Playing with a 350

Kennybill

Active member
Oct 3, 2018
153
96
28
Braceville Ohio
In my quest for Oldsmobiles, I usually passed on 350's. Even though I have a few. My Grey 1967 Oldsmobile 98 has a great running 400 E engine, C heads. I need the engine for my 1967 442 convertible. I'm downsizing my fleet, just sold my Turquoise 1967 98 and I plan to sell the Grey one next. I've been bouncing back and forth on using a 350 or the fresh 403+0.040 over. When I replace the engine in the 98, I plan on putting in a rebuilt steering box also. After thinking it over, I know I won't get any more for the car if I put the fresh 403. So back to the 350 Olds engine. This 1975 Olds 350 came in a Delta Royale convertible that was in rough shape. Engine started up/ ran good even though it's got 95 K on the speedometer. Transmission leaked fluid bad, I never moved the car. The previous owner put some cash into the car but then the trans problem. There's bills for new water pump, fuel pump, tune up, rebuild the Quadrajet. I had the engine on a stand to fit some exhaust on it. To put a "small" block into a 1965/1970 B/C body one needs the rare "center" dump drivers side exhaust manifold. These cars are rear steering box so dual exhaust are rare on the big blocked cars and non-existence for small blocks. Very few cars had the small blocks. This manifold has a crossover pipe to the passenger side the single exhaust pipe. Crossover pipe is non-existent also. Luckily I'm 40 miles away from Classic Exhaust of Geneva, Ohio. I had him make me a crossover pipe. It needed a little tweaking fitting it on. Stress relieved with the torch. I put the engine on the test stand. Oil and new filter, pulled the HEI out, primed the engine. Put the HEI and Quadrajet back on, wired it up. I pulled the plugs and ran a compression test. All were around 125 psi. I filled the carb bowl, primed it and it fired right up. Once I plugged a few vacuum leaks, it idled well. I then got to thinking, I wondered what condition is the timing chain. Hmm MAW, might as well check it out. Pulled the fuel pump, put a socket on the balancer and turned a bit. Finger in the hole, seemed a little sloppy. Start unbolting brackets. The neoprene cam timing gear is in great shape, chain is sloppy. In engines drove easily, I've found the neoprene gear in good shape before. I have a couple new Cloyes timing sets in the stash plus gaskets.
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Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
459
165
43
Melville, Saskatchewan
If you are selling the car and not planning any SBO builds outside a mild one, go 350. The early 350 blocks are good to build with Cutlassefi's stroker crank. Those mid 70's 350's were incredibly durable, the two 76 350's I picked up had near perfect cranks/bearings, good compression and intact nylon timing gears with stretched chains. They really were the most durable 350 of that era.
 

Kennybill

Active member
Oct 3, 2018
153
96
28
Braceville Ohio
Yes, I want to get it running as well as possible. The steering box is a little loose so I'll be changing that also. I like the car but it's time to let it go but on my terms. The guys that bought my other 98 want this one also. I have 3 other 350 engines, two are complete #7 headed engines. One is supposed to be "rebuilt" never ran. I use to sell complete engines for way more than what they sell for now. I have around 30 Oldsmobile engines. I figured when I retired they'd but worth more and I'd sell a few every year but the prices are lower now than back 20 years ago. I've sold a couple at a fair price. I have a guy who want a 1967 Toronado 425 complete engine. I told him a price, he offered me half. I told him, I wouldn't dig out a 350 for that price. He's called about the 425 and I told him, I'm not selling any at this time.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
459
165
43
Melville, Saskatchewan
Yah, Olds 350's used to be near free here, now all $500+. I don't know if Olds guys are hoarding them or what. The only 350 less valuable is the late 70's ones. I could have got a pair for nearly nothing a few years back.