1966 Olds 98 Convertible - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old February 14th, 2017, 03:09 PM   #1
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1966 Olds 98 Convertible

I thought I'd share with you guys the mess we've created. My 'normal' friends just can't appreciate! These pics are mostly for my own reference of what & how stuff hooked up so be kind!


1966 Olds 98 Convertible


From last spring when we helped the 425 out by putting on a new timing chain set.


Filthy 425 with rebuilt QJet, new water pump & aftermarket master cylinder & booster.


Pic for choke reference - choke itself is not original!


Pic for reference - original config we think.


Switch pitch controller after shadetree rebuild - it was pretty easy.


Pic for reference - original carb after rebuild. Primary throttle bushing leaked air - had to rebuild again.


New water pump.


Had it running great until a valve started sticking - Oh well, we got a summer out of the old girl.


Rebuilt suspension & steering linkage. New rubber & parts - repainted the arms & springs - The bracket is for a disc brake kit that didn't quite fit - currently shopping for another kit.


Dropped PS box & cleaned up best I could - pic shows new upper bushings & aftermarket master cylinder & booster that oxidized just about immediately - gonna switch that out for dual chamber unit.


Other side of bay showing new upper bushing & steering linkage parts. Blower motor & cowling taken off for cleaning & repair of inside/outside air diaphram & return spring.


Another view of another MC we tried and a bit more intensive cleaning & paint. Disassembled throttle linkage, cleaned & clear coated.


Finally got the block back from the shop - more cleaning cleaning cleaning - that tranny was filthy!


Orig exhaust manifolds after shot peening.


Rebuilt heads with hardened seats & new valves & springs.


Hi temp primer & paint


Hmm,.. original Olds Red isn't as bad as I thought it'd look!


Another view - 442.com shows this 390390 casting number as the same intake used on W30 engines.


Polishing the journals after having the crank Cryo'd - Steel crank baby!!

Last edited by Leander; February 27th, 2017 at 11:53 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 04:13 PM   #2
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Sweet, your normal friends have no taste.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 04:53 PM   #3
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There's a phrase on this forum "MAW" Might As Well. It looks like you already know about it. You say the disc brake bracket doesn't fit right. Who made that bracket, SSBC or Scarebird? Just wondering for future reference. thanks, Ken
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Old February 14th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #4
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Fantastic. AC convertible to boot. Keep us posted on the disc brake set up. Does the 66 have 14 inch wheels? Are you trying to do discs and keep them?
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Old February 14th, 2017, 05:54 PM   #5
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Kennybill, the disc brake conversion kit was made by SSBC. The bracket fit fine but the rotors they sent us didn't quite clear the the outside OD of the hub. We had the hubs lathed but then found the huge calipers kept the wheels from going on as the wheels that year weren't shaped the right way to allow for calipers. Might have gotten away with spacers but we didn't want to go that route. Also might have had luck with a '70's style 14x6-7 on 5x5 but our initial trip to the junkyard was unsuccessful. We're currently shopping for some kind of Tru-Spoke sort of wheel and a different kind of disc brake solution that has smaller calipers just to be sure. We think we've found one but I don't have their name on me. It'll be around $300 more iirc. The spoke rim we're looking at right now is http://www.ogrimsdirect.com/ProductD...x7AC%5F72%5FCL

The kit's instructions had us separate the hubs from the drums so we pounded away after soaking them in PB Blaster but still managed to damage the stud's splines on the hub. We had to go through a couple of stud interchange books and found some with .005 bigger knurl and going to have those pressed in and I'm praying they get centered correctly. If not then we'll be looking for new hubs and if so we might be able to use the opportunity to help fitment of the disc brake kit, but I'll admit I'm in uncharted territory for myself with mixing matching old GM hubs or perhaps even spindles to make it happen. Also, the combination block sent won't fit in the original spot. No big deal as we'll be going with a dual chamber MC anyway and the block sent was for a single.


m371961 -- Yeah the AC works too! It does have 14" rims and we'd like to keep them if possible with the disc brake conversion in order to keep those old hubcaps, but if we have to we'll go 15" or even 17".

Last edited by Leander; February 15th, 2017 at 03:31 PM.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 06:19 PM   #6
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The problem I have with 14 is the available 75 series tires is terrible or terribly expensive. I still have not decided what I am going to do. 70 series tires just are not tall enough. I don't want 17, just my preference.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 06:26 PM   #7
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Sounds like your will need 1971-1975 5x5 Oldsmobile 88/98 (disc brake) rims. I thought they were SSBC. I bought that same kit of the clearance rack at Summit Racing. I talked to a fellow at SSBC, he said they discontinued this kit because of hub problems. Keep us informed on your progress. Thanks, Ken
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Old February 14th, 2017, 06:46 PM   #8
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It does have 14" rims and we'd like to keep them if possible with the disc brake conversion in order to keep those old hubcaps, but if we have to we'll go 15" or even 17".
So... Why not just keep the original drum brakes...?

Welcome to ClassicOlds.

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Old February 14th, 2017, 07:08 PM   #9
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m371961 - I dunno, I think these 20's look pretty good on this 65 Eldorado though I don't like the short sidewalls. C body, right? I mean those front wells are cavernous.

MDchanic - Thanks for the welcome! We've had the drum brakes turned & new hardware & shoes put on, but my friend, the owner, is considering safety when his wife & kids will be driving the car. I must admit the drum brake setup caught me unawares when I drove it and came off the freeway and had to make a quick stop at the light. Like pulling the reins on an elephant at full run. His wife & kids are going to be used to anti lock disc brakes and not this antique setup.


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Old February 15th, 2017, 05:25 AM   #10
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Nice work, great project. Have you considered adding dual exhaust? You will notice the power improvement. Here is what the manifold looks like.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 05:27 AM   #11
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That's a cool project!

I've thought my next Olds should be a 65-69 B/C body convertible. They're awesome!
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Old February 15th, 2017, 02:56 PM   #12
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Nice work, great project. Have you considered adding dual exhaust? You will notice the power improvement. Here is what the manifold looks like.
Thanks! We have considered dual and I think we should but the owner is drawing the line someplace, and this is where he decided to draw it. He's always wanted a look as stone stock as possible and while we've deviated here and there on that, looking at the power plant under the hood, he just wants it to look plain stock. I mean, it is a land yacht anyway and may never see anything north of 4000rpm. And, even though this is really the time to do it, we've got our hands full on the 'make it work' thing with the disc brake conversion.

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Old February 17th, 2017, 04:35 AM   #13
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i am in the same boat
i swapped my MC and using the stock booster my pedal is almost to the floor but it stops real good with the drums.
i was looking at the Kanter kit because it comes with all the parts but not sure if the stock wheels will fit
here are some pics of my build
http://s30.photobucket.com/user/duni...library/Olds98

current issues AC has a leak
small oil leak between trans and engine
brakes have a low pedal
factory radio does not work
rear top cover are missing snaps
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Old February 17th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #14
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What MC and booster is that?
thanks
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Old February 17th, 2017, 09:09 PM   #15
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The Flash -- The booster came with the aforementioned disc brake kit but put the included MC, which was like one of those old huge Corvette MC's, too close to the starter relay so we picked up a different one from a local guy. It's all going back though. We're only into trial & error stage on that right now and none of what you see in our pics are what we'll end up with. Where'd you get your combination block?

Your 98 looks really great!

Our AC works
We're going with a neoprene rear main seal, did you do the rope?
We've ordered a brake kit from these guys and are waiting -> http://hobbycar.com/disc-brake-conversion-kits.html
The owner acquired this car with an aftermarket radio hanging under the dash and a huge box in the trunk with 4 woofers in it. No room for the spare so we're going to have to do something. The rear power antenna was deleted when the former owner painted the car. Maybe he wanted clean lines back there..
We too are missing some brads off the convertible cover.
Serious cudos for your work to replace the support for the battery.
Totally jealous of your turning lights.

Yours is the 3rd 98 I've seen with that style of orig intake & carb. I guess ours was manufactured later in the model year as it's different but quite original too.
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Old February 18th, 2017, 06:37 AM   #16
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Thanks so far i am having a great time working on this car but finding parts is another story.

I tried to dye the ac but i cant seam to find the leak, some people are saying its the compressor.
i would love to keep the original one but at this point the engine is not original since i changed parts on it.

The block is from inline tube its says its for this model car but it did not fit
i contacted them with no reply so i made it work.
The line that goes to the rear was a different size so i cut it and changed the fitting.
i was looking at an adapter but there was no room for it.
i added a pic maybe they might have the right one but i would call them fist before you order.

The rear main seal i used the one off the ford engine every one was talking about but until i pull the trans i don't know if its that seal or the oil pan.
The oil pan was an after market one since mine was damaged.

That's funny mine has an after market radio under the dash in a plastic box as well.
My antenna works great and goes up and down with the button next to the top button.
Its a very long mast i am just careful to lower it when i get on the hwy because it flexes so bad.

I have the original intake and carb and i had the intake powder coated but the one on my engine now is a powder coated elderbrock with a deamon carb.
I changed my mind when i was assembling the engine.
I did not want to have any issues with the carb and so far its been preforming great.

I did install duel exhaust i used that driver side jetstar manifold everyone was talking about and it worked like a charm.
The passenger was the stock one i covered the hole using the stock cross over pipe flange and just tig welded at freeze plug on to it.

hope this answers your questions
i am not an expert but if you need something let me know

please post how the brakes turn out when and some pics of the kit when you get it
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Old February 18th, 2017, 07:06 AM   #17
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This is the Kanter kit i was looking at.
But if this is the kit i can already see problems with that booster and MC not fitting right.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #18
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The rebuild has slowed to a crawl due to us all being busy.

We're still messing with the brakes, but I'd thought I'd show you where we're at.

Seems like the kits we've ordered both wanted to put the MC ports towards the driver's side though the original had a single port on the bottom of the MC. Putting the ports on the driver's side sets them right up against the wheel well.

From the links on Tru-Spoke http://hobbycar.com/disc-brake-conversion-kits.html, we ordered a different disc brake conversion kit. This setup includes rotors with integrated hubs instead of just including a bolt up rotor to be used with the existing hubs, and along with the included calipers, does clear the original 14" wheels. Hurray!~ The kit did include new dust caps for the hub/rotor, however these caps do not have the original sprung receptacle for the speedo cable. Fortunately, the original caps still fit the new rotor/hub assy. Another problem was that the Hobbycar kit's caliper brake lines didn't fit the steel line while SSBC's did. We'll have to rectify that, grr.


Low profile calipers & new rotor/hub assy. Will work with original 14" wheels. I'm really not sure whether the calipers are significantly lower profile than SSBC's or whether the rotor placement with these integrated's are simply further inset than the SSBC kit, or both, but whatever the case, it works!


The included disc brake conversion M/C and Power Brake booster from the co. associated with Tru-Spoke. Disc brake (corvette/GM truck) style MC. Ports right on top of wheel well. We're looking for a MC just like this with ports pointing the other way, if it exists. Jegs showed one but pic might have been reversed. Crossing fingers on that unit. Also, the Power Booster was a much better fit to the brake pedal, where on the prior brake kit, would have required drilling out of the existing holes of the stirrup style threaded connector.

Edit: April 3rd - The 1st PB Hobbycar sent us was not correct as the eye rod connector to the brake pedal on the firewall side was too short (I missed that as the owner was on that side hooking it up). Had Hobbycar send us another one that looked identical but had an adjustable rod on the firewall side, it seems to fit better, offering much more stroke on the brake pedal, but we haven't bled it yet. The new PB came with a short & long rod for the PB to MC connection for us to choose. It took the long rod.



Had the idea to try the prior MC we bought locally to make it work, however this MC's piston bore is significantly smaller as measured at the rear, leading us to believe that it's stopping power may be much worse. We're not likely to go this route unless forced. That's the original combo block down below all cleaned up, but we will not be using that unless we decide to use it as a divider for the front brakes and block off it's rear brake port. Not sure yet. It has one inlet & 3 outlets, you see. The kit itself includes a larger combo valve unit (with sensor) that attaches to a 90 degree bracket fitted between the MC & PB and suspends the valve just below the MC. It's not shown here as these pictures were taken while we were just checking MC fit and didn't install the combo valve. This combo valve is flippable and it's mounting bracket has extra holes to accommodate the flip, so that we may face it's intake ports towards the pass side should we find the MC we're looking for. The valve's output ports are on the front & rear of the unit, so upon flipping, none will be facing the wheel well.

Last edited by Leander; April 3rd, 2017 at 05:57 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 03:02 PM   #19
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very nice
that second MC looks like what i ended up with i had to swap it several times to get the lines on the other side and like i said my pedal is very close to the Floor
will hobby car tell you what rotors these are?
i dont want to get stuck with something i dont have a replacement for.

also i was just looking for a MC like the one you need and i came across this
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Univer...tyle,4316.html
they have a couple on there site wish i would have found this early on
has ports on both sides but the push rod is short and i dont remember if ours are short or long
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Old February 27th, 2017, 10:09 PM   #20
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Scarebird makes the most successful "kit " for disc brakes for 61-70 full size Olds .
I say "kit" because all they sell you is a specially made hub and caliper brackets . The rotors (76 T-Bird) and calipers (71 Cutlass) you buy at your local auto parts store.
Everything fits right , but you must use 15 inch or larger wheels.
See this thread here;
http://classicoldsmobile.com/forums/...elta-88-a.html
The 14 inch wheel kits I see use small rotors from a Honda or something . You would be better off staying with stock drum brakes.

Speedway Motors sells a large Corvette style master cylinder with outlets on both sides just plug the side you don't use;

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Univer...tyle,4316.html
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Old February 28th, 2017, 09:08 AM   #21
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So last night we worked on it a little bit. Gapped the piston rings and took a closer look at the TH400. You see, we have a switch pitch torque converter on this car but a few months ago before the rebuild, we sent the car down to the tranny shop to replace the front seal and filter, they also installed a new tranny mount and connector plug for the switch pitch/kickdown. But when we tore the car down, I noticed that the tranny plug had a single spade even though the connector receptacle had two wires, one for the kickdown & another for the switch pitch. So ok, the tranny tech isn't familiar with a two blade and thought this was some unnecessary ground maybe? We ordered a two blade plug and I go to replace it, but all I see when I uncork it is one wire on the inside. Damn, I get to drop the pan and fish the other wire out. Well, here's what I found.

Where's my other wire?!?


Well,.. sonofa,.. I don't know whether the guys we took the car to did this or whether it was done back in the '70's. But c'mon. Nothing on this car is easy, lol!



Just a little eye candy as we had the pistons out. Mondello forged aluminum flattops, .030 over.

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Old February 28th, 2017, 11:07 AM   #22
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Well,.. sonofa,.. I don't know whether the guys we took the car to did this or whether it was done back in the '70's. But c'mon. Nothing on this car is easy, lol!
What a pain in the rear! If your transmission shop doesn't know all the ins and outs of a TH400 you might want to go to another one, it's not like the transmission was a Slim Jim Roto Hydramatic or something else odd.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:47 PM   #23
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dang i had to replace that o-ring and plug as well, it was leaking
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 07:35 AM   #24
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Got the MC plumbed! Actually flipped then tweaked the original line to use for the front chamber to the original combo block. That's the original line from the rear brakes as well, it just made it to the rear of the new combo valve after a bit of wrestling and the addition of a needed adapter. The thing looks a heckuva lot tougher than the original MC. Only caveat is that block off nut on the driver's side front of the MC just touches the wheel well. We'll try to warp in the well a bit to have it clear. One question to those that have messed with these combo valves. As you can see, we have the driver's side front outlet on the new combo valve blocked off. We've been told that we can run the front left & right caliper off of one or both front outlets of the combo valve. Can anyone confirm? We're using one outlet and then the original combo valve as a divider, with the rear port blocked off.


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Old March 3rd, 2017, 03:44 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=Leander;996031We've been told that we can run the front left & right caliper off of one or both front outlets of the combo valve. Can anyone confirm? [/QUOTE]

I don't see any reason why that would be a problem.

Looks great!

- Eric
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 05:27 PM   #26
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I don't see any reason why that would be a problem.
Thanks yeah I found
this today explaining the thing. Guess I need to find that tool for the sensor hole
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Old April 1st, 2017, 09:11 PM   #27
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Guys, everything is still going pretty darn slow but at least we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Just a view of the TH400 with switch pitch and kickdown wires showing


This strainer guffawed the guys at the new Napa store around here. They couldn't find it in their computer. I only thought after I'd left them that maybe it's because the chassis manual shows it as a strainer and not a filter and they were looking in the wrong place,.. I dunno. We'll run with this until after the first few miles to flush any FM that might have found it's way in there while we're had it open then find a new one to replace it with.


With strainer fitted.



Finally got the heads on a few nights ago. The Block 'D' '66 Oldsmobile 425 (non-Toronado) casting number 389244. These are the '66 'B' 80cc heads casting number 389395.


1966 Olds Red baby! We applied a couple layers of primer, 3 layers of the red and another 3 of clear coat, all hi temp stuff.


More eye candy



We had some new stock length 9.60 pushrods but with the thicker head gasket and guide plates, the geometry was looking a little whack. We have some 9.70's on order.


More eye candy


More eye candy


More eye candy


More eye candy,.. used to be the carb was by far the cleanest thing on the engine lol


More eye candy


Strange the air cleaner was orange and the block was red this year on this thing,.. but that's what the references say. Oh, and we're having a debate on the timing cover. I can get it shinier than that but the idea of painting it red or black has been flipped around. I'd like to leave it bare metal or maybe hi temp clear coat it. What do you guys think? The front of this engine is going to be covered in some pretty huge gloss blacked bracketry, so it'll be calling out just a bit from underneath it all. Oh, and we were thinking of repainting the valve covers black. Getting fancy valve covers is off the list for now.

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Old April 1st, 2017, 09:21 PM   #28
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Strange the air cleaner was orange and the block was red this year on this thing,.. but that's what the references say. Oh, and we're having a debate on the timing cover. I can get it shinier than that but the idea of painting it red or black has been flipped around. I'd like to leave it bare metal or maybe hi temp clear coat it. What do you guys think?
The air cleaner was orange-red and the block was red. That's just the way it is.

Not sure why you want to not paint the timing cover or to paint it a different color, but it's your engine, and you can paint it whatever way you like best.

Looks great, overall!

- Eric
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Old April 2nd, 2017, 01:11 AM   #29
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I hope we didn't screw up on the pushrods. The stock length is 9.6". Going from the stock .017" head gasket compressed thickness to the Fel Pro's .045 compressed thickness is one thing, but adding the 5/16" guide plates are another at .3". Will those plates contribute to the factoring of the push rod length? If so, I fear we should've ordered 9.9" or 9.95" pushrods. Mondello offers them all the way up to 10".

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Old April 2nd, 2017, 04:40 AM   #30
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The air cleaner was orange-red and the block was red.

- Eric
Eric, all the 425's I had, (about 8) had the block originally a red orange, just about matching the air cleaner. The red Fusick sells for 425's does not match the weathered original paint I have found on them. Just my observation.
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Old April 2nd, 2017, 08:52 AM   #31
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Joe, I can't absolutely testify as to the exact original color of the Olds Red engines.

I know that Fusick's air cleaner color is dead-on right, because I've used it on an air cleaner that was in perfect condition on the inside, and when the paint was dry, you couldn't tell the difference between the inside and the outside color.

As for the cherry red block color, I do not specifically remember finding any protected internal spots of paint on a block to provide a good comparison, but it is true that the exposed paint that I did see was a bit more orange than cherry. I've ASSumed that Fusick matched their color off of original untouched valve covers, or something like that, but that may have been completely mistaken.

- Eric
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 10:17 AM   #32
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Pictures look great, timing cover and thermostat housing also gets engine color paint. Fuel pump also gets a dusting of engine paint. Oil filler cap is black.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 07:23 PM   #33
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More eye candy - we ordered a hi volume oil pump and our original pick up tube won't work with it. Waiting on another to come in. Otherwise things seem to be getting there slowly but surely.


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Old April 9th, 2017, 07:46 AM   #34
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can i get the brand and part number for that harmonic balancer?
thanks
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Old April 9th, 2017, 09:50 PM   #35
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Old April 11th, 2017, 09:28 AM   #36
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Well as we've got the motor put together, we sat down with a few beers and started making a list of everything else that needs to be done. To our surprise our list is up to 20 items with more stuff sure to make the list, lol.

We also discovered that our RH exhaust manifold replacement isn't correct, and the original's flange bolt holes have been drilled out in decades past. Figuring we'd need to have the exhaust re-piped anyway to make it work with the replacement manifold, dual exhaust is back on the table. Called up Thornton and are having a 65-70 Starfire set shipped. Now we'll need a new transmission linkage rod fabricated.

The saga continues,...

Edit: By the way, does anyone have a line on where to get replacement bushings and such for the original transmission linkage? Haven't found anything on the Dorman site, yet.

Last edited by Leander; April 11th, 2017 at 09:31 AM.
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Old April 11th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #37
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Great picts and updates! Just an FYI, the factory did not use gaskets on the exhaust manifolds. You will not regret the duals however resonators are necessary if you dont want a deep throaty sound.
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Old April 19th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #38
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We found we had a leak in the pass side front original brake line. There was an ancient union at the middle of the crossmember that had been baked for years by the exhaust crossover. We replaced the whole run.


New brake line


Had to use an adapter for the slightly mismatched brake lines. We'll live with it.


Driver's side setup. We fashioned some new wheel well covering. Still need some kind of wrap for that speedo cable.


Shoving it in there!


Just so you know, this is the engine placement on a '66 Olds 98 425cid when you have the motor mounts reversed. Don't ask me how I know.


From the pass side.


New master cylinder clearance. Had to take the driver's exh manifold off to get the block in. Haven't tried to fit it yet but it'll have to go on from underneath I think.
Correct placement.

Last edited by Leander; April 20th, 2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2017, 08:12 PM   #39
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Last night we cleaned up the driveshaft and plugged it in, torqued the transmission and motor mounts down, and made sure we could get the driver's side exhaust manifold for the dual exhaust in. Had to drop the steering gearbox to do it but it goes in. Hooked up the tranny linkage and we saw that we could hook the driver's side exhaust over it, but it'd probably be better to make a hoop out of that straight linkage rod going across, else the pipe will almost touch the firewall at the floorboard.

Couldn't find the stamp on top of the axle, scrubbing it with sandpaper and using a little mirror to see, but the brake line goes right over the top there too. Will try again. Hell it's probably not an anti spin differential anyway.

Gettin' a good bit of exercise crawling around under that car. I'm getting to old for this ****~ =)

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Originally Posted by Oldsmaniac View Post
Just an FYI, the factory did not use gaskets on the exhaust manifolds.
The manifold & block didn't really feel that flat together when I laid them up against one another. The heads should be flat having been to the machine shop but I don't know about our manifolds. We'll be using gaskets.

Last edited by Leander; April 20th, 2017 at 09:16 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 12:58 AM   #40
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Made some progress today..



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