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Old 02-11-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
Codi71
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1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

I bought this car as a starter. something that I can learn from. So far I've discovered it's kind of a freak and don't really know where to take it. the manifolds are pretty tight and don't really allow the space for headers. Also I don't really know where to start with the motor, Trans axels are huge and can handle torque but the tranny 325hydro has a pretty dinky gear box. Should I be worried about having an overpowered engine and shredding the thing. I tell myself I want to go as far as I can without boring it out, I want to keep the motor cause its the last year of production I just don't know what to improve. Suggestions are more than welcome.

Also there are five cigarette lighters in this car. What do I have to do to change those to 12v plugs I was exploring the idea of just getting more windings on the Alternator and a simple power inverter.

Money isn't really an issue cause I get most of my parts for dirt and have a vary capable team, but this is my learning experience so I'm looking for some tips.

Oh ya its front wheel drive and huge and heavy as hell how can I get better handling cause I bet its going to swing and I want to modernize the piss out of this.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:22 AM   #2
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

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the tranny 325hydro has a pretty dinky gear box. Should I be worried about having an overpowered engine and shredding the thing.
Yes. There is a guy who has installed the TH425 in that body style, but it's a big job.
Bruce Roe, bcroe@juno.com

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I tell myself I want to go as far as I can without boring it out, I want to keep the motor cause its the last year of production I just don't know what to improve. Suggestions are more than welcome.
If it needs boring, you bore it.

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Also there are five cigarette lighters in this car. What do I have to do to change those to 12v plugs
Remove the pull-out lighter element and handle.

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I was exploring the idea of just getting more windings on the Alternator and a simple power inverter.
Why?

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Oh ya its front wheel drive and huge and heavy as hell how can I get better handling cause I bet its going to swing and I want to modernize the piss out of this.
That's the DOWNSIZED body style. You want big, you have to go back to '78 and older. The '80 is practically anorexic compared to a '77 that has a big-block.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

I love these Toros. I would buy another one tomorrow, but all the ones around here (Toronto) rusted away years ago. The Olds 350 was the most stout engine they got, and the downsizing effort was successful, for the '80's. GM turned a fat luxobarge into a pretty decent driving machine, for the disco era, that is.

A friend of mine, in the'80's had one. It had the factory handling package which gave you decent sway bars front and rear. If you only have a front sway bar, you have the standard, floppy suspension. It may be an idea to get the fatter front and rear bars from a boneyard, if you can, and upgrade to polyurethane sway bar bushings.

Mu buddy also put on 225 \60 R 15 tires, or something similar. It really hung in there on the corners.

And the 5 lighters, haha, my old Lincoln has the same set up. How many chain- smokers can you cram into one car?

A word on the alternator..... back then, GM had 2 basic alternator frames, the small -frame SI-10 and the large- frame SI-12 (I think) You should have the large frame unit, which is an excellent heavy duty unit. The amperage output should be stamped on the housing . 80A means 80 amp, 100 A means 100 amp. GM made several different outputs, for that unit, I think, from 80 amp to 120 amp. The higher output items are a bit more rare.

You can look around your local boneyard, or ask an alternator rebuilding shop and see if you can upgrade to a higher -output factory unit. Alternately, you can get all kinds of aftermarket high -output alternators. But realistically, 100 amp is loads of power for most applications.

As for the transmission, do a fluid and filter change and give it a Trans-go shift kit. Unless you go nuts with it, the Hy-Vo drive chain and sprockets will wear out before the transmission breaks.

As for the engine, if this is like my 35 year old Canadian GM cars, some of the mechanical emissions controls have rusted and seized. A good understanding of their operation and careful repair/tuning will increase power. The heat -riser valve and selectable distributor vacuum valve tend to get stuck and cost power. I tend to remove the heat riser valve entirely, and simply use direct ported vacuum for the distributor all the time. Make sure the distributor advance weights are free and working and the vacuum advance functions. Try advancing the static ignition timing 2 degrees more than spec, so long as the engine does not ping.

Does it have the stock converter? The old converters look like an octagonal roasting pan, and are notorious for minimal flow and getting clogged up. Replace it with a monolithic type.

You have a Quadra -jet carb, right? Unlike the US cars, the Canadian carbs were all non-electronic. You can adjust the opening function of the secondary air doors. Also, careful examination of the carb shows a little linkage that prevents these air doors from opening unless the choke is open all the way. This linkage tends to get suck, preventing the air doors from opening at all, which kills power. I usually disconnect this linkage, for greater power and reliability.

So, yes, this car is not the easiest to mod, but you can turn it into a funky corner-carving relic of disco-era excess. And that... is cool.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

Ya I guess I need to say what stage I'm at, I've taken out the transmission and pulled it completely apart ( pretty entertaining ) It's getting the full rebuild absolutely every part is being replaced I already have the parts (because I can). Deciding on the shift kit is where I am stuck and the lack of lockup is a bit discouraging. I have been thinking about getting a 425L in that case I could also get a big block and that takes away from the whole last year of production deal (plus this is just a starter car and I have big plans for the next one 53merc)

It has the rally suspension but I was thinking like Tonka if I could make the thing solid, like sports car like with the smooth ride. I was playing with the idea of taking a more modern air suspension from a Caddie but would there really be much benefit, its got the sway bars sorta ( last owner welded them together? really I don't know why?) or should I just put some premium shocks in and call it a day?

. Is there a specific shift kit for touring Vehicles. I also had a new torque converter made for it at a 2200 stall any concerns with the new parts?

I have the engine out and tossed all that ugly emission's stuff, to be blunt I'm done with emissions Sensors, Cats, its just to much of a headache and I want it to be simple if I ever break down. I plan on gutting the block as soon as Alberta thaws and sending it for a polish. When I researched the engine I read that the 350R has Crack prone heads. I don't really know what this means, what makes the heads crack and how do I improve it?

Not to be rude but Obviously you change out the cigarette lighter I'm more concerned about Ac-Dc power and if one inverter will be enough for all five plugs or do I require one inverter for each plug?

I want this to be my daily driver but have the power when I want it and have some Attitude . I don't really see any logic to boring out a FWD vehicle that's for kids.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #5
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

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Ya I guess I need to say what stage I'm at, I've taken out the transmission and pulled it completely apart ( pretty entertaining ) It's getting the full rebuild absolutely every part is being replaced
Then what is the point of taking the old transmission apart? Just build your new transmission with all the replacement parts.


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its got the sway bars sorta ( last owner welded them together? really I don't know why?)
I'd just love to see photos of that.

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I also had a new torque converter made for it at a 2200 stall
Shouldn't you choose the torque converter AFTER you've selected the camshaft and other engine components? Stall speed of ANY torque converter is dependent on the engine torque. Since you don't know how much torque you're going to have, you don't know what the stall speed is--or should be.

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I plan on gutting the block as soon as Alberta thaws and sending it for a polish.
Polish?

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Also there are five cigarette lighters in this car. What do I have to do to change those to 12v plugs I was exploring the idea of just getting more windings on the Alternator and a simple power inverter.
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Originally Posted by Codi71 View Post
Not to be rude but Obviously you change out the cigarette lighter I'm more concerned about Ac-Dc power and if one inverter will be enough for all five plugs or do I require one inverter for each plug?
WHY do you think you need an inverter to put ~12 volts DC to the cigarette lighter sockets? The stock wiring has already done that for you.

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I want this to be my daily driver but have the power when I want it and have some Attitude . I don't really see any logic to boring out a FWD vehicle that's for kids.
To correct the cylinder wear?
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

Then what is the point of taking the old transmission apart? Just build your new transmission with all the replacement parts.

Why hunt for a th325 when I already have one?? it would be a waist of time and I only need one transmission, there's nothing gain from getting another transmission.


Shouldn't you choose the torque converter AFTER you've selected the camshaft and other engine components? Stall speed of ANY torque converter is dependent on the engine torque. Since you don't know how much torque you're going to have, you don't know what the stall speed is--or should be.

It's a daily driver not a sports car, you can't really get the same amount of pleasure from a FWD so its not getting camed. The Engine will be clean enough and power should be no problem where I don't really need to worry about load on the engine and difficulty of reaching a simple 2200rpm its not whiplash just a quicker take-off than what the stock converter will do. If your going to make a drastic change yes evaluate the engines performance but this is vary minor change where I don't really need to worry what the 350R will produce.


Polish?

Port polish, it where you take an expensive pipe cleaner like device and polish all the intake and exhaust ports. Vary good for cleaning and smoothing surface and makes one hell of a difference.


WHY do you think you need an inverter to put ~12 volts DC to the cigarette lighter sockets? The stock wiring has already done that for you.

Because your Vehicle produces an Alternating Current (AC) which is subject to change depending on the RPM of your vehicle from the ALTERNATOR some house hold electronics (Laptop, Microwave oven, even a flat screen tv. ) which I plan on plugging in this do not fair well with an AC current and a 12V Direct Current (DC) will not damage electronics as severely as a ever changing (AC) current A power inverter changes AC to DC the wiring has nothing to do with the frequency of power the car is producing unless its undersized ( burning can occur, fuses being blown etc. )


To correct the cylinder wear?[/quote]

That's why I'm just going to Hone the cylinders using Stones instead of a lath because I can achieve the same results without the significant increase in horse power, and needing to get new pistons. It's a daily driver not a race car.

Common Man I'm supposed to be asking the questions, and your trolling my thread with stupid questions. Why would someone make a 700hp luxury car that couldn't corner
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:01 PM   #7
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

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Why hunt for a th325 when I already have one?? it would be a waist of time and I only need one transmission, there's nothing gain from getting another transmission.
You said you were replacing EVERYTHING. Clearly, you're not replacing EVERYTHING. You're re-using a considerable amount of the original transmission. YOU DO NOT COMMUNICATE CLEARLY.


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Port polish, it where you take an expensive pipe cleaner like device and polish all the intake and exhaust ports. Vary good for cleaning and smoothing surface and makes one hell of a difference.
This is CRAZY.

NOW you're talking about a port polish (on the cylinder heads) where before you said you were going to polish the block. YOU DO NOT COMMUNICATE CLEARLY.

Even so, "porting" with a "pipe cleaner like device" is nuts. You sound like a ricer who wants to use a drill to spin a stainless-steel rotary brush through the ports of his aluminum heads. Porting is: 1) skilled labor. You'd want to have some idea of where to remove the metal for the best results, and that is NOT an intuitive thing; and 2) you're not going to use a "pipe cleaner" to do it. You'd use an electric or air-powered die grinder (not a Dremel) and rotary files to start with. You'd certainly NOT want to polish the intake ports, as this has been found to be counter-productive. Intake ports NEED "texture" to keep fuel in suspension. Exhaust ports might get polished, but only after the porting has re-shaped the port for best flow.


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Because your Vehicle produces an Alternating Current (AC) which is subject to change depending on the RPM of your vehicle from the ALTERNATOR some house hold electronics (Laptop, Microwave oven, even a flat screen tv. ) which I plan on plugging in this do not fair well with an AC current and a 12V Direct Current (DC) will not damage electronics as severely as a ever changing (AC) current A power inverter changes AC to DC the wiring has nothing to do with the frequency of power the car is producing unless its undersized ( burning can occur, fuses being blown etc. )
How does the AC from the alternator get past the DIODES in the RECTIFIER built-into the alternator? You lack a basic understanding of what comes out of the power output terminal of an automotive alternator. Hint: It's not Alternating Current. An auto electrical system is nominally 12 volts DC, although voltage does vary and when operating properly, it's closer to 14 volts when the engine is running. There is very minimal AC ripple on top of that 14 volts; which is why DC accessories can be plugged directly into the cigarette lighter sockets of a typical car. A car alternator is not like a homeowner's ten-horsepower emergency generator which is intended to produce AC power just like you get at a wall socket.

Good luck plugging in a microwave to a cigarette lighter socket. Might want to check on the current draw of your intended "accessories".

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That's why I'm just going to Hone the cylinders using Stones instead of a lath because I can achieve the same results without the significant increase in horse power, and needing to get new pistons. It's a daily driver not a race car.
1. The typical oversize for cylinders is .030. Other sizes are possible, but that's probably the single most-common. Boring and honing for a "thirty-over" 350 will gain you approximately five horsepower and six or seven ft/lbs of torque (probably less). You actually OBJECT to having five more horsies? And yet, you want to "polish" the intake and exhaust ports, because you think it "makes one hell of a difference".

2. Having honed-out the cylinders (assuming that the cylinders are in good enough condition to re-hone, and that's not guaranteed) You may need to have the cylinders honed anywhere from insignificantly little to perhaps two or three thousandths. How do you propose to accommodate the increased piston-to-cylinder clearance? You planning to ship the pistons to a coating company to build-up the skirts a thousandth or two if the honing removes a couple of thousandths?

3. What are you going to do if your current pistons aren't re-usable; or if the current bores won't clean-up with just honing?

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Common Man I'm supposed to be asking the questions, and your trolling my thread with stupid questions.
I'm trying to get you to THINK about the silly things you're telling us you're planning to do. This is much more difficult when you tell us one thing in one post, then tell us something different in another post. Or when you say things that indicate you have NO IDEA how a particular automotive sub-system works.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:36 AM   #8
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Re: 1980 Olds Toronado 350R Teardown and Rebuild.

Waste of time dreaming about upgrading an Olds 350, stick a 455 in it, same basic engine.
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