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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys-

My son in law gave me a BBC, not sure what I have. On the bell housing it has the casting #3969854, on the front passenger side it has stamped T0610CLB - 11C182886. From what I have found it's a 396 or a 402? Not sure, can you help me out? Want to build it for my 18' avenger jet and ditch my 455 (for sale/trade in the spam section). What ever it is, I want to build a nice "daily driver or rat rod" if you will. Not racing it, but a nice pump fuel running, give someone something to think about, kids can drive it, runner. I'm glassing in new stringers so now's the time to do it!

Any advice would be great!

Cheers! :notsure:
 

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Blown, OHBA Member
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3969854....402.......70-72...2 or 4 bolt

That's all the info on it that I have.
 

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Keep BBO....

Hate to say it, but the Olds is a better "daily driver" type engine..... Plenty of torque for a tight jet, and it doesn't need high RPMs to make the power.....
Ray
 

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Hate to say it, but the Olds is a better "daily driver" type engine..... Plenty of torque for a tight jet, and it doesn't need high RPMs to make the power.....
Ray
I have to agree, I am not a big Olds fan, but if you can't drop at least a 454 chevy or a 460 Ford in the thing, then I would keep the Olds. If you have to rebuild something anyway, rebuild the Olds.



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I would never use an olds again in a boat... 11 rebuilds, all but 1 fault of the motor design (in my opinion), in 10 seasons. Spinning bearings like it's the motors day job. We named that boat "Blown Again".

This is with many of the seasons as a cruising boat. We picked up a different boat and motor for speed fun.
 

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I would never use an olds again in a boat... 11 rebuilds, all but 1 fault of the motor design (in my opinion), in 10 seasons. Spinning bearings like it's the motors day job. We named that boat "Blown Again".

This is with many of the seasons as a cruising boat. We picked up a different boat and motor for speed fun.

Very few truly bad motors out there. No end to bad builders. 4.5 million jet boats built with 455 Olds engines. How could they all be bad? If 10 of your 11 blew up due to bad engine design, whats keep the other 4.4999999 others alive?

I blew up a shit load of blown BBC the first years of GN, but never once blamed the engine. I guess the ones I was racing against were proof enough that they will live. Ever see an Olds that was not blown up. I've seen tons. Wonder why those 455s live with such a badly designed engine.

Every engine has its issues, and need to bbe dealt with or suffer. Some less than others, but they all require special attention to the details.

If you're concidering going racing, stop the blame game NOW!. Because you'll fall into the habiot of blaming everything but yourself for everything that goes badly, or why your getting your ass spanked, and once you do that, you have beaten yourself, and doen the competitors job for him. You never tell yourself you were beat, you tell yourself YOU LOST!
When you take an engine apart, it will tell you why it let go, and you address that. You don't simply reassemble another one the same way and hope that it stays together.
No engine from Detroit was ever designed to make the power that most race engines make. So they fail and the good engine builders figure out why and fix it. I know your Olds was not a race engine, but the same applys. If your thinking about racing, you better change the WAY you think right now.



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I dunno what to say Gn7. I'm no engine expert and wasn't really at maximum thinking capacity of an adult during those times. It was nearly almost always spun main bearings. Could have been acceleration issues (in all directions) and oil getting to the motor that we never worked out. I don't know those times have past. We never lost the block, piston or connecting rod or anything like that... I don't normally blame the equipment but as a kid I wasn't impressed with the 455. Once I was a teen where I'd remember this stuff and being able to input my dad got shipped overseas and we never had an issue again when he came back before I moved out. There was a lot of missed opportunity to learn there.
 

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I dunno what to say Gn7. I'm no engine expert and wasn't really at maximum thinking capacity of an adult during those times. It was nearly almost always spun main bearings. Could have been acceleration issues (in all directions) and oil getting to the motor that we never worked out. I don't know those times have past. We never lost the block, piston or connecting rod or anything like that... I don't normally blame the equipment but as a kid I wasn't impressed with the 455. Once I was a teen where I'd remember this stuff and being able to input my dad got shipped overseas and we never had an issue again when he came back before I moved out.
The Olds has oiling issues and its pretty common knowledge. Not saying you should have known how to fix them then. You were young and you still are. Just saying get your head straight before you head off to race. Youth and enthusiasm will get smacked down everytime by age and treachery every time.

There is a book written by a guy name of Carroll Smith called Drive to win. Get it. Big attitude adjuster



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Very few truly bad motors out there. No end to bad builders.........
+1000000000 True statement!!

....If you're concidering going racing, stop the blame game NOW!. Because you'll fall into the habiot of blaming everything but yourself for everything that goes badly, or why your getting your ass spanked, and once you do that, you have beaten yourself, and doen the competitors job for him. You never tell yourself you were beat, you tell yourself YOU LOST!....
Good advice here too. You'll screw up parts, make mistakes, learn hard lessons and if you're lucky, maybe win some races.... I went through a machinest apprenticeship while in college not to be a machinest as a career but so I could learn to build race parts... same reason I went to college.... not to be an engineer, just to learn how shit works so I could race (well and make a living...). If you're wealthy, you can buy a lot of what you need, but it still takes 20 years to get 20 years experience....

....Every engine has its issues, and need to bbe dealt with or suffer. Some less than others, but they all require special attention to the details......
And the more power you make, the more weak links you'll find... You think and Olds is bad, I know a couple old phucks that race a flat head Ford in a front motor dragster on about 30% nitro!! Talk about blowing shit up!!
 

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Hey days....

Very few truly bad motors out there. No end to bad builders. 4.5 million jet boats built with 455 Olds engines. How could they all be bad? If 10 of your 11 blew up due to bad engine design, whats keep the other 4.4999999 others alive?
I blew up a shit load of blown BBC the first years of GN, but never once blamed the engine. I guess the ones I was racing against were proof enough that they will live. Ever see an Olds that was not blown up. I've seen tons. Wonder why those 455s live with such a badly designed engine.
Every engine has its issues, and need to bbe dealt with or suffer. Some less than others, but they all require special attention to the details.
And it was those boats, during the jet boat popularity explosion, that were out there playing around while the hot Fords and Chevys were on the beach "tuning"..... I can't count the number of Olds engines that were removed from a Stationwagon and expected to work in a jetboat... They didn't...Not for long anyway, and that is part of the stigma about Olds engines....

Hardin Marine used good stuff in their Olds' engines... NOT the Detroit version.... And those old Hardin marine engines may still be running somewhere today in a decades old jetboat that has been taken care of.....
Ray
PS I too have seen many BBCs self destruct, but I've never blamed it on engine design.....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hate to say it, but the Olds is a better "daily driver" type engine..... Plenty of torque for a tight jet, and it doesn't need high RPMs to make the power.....
Ray
I thought about that too. But from what I can find on the bbo I have is that it is not a marine engine. Seems to me it's a truck engine with "J" heads. I have done some stuff to it like blocking off x over in the heads, "the practical olds" rear cap mod, 10qt oil pan and drain backs on the heads. However to get anything performance is expensive and the selection that you can get is way less compared to chevy parts. I really would like to build the bbc but I do value the advice of you guys who have way more wisdom than I when it comes to these boats!

If I do build the bbc, how should I set it up to be marine worthy?

Thanks again guys for all the input and advise!

Cheers! :)
 

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Very few truly bad motors out there. No end to bad builders. 4.5 million jet boats built with 455 Olds engines. How could they all be bad? If 10 of your 11 blew up due to bad engine design, whats keep the other 4.4999999 others alive?

I blew up a shit load of blown BBC the first years of GN, but never once blamed the engine. I guess the ones I was racing against were proof enough that they will live. Ever see an Olds that was not blown up. I've seen tons. Wonder why those 455s live with such a badly designed engine.

Every engine has its issues, and need to bbe dealt with or suffer. Some less than others, but they all require special attention to the details.

If you're concidering going racing, stop the blame game NOW!. Because you'll fall into the habiot of blaming everything but yourself for everything that goes badly, or why your getting your ass spanked, and once you do that, you have beaten yourself, and doen the competitors job for him. You never tell yourself you were beat, you tell yourself YOU LOST!When you take an engine apart, it will tell you why it let go, and you address that. You don't simply reassemble another one the same way and hope that it stays together.
No engine from Detroit was ever designed to make the power that most race engines make. So they fail and the good engine builders figure out why and fix it. I know your Olds was not a race engine, but the same applys. If your thinking about racing, you better change the WAY you think right now.
Damn...Those words should be carved in granite and taught in grade school. If you ignore that statement you may as well quit now and save yourself a ton of money and grief.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ok guy's, here is what I found out about the BBC-

Thanks to a friend of a friend who works at the Chevy stealership, It's a 71' 402, oval port, 2 bolt, 330 hp, 400ft lbs, out of a Montecarlo. Said that Chevy still marketed it as a 396 in the smaller cars but a 402 in the larger cars and trucks, basically the same HP and torque as the 396 of the day despite it being another 6ci larger, according to him.

I'm still at odds as to which engine to use BBO or BBC? or keep both, keep one for a spare and set stringers up to accommodate either engine? In any case, any incite on how to set up the BBC to be a marine worthy engine and possibly get 400-450 HP and more torque on pump fuel?:hmmm:

Thanks!

Cheers! :))THumbsUp
 

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Ok guy's, here is what I found out about the BBC-

Thanks to a friend of a friend who works at the Chevy stealership, It's a 71' 402, oval port, 2 bolt, 330 hp, 400ft lbs, out of a Montecarlo. Said that Chevy still marketed it as a 396 in the smaller cars but a 402 in the larger cars and trucks, basically the same HP and torque as the 396 of the day despite it being another 6ci larger, according to him.

I'm still at odds as to which engine to use BBO or BBC? or keep both, keep one for a spare and set stringers up to accommodate either engine? In any case, any incite on how to set up the BBC to be a marine worthy engine and possibly get 400-450 HP and more torque on pump fuel?:hmmm:

Thanks!

Cheers! :))THumbsUp
I don't see any indication of your location, but give some serious thought to ditching the 402 for a 454 core to start your build. The extra 50 cubic inches should be worth about 50 HP on a marine build if you are able to make 1 horsepower per cubic inch(easily doable).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't see any indication of your location, but give some serious thought to ditching the 402 for a 454 core to start your build. The extra 50 cubic inches should be worth about 50 HP on a marine build if you are able to make 1 horsepower per cubic inch(easily doable).
OB-001-

Sorry, boat would be running in the 6k-to 10k as far as altitude. I live in the south west of CO right near the 4 corners area. The only reason I want to build the BBC I have is I got it for free. would like to use that as a platform. Again, not looking to race it, but a nice pump fuel running engine that I can run and build to make more HP and torque vs. the BBO. Still happy to keep the BBO tho. Just figured, I can squeeze more out of the BBC than the BBO for the money. Any input?

Thanks!
 

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Someone say Oldsmobile ? ? ?

I don't know ... I've got 1800 bucks in a 525 hp Olds that I've been using for 3 years now and it's ridden hard alot ... been damned sight more reliable than some of my friends BBF and BBC that cost 6-7k each time they break. ( one 3 times in a season ) So if you spend the time with your builder you'll get what you want if they aren't complete egotistical nut sacks ... jmo ...
 

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455s

I don't know ... I've got 1800 bucks in a 525 hp Olds that I've been using for 3 years now and it's ridden hard alot ... been damned sight more reliable than some of my friends BBF and BBC that cost 6-7k each time they break. ( one 3 times in a season ) So if you spend the time with your builder you'll get what you want if they aren't complete egotistical nut sacks ... jmo ...
I've got a 455, currently on the floor, out of my Hydroflite. A friend owned the boat for 18 years and the motor had ZERO issues during that time.... His son bought it, sold it, and someone in that time hurt it. It was rebuilt/fixed, and I bought the boat somewhere down the "owner list" running fine.... It was still running great when the trailer came off the ball and hurt the boat, (fully fixable, a "future" project on my "bucket list")....The boat, a 1968, w/12s in the Aeromarine v drive, ran 78.5 MPH at Red Rock in '03 on Art's GPS.... So, YES, Oldsmobiles can be made to perform, and LIVE..... Even in boats over 35 years old.... I have another one in a 74 Tahiti, basic stocker with some good parts, runs great, and with the log exhaust I've almost re started it when it was already running!!!! Olds, Pontiac, Caddy, Buick, Fords from Y blocks, FEs, and 385s, and of course the Chevys, can ALL be made bulletproof in a marine application.... Hell, I'll bet you could make a Studebaker last for decades if done right.....
BTW, neither of my running 455s has any extra type drain backs or any super trick oil system. A standard volume oil pump in a big volume pan, and a center main restriction pill from Mondelo........
Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ray-

Guess I will still keep my 455 for a spare and set the boat up to accommodate either engine. Waiting for the book you told me to order and read. Still want to build the BBC at the least, just for the experience. I could always sell it down the road if needed. Thanks again for all your advice! I'll continue to post as to any/all progress!

Cheers!
 
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