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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:47 pm 
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I made a topic about purchasing a new motor over a year ago from Jasper.


I'm not going with Jasper, but I'm looking for complete & running motors for sale locally.



I've finally got some money to put one in, but I need some guidance.


The objective;
Put a 350 inch engine with a 4 barrel carb and mild cam into my 1979 Cutlass Calais, spending as little money as possible.


Desired effect;
I want power and acceleration on demand, with an exhaust report announcing "I've got balls." to the Honda Civic that is now behind me.

It's completely embarrassing having to absolutely floor it in 2nd gear and still not get enough power out of the 260 inch to pass someone.





First, I need to know what kind of transmission my car (1979 Cutlass Calais, 260 oldsmobile engine) has, or how to figure out for sure by myself.

Andrewk wrote:
I think your car has the metric 200 transmission.


I think Andrewk has it, but I really need to be sure.




Second;
I need to know what make/model/year/etc 350 inch engines will drop right in to my car.

Will my current transmission be able to handle the power from the motor?

If not, what kind of transmission should I try to find that will install with the current rear end. I really don't want to start changing the entire drive train out if I can help it.




Third;
Would an aftermarket camshaft be desirable? What would I expect to see out of the motor if I put one in? I don't know what the hell to call it, and this may be completely unrelated to a camshaft, but I guess what I'm looking for is a "rougher/more aggressive" idle out of it.

The only reason I'm considering it now, it would be cheaper & make more sense to put it in before the motor went in the car.





What should I be looking for and checking when I'm buying a complete, but used motor?

Compression, mileage, etc?




Thanks again, guys, I really appreciate any & all input, as well as you taking the time to read all of that.

-Fox



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1979 Cutlass Calais - Rolling Restoration & WIP Hurst/Olds tribute (50% complete)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:10 am 
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DarkFox wrote:
........ or how to figure out for sure by myself ........

http://www.maliburacing.com/auto_tranny_id.htm

DarkFox wrote:
........ what make/model/year/etc 350 inch engines will drop right in to my car .........

Any Olds V8, from '64 to '90 (excluding 394) is a direct bolt in. That includes 260, 307, 330, 350, 400, 403, and 455.

DarkFox wrote:
........ Will my current transmission be able to handle the power ........

Depends on its condition and how hard you "beat" on it. It can easily be rebuilt to handle far higher power levels.

DarkFox wrote:
........ If not, what kind of transmission ........

TH400 (came mostly with 455s), but the drive shaft must shortened and the yoke changed. Far more "beef" (not to mention the extra weight and power consumption) than you will ever need.

DarkFox wrote:
........ aftermarket camshaft be desirable? ........

It would. Which one, would depend on a lot of factors.

DarkFox wrote:
........ What would I expect to see ........

Ideally, a loss in power below 2500 RPM, a larger gain above it, and "peak" Torque/HP at a higher RPM.

DarkFox wrote:
........a "rougher/more aggressive" idle ........

This is the part that separates the men from the boys.

The "sound" you are looking for, is associated with high performance (racing) engines for good reason. It does not all come from the cam itself, but from the combination of parts that makes the power increases. "Enough cam" in an otherwise "stock" engine, to approximate the "sound" will not show a significant power gain.

What can be gained by "talking the talk" if one is unable to "walk the walk"?

DarkFox wrote:
........The only reason I'm considering it now, it would be cheaper & make more sense to put it in before the motor went in the car ........

Cam change is a simple process.

DarkFox wrote:
........ What should I be looking for and checking when I'm buying a complete, but used motor? ........

That it "don't leak, don't smoke, and fires on all 8" cylinders. If you cannot drive the car, before it is removed, you are gambling.

DarkFox wrote:
........ Compression ........

If it can be checked accurately (engine at normal operating temperature) it would be helpful. Engine vacuum (also at normal operating temp) would be very desirable.

DarkFox wrote:
........ mileage ........

Mileage numbers can be (and, often are) deceiving.

Having said (all) that:
    1.If you are going to keep the car, I suggest you acquire a 350 ( or 403 or 455) core. From there, you can do a "proper" rebuild using the specifications that will best match your goals.
    2. Leave it like it is, until you have the resources to do it right.
    3. Put a used 403 or 455 in it, as is, until you are able to do it right.
    4. Or, you could leave the engine alone, and change the rear end ratio. You might think you added 50 HP to the engine.
One more thing to be aware of:
Considering the recent changes in our political climate, there is a real possibility that emissions testing might return. A 350 that meets '79 Federal standards for your 260 would make it a non-issue.

Norm



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:20 pm 
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I appreciate your reply, but I'm confused.



Quote:
3. Put a used 403 or 455 in it, as is, until you are able to do it right.


Would a motor of that size be a good idea? I fear that it might twist the car! Is that something to worry about if I don't reinforce it?



Quote:
Cam change is a simple process.


I know changing out the cam itself isn't too bad, but isn't getting access to the cam while the motor is in the car (you really can't?), the real pain in the ass? If it is, I would rather save on labor time by doing it before the motor goes in.



Quote:
TH400 (came mostly with 455s), but the drive shaft must shortened and the yoke changed. Far more "beef" (not to mention the extra weight and power consumption) than you will ever need.


I've found someone with a 1970 350 coupled to it's original TH350, both in good running condition. Would the TH350 be a good 'in-between' of the Metric 200 and TH400?

He's selling locally for $275. :shock:




Quote:
A 350 that meets '79 Federal standards for your 260 would make it a non-issue.


So, it would be a better idea to put a 350 in? :X



Quote:
"Enough cam" in an otherwise "stock" engine, to approximate the "sound" will not show a significant power gain.

What can be gained by "talking the talk" if one is unable to "walk the walk"?


Never mind going after the sound, I was just curious if it was directly related to the cam.

What (not too expensive) modifications would you recommend to give it some pep & growl?

I've already got a 3" exhaust w/ low-restriction cat. converter ready to go.

I was thinking along the lines of a 4bbl carb, dryer-duct cold/ram air intakes (lol), along with a mild cam.

Then again, I have absolutely zero experience building/upgrading engines, so I'm more than open to the idea thats the wrong way to go about it. :lol:



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1979 Cutlass Calais - Rolling Restoration & WIP Hurst/Olds tribute (50% complete)
Oldsmobile 350 & TH350
Custom 3" exhaust W/ Flowmaster Delta 40
K&N filters
Dual 600 watt amplifier
2x 12" MTX Jackhammer subwoofers
25" I-INC flatpanel display
Xbox 360 gaming system
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:40 pm 
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Quote:
I've found someone with a 1970 350 coupled to it's original TH350, both in good running condition. Would the TH350 be a good 'in-between' of the Metric 200 and TH400?

He's selling locally for $275


That sounds like a great deal to me.

If I were going to change cams for a street car, I'd probably keep the cam on the smaller side- You don't want to go overboard and sacrifice street manners.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:43 pm 
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88 Coupe wrote:
Depends on its [Metric 200] condition and how hard you "beat" on it. It can easily be rebuilt to handle far higher power levels.


I wasn't aware that the plain 200 was able to be built that tough.

Is there a reason you recommend the TH400 over the 200-4R? The latter came in some G-body cars, so it should fit with the correct driveshaft and crossmember, right?

Also, wouldn't the gearing of the 200-4R make the car feel quicker, compared to the gearing of a TH400?



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:27 am 
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DarkFox wrote:
........ Would a motor of that size be a good idea? ........

Depends what you want to accomplish. Externally, 260 and 455 are the same engine, except for a 1.325" difference in the deck (Crank CL to the head surface) height. Weight difference is less than 50#.

DarkFox wrote:
........ I fear that it might twist the car! ........

It is an Oldsmobile, not a Ford.

DarkFox wrote:
........ getting access to the cam while the motor is in the car ........

Not for someone who has done a few. On second thought, you should do it while it is on the stand.

DarkFox wrote:
........ 1970 350 ........

'70 was a good year. A 4 barrel carb would be icing on the cake.

DarkFox wrote:
........ Would the TH350 be a good ........

Excellent choice.

DarkFox wrote:
........ He's selling locally for $275

Good price.

DarkFox wrote:
........ it would be a better idea to put a 350 in? .......

"Better" is a subjective term.

Image

Which is better, Ginger or Mary Ann?


DarkFox wrote:
........ What (not too expensive) modifications ........

Define "not too expensive"? And, on the same subject, how much fuel mileage are you prepared to give away?

A rear gear ratio change will usually give you the most "bang for your buck".

DarkFox wrote:
........ would you recommend to give it some pep & growl? ........

Define "pep and growl".

DarkFox wrote:
........ I've already got a 3" exhaust w/ low-restriction cat .........

3" single exhaust is probably more than you will need, but the CAT will help compensate for it.

DarkFox wrote:
........ I was thinking along the lines of a 4bbl carb ........

If you are lucky, your "new" engine will already have a Q-Jet.

DarkFox wrote:
........ dryer-duct cold/ram air intakes ........

Not much help, at anything under 70 MPH.

DarkFox wrote:
........ along with a mild cam ........

Factory cam was a balance between performance and economy.

DarkFox wrote:
........ I have absolutely zero experience building/upgrading engines ........

Engine building and upgrading are different subjects, but we get your point.

DarkFox wrote:
........ I'm more than open to the idea thats the wrong way to go about it.

No way to know if you are going in the right direction, until you know your destination.

Norm


Last edited by 88 Coupe on Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:55 am 
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andrewk wrote:
........ I'd probably keep the cam on the smaller side ........

I would choose one that would compliment the rest of the combination, in order to achieve my goal.

You can always vary the Idle characteristics by changing the advance curve.

andrewk wrote:
........ I wasn't aware that the plain 200 was able to be built that tough ........

Not something you are likely to hear from a bracket "racer". http://www.drwtransmission.com/thm_200C.htm

andrewk wrote:
........ Is there a reason you recommend the TH400 over the 200-4R? ........

I did not recommend anything. I simply made him aware of the extremes. 2004R is in high demand, and usually sells for a higher price.

andrewk wrote:
........ The latter came in some G-body cars, so it should fit with the correct driveshaft and crossmember, right? ........

Yes. Mounts on all three 200s and the 350 are in the same position.

andrewk wrote:
........ Also, wouldn't the gearing of the 200-4R make the car feel quicker, compared to the gearing of a TH400?

Feel quicker? I don't know.

Both 2004R and the 700R4, were designed for use in low emissions applications. Low first to band-aid the engines lack of power and the extremely high rear end ratios. Overdrive, because at 2:1 the ring and pinion was at its structural limit.

Simply put, the ratio spreads are less than ideal for use with a "well tuned" Olds 350.

Norm



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