow dude,
    I read your title and my brain thought it said Mill stone not mile stone. I was gonna say I thought the Caddy was a pretty sweet mill and not a stone in any sense. :eek:

    Pretty good read. Excellent motors.
  8. batt69nova
    Joined: Nov 4, 2009
    Posts: 225

    from OR

    Great article. I've read a lot online about the early OHVs, and there's a bunch of articles saying Olds was first. Anyone have more info regarding that? I know Caddy was working on the OHV prewar, if memory serves, but I have read multiple accounts saying that Olds engineers had running motors prior to Cad.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  9. '54Caddy
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 856


    The 49-54 331's had the extended bell housing cast on the rear of the block. Valve covers changed over the years(as you know they can all be interchanged, except for the early 49 which had center bolt covers). 56 was the first year of the dual quad setup option and I think 59 was the first year of the 3x2 setup option. Also 390's have a spin on oil filter, 331's and 365's have remote filters.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  10. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,510

    from SUGAR CITY

    LOVE CAD V8'S. I just sold my 365 Eldo engine but at least a few friends are building some really nasty 331's and 365's right now at our shop. Terd's is even Pink!
  11. Steverod
    Joined: Aug 8, 2007
    Posts: 106


    I really love this thread

    Here was my 365 56 cad engine ,was going like hell but a little bit thirsty:D:D

    Attached Files:

  12. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,672


    The 331-390 intakes can even be used on the 1963 390 and the 1964+ 429. The spacing is the same, all you need is adapters to make up for the width of the latter.

  13. swissmike
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,085


    I have a 331 that came out of a fully restored '49 in my shop, waiting to go in my 39 Merc coupe.
    Charlie Price ( now offers the Offenhauser 2x2 intakes for $349 so that's what will go on mine eventually.
    Still looking for a flywheel;-)
    Let me know if anybody needs a fully rebuilt Hydro from my '49.
  14. mgbtc
    Joined: Dec 22, 2006
    Posts: 113


    Very good read. I didn't know about the intakes fitting 429's, good to know.
  15. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,672


    Hell yeah it is. When you have a 429, you're the red-headed stepchild. You take what you can get! LOL! :D


  16. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,414

    from Media, Pa.

    Interesting stuff!
    I drove my Grand-dad's 49 Caddy four-door when I was in high school. That sucker was fast, once it got rolling!
    In 1950, a big-ass stock Cadillac finished 10th at LeMans!
    Right behind it was a special-bodied Caddy.
    A Cad-powered Allard kicked some exotic European butt, placing third overall, I think, in the race.
    Great engine!

    Attached Files:

  17. The '51 I used to own seemed to have adequate power to get the car going. It was only rated at 160 hp but the 312 ft lbs of torque made up for it. It only had a 2 bbl carb and single exhaust. It was by far the smoothest running V8 I've ever seen and it ran like a Swiss watch.
  18. Try Mac's Speed in New Zealand

    Run by Graeme McNeill

    Posts stuff all over the world.

    I don't work for Graeme but have bought bits from his establishment and he's super helpful.

  19. Was surprised and flattered to see that you choose to use one of my Caddy engines, in your pics, #4. Here area couple of pics of how it currently looks, will be back in the Deuce Roadster shortly! (I hope)

    Attached Files:

  20. Caddy engines rule! I have a 331 going in my Model A. I can't wait to start working on it!

  21. Get in touch with Tony Ross (Ross racing engines). He goes by Goatroper2 here on the HAMB, he specializes in Early Olds motors and makes a flywheel for them, Just in case you don't know Early Olds and Caddy flywheels are interchangeable ;)
  22. frank spittle
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,145

    frank spittle

    essex.jpg 331 cadillac.jpg This was the first car show after finishing my '33 Essex Terraplane. It was the Charlotte Custom Car Show in 1969. It had a 331 Cadillac with 2 fours. Not a good indoor picture and it is over 40 years old but you can see the chrome air cleaners almost touching the hood.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015 at 2:31 PM
  23. cavemag
    Joined: Jan 8, 2011
    Posts: 210


    The 331 is on the list. It goes 392 Hemi, 425 Nailhead, the 331 caddy. flathead, and 283.
  24. they're a sweet lookin mill and a revolution as far as efficiency and power for weight, can someboy please tell me what those carbs are on the 8ht pic, the gold block with the finned valve covers
  25. Evel
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 8,974

    1. 60s Show Rods

    Very Cool read!! I love caddys.. I hate hydros :D
  26. Half-Fast Motors
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 205

    Half-Fast Motors

    Have a 331 sitting in the shop with factory dual quads on it. Just need something to put it in......
  27. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 2,995


    Thanks for the Oct. '49 Hot Rod magazine article scan Jimmy. A very thorough contemporary (just after it's debut) analysis of this seminal motor's engineering and hop-up potential.
  28. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,544

    johnny bondo
    from illinois

    i can think of a certain friend of mine who had one of those.... haha
  29. 39 chevy kustom
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 419

    39 chevy kustom

    '55 331 in my 31 a coupe , ain't pretty yet but will be .

    Attached Files:

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