455 Olds Advice
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455 Olds Advice

  1. #1
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    Default 455 Olds Advice

    I am getting my 1972 Regatta jet boat back out and I am looking for some advice on the 455 olds/ Berkley jet.


    • I ordered a Holley 750 ultra double pumper, is there anything I should do to it or is it good out of the box?
    • What ignition should I go with? Currently a mallory ignition and I am not a huge fan.
    • Not knowing much about the jet, what should I look for here? I have never been inside the jet before.

    Just looking to have a good cruiser for the weekend. Boat used to run 60-65, not really looking to improve that much. Just want dependable.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member hihosilver's Avatar
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    I would get a factory hei , what size carb was on it if a 600 was on it I would start there

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    It had a 650 quadrajet on it. Everywhere I read most people said go with a 750 for the bigger cube engine.

    I was looking at the stock hei and also an MSD system. But I am assuming at stock applications MSD would be a waste of money.

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    Senior Member 74glencoe's Avatar
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    Hei is great for a near stock deal, plus you will likely be able to find cap and rotor parts at your local auto parts store. As for the carb why change from quadrajet?

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    What all will I be changing when putting the HEI on it? Can't say that I have a lot of ignition experience.

    The quadrajet was actually just a loaner, when I first got the boat out. So I ordered the 750 when I gave the carb back.

    Also, I have two impellers hanging on the wall. Will they be marked, as to if they are A, B, etc..?

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    Guess I should have said, that it has been my dad's boat for the past 40 years and I am not that knowledgeable on the jet setup or the 455 olds. Thanks for any help

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clh7837 View Post
    What all will I be changing when putting the HEI on it? Can't say that I have a lot of ignition experience.

    The quadrajet was actually just a loaner, when I first got the boat out. So I ordered the 750 when I gave the carb back.

    Also, I have two impellers hanging on the wall. Will they be marked, as to if they are A, B, etc..?
    Your used impellers should be stampoed as to cut and assuming the have not been cut (and not restamped) the letter designation should be accurate ....depending on the "build" of the engine a B impeller would not be a great choice for the 455, better to use the A or even a AA to keep the WOT rpms to a lower number due mainly to the inherent oiling issues common to the Old motor The 750 Holley is a good choice for the Olds , To change to HEI you'll have different plug gaps and delete your current ignition coil , a couple very minor wiring changes Happy to help if you have questions or need Tech help Tom

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    Appreciate the responses. I will have to try and find out what impeller is actually in the boat. It must be a B, as it will run up to 5500 rpm WOT. (And yeah I do not care for that).

    Any recondmendations on an HEI distributor brand? See them anywhere from $100 to $400.

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    Senior Member PCE680's Avatar
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    If you want your 455 Olds motor to live,It needs oil restrictors in the block under the main bearings,a Hi Volume oil pump and a 10 to 14 Quart oil pan .All this was developed by Joe Mondello (RIP) years ago
    Last edited by PCE680; 05-18-2015 at 08:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clh7837 View Post
    Appreciate the responses. I will have to try and find out what impeller is actually in the boat. It must be a B, as it will run up to 5500 rpm WOT. (And yeah I do not care for that).

    Any recondmendations on an HEI distributor brand? See them anywhere from $100 to $400.
    The $45 eBay units have served me well.

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    Senior Member Rivieraracing's Avatar
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    I switched over to a stock HEI some years ago when I rebuilt my 455 and absolutely love it! Love the fact I can get cap and rotor at any autoparts store and it makes my motor run way better than the dialed in points I had previous! I also run a 750 carb, I currently have a demon on mine but might be switching back to my edelbrock 750 since I use the boat for waterskiing and wakeboarding and it runs perfect with it for some reason.

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    What about the vacuum advance? Do you guys run it, or do you just leave it capped?

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    Senior Member hihosilver's Avatar
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    leave it plugged

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    I believe the impeller I have, that has been sitting on the shelf for 30 years, is an A trim. It is not stamped on it, but the part number L 2507 is. And from what I could tell that is a Berkeley A part number. Wish I knew what was in it, but I am sure it is smaller.

    Couple questions:

    • The intake side of the impeller looks really good, sharp edges and no pits. However, the other side has a good bit of pitting and rough edges. Which side is more critial, or are they both highly important to keep smooth?
    • I looked up the schematics on Berkely for pulling the impeller out, but really how big of job is it? Do I need to have a rebuild kit handy before doing this? Guessing I should not tackle it if I want the boat out for Memorial Day weekend?


    Thanks again
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