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Technical Olds starter relocation with Caddy lower bell

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Nailhead Jason, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. The last part I need to complete the 324 olds drive train in my 32 sedan is a starter changeover. After looking for over a year, most all I have found have been around 500 bucks or more. That kinda sucks when you’re on a budget.

    This brings me to my question. Early olds and caddys share the same bell housing pattern. And you can use the olds flywheels on the early caddy. Both have the removable lower bell / starter mount. Can you use the caddy lower bell on the olds to move the starter to the other side? I’m sure it would need some work to function, but has anyone done it? Could it work?

    I’ve seen the lower bells real cheap and if it’s a viable option (with work) it could be a great way to avoid high prices of these.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  2. Here is the starter relocation bell for the Olds. The caddy would put it on the same side if it could be made to fit. FFD21315-94AE-4B89-9875-37B764C7BD45.jpeg
     
  3. And here is a caddy one. They look so similar..... could this be done.
    8D225291-3F39-40E1-9DC3-A97A7F8C3591.jpeg
     
  4. 42merc
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 620

    42merc
    Member

    As a kid I used the Cad lower housing on an Olds.
    Can't remember, either the front or the rear holes line up & you drill & tap the other two.
    Maybe use the Cad starter ?
    That was a long time ago.
     
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  5. wheeltramp brian
    Joined: Jun 11, 2010
    Posts: 838

    wheeltramp brian
    Member

    I've got a cad housing that could be had for cheap with a rebuilt starter.let me find it at home tonight to make sure it's still around
     
  6. That’s what I was wondering. If it was simply a matter of locating and taping holes. It would make sense to use the cad starter, if for no other reason than the clock position of the mount. I’m pretty sure when you use the olds flywheel on a caddy you use olds starter.
     
  7. let me know!
     
  8. chopndrop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2005
    Posts: 698

    chopndrop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have both Cad and Olds lowers. I compared the 2 a while ago. Remeber was not a bolt on, but not sure how close it was. I will try and dig out mine and take some pictures.
     
  9. I did this on my '40 coupe back in '58. There was an article in one of the rod mags on it. As I recall, it required taking 1/4" off the top (where it meets the block). I took it to a machine shop to get it milled off and the guy just chucked it up in a band saw and sawed off the 1/4". As things worked out, it was fine and worked O.K. I'm sure there are dozens of them at every swap meet.
     
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  10. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 948

    UNSHINED 2
    Member

    One thing I kinda see (from this vantage point) it looks like the starter bolt holes are clocked differently. Does that matter,.....I dont know.

    I'm following this one, please post results. Thanks
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  11. this is the info I’m looking for!!! I’m sure it’s not a bolt on or everyone would be doing it that needed one. A little machine work is easy, and only costs me time in front of a mill.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
    UNSHINED 2 likes this.
  12. Would be really cool if you could find the original article. Weren't that many car mags back in '58.
     
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  13. Yeah that would be really awesome. @pgan you have every hot rod mag known to man from that time frame. Does this sound familiar?
     
  14. pgan
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 196

    pgan
    Member

    Just happened to see this. 1) I've never heard of the Cad-Olds swap. 2) I'm quite sure I've never seen a magazine article on it. 3) The first thing I would do is check to see if Offenhauser has this part in their inventory; they're still in business as far as I know. That said, I had an Olds in a '40 with this starter-swap part (plus an adapter to an early Ford trans). It required some different starter--I think a Chevy--to put the solenoid on top. Sounds like the Cad part could be made to work. Get one and see what you'd have to do. Not only is the clocking of the starter important, but so is the mesh of the starter gear to the flywheel ring gear. Otherwise, you guys know more about than I do.
    Good luck,
    Pat G.
     
  15. You can always call Tony at Ross Racing Engines 330 544 4466. He's the Olds expert.
     
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  16. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,573

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I looked for over five years and a Wanted ad in the "Swap Meet" here finally netted an aftermarket unit at a reasonable price ($300). After moving the stock Olds piece around my shop a couple of times, I decided I really needed an aluminum one. Those Olds motors are heavy enough without this chunk if cast iron. I have heard that there is some modification to the starter required, and it may even require a different (Cadillac) starter. I haven't gotten around to using mine, but it's something else to consider

    I hope this works out for you.
     
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  17. Thanks @pgan . Calling Offy is not a bad idea. I called the last year and they had the carb adapters I was looking for that had supposedly been out of production for 20 years. I’ll give them a call and see if they have any.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  18. I’ll def give Tony a call. I know right now they are out at GNRS so I’ll wait a while till they get back. I’m hoping to be able to use one of their starters.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  19. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,850

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A few months back I got a Cad bottom from a friend to try on the Olds in my roadster. It bolts on with two bolts but two others need to be drilled and tapped. The Olds starter didn’t work. I guess you could redrill and re-clock it but it isn’t a bolt in. I was going to buy a Cadillac starter. I don’t know if you need to machine the housing to get the starter in the right position or not, didn’t get that far. I really didn’t need to move my starter. Although it’s close, my Olds starter in the stock location clears my F100 box and everything ok so I gave it back to my buddy.
    I’d nab that setup from our fellow hamber and do it. Especially since you have access to a mill and stuff. It’ll work. Give us an update if you do it.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  20. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,573

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One last complication. It was a long time ago (1963), but a friend of mine put an Olds in a '39 Tudor. He needed a "switch-over" to clear the steering. Luckily, you could get these on special order from your local "Speed Shop" for about $30. When installed, the stock oil filter would not clear, so we had to remove it.

    To finish the story, Offenhauser to the rescue again, as they offered two items; one was a remote filter adapter and the other was a bypass plate. We ordered the remote filter plate and a remote filter. I was busy when the parts showed up, but there were no hoses for the remote filter. My buddy, who was young and impatient, installed the remote filter plate with two pipe plugs be bought at the local hardware store. The next time I heard from him was to help him tow the car home.
     
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  21. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,015

    deucemac
    Member

    Back in the dark ages, right after electricity and indoor plumbing was invented, we used a '49 Cad starter housing , I believe we used the starter also. I don't remember a the details because I have slept several times since then. But memory tells me that wa what we used. Pretty scare even back then.
     
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  22. chopndrop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2005
    Posts: 698

    chopndrop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    2020-01-24 00.04.44.jpg 2020-01-24 00.05.07.jpg 20200123_234959.jpg
    Olds

    20200123_235010.jpg
    Cad

    20200123_235125.jpg
    Olds

    20200123_235136.jpg
    Cad


    Cad bottom, early Olds middle, late Olds (394) top. Just measuring from transmission mounting face to holes, doesn't look like any holes line up. I do not have an Olds engine readily accessible at the moment to try it on.
     
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  23. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,803

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    45B9FED0-0D90-4A55-A0FD-621BBB454778.jpeg C422AA4F-6222-4D9B-923A-E3C802A78289.jpeg My 36 ford pickup with a 324 olds has an offy starter switch over on it and I am assuming the stock olds starter. It is put on with the solenoid facing down and it works fine. The starter doesn't care that it is upside down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  24. I wonder if @Paul has done this before. I remember him reclocking a starter for one of his installs. maybe he will see this and chime in.
     
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  25. If anyone has a part number for the Offy starter relocation bell could you post it here?
     
  26. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,803

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

  27. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,458

    Paul
    Editor

    No, I haven't any experience with the Cadillac bells, although I had read they can be made to fit.
    I have used the aftermarket lower flywheel covers, best results with reclocking solenoid on early starter and using matching flywheel.
     
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  28. wheeltramp brian
    Joined: Jun 11, 2010
    Posts: 838

    wheeltramp brian
    Member

    15799001623958164129592158999453.jpg here's the stuff Jason. It's in nice shape.customer went with a 5 speed.he wants 75 bucks plus ship.pm if interested
     
    belair likes this.
  29. Thanks @wheeltramp brian a buddy of mine came through with one locally. As soon as I get some time in the shop I’ll be able to investigate this closer. I’ll document the process as I go, if it is deemed feasible.
     
  30. Taking @pgan advice and the part number supplied by @Moriarity from his catalog scans, I called Offy yesterday and inquired about the olds bell. Unfortunately they do not have anymore......BUT!!!! They have pulled the old tooling out and cast 3 last year to use for displays and are currently working on getting them back into production. They are also working on getting some of their olds intakes back into production that they haven’t made in years. If I get any more info on this I will post it up here.
     
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