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Buick 455 good, bad or ugly

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hemi guy 53, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. hemi guy 53
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 266

    hemi guy 53
    from colorado

    Who out ther is running a buick 455? are they a good motor? any pics?
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,031


    I've got a buddy who runs them in his Car hauler. that thing will honk on down the road with one on the back and one on the trailer. He did have some oiling problems that he had to solve and I think that was the main issue with them outside of oil filter location.

    a google search will probably keep you out of the bars for a couple of nights reading what looks interesting
  3. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    Buick 455 = TORQUE and lot's of it!
    I don't have pics of a rod with one, and am not running one personally, but did have first hand experience helping a close friend build his 70 GS455..A mild build, in full street trim put a close to 4K lb car through the quarter in low 13's high 12's.....with 3:42 gears and poor traction street tires....
    In other words, not a lot has to be done to them to make whatever they power move.....
    As was friend also upgraded the oiling system on his as well. Not sure what he did, but i know he did something..sorry i can't remember.
  4. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,881

    Harms Way

    A friend of mine that worked at Cadillac engineering has raced 455 Buick's for 30 years or more,.... he loves them and swears by them, I put a 455/TH400 in a 1933 Buick, it was a strong running engine, I just basically cleaned it up and did a spray can rebuild,... anybody want a nice, solid, really big project car ? :)



  5. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    I bought a 59 Apache stepside a few years ago - it had a 455 Buick in it...ran faster'n an Alcatraz babyface. I pulled it out - sold it to some dimwit for more than it should have brought. He showed up that evening with a one ton IH truck with a small crane on the back. He, Curly, Moe and their other brother Darrell muscled it out to the back of the truck (I had it on a HD stand), hooked it up to their chain and the crane. My neighbor and I kept our distance...these dehorns got it off the stand....up almost to the level of the bed...and their cheapass chain broke and dropped in right on my driveway. I gave them a better chain and their second attempt was more successful. He actually gave me $50 for the dent in the driveway. Those TITheads were so lucky someone wasn't seriously hurt. Oh...I digressed again...I liked the 455 a bunch, but had a lovely 454 I had been waiting to find a good truck to stick in. That Buick V8 just has a ton of torque.

  6. 32 Roadster


    31 on 32 rails roadster

    Very helpful in displaying your taillights....:D
  7. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,633

    from Garner, NC

    They are good, they are bad ass, they are not ugly, but not very pretty either... Great motors....
  8. Undercover Customs
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 362

    Undercover Customs

    My first car was a 70 Buick GS Stage 1 455. Like previous posts - fix the oiling issues. Make sure you have good cooling too. Same as above, my GS was high 12 low 13's w/traction issues. Go to Poston for aftermarket goodies
  9. tonys18t
    Joined: Dec 18, 2007
    Posts: 55


    Got one in the Rivi, moves the big boat down the road at a fair clip, not had any issues with it so far, but have heard about oiling problems from a few people, i guess the pump is prone to wear.
  10. Babyearl
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 610


    Freight train torque, nuff said.
  11. I worked with guys who developed that line of motors. A Stage 1 is rated at 500 lb.-ft. of good ol' torque-from the factory. HA! Those things broke Heenan-Froude dynos at The Lab. Get with Kenne-Bell and get their oil restrictor kit;good insurance. Hell,with just a decent cam/springs and a good carb and a B4B Edelbrock intake and you'll see around(at least) 450 ponies and almost 600 torquers. I'd recommend a STRONG frame and driveline. If you just kept it in basic passenger car trim,it would be a great street rod mill.
  12. I don't remember seeing any KB oil restrictor kits.
    (Which don't mean jack cuz I forget lots of stuff.)

    Anyway, wondering what it does?

    Seems the biggest problem is oil pressure to #8 rod journal when you spin the big brutes up a touch....
  13. Hemi Allstate
    Joined: Jun 19, 2009
    Posts: 7

    Hemi Allstate
    from Kentucky

    Lighter than a BBC, as stated makes 500lbs trq. , easy to work on , with shaft rockers, and distributor in front. I put one in a 82 Chevy PU for towing. It was great. The local Buick Guru says not to run them sustained highway speeds with 3.70 or lower gears as they will not live long doing that.
    With some minor mods they can be made to really run strong. TA performnce has some goodies.
    A really odd thing about them is with a spacer that Kenne Bell used to sell, you could put a big block Mopar intake on the Buick 455!!!
  14. hemi guy 53
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 266

    hemi guy 53
    from colorado

    thanks guys, anyone else?
  15. custom
    Joined: Sep 22, 2005
    Posts: 88

    from Ohio

    Expert advice you won't find anywhere else.......
  16. spiderdeville
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,134

    from BOGOTA,NJ

    I heard KB doesn't sell buick parts anymore
    the timing cover is the problem , the oil pump is housed in aluminum and grinds up
    also runs the oil from the top down
  17. WQ59B
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,540


    One oiling problem is primarily confined to '70 blocks- they have a smaller passages = lower pressure @ higher RPMs. They can be drilled out.
    Other oiling issue is oil pump housing wear- not the gears- but the housing is AL; wears & lowers pressure. Nothing formidable to remedy once you kno what to look for.

    Major big HP (getting near 600) requires additional block strength: filled blocks or block girdles (mine is dark grey, peeking out from the oil pan), as the lower end at that level can move around a bit. Otherwise (besides the cost of a Hi-Po build)- nothing negative to report here.

    Mock up for my '59 Buick, T/A Performance Stage II heads, intake :

  18. 71Dart440
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 95

    from Wichita KS

    I mirror much of what's been said above....put a KB oil pump kit in it, a blue printed Stage 1 cam, headers, intake/carb and you'll be amazed! Most important is to limit your RPM's to 5500 shift points. I had this 71 GS 455 for about 10 years and it was a blast!

    Attached Files:

  19. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006


    What about the Buick 350 motors? I have afriend with one (late 60's) and the turbo tranny was stored indoors for years, could probably get it pretty cheap...if its worth it?
  20. long island vic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2002
    Posts: 2,193

    long island vic

    how about running one in a car carrier..long hauler looking at 4.11 gears.. will i need a gear venders
  21. rob lee
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,327

    rob lee
    from omaha,ne

    First hand,they won't live long at substianed highway speeds with the wrong gears or no overdrive.I spun the 7 and 8 bearings. great motor though!
  22. Undercover Customs
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 362

    Undercover Customs

    Not the same, actually longer than the 455. The 350 is a square bore motor but still puts out a good torque curve on the low end.

    Kenne Belle has been out of the Buick biz for a few years. TA performance and Poston would be your sources. As far as the timing cover goes for oiling issues, you have to look at the cover side of the water pump cavity as well. It can get pitted and leak through. Bottum line is if you're going to build one invest in a new timing cover and oil pump. If you have a big wallet, get the new TA heads and you can go with chevy rockers. If your wallet isn't that big, try to get the earlier heads and have the spec'd to the Stage 1.

    Now, wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?
  23. Oil pumps are a you re-build em deal.

    Easily done, there are several different kits.

    You can buy the kits at a NAPA store.

    Some of the Buick runners poo-poo the high volume version, but I've been running one for a long time and a lot of miles.
    Reason for high volume is the roller rockers need it according to literature from K-B.

    Take a look at the Buick V8 board

    Nice guys, knowledgeable, smart.

    From there you can find links with many pics to specific items like oiling mods.

    One worthwhile one looks to be a Cleveland type oil pressure line to the rear of the engine.

  24. I think that was something they had years ago;meant to redirect the oil flow to needed areas. I'm sure the BBB gurus have found other ways to alleviate oiling problems. Haven't looked at any Buick performance literature lately,so I'm not sure what's being done with them. I think KB did make plates that allowed you to run a Mopar 361/383/400(B motor) intake manifold(someone correct me if I'm wrong and they were for RB intakes),so a single-plane unit could be used. This was before the T/A single plane pieces became available.
    No,they don't like to be revved;I've heard that anything over 6500 Rs is like playing with a grenade with the pin pulled. Toss in some aluminum rods and lighten up the rest of the reciprocating assembly and you can get daring with the rpms-just for racing,though. Wasn't there also an issue with the loads/forces induced by a weird rod angularity problem? Again,been away from this stuff for a while,so this site(and threads like this) are a great education-thanks,folks!
  25. tonys18t
    Joined: Dec 18, 2007
    Posts: 55


  26. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,567

    from swanton oh

    The adapter plates are for a 383 intake. Used them on my 455 race motor with both a single plane and a tunnel ram. Mine was in a race car, and would run 9s Post 71 Motors have better oiling than the early ones. My engine was a 73 with extensive oiling mods, and would turn well over 6500 with no damage. I still have a NOS 455 Stage one short block assembly, no it's not for sale.
  27. Rocks Rod & Custom
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 126

    Rocks Rod & Custom
    from Raytown MO

    Installed one in my falcon, made it look as pretty as I could for the application, tons of torque , stock heads,stock pistons, crane comp cam,and a handmade intake.

    Attached Files:

  28. 71Dart440
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 95

    from Wichita KS

    In my opinion, 4.11 gears is too much for the 455. I ran a 3.42 posi track.
  29. Geez, you guy's need to stop telling people about the 455 Buick! It used to be the best kept secret in the hot rod world. I cut my teeth on them, (thanks dad.) They're great and make a gob of torque as previously stated. Because they are such torque monsters you don't need a really low gear. They make all their power in the lower rpm range anyway. My high school hot rod was a '67 GS 400 with a built 455, built TH-400 and 12 bolt posi with 4:10 gears. Talk about a terror! A new High Volume/ High Pressure oil pump kit is in order for any 455 Buick, an absolute must. Hey Rocks, that Falcon looks killer!
  30. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,011


    Big Buick motors suck, dont make much power and are boat anchors... you should not buy them, let myself or C9 know where they are so we can dispose of them properly


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