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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
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    Jive-Bomber
    MODERATOR

  2. schwerko
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    bristol ct

    schwerko Member

    Good read, thanks.
  3. theHIGHLANDER
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    theHIGHLANDER Member

    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
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    grander Member

    What is monkey motion?
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  5. 49ratfink
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    49ratfink Member

    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?
  6. SAVAGE
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    SAVAGE Alliance Vendor

    Thats What i'm talking about!!! Hope I can get mine in my Merc SOON!!
  7. porknbeaner
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    porknbeaner Member


    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
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    batt69nova Member

    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
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    '54Caddy Member

    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
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    JeffreyJames Member

    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!
    [​IMG]
  11. Steverod
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    Steverod Member

    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
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    Abomination Member

    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.

    ~Jason
  13. swissmike
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    swissmike Member

    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 (vintagespeed.com) 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
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    mgbtc Member

    Very good read. I didn't know about the intakes fitting 429's, good to know.
  15. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

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

    ~Jason

  16. BeatnikPirate
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    BeatnikPirate Member

    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. chester meredith
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    chester meredith Member

    Try Mac's Speed in New Zealand

    Run by Graeme McNeill

    Posts stuff all over the world.

    http://www.macsspeed.com/adapters_3.html

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

    CM
  19. daveydeuce
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    King Salmon,AK & Mesa,AZ and a displaced Oregonian

    daveydeuce
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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. jrblack30
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    jrblack30 Member


    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
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    frank spittle Member

    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.

    Attached Files:

  23. cavemag
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    Pocatello Idaho

    cavemag Member

    The 331 is on the list. It goes 392 Hemi, 425 Nailhead, the 331 caddy. flathead, and 283.
  24. fuzzybear
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    fuzzybear
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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
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    Evel Member
    1. 60s Show Rods

    Very Cool read!! I love caddys.. I hate hydros :D
  26. Half-Fast Motors
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    Western Washington

    Half-Fast Motors Member

    Have a 331 sitting in the shop with factory dual quads on it. Just need something to put it in......
  27. autobilly
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    Tweed, Australia

    autobilly Member

    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
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    johnny bondo Member

    i can think of a certain friend of mine who had one of those.... haha
  29. 39 chevy kustom
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    39 chevy kustom Member

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

    Attached Files:

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