The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jsteph, Nov 14, 2010.
Looking at getting a 455 olds, any comments questions, ideas?? Thoughts on the engine itself??
One of the torquiest motors to come out of Detroit! I love 'em. If you're not planning on running after market heads, look for one pre '70 or find a set of heads off a 425. They had a 'C' casting. Best flow. Good luck!
Oh, yes yes. I have one in my 55 Caddy. Came out of my pops 75 Olds 98 Regency, his second to last car he owned. Awesome , torquey motor.
LOVE my 1970 Olds 455 in Big Olds. I've got 114,000 miles on it. It came out of a streetrod with who knows how many miles from that AND who knows how many miles in the original Oldsmobile that it came from.
If you want a very pretty engine with iron Olds heads, the top of the exhaust ports will always look bad because of the heat. Not a problem on a beater. rugged torquey motor. not much oil pressure, but doesn't seem to care.
As far as Olds heads are concerned, all the big block head castings except the "J" code smogger heads flow within about 10% of each other. If you plan to do any porting at all, the J heads flow as good as any and are dirt cheap. All BBO heads have chambers that run about 80 cc. Olds varied compression ratio with the size of the dish in the pistons. 442s and Toronados came with 2.070"/1.625" valves. Others usually got smaller valves. The heads can be machined to accept the larger valves. Also, 1971-76 heads (codes G, Ga, H, J, K, and Ka) all have induction hardened valve seats. Earlier heads do not.
Just go get it j
Great Motor. My Dad had one in the Olds 98 we had. Gobs of torque.
May as well build a home made RAM AIR setup for it.... It should be good for another 10 ponies or so...
I learned some really good secrets about Olds heads. Big old Oldsmobile's rule!
Hello jsteph, MickeyC from the Louisiana bayou country. Picture this in your minds eye. A30ft. long 13 foot wide cypress wood constructed shrimp skiff. Cypress wood stays wet and heavy by nature. also 400 hundred lbs of ice, A thousand lbs or so of various tools, nets trawl boards. Plus a 100 gallons of gas, and a pair of 200+ lb. steely eyed
shrimp slayers. All powered by a cast iron 455 Olds with very heavy cast
iron water cooled exhaust manifolds and a borg warner cast iron gear
(transmission) This skiff was cranked at 4:00 a.m. and run in the four barrel for anywhere from10 to 20 or miles. Then would pull a 50 foot trawl
for 2 hour tows as many as 4 or 5 times a day or night. After a full day of work, we would then run back to the dock with ( hopefully) several hundred pounds of shrimp. This went on for weeks at a time. The big Olds
kept on keeping on. Ultra reliable motor with gobs of torque.
I miss my W-33 powered delta. I had lots of puzzled looks from folks at stoplights.
You will have no regrets with the Olds 455.
Olds = Torque
Usually the 70's motors have "smogcamitis".
The modern high-lift , shortish duration cams do wonders.
I am running the Performer RPM cam, and Its docile enough to drive everyday.
Other than that, my motor is a 75, J head, smogger.
However, in an older Higher compression engine, the W30 cam sounds real good.
I ran the car with a points distributor for a long time (it ran fine).
But, then I chose to go GM HEI,... yea it runs better/gets better milage.
The damn thing smoothed out what little "lumpty lump" the RPM cam had.
Olds are good engines. Strong and reliable, go for it.
My pal, Willy has one in a Cutlass Convertible. Hauls ass. Torque Monster!
Had a 68 Olds 455 ran great with tons of torque, go buy it.
I have one in my '59 pickup. It really stands out from the crowd of SBC's. They also have a very nice exhaust note & sound healthy, even with a stock cam.
Very solid following on the web. http://www.realoldspower.com & http://www.442.com just to name a couple. Most of the issues with oiling & heads have been sorted out by Olds perf engine builders
As far as used speed parts, Olds has the advantage over Caddy, Buick, & Pontiac due to the heavy marine jetboat use in the '70's. While not as cheap as a SBC, you can build a very strong 455 for less $$ or equal to a BBC. Another plus: An aluminum head 455 weighs the same as an iron head SBC, & the spark plugs are way easier to get to.
I suggest you get this book too
there is one in town with alum. Heads & been worked , jeeez does that then move.
good motor .
I agree with everyone else, lol
Find out what internal goodies went into the 1970 W-30 motor and build it along them lines.... With RAM-AIR... I'm sure Edelbrock makes a cool intake for it..... A 750-800 cfm Holley carb with vacuum secondaries slightly tweeked for headers is what I'd use...
my buddy had a 73 Hurst Olds with a built 455 in it. MAN WOULD THAT THING ROCK! It would get sideways at 60 mph
I have a friend whose Dad was an engineer at Ford in Dearborn. He worked in the engineering department where they tested competitor engines on a dyno.
They had an Olds engine on they dyno and for some reason, the dyno malfunctioned and the Olds was going full tilt. While the engineers scrambled to get it shut down, the RPM's were going higher and higher. It just wouldn't blow. Eventually they evacuated the area and eventually it blew. I can't recall how long it ran for now but when it did blow, they found a piston lodged in the cemet wall of the dyno room. My friends Dad said that by far, Olds engines were the best on the market at the time.
Holt shit! What a visual. I can just see the engineers, knocking each other out of the way, scrambling for the door. I would have loved to have seen that........from a distance.
They are a great engine, DO NOT run a HV oil pump in them they have a oil return problem can be worked around with restrictors, if you get serious about building one do some research, other than the oiling issues they can produce alot of power. I think they look a little industrial this is one I built for a car of mine and did some clean up to make it look better, this pic has some brackets I was building for a PC set up, Car is NOT FITTING for this site I know but the engines can be cleaned up.
Got one in my 52 business coupe, dont know how many miles are on it, but its very reilable, and has tons of torque.
I just picked up a '76 Olds 98 Regency for the 455 and TH400. I had the opportunity to ride in a '76 Caddy with the same year engine, wow was I impressed. I am putting it into my '42 Chevy to replace the Olds 350 in it for more power. I can't wait to see what it does in a car that weighs 1k less. Goget it, I don't think you will regret it.
Great engine. It's on the list of "engines my wife can't tear up" so it's gotta be a tough SOB.
Great motors . dont get caught up in myths about them. the 2 biggest failures are " build it like a SBC " and "call mondelio"
Olds engineers did a good job for it's applications .When rebuilding realise it's an Olds not a SBC , usually the clearances end up to tight on bearings and valves and a poor cam choice is made resulting in low poer and short life ,also pointed out do not use a HV pump unless you use a larger pan .
The book listed is written bt Bill travato , a real olds racer/engine builder, also look for Olds IN Action , full ot tips for the top racers back in the 70/80s such as Dave Smith , FJ smith , Dick Fortmen etc.
If your just crusiing dont worry about no special heads, they all work and we had put even the "junk J" head in low 12s in a 49 Olds . A proper rebuild w the right cam choice and you'll have lots of fun.
Plenty of used intakes and valve covers out there to dress it up with .
I used to have 69 delta,4 door electric everything, used to get second gear rubber with a th 400 getting on the freeway. embarrassed many a hot rod with that sleeper.Pete.
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