Upgrading a Batten Headed 455 originally built by Joe Mondello 20+ years ago - Page 3 - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old July 1st, 2018, 05:52 AM   #81  
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You donít need oiling mods at your power level, even with a small shot of nitrous. The main problem is the crank. Theyíre cross drilled and move like spaghetti. Try a new Eagle crank and youíll see what I mean.
But get a new HV oil pump, they now come with a pink spring. Go thru it, file all the surfaces then reassemble it with the new spring. Youíll be good at that point.
However if you are going to do more than a small shot or any real amount of boost, then youíll need to make bottom end mods anyway as well.
Iím trying to help you but for some reason there are others on here that are steering you in another direction. Thatís fine, go with their advice if you so choose. I understand, no problem.

Last edited by cutlassefi; July 1st, 2018 at 05:55 AM.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 07:07 AM   #82  
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I will go on record saying............do what Travoto or Milan would do, the results speak for themselves.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 08:22 AM   #83  
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I will go on record saying............do what Travoto or Milan would do, the results speak for themselves.
Yeah do what they say, just donít do what Vortecpro says.😎
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Old July 1st, 2018, 08:35 AM   #84  
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Yeah do what they say, just don’t do what Vortecpro says.��
I should put a production Olds 455 into my stock 10 sec Buick GS 455, would be interesting, of course I'd probably get banned from rubbing in the results of the test. Of course I'd have to get over the idea of having a 4.125 bore under the hood. Might be better to build a 400, production heads would be better suited for this combination.

Last edited by VORTECPRO; July 1st, 2018 at 06:36 PM.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 08:41 AM   #85  
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I'm not steering anyone in any direction just offering up other references.
If it was my build I would run the heads as is if they check out as in no issues with parts machining and assembly.
New aftermarket rods and a quality balancer you are already doing.
pistons and rings run what you have or upgrade but I would check piston to wall clearance
just to be on the safe side if using the old pistons.
What is the weight of the old pistons?
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Old July 1st, 2018, 07:00 PM   #86  
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Milan and the machine shop he uses will step drill the block oiling system. Part of it requires going through a #5 main stud hole and installing a time sert afterwards. It works very well, no restrictors required.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 08:51 PM   #87  
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Thank you all for your opinions and thoughts, and please cut out the arguing and picking on each other. It is unbecoming of what should be a friendly, helpful forum and it's members.


I have been mining the real olds power website for info, but I can't find where Milan's step oiling mods are detailed anywhere. If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated, as I am trying to learn as many different ways as possible to keep the oiling system alive. I am calling Melling tomorrow to order a Pink/purple spring for our High volume pump as well.

Here is the deal, I used restrictors in 3 other Olds engines before, and I had a 455 that had 25psi of hot oil pressure at idle, which went up to 70psi at 6,000 rpm, where I shifted it. I beat on it hard and drove it for 80,000 miles and never had a problem until it threw the water pump belt (because the water pump locked up) and sent the engine into overheating and embrittled and broke a valve spring, dropping the valve... the rest is history... It had TRW forged pistons (that didn't sieze up, in fact, they looked perfect), N crank, .0025 rods and .003 main bearing clearances with the restrictors in the block. Only had a 650 double pumper on it with a Torker intake, and I ran 12.7's with it in a 4200 lb car (without me in it)..... I used to get 14-15mpg in that car with a 400 trans, a Breakaway converter, and 3.42 gears.

Just saying this isn't my first rodeo, but, it will be my first time to hopefully have a very healthy bull to ride!!!


I am definitely open to changing what I have done in the past for oil control and bearing clearances, as more horsepower and strain will require changes to what I have done in the past.

The rev limiter will be set at 6200 for this new build.

Isn't it generally accepted that if I can internally balance the crank, it will keep it from flexing nearly as much?

I am thinking about a 200hp shot of nitrous as a max number, as I would like to see the car get into the 10's before my Dad is gone....



I bought a Childs and Albert Piston Ring filing tool, and a machined aluminum sleeve-adjustable piston installation sleeve for a 4.185 bore (works so much nicer than the old ratcheting-type steel sheetmetal ring squeezer)

I am sending the driver's side header back to American Racing Headers tomorrow, as they are trying to make this header fit the custom Batten flange in the tight early A-body chassis for us..... either way, it looks like we are going to have to relocate the steering shaft to get it up and away from the #7 cylinder. More to come on that later though. American Racing is an awesome group of people and I highly recommend their products, Nick has been very helpful and accommodating to help us out when he really doesn't have to.

Last edited by Battenrunner; July 1st, 2018 at 09:21 PM.
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Old July 2nd, 2018, 09:13 AM   #88  
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I don't think the stepped oiling system is a must have as most don't use it.
I just posted it so that you can see what others have done.
Bill's method is the most straight forward from what I have read so far.
You can buy a blueprinted oil pump or blueprint your own as you know.
There is a thread on this topic on ROP as a member just went through the process.

Last edited by Bernhard; July 2nd, 2018 at 09:17 AM.
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 06:15 PM   #89  
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Just a quick update for those following....

I will get some pics as things move forward on the build if others are interested, please let me know.


I received our Childs and Albert piston ring filer a few weeks ago and went to town on the rings this last Saturday!

The original engine blueprint sheet was not accurate, and I am very thankful that we decided to open this engine up for so many different reasons, and the ring gaps were definitely another great reason.

I like to set the 2nd rings a little wider than the top ring, to keep the top ring from unloading and making the weaker 2nd ring act as the "compression ring".

On this engine with a 4.185 bore, I found top ring gaps that ranged from as small as .014 to as large as .020. Every second ring was smaller than each top ring it was matched to, so, you guessed it, the second ring on the piston with the .014 top ring had only .012 gap!

Because this engine may one day get some boost or a shot of nitrous, I decided I had to open up the gaps some. Building performance engines in the past has shown me that you can really kill performance with the rings being too tight, but, you usually don't see much negative effect with a looser ring gap (it doesn't even cause much blow-by like many would have you believe).

I went with the following:

a .006 top ring gap per inch = 4.185 x's .006 = .025 top ring gap

.0065 2nd ring gap per inch = 4.185 x's .0068 = .028 2nd ring gap

We filed each ring correctly, deburred each time it was test-fitted for gap, then final stoned and deburred all over before being called complete. I fit the rings back onto each piston for now, before balancing. I may check each piston for weight variance and see if they have to be machined for weight matching at all or not when they get balanced with the rotating assembly.



Next, to remove the terrible staining on the cylinder walls that the sticky gasket shellac had caused, we worked and worked on wiping the cylinders with brake parts cleaner to remove everything but the color staining and super thin layer on the cylinders. This left the cylinder walls with a weird "glaze" texture where you could feel the difference between stain and clean iron.

I had purchased a 4.25 flex hone in 320 grit, so with the cylinders wet with marvel mystery oil, and the flex hone chucked into our 3/8 corded drill, I went at it with a motion and rotational speed up and down that matched the original cross-hatch. The 320 grit made a great finish on the bores, and wasn't too rough but quickly cleaned the stains and discoloration of the ugly cylinders and will allow the plasma moly rings to seat well and quickly.

The marvel mystery oil left the ball stones clean and floated the grit and grime away, and the cylinders came out great! I know it is not honing oil, but for a quick flex hone job, it worked great.



On another note, we received some awesome new parts for the engine recently that I am very excited about. We bought a brand new ATI External Damper, brand new BTR timing chain set (cast), and the BTR billet pointer, all from a great member on here (75 W-30).


Next steps coming up are:

1. Receiving the new Hydraulic Roller cam with +.600 valve lift
2. Picking up the newly re-ground crankshaft from Mile High Crankshaft with corrected clearances
3. Mock up the crank, double check clearances on bearing surfaces, check crank to verify for thrust clearance
4. Mock up one rod and piston with clay on the crown or the heads of the valves, loosely bolt up one cylinder head with checking springs on one cylinder, install new cam and one lifter set and carefully rotate it through one rotation while making sure it doesn't bind up (leaving head loose for first rotation will keep from hurting anything if it does bind up and the valves do hit the piston crown)
5. once it is verified that we have enough piston to valve clearance or not, we will move forward with having the pistons fly-cut for valve clearance, or hopefully no modifications required...
6. After the pistons are fly-cut, or not, we will have the rotating assembly balanced
8. Have block double jet-washed and have new durabond cam bearings installed.
9. Install new freeze plugs and correct oiling plugs into block
10. Paint block
11. Assembly

Last edited by Battenrunner; July 23rd, 2018 at 06:44 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2018, 05:29 AM   #90  
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Here's what Milan posted on ROP regarding the stepped oiling system; never saw your post earlier...

1. To and from the oil filter adapter drill to 5/8
2. Connecting passage to the pass. oil galley 9/16 , which will include a Time -Cert to replace the rear main bearing threads.
3. Drill to 1/2 the pass. side oil galley
4. Drill to 3/8 to the main saddle
5. About .375 shim in a HV pump {roughly 80psi cold)
6. That will make a fully stepped oiling system and eliminate surging and turbulence.
7. Normal driving my 480 is 70psi max and 30 @ idle , after a good pounding 60psi max , 20 @ idle
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Old August 1st, 2018, 11:25 AM   #91  
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Old August 1st, 2018, 08:50 PM   #92  
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Thanks for the step oiling mods.... very interesting.... might have to consider this.

Currently waiting on the new cam to arrive and crank which is being turned, hopefully done by Friday.
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Old August 2nd, 2018, 06:34 AM   #93  
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Thanks for the step oiling mods.... very interesting.... might have to consider this.

Currently waiting on the new cam to arrive and crank which is being turned, hopefully done by Friday.

I would be curious to know if the crank gets done by Friday, also let us know on the sizing.

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Old August 2nd, 2018, 09:24 PM   #94  
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yeah, I hope it gets done..... I will share the sizes when I get it all measured up.....fingers crossed
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Old August 3rd, 2018, 09:12 PM   #95  
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We got the custom ordered SADI cam today from CutlassEFI, ground by Howards cams, 235/243 with .640/.640 lift, 112 lobe separation. Looks great and can't wait to see how it runs


We didn't get the crank back yet, so hopefully we will see it soon next week.
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Old August 9th, 2018, 06:04 PM   #96  
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Have you got your crank back from Mile High Crankshaft?
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Old August 9th, 2018, 08:21 PM   #97  
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I have been out of town all week, just got home tonight... I called Dave at Mile High Crankshaft this afternoon, on the way home, and he said it would be ready to pick up tomorrow mid-morning, as he only had to polish it, and it has already been ground.

Last edited by Battenrunner; August 9th, 2018 at 08:24 PM.
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