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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    35

    Default Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    With this being a Buick site I'm afraid your answers might be a little biased, but try to be honest, and try not to answer if you don't have experiance with any of these


    Everybody knows that all of these engine families can make a lot of power, especially with the aftermarket available. But I'd like to hear honest opinions of which are the better engines in terms of durability, effective rpm range, price, power, parts, etc.

    Buick seems to be a real mule, especially the 455, but what about the other Buick engines? What about durability? From what I've read, this seems to be the 455's biggest fault. On the other hand I have an impression of Olds being very strong and durable engines. I've been told by some that Pontiacs won't hold up to a lot of abuse. Others have said that its just the rod bolts. If the small block Chevy has a weakness they've probably made a part to fix it and I just don't know about it.

    I love all the GM engines (including my 472 Cadillac), but I'd like to hear some honest discussion on their stronpoints and weaknesses.

    Rex

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    New Jersey
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    6,271

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    With this being a Buick site I'm afraid your answers might be a little biased, but try to be honest, and try not to answer if you don't have experiance with any of these


    Everybody knows that all of these engine families can make a lot of power, especially with the aftermarket available. But I'd like to hear honest opinions of which are the better engines in terms of durability, effective rpm range, price, power, parts, etc.

    Buick seems to be a real mule, especially the 455, but what about the other Buick engines? What about durability? From what I've read, this seems to be the 455's biggest fault. On the other hand I have an impression of Olds being very strong and durable engines. I've been told by some that Pontiacs won't hold up to a lot of abuse. Others have said that its just the rod bolts. If the small block Chevy has a weakness they've probably made a part to fix it and I just don't know about it.

    I love all the GM engines (including my 472 Cadillac), but I'd like to hear some honest discussion on their stronpoints and weaknesses.

    Rex
    Rex you will get a swarm of answers here in a little time, i'm sure.

    However that 472 caddy engine is a bear itself!! I had a 70 coupe de ville when I was a kid and I loved to beat my buddies up with that thing!! I think it was rated like 340 horses? I could spin the one wheel for a week!!! I can't tell you how many times I broke lifters in that thing!!! I could change the lifter in about an hour!!
    NY Chicago 64 65 Posse

    GSCA # 3741
    BPG # 1991
    494 Stroker, in the works
    2002 White Diamond Cadillac DeVille
    1965 GranSport 4 speed Coupe (Under Resto)
    1965 Skylark 462 12.21@109.8
    1964 Special Fireball V6, 3 on the tree! Sold
    1987 Grand National
    1987 SS Monte T-Tops 4sale..Gone. BACK!! Sold
    1995 Slammed Asstro
    17 in Boyd Coddingtons
    Daily Driver: retired :(
    1998 2 Door Blue Tahoe New
    Daily Runner, Garage kept Gem! :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Yeah, I hope to figure out a good match for a vehicle to put it in. Any suggestions?

    And if anyone can change the last "Buick" in the thread title to "Chevy" that would help me out, thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Albert Lea, MN
    Posts
    933

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    i hate to do this, but my suggestion is pick the car you like the best and than work with the engine. All of the 350s, 389-400s and 455's have enough go in them that they will put a smile on your face.

    Any of the small blocks can be made to have 400HP and be reliable. Any of the big blocks can have 500hp and be reliable. It will be more a function of your engine builder and the parts you use than the original design.

    Sorry for the non-answer answer, but pick the body you like.

    Matt
    84 Porshe 911 Targa
    70 GS350 Sold to Todd
    71 Skylark Custom Convertible - Sold
    63 Austin Healy 3000 gone but not forgotten

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Another non-answer...
    I think the LS series engines beat all of the old gen motors. They are durable, make unbelievable streetable power, and have fast growing aftermarket emerging.
    ________
    Iolite Usage
    Last edited by jadebird; 04-26-2011 at 01:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    PGH,PA, USA
    Posts
    4,812

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    for small block i'm a bit biased on the buick 350, but my next would be the rocket 350 by olds, that thing can be bored like a mo fo...more so if you get a diesel block and then put in a BBO crank in that bad boy
    big block caddy 500for me..then most likely once again...olds big block
    ..from my undserstanding, the pontiacs(ponchos) is not a small block nor a big block...well i'm sure its one but doesnt have the other in the motor lineup..

    and yea...screw chebby...unless its an lsx series
    and pseaking about lsx blocks.. ive came across a thread about putting ls1 heads on a ford 302/351 block with no difficulites besides custom camshaft and sheetmetal intake
    Mike aka BiZnO
    72 twinturbo Skylark

    Buick 350 Inspirational members to me..
    TuBBeD for his 551+ N/A build
    BillMah52 First to take a 350 where no man has gone before
    Justa350 First to hang a pair of turbos and cause Kaos
    GSJohnny First to max out the bore at .090 and his .075 and have engines that actually breath well N/A!
    Bobb Makley First well known to Stroke a 350
    Ken Betts, Hopefully the guy to pull-off 350 AL heads :-D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Medway, MA
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    8,621

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    I have had good luck with all GM cast-iron V8s. I ran a 350 Olds 323,000 miles without ever removing the pan or valve covers. I did replace the timing chain as preventative maintenance at 212,000 miles. I ran another Olds 350 247,000 miles without ever touching the internals. I cannot remember if I have ever owned a Pontiac (see the thread on what cars have you owned). I have owned one 350 and one small block 400 Chevy. They were both really good engines. I have owned a bunch of Buick nailvalves. All were bulletproof, but I never ran one 200,000 miles. I have also owned a bunch of Mopar and Ford-poweres cars. All of the American cast-iron V8s (except for the Ford Y-blocks) were excellent.
    John Codman
    Formerly owned Buicks:
    '33,'48, '51, '52, '54, '55 (3), '56, '60 LeSabre 3 sp stick.
    264 powered '53 Mercury
    322 then 264 powered 55 Ford
    264 powered '56 Chevy
    Presently - 431 nailhead powered '82 C-10

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
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    13,598

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    one vital piece of information you left out for a serious answer - what is your intended horsepower/tq #'s you have in mind ... or if a strip car, what ET are you looking for and what body will the motor be in ??
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
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    New Hampshire
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    3,666

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Buick engines sure do run good! I also like a good rocket engine. Never liked poncho motors. Chevies are easy to build, and cheap, but they don't make the torque of a good 90 degree block. 472/501 caddies are torque monsters, but less aftermarket support than Buicks, even. For parts availability, the rockets are your best bet. Buicks need some longevity improvements, better oiling and such, and many of the blocks were weak, especially the earlier ones. Ford never made a motor that I would be proud of.
    No, its not a chevy motor

    Steve Mario

    '71 Skylark, street/strip beater w/JW and T/A goodies!

    (JW prepped 462 short block, ported T/A Stage 1 TE heads w/stage 3 valves, 1050 Dominator, Super Scavenger headers, 3400 stall TH400, runs on pump gas, and leaves brown skid marks on the passenger seat.)

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    I grew up driving and beating the snot out of Olds 455's in 442's. Those engines were tough and durable. Almost as quick as the Buick. I believe they had a superior oiling system. They would break however. I trashed one anyway. Nice thing about 442 was the Hurst dual gate shifter. Buick made a big mistake not using this in the GS.
    Dave, Seeing Yellow
    71 GS Stage-1 Now Sold.

    Now have real 70 GSX 4 Speed QQ

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Until the divisions were merged it was always a brand war, if the other brand did it, they didn't like it by default but grudgingly did use similar things at times and id bet if they could, they all would of redesigned every part different, even the nuts and bolts.

    Why Poncho didn't run with the TTA like a racehorse as it was a Buick engine and they didn't like the limited production use as is. The 3.8 should have become standard with a turbo options for the above base cars.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Pahrump NV.
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    5,529

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Funny question for a Buick web site. Biased? Who's biased.
    Bob H.
    1953 Buick 455 TA Aluminum SE Stg2 Heads, B4B Intake, S/P Turbo 400, Gear Vendor, 3.42 Posi. A/C
    1970 GS Project Getting close.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    I have a 455 Olds in my Skylark that I can't seem to hurt. I routinely spray it with nitrous and it just keeps on ticking. I have a Buick 455 sitting in my garage ready to be rebuilt once the Olds goes but that hasn't happened yet so it may be awhile before I put the Buick engine in the Skylark. I think they use the Olds motors in boats for a reason they are pretty stout.

  14. #14
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Olds even had a specific marine head for the 455.
    Dave, Seeing Yellow
    71 GS Stage-1 Now Sold.

    Now have real 70 GSX 4 Speed QQ

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Audubon, South Jersey
    Posts
    812

    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    500 cadillac. light weight, tough, torque, 550 ft lbs stock.

  16. #16
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    Jun 2005
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    hazard,ky
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    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    lsx series if i didnt care for orignality
    66 skylark 2 dr hartop...... in progression
    83 lesabre 4 door waiting on its 350 buick
    04 sivlerado ccsb 4x4 2500 hd d max white
    12 kia sorento sx
    99 f150
    89 dodge spirit
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v237/nekkidhillbilly/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Upstate NY 13901
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    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    Quote Originally Posted by BUICKRAT View Post
    472/500 caddies are torque monsters, but less aftermarket support than Buicks, even.
    That was more true in the past, not so much now.

    Cadillac Performance Parts (Richard Potter) has everything available - including alum. heads. MTS bought the rights to the Bulldog heads & intake and has a ton of stuff too. There are others too.

    The 68-70 472's made 375hp and 500lb/ft., while the 70 500" made 400hp and 525lb/ft. All under 4500rpms too. Pretty hard to argue with that.
    Scott B.


    72 GS 455 Stage 1, 70 Skylark, 92 Roadmaster

    Acts 4:12 - Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Buick vs Olds vs Pontiac vs Buick

    And Caddy is often cheaper to build, knew a guy with a wildcat beofre I knew to much about buick and when his original 455 died, he put a caddy engine in it as it was cheaper. Don't know all the details or who he went with, probably a local cheapo shop. But to bad though it all went to crap, one night drunk off his butt he passed out flooring it down a street with parking on both sides. He destroyed about a dozen plus cars before it died on its own.

 

 

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