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Old August 16th, 2012, 05:26 AM   #1
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1983 Toronado

Hi. My name is Rob. I'm new here but not new to Olds. I've got a 1983 Toronado with a very tired 307. I've had the car since 1996. I'm the second owner. The original owner kept the car in Sun City, AZ until I got it. I live in northern Illinois, but the car has never seen the snow. I've got a 350 from a '76 Cutlass that I've just disassembled, with the hopes of transplanting it into the Toro. I'm not looking to make it into a racecar, I just would like it to be able to keep up with traffic. My plans are to go for a set of flat top pistons, keep the #8 heads, go with an Edelbrock performer 3711 intake and an Edelbrock 3712 cam. The cam specs are .448/.472 lift and 204/211 duration at .050. Has anyone here used that cam and intake combo on a mild 350 like that? I hope I can get some feedback being that I really don't want to change the converter if I don't have to.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Nice to see some love for the 79-85 Toro.

One of my fav's ... owned both an 81 & an 85.

Even a stock spec 350 completely changes the character of these cars.

This has got to be the 4th/5th 79-85 Toro that I know of that ended up with a 76 350.

My 81 was born a diesel.

I bought it already converted over to a stock 76 350.

Intake wise ... be careful with the height.

The Toro motors sit up higher closer to the hood vs a RWD Olds.

While the factory air cleaner on an 83 hugs the motor pretty tight ... it's pretty pathetic for breathing.

Plus it looks like it belongs on an F-Body Chitty 305 ... which is just beyond wrong for the underhood of a Toro for reasons too numerous to rant about.

I prefer the more traditional Olds air cleaner from the 79 Toro/Rivi 350 & other older Olds cars if sticking to a stock type air cleaner.

I suppose with a drop base ... an aftermarket setup could be done as well.

A set of 7A's for heads would probably be a better start.

At the very least be sure to do a lil' work on the 8's ... as you would still want to do on the 7A's anyway in all honesty.

While there is nothing really wrong with your cam choice per say (I had one in a 79 403) & it's still a way better cam than any stock 1976 cam could ever hope to be ...

It's somewhat "dated" technology these days & there are better choices to be had.

Member cutlassefi seems to be pretty good at choosing a cam when given the right info as to what you're working with & what you want out of it.

He can also do custom grinds vs an off-the-shelf cam too.

I wouldn't even consider leaving that stock torque converter in there.

The stall on those I'd imagine is quite laughable along with pretty much any smogger era non-performance application TC.

If you stick on the same track with something mild ... you'd probably want something in the 2000-2400 range (I'd go the high end myself).

Aftermarket converters tend to be of a smaller diameter & lighter.

They also tend to create more heat ... so a trans cooler would be must.

A cheap upgrade/alternative to a new TC would be a factory GM D5 converter (@ 2400 stall IIRC).

Most commonly found in the more performance oriented 200R4 cars.

Possibly rumored to be found in the boat anchor Caddy 4.1 cars as well ... to try & get those underpowered pigs moving.

One of the turbo Buick forums would probably be your best bet in finding a used D5 converter ... if that sounds like something you would want to do.

Oh ... & back to the transmission.

These struggled to stay together behind stock 307's & people who babied their cars. A healthy 350 will grenade a stock trans in no time.

I would get that rebuilt by someone that knows/does the 200R4.

A good amount of the 200R4 tech can be applied to the TH3254L.

Another upgrade would be the final drive.

Unfortunately ... the FD limits what you can do vs a RWD car in terms of ratio.

With RWD & an OD trans ... 3.73's & maybe even 4.10's would be an option.

Unfortunately ... the best FD ratio there was for these cars was a 3.36.

And they are tough to find.

Stock in the 83/4 Turbo Riviera IIRC ... with 85 Riv's going back to a 3.15.

The 3.15's aren't as tough to track down ... as they were what generally came in the 4.1 Eldo's.

Course' with a healthy 350 & FWD ...

Traction will become somewhat limited after a certain point with no real options to improve it vs some you might have with a RWD car.

But I'm sort of sick & twisted that I would rather have the option of sending a tire/tires up in smoke if I felt like it vs not enough gear ...

As long as it's not winding out at highway speeds - that I'm not a fan of.

More so on a car like a Toro

As no one expects it & when you do manage to do it ... the looks you get are beyond priceless.

If you don't want to pause & linger in a cloud of smoke ...

Lift your foot up some & mash it back down once your get going.

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Old August 17th, 2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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I actually just found a set of #5 heads that I'm going to look at tomorrow. If I get those, I'll probably just re-ring the pistons and give the bottom end some new bearings and gaskets. The cam and intake are still a go. I'm actually going to give it the retro look under the hood. I'm getting the correct blue 66-67 engine paint from Fusick and I'm trying to track down an air cleaner off of a 66-67 Toro. Even though it's not a 425, it's going to look like an old Toro under the hood. As for the trans, I work at a Caddy dealership, so one of the older techs is going to go through the trans. I had it rebuilt in 1997 before I took it to Lansing for Olds' 100th anniversary, so it has under 10k miles on it. However, I don't think it's going to like the torque of the new mill. I've also got a 455 in my garage, but that would be a little overkill for this chassis. I'm saving that for a 78-88 Cutlass project someday. That one is out of a 68 Toronado.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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Hey - My '84 Caliente gets up to highway speed in only 4 minutes...what are you guys talking about?
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Old August 17th, 2012, 07:54 AM   #5
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If I could get this thing to be as quick or quicker than my '01 Aurora 4.0, I'll be happy.
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Old August 18th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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Be interesting to see if the 66/7 Toro air cleaner would work with HEI as well as the height as well.

Make sure the #5 heads get some hardened seats.

Sounds like a nice project.

As I eluded to before ... those cars don't get enough love.

Would love to see some pics.
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Old August 18th, 2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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Sounds like a cool project. I have no technical input, but I look forward to your progress.
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