1964 - 1990 Engine Performance
The factory HP ratings of the 60's have as
much credibility as .
Keep in mind that the 70 W-30,
which had a more radical cam and better flowing heads and
intake than the W-34, was only rated at 370 HP. Mighty
suspicious until you realize that GM Corporate mandated a 10
pound per HP minimum limit on all cars except the Corvette.
The 442, to add to the conspiracy theory, had a curb weight
of about 3700 lbs. Coincidence? I think not!
In fact, it's kind of hard to believe that all the W-30
equipment only raised the HP of the base 442 engine by 5-10
HP (do you really believe that the 66 W-30 setup didn't
change the 360 HP rating of the L-69 tri-carb engine?). It
is curious that the various year W-30 HP ratings were almost
always 1/10 of the curb weight of the car for that year!
And, of course, the H/O was not subject to the GM 10 pound
per HP limit (since it was theoretically built outside of
Oldsmobile), so they were allowed to advertise 390 HP in the
Year Model CID CR HP Torque 0-60
'64 F-85 V-6 165
330 2bbl low 230
330 4bbl hi 290
'64 442 4spd 330 310 7.4
'65 442 A2 400 345 7.8
442 4spd 400 345 5.5
'68 W-30 400 4bbl 10.5 [email protected] [email protected]
442 OAI 400 4bbl 10.5 [email protected] [email protected]
442 AT 400 4bbl 10.5 [email protected] [email protected]
T. C. 400 2bbl 9.0 [email protected] [email protected]
'69 350 2bbl 9.0
350 4bbl 10.25
400 4bbl 10.25
88 455 2bbl 9.0 310
88, 98 455 4bbl 10.25 365
88 455 4bbl 10.25 390
'77 - '79 many 403 4bbl 8.5 175 310
'76 - '78 many 350 4bbl 8.5 160 275
'87 - '90 many 307 140
'85 - '87 442, H/O 307 HO 4bbl 170 245
[ Thanks to Joe Padavano, Doug Ahern, Graham Stewart, Jeff Easton
for this information ]
Similarities: Olds BB and SB
All stock Olds rocker arms, BB Olds or SB Olds, are the same size. Cams, distributors,
carbs are the same.
There is an enormous amount of interchangeability between Olds engines from
at least the 307 to the 455. Not everything will interchange, but many
The gaskets for SB Olds and BB Olds are pretty much identical.
The oil pan rails, front cover, water pump, fuel
pump, and even head gaskets are the same. The major
difference is the deck height of the block and thus the
width of the intake (thus the difference in the intake tray gasket).
1977 to 1979 403's, 350's and all year 350 Diesels used ½" head bolts; all
others used 7/16" head bolts. Thus the use of any other head requires
reaming out the holes.
BB Olds heads will physically bolt onto 7/16" bolt blocks, but there will be a
massive port mismatch between the head and the SB Olds intake (an Edelbrock
Performer RPM can apparently be ported to match, however). Besides, in
anything besides a 403 the compression ratio will drop a full point or more.
Pushrods and intake manifolds & gaskets do not interchange between
SB Olds and BB Olds.
Gasoline SB Olds crank journals and rod journals are smaller than BB Olds and
diesel SB Olds journals, and rod length is different between SB Olds and BB Olds.
SB Olds used 7/16" main bolts, except on the #5 cap (½" bolts); BB Olds used
½" bolts on all mains.
The passenger-side BB Olds Cutlass dual-exhaust manifold will not fit a SB Olds,
due to interference with the oil filter mount (caused by lower deck height;
I know 'cause I tried on my 403)
Then there is the entire category of valve train interchangeability.
That's about all that I can think of over the 25 year run of this engine, in
all its different permutations, that can't be directly interchanged. Not too
bad, for us folks wanting to build these bad boys!
[ Thanks to Bob Barry, Joe Padavano, Tom Lentz for this information ]