64 Cutlass 455 swap in LA

Old May 30th, 2016, 10:58 AM
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64 Cutlass 455 swap in LA

Hello everybody,
Newbie here!
Helping out my Buddy with his 64 Cutlass. He is the second owner and although the car has been sitting for years (mostly inside), it's still in pretty good shape considering.
Rust is confined to trunk and a bit in the bottom of rear window, trim is still mostly good, and interior isn't bad. Car already has Hotchkiss Suspension (installed by them) and a Currie Ford 9" with 3.00 gears and 4 wheel disc brakes. That's where the build got stalled years ago with the original drivetrain giving problems. Original trans is toast and original 330 will run but its tired. The plan is to install a 455 (with AC) and a TH400. Trying to keep cost down so that was the reasoning behind the 3 speed idea utilizing the 3.0 gears. Thought about TH350 but was advised by transmission builder to use a TH400 for durability. Just bought a 455 yesterday (supposedly a good running motor) from a 74 wagon.
I've done a lot of research but still have a lot of questions and concerns and looking for advice and "the 2 cents".

Our goal is to build a reliable daily driver that has usable performance on the street with power in the low to midrange without spending too much.
Here is my idea for Engine:
A mild cam like a Crane H260, maybe earlier C or E heads(?), and hopefully compression around 9:1(?) with cast pistons. thinking that 8:1 may be too low? Rebuilt Quadrajet maybe or there is a Holley 600 on the 330 now. I've read that a smaller carb can be better if not revving it past 5000?
HEI distributor and W30 exhaust manifolds (if they fit?). Currently has 2 1/4" dual exhaust but maybe we should go bigger?
Should we use 455 frame and engine mounts?
Do we need notched valve covers to clear booster?
Will an Edelbrock Performer intake clear hood?
What is the best radiator solution, 64 GTO?
We plan on using an under-dash AC setup with new style compressor.

Thinking the aluminum intake and putting battery in trunk will help off set the extra weight, should we do anything else?

We are ready to proceed this week, I think I have a machine shop lined up.

Really appreciate all advice or threads with info that could help. If you have ideas on different parts or a different approach to our goals I'd love to hear it. Will post more pics when it gets towed out of driveway.

thanks,
Guy







Original 330 has Edelbrock intake and Holley 600.<br/>4 wheel disc brake system will get refresh soon.




Just got this, supposedly out of a well running 74 wagon. Excited to get brackets and pulleys for AC.




Best pic I have of the car right now. Custom steel wheels with 255/50/16 rear and 225s in the front.
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Old May 30th, 2016, 12:09 PM
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Classicoldsmobile is my favorite site. But there are a couple sites that have lots of 1964-65 info you should check out too. Between the three sites you should be able to get all your questions answered. I've got several 1964's and 65's but they're project cars I'm still collecting parts for, so your ahead of me in the process! John

http://w29.boards.net/

http://www.442bro.com/
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Old May 30th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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2BLU5442 is right, there are some builds going on right including mine. Its in this section on page 2 titled "update progress on 64 post" Most of the answers to your questions are there plus maybe some other ideas. Good luck keep us in the loop.
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Old June 30th, 2016, 11:49 AM
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That cam will feel almost stock in a 455, go for a true 9:1 compression. I hope you've found a shop that know Olds motors..as for heads, unless you have a set that's been rebuilt, ProComp aluminum heads might be considered, cost is close to rebuilding iron heads.
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Old July 1st, 2016, 07:17 AM
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Update: Got the 330 running and the car back on the road! New custom built TH400 transmission installed. 455 is being built. Going with Lunati Voodoo 256/262 cam. Found some rebuilt E heads. Not exactly sure of compression ratio yet, 9.3:1 +/-. Installing new gas tank and 3/8" fuel line soon. Ordering all the engine parts and accessories and sticker shock setting in... :-/ trying to keep eye on the prize :-). Not sure if AC will be in the budget, but at least the brackets and pulleys will be there. Thanks for the advice!




Block checked out ok!




Rebuilt E heads.
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Old July 1st, 2016, 07:23 AM
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New custom built TH400 got the car moving finally after all these years. 2 1/4" exhaust still looks good after 14 years.




Getting brake system flushed. Pads are practically new!
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Old July 1st, 2016, 10:02 AM
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I almost used that cam, but didn't think it would reduce enough vacuum for power brakes.
Nice job, keep the pics coming..
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Old August 20th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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any updates? Keep us posted....
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Old August 24th, 2016, 02:19 PM
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Engine building has been slower than I'd hoped. Hopefully done this week.... I'll try to get some pics...
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Old August 26th, 2016, 11:58 AM
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engine finally done! :-)



Finally!<br/>

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Old September 17th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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Update: pulling original motor (for sale) and starting process of installing new engine. :-)
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Old September 20th, 2016, 12:01 PM
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cool Beans, keep goin!!
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Old September 20th, 2016, 12:20 PM
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Very nice. FYI, the 64-66 cars with the factory 9" booster don't need the notched valve covers. Even 1967 cars, that got the 11" booster, only needed a notched cover on the driver's side. It wasn't until 1968 and the redesigned HVAC box, that the notched cover was used on the passenger side..
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Old October 8th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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power steering bracket is bent, have to find a new one. But it's coming together.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 02:56 PM
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FYI there are 3 spacers associated w the PS brackets. If your missing 1 or all of these the pulley will be angled relative to the other pulleys. There is a sticky that shows 2 spacers the third goes between the pump and bracket and is really just a thick washer.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 04:39 PM
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There is a spacer that goes between the bracket and the block where it bolts just above the pan rail on the side of the block. If that is missing you will NEVER get the pulley aligned.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 05:51 PM
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also leave the stock motor mount brkts on the frame. get engine mount #2261.
Will drop right in. Bolt right to the T-400 as it sits now.
Thornton exhaust manifolds should bolt right in. 455 headers go right in also.
you have to take the oil filter adapter off, install header. may have to trim a little off the lower control arm mount. install drivers side with starter removed.
also may need to trim lower control arm mount. Better to use mini starter.
You will need a later radiator with the in and out to match the 455 water pump.
I measure the biggest opening you can make. The rad should be 19 inch tall and I believe 28 wide. I used a cross flow, but get what you can. Cross flow or down flow will work. Shop around you will find prices all over. I would use electric fans, set up with key on, fans on, on fan relays.
If you go with after market A/C it should have brkts for mounting to engine.
Column shift or floor shift?
Any question, PM me. I've done a couple.

Gene
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:07 AM
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64 core supports are one year only. I discovered that 64-65 GTO's are the same. I ordered an Aluminum radiator from Champion, then installed Flex-lite dual electric fans. Do not have it running yet but I have no doubt it will keep the motor cool-currently a 67 400E is in the car.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by therobski View Post
64 core supports are one year only.
Every Cutlass core support from 1964-1972 is one-year-only.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:19 AM
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Joe, that is something that I was not aware of! If I could do it all over again on the 64 build I would have searched for a 65-it will hold a larger radiator and should still bolt in correct?
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by therobski View Post
Joe, that is something that I was not aware of! If I could do it all over again on the 64 build I would have searched for a 65-it will hold a larger radiator and should still bolt in correct?
I'm not sure of your exact question. A 65 core support won't work with a 64 front end. It was designed for a larger radiator, as the 400 was used in the 442 that year.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:32 AM
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Interesting, for a little more clarification my 64 core support was rotted and I found a good one in Austin to replace it with. What I was thinking was if I could do it all over again I would have found a 65 and installed it. But after what your saying is, I would have been in for surprise if it does not fit in a 64. That's good to know thanks.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 10:21 AM
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The 65 V8 support is different from a 65 V6. Supports are year specific and sometimes engine specific.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by guy90025 View Post
Going with Lunati Voodoo 256/262 cam.
Originally Posted by dc2x4drvr View Post
I almost used that cam, but didn't think it would reduce enough vacuum for power brakes.
I know this is an old post, but I wanted to put the info out there.

The Lunati Voodoo 256/262 has the specs below, and 256 advertised duration and 213 @ .050" lift would produce sufficient vacuum. My 350 has a 217 @ .050" cam and the power brakes work fine.

Lunati Voodoo 256/262
Advertised Duration (Int/Exh): 256/262
Duration @ .050 (Int/Exh): 213/219
Gross Valve Lift (Int/Exh): .485/.499
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Old October 28th, 2016, 10:18 AM
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Almost done, exhaust, wiring, and plumbing yet to go. Hope to start it very soon.<br/>
Worried the air filter will hit! I missed 64rocket's post, hope I didn't screw up. Used big block frame brackets and mounts. Haven't tried hood yet, but hoping a 2" air filter element will work. Had to go to electric pusher fans- the long water pump and the fatter radiator didn't let much room.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 01:54 PM
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Looks good can you run a drop base air cleaner for clearance?
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Old October 28th, 2016, 03:48 PM
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that is a drop base. the Moroso was one of the lowest ones I could find, plus, I already had one I could use. I think its 1 1/4" drop base. I was going to have a different lid with a repro decal of some kind, but I kind of like this matching the engine color.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 04:02 PM
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Gene thanks for the info.! I missed reading this some how. I went with the Thorton repro exhaust manifolds I bought used from a member in great shape. Stock radiator core is 15 x 25, and you really can't go much bigger. I considered a crossflow, but I knew this one would fit easily. Its a Griffin, made to fit a GTO, 1.25" 2 row. We tried pushing the radiator forward, but still not enough room. Should have used a short water pump. Decided to Put 11" spal fans in front instead changing WP, pulleys, and brackets. BTW, its a column shift.
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Old November 4th, 2016, 06:18 PM
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Finally! 5 months...all done and ready to drive!
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Old November 4th, 2016, 07:30 PM
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Turned out great
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Old November 4th, 2016, 07:56 PM
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Looks great.W hat type of plug wire keepers are you using? I like the way they are low and out of site.
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Old November 4th, 2016, 09:55 PM
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I'm also curious as to what brand of keepers you are using on the spark plug wires. Looks very, very neat and even.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 06:06 AM
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I really like the engine bay too, everything is neat, organized and clean. Looks nice. I hope your air cleaner fits under the hood, like you I think the matching color on the Moroso lid looks good. Just picking and not trying to offend, but if you are OCD like me maybe you can bend the fuel line a little to make it parallel with the valve cover.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 07:13 AM
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TK-65 thanks for the clarification regarding those core supports. When I was searching for another core support I almost started looking for a 65 for the extra depth, allowing for a larger radiator. But found a nice 64 in Austin and put a 64-65 Champion GTO radiator in. GUY90025 car turned out very nice.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the props! That really means a lot, thank you.
I have to say that I agree, it really does look pretty great. I had some different ideas going in, some things I didn't know what we were going to do, but I am surprised how much I like the finished product. You know, its a bit of an emotional roller coaster when issues pop up and you have to address problems before you can go forward. One step forward, 2 back sometimes. Great feeling to be done! Still have some little things to do. Didn't paint any of the engine compartment, just a power wash. Air cleaner now has a 2" element with a little massaging to the base to clear the electric choke. We got rid of the hood insulation and still have 7/8" to the hood, so I'll go with a 2.5" K&N element. The wire holders are made at this machine shop, I will try to get more info on them and find a pic.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 08:12 AM
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Old November 6th, 2016, 06:09 PM
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Looks great, nice, neat and clean.
I would suggest using a metal fuel filter instead of the plastic one.

Gene
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Old July 29th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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Well just about everything mechanically speaking is new or rebuilt. Still need to dial it in a bit, but it has to go to a new home soon. Looking to sell it this month. Only rust is in the trunk and a bit in rear window, everything else is solid. Hope this can go to a good home .
I will post a for-sale add soon ...
thanks everyone for their help.

-Guy
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Old August 14th, 2017, 03:04 PM
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still have the original 330 for sale?
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Old August 15th, 2017, 05:14 PM
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On my 64 Cutlass I used a 65 bottom rad. support YES I drilled out the welds to make it fit. Then I saw the bottom of the alumn. rad. so I painted the bottom black so it didn't show. the small bumper shows the bottom of rad.
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