Rookie needs help!

Owen82

New member
Oct 24, 2021
2
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1
Toledo, Ohio
I'm new to the forum but not new to Oldsmobiles. I've grown up around my Grandpa's 1972 Vista Cruiser that he drag raced for years but I need help. I recently purchased a 1982 Cutlass and in addition a 1972 Olds 350 2bbl motor. I'm on a pretty tight budget but I want to build the motor up to at least 350 horsepower for a healthy street/strip car, especially from it's currently more of a economy cruiser with it's stock 260. I need some guidance.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
818
238
43
Melville, Saskatchewan
First off you want to rebuild the motor with new pistons. Mark Remmel(Cutlassefi) worked with Mahle to bring a 4032 forged piston with a coated 10cc dish and an ultra modern 1mm/1mm/2mm ring pack. These will boost your 72 motor from 8 to 1 to over 9 to 1 compression. You will need at minimum W31 2"/1.625" valves installed in your 7A heads. At minimum get the machine shop to open the bowls with a cutter, transition with a die grinder after is even better. You will need a cam in the 220 duration to hit that number. Mark estimated my build at maybe 340 hp and 400 ft/lbs of torque. I have those pistons with very similar #6 with 2.07"/1.56" valves with the bowls opened with a cutter. It will be 9.5 to 1 with a 218/218 .525/.525 on a 112 lsa roller cam. The other issue is the weak factory TH200 trans, upgrade to a TH350 at minimum. Personally an upgraded TH2004R is the best of both worlds but your 82 may require frame extensions. Also the factory 7.5" rear is weak, the soft open spider gears are the first to blow. I blew them up and broke a Powertrax No Slip at the track on slicks in my 88. Even if it is a factory posi, they are actually worse, tiny spider gears. The cheapest upgrade is the 4th generation Camaro/Firebird used Zexel Torsen worm gear posi and the 3.23 to 3.42 gears usually equipped in the cars. They do require a 28 spline axle upgrade but Moser axles are a good idea anyways to replace the weak factory 26 spline axles. A Detroit Trutrac is a similar new set up, if used can't be found.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
818
238
43
Melville, Saskatchewan
Here are the Pistons, pins and rings, $650 US through Mark Remmel. Mark is also working with Edelbrock to bring a new small chamber aluminum that will 50 cfm more than your heads, even with big valves and allow a mechanical fuel pump. A Performer RPM intake should also be on your list with full length headers and dual exhaust.
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Owen82

New member
Thread starter
Oct 24, 2021
2
0
1
Toledo, Ohio
Thank you this is definitely going to help me on my build. I've already started looking into aluminum intake manifolds and cam kits. I just need to find a good machinist to do the head work for me and save up some money so I can start the project. My 1982 Cutlass does have an original TH350 in it but also has the weak 7.5 rear end. I at least want to be in the 13s sec with the car but I'm realizing that Oldsmobiles are far from cheap to build especially when you're on a 18 year old's budget. So any help is welcomed even if it's just ideas, I do have a Mondello Technical Reference manual if that's worth anything to me.
 

Olds 307 and 403

Active member
Oct 4, 2018
818
238
43
Melville, Saskatchewan
Make sure your trans is a TH350C, not a TH250C. Look for a stud near the cooler lines, a dead giveaway for a TH250C. The "C" designates a lock up torque converter. It takes a unique torque converter and drops highway rpm by 300 with the converter locked up.