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Mechanic wants to swap out engine for a GM crate

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Mechanic wants to swap out engine for a GM crate

Old January 8th, 2019, 07:30 AM
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Mechanic wants to swap out engine for a GM crate

My mechanic came back to me that my block is indeed cracked. It is NOT the original motor, I don't "show" the car and just like to drive it (1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible w a 4-speed). Currently has an Oldsmobile engine. I'm not worried about reseale and looking more for reliable. With GM standing behind the engine seems like a good option (realizing there are some other tweaks that need to be made). Is there a reason to NOT do this besides having what is viewed as a frankentein lol.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 08:27 AM
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My opinion, keep the car all Oldsmobile. The crate engine will be a chevy engine. Come time for you to sell I believe a 4spd vert with Olds engine will bring the most money. There is no reason to believe the Olds engine cannot be dependable and a good runner. I would choose a 350 or 455 depending on what you desire as far as gas usage and power. Lastly when I see an older Olds with the hood up and non Olds engine in there I say to myself, what a turd and keep walking.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 08:42 AM
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If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail...

I'd look for a mechanic who's repertoire includes more than just Chevy crate motors. Can you do this swap? Sure. Is this the only way to have a "reliable" car? BS. These cars were daily drivers when they were new, and they were completely reliable. Frankly, any changes from stock REDUCE reliability. The factory engineers designed and tested these cars to work. Your engine swap won't have a fraction of that. Your call.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 09:00 AM
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A couple of years ago I was struggling with the same dilemma with my '72 convertible....rebuild my Olds engine, look at a crate motor, or do an LS swap. Last year I finally decided to buy a motor from Mark Remmel (cutlassefi on this site). What he built far surpassed my expectations. It's responsive, reliable, and a straight bolt in swap. I don't think the cost would be much different than a similarly built crate. Here is the thread to the motor I bought, https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...ight=350+build
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Old January 8th, 2019, 09:05 AM
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Do you know what is involved with an Olds to Chevy engine swap? Perhaps look into that before committing as it is NOT simply removing one GM engine and dropping another GM engine in its place.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 09:29 AM
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I realise you just want to drive the car, keep the hood down and not attend any shows with your 72.
My question is...
What happened to cause your Olds block to crack ?
I would be second guessing your mechanic. The SBO was one of the best for reliability, if proper maintenance was performed.
Jus' sayin
How did that happen ?

Eric
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Old January 8th, 2019, 09:43 AM
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The tweaking ends up being pretty substantial. I think a quality mechanic can have a rebuilt Olds engine in the car running for less than the cost of a crate SBC with all the changes that need to be made.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 09:57 AM
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Just for completeness, here's the list of things that need to change. I'll assume your crate engine is a long block. If it comes with more (like intake and oil pan) then adjust the list accordingly. This assumes a heritage SBC. If you're talking about an LS, there are likely other issues.

Motor mounts and frame pads
Intake manifold (and maybe carb)
Exhaust manifolds
Exhaust pipes
Distributor
Fuel pump
Water pump
T-stat housing
All hoses and lines
All wiring (Chevy starter is on the other side, accessories are all in different places)
Starter
Oil pan
Accessory brackets
Pulleys
Radiator
PS hoses
A/C lines (if applicable)
Flywheel
Bellhousing
Clutch linkage and Z-bar
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Old January 8th, 2019, 11:45 AM
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I think Jasper still does long and short block Olds 350 engines.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 12:12 PM
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Hey guys this person (just foud via google) is literally 30 minutes from my house (so I save shipping. http://www.oldsperformanceproducts.com/

Anyone have experience w this builder?
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Old January 8th, 2019, 01:12 PM
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Andy Miller a well known Oldsmobile engine builder. I've met him at Dick Miller Norwalk Oldsmobile race. I don't think he's been there the last 5 years . I've bought some parts from him. I talked to a while back about him about doing the machine work on a 1967 E Olds.
He use to hold a record for the fastest Oldsmobile (dragster Strange Magic) I would call him up then go see him. Jmo.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 03:10 PM
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The Cutlass was the best selling GM for years, and Olds won stock classes regularly in NHRA. I agree with the above posts--put in an Olds engine. 350s are plentiful and inexpsnsive as cores. Build up need not be excessively expensive either.
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Old January 8th, 2019, 05:51 PM
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an Olds already fits
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Old January 8th, 2019, 09:09 PM
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Find another mechanic
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Old January 9th, 2019, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkalley View Post
Hey guys this person (just foud via google) is literally 30 minutes from my house (so I save shipping. http://www.oldsperformanceproducts.com/

Anyone have experience w this builder?
if you're in the Northeast there are probably at least ten qualified places to rebuild an Olds motor within 5 hours. A core Olds 350 block is $100 so don't let that effect your decision.

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Old January 9th, 2019, 08:03 AM
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As the owner of a 72 with an LS swap, I would recommend keeping an Olds engine if you're not going all out for a restomod, ie. LS swap.
While parts and crate SBC are readily available, a carbed SBC really wont be any more reliable or drivable than the Olds motor.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 09:53 AM
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You don't want to miss the opportunity when the hood is open when someone asks " Is that a Rocket engine " . Well it kinda is, it's 1975 olds 350 engine with #5 heads on it with some mods. "Oh neat" then they start to talk about what they had back in the late 60's -70's, could have, should have, lol Have fun with your car & drive it, someone will always have something to say good or bad.

Jeff
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Old January 9th, 2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffnut View Post
You don't want to miss the opportunity when the hood is open when someone asks " Is that a Rocket engine " . Well it kinda is, it's 1975 olds 350 engine with #5 heads on it with some mods. "Oh neat" then they start to talk about what they had back in the late 60's -70's, could have, should have, lol Have fun with your car & drive it, someone will always have something to say good or bad.

Jeff
I assure you, you give the public way to much credit.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 04:10 PM
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ive got a good rebuildable 72 350 olds engine here in mass if your interested...$250
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Old January 9th, 2019, 09:48 PM
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Where in Mass are you located??

Originally Posted by RetroRanger View Post
ive got a good rebuildable 72 350 olds engine here in mass if your interested...$250
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Old January 9th, 2019, 09:54 PM
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Old January 9th, 2019, 09:56 PM
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Old January 9th, 2019, 10:01 PM
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Or would this be an option worth exploring since itís near me?

https://longisland.craigslist.org/pt...773969778.html
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Old January 10th, 2019, 07:41 AM
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I don't know anything about that ebay vendor Rocket Motor Works. Perhaps others have experience, but I would definitely talk to someone who actually got an engine from them. I would steer clear of the G-block 400, however. The long stroke and tiny bore was not Oldsmobile's best motor design.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkalley View Post
Or would this be an option worth exploring since it’s near me?

https://longisland.craigslist.org/pts/d/farmingdale-completely-rebuilt-rare/6773969778.html



I paid $3500 for a stock rebuild on my 455 ten years ago. I wouldn't pay $550, much less $5500 for a 400G on a stand with no warrantee

I would recommend, in no particular order (except I've been to BTR and met Bill and seen what he can do):

http://btrperformance.com/
http://www.oldsperformanceproducts.com/aboutus.asp
Bernard Mondello (not to be confused with Mondello Twister) https://www.ebay.com/str/bernardmond...ingenterprises
https://rocketracingperformance.com/

And a host of other's that I'm forgetting

I had my 455 built by Dana Hard at Custom Automotive Machine (Camco Racing) in Weymouth, MA. I've had it 10 years, 15,000 miles, and zero problems so going with a hard core Oldsmobile vendor isn't necessarily the only way to go.

(although Dana is a pretty hard core guy too):

https://bangshift.com/general-news/s...e-weymouth-ma/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Camco...dB-TU&fref=tag

Last edited by allyolds68; January 10th, 2019 at 08:12 AM.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by allyolds68 View Post
I paid $3500 for a stock rebuild on my 455 ten years ago.
That's roughly what I have into the 455 I built earlier this year for my 67 Delta. $1100 for the heads (stock C castings, tanked, magged, exhaust seats, big valves, assembled). Short block has stock crank, turned, forged pistons, stock rods, Clevite bearings, Hastings rings, Melling HV pump, HD oil pump drive. Mark Remmel set me up with a custom cam, lifters, springs, and timing set. I used some Comp roller tip rockers that I had with the Crane 5/16" x 3/8" studs and guides. FelPro gaskets. This is going in a D88 driver, so it's nowhere near a max perf build. Runs really nice, with good idle and vacuum.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 08:49 AM
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FWIW, If Brandon says this is a good engine I'd consider it. He's one of the most honest guys I've dealt with (he doesn't talk about whether it runs in the ad so I'd ask him)

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...-69-455-a.html

Last edited by allyolds68; January 10th, 2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 10:59 AM
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I am leaning towards having Cutlassefi build me a motor from the ground up. Still thinking but thanks for all the great advice/insights here!
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Old January 11th, 2019, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Darkalley View Post
I am leaning towards having Cutlassefi build me a motor from the ground up.
You won't be sorry. Plus, we can move this thread out of the Non-Olds forum...
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Old January 11th, 2019, 03:58 PM
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There is a short block olds 350 reman on Ebay and there is a marine 455 short block too. Just saying.
I would scour craigslist as I see early 350 Olds take outs quite often for these silly LS conversions.
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