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324 Olds questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Midwest Rodder, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Ok, I have been going back and forth trying to decide if I should try to rebuild the 324 in my 55 Olds or swap in a sbc. I am leaning toward the 324 even after I checked prices on parts. I am worried about the exaust system on this car, are there any block hugging headers that will work with this car? I do not see hardley any room for them and the stock system looks all twisted up and odd to me. would like a standard dual set up if it is possible.
    the next thing is that I know the trans is shot. is there a adapter plate that can be found to mate a late model trans to the 324 or am I stuck with the hydro?
    One last question, will the single front engine mount work for a sbc if I decide to go this way or will I need to fab up a different front mount for the sbc. I see no way to use side mounts at all with the steering box and collum where it is at.
    I look forward to all your oppinions and all the knowlege you can pass on to me.
     
  2. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    I can help with any of your Rocket engine needs
    I also just put pics up recently of my new trans adaptor to modern trans
    Also have stick stuff

    Search under my user name or rocket a youll find info from me
    or PM or call me

    Tony
     
  3. Oh wow, an other street rod with a SBC in it. You need to feel the raw horse power of an Olds engine. Yes, it will cost a little more. It is worth it. Sey, do up date the automatic transimission with a four speed over drive.
     
  4. 324 all the way Baby! Exhaust is easy, early Olds have way more cool factor than an SBC.
     

  5. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh
    Member

    I have two 55 Oldsmobiles and one of them came from a friend who still has 3 after cutting down the flock from 6 at one time. The hardtop had 96K on it when I got it and didn't look like the oil had ever been changed. There was only a thumbnail size opening in the oil pump pick up screen and the engine looked like a coal mine. But that engine didn't smoke and still ran like crazy. I lucked into a fresh rebuilt 324 on ebay and did the swap reusing the original 4 speed air cooled hydro automatic. The shop I took it to for the lift does transmissions and said the trans was fine and just freshened it up with seals. Drop the hammer halfway to take off and it still barks the tires between gears. Next step is dual exhaust capping off the crossover port on the passenger side and running straight back past the master cylinder on the drivers side. Ordered the pipe online and already trial fit it. No problem.....

    Admittedly, I swapped in a late smallblock on the other 55, but it's still an early 70's Olds engine before they really started dropping off. If at all possible, keep your Olds true. Saw a 56 recently with a smog block Chevy in it. When I put my hands on the primered fender to look closer, I could feel the cars pain. Love your Oldsmobile, it will love you back...............
     
  6. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    how can you even ask the question? see goatroper
     
  7. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    When overhauling a 324, they can become a 371 for no extra money. A mild cam regrind, and you will have a fresh motor that will last for years, and scare the bumpers off many of the Chev powered cars.
     
  8. Amen to that....I've had several Olds' with the 324...all automatics. If the car was mine, I'd have the 4 speed hydro rebuilt or swap it out for a good used one, something I've done many times. [damn 30 nuts&bolts in the fluid coupling!]
    Even if you rebuild the original engine as stock, it has way more power [with a 4 barrel of course] than you'll need on the road..
    My vote is to rebuild/replace stock parts.
     
  9. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    I would like to hear more info on making my 324 into a 371. Where can I find how to do this and parts lists? My intention is to reuse the 324, if it is good weather this weekend I plan on trying to pull it and might be able to start tearing it down to see how it looks inside. There are 2 freeze plugs that are rusted out but that doesn't worry me. The trans is still undecided, i would still rather have a modern trans but may take mine to a local trans shop and see what they say before I make my mind up.
     
  10. 3x2rocket
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 248

    3x2rocket
    Member

    I bored mine to 4" then used 371 pistons, the 371 block has only a slightly taller deck than 324's. I didn't stroke it though so its a 346" with stock parts, except the cam of course. I drive mine everyday so I kept it just a little meaner than stock following the advice of my many "mentors" here on the hamb, two-ton Olds has yet to be beaten by a ricer! I also recommend keeping your hydro, if I simply put it in drive and nail it tires will spin going into 2nd, and it'll chirp em' nicely into 3rd and I'm not even done building it yet.

    Even bone-stock these engines have tons of torque down low.

    Check out these threads.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47584&&showall=1

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5921&highlight=rocket+valve+train+tricks
     
  11. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Ok, if I take the block to 4in and use the 371 pistons, what head gasket do I use. The 324 will not be right will it,? the bore will be to small.
     
  12. yorgatron
    Joined: Jan 25, 2002
    Posts: 4,228

    yorgatron
    Member Emeritus

    you can use the 371 gasket.
     
  13. racerjohnson
    Joined: Oct 3, 2006
    Posts: 178

    racerjohnson
    Member
    from Fargo, ND

    I'm glad somebody finally answered that head gasket question! I've been asking that in the thread below that you should visit:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144285

    Talks about 324 to 346 cu in.

    Midwest rodder, if you search for for olds rocket stuff on the hamb ("olds rocket", "324 olds", etc.) you'll find all sorts of tricks. I have sbc valves and lifters in my olds, saving a lot of money.

    Please don't put a sbc in your olds.
     
  14. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Thanks, all the help is great and one of the main reasons I am on this site. looking foward to any more replies with help and advice on building this engine and trans options.
     
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,165

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Keep that dual range hydro! Bore to get to 371 and do some other little stuff, then kick some butt on SBC's!
     
  16. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,899

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Is your '55 a running car ? If not, get a ride in a '54-'55 Super 88 that runs right. After a half hour you'll wonder why you even considered the swap.
     
  17. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO


    You can not bore it to a 371ci there is also a change in stroke.
    Tony
     
  18. gonzo
    Joined: Dec 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,800

    gonzo
    Member

    I have a free jet a way 3 speed for that car. I'm running a stick so I don't need it. If you can figure out a way to get it from Boston its all yours.
     
  19. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Shipping on that would kill me, thanks for the offer.
     
  20. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh
    Member

    Rocky.....

    Thanks for the back up on the performance of the stock air cooled hydro trans performance. With a still stock 324 single exhaust, it's all I need for a street cruiser. Punched it one time riding alongside another 55 Olds and it about got away from me. A clip on the carb linkage locked it open and I was heading for the outer limits till I was able to get my toe under the pedal linkage to pull it back under control. Only has a 308 rear gear, but it's no slouch even then.

    Tire barking on shifts during acceleration is quite common as you said. It's an amazing transmission that was used in full size buses and military vehicles because of it's strength and dependability.

    The 324 of 56 was slightly better in several ways, but few dual range hydro's were put behind them...........

    So my vote is to stick with the cool unique look of the vintage Olds and the tried and true tranny best suited for it.
     

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  21. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    I think I am going to call the trans shop Monday morning and talk to them about taking a look at the trans and have them give me an estimate. If it is shot as I was told I can decide what to do then.
     
  22. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,199

    flatoz
    Member

    I have a 324 in a 55 super 88, it couldn't pull a sailor off your sister! its very disapointing to be honest, I love the car, but I could see it swapped out for a chev easy, except I can't stand chevs. need to figure out what is wrong that the thing doesn't go well.

    its got all new plugs, lead, pertronix, coil holley 600 vac secondary, so it should go ok, but its a slug.
     

  23. Compression test? Maybe the pertronix is messed up?
     
  24. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    OK, it has been way to many years since I was involved with doing one of these, but my rusty old brain cells were thinking a worn 324 had a new factory 371 crank put in with new pistons. It shouldnt be difficult to buy a reground 57 Old crank. A reground cam to high performance specs and a modern four barrel will really wake it up. The four speed hydro is the standard by which all others were judged in the 50's. They were sold to Roll Royce and Lincoln for years.
     
  25. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,165

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Tony: Yep it only gets you a 346 or thereabouts, but as you referred to the 371 crank will provide the necessary stroke increase to get you to the promised land 371. Only issue in adapting to a 324 with dual range hydro is pilot bearing needed, along with counter-balancing flywheel.:rolleyes:

    I did the changes on my 60 Olds 371 to mate the dual range hydro years ago. $35 later it was bolted together and ran great.:cool:
     
  26. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,165

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Don't forget the pilot bearing installation and counterbalancing the flywheel if you are using a reground 371 crank.:cool:
     
  27. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,165

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Jetaways are really a 4 speed automatic, you just can't feel the 3-4 shift. To prove this just get going in DR to 50mph and then shift to S (or Dr3) and you will shift back to 3rd gear.:) (A tachometer reading will prove this too.)

    1-2 and 3-4 shifts are accomplished by filling the 2nd coupling which is very smooth and can't be felt and heard. Some people think old Jetaways are two speeds since the 2-3 shift is the most perceivable shift.;)
     
  28. I had a 324 in a '56 98 convertible and it would pull a sailor off of a whore. And get 19 mpg while at it.
     
  29. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,199

    flatoz
    Member

    the blessed steering wheel post... ahhh, I can rest easy now...

    Tony bet you didn't know you built the car wrong, what are you going to do!
     

  30. I'm an Olds addict to. A 51 303 and a 55 324 all with the Hydros and the matching rearends. I haven't managed to put them in there homes yet but I'm working on it. And that is the greatest quote of all time!
     

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