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Projects 1957 Oldsmobile engine specs?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rocket Man 57, May 21, 2016.

  1. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    Hello, I'm new to the site here and I'm looking for some information. Hopefully someone can help a brother out. I recently picked up a 57 olds 88 that has been in storage since the early 90's. It's about as complete and original as it gets. I thought it would be a cool father-son project as my stepson recently turned 16. As it turns out, the engine was seized. #6 intake valve was open when it was parked and the piston was stuck. After 9 months of shooting penetrating oil down the spark plug holes, there was no change. So out comes the engine and after some creative cursing, hammering against blocks of wood, and my thumb getting in the way a few times, the piston is out. The piston is junk, I cracked off a few bits near the wrist pin, but the bore looks like it may clean up with a good hone. While I've got it all apart, I'm wanting to see what machine work (if any) needs to be done. What I'm looking for is bore specs, journal diameters, and tolerances. I googled the hell out of it and found lots of sites telling me how awesome of a car the 57 88 is, but I knew that already. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,887

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just giving you a tip and a bump. You need to come back to your post and give it a title, as right now there's just a blnk spot there. Maybe something like "Olds engine spec source?????????
     
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Is this the "Twilight Zone"? Where's the title? Who's in here? What the hell is that noise?
     
  4. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,306

    Paul
    Editor

    I added a title to your thread.
    Buy yourself a shop manual,
    it'll have all that info
     
    302GMC likes this.

  5. Lost in the Fifties
    Joined: Feb 25, 2010
    Posts: 437

    Lost in the Fifties
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    57 Olds 371 4.00 bore x 3.688 stroke
    rods 2.249-2.250 .001-.003 brg. clearance
    mains 2.748-2.749 brg. clearance front .0005-.002, rear.002-.0035, others .0005-.003"
    shaft end play.004-.008

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. Sporty45
    Joined: Jun 1, 2015
    Posts: 953

    Sporty45
    Member
    from NH Boonies

  7. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    Wow, you guys are quick and very helpful, thanks.Lost in the fifties, perfect. That's exactly what I'm looking for. Here's the motor on frankenstand. I made a leg up front to take some of the weight off of the bellhousing and added a second front caster to make it more stable. All of the cylinders look pretty good and #6 should clean up with a good hone. The pic is from the bottom up so the scuzz is below the piston.

    WP_20160521_001.jpg WP_20160521_003.jpg 
     
  8. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,802

    jimmy six
    Member

    Find a 1957,8,9,60,61 Motors Manual 3" thick and blue. Help you get thru anything with stock engine. Only a suggestion. But after you hone the cylinder make sure the ring gap is not too wide. .020" would be my max but others see it different. Anyway if it ends up more than you like you can buy one set of Total Seal Piston rings or maybe just a second ring for that cylinder and will definately help with premature blowby on that cylinder. I am a fan of their ring sets for racing and would not hesitate to use just one on a cylinder slightly over size. The bad thing is trying to find one piston near the same weight. But it can be done...Good luck.
     
  9. let us know what size piston you need. There is a stash of used Olds stuff up in northern MI. I have talked to the owner an many occasions. He can be very helpful.
     
  10. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    vtwhead, thanks. I measured everything I have specs for and nothing seems to be worn past stock tolerances. The block and heads are going to the machine shop next week where hopefully they will confirm that I can get away without any major machine work. I plan on having the valve guides replaced and hardened seats installed to comply with today's unleaded gas. Also a good cleaning for all. I've got a dealers service manual on order as per a few of the previous posts. Now I get to figure out what to do with the trans which hasn't seen any action since the early 90's. I've had a few transmissions apart before, but never one that old, and never one with a torque coupler.
     
  11. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,592

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    From the looks of he cylinder, I'm kinda surprised the piston didn't come out more easily. Looks like you can get by with a hone, a used piston, and rings. We got by doing that back in the day.
     
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,340

    squirrel
    Member

    I just finished a cheapie overhaul of a 59 edsel 292 engine (ford engine). The basic principles are the same...

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/y-block-overhaul.1017969/

    I did just what it needed to get it running again, because realistically there is no need to do a full 100,000 mile lifetime rebuild on something that won't get driven much.

    The transmission on yours will be fun, it might work just fine, although it's likely to leak. You might want to just try it and see how it does, or if you want to take it apart and mess with it, it might be a good idea to find a spare trans for parts. At least read through the shop manual a few times to see what you're up against. They can be challenging even for an experienced transmission guy.
     
  13. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,887

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ X2
     
  14. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 811

    saltracer219
    Member

    Tony @ Ross racing is a wealth of knowledge on Olds engines and sells all the stuff you will need. They also manufacture and sell lots of hot rod parts for those motors, great place to do business with.
     
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,149

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Just remember that the deck height on 57 and 58 Olds 371 engines are not the same as 59-60, so make sure you get only 57 or 58 replacement parts.
     
  16. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,190

    sunbeam
    Member

    Egge offers new pistons.
     
  17. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    d2 willies, correct and 49 to 56 is another deck height as well but if I remember correctly, the timing chain survived one deck height change but not the other. Found out today that all of my lifters seem to be at least a little bit concave. Time to take a closer look at the cam. Sent Tony a message about some parts and should be getting the motor off to the machine shop in the next few days. The lead in the oil has done a number on the parts washer at work but things are getting cleaner. So far the hardest part is getting the wife on board with the budget. Maybe Tony can include a matching pair of shoes. That budget seems to be unlimited.
     
  18. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,149

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    While you have the engine out, I would remove the front fluid coupling (it comes apart) and replace the front seal. The rest of the seals are replaceable in the car. There should be a hydramatic tech section (in the HAMB) that has how to overhaul the hydramatic you have. Remember you have the DC or controlled coupling hydramatic.
     
  19. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    d2 willys, the shop manual I ordered showed up the other day. It has a pretty good, step by step on how to tear down the trans. I was wanting to get in there and replace anything made of rubber being as it hasn't moved since the 90's. I'm not too keen on doing it but better that than have to pull it out again. A funny side note: I tried like hell to separate the torque converter from the flex plate. That's when I learned what a torque coupler is.
     
  20. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,149

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Never heard of a torque coupler, however a flexplate is familiar. To remove flexplate from front torus cover, look and remove the 4 nuts that hold the two together. After separating, then start removing the remaining nuts that hold the torus cover to the torus outer shell. After that look at the exploded view for what else must come out to get to the front seal.
     
  21. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    Torque coupler = what I thought they called the torque converter like thing.
    Flexplate is a flywheel for an automatic.
    Flywheel is a flexplate for a manual.
    That's the first one I've seen that doesn't just slide out of the trans. Since I couldn't turn the motor over when I took it out, that was my plan for separating the trans from the block. Ended up taking rod bolts loose until I could spin the motor far enough to get all the flexplate bolts.
     
  22. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,149

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Rocket Man 57:
    The original hydramatics and controlled coupling types used a fluid coupling to couple the engine to transmission. It basically looks similar to a torque converter, but without the key element, the stator. The stator allows torque multiplication. Fluid couplings do not multiply torque, just couple transmitted engine torque to transmission.
    A flex plate was used to allow some flex between engine and fluid coupling or torque converter. Flywheels are not just for manual transmissions. The older hydramatic uses a flywheel for 3 reasons: 1 for coupling engine to fluid coupling, 2 to carry starter ring gear, and 3, to seal the fluid coupling. It also provides some inertia.

    As for transmissions that require fluid coupling/torque converter to be decoupled from engine flywheel/flexplate, obviously the older hydramatics and controlled coupling transmissions fall into this category. Also the Buick dynaflows (all dynaflows) have the same issue. Roto hydramatics also require removal from flexplate too. So, it is not uncommon to have transmissions configured like this.
     
  23. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    So when should I bring it over?
     
  24. Hi there vtwhead
    Sorry that this is a bit off topic, but I don't know the trick to contacting other members directly on stuff that's interesting but not really on that thread.
    I've just bought a '50 88 that I hope to do some interesting things with, and any source of Olds stuff (or knowledge for that matter :)) is of interest to me so I'd be interested to know more if that's ok.
    Cheers
    Erik
     

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