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'74 Delta 88 Royal, The Build Begins!

'74 Delta 88 Royal, The Build Begins!

Old November 12th, 2018, 09:39 PM
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'74 Delta 88 Royal, The Build Begins!

I bought this car in May of this year and drove it for them summer. It was a pleasure to drive and got compliments every time I took it out. The experience cruising with the top down and literally floating down the road was a different way of driving for me and made me think that this car is a keeper and now the ideas are in place for a build. I've decided to keep the stock appearance and just restore and replace it to factory condition with a few modifications. The thought of air suspension is appealing to me, larger rims with lower profile tires and some personal comforts within the interior for my liking. Otherwise the body and drive train will be stock but all replaced. There is some minor rust issues to be dealt with in the trunk, rear quarters, and the passenger rear floor pan. They're small areas and can be dealt with easily.










This thread will be pic heavy and a good way to keep track of the restoration. Feel free to offer ideas and any advise especially regarding the rag top. Totally out of my element with that with very little knowledge of the mechanical workings of it.
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Old November 13th, 2018, 07:58 AM
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Nice car. I had a '75 Delta 88 convertible back in the '90s and sold it in 2001. Remember, the car is a Delta 88 Royale, with an "E". It's not a Royal. All last-generation full-size Olds convertibles ('71 through '75) were Delta 88 Royales.

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Old November 13th, 2018, 12:54 PM
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Ya it's pretty solid and all there for a basic restoration. A lot of work went into reconfiguring my shop to accommodate such a large car and to have the clearance all the way around it to do the work. My shop was set up for the my Camaro but had to rebuild and organize it for the Olds. Refinished the floor and made room for the massive 88 to roll in. Had to put it on dollies and turn it sideways to get it to fit. It's a heavy beast to try to push around but managed to get it into place.










Looking forward to the tear down!
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Old November 13th, 2018, 12:59 PM
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But you've got lots of room around it now. It'll be nice when it can move around under its own power.

In early 2017, I got running a '78 Toronado that hadn't been started in 14 years. I took a breaker bar and turned the engine by hand to make sure it wasn't frozen before trying to engage the starter. Fortunately, it did turn just fine. You might want to do that before turning the key for the first time.
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Old December 5th, 2018, 04:36 PM
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The 455 is running fine and smooth, just has hesitation on initial throttle. I replaced the carb with a Eldelbrock 650 cfm and the hesitation went away so a new carb is in order. I was told the 455 was rebuild 5 years ago and only has 10k on the motor in that time when I bought it and they painted it black and very poorly. The paint is starting to peal and flake off. I examined the motor and found oil leaks coming from the head gaskets and valve covers which is typical if the car hasn't been driven all that much. I did a compression test and all 8 cylinders were between 140 - 148 psi which looks good to me for a low compression ratio engine. So my thoughts are I'm going to pull the motor and trans, tear down the motor and redo the gaskets and do a re paint to make it look pretty as well as clean and paint the engine compartment. I know the 455 should be a metallic blue paint but I am considering the gold for cosmetic reasons but any Olds guy would know that 455's should be blue and 350's gold. Still pondering that decision for the car will be eventually going to shows. Anyone have opinions in regards to the paint?

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Old December 5th, 2018, 09:15 PM
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Keep in mind that adding air ride and lower profile tires are going to change the ride and handling dynamics, and not likely for the better. I've put air ride on one car, will never do it again. My .02 is to go with new springs, shortened by an inch and stiffened slightly and maybe a 17" wheel. I think the ride will be a bit stiffer but certainly not objectionable, and the handling will be a bit better. I have a 1962 Lincoln that I put 20s on with wide tires, and I wish I hadn't. It looks great, but is a handful to drive. These cars were not meant for that.
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Old December 5th, 2018, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon442 View Post
Keep in mind that adding air ride and lower profile tires are going to change the ride and handling dynamics, and not likely for the better. I've put air ride on one car, will never do it again. My .02 is to go with new springs, shortened by an inch and stiffened slightly and maybe a 17" wheel. I think the ride will be a bit stiffer but certainly not objectionable, and the handling will be a bit better. I have a 1962 Lincoln that I put 20s on with wide tires, and I wish I hadn't. It looks great, but is a handful to drive. These cars were not meant for that.
I totally get that. I put lowering springs into my Camaro and ended up pulling them out after 2 months because of the harsh ride. Too stiff. I was under the impression I could get a soft set up with air. So what's the issue with air? Would you have to have it low to get a soft ride? and it also be a firmer ride when raised? I would rather save the work and cost if it's not going to be close to the ride I have now with stock springs..

I was thinking of just a 17" or 18" at most for rim size. I still want a bit of roll in the side wall for comfort but the fold over I get right now with the large tires I have, gives the car a bit of push in the steering.


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Old December 6th, 2018, 01:45 PM
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The air ride I had was on a 1994 Chevy Caprice wagon. Not that it was a great handling car to begin with, but the air ride made it worse. It did not like cornering, at least not with the bags raised to normal ride height. The rear end would come around and keep going. It never caused a crash or even a skid, but it felt very disconnected.
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Old December 6th, 2018, 02:15 PM
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That's interesting that the air ride you had in your Caprice wagon acted that way Jon. I always thought air ride was the only way to make a big car like an Olds 98 or Chevy Caprice ride smoother than stock. That's something I will keep in mind because I have considered air ride for my Olds.

As far as Olds blue vs. gold is concerned, POR 15 only makes an Olds gold. I covered my 455 with the Chrysler blue many years ago (the Ford blue might be closer to Olds blue) and it has held up extremely well. Better than the spray cans you get at the auto parts store that's for sure.

https://www.por15.com/Engine-Enamel_c_9.html

BTW, I love those rims on your Olds now. Are they the stock wheel covers?
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Old December 6th, 2018, 04:17 PM
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That's something that I've been wondering about. Obviously the air pressure is lowered in order to lower the car but I would think that logically with the lower air pressure would cause it to be soft in that manner of cornering. And exactly the opposite when at normal ride height with more pressure would cause the ride to be firmer. Maybe the shocks or the type of airbag might play a factor in this. I know from past experience that sometime parts have to be matched for them to work properly or the way your wanting them to. I'll have to do more research regarding this because there's nothing worse than dumping money into parts that don't suite your needs.

I've used the POR 15 before and it coats nice but I found the colors limiting. I've had good results with the VHT engine enamel but you have to use the primer and prep work is essential to it lasting. The other option I was thinking about trying was a 2 part epoxy industrial marine paint that can be mixed to any color. They use it on industrial generators that are exposed outside.

The wheel covers are factory Oldsmobile but whether they were available in that year for my model or not is another question. I took them apart and cleaned them and they turned out pretty nice.


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Old December 7th, 2018, 06:16 AM
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I only ever used the VHT Super Hot on exhaust manifolds. It wasn't very durable in my experience, but I didn't use a primer. I didn't know they made colors other than black.

There are folks on our site that use SEM for exact color matching. I don't know how durable it is on an engine though. I guess you have to decide whether you want a closer color match, or a more durable paint. Let us know what you decide.
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Old December 18th, 2018, 10:45 AM
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After some research I've discovered that Thortons has the exact match to the metallic blue however it's pretty pricey to get it to where I am so I've decided to go with a blue paint but go custom with the color. it may not be factory but at least it'll be close and what color I like. I pulled the motor and trans out last weekend and had very little issues. With the vast space of the engine bay, it was easily accomplished by myself.




I discovered right away that I doubt the motor had a complete rebuild. The driver side motor mount fell apart as soon as I lifted it off the K-member, the tranny has never been separated from the block and the drive shaft was difficult to remove from the tranny. The yoke was stuck in there pretty good when it should just slip right out. The universal joints need replacing for the don't move to freely, starting to bind when rotated.
I got the motor on the stand and cleaned up the shop after the mess of pulling the motor and now getting ready for the tare down. I hate working in a dirty shop.




I looked over the motor for marking and I only found some on the front of the block and a letter stamped on the head. Correct me if I'm wrong, It's a 455 F block with the low compression J heads. Nothing to special I'm thinking.


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Old December 20th, 2018, 12:05 PM
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I managed to get the 455 torn down and to my surprise this motor has gone through a complete rebuild and judging by the condition about 10K on it. So after discussing this with my engine builder I've got a plan of what's going to get done. The rebuild that was done was just a freshen up so I'm gonna take it a bit further this time round.

All new bearings, Polish the crank, bore it out 20 over with new high comp pistons. The cam still looks new as well as the timing gear and chain so I'll keep those but new cam bearings. The heads just had new guides and seals done but I'm going to give it a valve job. Reuse the lifters and push rods but I'm a fan of roller rockers so new rockers will be installed. Of course I'll hot dip everything and new paint to dress it up nice. I've ordered new Headman headers, A Quick Fuel Slayer series 750 CFM carb and a new MSD electronic distributor to top it all off.

All in it's gonna be around $3k for machining and parts. My engine builder will install the crank, cam and heads, then I'll take it from there and do the rest. The tranny will be another $1,200 for a complete rebuild.
Some pics below of the condition during the tear down.











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Old December 20th, 2018, 12:26 PM
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If you're doing a rebuild, it's risky to reuse the cam and lifters, especially since they are so inexpensive. If you are increasing static CR, the cam probably won't be a good match anyway, and you would benefit from a cam profile that more matches the internals. Doubt your engine builder would recommend reusing the cam and lifters either.

Just food for thought.
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Old December 20th, 2018, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HWYSTR455 View Post
If you're doing a rebuild, it's risky to reuse the cam and lifters, especially since they are so inexpensive. If you are increasing static CR, the cam probably won't be a good match anyway, and you would benefit from a cam profile that more matches the internals. Doubt your engine builder would recommend reusing the cam and lifters either.

Just food for thought.
And this is the reason why I post. Your reply HWYSTR455 is very valid and makes one go Hmmm!

Under normal circumstances I would agree with you. After further inspection on the cam there appears to be almost no ware on the cam and lifters. It looks pretty much new. I was told that the motor only had 10,000 km's on it when I bought it and appears to be so but was built 5 yrs ago so it's leaking everywhere. Even the engine builder agrees that it's not really needing to be replaced. I've put a 5K budget on the power train and still have the rear end to look at so if I can save $250 on the cam and lifters I might hit my mark. I wasn't expecting to have to rebuild the tranny but was happy to see that most of the parts in the motor are new and will be able to be reused. I'll ask the question though with my builder to make sure that the lift on the cam is sufficient.

The valving is not being changed just seated and aligned with new guides and seals. The pistons are going to be only a 9.5:1 compression ratio which I think is stock for a 455 with a 4 barrel carb. Maybe I should have stated that in my last post instead of the wording I used. The lower 8.5:1 pistons were stock in the 2 Barrel model. mine is a 4 barrel model. There's signs of mild piston slap due to the honing the first time so this is why I'm going to bore
to a 20 over. Not looking for big power just a cool smooth ride.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 06:56 AM
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Go with a new cam from Summit or Edelbrock along the lines of 215/225 on a 112 LSA. Its a heavy car so a bigger cam will not work well.
The factory Olds electric blue color for 68 up 455s is a nice color and you should stick with it. There are a lot of different companies that sell it. Don't paint it small block gold! If you want better handling I would go to Addco and look for front and rear sway bars. The front you need a thicker one and you don't have one in back at all. I would do that before I before I put bigger wheels and low profile tires on it. Those wheel covers are very pretty but they look better with a thin white line not the gangster pimp wide whites IMHO.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by android 211 View Post
Go with a new cam from Summit or Edelbrock along the lines of 215/225 on a 112 LSA. Its a heavy car so a bigger cam will not work well.
The factory Olds electric blue color for 68 up 455s is a nice color and you should stick with it. There are a lot of different companies that sell it. Don't paint it small block gold! If you want better handling I would go to Addco and look for front and rear sway bars. The front you need a thicker one and you don't have one in back at all. I would do that before I before I put bigger wheels and low profile tires on it. Those wheel covers are very pretty but they look better with a thin white line not the gangster pimp wide whites IMHO.
I agree with the smaller cam. I don't want race more for smoothness. If I want lumpy and fast I'll take out my Camaro. I'm going to have the lift measured and the cam inspected further before I make that call. I've gone away from the gold. It's a big block and should be blue but not to fond of the stock blue. I've found a color that is close but more appealing to my eye and can have it mixed with a high heat paint.




I also agree with the sway bars. Bigger in the front and add one to the rear. That will be done with the suspension work at a later date and *** for those wheels? The rubber is almost new so I'll be waring them down a bit first before I actually make a decision on those and the caps are cool and starting to grow on me but they are a little rough and to get them new or refurbished might be costly. Yes those big white walls will eventually disappear.

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Old December 24th, 2018, 07:30 AM
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Look at the end of the cam, it has a stamping with the part number and grind number. Look up the specs that way. Too much room for error by trying to 'measure' it.

You match a cam to the engine build, so you can't say 'big' or 'small', that means nothing in cam terms, it's all relevant. If you go too 'small', it can cause detonation, a cam can be too efficient in filling cyls, which would be the wrong choice/mismatch.

Post pics of the cam stampings, sure many here can provide experienced recommendations based on what you want. Key factors in chosing a cam is desired use of car, weight, stall converter, trans, rear gears, cubic inch, aluminum/iron heads, and static compression ratio.

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Old January 2nd, 2019, 10:25 PM
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Well the cam was removed and inspected closer along with the lifters, rockers and push rods. They are all showing signs of ware so as recommended I'm replacing it all. It'll be another $480 but I'll have piece of mind. My engine builder will match the cam to the build for optimal performance and economy.

Over the holidays I have now removed the front suspension, including upper and lower A arms, steering linkage and steering box. All new bushings are to be installed after the A arms get sand blasted and powder coated. All new steering linkage as well. It's all old and warn out. One thing I've found though is that parts for these cars aren't so readily available and not cheap especially for the convertable. New springs are 4 weeks away, some bushings are a week away so It'll take a bit to get the parts all in.

It seems also that my passenger side spindle has previously had damage either by dry or warn bearings. I've been searching for a replacement but been told I need to find a used one from a wrecker because new ones are no longer available.
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Old January 2nd, 2019, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by android 211 View Post
Go with a new cam from Summit or Edelbrock along the lines of 215/225 on a 112 LSA. Its a heavy car so a bigger cam will not work well.
The factory Olds electric blue color for 68 up 455s is a nice color and you should stick with it. There are a lot of different companies that sell it. Don't paint it small block gold! If you want better handling I would go to Addco and look for front and rear sway bars. The front you need a thicker one and you don't have one in back at all. I would do that before I before I put bigger wheels and low profile tires on it. Those wheel covers are very pretty but they look better with a thin white line not the gangster pimp wide whites IMHO.
I've searched Addco and came up with nothing available for parts for my 74 Delta 88. Any where else I might be able to go to find sway bars or other related parts?
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Old January 2nd, 2019, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiser 88 View Post
I've searched Addco and came up with nothing available for parts for my 74 Delta 88. Any where else I might be able to go to find sway bars or other related parts?
You may look at a Chevy Impala for sway bars of that year since its a b body car .I could be wrong but its worth a look. I have 17 inch wheels on my 1970 delta and the ride is little stiffer but livable. I put heavy duty springs in the rear to get a more level look all around .Good luck!
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 04:24 AM
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Just a heads up, PST claims to have a rear sway bar to fit the 70s cars, it does not. I ordered one and it showed up as an Addco that does not clear the rear shock mounts. Major surgery required. I ended up sending it back, even the front Addco they sent me required a little massaging to get it to go on.
Roy
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 08:44 PM
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I think Pontiac was getting big into their Radial Tuned Suspension about 1975. You might look at their B body from that era.
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Old January 4th, 2019, 05:49 AM
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Here's a good post on sway bars for the 71-76 B/C bodies.

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...-sway-bar.html

Apparently, the 71-75 Chevy Caprice is a good source for a rear sway bar. I haven't done this upgrade to my 71 98 yet but maybe someday.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 02:00 PM
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I found some used spindles from a wrecker out of province who was parting out a '72 delta 88. He also had the steering wheel so I got them all shipped out. the steering wheel is a bit rough but salvageable IMO. The spindles were rusted but the shafts themselves are mint so they went off to get sand blasted and powder coated as well. Just got them back and they look great.




I'm still waiting on the block to be machined and ready for assembly as well as the bushings to be pressed into the A arms but I expect them all by next week. I contemplated a new intake manifold but they are costly for the 455 so I had the stock one sandblasted and dipped to be re-used. While I'm waiting the entire engine bay has been stripped so now onto cleaning and painting the engine bay.




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Old January 24th, 2019, 02:20 PM
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That's excellent!

I bought the Edelbrock Performer for my 455 but the performance gain is probably negligible. You would have to go to a single plane intake and appropriate cam to get alot from an aftermarket intake.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
That's excellent!

I bought the Edelbrock Performer for my 455 but the performance gain is probably negligible. You would have to go to a single plane intake and appropriate cam to get alot from an aftermarket intake.
Other than the weight savings! Man does the stock cast iron one weigh a lot. LOL Ya the gain I would get for $500 is minimal. That was the deciding factor.
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Old January 26th, 2019, 03:54 AM
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BUT those aftermarket intakes look so cool. They're so clean and shiny... out of the box.
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Old January 26th, 2019, 04:23 AM
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Nice old Delta, nice spoke wheel covers and white-walls, although a bit wide for me I prefer the white stripe about an inch or so. My preference only, looks great on your Black? Delta. They are a handsome car for sure.
I think the smog 455 with J heads was 8.5:1 cr whether or not it came equipped with a 2 or 4 bbl 800cfm carb. You made the right choice sticking with the 455 blue.
Your mild restomod build or 'upspecing' (is that even a word?) is somewhat along the lines of my part done and ongoing '73 D88 project, although it's a bit harder to do from down here in Oz :/
Subscribed and following. Good luck with it, you sound like you're on the right track.

Last edited by 73aussie455; January 26th, 2019 at 05:20 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2019, 02:22 PM
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Thanks!
I agree that a new intake looks good. Have one on my Z28 and it looks awesome, but this car I think the intake would look better matching the block in paint. I'm going to put a little bling in the engine bay such as a chrome booster to brighten up the corner. IMO the engine bay is so large that the engine being all one color will give it depth.

My 88 was originally a cranberry poly or maroon. It was repainted at some point, black. I don't think black was offered in that year but I do like the dark color on these cars.
I'm raising the compression to 9.5:1, new carb, HEI distributor, headman headers and dual exhaust for any kind of performance mods. All new OEM suspension, the bushings and every moving part is 45 years old and will be replace.
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Old January 26th, 2019, 09:38 PM
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Do you have a link to the Headman Headers you are going to use? Do you think they'll fit without modifications.
I'm having trouble justifying the cost + shipping of any headers or extractors v's blanking off the R/H side manifold and dual system from there.
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Old January 27th, 2019, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 73aussie455 View Post
Do you have a link to the Headman Headers you are going to use? Do you think they'll fit without modifications.
I'm having trouble justifying the cost + shipping of any headers or extractors v's blanking off the R/H side manifold and dual system from there.
here's the link to the headers I bought below.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/h...ake/oldsmobile

there should be no modifications. They should bolt right in but I have yet to do that.
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Old January 27th, 2019, 10:36 AM
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By blanking off the collector it will disrupt the air flow out out on the passenger side. Headers would be a way better flow.
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Old January 27th, 2019, 03:47 PM
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Those are the headers I have on my 71 98. They fit perfectly with no need for modification. I bought the thermal coated headers and they still look good 8 years later.

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Old January 27th, 2019, 07:19 PM
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I have hedman headers on my Z28 and they are good headers. Very rarely do I have to torque them down and they do look good. I got them uncoated for I haven't decided yet what color I'm going with. Either silver, white or good old black. Judging by the room in the engine bay I think they can go in pretty easily after the engine is installed. I'll decide after it's in.
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