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Old 03-30-2007, 08:14 PM
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Buick/Pontiac Aluminum 215

I have a 1968 Volvo wagon. Fun little car however, then engine needs a little more umph. I have been looking into the Buick/Pontiac 215. From what I have read it seems really lightweight, so I should be able to swap it in without any major suspension issues. Just some firewall chopping and some engine bay cutting.

My question is mainly to the aluminum. Can you safely but speed modifications into the engine? Does it warp easier? How does aluminum act differently from steel in engine-performance conditions? Would a slight overbore be alright? Are there swapable heads that can go onto this block?

thanks for all the help.

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Old 03-30-2007, 08:18 PM
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Since Buick sold the rights to the 215 to The Rover Group a long time ago, I doubt there is much available aftermarket. I didn't look so I could be wrong, but I suspect not.

However, the 215 is a favorite for DIY aiplane hobbyists...lightweight and makes decent power.

Finding a good Buick engine may be a problem as if the recommended coolant was not used the blocks corrode to nothing.

If you decide to look for one keep the internal corrosion issue in mind.

As far as AL for performance use, no problems there.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:57 PM
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Corrosion.....

From what I have read about corrosion, I think that it comes from the copper radiator and having an almun engine. I hope an easy fix would be getting an alum radiator......

But, true I would have to inspect for existing corrosion.

thanks
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryankalel
From what I have read about corrosion, I think that it comes from the copper radiator and having an almun engine. I hope an easy fix would be getting an alum radiator......

But, true I would have to inspect for existing corrosion.

thanks
The factory had a specific coolant that was required to be utilized in these engines. The problem was that 1, most people were used to using their preferred coolant so they didn't pay attention and 2, the recommended coolant was not readily available at the local parts store.

Hence, many of these engines wound up being eaten from the inside out. I personally know where a bunch of these engines sit, absolutely worthless.

The couple that were good I brought home. I have been working on plans for an airplane and plan on using one of these in it.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:55 AM
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Heaps of rovers here without corrosion problems. OLDS (not pontiac) heads flow better than Buick/Rover. Edelbrock and Huffaker sell intakes, all the major griders offer cams and the later range rovers ran 4.0/4.6l engines that bolt in.
BTW, volvo v6s (264e etc) had major corrosion problems here - blocks used to leak around the engine mount bolts after only 4 or 5 years. My 82 RR has 480000 km on the origonal engine and no leaks.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:08 AM
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Have you checked out this web site? It deals with Volvos and V8s.

Brickboard

Looks like 5.0L Fords work well.

Good luck

SimS
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanRiordan
Heaps of rovers here without corrosion problems.
Rover addressed thr coolant issue properly, but I assume he is looking at the old Buick ones which had problems. They are good little engines, and as I have said airplane hobbyists love them, but you need to be careful when selecting one...at least on this side of the pond!
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:48 PM
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Actually, there are LOTS of performance parts still available for these motors. They are great, by the way. As others have noted, the two variants were the Buick and the Olds versions. Pontiac used the Olds version. The heads are different and use a different bolt pattern, so they are not easily interchangable. Contact D&D Fabrications in Michgan for all your 215 needs.

The one problem is that the 215 used a unique bellhousing bolt pattern, so an adapter is required for most transmissions.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Actually, there are LOTS of performance parts still available for these motors. They are great, by the way. As others have noted, the two variants were the Buick and the Olds versions. Pontiac used the Olds version. The heads are different and use a different bolt pattern, so they are not easily interchangable. Contact D&D Fabrications in Michgan for all your 215 needs.

The one problem is that the 215 used a unique bellhousing bolt pattern, so an adapter is required for most transmissions.
Thanks, I will check them out. Like I said, I hadn't looked into aftermarket parts for myself as I intended on just fabbing them at home.

I will check out D&D though.
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:13 AM
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As pointed out there are tons of speed parts available, Rovers are pretty popular in England and they have all sorts of aftermarket parts. The main reason for the corrosion problems mentioned had to do with the coolant of the era. Now with so many engines with aluminum content, that isn't a problem. There was a major change in the properties of anti-freeze as aluminum came into being a common part and not some special piece in an engine.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:02 AM
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Here's a couple of listings from the Offenhauser catalog that are still available.

4 bbl intake Buick/Rover part# 5182

Valve cover (5 bolt Olds) part# 5188

Valve cover (4bolt Buick/Pontiac Tempest) part# 5189

Tom
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:01 PM
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No speed parts are available, but another option for a decent small aluminum V-8 is the 4.1L/4.5L Cadillac engines. The 4.1L had some early problems, but if it's still running it's one of the later ones or has been modified to later specs. Most of the complaints and problems came from too little engine in too big a car -- the 4100 (4.1L) was used in some mid 80s big Caddys. The 4.5L is much imporved, no oil leak problems, but still not enough power for a two ton plus boat. The Northstar was derived from the 4.5L, so it's not all that bad! If you want light weight and decent power cheap, this might be a good way to go. All the 4100/4500 engines are TBI injection. Can be converted to carb -- I think there might be an intake available, but not sure.
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Old 04-03-2007, 03:23 PM
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buick 215

Quote:
Originally Posted by farna
No speed parts are available, but another option for a decent small aluminum V-8 is the 4.1L/4.5L Cadillac engines. The 4.1L had some early problems, but if it's still running it's one of the later ones or has been modified to later specs. Most of the complaints and problems came from too little engine in too big a car -- the 4100 (4.1L) was used in some mid 80s big Caddys. The 4.5L is much imporved, no oil leak problems, but still not enough power for a two ton plus boat. The Northstar was derived from the 4.5L, so it's not all that bad! If you want light weight and decent power cheap, this might be a good way to go. All the 4100/4500 engines are TBI injection. Can be converted to carb -- I think there might be an intake available, but not sure.
Hello. On the contrary. There are plenty of speed parts for this engine. I have two of them and they are great!!! You can get almost all engine parts at advance auto. Lifters, cams, pushrods, valves, carb kits, plugs, pretty much whatever you need. Also at NAPA. parts are easy to get for this engine. I went to D&D fab a while back and the place is awesome!!! My car has a 2v with possi and i can spin the tires pretty good and get 20 plus mpg as well. These engines are real strong and really do not get their just due. They are kinda like the forgotten child in the world of Buicks. Later

Keith
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:33 AM
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I see that Isky has at least 4 cam profiles for the 215 plus other valve train parts.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budynabuick
Quote:
Originally Posted by farna
No speed parts are available, but another option for a decent small aluminum V-8 is the 4.1L/4.5L Cadillac engines...
Hello. On the contrary. There are plenty of speed parts for this engine. I have two of them and they are great!!! ...
Keith
Actually, I think in this case the "no speed parts available" refered to the Caddy motors, not the 215 Buick.
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