Straight 8? -

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Old September 9th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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Exclamation Straight 8?

Is a 1948 Olds Straight 8 engine worth buying? There is one for sale locally and I never really paid enough attention to any Olds built flathead. I don't have anything to put it in and have no clue if it was considered a performance motor in its day.

Any insight is welcomed.

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Old September 9th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #2
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While not familiar with that particular engine, know what a straight 8 flat head is and the design technology used. It's very archaic, as no way to get any real power out of it beacause of the design. The valves are upside down in the cylinder deck, with the heads beeing merely caps that flow really bad, and no way to get much compression. These things are also very physically long in length. Unless you've got some real use for it, I cetrtainly wouldn't buy it. For a better look at what's going on, pull the head off a basic Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 01:55 AM   #3
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There main value is to some one restoring to original condition a classic car.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #4
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It would be an interesting project to rebuild,just for the fun of it,if the price was right.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 06:42 AM   #5
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It was a workhorse engine, 257 cubes, 6.5 CR that put out 110 horsepower in its hottest factory version. 1948 was last year for the straight 8 Olds engine. 1949 introduced the Rocket and nothing at Olds was ever the same again.

If you have a 1948 Olds to put it in, yeah, go for it. Just know its limitations. If there's any performance parts for it, they'll be what you custom fabricate. The good thing about them is that straight 8s are very smooth engines and being lightly stressed will run forever.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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If you are interested in creating a performance based Olds, and do not have a current platform then I would find an Olds based V8 for your powerplant. The eight is a great engine, but not neccessarily a hot rod engine. If you are interested in purchasing the engine as an investment for other restoration candidates then your physical location could be a problem due to the weight of the engine and distance. Other considerations include the condition of the engine...and the risk involved for a buyer who is out of state. I have cars with both the straight 8 ('40) as well as 455 ('70), and have a spare 455 for future use, I'd love to have the straight eight sitting next to the BB but alas I live on the other side of the country and the distance would certainly be cost prohibitive for a spare engine's sake. Unless the engine is VERY CHEAP and you have lots of space, and don't mind pack ratting it I'd keep looking. Best wishes
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