Photos I took back then are provided following the text below.
If you have any specific questions not covered below, be sure to let me know.
Engine & Transmission Mounts
- Motor mounts were probably the biggest issue when dealing with the 455 vs. the original 324 engine.
- After doing some research I learned that 455 engines installed in Olds Toronado’s had a single mount in the front for the engine and two mounts on the transmission. I got a front mount from a wrecking yard and had someone fabricate a heavy-duty mount for the front and a cross-member type bar with two mounts for the transmission.
- Hopefully, the photos will help as I have provided them to others in the past and they were able to use them to fab mounts for their installations. The transmission photo isn’t that great, but I don’t have a hoist to get a better shot of it.
- My engine was originally built for drag racing and puts out over 420hp with 450 foot-pounds of torque and the motor mount setup has never failed when I floored it, occasionally. Ha!
- My Olds came with power steering that worked like a dream. Unfortunately, the stock setup had an issue as it was too big and wouldn’t allow proper placement of the engine. I obtained a manual steering setup that barely fit and had it rebuilt. A few years later I learned there are newer versions that will work just fine, but since it steers nicely on the road I didn’t want to tear everything apart to make the change.
- Yes, it takes a little muscle to get into a tight parking spot, but the gig steering wheel makes it doable.
- I don’t know how easy it is to find a setup for dual exhaust on an installation like this. I was able to find exhaust manifolds from a W-30 Olds that met my needs. The local muffler shop took it from there.
- This is a big one that I failed to do.
- This engine makes a lot of heat and it easily transmits it through the firewall to the engine compartment.
- Install heat shielding in abundance to keep the heat out of the car.
- This big block generates abundant heat.
- Originally, I had an additional row of core installed and used the stock belt-driven fan.
- This became an issue because it didn’t generate much are movement, especially when idling or in slow traffic.
- Also, when I floored it as it was very close to the radiator and would hit it sometimes.
- I ended up installing an electric push fan on one side of the radiator and a pull fan on the other. This works fine even on the hottest California days.
- Adjusting points are a drag and they aren’t the best options, so I replaced mine with an MSD Electronic ignition system.
- Be advised that all-in-one-versions are great, but since the distributor is so close to the firewall size could be an issue, so consider that.
- I replaced pretty much everything except the coil springs in the front and the leaf springs in the back.
- The original engine and automatic transmission are much heavier than a 455 with a Turbo400 or Turbo350 transmission. I don’t remember exactly, because it has been so long ago, but with the new 455/T400 combo installed the front end of the car raised quite a bit. At least 6 to 9 inches.
- I had a hot rodder friend who was a wizard at lowering front-ends by taking a blow torch to the coil springs. It worked great and rides fine, but must be done by someone with the proper experience.
- While I was doing the restomod on my Olds I rebuilt the brake system with new shoes, honed the cylinders, etc.
- After I got the card on the road I experience the typical issues associated with old braking systems. It was hard to stop and pulled to the left or right while trying to stop. No matter how I adjusted the brake shoes, driving was scary.
- I found a disk brake kit from a company that is now out of business, but their kit did the trick. I know there are similar systems out there now, but can’t recommend any particular firm due to lack of experience with them.
- After putting disk brakes on the front, it stops like a dream.
- I used the vacuum system on the system for the power brakes. They work fine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t replace the old one with a new modern system.
If we need to talk live, down the road, that’s fine too.