another 455 thread

Old April 16th, 2018, 11:20 AM
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another 455 thread

I am putting my big block in a 79 Cutlass.
I have less lofty goals than others. Got a Toro 455 complete from an RV and got to hear/see it run. I found a good aftermarket intake for it, W/Z manifolds, am re-using the starter and HEI distributor from my 260, and got the correct oil pan and motor mounts to make it fit in there. Hopefully I have it all covered.


I plan on having some head work (J heads) done too, and figured since it's all apart, maybe the rear main seal too.


So I'm looking for an engine gasket kit and an intake manifold gasket. I see a couple different part #s for 455's, so I'm wondering which ones people recommend. I'm thinking FelPro, and something about Mr. Gasket kits has me thinking "stay away."

Also, would appreciate any recommendations on any head bolt and intake manifold bolt kits.

Thanks!
Tom

Last edited by 71Cruiser; April 16th, 2018 at 11:39 AM.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 01:23 PM
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Check out Joe Mondello racing. He has a nice 3 piece intake kit that worked wunders for my project. Easier install with runner seperate from the valley pan. If you do the rear main seal I would look at the timing chain and gears. Originals had the crappy plastic toothed gears.

Has entire engine gasket kits down to being able to order individual pieces.

http://www.mondellotwister.com/GasketsSealants.htm

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Old April 16th, 2018, 01:32 PM
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I wonder if your 260 starter is strong enough to spin the 455?
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Old April 16th, 2018, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Fun71 View Post
I wonder if your 260 starter is strong enough to spin the 455?
Been there, done that. It will just go "click" and do nothing else so you will need to get a new starter. Just get one for a 76 Cutlass with a 455. You might need to find some new starter bolts as well, I can't remember for sure as it's been 25 years since I did the swap.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 442fanatic View Post
Check out Joe Mondello racing. He has a nice 3 piece intake kit that worked wunders for my project. Easier install with runner seperate from the valley pan. If you do the rear main seal I would look at the timing chain and gears. Originals had the crappy plastic toothed gears.

Has entire engine gasket kits down to being able to order individual pieces.

http://www.mondellotwister.com/GasketsSealants.htm
Youíll regret buying anything from Lynn at Mondello.
Mr Gasket ultra seal sets are first rate, can comment on the other ones.
if you want a cheapie then use the Sealed power 260-1008 set.
and I would think a low compression 455 wouldnít be any harder to kick over than anything else but.......
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Old April 16th, 2018, 05:18 PM
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The Mr Gasket sets are basically the old Corteco gaskets, which were good quality, with a neoprene rear main included for a 455. As said a timing set like the Cloyes billet roller and a cam from Cutlassefi will wake it up nicely. I would do Yukon spider gears, I exploded a set in my 88 Cutlass with a 403, the stock ones are soft.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 07:53 PM
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Please do your homework before buying from Lynn, he is not a recommended vendor by most on this site. Itís buyer beware with that guy
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Old April 16th, 2018, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post

I would think a low compression 455 wouldnít be any harder to kick over than anything else but.......
I used the 260 starter on a 1975 350 and it worked for 3 years and I could tell it was straining a bit, but it never quit on me. When I put the 455 in the starter basically flipped me off and said "are you serious with this right now?!?!?!?".....click.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 09:23 PM
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The smaller 260/307 starter didn't cut it on my 403 when hot.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 04:08 AM
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following along,as i am planning on dropping my 455 in an 80 cutlass i recently aquired .
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Old April 19th, 2018, 02:56 PM
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My only experience with Mondello was buying his three piece intake kit where the runners are seperate from the valleypan and have extra mesh area around each runner and coolant run. Went through a Rock Auto rebuilder intake that just had a thicker mesh as well. When that was put on we went from a vac leak to a coolant leak on a few runners.. 1st atempt gasket was out of an overhaul gasket kit, which gave us the vac leak.
My problem came about when the machine shop decked the block and heads, and either correctly shave some of the intake faces off.

So being able to handle the runners separately made the big difference for us.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 06:30 AM
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Back at this again. I got a RWD oil pan from a member here (thanks, Nick) and am going to swap out the oil pump first, and get the pan sealed up.
Three questions, for those with more experience:
A lot of oil pan gasket is still stuck to the block -- what is the best way to get it off without it getting into the engine? It's on a stand, so I thought about rotating it on it's side and working the bottoms when turned left, then right.

I am planning on having the timing cover off at some point, too, should I wait to seal up the oil pan until the timing cover is going back on, or does it not matter?

Also, my 455 is out of a Toronado. There is a windage bolted on under the pan, and I'm going to remove it, which I assume is the correct thing to do. Do I just replace the bolts and nuts holding it on? Any specific torque? Do I need to replace the stud/nut with bolts?

Thanks!

Tom
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Old July 10th, 2019, 07:59 AM
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Itís much easier to work with the oil pan with the timing cover installed. The corner of the timing cover where it meets the block and oil pan can be a PITA to install, and a even bigger PITA to install without leaking. Putting the oil pan on once the cover is in makes things much easier.

Stuff some paper towels between the crank and oil pan rails, turn the block right side up after cleaning the oil pan gasket surface. Once the block is positioned up again, remove the paper towels. Use some compressed air and some brake clean to remove any leftover debris. When you think itís clean enough, clean it again.

Im not sure why the Toronado engines used the oil pan baffles, they must serve a purpose in the Toronado than the same engine in other chassis. I canít imagine the Toronado braking or cornering hard enough to need the extra baffles, but GM doesnít spend a penny more than absolutely necessary. For whatever reason, GM thought that engine/oil pan combo needed the trays. Iíd leave them in.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 08:22 AM
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Itís much easier to work with the oil pan with the timing cover installed. The corner of the timing cover where it meets the block and oil pan can be a PITA to install, and a even bigger PITA to install without leaking. Putting the oil pan on once the cover is in makes things much easier.

Stuff some paper towels between the crank and oil pan rails, turn the block right side up after cleaning the oil pan gasket surface. Once the block is positioned up again, remove the paper towels. Use some compressed air and some brake clean to remove any leftover debris. When you think itís clean enough, clean it again.

Im not sure why the Toronado engines used the oil pan baffles, they must serve a purpose in the Toronado than the same engine in other chassis. I canít imagine the Toronado braking or cornering hard enough to need the extra baffles, but GM doesnít spend a penny more than absolutely necessary. For whatever reason, GM thought that engine/oil pan combo needed the trays. Iíd leave them in.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 08:50 AM
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Thanks, Matt. The windage was installed with the Toro oil pan, so I think I can remove it with my RWD.

Regarding the timing cover, that's what I kind of thought, so I appreciate your experience on it.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 05:12 AM
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That should be a fun, fast car when you are done, I put a 455 in a 73 Omega years ago and it was a blast- the small 78 Cutlass should be the same. I would use the windage tray unless it won't fit with the RWD pan. It's a added benefit so keep the oil from splashing on the rotating crank. I would try the 260 starter and if is weak then get a heavy duty 445 one- they are longer. Sounds like a great project, keep us posted! Greg.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 07:31 AM
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Thanks, Greg. It's taking forever to get moving forward on the project, so I hope to have it bolted into the car in the next couple of months! I haven't changed the oil pump/pickup yet, but I think the windage will fit with the RWD oil pan.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 07:18 PM
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Mini starter is the way to go.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 05:15 AM
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I’ve be at my 80 cutlass project now for a year and a half . It does get frustrating at times I’m either low on funds or strapped for time but you stay at it and it comes along eventually .i kept my original toro pan as well . X2 on the mini starter it gives you plenty of room and easily turns over my 9.6:1 455 .
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