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bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 17, 2017 09:54AM

Hello All,
First post..... I've gleaned information from this forum/website for a number of years but have never posted before. I'm not new to the 215 V8 but I'm not an expert, either. Let's just say I'm a HUGE fan!
I have previously ran a Buick 215 in a Vega for many years (still have drivetrain) and currently own a Vega with an Olds 215.
I know Buick varied pistons to achieve different compression ratios and Olds varied head volumes but kept pistons the same.

Now to my question. I've never been inside an Olds 215. So I opened up this engine and found these pistons (after I cleaned the carbon off them). Can anyone ID these pistons? low compression/mid/High ?????
Small valve relief, not dished/domed, alloy? (non ferrous) and pretty much flush with deck at TDC.


OLDSMOBILE 215 PISTON ID????

Cleaned pistons small.jpg

This engine began to smoke heavily once it warmed up. Cleared with revs but became a mosquito killer at idle. I assumed worn valve guides/seals.
I have an autocross race next weekend and I want to fix this issue....... so I have a set of Buick 215 heads that have low miles (2k) since their rebuild about 10 years ago. Buick engine has been sitting on engine stand ever since due to a low oil pressure at idle issue.

I am swapping the Buick heads onto this Olds block just to get me in the race next week.
I'm using the same lifters in the Olds block but using the Buick pushrods (as they are different lengths than the Olds) with the Buick heads/valvetrain.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2017 11:14AM by bugdewde.


bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 17, 2017 10:09AM

This engine was in the car when I purchased it a couple years ago.
It was advertised as being a '62 and having an Isky 282 duration cam and 10.5 compression ratio.
Exhaust manifolds are Buick 300s. Y-pipe to 1 and a single glass pack muffler.

Here it is before the smoke fest ......
[youtu.be]

Here it is after the smoke fest..... clears with revs and after 20 seconds of idle, it's a mosquito killer.
[youtu.be]

Soooo.... the should-be-good Buick heads are getting swapped on so I can autocross next weekend without smoking out the course workers.

Just for giggles.... here's the Olds 215 in it's only autocross by me. 2.5x rear gear on 13" wheels/tires and an old '77 Monza 3.4 first gear T-50 5-speed. Never have to shift.
[youtu.be]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2017 10:13AM by bugdewde.


bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 17, 2017 10:52AM

Here's the pistons and heads once I removed the heads due to the suspected valve guide/seal issue (smoking at idle, A LOT)

OLDS Head Driver Side:

Head Driver side.jpg



OLDS Pistons Driver Side:

Pistons Driver side.jpeg



OLDS Head Passenger Side:

Head Passenger side.jpg



OLDS Pistons Passenger side:
Pistons Passenger side.jpg


The pistons cleaned up really easily (as seen in the first post) with parts cleaner. Only a couple had a more granular texture to it but was easily removed with cleaner and an old cloth.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2017 11:16AM by bugdewde.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3210 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: September 17, 2017 04:50PM

Welcome, Dwight! You running at Bristol next weekend?

My best guess is that is an aftermarket forged flat top piston with valve reliefs. Nice.


bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 19, 2017 01:14PM

Sorry..... I wasn't thinking correctly. Weekend of Sept 22.
Not running at Bristol. Haven't run with SCCA group in a number of years (other than one event in a Miata last year).

Smokies stadium in Kodak/Sevierville. The old Pro-Touring guys (Bill Howell) do an annual event "Cruisin' the Smokies" . Ride the Smokies one day, autocross the next, and hit the dragstrip the last day, speckled with some tours of local speed shops and sponsoring vendor's businesses throughout the weekend.. ... lots of good food thrown in for all .... drivers and spectators.

Last year was 2 days of autocross no drags.

It's a super group of guys to hang out with.... they have fun... a lot of fun ... on and off the track....

Some real top notch cars/drivers attend. Detroit Speed Engineering, RideTech, Hotchkis, No Limit Engineering, .... etc. Mostly old iron with modern suspension & big power engines. Then there's us normal guys on a budget, too.

No classes.... run what ya brung.

Drop by..... it's a great event to spectate and mingle with like-minded enthusiasts. .... oh... and good food, too!
Maybe you can see the ol' 215 whip up on someone. Last event I placed 27 out of 30.... so it is possible... lol



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2017 01:31PM by bugdewde.


bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 19, 2017 01:21PM

Here's drone view of "Cruisin the Smokies" autocross
[youtu.be]

Here's the gopro on-car view of the only autocross event the 215 V8 ever sees.
[youtu.be]


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2860 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: roverman
Date: September 19, 2017 04:59PM

Dwight, not to derail, but you did a compression test ? No traces of lifter valley oil , in inlet ports ? PCV working properly ?



bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 19, 2017 06:34PM

Compression test was 140-150 psi on all cylinders. Didn't do a leak down test. Not sure if pvc was working, it did rattle when shook. Only smoked when oil got warm. Cleared out with revs and started smoking after about 20 seconds at idle. My machinist buddy said it may be the valve guides. So I had these Buick pistons lying around. .... hmmmm.

I bought the car in Oklahoma and drove it home to east Tennessee. I'm kinda dumb like that. It used some oil on the return trip and the body at the exhaust exit was discolored..... so it's burned oil since I owned it but it wasn't noticeable until last fall. Never drove it over the winter because it doesn't have heat. Never drove it over the summer because it doesn't have A/C. Lol.

Moving/buying house, mother illness/death, every transmission dying in every car i own (9) and a few other setbacks have put the 215 autocrosser on the back burner until the one race a year it attends. CTS.


Dan Jones
Dan Jones
St. Louis, Missouri
(253 posts)

Registered:
07/21/2008 03:32PM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5L Rover V8

Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: Dan Jones
Date: September 20, 2017 10:45AM

Are those Oldsmobile heads casting number 829 (43 cc) or 534 (38 cc)? If they are 43 cc and you currently have a 10.5:1 compression ratio, then swapping on the 37 cc Buick 215 heads will result in a compression ratio of 11.9:1 so you may want to run fuel with a higher octane rating.

Dan Jones


MG four six eight
Bill Jacobson
Wa state
(269 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 02:15AM

Main British Car:
73 MGB Buick 215, Eaton/GM supercharger

Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: MG four six eight
Date: September 20, 2017 12:07PM

Dwight,

It's probably leaking past the valve guides. Usually (but not always) if it smokes at idle or on deceleration (high vacuum situation) it's pulling oil past the valve guides.
If it's smoking under load or low vacuum, it's normally leaking past the rings. The best way to tell for sure while the engine is still assembled, is to do a leak down test.

Since you have the heads off, I would take a look at the valves. If there is heavy carbon build up on the back side of the intake valves, then most likely it's leaking past the valve guides.

Bill


bugdewde
Dwight Williford
East Tennessee
(7 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2017 09:22AM

Main British Car:
Buick and Olds 215s

authors avatar
Re: Piston ID ?
Posted by: bugdewde
Date: September 21, 2017 05:14AM

Thanks, Dan. I just assumed they would be higher compression heads. ..... Didn't even check. I'll check tonight.

Four Six Eight, I'll play with the heads tonight after work and check backside of valves. Good thoughts.

I'm really pushing it close.... exhaust manifold and head bolts require sealant. Isn't it supposed to set/cure 24 hours before adding coolant/oil? May not make the Friday racing..... have to wait until Sat. Bummer.


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