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Old June 9th, 2019, 11:19 AM
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The beginning...

So if this is the wrong place let me know be happy to move it...if not here we go. ~ MattGwar

Ok so I am new to the Olds world and I have a 65 cutlass convertible, 330 high compression with the jetaway transmission. Body and interior I want to keep neet and clean, likely not orig color, otherwise keep it as close as possible to orig.
I do not know what h.p. builds are really are available. At this time, all I will be doing a front brake convesion. The car's current state, after sitting since 99 it will now start on it's own, and move a bit. Stoping requires outside assistance still =)
So here I am in the budget phase of a build I am unsure on, looking for suggestions. No I don't want a weekend only dragster, but I don't mind turning a head or two or a surprised look on a couple faces.

So back around to engine suggestions for budgeting.... and GO!
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Old June 9th, 2019, 02:40 PM
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Your first change should be to swap in a 350 transmission and get rid of the Jetaway. It is a direct bolt in swap with a few electrical added wires and a shifter mechanism change from the two speed to a three speed.
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Old June 9th, 2019, 05:29 PM
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Agree a transmission upgrade to a TH350 would be a good first move...depending upon his budget an upgrade to 200R4 would be even better or a 4 speed. I like the 330HC, good motor, steel crank. Put a timing chain in it before it is too late.
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Old June 9th, 2019, 06:56 PM
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First thing would be to get it running well in stock form and cleaned up. Then we can talk upgrades. 4 wheel drums stop very well for cruiser duty.

What rear end does it have?
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Old June 9th, 2019, 07:52 PM
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What rear end does it have?
From what I can tell with a quick look it's the 8.2BOP
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Old June 10th, 2019, 04:35 AM
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Upgrade later. Worry about stopping now. What do you mean "needs assistance when stopping"?

Mine had also sat for a number of years when I picked it up. My advice, Check and most likely replace brake lines whether they look dry rotted or not. Mine looked good until 2 of them let go while driving one day. Also, if you have power brakes you might want to seriously consider replacing the booster. After replacing my lines, the diaphragm in the booster went about a week later.

It is definitely not fun to be coming up on a red light and your brake peddle goes to the floor. If this isn't a complete resto, where everything is apart and being worked at roughly the same time, get it to where you can drive and stop safely. Worry about everything else later.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 04:36 AM
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First thing I would do is a rust inspection, start with the frame, and trunk floor. Good luck, it’s a nice find.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 05:33 AM
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Welcome Matt, as others have said, safety first. I also would get it to go and stop safely before changing things. If the Jetaway works OK I would use it and consider changing it later as budget allows. I personally like the old GM 2 speeds, (powerglides, jetaways,etc) because you hardly ever see them anymore-they've been swapped out. Anyway, I would convert the single system to dual master cylinder and maybe go with discs in the front- or not... 4wheel drums are safe as long as up to snuff, unless you drive like a wild man! Good luck and keep us posted! I love your 65 my first car was a 65 Cutlass hardtop w 330 and jetaway. I ran the **** out of it and never had a problem with the jetaway.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dc2x4drvr View Post
First thing I would do is a rust inspection, start with the frame, and trunk floor. Good luck, itís a nice find.
this!you say its been setting since 1999 if its been outside or worse parked on grass/dirt start from the ground up.if the frames rusted your wasting your time on brakes.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 07:38 AM
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[QUOTE=chip-powell;1178202]Upgrade later. Worry about stopping now. What do you mean "needs assistance when stopping"? [/QUOTE

Unfortunately, what I mean by outside assistance is, Gravity, old tires, things like that. It has no brakes. This helped with the decision to convert Front brakes to disc.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 07:48 AM
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[/QUOTE=chip-powell;1178202]Upgrade later. Worry about stopping now. What do you mean "needs assistance when stopping"? [/QUOTE

Unfortunately, what I mean by outside assistance is, Gravity, old tires, things like that. It has no brakes. This helped with the decision to convert Front brakes to disc.

As far as sitting, yes it was parked on dirt under a Costco special carport/tent Fram has some surface rust, back end behind wheels into trunk has some daylight. I have to have the floorbed checked at one location because I think it's a bit thin. My thought with the front brakes getting done is that it would prevent towing...after that, a long look at this thread, start from ground and move upward, with the only possible jump to the top to keep it from leaking.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 07:50 AM
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Welcome to the club! Glad to see another '65 Cutlass Convertible being worked on.

I unfortunately lost my 330 a number of years ago, crank was no longer serviceable, had 300k+ miles on it. We went with a 350 with the standard upgrades, RPM Performer Edlebrock intake and cam, 650 cfm carb, dual exhaust, etc. It's a fun package though by today's standards is still in the "slow" category. It does sound great and can hang with traffic well. Next up for me is a 200 R4 trans. I think what's holding my car back acceleration wise is the gears in the rear.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:05 AM
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Get the brakes working and brake lines replaced first.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:21 AM
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[QUOTE=MattGwar;1178228]
Originally Posted by chip-powell View Post
Upgrade later. Worry about stopping now. What do you mean "needs assistance when stopping"? [/QUOTE

Unfortunately, what I mean by outside assistance is, Gravity, old tires, things like that. It has no brakes. This helped with the decision to convert Front brakes to disc.
It "has no brakes" like it has no braking ability, or it literally is missing the drums and shoes? If it just has no performance, absolutely everyone here will recommend fixing the existing brakes instead of "upgrading" to disc. Aftermarket "conversions" to disc are *not* an upgrade, and that is what most people who are adamant about going to disc will try, stuff like Scarebird, that are silly brackets that bolt to the drum backing plate.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:56 AM
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The parts are there, they do not work at all however. The car was driven to where I picked it up from. I evicted generations of squirrels and mice when I picked it up. Between rodents and rust...The brake conversion kit I am looking at comes with new lines, master cyl, rotors and such for the front, once done I will see if I can save the rear or I might just upgrade those too. The Frame is something I am going to need to get outside help with.

Last edited by MattGwar; June 10th, 2019 at 10:00 AM.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 11:52 AM
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When doing the brake repairs l'd lean strongly toward changing to a dual reservoir master cylinder.

Good luck!!!
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Old June 10th, 2019, 02:30 PM
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Figure the cost on getting all four brakes working and then figure the cost for "going to disk brakes" on the front. Braking materials have improved a lot since 1965.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 04:43 PM
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At the minimum, get rid of the single bore master cylinder. A leak or broken brake line doesnít effect just the wheel with the damaged part, the brake pedal goes to the floor.

I converted the single bore master cylinder to dual on my brother 63 Impala easily, I used a master cylinder from a 66 Impala, and used some simple lines and brake tee. The factory brakes in good condition are acceptable for most people. The donít have the flash of modern discs, but will get the job done.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by matt69olds View Post
, I used a master cylinder from a 66 Impala, and used some simple lines and brake tee. The factory brakes in good condition are acceptable for most people. The donít have the flash of modern discs, but will get the job done.
66 impala had single reservoir,think you meant 67
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