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  1. 455 Olds Berkley Jet Question

    Just purchased a Tahiti with Berkley pump and no engine. Have a 455, gonna go through it and build a mildly unstock engine (different cam, mostly reliability upgrades nothing fancy). Probably gonna change pistons to arrive at 9.5-10:1 static compression. I got all the marine pieces, front cover, manifolds, risers, driveline, three point mount with the boat. What i did not get was a flywheel. Do I run an automatic style flexplate just for the starting ring? Or do i need to locate a manual trans type flywheel? My instinct and gut feeling says i need the heavier flywheel for proper idling and to dampen the engine.

    My current engine plan is:
    455 probably punched .030 to clean up block with flat top pistons
    G heads (80cc chamber) large valves
    polished and balanced rods
    balanced rotating assembly
    comp cams hydraulic cam for A impeller (most likely what it has in it will verify before cam order)+compatible springs
    through hull exhaust
    8-10 quart oil pan with trap doors for oil control
    stock intake until i can afford something better
    HEI distributor w/ MSD module w/rev limiter
    bypass thermostat kit

    I have an industrial relief valve that can be set to 10-50ish psi to provide a low pressure water supply to the engine.

    How does the bypass thermostat work? I read on a website that the big block fords can use a a standard marine thermostat with bleed holes drilled into the plate of the thermostat. Could a bypass system on the olds engine be created by placing a restrictor into a stock style bypass line and dumping this overboard? This would create a flow of water by the thermostat as it is heated from the engine. When the water heats enough to open the thermostat more would flow and bring the temperature back down. But if plumbed the traditional way of using the manifolds as preheaters would this cause really hot water to flow into the engine from the manifolds? or is this a non issue due to the continuous flow through the bypass? I dont think I should take the manifolds out of the loop because then it seems i would then introduce really cold water to the engine when the thermostat opens as there is no preheat. My worry is if there is not enough flow through the bypass, will the manifolds overheat? On a side note boats running headers have no preheat.... So i could just plump a second line from the pump through the manifolds and cool them that way and dump into the risers. Then come off the relief valve and into the front cover inlets, and off the thermostat housing with my two lines to also go to the risers and dump engine water and somewhere plumb the bypass line in there. Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

    One other thing, is there an ARP bolt number to fasten the PTO and flywheel to the crankshaft?

    Thanks,
    Eli

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    STUMP TOWN OREGON
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    6,827
    hope you plan to do the oil mods to the block so it drains back through the traps fast enough that the pump wont run dry........ otherwise your stuck at less than 5500 RPM........

    4-16-2014. 25 years old today... the fishin boat doesnt look to bad for a classic does she


    things that were are no longer as they are today...

  3. #3
    Here is a diagram of the bypass, unless your running dry or injected headers, you will need the bypass, if using a T-stat. http://www.cpperformance.com/Instruc...540-160200.pdf
    Last edited by sleekcrafter; 05-17-2007 at 08:49 PM. Reason: add link
    79 Southwind Tunnel Dragster 540ci BBC

    UMPBA 926 Gas Jet

    My Projects http://s200.photobucket.com/user/Dir...?sort=3&page=1

  4. #4
    I can't help you with the thermostat info (I don't run one in my Olds). As for the flywheel, I am running a manual type but, a friend is running a small block Chevy with a auto flexplate with no ill effects. As for the bolts you will most likely have to get them from a place that sells jet boat stuff.

    Also you should check out the forums at realoldspower.com. They even have a boats section and can steer you in the right direction on where to get parts and how to deal with the oil return problems.
    Don't concern yourself with things above your pay scale!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    STUMP TOWN OREGON
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    as far as bolts which ones are you looking for ... coupler is just if I remember right the same bolts that are used to attach a clutch.... and you want the manual flywheel..... flex plates dont always have a way to bolt on the couplers if yours attaches that way.... some pumps used a spline engagement and a flexplate would work

    4-16-2014. 25 years old today... the fishin boat doesnt look to bad for a classic does she


    things that were are no longer as they are today...

  6. #6
    Auto flex plats work fine, use a heavy duty one, they flex less when the starter engages. I've used them for 15 years with no problems. The drive shaft bolts to a PTO adapter, that gets bolted to the crank, on the Olds 1310 and 1350 are the two PTO adapter sizes, 1310 is the most common.
    79 Southwind Tunnel Dragster 540ci BBC

    UMPBA 926 Gas Jet

    My Projects http://s200.photobucket.com/user/Dir...?sort=3&page=1

  7. #7
    Don't run a thermostat or water pump in a jet boat. Gate valves or pressure reducers are probably required to prevent overpressurization and blowing gaskets. The cooling system in a jet is an unpressurized system would probably overheat if ran hard with a thermostat. The jet pump is the waterpump, the pressure line coming off the pump to the engine always has water pressure when engine is running when the boat is in the water. You can tee into this line to run the boat on the hose.

    You can get the motor out in 20 minutes, so it would not be a big deal to test the flex plate.

    Go to Mondello Performance Products http://www.mondellotwister.com for performance tips and oil system mods to prevent pumping all the oil into the valve covers and starving the motor. Cranks and rods are getting hard to find. The motor in a car would not do this as car motors are only run wide open for less than a minute. You could be wide open for 30 minutes or more in a jetboat.
    Last edited by Propster; 05-18-2007 at 01:24 PM.
    1990 Cougar 25 MTR w/twin 300 PM's

  8. I figured the standard restrictors+polish the returns in the block and heads would help the return. Had already intended on either drilling the heads for four corner returns or putting fittings in the valve covers. Dont have the vlve covers off the engine i have yet so I didnt know which was more feasible. Have been looking around the Mondello site alot. I think the bypass thermostat kit looks liek a good thing. I have seen alot of different people using those. I may just slide a stock engine (with oil mods) in it for the remainder of the summer. We'll see. Supposed to go pick it up tomorrow.

    Thanks for the link to realoldspower. It looks like a good site. I wish someone made marine parts for the 472 and 500 cubic inch caddy motors.

    This site:
    http://www.gomog.com/allmorgan/engineweights.html

    Quotes the 500 and 472 as weighing 595-625 pounds stock. This jives with everything i have read saying it is slightly heavier than a small block chevy. This puts it a bit under the big block chevy which typically tips the scales at 675 or so. According to the above table it also puts the Olds in the running at 605-620. Even taking these measurements with a lump of salt, this is compatible to the Caddy engine. My three point mount will work out back as it shares the BOP pattern on the bell housing and a front cradle mount would be easily built. A PTO adapter could easily be machined locally. That leaves the VERY EXPENSIVE proposition of custom headers

    These engines have a pretty decent following from the local airboat crowd. The turn them up pretty high through belt redrives. They dont blow up. Stock engines make a good bit of power and are fairly easily obtained here. Hopped up ones make alot of power and still dont blow up. I have not heard of any oiling system issues from the airboat guys. I may look at this route rather than a really hot Oldsmobile engine in the future. I know BBC is the preferred route, but they are $$$$$$$$ here for just cores of desirable engines. Even almost worthless engines such as 366s are fairly expensive. I am just kicking the caddy thought around, would probably be going into uncharted territory.

    Eli

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gatahiti View Post
    Just purchased a Tahiti with Berkley pump and no engine. Have a 455, gonna go through it and build a mildly unstock engine (different cam, mostly reliability upgrades nothing fancy). Probably gonna change pistons to arrive at 9.5-10:1 static compression. I got all the marine pieces, front cover, manifolds, risers, driveline, three point mount with the boat. What i did not get was a flywheel. Do I run an automatic style flexplate just for the starting ring? Or do i need to locate a manual trans type flywheel? My instinct and gut feeling says i need the heavier flywheel for proper idling and to dampen the engine.

    My current engine plan is:
    455 probably punched .030 to clean up block with flat top pistons
    G heads (80cc chamber) large valves
    polished and balanced rods
    balanced rotating assembly
    comp cams hydraulic cam for A impeller (most likely what it has in it will verify before cam order)+compatible springs
    through hull exhaust
    8-10 quart oil pan with trap doors for oil control
    stock intake until i can afford something better
    HEI distributor w/ MSD module w/rev limiter
    bypass thermostat kit

    I have an industrial relief valve that can be set to 10-50ish psi to provide a low pressure water supply to the engine.

    How does the bypass thermostat work? I read on a website that the big block fords can use a a standard marine thermostat with bleed holes drilled into the plate of the thermostat. Could a bypass system on the olds engine be created by placing a restrictor into a stock style bypass line and dumping this overboard? This would create a flow of water by the thermostat as it is heated from the engine. When the water heats enough to open the thermostat more would flow and bring the temperature back down. But if plumbed the traditional way of using the manifolds as preheaters would this cause really hot water to flow into the engine from the manifolds? or is this a non issue due to the continuous flow through the bypass? I dont think I should take the manifolds out of the loop because then it seems i would then introduce really cold water to the engine when the thermostat opens as there is no preheat. My worry is if there is not enough flow through the bypass, will the manifolds overheat? On a side note boats running headers have no preheat.... So i could just plump a second line from the pump through the manifolds and cool them that way and dump into the risers. Then come off the relief valve and into the front cover inlets, and off the thermostat housing with my two lines to also go to the risers and dump engine water and somewhere plumb the bypass line in there. Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

    One other thing, is there an ARP bolt number to fasten the PTO and flywheel to the crankshaft?

    Thanks,
    Eli
    Here is the standard cooling water set-up for a jet boat with the manifold/riser system you have.



    You can run a flex plate or a flywheel, you will see no difference in performance. I run a flex plate.

    I recommend a relief valve to dump excess water. Mine is set to open at 9 psi. Olds engines do not like much pressure in the cooling water.

    A jet pump works exactly like a water brake on a Dyno. Engine rpm is determined by the pump impeller AND the throttle position. There is a heavy load on the engine 100% of the time that the boat is on plane. The load generates a lot of heat. The rotating assy. gets very hot. If the block is cold (no thermostat), you have the makings of a grenade. Because of the temperature issues, larger clearances are required in a marine engine. Standard automotive clearances will not work in a marine application. I run a thermostat.

    An oil cooler would be a valuable add-on for your application.

    I've been running Olds engines in jet boats for the past 23 years. Learned a bunch of stuff the hard way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    STUMP TOWN OREGON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Propster View Post

    Go to Mondello Performance Products http://www.mondellotwister.com for performance tips and oil system mods to prevent pumping all the oil into the valve covers and starving the motor. Cranks and rods are getting hard to find. The motor in a car would not do this as car motors are only run wide open for less than a minute. You could be wide open for 30 minutes or more in a jetboat.


    they would even do it in a car at over 6000 in less than 30 seconds..... a 455 was my first engine rebuild after I helped one go up in flames of glory as a sophmore in highschool... after that I had to do the 360 FE ford in my dads truck for the same reason..... to many revs for to long and loss of oil pressure... not good...

    4-16-2014. 25 years old today... the fishin boat doesnt look to bad for a classic does she


    things that were are no longer as they are today...

  11. #11
    I got all my Olds parts and help from Mondello. This was before I knew about ROP. There are many good sources for Olds parts and help. When you get help make sure it's from someone with REAL actual marine application experience. Some of the info I got from Mondello would have been great for drag racing. I spent a lot of $$$ finding that out.

  12. I think i have a semi-largish oil to water cooler in the shop from a diesel of some sort. It isnt huge (well....not like v12 caterpillar huge...) but should get the job done. IIRC it was tube and shell with about fifty tubes, twelve inches or so in length, I will see about fitting that. Should it go straight off the pump or after the logs? I think I have a smaller cooler as well but unsure of where it is at the moment. Its of the single tube within a tube type. I am certain I can come up with something. Should I machine a housing for a small motorcycle type thermostat with a bypass in it for the oil cooler as well, or will enough constant oil heat be generated to set the temperature on the cooler (especially if i have a largish cooler) with a flow valve? If I can get the thermostat to work out properly it seems to me it would be far less fiddlesome. But very fiddle with it to get working correctly int he first place. I know they make an oil thermostat but i would prefer to not have anything in the oil path like that. The worse thing if a water thermostat on the oil cooler dies is the oil temp begins rising from lack fo water flow in the cooler. I worry if the oil thermostat fails somehow (i have never seen this but...) then chunks of thermostat could possibly go along their way into the oil gallery...

    I too will run a flexplate as I have those. Thank you for the diagrams. I think those will be a big help. I have the bypass thermostat housing on my list now, as well as a relief valve that can be adjusted lower.

    How much should I open the spec up on the bottom end? couple hundred thousand?.002-.004 over middle of stock spec clearance? On mains and rods or just mains? Does piston to bore clearance need to be increased or just the rotating components? i know the rotating assembly will need to be rebalanced, so polishing the crank to a little bit looser fit should be a piece of cake for the machine shop while its in being balanced.

    I will try to dig up the cooler for pics/talk sometime soon.

    Eli

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    STUMP TOWN OREGON
    Posts
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    in a marine environment the more oil cooling you get the better.. run it in the cold water lines and leve it un restricted as far as water flow goes..... there will be enough heat comming from the engine to get oil temps upwards of 230+ easily on a hard run even with the cooler.... and you also want the engine to run south of 160 on the temp....... moroso makes restrictors that allow the water to slow down to build up a bit of temp but not allow a fullopen circut... even on blower equiped motors you can get temps down around 140-160 MAX on a long full throttle run... you dont want things getting hot.... almost as important as keeping the oil south of the cylinder heads.....

    4-16-2014. 25 years old today... the fishin boat doesnt look to bad for a classic does she


    things that were are no longer as they are today...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by gatahiti View Post
    I think i have a semi-largish oil to water cooler in the shop from a diesel of some sort. It isnt huge (well....not like v12 caterpillar huge...) but should get the job done. IIRC it was tube and shell with about fifty tubes, twelve inches or so in length, I will see about fitting that. Should it go straight off the pump or after the logs? I think I have a smaller cooler as well but unsure of where it is at the moment. Its of the single tube within a tube type. I am certain I can come up with something. Should I machine a housing for a small motorcycle type thermostat with a bypass in it for the oil cooler as well, or will enough constant oil heat be generated to set the temperature on the cooler (especially if i have a largish cooler) with a flow valve? If I can get the thermostat to work out properly it seems to me it would be far less fiddlesome. But very fiddle with it to get working correctly int he first place. I know they make an oil thermostat but i would prefer to not have anything in the oil path like that. The worse thing if a water thermostat on the oil cooler dies is the oil temp begins rising from lack fo water flow in the cooler. I worry if the oil thermostat fails somehow (i have never seen this but...) then chunks of thermostat could possibly go along their way into the oil gallery...

    I too will run a flexplate as I have those. Thank you for the diagrams. I think those will be a big help. I have the bypass thermostat housing on my list now, as well as a relief valve that can be adjusted lower.

    How much should I open the spec up on the bottom end? couple hundred thousand?.002-.004 over middle of stock spec clearance? On mains and rods or just mains? Does piston to bore clearance need to be increased or just the rotating components? i know the rotating assembly will need to be rebalanced, so polishing the crank to a little bit looser fit should be a piece of cake for the machine shop while its in being balanced.

    I will try to dig up the cooler for pics/talk sometime soon.

    Eli
    My oil cooler is a small shell/tube type heat exchanger. I can't find a pic of it. It's about 2" dia. and about 10" long. It is large enough for my engine (470 hp.). The water goes through the oil cooler first.

    I recommend .006" bore clearance. I would need to do some digging to find what I used for rod and main clearance.

    Check this out....
    http://72.22.90.30/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=18203

    Hot Boat had an excellent article about building an Olds. You can get a copy of a back issue for $10. I have a friend who builds high performance engines (for the past 30 years) and he said it's by far the best engine building article he has ever seen. I recommend that anyone building an Olds get a copy of the magazine. It's worth way more than $10.

  15. #15
    You can see some of the plumbing here



    The fuel system is mounted temporary for Dyno

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