Questions about my 87 442

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woodro

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jan 13, 2019
6
3
Why will he be shocked at the cost of rebuilding an Olds 350? Yes, it costs more than a sbc or LS but at least quality pistons and stroker cranks now exist along with better stock replacement rods coming soon as well. What year Olds 350 do you have? What heads are on it? Also take a look at the tag on the 2004R trans. Nice car.

its a 77-80 block with 3B heads. I know its not the greatest, but it should be better than the 307.
 
spidereyes455

spidereyes455

G-Body Guru
Mar 6, 2013
544
93
Northeastern PA
Anti Dieseling plug , is it green?
-This is the plug in question. Pink/Black wires. It is not the dwell meter connection.
View attachment 105880
My 87 has this same plug and I have yet to figure out what it's for. And mine is definitely a real original 442.
 
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69hurstolds

69hurstolds

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
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If I get time tomorrow I'll look under the hood of my 87. See about that red connector thingie.

IIRC, the 442 front sway bar has a centered "nipple" protrusion on the very end where the links mount. Also, check around the wheel well sheet metal perimeter. Lazy bastages likely wouldn't weld up or fill in the screw holes where the wheel well trim would go on non-442s.

Based so far on what you've said and what I've seen, I'm leaning toward a gennie 442.
 
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woodro

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jan 13, 2019
6
3
My 87 has this same plug and I have yet to figure out what it's for. And mine is definitely a real original 442.
According to the manual, Vin Y cars had the solenoid, Vin 9 cars didn't. Would they have used 1 wire harness for all the cars on the production line?
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I just kinda assumed someone removed something. I guess I was just second guessing everything I found wrong or missing.
 
O

oldsmobile joe

Royal Smart Person
Nov 12, 2015
1,314
113
mpls
Steering column - my guess was that it was broken into and someone jacked the original column trying to steal the car.

looks like an anti theft collar. very common and very prudent to have. slows people down from breaking your column and stealing your car.
 
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olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
5,843
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Melville,Saskatchewan
its a 77-80 block with 3B heads. I know its not the greatest, but it should be better than the 307.
Cutlassefi helped bring some nice light 1mm ring pack Mahle forged 10cc dish pistons to the market. They will work OK with the crappy 3A heads or even better early heads. Those heads have known crack issues, get them checked before putting a dollar in them, early heads are a much better starting point. Get at least straps on the mains and the lighter Mahle pistons will help the bottom end. Add a better cam and it will be much better powerwise than the 307.
 
85442/86buick

85442/86buick

G-Body Guru
Feb 12, 2013
634
93
Toronto
According to the manual, Vin Y cars had the solenoid, Vin 9 cars didn't. Would they have used 1 wire harness for all the cars on the production line?
My 2 cents ,I would expect GM to use as few different part numbers as possible on the line ....less to inventory ,less space used on the shop floor.
So to answer your question ....yes .but I could be wrong.
 
69hurstolds

69hurstolds

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Jan 2, 2006
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My 2 cents ,I would expect GM to use as few different part numbers as possible on the line ....less to inventory ,less space used on the shop floor.
So to answer your question ....yes .but I could be wrong.
That's true in some regards. Like on some years you will find the plug for the underhood lamp already there, even if the car didn't come with the lighting package option. I can't speak for all years but '87 I think is one of them.
 
Anubis

Anubis

Royal Smart Person
Mar 30, 2012
2,054
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first things first , good looking car.

as you point out it's a 32 year old car , with 32 years of history. If your not on an unlimited budget , forget LS and you will be shocked by the cost of rebuilding a OLDS 350.
A well executed swap will cost you money regardless of what you decide to put in it. Do your homework before beginning any swap. Building an Olds engine correctly IS more expensive than other options including LS but LS builds will nickel and dime you for the conversion parts.

I like that advice. "Make it what I want to own and drive". I've always loved these cars, I had an 87 Salon in high school, my mom had 3 when i was growing up. I picked up an Olds 350 because it was cheap but wasn't fully committed to swapping it in just yet. Maybe next winter.
For whatever it's worth I have built and installed 3 different Olds engines in my car. I always wanted more and the next step would have been BBO with fuel injection. Based on the cost and performance results of similar builds I decided to stop fighting 60 year old technology and go LS. With all the the NOS parts on it, my 442 appears factory original but it will never be that low mileage, all original collector car. Doesn't bother me at all and the car is a blast to drive.
 
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69hurstolds

69hurstolds

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Jan 2, 2006
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For whatever it's worth I have built and installed 3 different Olds engines in my car. I always wanted more and the next step would have been BBO with fuel injection. Based on the cost and performance results of similar builds I decided to stop fighting 60 year old technology and go LS. With all the the NOS parts on it, my 442 appears factory original but it will never be that low mileage, all original collector car. Doesn't bother me at all and the car is a blast to drive.
This is JMO when it comes to LS swaps. Nothing personal against them, and I'd never stop anyone from chasing their car dreams, it's just that the purist part of me..... I couldn't bring myself to do it. There is no arguing that the LS engines are easy to work on for the most part and the parts are plentiful and if taken care of are a great bang for the buck in itself. But as pointed out, nickel and diming to convert it isn't fun.

Execute a 403 swap if you want to keep it looking stock and you can swap over all your accessories without issue. Granted, it's not going to have LS power and the flat torque curve, but it will fit and you won't have to cut a thing. And you could take it off the computer if you wish. You can make enough power to be happy and still the car can likely keep it all in check with the current suspension. And if you wanted to go back stock (as long as you didn't get rid of the original engine), you can later. Or give it to the next owner should you sell it and let them deal with it. If anyone's ever driven a 403 powered car, they can be a lot of fun. Just sayin'. And if you decide to sell it later, you might get the price you want, but experience has shown me that in general you can sell a factory stock car MUCH faster than a heavily modified one. Why? Bigger potential buyer pool.

An LS swap can lead to great power, but that comes with great responsibility to the rest of the drivetrain and suspension. You'll find yourself starting with better shocks, springs, lowering, tubular A-arms....you'll sink a lot of money into it. Buy a Cutlass Supreme, hack it up and paint it like a 442 and you'll get the same thing. With that extra power, you WILL have to do something with the brakes and handling. You can't not. Nobody I've ever seed with an LS swap has left it at that.

You want an LS with great handling? Buy a 5th or 6th gen Camaro SS or ZL1. I get in the ZL1 and start banging gears, it's a sure blast. But believe it or not, I get just as much happiness out of cruising in the G-bodies with 1/3 the power as I do rowing gears in the ZL1.

Just some thoughts to consider. It all boils down to what you want it to be in the end.
 
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