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Old 01-15-2013, 04:26 AM
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Big block into '64 Riviera?

Need help. Just bought a '64 Riviera without a motor or transmission and I'm thinking of putting in a 454(fi) or 6 liter. I want to do this with minimum fabrication. Does anyone have experience putting one of these in a Riviera? I'd rather not fabricate motor mounts, and I'd like to be able to purchase headers "off the shelf" that will accomodate the engine bay. The car was configured for a T400 trans (with floor shifter in a console), and I don't know how easily a 700R4 would graft into that. I do NOT want to modify the firewall or the tunnel under the floor shift console. Help???
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:17 AM
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Read this about the 65 riv. this car may have come with the 465 wildcat motor with dual carbs. That may be why you have no motor. This could be a very rare car.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:23 AM
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link did not load in reply. do a google search 64 riviera with factory dual carbs. I would do a vin search on the car before you hot rod it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:35 AM
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Thanks Killer, I'll snoop for it. Is there any way the VIN on my '64 would tell me if it had the rare dual carb engine?
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:48 AM
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Just googled and ran my VIN (7K1171284) and its just a "plain-jane". It was a great thought though, and thanks again dude.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose2 View Post
Need help. Just bought a '64 Riviera without a motor or transmission and I'm thinking of putting in a 454(fi) or 6 liter. I want to do this with minimum fabrication. ... I'd rather not fabricate motor mounts, and I'd like to be able to purchase headers "off the shelf" that will accomodate the engine bay. ...I do NOT want to modify the firewall or the tunnel under the floor shift console.
Then keep a Buick motor in it. The 64 TH400 has the unique early Buick bellhousing that is not the normal BOP pattern. Nothing else bolts to it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:13 PM
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No engine or transmission.

A BBC would be a reasonable choice, but if you're going to be non original, I'd at least use a 455 Buick/TH400 combo. Plenty of torque and 'in the family' at least.

Finding a 425 nailhead would be neat IMHO but takes the Super Turbine trans unless an adapter is used to mount up a manual trans.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:49 PM
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I may be in trouble then. I have a 425 nailhead that came out of a 1966 Olds, and I know it mates to a T400 transmission. If I understand what you're saying; that combo won't fit into the '64 Riv without modifying the tunnel because what I have is a typical BOP 425 and T400...... Am I reading you right???
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose2 View Post
I may be in trouble then. I have a 425 nailhead that came out of a 1966 Olds, and I know it mates to a T400 transmission. If I understand what you're saying; that combo won't fit into the '64 Riv without modifying the tunnel because what I have is a typical BOP 425 and T400...... Am I reading you right???
OK, let's back up. First, the 1964 Riv used a TH400. This particular trans had a unique case with the Nailhead/early Caddy circular bolt pattern on the bellhousing. These are very hard to find today. The rest of the trans was the same as any other TH400, so a BOP or Chevy pattern TH400 will fit just fine (ignoring the tailhousing length differences since this is a bolt-on part).

Second, a "nailhead" was never factory installed in a 1966 Olds, so what engine do you have, exactly. The 425 Olds that would have come in a 1966 Olds has nothing in common with a 425 Buick Nailhead, period. Different designs, different castings, different bore and stroke. Even the bellhousing bolt pattern is different - the Olds uses the normal BOP pattern, the Nailhead used the unique Buick circular pattern I noted above.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:31 PM
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I realize you are correct that the 1966 Olds engine was not truly a nailhead. A gearhead friend of mine kept referring to it as a nailhead and I sort of fell into the habit although I know better. What I have is an Oldsmobile 425 engine out of a 1966 Starfire. It came from the factory with 370 hp (I think). Didn't the Starfire version have 370hp, while the Toronado version had approx 375 hp? Anyway it is NOT the smaller output 425 sold in the Delta 88. And I have a BOP T400 transmission that did NOT come from a '64 Riviera, but it'll mate to my 425 and my question is whether that motor/trans will or will not bolt into the Riv. Because I have never seen the correct TH400 for the Riv, I also do not know if I'll have to do a lot of fabricating to connect the stock Riv floor shift to a T400 that is not "correct" for the Riv. Am I being clear?
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Moose2 View Post
I realize you are correct that the 1966 Olds engine was not truly a nailhead. A gearhead friend of mine kept referring to it as a nailhead and I sort of fell into the habit although I know better. What I have is an Oldsmobile 425 engine out of a 1966 Starfire. It came from the factory with 370 hp (I think). Didn't the Starfire version have 370hp, while the Toronado version had approx 375 hp? Anyway it is NOT the smaller output 425 sold in the Delta 88. And I have a BOP T400 transmission that did NOT come from a '64 Riviera, but it'll mate to my 425 and my question is whether that motor/trans will or will not bolt into the Riv. Because I have never seen the correct TH400 for the Riv, I also do not know if I'll have to do a lot of fabricating to connect the stock Riv floor shift to a T400 that is not "correct" for the Riv. Am I being clear?
Yes, now I understand the question. As I noted above, the Olds TH400 is externally identical to the Riv TH400 with the exception of the bellhousing bolt pattern, so it fits in the tunnel just fine. The rear trans mount will line right up with the Buick crossmember. The Olds trans will be a long tailhousing unit. I don't know whether the Riv used a short or long tailhousing trans but this only affects the driveshaft length. The shifter connects just fine so long as you have the correct arm that bolts to the trans selector shaft. The correct arm probably went away with the original trans, so you may have to fabricate something. By the way, the 1966 Olds TH400 has the switch-pitch torque converter with two stall speeds.

Your problem will be motor mounts. I don't know what the Riv used, but I can guarantee that the Olds is different. Olds never used a version of the Riv chassis, so there is no readily available bolt-in mount. The 65-70 full size Oldsmobiles used unique rubber motor mounts with threaded studs that fit into holes in the frame and were secured with nuts on the bottom side. The A-body cars used a more conventional rubber motor mount and matching bolt-on frame pad that you MIGHT be able to adapt to your frame. The Olds exhaust manifolds may or may not work in your chassis. Assuming the Starfire was dual exhaust that Olds motor will have the rare LH S-shaped manifold that was unique to the full size cars with dual exhaust. This was contoured to clear the steering box in the B-body, so I don't know if it works in the Riv. You can also try the W/Z manifolds from a 442.

Of course all the accessory brackets are different for the Olds motor. Personally, even though I'm an Olds guy, I'd put a 455 Buick in the Riv.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:55 PM
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OK, so the 64 Riv is an X-frame car and from this photo it appears that the motor mount pads are welded onto the crossmember. That's likely a problem for you.

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Old 01-16-2013, 02:18 PM
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Thats good feedback and thank you!! I'm pretty much married to the Olds motor. I already own it, it was professionally re-worked with high quality parts to go into the Starfire and then I got an offer I couldn't refuse on the car and he wasn't interested in the motor. So I sold the Olds and bought the Riv thinking the install wouldn't be a killer of a job. I can weld up a storm but have no experience fabricating motor mounts. Its my feeling that motor mounts need to be a "sandwich" with rubber or poly in the middle and bonded professionally to the metal pieces that bolt to the block and to the frame Xmember. I don't want the engine to sit too high or too low. Also I thought I would try to find a set of block-hugger headers that wouldn't foul on the Xmember, but I'm not at all sure there is a configured set of headers that will work with my 425 in a '64 Riv. Otherwise, the stock exhaust manifolds for the 425 are identical to the manifolds on any late 60s or early seventies 455BOP (I think?)...... What are your thoughts?
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Moose2 View Post
Otherwise, the stock exhaust manifolds for the 425 are identical to the manifolds on any late 60s or early seventies 455BOP (I think?)...... What are your thoughts?
Uh, no they're not. First, the Buick, Olds, and Pontiac 455s are all different with different manifolds. More specifically, as I noted above, the 65-70 Olds full size cars (including the Starfire) used exhaust manifolds that were unique to that chassis. Normally the single exhaust cars had a center-dump LH manifold with a crossover under the pan that went to the RH manifold. Dual exhaust cars had the special LH manifold I mentioned above that was specially shaped to clear the steering (located behind the crossmember on those cars). Sanderson makes some shorty headers for Olds motors, but how they fit in your chassis is not clear.

Something to try is to install the Olds motor and trans in the frame with the trans mount in the original location. See how close the motor mount bolt holes on the sides of the block come to lining up with those pads on the frame. There are three readily available rubber motor mounts for Olds motors, Anchor P/N 2261 and 2328 are the most common and fit over the bolt-on frame pads I mentioned above. Anchor P/N 2262/2263 (RH/LH) are the ones with the studs that would have been original in the Starfire. You might want to try bolting these to the sides of the block and see if they hit the pads on the frame. The block has three motor mount bolt holes on each side. The mounts only use two of them, so you can position the mounts in two different places on the block. In addition, the 2262/2263 mounts have the stud offset in the mount, so swapping them side-to-side gives you more flexibility to line up with the frame pads.

Anchor 2262 (2263 is mirror image) the threaded stud is in the lower left - the two holes bolt to the block:


Anchor 2261:


Anchor 2328 (note this photo is upside down as compared to the other two):
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:23 PM
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I think you're right about the exhaust manifolds. I last worked on an Olds 455 out of a 1970 and that one had the same manifolds as my 1966 425, with a dimple on the driver's side to clear the steering. It also took the same pan as my 425 with the bulge along one side at the top where it mated to the bottom of the block. The manifolds for my 425 had a factory-covered crossover port on the bottom of one manifold, but if I remember correctly the other manifold did not have a similar port. I'm guessing there was a problem with clearance so it must have had a "Y" into the opposite side exhaust pipe?

Good thoughts on the motor mounts too. I know there are three mounting holes on each side of the 425 block but I never measured them to see if all three were spaced correctly for the motor mounts. I have a new set of the stock motor mounts and I was going to start by seeing how they mated to the Xmember when I simply bolted them where they belong on the block. Fabrication of a lower mounting bracket wouldn't be too hard, and if Im careful that it doesn't raise the height of the engine in the bay, I should be OK. My lower mount bolts that go thru the Xmember are asymmetrical and I never thought of reversing them to play with positioning!! Good idea!!
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