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455 Buick Olds or Pontiac Which is most desireable, reliable etc

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51ChevPU, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    from Arizona

    I have a few projects (56 Buick , 55 Caddy) that could use a 455 Buick Olds or Pontiac engine. I was going in this direction primarily for the torque these engines produce. The question becomes, which of these motors is most desireable, reliable or rebuildable. I'm just looking for commentary on the pros and cons between these engines. Look forward to your responses. Thanks.
  2. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    from KCMO

    don't discount the 500 caddy either. small block weight, big block torque.
    Pontiac has the most aftermarket support, then olds, buick and finally caddy.
  3. ironhead68
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 93


    Buick in da Buick.
    Caddy in da caddy.
  4. olsguy
    Joined: Aug 14, 2009
    Posts: 14

    from nebraska

    i like all 3 for the torque. but if i had to pick one i would go with the buick i have always kind of liked buick. the olds might be a bit more reliable i know there small blocks will last forever but i have no real experiance with the 455 just stories i have herd. i know a few pontiac guys that love there 455s but they also dont drive there cars on a regular basis either. i know the pontiac engine is hard to find because they all look the same. if it did not hve to be a GM engine you could always go with the 460 ford or a crysler 440. just for the love of god do not put a small block chevy in either one.

  5. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,937

    from California

    Pontiacs look the coolest.
    270ci likes this.
  6. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,461


    All of the 455's are grunt monsters. Take a look at the old published data for hp/tq and see if one looks better to you. Caution!!! do not compare 71 and earlier numbers with 72 and newer.
    If you plan on adding aftermarket parts then consider what is available for each model. The Buick 455 with an alum intake weighs about the same as sbc...

    rockable likes this.
  7. CruiserUser
    Joined: Jan 12, 2011
    Posts: 32


    Drive my warmed over poncho 400 all the time with no problems. A 455 would fare no differently, just more stroke and larger crank journal if memory serves.
  8. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,242


    I believe as far as aftermarket, the Buick has the widest variety of parts available.
  9. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269


    The Buick may be easiest to get parts for and easier to find in general...Pontiac 455's are harder to come by. They do look better. But who cares on a closed hooded car...right???
    All the GM 455's make good torque....but the Buick makes the most from factory, yet is usually the most overlooked. One of the most underrated, yet the Buick GS 455 would put a hurtin' on most other cars from that era....

    It really just boils down to what engine ya find first at a fair price...any 455 is cool.
  10. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    from N.E. P.A.

    I agree.
    ekimneirbo and rockable like this.
  11. proscriptus
    Joined: Mar 6, 2007
    Posts: 34

    from Ver-mont

    You're right about that, you'll pay for the Pontiac 455 if you can even find one. There is a damn big heap of power to be made from the Pontiac 400, though, and they are cheap.
  12. While I'm a "dyed-in-the-wool" Pontiac guy, the 455 Buick actually makes more power [stock form] and weighs less. They're a helluva engine. Our own C-9 [deceased] always ran 455 Buicks in his roadster and loved them.
    If you were looking for an engine for a 56 Pontiac or Olds, I'd have to go with the Poncho and Olds 455s as they're no slouches but you're lucky! You already have the Buick body. Go 455 Buick and keep those rear tires smokin.
  13. DeadSledTodd
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 40

    from Ca.

    I`m running a 455 Buick in my Plymouth,the power is unreal!!!!
  14. boogeracng
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 342

    from Eureka,MO

    Even though I'm a life long Olds freak, I would have to suggest to you that Olds be the last choice......little aftermarket support, and what is available is limited, not to mention big $$$$$. The Buick sounds good in a Buick, my next choice a 500 inch Cad, simply for the torque available), and finally a Pontiac, based on a 400 inch foundation. Keep in mind in this day of $4 a gallon gasoline, none of them would be inexpensive to operate.......
  15. Doesn't the Buick have the oil filter on the front lower side of the timing cover, making putting it into other cars a potential pain in the backside?

    The Pontiac shares a ton of parts with every other Pontiac motor out there, so how it's not the easiest to find parts for is beyond me, the only real difference is to get 455 CI out of it they stroked it by making the journals smaller. It's based on the small journal version that started as a 421 in 1961 or so. Things like headers and intakes and stuff are real easy to come by.

    Oh, and I drove a couple of 455 cars for a while in the late 90s. 2bbl and 4bbl ones. You're looking at like 13 MPG in a 4400-lb car. An OD trans and a lighter car you can probably bring it closer to 20 with a light foot.
  16. oldspert
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,258

    from Texas

    Don't know where you try to buy Olds parts, but there is definitely a great amount of aftermarket parts, you just have to know where to go to buy them, and they cost no more than parts for the Buick or Pontiac. No the big suppliers (Jeg's, Summit, etc.) don't advertise Olds parts or put them in their catalogs, but they sell them. There are many on line Olds racers that sell their own line of parts and they do quite well.
  17. boogeracng
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 342

    from Eureka,MO

    Uh, Oldspert, can you supply a vendor for .921 lifters for a 400/425?
    How about a cam or a blank for the same? Forged pistons for a 425?
    Granted, he was asking about a 455, but they are becoming less and less available. And as far as vendors, please don't suggest Lynn W. in California..............
    The blown 455 in my Willys was in no way considered a cheap build. Nor was the blown 400 based on a 350 DX block. Custom parts...pistons, aluminum rods, billet cranks, are out of the realm of this member's inquiry, but, even the mundane basic rebuild parts are way expensive ....Federal-Mogul bearings at $150 a set, Fel-Pro gasket sets at nearly the same, good head gaskets (Fel-Pro marine) at $100+ per pair.
    If you have a source that's available and cheap, by all means, please share the knowledge with the few Olds freaks on this board.
  18. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    from Adkins, Tx

    Yes, but you can use an oil filter relocation kit, and that might solve your problem, or make it worse!

    The Buick 455 makes good power on it's own, the 73-74 blocks are supposed to be the best! Pair that with 70-71 heads, you have a potent powerhouse.

    A 455 Stage1 would blow the pants off of anything, but you would have to sell your first born!
    rockable likes this.
  19. Buicks are a lot of fun and a challenge in some ways. I just got another 455 to play with, it's in my 55 Buick. T/A Performance has a bunch of parts available and tech advice too.
  20. 71buickfreak
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 609

    from Oklahoma

    You can build a NASTY 455 Buick for about 5-6k, to get the same from an Olds or Pontiac would take 8-10k. TA Performance makes all the goodies, including a large selection of intakes and heads. Of course, I may be a little biased.......

    By the way, don't discount the 350 Buick. I have several Buick-350 powered cars, including a '63 Lesabre wagon with twin-turbos. You might check out this book-

    Full disclosure- I wrote the book.
  21. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    from Adkins, Tx

    SBC, nah I'd rather have a SBB!!!

    I would love to see some shots of that 63 Wagon:eek:
  22. socalmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2008
    Posts: 475

    from socal

    i have a 455 bucik 1971 that i am gonna put in my 63 riv, should smoke the tires alittle.
    if you ever run across a pair of elebrock finned velve covers for a good price, grab them they go for gold on ebey
  23. 71buickfreak
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 609

    from Oklahoma

    Well, here ya go!
    It is so close to finished, I can taste it. the SBB is backed by a 2004R with a full-manual reverse valvebody trans. It has a QuickFuel blow-thru carb, MSD 6AL-2 ignition, etc, etc. I am hoping to get nasty with it too.

    Attached Files:

  24. Robin Rish
    Joined: Mar 26, 2011
    Posts: 14

    Robin Rish
    from Oklahoma

    well, maybe you can think about the Buick. much of what you're reading is true. I recently bought a 73 estate wagon. (all big buicks had455s) took out the drivetrain and support pieces, crushed the shell for $250, (only paid $300 for the car) left the engine lower half alone. installed a replacement stage I cam, alum intake with mild Q-jet, and headers from Poston Enterprise, shift kitted the turbo 400 and shortshafted it for my 83 2door Regal. I gets about 14.9 to 15.3 on long trips with the stock 3.08 rear, and with a locked rear end runs scary close to 13's. Go with the Buick and save the money for more fun.
  25. rynogeezy
    Joined: Feb 28, 2011
    Posts: 55

    from seattle

    buick in da buick!
  26. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,167

    from Michigan

    We used to stuff those junkyard BiG inch B.O.P's in chevy Novas, Pontiac Venturas, Buick Apollos and Olds Omegas back in the late '70's early '80's.... We were all hung up on reading those CARCRAFT articles back then... Man we had fun wit those... :D
  27. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,152


    Right on!
  28. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,167

    from Michigan

    Yeah buddy! Those things made the perfect "'sleepers" back then... :)
  29. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    I have always been an Olds fan, but more the short stroke big blocks. But from everything I have read, the Buick would be the top of the heap.
    Anyone remember ol' Roy Baddy running his mouth about Buicks being some old man's car and running like they were tied to a tree? Remember the magazine article where they called him out in his dual quad Hemi roadrunner and the Buick GS handed him his ass, 3 for 3.
    BuckeyeBuicks likes this.

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