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455 olds help

  1. #1
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    Default 455 olds help

    hey guys, i recently picked up a 72 hondo jet boat with a 455olds. i bought the boat knowing the motor had a pretty bad oil leak so it was really cheep. if you start the boat and let it run (with water hose) it leaks a quart pretty fast. so i pulled the motor today because i wanted to get a good look at it and i cant find any leaks, the last owner said it was the rear mane seal but it looks dry. also it looks like a really small rust line crack on the block has a slow water drip. so dose this basically mean my motor is trash? im new to all this big v8 stuff all my experience is with 4cyl turbo motors or diesels. don't be to harsh lol thanks for any help at all

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    Senior Member ClassicBoats's Avatar
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    A crack in any block, Big or small is not a good thing, There are a ton of olds parts on CL and on the forums here. you might want to pressure test the block.

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    Yea I was just not sure if I should scrap the old block and get a new one. I have found a fue for $275ish. Also is there any common oil leaking points on these motors I should take a second look at? Thanks

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    "Mad" Member Jet Mad's Avatar
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    I would check the heads for cracks as well. Oil leaks can be at the front timing chain cover, sump, sump plug, rear of tappet covers etc.

    Replace the block if cracked, repairs to cracks on the block or heads are difficult to fix and almost never work.

    If you are rebuilding the Olds, make sure the bearing clearances are between 0.0030" - 0.0035" #1-#5 on mains and the same on the rods.

    Invest in some restricted push rods and ARP rod bolts, IMHO money well spent.

    They don't like being run hard and are prone to spinning bearings if you don't "upgrade" the oiling system.

    Welcome to the jet boat mad house, lots of good info and knowledge around.




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    Living in a cage of fear thatguy's Avatar
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    I had a SBC once that was a fully prepped block. (Line honed, bored and honed with plates, and decked)
    It had a crack about 8"-10" long on the outside bottom edge of the block. (just above the oil pan rail) that nobody noticed until the machine work was done.
    I had no money to replace it so I ground a big "V" in along the crack, drilled and "pinned" the ends of the crack, and filled it with JB weld.
    I laid the block on its edge so the crack was flat, and put a little electric heater over the JB weld. Did it in 3 steps, a little at a time.

    That engine was a pretty stout solid cam'd 350, with a strip dominator.
    It went in my '81 LUV truck with a narrowed Ford 8" Posi, tubbed with ladder bar set up.

    It ran 5 full years before a drop of anti-freeze came out of that crack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darthboost View Post
    if you start the boat and let it run (with water hose) it leaks a quart pretty fast. so i pulled the motor today because i wanted to get a good look at it and i cant find any leaks,
    If it leaks that bad it should be very easy to figure where it was coming from!!! Buy, or build, an oil primer tool and spin up some oil pressure on the stand/ground.....Leaking a quart "pretty fast" should be easier to find than leaking a quart in a week.......Ray
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  9. #7
    Senior Member SoldHondaBoughtHondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darthboost View Post
    hey guys, i recently picked up a 72 hondo jet boat with a 455olds. i bought the boat knowing the motor had a pretty bad oil leak so it was really cheep. if you start the boat and let it run (with water hose) it leaks a quart pretty fast. so i pulled the motor today because i wanted to get a good look at it and i cant find any leaks, the last owner said it was the rear mane seal but it looks dry. also it looks like a really small rust line crack on the block has a slow water drip. so dose this basically mean my motor is trash? im new to all this big v8 stuff all my experience is with 4cyl turbo motors or diesels. don't be to harsh lol thanks for any help at all
    Does the starter nose look sort of wet with oil? Rear main will usually leak off of the back of the crank flange and either spin out and wet the starter nose or drip straight down...it will be obvious oil drip when running at idle and stop right after the motor shuts off...most other leaks will usually be just a seep..other than maybe an oil pressure sending unit on the front of the block...and unless somebody has updated the real main..the oem seal is little more that a piece of rope


    maybe post a couple pics of the water drip
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  10. #8
    Senior Member SoldHondaBoughtHondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
    I had a SBC once that was a fully prepped block. (Line honed, bored and honed with plates, and decked)
    It had a crack about 8"-10" long on the outside bottom edge of the block. (just above the oil pan rail) that nobody noticed until the machine work was done.
    I had no money to replace it so I ground a big "V" in along the crack, drilled and "pinned" the ends of the crack, and filled it with JB weld.
    I laid the block on its edge so the crack was flat, and put a little electric heater over the JB weld. Did it in 3 steps, a little at a time.

    That engine was a pretty stout solid cam'd 350, with a strip dominator.
    It went in my '81 LUV truck with a narrowed Ford 8" Posi, tubbed with ladder bar set up.

    It ran 5 full years before a drop of anti-freeze came out of that crack.
    That's kinda funny....i did the same repair on a big block years ago..and the i was working for had a LUV truck with a 350 and a 9 inch.....

    Only his had a chop top 3 1/2 " chop top. 4" channel and the 350 had a 6-71 w 2 1050 doms....no tubs rear frame rails narrowed..had california step side fenders i glassed 3" inch extensions on to cover the 14x36" slicks
    I did all the custom body work on it...had a bit of that ed roth thing going on with most of the blower showing through the hood and the top of the carbs even with the top of the windshield

    and a doug nash 5 speed... The weird thing was the rear suspension..stock chevy LUV with the bottom leaf turned around...thing used to pack the left front tire all the way through low gear..ran 10.0's
    through the muffs.. a really decent driving unit as long as it didn't rain..
    got 16 mpg if ya drove it legal


    Oh..and ya JB weld rocks and an olds motor WILL make a hydro go 90mph!
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    guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free
    education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free
    utilities, and only law enforcement has guns. And believe it or
    not, such a place does, indeed, exist: It's called prison."

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    Default "A quart pretty fast"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sold honda.bought hondo View Post
    Does the starter nose look sort of wet with oil? Rear main will usually leak off of the FRONT of the crank flange and either spin out and wet INSIDE starter nose or drip straight down...it will be obvious oil drip when running at idle and stop right after the motor shuts off...most other leaks will usually be just a seep..other than maybe an oil pressure sending unit on the front of the block...and unless somebody has updated the real main..the oem seal is little more that a piece of rope


    maybe post a couple pics of the water drip
    A couple of corrections. A rear main leak can't get to the back of the crank flange, as it would be spun off the front side.........

    It sure sounds like a pressure leak, but then again, how fast is "pretty quick"...I would look around the filter adapter flange.......Some gasket kits do not include that gasket, as those surfaces are suppose to be "machined" flat.....The ones that do, supply a thin sheet metal type gasket....... Sure seems a leak that bad would have been a "waterfall" of oil.....Ray
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  12. #10
    Senior Member SoldHondaBoughtHondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moneypit View Post
    A couple of corrections. A rear main leak can't get to the back of the crank flange, as it would be spun off the front side.........

    It sure sounds like a pressure leak, but then again, how fast is "pretty quick"...I would look around the filter adapter flange.......Some gasket kits do not include that gasket, as those surfaces are suppose to be "machined" flat.....The ones that do, supply a thin sheet metal type gasket....... Sure seems a leak that bad would have been a "waterfall" of oil.....Ray
    well.......it might be the front in your boat... but in my boat its in
    the back because my engine is in backwards!

    as for the starter nose...e-gads...if it's slinging that far it the first place...gona be oil everywhere anyway.......

    and here we arguing the fine points of oil leaks...dude probably got the motor out pan off, flipped upside down, and has it all figured out!
    "A liberal paradise would be a place where everybody has
    guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free
    education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free
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    not, such a place does, indeed, exist: It's called prison."

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    Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

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    Thanks for all the help guys this forum is awsome! I am going to pull the pan and at least replace the gasket while it's out and I'll try that oil press primer idea for sure. As far as the hair line crack in the block what are the steps for a jb weld fix? I just want the motor to get me around the lake this summer and I can replace the block in the winter. Thanks a ton guys

  14. #12
    Senior Member glastornjet73's Avatar
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    if you have the oil galley plug with the orifice in it it will push oil out of the distributor i have sealed and resealed the engine and thats where i have found my oil leak i can clean it all off run it on the hose and it will NEVER leak a drop as soon as i get the rpms up on the water there it goes pushing oil out but keep in mind i have 85lbs of oil pressure @ 3500

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    Okay, the motor looks bone dry everywhere except the back of the oil pan and flywheel housing. I'm going to replace the main seal. a ford 460 rubber seal from what I hear is the best corect me if I'm wrong, and the oil pan gasket and will see if that dosent do it. Also when I was saying it leaks oil pritty fast, it will spit out a quart in about 2min would that sound like a main seal problem? I could not see that far under my motor with it in the boat is the reason I'm not 100% and could never have it run and see where the leak is. Any more advice is always nice! Thanks

  16. #14
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    That is a big oil leak. You should be able to see it. I would put the motor on the stand and build a priming tool. Part of the leak in my Pontiac was from the rear cam plug. Never would have found it without a priming tool and dye in the oil. I believe Olds motors have a couple of oil galley plugs in the back of the block. Those could be the source of your leak as well.

    Like you I was going to just put a rear main and pan seal on and call it done. That would not have fixed the cam plug issue had I done it that way.

    Gets yourself a priming tool. Could save you lots of grief.

    As for that Ford seal, On the Pontiac that was the hot ticket as well for a while. Now it is the graphite impregnated rope. The stock Pontiac crank has some texture to it. The lip seals do not always seal well on them. All the aftermarket cranks are smooth. The lip seal works fine on these. On a stock crank the graphite rope seal is the way to go. Again, not sure about the Olds motor but worth doing the research.

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