INTRO 84 Cutlass Engine Swap

KRE

New member
Jan 8, 2019
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Florida
Hello all. I ordered a new cutlass supreme brougham in 1984. It has been stored and rarely driven for 20 years and had 53k miles when last driven. Purchased a machined 455 block and in the process of installing it. In no hurry. I have some mechanical experience. Looking to make this a daily driver, with a mild build and a 700r4 transmission. Will be looking for advise as this build processes.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
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Melville, Saskatchewan
The 700R4 sucks in my book and is much harder to install than the 2004R. If you are going to all that work, adapter and cutting the driveshaft, go 4L80E. What trans I'd currently in your car? Also what gears on in the car? Even if you don't change the gears, change the spider gears, they explode if pushed hard. I used the Yukon spider gears after mine exploded. What heads and cam are in the 455? Sounds like a fun build.
 

KRE

New member
Jan 8, 2019
6
0
1
Florida
The 700R4 sucks in my book and is much harder to install than the 2004R. If you are going to all that work, adapter and cutting the driveshaft, go 4L80E. What trans I'd currently in your car? Also what gears on in the car? Even if you don't change the gears, change the spider gears, they explode if pushed hard. I used the Yukon spider gears after mine exploded. What heads and cam are in the 455? Sounds like a fun build.
Thanks for the input. The trans that came out was a th200. I have 3.23 gears. It's a budget build, and i'm learning as i go. I ported the j heads, have an Engle cam in .509 lift 251 dur ex .517 lift/ 262 Dur. I don't have the drive shift. I will look into the 4L80E. Also since I live in Florida, I'm looking to keep the a/c. Thanks again. Your input is valued.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
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Melville, Saskatchewan
You will need to extend the A/C brackets due to the taller deck, welding is required. What are the cam duration numbers at .050"? The J heads will be fine with the bowls, exhaust especially opened up. What size valves? What pistons and compression ratio? What else was done to the 7.5" rear?
 

Matt69olds

Member
Oct 8, 2018
88
73
18
Kokomo Indiana
The easiest trans to install would be a 200R4. It will need some upgrades to be reliable if your planning to beat on it. Make sure you use a good radiator, especially if A/C is in the plans. The exhaust can be a issue, depending on budget and desired results. For a mild driver, find some early A body dual exhaust manifolds. They are quiet, leak free, and fit with no cutting or hammering. The next option would be headers. Kooks and American Racing are the only 2 brands that I know of that fit inside the frame rail, all others have one tube that wraps around the frame. That limits turning radius, and most likely interferes with the heater box.

The 7.5 rearend probably won’t last long. If your rebuilding it, use a solid pinion spacer and shims instead of the crush sleeve. I have heard one of the issues of the 7.5 is losing pinion bearing preload. I would also consider a aluminum cover with bolts to preload on the carrier bearings. Other than that, I wouldn’t put any more money in that rearend. Buy the south side machine control arms that are luster dor sale on this forum, and find a early A body 8.5 10 bolt.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
269
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Melville, Saskatchewan
Agree with everything Matt says. I used a Ratech solid pinion spacer after I broke a no slip at the track and the stock pinion gears exploded just horsing around on the street. They took out the pinion and went through my girdle cover. I also replaced the soft factory spider gears with Yukon spider gears. They still looked brand new after a few track run with slicks. I also had heating issues with my 403 in my 88 Cutlass. Go with a big 2 core rad with a least 1" tubes. One thing guys do, I plan on doing it when the 350 goes back in the 88, is widen the support to fit the two inch wider A body rad. Also use a Robert Shaw 160 thermostat, Flowkooler water pump, it should be the long model and big A/C pulleys. Either a 7 blade fan with a heavy duty clutch and shroud or good electric fans like Dodge Stratus fans should be used. I use them, they move a lot of air and fit well. One guy I know actually got better cooling going from a 5 blade clutch fan to a 4 blade factory fan from the non A/C cars. I have one in my 70S, even without a shroud and the factory 2 core rad, it hasn't gone above 195. They recored it and used the two core again. They could have put a 3 core in it, they use the same tanks, you see there is room for the extra core. There are two good Olds guys down in Florida, Cutlassefi(Mark Remmel) who is an aftermarket EFI tech and an Olds engine builder, has brought products like the SBO 4" striker crank to the market. His personal car runs an Olds 350 with sequential multipart EFI on a 70? Cutlass with an Olds 350 and a 2004R trans. I have dealt with him, has been good to me. The other is Dr Dan(Dan Mascal). He was a GM tech for 25 years, an accomplished racer with the Olds V8, he has a 403 in the 11's in a 83 Hurst/Olds, has a 84 with a 403 in the 12's, plus another in the 9's. Both the Hurst's still run the 2004R trans. He builds the 2004R, some in the 9's with upgraded hard parts and deep pans. Your car sounds mild, probably just needs a few upgrades and it bolts right in place of TH200, it just needs the crossmember moved back but an aftermarket dual hump crossmember will make exhaust routing easier. I ran shorty headers into 2.5" dual exhaust with a compact X pipe all under the single hump crossmember. Thornton just came out with Stainless steel thick flange shorty headers for the BBO that bolt right in place of manifolds.http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338393046&icep_item=382637718323 or
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338393046&icep_item=382637724522 You can use a full size starter with them, the 307 starter would barely crank over my 403 hot. Either the heavy duty full size or an aftermarket mini starter should be used. The mini starter allows tighter exhaust pipe routing especially if you run it all under the passenger side like I did. Don't use the factory crossover exhaust, it is a terrible, restrictive system. Good luck.
 

KRE

New member
Jan 8, 2019
6
0
1
Florida
You will need to extend the A/C brackets due to the taller deck, welding is required. What are the cam duration numbers at .050"? The J heads will be fine with the bowls, exhaust especially opened up. What size valves? What pistons and compression ratio? What else was done to the 7.5" rear?
Cam at .050 in .318/205. ex .323/213. I did the heads myself. The valves are at factory specs. Federal mogul pistons with 9.5 comp ratio. The rear end is out of a regal and rebuilt with posi.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
269
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Melville, Saskatchewan
So 205/213 at .050"? That is pretty small with an actual 9.5 to 1 455. I had pinging issues on 91 octane with the generic 204/214 cam on a 9.6 to 1 Olds 350 with .065" quench. How far are your pistons in the hole? What posi did you use? What radiator are you planning on using? Just want to help you out.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
269
77
28
Melville, Saskatchewan
Is this cam a hydraulic roller? A Mondello RH-6-14?
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
269
77
28
Melville, Saskatchewan
If it is a full size balancer, it should work. Don't use the crappy undersized balancer most 307's come with.