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opinions on block wanted

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  • opinions on block wanted

    I am looking for a rebuildable, and relatively unmolested, Oldsmobile motor. Ideally I'd like to find a 455 but would probably settle for a 403 if the circumstances were right. I'm not looking for anything wild, just a mild rebuild for a family ride.

    I found this on eBay and would like some opinions before I pursue it. I've got my own impressions but want general feedback from people that know more about Oldsmobiles than I do (been studying hard though).
    Attached Files
    Last edited by 68scott385; May 29, 2014, 09:12 PM.

  • #2
    For the amount of work and money that you'll put into that short block you might be better off buying one of these...... It comes with a 3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty which I don't think is bad for $3000 for the long block....... And it's a 455 at that!!!!.......
    Last edited by TC; July 25, 2012, 11:18 PM.


    • #3
      I've heard good and bad stories about remaned engines. Jasper is right up the road from here. I'd rather build it myself so I know what's inside, not mix and match to get it out the door. I've looked at what's currently listed on eBay too. Seems kinda price for not knowing condition, having to take someone's word on it. I haven't had a chance to roam the yards here yet either.


      • #4
        It was just an option, that block is pretty rough, my concern are the lifter bores, they will most likely need to be sleeved, that is if you can get the lifters out........ And whatever it came out of the engine didn't turn, thus the reason the converter is still attached to the flywheel..... which makes you wonder what other surprises you'll find.........

        I guess if money isn't an object then you might be able to save this short block, but if it was me, I'd look for something a little more cleaner and that actually spins.........


        • #5
          That was my train of thought too. I guess I just wanted to hear it from someone else. From what I've read (Bill Trovato's book), the 403 is only good for .030 over and anything (Olds) after 1975 has weak(er) main webs.
          Last edited by 68scott385; July 26, 2012, 01:07 AM.


          • #6
            if you're buying used - I'd sure feel better about getting something that is complete and has not been pulled apart - much less rust to deal with that way. Hopefully you can find a big old luxobarge in a yard that still has the hood and aircleaner in place- so the insides of the engine are still oil coated and hopefully have minimal rust.

            I know machine work isn't cheap - but I'm with you - I'd prefer to build my own and know what's there than spend the $$ for a reman'd unit.
            There's always something new to learn.


            • #7
              I sure get what you mean on the reman stuff............ but strictly financially speaking, I'd buy the reman, pull it down and build it myself.

              I'm betting it would be money ahead to not have to refresh the whole block. Just swap pistons, maybe rods, and pick your own cam. Heads could be changed at any time, and you'd have good heads to sell then too.

              I bet it would work out the cheapest in the long run. Only machine work that would really benefit would be decking the block to match the pistons.
              Last edited by STINEY; July 26, 2012, 07:21 AM.
              Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.


              • #8
                With any reman engine its source the cheapest parts possible and how fast can you do the machine work not how accurate. I recall a guy we built an engine for who had put 3 engines from Autozone in his pickup cause there was always something wrong. They replaced the bad engines for another one but he was on the hook for the R&R. He finally gave up and paid our price.

                I personally would never consider one of the weaker blocks like the 403. The cranks have material removed also and scare me for even a stock engine. As others have said, try to find a complete 455 so rust isn't an issue.
                Last edited by OldMachinist; July 26, 2012, 11:02 AM.


                • #9
                  I bet the heads that come with those Ebay 455 are junk "J" heads.
                  Good luck finding Olds engines.
                  When I worked at Jasper engines long ago I ran the blocks thru a cleaning solution and super heat cleaning and 3 out of 4 Olds blocks cracked and we threw them away for scrap so there aren't many around anymore.
                  They mainly cracked all around the lifter bores and the outside water jackets along the sides of the bores.
                  I had a 77 Indy pace car with a 403 and the crank and oil pan literally fell off the engine because it cracked so bad around the webbing around the crank.


                  • #10
                    you live in louisville. Theres a pullapart in your backyard. Id check car finder everyday until something with one came in. Go pay $140 and pull it.
                    Si vis pacem, para bellum


                    • #11
                      There's a block in your area for $200

                      " early 1970's 455 olds block , good rebuildable block , still has crank , call (502) 938-1039 "


                      Complete 403 motor for $295

                      "out of a Trans Am 502-637-2010"


                      I checked the locator, there's a handful of complete 455 cores starting at $450 + freight..


                      • #12
                        I'd hold out for a 455 - 50.00 ain't bad but that little guy sure looks like it has been sitting in the weather. May or may not be able to save the bores, probably got full of water at one point or another and I'd be worried about cracks from freezing with said water in it.

                        455's from 70's jet boats are still out there. There must have been a billion Taylor's with them, to get swapped out later for a BBC. I picked one up for 150.00 many years ago for a Panther jet.

                        I did a search for 455 olds and came up with this one for 200.00:

                        seems pretty complete - pull a head, pull the pan, have a look... They're still out there... I'd see about renting a bore-o-scope or buying one from Harbor freight to look into the cylinders if you don't feel like pulling a head.
                        Last edited by Beagle; July 27, 2012, 05:14 AM.
                        Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.


                        • #13
                          I had a jet boat engine in my car. It was a 72 model with Ka ramair heads, the engines vin and the boats matched.


                          • #14
                            main thing is it still has the plugs in, so unless the head gasket is blown there is little chance too much water got in the heads, just whichever exhaust valves are open since it has no exhaust manifold on them.


                            • #15
                              Just remember that jet boat blocks are usually containing a lot of silt that was sucked up by the jet. It is hard to remove after sitting for a long period of time and also caused a high degree of internal waterjacket rusting so be careful of the boat blocks.