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Buick FireBall V6 engines.... info?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kojack, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Kojack
    Joined: Feb 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,202


    Any of you guys know much about these? I thought they were a more 70's thing for smaller cars, but there is a guy in the Bay here that's got one that came out of a early 60's Buick Special. I was thinking of dumping my SBC for something a little more rare and different, but I don't know. Any of you guys used one of these blocks before? He's got a 3 speed manual with it... can a chevy 3 speed auto bolt up?
  2. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,431


    They came out on te early 60s skylark to replace the aluminum V8 because they couldn't convince farmers to not drain the coolant in the summer and putting water in the block making a battery out of the aluminum engine and copper radiator. The first ones wer built like a V8 with two cylinders cut off and therefore ran a V8 distributor with two plug wires missing. They "loped" like a Harley at idle, kinda cool with the right pipes...
    Some time (I don't remember) in the 70s they redid the crank so it was even fire and it was a new engine. Most are 3.8 litre but they got as big as a 4.1L in the '82 Eldorado and Seville application. That's a story in itself...
  3. cornfieldrodder
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 966


    198 and 225 (I think) inch 90 degree V6s with an odd fire crank. The heas suck but later high port heads from the late 70s on can be used with most standard hipo Buick V6 stuff. The cam, flywheel and balancer must be odd fire components if you go that route.
    The 231 even fire engine is a bunch smoother with better (cheaper) parts where they differ.
  4. Dr'J is right the even and odd fire were the two types- I never heard em called fireballs- I thought that was a designation only on the aluminum V8s and not a name used for the six. the same v6 with turbo and intercooler in the early grand nationals outran all othere cars the years they were introduced[1980's]
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  5. OldSub
    Joined: Aug 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,064

    Member Emeritus

    My brother had a Buick with a supercharged V-6 that I believe was the 3.8.

    We used to haul the kids around in a Buick 3.8 powered wagon that was pretty quick for what it was. It had electonic ignition and either three or six coils, and fuel injection. Would have been a nightmare to work on...

    But I like those motors.

    I've wondered if you could take one of the older blocks and use the newer crank, ignition and cam. Anyone ever try that?
  6. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,754


    Waaaay back in '79 I pulled a running 225 V6 out of a 4-door '64 Buick Special, both left doors were caved in from being broadsided by a large motorcycle (ouch!). This was back when the V6 Buick was actually rare and hard to find. These engines were definitely odd-fire, they were actually a 300 V8 with two cylinders 'sawed off'. Took the same timing chain that the 300 V8 used, this is the only thing I ever replaced on it other than some valvecover and oil pan gaskets. The pre-'64 198 V6 had a 'round' bellhousing bolt pattern unlike the '64 -'67 225 that used the modern BOPC bellhousing.

    It had a 1-barrel Rochester carb, 9:1 compression and 155 HP and was made to run on 92 octane 1964 regular gas (info from '64 Buick owners manual). The aircleaner had a silkscreened aluminum plate glued on the lid that said 'FIREBALL V6'.

    I swapped it into a '69 VW Squareback (black enamel, shaved, lowered, louvered hood, Porsche alloy wheels) using a Kennedy Engineed Products (KEP) adapter plate, flywheel and clutch. I put the radiator up front in the spare tire well, imagine 30 feet of radiator hose/copper tubing and only 3 feet of exhaust pipes. Freaky fun car, ran 15.18@89MPH in the 1/4 mile with the bone-stock engine. Plenty of torque, I would regularly use the 4-speed as a 2-speed using only 2nd and 4th. [​IMG]

    ----- Bart -----
  7. This is a 1964 Buick..225 V-6 Oddfire with the Fireball logo..planning on using it in my 28 Chevy...

    Attached Files:

  8. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137


    Didn't they use this v6 in Jeeps also? And if so does this explain why Jeep and Buick dealers were sometimes paired together?
  9. Torque-Tube
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 146


    I have one of those in the back of my barn somewhere... Just too darned interesting to get rid of it... anybody know what one is worth these days?
  10. btbsandman
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 72


    I have one of these engines. Its the 1962 V6 with 198 cubic inches. I would not think that is not worth much money. The cost of rebuilding one is prohibitive. I love it, but would not rebuild it.

    If you are thinking of rebuilding it, Cantors offers a kit for the 225 and the 198.
  11. btbsandman
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 72


    Yeah the early oddfire design was sold to Jeep and was used for a bit.
  12. buick early v-6's:):p;):rolleyes::D:cool:...kinda my "thing" for over 20 one in my 48 cj2a now for 19 years...had one in the 76 pontiac astre i just sold a few weeks ago, every one thought it was a 350 sbc with the chrome hooker headers ,,,built a few for the early regals and T types that were turbo'd for some of all was my 225 bored to 233 in my old sand floper i campainged for 10 years religously...ever heard a v engine screamin at 10, 750 rpm's?????talk about an angry sounding lil bastard!!!!!!!:eek::eek:...ran sand drags in the 4.7's and after years of tuning the lil flopper, down into the low 4.10...all the trophies on the vega wagon in my avatar are from "back in those days"" son has the rest of them...

    good engines, not much difference in the 225's and the 231 odd fire motors,,bore..the even fire were weak cranked thru the early years, had casting slag between the rods wher they didn't machine ,,odd fire had crank like v-8, 2 rods per journel...yeah the early turbo heads was the best..ran a mushroom tappet cam in my flopper...made Kenne Bells badest cam look like a pussy cam...i still own the design grind with lunati cams...BME rods, venoila poppers, amoursteel crank, 1 inch thick titanium girdle across bottom of these days i need to have the vhs tapes put onto disc,,

    sorry i was 23 years younger:mad:...good link for years now on these lil motors, bad oiling to the upper end, but that's easy to solve...good history and explaination..check it out.....
  13. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,090

    from Kansas

    Buick used the Fireball name on both the 198 and 225 v6's, but Jeep 225's were dubbed DAUNTLESS. The 198 bell housing patterns were supposedly the same as the 215 aluminum v8 which I believe was the same pattern as the nailheads.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,594

    from SIDNEY, NY

    No, not the same as nailheads. '61-'63 215 V8 and '62-'63 198 V6 are all by themselves as far as bell housing patterns go. I had a '64 Skylark with a 225 "Fireball" ( a misnomer if there ever was one!) in it for a daily beater in the early '80s. Very dependable and very boring. The idle was reminiscent of a stock Model A, and I used to impress my friends by saying, "Listen to this" and flooring it in Park. It would OH SO SLOWLY rev up, sort of like an old electric fan.
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,090

    from Kansas

    thanks for the correction, I knew they were different, but thought they might be nailhead pattern.

    The idle makes those engines unique, but were torqy sob's.
  16. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,412

    from central NY

    I believe these v6's were used for a few years int the NASCAR Busch series. I have an aquaintance who runs one in an MG midget as a wicked fast autocross car. He has a couple of these which are ex nascar motors, purchased from race shops when they changed back to V8's.
  17. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,470


    Kaiser Jeep bought the Tooling from Buick and used the 225 Dauntless V-6 in Jeeps from 1966 to about 1970, when AMC acquired Kaiser and they switch to the AMC straight six. I had a 68 Commando with the 225 and a turbo 400, it was a strong runner, especially off the line. Buick required the tooling in the 70's enlarged the bore and went to an HEI ignition. There was achange in the head design in 77, then to the high port heads in 79. The change from Odd-fire to Even-fire occurred in mid 1977. The books I've read claims there is no power difference between odd and even fire motors, just a smoother running engine. Many of the intakes such as Weiand, Offenhauser and Holley are made for the pre 78 heads. The Edelbrock and the factory 4.1 four barrel manifolds match the high port heads. The Finned Grand National Valve covers only fit the 79 and up heads. I've run a odd-fire 231 in my A over the last 20+ years, it pulls good round town, but lacks some pull on hills at highway speed.
  18. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,090

    from Kansas

    I believe Kaiser Jeep used the Dauntless till 71. 72 went to AMC six, which is one hell of a bottom end beast. Heads are so-so.

    So if you put a 400 behind the Dauntless and it runs well, then I should have no issues with the old dual range hydro, other than getting it adapted, to which I have a few solutions already.
  19. gary mundy
    Joined: Nov 26, 2009
    Posts: 45

    gary mundy
    from Kansas

    I run a 198 oddfire in my 1952 willys ace,runs great. Not a tire burner.but who cares at my age.this engine came out of a boat. Evinrude had them ini there sportman boats in 1966. I had fun building it, thats what this hobby is all about, it will help you stay young if you let it
  20. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 38,674


    They were the king of the first gas shortage that I can remember in the '70s. Everyone and their cousin wanted one to get better milage for the old resto-rod.

    They did get fair milage as I recall and did alright in a light bodied car.

    I had a '64 Special wagon for awhile that hod one in it. I liked it well enough. Had a friend in the '80s that had one in a vega with a muncie behind it. Ran out real well and got pretty good milage as I recall.

    I don't doubt that they have seen some time on the salt so you should be able to tell everyone that it is a trad motor when they tease you about doing the '70s resto thing.
  21. gary mundy
    Joined: Nov 26, 2009
    Posts: 45

    gary mundy
    from Kansas

    The oddfire i run in this willy i bolted a 1982 olds 350 trans right to it
  22. So is there some place to buy performance parts for a Buick Dauntless 225 V6?

    I have one in my '70 CJ5 and would like to put more pep in her step!:D
  23. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 3,800

    from CO & WA

    I got a 1929 model A coupe I just purchased with one of these early fireball engines fitted.

    Looks like a Nailhead engine with 2 cylinders removed and has a cool exhaust sound.
    The good thing is they are compact and you dont need to cut the firewall, so if legroom/footroom is going to be an issue these will help out.

    It has a powerglide behind it right now but I expect to swap it to a T350.
    I was hoping to find an O/D auto tranny but not much out there.

    Great for a daily driver, I expect that the fuel economy should be reasonable.
    I still have work to do on it before it will be licensed.

    Attached Files:

  24. Algoma56
    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 877


    I ran the odd fire 225 V6 in my A roadster in the late 80's. Moved the A around really nice. The oil filter sticks out the front of the engine at an angle; make sure you make room to get it off and on, if you mount engine with filter close to the frame rails.
  25. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,509

    from Garner, NC

    Not really... the distributor is in the front, the bottom of the valve covers are angled on the bottom, the manifold doesn't sit on top of the heads it sits between them like all the other engines. But I guess if you don't know Nailheads you could be that confused. :eek::D
  26. TurboShadow
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 187

    from Prosser wa

    Ive got a 70 Jeepster that orginaly had a 225 "dauntless" in it, now has a 85 even fire 231. Great motor! Not a huge power house but it refuses to die. It lived through my highschool days, being beat in the mountans and bieng WOT for LONG peirods of time in the snow fields. No tach, so I stand on it untill the valves float and back of a bit. I couldnt tell you how many times Ive done that.

    I really want to replace it with a v8, preferably a buick 350, but it just wont die!
  27. pdq67
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 787


    Not bent 6-banger info, but I hope it's interesting?

    Fwiw, I had two, not just one, but two Willy's Areo Ace hardtops that I wished I had back. Great little cars.

    I paid $18 for the 1st one. I afro-engineered a pair of '49 Ford rear fenders on it in place of the like '49 Cad jobbers and guys asked me where I got my 3/4 sized '50 Ford hard-top?? I put a '51, 232" Stude V-8 stick-OD in it! Sucker bolted up darn near stock b/c of the 4-banger front cross member and B/W tranny output shafts tranny yokes both fitting, just switched the Stude's out to the Willys one so the stock driveshaft would bolt up and went!

    And around that time, I had both, an Olds and Buick 215 aluminum V-8's that were good cores give to me for basically packing them off.

    I still have the Buick 215" AFB 4-barrel aluminum intake b/c I just can't scrap the cute little jewel! And the Olds 2-barrel intake was the turbo-blow through one! Carb linkage ran through a bulkhead way down low sorta deal..

  28. AlbuqF-1
    Joined: Mar 2, 2006
    Posts: 910

    from NM

    Weren't the odd-fire's real hard on timing chains? I remember reading that the uneven cam timing caused some harmonic in the chains.
  29. lo-buk
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 238

    from kcmo

    I had a 225 v-6 66 model in the 35 ford coupe and ran it for 20 plus years. 21 mpg and stayed up with anything on the road, tough little engine. The odd fire had specific right and left motor mounts to absorb the vibration. Sold it to a guy that was putting it in a triumph tr6.
  30. there's stuff out there..not like it used to be though...i do have a nice intake for sale in the classified section here.

    ..(shameful plug:eek:)....i use dies to match the radius on the runners when i polish them


    most people miss the winters snowflake on these:cool:

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