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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme that i bought 9 years ago as my first car when i was 17 years old.
Its got a 350 Olds Rocket and TH350 automatic transmission.

My future plans for the car are to make a nice restomod/hot rod out of it.
Still want to keep it look stock (I'm not a fan of blacking out chrom, aftermarket seats, gauges, rollbars etc.) but performing really well...
Living in germany i want to go really fast on the autobahn as well.

Im still in the planning & saving up stage of the plan and it will likely take a few more years to complete that stage.
What i have in mind right now is a schwartz performance chassis with IRS and an old fashioned, giant engine.
Of course also add some nice (but stock looking) wheels and tires such as upgraded steering.

What im struggling to find out right now is if the ZZ572/620 Deluxe Connect & Cruise (complete with 4L85-E 4-speed automatic)
(given proper cooling, rear gear ratio, wheels & tires etc.) will suit my needs of sustained high speed driving @ 140-160mph?

I already asked this question in the classic oldsmobile forum, where i got suggested to ask this question to chevrolet.
I then asked over at chevrolet.com but they didn't knew and suggested to ask a chevrolet performance dealer.
I dont know which dealer to ask and also fear most don't know either.
I figured there are probably quite a few people building engines over here so probably someone knows the answer?

I know lots of folks would suggest going for a modern ls engine or the like but i don't what that.
I want an oldschool engine without computers, fuel injection etc.
Also considered a TH400 instead of the 4L85-E but i like the idea of the extra gear without having to deal with a gear vendors overdrive.
Its also a complete drivetrain from engine to transmission and i think four gears should be enough.

So hoping that somebody could answer the question and/or give some advice. :)
 

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Looks like a winner to me!
You are starting with a good foundation.
You can dial in gear ratio, tire size, and suspension/ride height to handle the Autobahn.
This is going to be exciting!
You have come to the right place for sure.
Stick around, and keep us posted.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Proper gearing will be important. Big engines with big strokes and pistons like the 572 are designed to be mostly "show" and a little bit "go." They will last a long time in a show car that needs to have the power to back up its reputation, but I'm not sure I'd expect it to go full throttle for a long time. It's one thing to have a resto-mod car that goes to car shows and the drag strip every once in a while, but totally different sustaining 250 kph for long periods.

Do you have access to a steady supply of EU 100 octane? 98 will do in a pinch. (and before some of you chime in with octane things... EU rates octane differently. 98 over there equals 93 over here)
 

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i think that GM 572 is a poor choice, especially for a sustained mid to upper rpm run.

You need to talk to someone who builds endurance engines, like road race, big block circle track modified, maybe Pike's Peak or Nevada Silver State Classis highway deal, or offshore marine racing("cigarette boats").
Clearances and rotating parts choices are likely to be different than GM's hot rod crate engine. Most likely cam too, and I'd bet on needing shaft rockers too. Engine oil cooler.

The GM Performance 572/620 is also badly overpriced for the power you get.....engine costing you that much should make 800 endurance HP and 900+ full on drag naturally aspirated.

On another note, you are aware of the difficulties that come with fitting a tall deck BBC and big factory overdive to the A-body chassis?? Does the Swartz chassis handle most of that as is?
Headers are completely a custom deal, or something like Lemon's.....not cheap.
 

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Moin!

As the guys before me: The GM 572 has like the worst Power/Dollar ratio anywhere.

If you want a 1 Click-Buy Turn-Key solution, i would rather encourage you to look at blueprint, like their turn-key 598 / 725 HP / 680 LbFt for 12900$.

If you can install front accessories yourself, i would go with a Vortecpro 496 / 650 HP / 660 LbFt for 8300$.
The builders name is Mark Jones and he specialises in Chevy Big blocks since decades.
I just did that and am 100% satisfied, mine made 670 hp / 675 LbFt and oh boy, i just snap to 200 km/h / 120 mph like its a joke.
My tires cant go faster, so i stop there..
His customers cars go low 10s on the 1/4 mile.

I can give you a professional contact to ship the engine from anywhere in US to you doorstep, full insurance of course. Expect like 500-1000$, depending on inside US travel. From Vortecpro (Colorado Springs) to me (Hannover) it was about 800$. All inclusive i paid 9500 € (shipping, insurance, tax + customs) for the engine. .. and it delivers more than the GM 572. Plus its a Mark 4 - 496.. in the 70s this was everybodies dream. How much more oldschool can it be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well the appealing thing about the connect & cruise is that it is a complete drivetrain, ready to drop in &
directly from chevrolet with a 2 year / 50k miles warranty.
Its also an oldschool carbureted engine (Which is exactly what i want)
My goal is around 500rwhp, also pretty much on point there.

But i also fear that it might not survive all that long at sustained 140-160mph driving.
I also dont know how high i would be revving at those speeds. Plan on low 3 rear gear ratio but not sure on wheels & tires yet.

I also thought about getting a custom built olds 455 with a TH400 and GV overdrive.
At least that would be much easier to install (Also in terms of getting the stock gauges and shifter working) as they came equipped from the factory with 455's and TH400's.
But is the GV overdrive a real alternative to a transmission with more then 3 gears? Are there any downsides?
Also who could build an olds 455 (complete with transmission and everything like the chevy connect & cruise) for sustained 140-160mph driving?

I also thought about going the 426 hemi route (i'm also a huge mopar enthusiast) but i think that would gain me lots of enemies and
should be pretty hard to install & get everything working on my gm a body based car. So i think that's probably not the best thing to do...

Do you have access to a steady supply of EU 100 octane? 98 will do in a pinch.
Yes
 

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For an Oldsmobile engine I would reach out to bill trovato he is the man for an Oldsmobile

As for a transmission you could look at an Art Carr 200r4

Both of these would bolt together and bolt right in

As you have figured out lower RPMS will be key to long life of either engine.

I had a 350 olds, 200r4 and 390 rear gear s. I would spin 2200 rpms at 70 MPH. My quick guess would say a 276 rear at 140 with 200R4 would put your Rpms at about 3800 rpms, depending on tire size.

Sounds like a fun project.
 

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I personally like your idea of using an old-school V8. It can be done, but I'd like to offer an opinion.

Old school American V8s are big chunks of iron that were designed to do two things: Move a huge car at 55 mph on a leisurely drive through the park with the kids, or blast down a drag strip for 10 seconds at a time. Sustained high-loads are not their strong point. But, we can at least look into the factors that play into what makes each one a better/worse choice.

The Olds 455 has a small bore and a huge stroke. It is best suited to lower RPM use for two reasons: small bores limit valve size which limits how much it can breathe, and long strokes mean that for the same RPM, the rods and pistons are accelerating exponentially faster and moving at higher peak speeds. This puts exponentially higher inertial loads on the stress points. I'm not saying that it would explode if you used it, I'm just saying that it won't be a logical engineering choice and you might end up spending more money on parts that can handle the stress than if you chose a different engine.

Something like a Buick 455 has a huge bore and a short stroke. The big benefits are easier breathing and slower reciprocating mass. The Buick can sustain 4000 rpms with a lot less stress than the Olds 455. Buicks aren't cheap to build though.

Another thing that needs to be considered is that the old-school V8s weren't designed for the cooling loads that will be needed. Sometimes even a small block chevy overheats after a few passes down the drag strip. Your heat loads will be intense and they'll be coming from an engine that wasn't designed to handle that kind of heat.

You are basically building a boat motor - something that can handle heavy throttle for long periods. The problem is that you don't have an endless supply of cool sea water to keep it cool. You'll need something with good oiling and plenty of piston cooling. Modifying the block for piston oil squirters would be wise.

Anything can be done with enough money, and I will always applaud making something into what you want, but starting with an old American V8 is going to represent the biggest possible effort since they were designed to do exactly the opposite of what you are trying to do.

Since this is a European thing... have you considered a diesel? Incredibly thermally stable, mountains of torque, and no throttle. High cylinder pressures and heavy loads are what they're designed for. They are super easy to make huge amounts of torque and power. Look to Isuzu's light and medium duty trucks for the 6.6L Duramax. It will bolt in anywhere a BBC will since it is a common truck engine over here. I have one making well over 1000 lb-ft of torque (938 at the rear wheels) and somewhere north of 600 hp with just a tune and some bolt-ons. The truck weighs about 3000kg and I frequently tow 6000kg with it, and I expect it to last without failure for 400k miles easy. The truck will rot into a pile of rust before that engine dies. Match it with a well-built 4L85E and gears in the high 2s/low 3s.
 

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But is the GV overdrive a real alternative to a transmission with more then 3 gears? Are there any downsides?
Yes. The GVOD is overbuilt and super bulletproof. Added bonus is that it goes behind the transmission which means it slows the transmission down when it's engaged. An overdrive transmission puts the OD at the front which speeds up the rest of the transmission. (Mopar A518 and its variants have the OD in the back, but most are in front)

The TH400 will be an awful choice for sustained high speeds. The TH400 takes a ton of power which is proportional to speed and RPM. It's not a big deal in a pickup truck that revs to 4000 RPM and only goes 65mph. It's a fair trade-off for the beefy internals. In a high speed car, it will waste a lot of power and torque that you'll need to overcome wind resistance. Add to it that TH400s never came with a lockup converter. The converter will be seeing maximum load, not locked up, adding tons of heat to the transmission, then sending that power to a transmission that saps a lot of power and converts it into more heat.

The TH400 is great for a pickup or a tractor. Not good for sustained high speeds. Some land speed racers use them, but their life expectancy is one race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yesterday i took my 560 sec for a spin on the autobahn.
Got the following figures...

4600rpm @ 135mph
5600rpm @ 150mph
(Revs up to 6000rpm max.)

Rear Axle Ratio: 2.47:1 (According to benzworld.org)
Tire Size: 215/65 VR 15 (According to automobile-catalog.com)
Transmission: 4 Speed Automatic

Was actually surprised to find out the gear ratio is so low because its really not slow...
Its got 242hp (factory rating) so with 500rwhp this car would be a killer...

I will not build an engine myself and as some have mentioned that the connect & cruise drivetrain i linked isn't a good choice for my application:
Which engine builders would be able to build the engine i need? A few names/links of reputable engine builders would be pretty helpful so i could contact them as soon as i start building the car...

But i still want an oldschool carbureted v8.
I wont go for a diesel or modern ls etc.

The Olds 455 has a small bore and a huge stroke. It is best suited to lower RPM use for two reasons: small bores limit valve size which limits how much it can breathe, and long strokes mean that for the same RPM, the rods and pistons are accelerating exponentially faster and moving at higher peak speeds. This puts exponentially higher inertial loads on the stress points. I'm not saying that it would explode if you used it, I'm just saying that it won't be a logical engineering choice and you might end up spending more money on parts that can handle the stress than if you chose a different engine.
The TH400 will be an awful choice for sustained high speeds. The TH400 takes a ton of power which is proportional to speed and RPM. It's not a big deal in a pickup truck that revs to 4000 RPM and only goes 65mph. It's a fair trade-off for the beefy internals. In a high speed car, it will waste a lot of power and torque that you'll need to overcome wind resistance. Add to it that TH400s never came with a lockup converter. The converter will be seeing maximum load, not locked up, adding tons of heat to the transmission, then sending that power to a transmission that saps a lot of power and converts it into more heat.

The TH400 is great for a pickup or a tractor. Not good for sustained high speeds. Some land speed racers use them, but their life expectancy is one race.
The big (and probably only) advantage of this combo is the fact that my car could be ordered from the factory with this engine and transmission. So it would be pretty easy to put in and get all the factory gauges, shifter etc. working.
But i dont insist on that particular combo. :)
 

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560 SEC from the 80s and 90s had a nice V8 in them.
We used to get Gray Market models over here. Those cars are absolutely gorgeous!

I fondly remember a couple of rich guys that would bring their AMG Hammers into the shop to have fenders rolled, and custom black paint jobs. I think they were trying to out do each other...
1988 is when I fell in love with MBs.
There is no other car on earth like them. I could only imagine cruising the Autobahn in one.

You could put a nice sounding exhaust on the Benz, and get some of your Merican car fix like that. LOL!
 

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If you're not opposed to retrofitting a manual transmission, the ZF 6 speed from the later model C4 Corvettes has a really tall overdrive gear. (.5:1) Since they were made in Germany it might be easier for you to get one of those. I think my dad's ZR-1 has 3.45 rear gears, and 6th gear is so tall it's useless at the speed limits here in the states. This would definitely get your RPM's down on the Autobahn, and still pull good at low speeds.

In post #4 of this thread a guy swapped a ZF into his 1970 Olds 442:

I can't comment on engine choice, but this option would be easier on the engine you decide on.

Good luck!
 

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But i still want an oldschool carbureted v8.
I wont go for a diesel or modern ls etc.

The big (and probably only) advantage of this combo is the fact that my car could be ordered from the factory with this engine and transmission. So it would be pretty easy to put in and get all the factory gauges, shifter etc. working.
But i dont insist on that particular combo. :)
If you want an old-school carbureted V8, just be prepared for intense amounts of money... like in the tens of thousands. You're taking a sledge hammer and turning it into a samurai sword instead of just using a samurai sword.

Oldsmobile V8s are some of the heaviest GM V8s and with the exception of the weak-bottomed 403, they are terrible for your goals because of their tiny bore/stroke ratios. You are basically building a circle track engine a la NASCAR, and even those engines are wasted after 500 miles.

I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying be prepared for a massive investment to turn a lump of iron into a razor blade.

You're also missing the beauty of having a 70s A-body. While they are not all prepped for any engine, the same car was sold as a Chevelle, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Tempest, LeMans, GTO, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Cutlass, Skylark, Century and Regal to name a few. They came from the factory with Chevy, Olds, Pontiac, or Buick, and (with the exception of most of the Chevys) they all used the exact identical transmission. They even have the same part numbers for gauge sensors. The same gauge sensors protocols that are used in your 72 Cutlass are the exact same protocols in my 2006 Chevy Van: temp, tach, fuel gauge, oil pressure, the works. I could hook up your temp gauge to my 2006 coolant temp sensor and it would work.

One other thing regarding transmission ratios. Please... Never make a high-speed car possible by using steep OD ratios. Driveshafts (especially of the length you require) are designed to spin at maybe 4000 RPM tops. If you use a 0.50:1 overdrive and the engine is spinning 5000 rpms, your driveshaft is spinning at 10,000 RPMs. Correction... your driveshaft exploded into shrapnel the first time it hit 7000 rpms.

On old school tech like the Cutlass, you will either have to reverse-engineer some means of transmitting torque that won't explode, or you will absolutely have to get there with super-high-ratio rear gears and then super-low transmission ratios. This also means likely a custom transmission with straight-cut gears so the torque multiplication doesn't eject the shafts out of the case.

Long story short.... I totally applaud the idea, I think you are just missing the money and engineering it will take to do it, and we haven't even talked about aero on a car that was designed for a top speed of 55mph. You have a car that was designed for a drag strip where it reaches 75 mph and lasts 15 seconds and comparing it to an SEC that was purpose-built in the country that originated the Autobahn.

I am dying to see the final project, but if you really insist on using A) a carbureted iron V8 and B) the worst possible choice of bore/stroke/strength, just be aware that you might spend 6 figures just completing the project only to have it be totally unsuitable for your goals, not to mention completely worthless for stop and go driving.
 

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One other thing regarding transmission ratios. Please... Never make a high-speed car possible by using steep OD ratios. Driveshafts (especially of the length you require) are designed to spin at maybe 4000 RPM tops. If you use a 0.50:1 overdrive and the engine is spinning 5000 rpms, your driveshaft is spinning at 10,000 RPMs. Correction... your driveshaft exploded into shrapnel the first time it hit 7000 rpms.
I stand corrected.
 

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Which engine builders would be able to build the engine i need? A few names/links of reputable engine builders would be pretty helpful so i could contact them as soon as i start building the car...
Here is my experience with my Vortecpro 496 - 650hp Version (mine made 670 but who cares):

Since i am from germany and he knows we have the autobahn the engines going out to germany dont leave his place with certain modifications - at not cost.
He does this for free since obviously its HIS reputation on the line. Very logical thinking if you ask me.
He probably just doesnt want any engine to fail due to long duration WOT stress.
Germany is like the worst case scenario for any engine builder.
So he modifies them regarding oil pressure and cooling capability.

Mark told me that he did some special oil pan mods to guarantee long time WOT security.
I installed a high resolution oil pressure gauge and its true, the pressure is rock steady and high, even after 30 mins of hardcore autobahn runs.

Mark also told me that he made some extra coolant passages into the block to make it run as cool as possible. Again, due to autobahn stress.
He wants the engine to run between 160-170F.
He says you must run a 160F Thermostat AND a fan shroud and a thick radiator. The rest is up to you.
And let me tell you: This is the coolest running engine i have ever driven.
I also installed a high resolution water temp AND oil temp gauge.
Oil barely reaches 160F / 70C when cruising around - Coolant stays at 140F / 60C!
After hard WOT autobahn runs the oil slowly reaches 170F / 80C, coolant gets "hot" to about 160° / 70°.
After 30s of cruising oil is back to 160F / 70C and coolant needs about 2 min then its at 140F/ 60C again.

Its bulletproof, i can run 24h of lemans and this thing will never overheat.
Of course, i got an aftermarket cooling system:
  • Stewart EMP Stage 2 Pump (wasnt necessary, but i thought why not)
  • Stewart EMP 160F Thermostate (necessary!)
  • 4 Core Radiator (necessary!)
  • Stock like clutch fan with Shroud (necessary!)

Thats it.. you cant possibly damage it, it just runs in the 160-170 window.
He build the engine the way i would build it - if i could. That might mean zero to anybody, but to me with my engineering background it means something.
And yeah of course its carbureted, mechanical fuel pump, mechanical fan etc.. oldschool!
And your granny can drive it, its well behaved.
So far its the best "almost 10k Euro" i spend on the car..

If you want you can PM me and i can assist you with anything you wanna know..

In the end there are of course many guys you can go to. If you want to go with a commonly known name, i would for expample probably go with blueprint.. or with a little more budget: to shafiroff. But in the end the "brand" didnt really matter to me anymore, it was more the components used and the average quality achieved that did that and also the fail rate. So only the results of his the previous buyers did.
 

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Before you get all big block V8 happy. You need to respect that your regulations are far more strict then ours(even California). Now having an American car does give you a bit of room to play with. But your still a target out the gate. You need to talk with local clubs and enthusiast to get a better understanding on whats "allowed" and what is simply not for your area.

Once you have this knowledge then you will be able to make a plan that will not have you spending money on things that will never be street legal.
 

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I have a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme that i bought 9 years ago as my first car when i was 17 years old.
Its got a 350 Olds Rocket and TH350 automatic transmission.

My future plans for the car are to make a nice restomod/hot rod out of it.
Still want to keep it look stock (I'm not a fan of blacking out chrom, aftermarket seats, gauges, rollbars etc.) but performing really well...
Living in germany i want to go really fast on the autobahn as well.

Im still in the planning & saving up stage of the plan and it will likely take a few more years to complete that stage.
What i have in mind right now is a schwartz performance chassis with IRS and an old fashioned, giant engine.
Of course also add some nice (but stock looking) wheels and tires such as upgraded steering.

What im struggling to find out right now is if the ZZ572/620 Deluxe Connect & Cruise (complete with 4L85-E 4-speed automatic)
(given proper cooling, rear gear ratio, wheels & tires etc.) will suit my needs of sustained high speed driving @ 140-160mph?

I already asked this question in the classic oldsmobile forum, where i got suggested to ask this question to chevrolet.
I then asked over at chevrolet.com but they didn't knew and suggested to ask a chevrolet performance dealer.
I dont know which dealer to ask and also fear most don't know either.
I figured there are probably quite a few people building engines over here so probably someone knows the answer?

I know lots of folks would suggest going for a modern ls engine or the like but i don't what that.
I want an oldschool engine without computers, fuel injection etc.
Also considered a TH400 instead of the 4L85-E but i like the idea of the extra gear without having to deal with a gear vendors overdrive.
Its also a complete drivetrain from engine to transmission and i think four gears should be enough.

So hoping that somebody could answer the question and/or give some advice. :)
Obviously all those replies you have recieved from classic oldsmobile, chevrolet, chevrolet.com. and a chevrolet performance dealer. are avoiding litigation. I seriously doubt that 1972 transmission technology would stand up to those sorts of speed for a decent amount of time. Keep your engine old school with some mods but look at another drive train. Good luck and have fun.
 
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