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NeonLX

Buick V8 (old school) Questions

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OK, of all the GM brands, I'm least familiar with Buick powertrains in a historical sense. I've always "heard" that the 300, 340 & 350 CID V8s from the 1960s-70s were "small blocks" and had their roots in the early 1960s 215 CID V8, which was at least sometimes an aluminum engine.

I also have it rolling around in my head that the modern Buick "big blocks" were intro'd for 1967 and were available in 400, 430 and 455 CID versions (1970 for the 455).

So here are my questions:

Is this summary essentially true?

Are the 1967+ big blocks related at all to the previous nail-head V8s? How about the small blocks?

Did the early Olds F85/Cutlass come with the Buick 215 V8?

Were the small- and big-block engines completely distinct? (The Olds big block 400-425-455 engines were essentially tall deck versions of the 260-307-330-350-403 small block, IIRC.)

Yes, I am a complete geek. Have been since Eisenhower was president.

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>>"...300, 340 & 350 CID V8s from the 1960s-70s were "small blocks" and had their roots in the early 1960s 215 CID V8"<<

True. Tho a new casting, the replacement iron-block 300 retained a number of dimensions of the 215. 215 was always an aluminum block.

>>"I also have it rolling around in my head that the modern Buick "big blocks" were intro'd for 1967 and were available in 400, 430 and 455 CID versions (1970 for the 455). Is this summary essentially true?"<<

True.

>>"Are the 1967+ big blocks related at all to the previous nail-head V8s? How about the small blocks?"<<

No and no. The 'nailheads' were vertical valve engines, the big & small blocks were angled-valve. No carryover.

>>"Did the early Olds F85/Cutlass come with the Buick 215 V8?"<<

True, for the same years Buick offered it: '61-63. Also available but rarely ordered in the Tempest / LeMans's for the same years. Buick sold the tooling for the 215 in '64.

>>"Were the small- and big-block engines completely distinct?"<<

Yes. See below

(The Olds big block 400-425-455 engines were essentially tall deck versions of the 260-307-330-350-403 small block, IIRC.)"<<[/i]

Incorrect; they do not share major components and the blocks themselves are different sizes (beyond even the low- / tall-deck aspect). They are completely distinct as you guessed above.

If being interested in these sorts of things makes one a 'geek', I must be your King.

Edited by balthazar
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Cool, thanks for the answers. There is so much misinfo out there about these historical engines. I have a book on American V8 engines by Peter Sessler and I've noticed some inaccuracies in it. I wanted to get the skinny on the Buick engines from a reliable (preferably "geeky" :) ) source.

Interesting about the Olds small & big V8s. For some reason, I'd always thought they were the same basic engine, with added deck height for the larger, stroker engines (like the B & RB Mopar engines).

That '59 Buick in your sig picture is enough to make a grown man weep. :)

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Yep- Delta-Wing = sweetness.

I want to make a clarification from my above post. I glossed over that you stated : >>"The Olds big block 400-425-455"<<. I answered as if you had asked about Buick small vs. big blocks (which is what you WERE asking, right?). I BELIEVE Olds worked the same way- but I've never looked into Olds' engine story. But the Buick small- & big blocks share very little; its not merely a short/tall deck situation.

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Yeah, I had asked about the Buick engines, then my ADHD took me off track into Olds engines. :)

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