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Hot Rods Let's talk Cadillac 331's, 365 and 390's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    So, after many months of tosing and turning in bed, staring at the ceiling and one really arduous thread about the coolest hot rod engine ever. I have decided on building a Cadillac engine for the 36. I have read a little on the net about it, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there.

    So, at this point all I know is that it looks similar to a sbc in some aspects. 4 inch bore, and a 3-7/8 " crank on the 390. Can you retrofit some of the Chevy parts to save some $$ and get good forged parts?

    I have read that the non-ajustable rockers limit your cam selection. Who reworks the shafts these days?
    I need a good source for parts etc.

    Are there any good build up articles from the old magazines etc?

    I am a Cadillac virgin, go easy, it's my first time.

    Root
     
  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 9,292

    Moriarity
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    Studebaker rockers are adjustable and they fit caddies, there usually some for sale here in the classifieds.
     
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  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Any particular ones?
     
  4. The Studebaker rockers fit the Cad. shafts... but you'll have to dimple the valve covers, make spacers to raise the covers or find a set of old Hildebrandt or Edelbrock covers to clear the rockers. Also you'll need custom push-rods to get the geometry and ball-ends right. So yes, they fit but it's not a "bolt-on"...
     
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  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Were they hyd or solid lift? I seem to remember seeing solid pushrods.
     
  6. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
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    Moriarity
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  7. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
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    Moriarity
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    Old thread but it may be helpful
     
  8. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 3,881

    Pete
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    Im doing a 390 right now. Daves Auto Machine in Fitchburg Mass took a stock bore 390 and opened it up to .030 over, cut the crank and re sized the rods. Im dropping in a ISKY cam that allows the use of the hydraulic valve train but does wake the motor up. Im a "keep it simple" person. Id like a nice streetable motor with a little more pep.
     
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  9. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Pete, were the 390's hyd already or is this a retrofit application? Can you put the cam grind info on here for us?

    Mark, thanks. I have read that thread in my searches. It's good to have it here all in one place. That's a great thread.

    Also, Is Hildebrandt still making the valve covers? Their website leaves a lot to be desired.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  10. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 9,292

    Moriarity
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    I have seen the valve covers on eBay occasionally but not for a little while. I think the tooling is in tough shape but not sure
     
  11. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 4,220

    302GMC
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    from Idaho

    Cadillac V8s have had hydraulics since '36 ...
    There's more factory hot rod parts floating around for the 331 - aftermarket parts for the 365 - 390 are a lot of $$$. It's hard to beat the looks of a '55 El Dorado intake & chromed Cad rocker covers. They have all the power you'll need in stock form.
     
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  12. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 37,979

    porknbeaner
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    Caddy didn't use a solid lifter cam in any of the V-8s as I remember. If they had there would be one of two things on them either adjustable rockers or adjustable pushrods.

    You get your adjustable rockers from any Stude v8, they all had shaft rockers like the caddy. After Stude sold out the buyer started using GM components, that would be later '60s and you won't be looking at anything that late.

    You can get a reground cam for the early caddys or you can probably still get a cam from isky if you use the phone instead of the internet, I know that you still use your phone. :D

    The 331 in my old '46 Coupe uses an Isky cam, I don't recall the grind, I think it was called a 3/4 race cam. As I recall it did not have a cast lower end, I rebuilt it in the '70 and parts were still available at the auto parts. The old heap is still on the road and still on my overhaul if that speaks at all to the durability of the motor.

    I had original rocker covers with dimples and then chromed. I am pretty sure that the dimples came by way of a socket and a ball peen hammer. LOL
     
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  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    I had forgotten about Jesus Valencia's truck. This at least lets me know what it will look like and how it fits. I love this truck.
    Jesus-valencia-1936-ford2.jpg
    IMG_0144.jpg
     
    tofords, Phillips and slammed like this.
  14. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 3,881

    Pete
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    Here it is.
    This cam allows you to use your stock style hydraulic lifters and push rods.
     
  15. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 3,881

    Pete
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  16. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 372

    Hollywood-East
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    My "58" 365 has 310hp. , 10 1/4:1 compression, Stock...
     
  17. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Pete, I can't even find a pull down window on Isky's website for the Caddy. I can find the cam grind but it doesn't show what it fits. I'll have to look again.
     
  18. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,205

    falconsprint63
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    from Mayberry

    See the old thread Marcus Edell started. Tons info there.

    Short story. .197 and 202 sbc lifter. Use 390 heads no matter what block you choose. Isky cams. The petronix unit is a great additon. The magnetos have an iffy reputation.

    365 and 390 pistons are different. Be aware if stroking a 365 with a 390 crank. I wouldn't bore over .040 on later blocks might get a smidgen more from a 331.

    Several folks making tranny adapters for both versions of the ohv. Later 365/390 easier to find. Old hydro good unless you have to rebuild. then they are awefully spendy and you're probably just as well to swaps trans.

    Stuck with mild came unless you're racing.

    I love these motors. Welcome to the addition

    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  19. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 289

    samurai mike
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    bingo!
     
  20. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 360

    MOTOV8N
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    from Manitoba

    Hey Roothawg...i want to mention a cool article that was printed in the May 2008 HOT ROD DELUXE magazine. Maybe You have the old issue, or know somebody that does? If not, i could send page by page photos if You want? It's an interesting read! ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1460085475.141272.jpg
     
  21. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Thanks guys. I have been reading over Marcus' old thread. It was definitely worth reading. I'm trying to find my Cadillac brethren now. I need to make the connections in the Caddy circles. Called a few folks to try and see if anyone has a spare 390 laying around, no such luck yet.

    I'm a little surprised at the cost for old speed parts though. Tripower intakes for $1200-1500, wow. This may take some scrounging.
     
  22. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Hey guys, I have a chance to buy a 1963 390. Isn't it an odd engine? Like a one year only orphan? I can get it cheap. Any of the parts interchange? Anything worth snagging?
     
  23. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 360

    MOTOV8N
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    from Manitoba

    Totally different engine
     
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  24. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
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    Kinda what I was thinking. Thanks.
    I'll see if I can't round up a copy of that article.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  25. I love this engine.
     
  26. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 9,292

    Moriarity
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    speed parts for caddies are expensive. but there is no intake manifold more fucking beautiful than the offy 3x2 ..... a work of art
     
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  27. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 6,892

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    That "odd" 390 may indeed be a little bit of a stepchild, but in stock form it's a brutal bitch. That's what we had in that uni pickup. You simply freshen it stock and I'd bet on you in a drag race over a warmed up 365. Long legs on those too
    They'll wind up a few hundred further than the early ones.
     
  28. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,009

    Torkwrench
    Member

    This has been about 6 years ago, but when I bought the cam for my 331 Caddy, Isky Cams had to be contacted directly, by phone for all vintage cams. They didn't have any listing on their website or in their paper catalog for 49 - 62 Cadillac engines, (or any other vintage engines). In addition, there was a specific Isky employee who was in charge of the vintage cam grinds. This guy was only available by phone at specific times, (late in the day if I remember correctly). Needless to say, it took awhile to actually get the cam ordered. Once it was ordered, it was made quickly, though. By the way, this is a new cam, not a regrind.

    The cam is an E-2 grind with solid lifters. As far as valve covers, I found these on Ebay. They are new ones, made by Bell Auto Parts. The valve covers are excellent quality and fit very well.

    Isky E-2 Cam Specs.jpg Caddy Finned Valve Covers A.jpg Caddy Finned Valve Covers B.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  29. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 17,092

    Roothawg
    Member

    Wow, those are nice. Does he still make them? I couldn't find anything online.
     
  30. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 9,292

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
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