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Oldsmobile J2

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rodncustom, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,101

    Ramblur
    Member

  2. owen thomas
    Joined: Jun 15, 2008
    Posts: 185

    owen thomas
    Member

    An excellent book “the cars of Oldsmobile” by Dennis Casteele, was published in 1981. This book is very well researched with lots of help from Oldsmobile, with hundreds of factory photos - just about every model ever made, and production numbers, colors, prices, and lots of other stats. This book is no longer available new, but I recently got a like new copy from Amazon for a friend.
    Interesting in the 1957 pages: “The J-2 could be ordered on any model of any series for $83. There was also a special unpublicized J-2 engine option with racing camshaft, pistons and heavy-duty internal engine parts. This option listed for $385 and was rarely offered to anyone but a serious racer.”
    All you had to know was what to order.
     
  3. owen thomas
    Joined: Jun 15, 2008
    Posts: 185

    owen thomas
    Member

    On a weekday morning in July of 1956 I was on my way from Lansing to Detroit with my best buddy in my hot 1947 Ford coupe - three Stromberg 97's on an Edelbrock manifold, stock heads but milled and flycut, block relieved, Dunn Tool Co. (Detroit) 3/4 race camshaft, Johnson adjustable tappets, bored .060 over with a Merc crank (1/4" longer stroke), '39 floor shift box, ...all the good stuff, and almost capable of staying with most of the Chevs except for the dual 4-barrel jobs. The car was really light too, with only a front seat in the interior. Anyway, we were on our way to Detroit on old US-16 and came up on a black station wagon like we'd never seen before. It had manufacturer's license plates. We pulled along alongside to take a look and realized this must be a new Olds headed for the proving grounds at Milford. It was really different - Olds hadn't made a wagon for years. The driver was smiling so we decided to show this guy how fast my old Ford was - the Olds was ready too - both cars punched it (from about 60 mph) - that Olds smoked me like I'd never been smoked before. That station wagon was unbelievably fast. Definitely faster than anything I'd run up against before, including Chevys.
    Within a month or two, I sold the Ford and bought a '51 Olds Super 88. Nice car and pretty fast. Had that old 4-barrel carb
    January 12, 1959 I hired into Oldsmobile as an Experimental Engineering Auto Assembly and Layout Apprentice. This department hand-built all prototype cars, engines, and components. By this time I was driving a 1956 Olds 2-door with 4-barrel, duals, and stick shift, blue with gold scallops and gold wheels with no hubcaps - really cool then. Because of my car, I was talking cars with some of the guys and told them about the black '57 station wagon that smoked me so bad. They all laughed. Turned out that the wagon was one that the department built and was something special. It was a prototype and really hot. Among other things, it had a Rochester fuel injection system - similar to the one Chevrolet used except it had a 180 degree manifold not a log type like the Chevy had.
    About a year after I started, I saw about 25 of the fuel injection units scrapped.
     
  4. you oughta ask swindler sam.. he knows his oldsmopiles like a hooker knows d#$k...
     
  5. thechoop
    Joined: Jul 21, 2008
    Posts: 47

    thechoop
    Member

    As a slightly later model Olds freak ('64), I've been loving every minute of reading about all this great racing and engine history. Thanks for sharing all the great stories Mr. Owen Thomas. Been reading since lunchtime straight-through. I guess it's time to go back to work. Hope to come back to this thread soon and see more!
     
  6. owen thomas
    Joined: Jun 15, 2008
    Posts: 185

    owen thomas
    Member

    When I was at Olds Experimental back in the late 50‘s and early 60’s, a guy from Texas used to come up with a big flat bed truck and take back a bunch of engines back to Texas to be used to drive irrigation pumps. He ran them ran flat out for days and days. Claimed that he had tried others, but the Olds engines held up the best. Kind of like a big water brake dyno I guess. Sometime he would bring a couple of the used engines back to use for evaluation. I never saw any broken, but they sure were worn out.
    My wife’s cousin is a big farmer in Kansas. He runs his irrigation pumps with John Deere diesels now, but used to use Chryslers. 413’s I think. Last time I was out there he had big pile of those old Chrysler engines laying out behind a building. He also had a GMC pickup not being used anymore, maybe 1955? Nice shape. Had a Hydra-Matic emblem on the fender. That’s cool too.
     
  7. repoguy
    Joined: Jul 27, 2002
    Posts: 2,085

    repoguy
    Member

    Owen,

    More of a Buick guy myself, but I dig Oldsmobiles and this is really fascinating stuff. Best read I've had in awhile. I feel like I learned something.

    Seriously, thanks for taking the time to type all this stuff.
     
  8. ewheelin
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3

    ewheelin
    Member

    Can some one tell me if the J2 3-2bbl manifold will fit on a 54 Olds 324? If not, any idea what kind of money I should ask for the manifold and a set of the J2 chrome valve covers? (They do have the raised bumps)
     
  9. DeucePhaeton
    Joined: Sep 10, 2003
    Posts: 1,000

    DeucePhaeton
    Member

    I don't think you can run a J2 on a 303 or 324. I believe you can run the 303 or 324 intakes on the early 371 (57-58)
    There are a lot of J2 intakes out there. Kind of hit and miss if they bring a bunch of much money.
    The dimpled valve covers seem to draw a lot of attention when they come up forsale. Course, it depends on the condition of the chrome and dents etc.
    There are quite a few 3x2 intakes out there from Edlebrock....OL396 that run the Ford/Holley or Stromberg carbs. I have two if your interested in one of those.
    PM me on that if so.
     
  10. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    Holy smokes! I am N - V - US!!!
     
  11. DON_WOW
    Joined: Feb 14, 2002
    Posts: 218

    DON_WOW
    Member Emeritus

    Yes,You can run the 371 intake on a 303 or 324 . Enlarge the bolt holes in the 371 intake,use a 371 intake gasket to pattern how much to port your heads so the smaller intake ports will not restrict the flow so bad. Just blend the openings down into the head ports around a 1/2 inch to smooth out the flow from intake to the head passages.
    The angle is the same,use 371 gaskets and bolt on.
     
  12. Large_911
    Joined: May 30, 2008
    Posts: 219

    Large_911
    Member

    What an excellent thread! Owen, you made my Sunday w/ those stories! Also, I just orderd the book you mentioned used from Amazon. I currently working on a 57 Olds 88 w/ a 371.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  13. Large_911
    Joined: May 30, 2008
    Posts: 219

    Large_911
    Member


    Rodncustom -- I have a dumb question: I see that there is a fuel pump block-off plate on the engine in the pic. I bought a Moroso one for a BB Chevy / BB Mopar, etc, as they told me the center-to-center spacing was 1.5" (I think). Anyhow, it bolted up OK to my 371, but the top half of it seemed to pull away from the timing cover as I tried to bolt it down (made of thin aluminum). I know that sounds crazy, but I am suspecting it has to do w/ the chamfer around the threaded portion in the timing cover.

    The one you have on there looks a much thicker; what kind is it, or did you make it? Thanks in advance.
     
  14. ocfab
    Joined: Dec 26, 2007
    Posts: 678

    ocfab
    Member

    what a good post some good info here.
     
  15. Swede64
    Joined: Jun 17, 2006
    Posts: 203

    Swede64
    Member

    Best i´ve read in a long while!!!
     
  16. Bigjake
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 279

    Bigjake
    Member

    Owen thanks for all the stories best thread I've read in a long while.
     
  17. Chevydeuce
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 136

    Chevydeuce
    Member

    Yes this is a great thread and needs to go on:D
     
  18. Dennis Holly
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Dennis Holly
    Member

    Owen, ever find a picture of the GLASS CHARIOT? ;)
     
  19. Dennis Holly
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Dennis Holly
    Member

    Not a great picture, but all I can find for now.
     

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  20. 67 w30
    Joined: Oct 25, 2009
    Posts: 18

    67 w30
    Member
    from cairo ny

    owen thomas im building a 57 j2 w1 standard trans. were there many built in the hardtop body are mostly post?
     

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