Vintage Oldsmobiles Curved Dash, Limited Touring, Models 40, 53, 66; Series 60, 70, 90

1953 98 fixes

Old December 16th, 2016, 03:05 PM
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The car is in hibernation for the winter months.

Today, I scored a 1956 324 engine. This engine was running when pulled but had a problem with low compression on number one cylinder. The mechanic back in the day diagnosed the problem as a burnt valve. It was pulled and replaced along with the tranny because their were issues with the transmission also.







I don't have any plans for it yet ... but I am mulling over the idea of maybe rebuilding this 324 engine while running my 303 next summer ... then swapping the engines in the fall. No decision has been made ... just thinking of possibilities.

As far as I understand it ... the 324 is a bolt in replacement for the 303 ... correct?

I have always wanted to rebuild an engine. This would be the perfect guinea pig
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Old December 16th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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Do you know what year car the 324 came out of (they are all good some better than others).? Check the head and block numbers. You will need to know this if you buy a rebuild kit... Tedd
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Old December 16th, 2016, 04:43 PM
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The hole on the pass side head where the ground strap goes.. I have that and one on the drivers side too. I know because I am using them both for ground straps and mine is a 56. I'm wondering if yours is a different year.
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Old December 16th, 2016, 05:05 PM
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It came out of a 1956 88. It may or may not be original to that car. I don't know that yet. I do not have the engine at home. I will be picking it up sometime in the future. Maybe in the spring. I bought it, but it stored in the guys loft until I retrieve it.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 10:50 AM
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all 56 olds engines are 324, the 56 used a jet away in place of the older hydramatic, I do not know if that makes a difference. but I would not use a jet away in my cars as they are much slower and hurt the gas mileage and performance. but if the old hydramatic in your 53 will bolt to the later engine you shou;d be good to go. the 324 is a great engine, mine still runs fine and has never had a maj problem ever. let us know how it goes
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Old December 17th, 2016, 12:22 PM
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I will need to investigate that further when the time comes. I believe that there is a way to modify things so that the Hydro will work with the 56 324 ... a little research is in order I think ...
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Old December 17th, 2016, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by GaWajn View Post
As far as I understand it ... the 324 is a bolt in replacement for the 303 ... correct?
30th Hollander says that '56 will exchange back to '51 if you do it with the transmission, switch the cross-member, elongate the bolt holes, and shorten the driveshaft. Note 2 which supposedly applies says:"All 572 fit std.steering jobs, but 572 P.S. fits P.S. only.(I'm not sure I understand that.)(Group 2; page 76)
(572 is Hollander's code for '54-'56 Olds exc. Jetaway)
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Old March 13th, 2017, 03:25 AM
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I have since resold the engine because I didn't want to have to deal with the fitment issues of the different transmission.

On another note, I have a new lower control arm pin (passenger side) that I ordered from Fusick ... sourced the inner and outer wheel bearings (NOS) ... borrowed an adjustable king pin reamer ... and am looking into buying a flex brake hose for the front passenger side. Looks like my duck are getting lined up pretty good.

I have a mechanic friend who is going to help me diagnose the valve train oiling problem.

And lastly ... when I look at the cars profile ... the back end seems too high. I am thinking that the new looking leaf springs might not have been an exact replacement for the original OEM ones. No matter ... I will be measuring ... and maybe installing lowering blocks to get it back to the correct ride height.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 07:41 AM
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rear springs

I see in the photo your are a little high in the back, I have replaced the rear springs in several of my oldsmobiles and they all sat high in the back, however after a time they all settled down and looked good. I would leave them for a while.
was wondering what your warmed up oil pressure is at idle?/ may be a factor. nice looking car.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 08:43 AM
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Warm oil pressure at idle is 20PSI.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 02:12 PM
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Some early first generation Oldsmobile's do take a long time for the rockers to start oiling and they never will spray oil like a Chevy. Are you sure you gave it enough time?... Tedd
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Old March 13th, 2017, 02:58 PM
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I am sure that i gave it enough time.
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Old July 19th, 2017, 11:32 AM
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Looks like Ted may have hit onto something with his last comment.

We took both valve covers off to compare the oiling that was happening on both heads.

After the engine had warmed up, Adam checked the oil pressure using a known good external gauge plumbed in the engine from a top of the engine port. It read 16 PSI at idle when warm. This is good news and tells me that I probably do not have an oil pressure issue.

After a bit ... he noticed that the oiling was about the same on both sides of the engine. It is just not spurting like on a chevy mill ... as Ted suggested. Thanks Ted!

After a bit of research, it seems that there is a modification that can be made to the oiling channel holes that can help the oiling of the top of the engine a little, but it will never be like an SBC. The engine must be totally dismantled for this so I will wait until it needs a rebuild and will look further into it at that time, if I ever really need it.

As far as my situation now ... it seems that the after -market cupped ends that fit onto the original cut push rods have a very thin hardened surface. When they wear through the hardened surface, it is very soft metal and they wear out the rest quickly. I will just keep replacing push rods as needed I guess.

Adam made a new gasket for my gas pump as it was seeping. Another problem fixed!

I then asked Adam to replace the lower control arm pin on the passenger side. He had a very hard time of it. The bushing would just not want to come out. Finally after a few choice words and a lot of heat, it came out. I asked him to replace the top pin while that side of the front end was dismantled ... so the passenger side is done.

Oil and filter changed ... lube job done ... he only has to change the brake flex hose on that passenger side and bleed them and I will have the car back at home.

I will then proceed to change my driver's side kingpin along with the front inner and outer wheel bearings.

It is a fun learning process.

Last edited by GaWajn; July 19th, 2017 at 11:35 AM.
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