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Technical 1965 Buick 300 ? vs 1955 Buick engine

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 55olds88, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. 55olds88
    Joined: Jul 23, 2001
    Posts: 2,383


    hi All,
    Just picked up a 1955 Buick Special with a tired engine, and saw a listing for a complete engine and trans from a 65 Skylark, all new to Buicks are these two related at all/interchangeable ?
  2. No, besides both being V8s, assuming the 55 has the first generation nailhead with a 264 or 322; which in later years grew to be the 364, 401 and 425. The 300 is a completely different engine design, an outgrowth of the aluminum 215. Real nailheads have distributor in the rear. The 215/300 has sometimes been called baby nailhead, but only because both have valve covers that are sitting vertical. The 215/300 have front mounted distributors.

    Now could the 65 300 swap into the 55 chassis? I don't see why not, if you also use the 300's transmission. The bellhousing bolt pattern is different between the two engine designs.

    BTW, adding some additional info, the Rover 3500/4500 is the modern version of the 215/300. That may be more available to you down in New Zealand. Plus better transmission options maybe? GM sold the 215/300 casting patterns to British Leyland back in the late 60's.
    squirrel likes this.
  3. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,164


    '55 Buick has closed (torque tube) driveline
  4. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 611

    Jack E/NJ
    from NJ

    Whatsa matter with the tired engine? Jack E/NJ

  5. Oops, you are right! I totally forgot about that. To use the 65 300 engine and trans would also require open drive rearend, which would be a lot more work.
  6. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,761

    from Quincy, IL

    While it is true the 300 is an outgrowth of the 215, they are not the same engine with just greater displacement. For starters, the 215 was aluminum block and heads and had a bell housing pattern unique to the 215 V8 and 198 iron V6. The 1964 up 300 V8 is an iron block (in '64 only aluminum heads and intake, iron thereafter). It began the use of the so-called BOP bell housing block pattern and accepts a variety of GM automatic and manual transmissions.

    The Rover V8 is/was based on the 215 and was all aluminum in early Rover 3500 versions (may still be) but was increased in displacement over the years. I am not so certain as to the Rover block/bell housing pattern but 'think' the early ones were the same as 215 GM and used Borg Warner automatics. Later versions likely have differed.

    The torque tube driveline, as mentioned above, is the biggest hurdle to overcome. There are several threads here on the HAMB that discusses the alternatives to solve that.

  7. 55olds88
    Joined: Jul 23, 2001
    Posts: 2,383


    thanks for the info guys, pretty much confirmed what I was thinking that it was a different family of engines...... have yet to see the car but by the sounds lots of blow by so rings/top end I guess. will wait and see when it gets down here I guess.

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