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Technical Rocket Oldsmobile V8 Information Compiled

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Zaloryan, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Well gee he put it out there like he had been having an conversation with Joe. And an otherwise good thread can go real bad when you start trying to pick a fight.

    I have had a conversation with Joe (rest his soul) pretty straight shooter and a nice fellow all at once. I don't recall him bad mouthing another brand in our conversation. I don't even recall another brand coming up, we were talking olds mobiles.

    I totally understand brand consciousness, I prefer GM to other marks as a rule. But I just don't see the point in talking crap on a spec sheet. Why take a good piece of writing and clutter it up with BS.
  2. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,399

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  3. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,399

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    Sorry, didn't realize it was the same thread mentioned earlier.
  4. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,979


    Ouch, that hurts
  5. Well I meant everyone but you paul. ;)

    Does make about as much sense as the original statement right in the middle of an info thread though.
  6. Zaloryan
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 25


    I'm happy to see that most everyone is appreciating this. It took a while to put this together. I have added corrections to the compiled guide, please delete your copy and save my edited post if you have copied this from 7-10-2012 to 7-12-2012.

    Corrections that I have added:

    Intake manifold interchangeability, see section. 324 introduced in 1954.
    Head casting #3 (1953)
    Manual Transmission available 1950-1964. 1950 manual transmission 1 year only trans, same for bellhousing.
    Electrical System: 1949-1952: 6 Volt 1953+: 12 Volt
    Buick Dynaflow transmission in 1953.

    As I said in my first post on this thread, "Much of this information is a compilation of what I've found on the internet." If you read the title of the thread you will also notice that it says "Compiled." I am not taking credit for any of the information in the guide, I only organized it in an attempt to make it easy to navigate so someone with a question could find what they need without posting a new thread on one small detail.

    In regards to the quote of cylinder bore thickness on 324s: HAMB user Blackrat40 originally posted that. He was the one who contacted Joe Mondello. If you still don't believe me you can even check this thread here where he posted it on May 31st, 2006.

    I've even put his username in front of the paragraph in the guide now that I've added in a few other corrections. Please keep in mind the scope of the information of the entire thread, one little mistake got through and I forgot to credit the author. If you feel like getting technical you could say that Blackrat40 was incorrect in saying a 4 inch bore in a 324 makes "a little more than 346."

    Cubic Inch Displacement = Bore x Bore x Stroke x (#of cylinders) x 0.7854

    So: A 324 that is bored out to a 4 inch bore with factory stroke would be:

    4 x 4 x 3.4375 x 8 x 0.7854 = 345.576

    Final displacement would be 345.576 cubic inches. I guess Blackrat40 wanted to round up with the decimal points or was just recalling what he had heard?

    Now, before you get in a huff let me say this-I'm not trying to start a reputation as some "know-it-all" because I surely don't. Nor am I trying to get an argument started. I know there's plenty of things you could teach me in regards to these motors & hot rodding in general. The biggest reason I joined the H.A.M.B. was so I could learn.

    If you have any corrections to add, please post them & I will add them in.

  7. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,979


    this is another good compilation of information
    as with any compilation of this sort it will likely require scrutiny and verification to be taken as gospel

    this is an open forum, expect to have conversation and opinions expressed.

    if after the dust settles and you wish to have it cleaned up and preserved I would be happy to do that and move a cleaned up copy of the thread to the Tech Archives.
  8. You really don't get it do you? it is not about who said what it is all about being competent. When compiling a list it is acceptable and actually expected that one edit and remove content that does not ad value to the list. A remark that does no more than bad mouth another maker does not add value to the information compiled there for it should have been removed.

    When you read some of the start up magazines you will notice that they are full of moronic BS. It is pretty adolescent and shows that the writer has no experience in his craft. When you leave the statement in your compilation of good information that adds no value to what you have compiled it makes you look bad as a writer. When you leave a phrase that may be offensive to some in what you have compiled you just lost a reader.

    The whole idea is to get the information out there but you also want as many readers as possible. It is about educating the masses. One lost reader may be a dozen, in my case it would not be much of a loss as I don't have many friends, but some of the people reading this thread have lots of friends.

    All that said, I do applaud your effort to put this amount of Olds information in one place. It will be useful to many and I will come back and use it as well, I can't remember everything all the time.
    keywestjack likes this.
  9. oldsmobum
    Joined: Apr 26, 2012
    Posts: 45


    We are just compensating... All is good as long as the ladies find out you have a low deck the hard way :rolleyes:
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    QUESTION: Are all 50-64 manual flywheels are zero balance and interchangable(with appropriate starter) for all stick shift conversions???

  11. Mataconcepts my understanding is that all the original rocket engines were internal balance. Where you may run into a problem is with the crank flange, it may not be a problem at all but I think that the tall deck crank has a different flange as may the different year/model change cranks.

    Someone should fact check this before it becomes an internet legond.
  12. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    No, the 50-53 is neutral, but the small dia ring gear, but bolts up to later cranks.

    the 54-56 is neutral, but with the larger ring gear, bolts up to the earlier cranks, too.

    57 is when they went with external balance. Some people use a neutral balance flywheel on later motors that have been re-balanced internally during a rebuild.

    There are two different size stick flywheels from 57 to 64 that I know of. The 57 looks like a 54-56, but is exteral balance and has a 7th hole showing on the 2 I have here. Then the late 394 is a small flywheel and very odd looking. Tony at Ross, ID'ed the one I found as such. I will add a pic if you want.

    Ross Racing can do all that I am sure.

    But watch out, starting in 56, some cranks (the jetaway) do not have a pilot bushing hole for a stick trans. The older Hydramatic 4 speed a/t did use the same bushing as stick, so you can use a Hyramatic engine. In 56, the cheapest Olds 88 still had the Hyd. A/T, but the better 1956 88 and 1956 98 used the jetaway.
  13. No shit good job on you
  14. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Pic 1 and 2 are 3 Olds flywheels. The sandblasted one at the top is a 6-cyl Olds, that does bolt up to 49-up Olds/Cad V8. I have not found a good application for these, because the clutch is recessed compared to a V8. I guess it might possibly work on the long input S10?

    Then the flywheel on the left in both pics is a 54-56 Olds.

    The one on the right is the late 394, with the million holes :)

    Last pic of a flywheel on a 57/58 motor shows it looks like a 54/56, but has a 7th hole. I do not know if this is a stock 57-8 flywheel as it was hotrodded...But I think it must be.

    Not to confuse, but the early Cad 49-54 flywheels I have, also have a 7th hole:confused:, but can be told apart from Olds, because the ring gear teeth look wider spaced and also are angle tips, where Olds was a straight cut tooth.

    Edit, that 6 cyl Olds wheel is much lighter, at 26 pounds,I recall. That 394 seems way heavier than a 54-56, but i have not weighed either of those yet.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

  15. F&J thanks
    I knew that I may be mistaken.
  16. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Me too, on a regular basis.. :(

    I forgot one piece of info on the 2 different 56 motor ID's. The late DON_WOW had compliled a list of Olds serial numbers from 49 to 56. In his list, the 56 shows an "A" prefix. It does not contain the ID for both of the 56 engines, The A being the 56 Jetaway, and I have since found out that the 56 Hydramatics left the factory with the same letter as 1955, which is a "V" prefix. My 56 H/D motor was a V, but it was a higher number than the "last" 55 motor built, on his list. I do not know what a 56 stick would have for a letter, but I would assume it must be a V code?

    Still won't guarantee what crank might be in an old hotrod Olds motor, because cranks got swapped.

    Maybe Tony or Paul can get into the 57-up cranks and flywheels in more accurate detail. A recent thread showed a Hollander Manual listing which makes it appear that there might be at least 3 stick flywheels from 57 to 64?
  17. ive got 2 questions ... first what about those sqare cork pieces in my BEST gasket set. do i need to use them,and if so, How. second.. is there a different year fuel pump to use that is smaller in size than the factory 303
  18. Yes, you need those cork pieces.
    When you take the rear main bearing cover off, you'll see how they go on there.
    Not sure about your second question...
  19. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    The old ones shrink a lot in 50-60 years, and won't seal. I forgot if mine came with the pan gasket set, or rear main seal, but i'd bet the rear main. I soaked mine in warm water to soften them so they could be squeezed in. I also had avaition gasket sealer on them. They fit at the rear main cap.

    Fuel pump, I don't know.
    subneil56 likes this.
  20. Ditto, ZMAN.

    RocketDaemon has been maintaining a great Olds info thread entitled:THE oldsmobile rocket 303 324 371 394 post to end all other posts Read the first line of the thread...
    If you really want all this info in one place maybe see about adding to the original.
    I REALLY do appreciate all the effort—Thanks.
  21. Can you give a better. desc as to where these go. I've looked at some spare caps and have no idea
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    from OHIO

    Cork squares go here on each side.....leave them out and watch the oil pond form under your car.


    Attached Files:

  23. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    I don't have a pic with the rear main cap, or showing the piece. Take a look right next to the very end point of the pan rail gasket. That's where it sits. Not "on" the gasket, but right next to it.

    But this pic is useless without the cap. Sorry, It's all I have, and no motors here, are apart.

    Tony got it whilst I was a typin' :)

    Attached Files:

  24. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    Wow...there are some real thin skinned folks on here.
    Thanks for the credit you gave me for my contributions that you quoted.

    Please add that there is another oil gallery plug in the 324's with a small oil
    squirt hole that you need to be aware of. It squirts oil on the distributor shaft.
    Access is from the bellhousing about 1-2" behind a small freeze type plug.

    Also, I am the one who talked to Joe Mondello about boring the 324 to 4"
    The quote was correct except the part about the "bow-tie boys"(who's feelings
    got hurt I guess) That was added AFTER the remarks by Joe that I quoted.
    I am probably the one who said "...a little over 346" Hell I'm about
    cutting me a little slack? My memory is not that sharp nowadays!
    I DID NOT put in the part about the "bow-tie" boys (check my original post).
    That snuck in somewhere else.
    Whoever added that was just putting in some good natured ribbing about brand
    loyalty. That kind of kidding has been going since the days of gows.

    BTW, Don Wow was a good friend. He had an oil distribution route for Texaco.
    He was a very knowledgeable guy when it came to the Rockets.
    His real name was Jerry Wegger (I think...there goes the memory thing again!).
    I can still see him in his Olds coupe with the Carson top and a cig hanging from lips.
    RIP Jerry.

    I tip my hat to the young gun here who took the time to carry the torch forward!
    BradinNC likes this.
  25. you guys saved my ass on that one. i was ready to fire this after i fab some headers. i had no idea what those pieces were for. at least dropping the pan is WAY easier with the truck axle under it. thanks
  26. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    A lot of guys over the years have done a lot of good work getting us Olds lovers the info we need and posting it. Likewise, you sure did spend a lot of time getting that info compiled into one spot, thank you for taking the time to do that.

  27. Johnnyolds98
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 110


    Can only double that. This is maybe the most useful thread I've seen on HAMB for my car (... apart from all the other 'how to'-threads that taught me how to shave and lower my ride).

    Thanks to all that contributed to this knowledge pool for real cool engines.
  28. Olds Dad
    Joined: Sep 22, 2011
    Posts: 213

    Olds Dad

    So, if I had a '53 flywheel (145 tooth I think) and wanted to bolt to a '55 324 for use with a factory 3 speed setup, what happens - need a '53 starter or can the bendix drive be changed? I'm searching for a '55 flywheel and seem to find the 145 toothed earlier ones alot more often.

    subneil56 likes this.
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    from OHIO

    The bendix is not interchangeable ....

    I have new starters for either tooth count as well as new flywheels.....

    And sometimes a used flywheel wheel will travel through......I've got a couple now but need to ck condition and tooth count

  30. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Correct on that. The reason the starter "nose gear" can't be swapped is that the starters themselves are different designs. And you can't swap in the entire guts from late-to-early, because the armatures are different, and cannot be swapped into your different year starter body.

    One starter had a thin band clamp to get to the brushes, and the other is sealed, and you need to pull the end cover for the brushes. That's the easy way to tell that you have 2 starters that are not the same design, if you were thinking you could swap pieces.

    Do you own the 53 flywheel now? The most logical thing to do, is get a correct starter for the 53 flywheel. A 49-52 will fit but is 6v, but still would work, if it is good. I think it's iffy, trying to find a good used starter, as I have had a few with shorted fields. They are 60 years old!

    Pricing might be a toss up, between a new mini starter or buying a good used original recut flywheel. But I suppose you could sell the small flywheel to help with cost, if you buy a rebuilt 54-6 flywheel.

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