430 Into "64 LeSabre Oil Pan??

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rjason

Guest
Hello everyone,

I have an opportunity to possibly upgrade to a 430 from my original 300 2bbl! I am about ready to make the leap as I have come across what I believe to be a good candidate for the swap...my question is in regards to the oil pan. The seller of the motor mentioned that he doesn't think the swap is possible due to the drag link location in my LeSabre interfering with the 430's oil pan. I have been trying to do my homework and have learned that there are rear sump and center sump pans for the 430. Which one, if either, could I use on the 430 to clear all of my steering components? Anyone out there put a 400-430-455 into their LeSabre that can give me some tips/advice? As always, thanks so much to the knowledgable people on this site!


Jason
 
I think you will need a rear sump pan (like your 300), but I am not an expert on the big cars. Most Buick 455s had a rear sump pan and this will fit the 400/430. You will also need big engine frame mounts (fabricate or adapt from an Electra/Wildcat with a 430 - 67 I think), big block motor mounts, big block springs from a similar year Electra/Wildcat, a ST 400 transmission, driveshaft changes, a new (bigger) fuel system and a different exhaust system. Then you still need the bigger radiator and all the accessory drives and mounts from the 430 (PS, AC, water pump, pulleys, belts). I can think of those obstacles off the top of my head, but there are more that will need resolution and/or purchase. It would be cool in the end, but may be more of a project then you think.
 
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rjason

Guest
Thanks for the info Dr. Frankenbuick! It helps to have some of the challenges laid out in front of you in order to plan and scheme ways to overcome them. The motor is quite complete including accessories, brackets, etc. and even an ST400 tranny still attached. I have some good friends/co-workers who weld and fabricate to help me out with things like the frame mounts. Cooling and fuel system will be a bit of an obstacle. I am not a huge fan of the high dollar aluminum radiator with electric fans thing. I would prefer something a little more affordable and stock looking. Any suggestions? Also, I would assume the fuel supply mods would simply require a larger supply line from the tank and an appropriate pump? The engine has a stock 4bbl intake on it, but no carb. Can you recommend one? Would you go aftermarket or should I just try to find an original Carter?

Thanks again for the imput.

Jason
 
Jason,

Your frame is very similar to the Wildcat and Electra from that year. I would see if the dimensions of those radiators or a few years after are similar to yours.

Big block equipped Buicks had 3/8" fuel lines and 3/8" pick-ups in the tank. You will need a Wildcat or Electra pick-up from your year and may need a return line from the pump to the tank if you are AC equipped. I think you will find your lines and pick-up are 5/16".

The Buick 400, 430 and 455 all came with a Rodchester Quadrajet. There are replacements made for that carb and rebuilt originals available. I would use one with 800-850 CFM. Price may be your determinate here. Shop around at Jegs and Summit and see what fits at a good price.
 

sabrerattler7

Active Member
I'm hot to do the same swap.

I've got a 65 2 Dr hardtop and I started down the same track. The 300 is a very small center drop oil pan and the 430 Rivieras were a center drop pan but too big to fit like 3 inches. I have a rear drop pan for a 455 (will fit a 430) but my guessing is its not far enough back to clear that center link.
Big buck solution is a Flaming river rear steer Rack and pinion for a 65 Impala $1200+ with mount which would still need minor mod to go an Buick.
Where are you? Sounds like we should work on this together. I'm in So. AZ. I posted this problem about 6 months ago and didn't get much response.
When Buick made the Wildcats they used the Electra frame with the LeSabre body firewall back. So the front fenders are 3 1/2 in longer, hood is different, and they got the extra space in the eng compartment. I'd like to hear from a Wildcat owner about what pan they have and where it fits the steering. Of course those were also nailheads so it may not apply.
For right now I've chickened out and found a Aluminum heads and 4 barrel manifold 300 and will distract myself fixing that until I can get more solutions on the big block swap. I have a 69 Rivi to take radiator, A/C stuff etc out of. I'm thinking depending on how well your 430 engine is built and how you drive you might want to think about a stronger rear end, at least a posi conversion into a 8:25 which is available for the 65.
I'm running 800cfm electric choke Edlebrock Performer on my 430 Rivi and love it. Made it a new car from the "re-built" Quadraflood carb by Noah.:shifter:
 
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rjason

Guest
Hey Sabrerattler7,

I have been thinking more about my (and your) problem. You mentioned that the 430 Rivi's had a center drop pan, but it might be too deep. I'm considering the possibility of getting my hands on one and comparing to the overall size and shape of my 300 pan. The thought I am having is wether or not it would be feasible to do a little cutting and splicing. The idea would be to use the Rivi's 430 pan but cut the drop portion out and either fab a shorter drop to weld back in it's place or cut the drop from the 300 and weld it in. The question, I suppose, would be wether or not the drop would be in the correct place to clear everything even if made shorter (shallower) and then just modify the pick-up to fit the custom pan. Let me know your thoughts on that, you too Dr. Frankenbuick (and anyone else willing to chime in) if you don't mind.

On a different note, I am also considering the option of just rebuilding the 300 I've got in it now. A couple of things are making me a little hesitant to do so. First, there just aren't a lot of parts or options available for this engine. Especially my '64 aluminum head, 2bbl version. I'm not looking to make this thing a hotrod or anything, I just need reliability with decent torque/power as it is my daily driver. No one even makes or even rebuilds the crazy motor mounts! The second thing holding me back on the 300 is that I don't want to spend time/money/energy going through this motor and rebuilding/replacing (not to mention finding) parts. And when the smoke clears, I've still got a low compression, 2bbl, small displacement engine pushing around my huge 4 door cruiser. And if/when something breaks or wears out I have to hunt all over again.

Sorry to write a book, but when I consider all of these things, it makes the 430 option seem like a no brainer even with the mods and fab work that it might require. If I could get my hands on a '64 aluminum 4bbl intake for a reasonable price, it might sway my decision a little more to the 300 side, but as it stands I'm leaning towards the 430.

Hey! Anybody got a good running 401 or 425 Nailhead just sitting around they want to donate to the cause?! :bgrin:
 

sabrerattler7

Active Member
Friggin Details Problem for soaring eagles

Hey Sabrerattler7,

I have been thinking more about my (and your) problem. You mentioned that the 430 Rivi's had a center drop pan, but it might be too deep. I'm considering the possibility of getting my hands on one and comparing to the overall size and shape of my 300 pan. The thought I am having is wether or not it would be feasible to do a little cutting and splicing. The idea would be to use the Rivi's 430 pan but cut the drop portion out and either fab a shorter drop to weld back in it's place or cut the drop from the 300 and weld it in. The question, I suppose, would be wether or not the drop would be in the correct place to clear everything even if made shorter (shallower) and then just modify the pick-up to fit the custom pan. Let me know your thoughts on that, you too Dr. Frankenbuick (and anyone else willing to chime in) if you don't min
On a different note, I am also considering the option of just rebuilding the 300 I've got in it now. A couple of things are making me a little hesitant to do so. First, there just aren't a lot of parts or options available for this engine. Especially my '64 aluminum head, 2bbl version. I'm not looking to make this thing a hotrod or anything, I just need reliability with decent torque/power as it is my daily driver. No one even makes or even rebuilds the crazy motor mounts! The second thing holding me back on the 300 is that I don't want to spend time/money/energy going through this motor and rebuilding/replacing (not to mention finding) parts. And when the smoke clears, I've still got a low compression, 2bbl, small displacement engine pushing around my huge 4 door cruiser. And if/when something breaks or wears out I have to hunt all over again.


ATTENTION
I don't think it's just a depth problem. I'll go get measurements. 430 Riviera center drop is longer and wider than 300. Wider doesn't matter but longer does a bunch, plus I don't know how much fore aft move there is in the center link as you steer. I also contemplated cut and weld, but the drop is there to add volume of oil for big block and to fit the big pick up screen. I haven't compared pick up screens as yet because I haven't taken pan off 300.

WHOOPS SCREEN SCREW UP THOUGHT I WAS AT END


Sorry to write a book, but when I consider all of these things, it makes the 430 option seem like a no brainer even with the mods and fab work that it might require. If I could get my hands on a '64 aluminum 4bbl intake for a reasonable price, it might sway my decision a little more to the 300 side, but as it stands I'm leaning towards the 430.

Hey! Anybody got a good running 401 or 425 Nailhead just sitting around they want to donate to the cause?! :bgrin:

My motivations are similar to yours but at heart I'm a hot rodder and I want it to smoke the tires while being a reliable driver.
Still didn't say where you are? Would make logistics for joint projects possible or not.:hurray:
 

sabrerattler7

Active Member
Optical illusion

Hi again.
I hauled out the engines best I could and made some measurements.
300 Pan Drop aprox. 6.5-6.75 Square. Drop stars 1.5" rear of motor mount centerline, ends 8.5" back.

430-455 Pan drop is aprox 6.5" long but 9" wide.
My engine has no motor mounts yet. Pan drop starts less than 1" back of center of mount bolt holes and goes back 7"

To do better I need to get center drop loose big block pan hang it on a raw 455 block I have, extract the eng hoist, move a couple cars to get at the LeSabre, pull the hood and hang the proposal in the hole. In other words, isn't going to happen now, but maybe soon.

Please see post I put on small blocks section sme time ago.
 
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rjason

Guest
Sorry Sabrerattler7,

I forgot to say, I'm just outside of Dallas, TX. A bit of a drive for either of us to work on our projects! lol
 

raycow

Active Member
Rjason, if the car were mine, and I wanted to get it back on the road for the least amount of work and $, here is what I would do:

Look for a 350 in good running condition. This is the most common small block Buick there is, and a lot of them are still around. The 350 will bolt to your stock mounts and to your present transmission. You may need to use the 350 flexplate, as I am not certain whether the 300 and 350 balance is the same. There are probably people in the small block forum who can tell you for sure.

This swap definitely won't be a bolt-in because you will have to cobble the exhaust for certain, and possibly some of the wiring, piping, and linkage as well. However, the swap will still be far easier than any big block, and even easier than a nailhead unless you can find a complete 64 nailhead car for a parts donor.

If your stock 300 mounts are bad and you can't find replacements for them, use the mounts and frame brackets that go with the 350. Remove the 300 brackets and lower the 350 into place with the mounts and frame brackets bolted onto it. Mark where the 350 brackets land on the crossmember and bolt or weld them in place as the situation calls for. The 350 was used in A, B, and X-bodies, so you have a very wide selection of frame brackets to choose from. With luck, you will be able to find a set that won't require any welding.

I know everyone has an opinion and there are surely people who will disagree with mine. However, I am suggesting this swap purely from the standpoint of practicality for a daily driver, not a tire burner.

Ray
 
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rjason

Guest
Hello Ray,

First off, thanks for jumping in. The more heads put together the better, right?

Second, you bring up a good point with the 350. I had given a passing thought to the 340 or 350, but didn't really consider it too much. I think I got a little tunnel vision when I found the available 430. After pondering the oil pan and various other issues I would run into with the big block, I got into the mind set of just freshening up my 300, but the idea sounds less appealing to me by the minute. You've got me thinking again! If I can find a 350 in my area for a decent price that would eliminate a lot of the issues I would have with the 300 or the 430 and parts would be much easier to get ahold of both during and after the swap. Hmmmm...

Now I find myself coming back around to the oil pan issue. Would the 350 accept my oil pan from the 300? If so, that should clear everything just the same as the 300 does now, correct? Or, would I even need to swap them? I'm guessing that since the 350 was put into so many vehicles as you say, that a donor motor could potentially have a number of different styles of oil pan?

I appreciate the new view and food for thought. I don't necessarily want/need a big block, but I definitely don't want to stay with a 2bbl 300, so a 350 with a 4bbl might be just the ticket. Time to hit the classifieds some more.

Thanks to everyone for help and input so far! Please don't run off! I will undoubtedly need more help regardless of what direction I take. I will update as soon as I have a plan.

Jason
 

sabrerattler7

Active Member
All input greatly appreciated

Rjason, if the car were mine, and I wanted to get it back on the road for the least amount of work and $, here is what I would do:

Look for a 350 in good running condition. This is the most common small block Buick there is, and a lot of them are still around. The 350 will bolt to your stock mounts and to your present transmission. You may need to use the 350 flexplate, as I am not certain whether the 300 and 350 balance is the same. There are probably people in the small block forum who can tell you for sure.

This swap definitely won't be a bolt-in because you will have to cobble the exhaust for certain, and possibly some of the wiring, piping, and linkage as well. However, the swap will still be far easier than any big block, and even easier than a nailhead unless you can find a complete 64 nailhead car for a parts donor.

If your stock 300 mounts are bad and you can't find replacements for them, use the mounts and frame brackets that go with the 350. Remove the 300 brackets and lower the 350 into place with the mounts and frame brackets bolted onto it. Mark where the 350 brackets land on the crossmember and bolt or weld them in place as the situation calls for. The 350 was used in A, B, and X-bodies, so you have a very wide selection of frame brackets to choose from. With luck, you will be able to find a set that won't require any welding.

I know everyone has an opinion and there are surely people who will disagree with mine. However, I am suggesting this swap purely from the standpoint of practicality for a daily driver, not a tire burner.

Ray
Thanks Ray, but you're so practical.
Takes all the drama and excitement out.
Appreciate the thoughts on mounts as mounts for big blocks are sketchy these days and I think the block bolt holes may be similar.
 
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rjason

Guest
Thanks Ray, but you're so practical.
Takes all the drama and excitement out.
Appreciate the thoughts on mounts as mounts for big blocks are sketchy these days and I think the block bolt holes may be similar.

So, I take it Ray doesn't have you talked into a 350 quite yet, Sabrerattler7?! LOL
 

sabrerattler7

Active Member
Want the Sound and Fury of big cubes.

It just seems like we're trying to push a lot of Iron down the road.
I also happen to have 2 430s, one well built, and all the parts that could be a running 455, if you do the "High School rebuild." No bore, no new pistons, no turned crank, just lap the valves, put it together, maybe a cam and lifters because that's pretty cheap, do the right things to the oil pump and housing and find a decent carb.:bana:
If you aren't in too much of a hurry Jason, I may get the oil pan issue sraightened out. I ordered a new center drop from TA Perf today to do the mach up. They also had the proper oil pick up arm to go with it.
 
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rjason

Guest
Sabrerattler7,

I am very interested in seeing how the oil pan and pick-up plays out! The problem I have right now is that my Buick is my daily driver. It still runs, but it is getting a little tired and leaks a little oil, burns a little oil, etc. I've also got a head gasket that is about to give it up I think. Something has to happen, and pretty soon. My first preference would be the 430 swap. I don't own a 430, I just located one for sale that is complete, minus a carb. It looks like a pretty good deal, but is about a 3 hr. drive away from where I live (Texas is a big place)! I would be even further behind if I made a 6hr round trip, blew a bunch of $$ on gas, and dropped more $$ to purchase the 430 then time and $ to tear it down and rebuild (if needed) only to find out that there was no practical/economical way to make it work in my LeSabre.

My second option was going to be rebuild my 300. But, like I said before, then after time and $ spent, I still have a gazillion pound boat being pushed around by a 300ci engine with a 2bbl carb. Not very appealing.

Now, as Ray brought up a good point, the 350 is an option. I'm giving it serious thought. It wouldn't be as great as the 430, but a 350 with a 4bbl would certainly be better than the 300 2bbl.

Jason
 
Well, a 340 or 350 will fit anywhere a 300 will. If this is as daily driver, the down time will be unacceptable for a 430 swap. There are just too many things to address in short time. I think the 300 pan will fit the 340 and 350. The 340 is a stroked 65 300 with a taller deck and the same iron heads. The 350 shares a crank with the 340 (different heads and valve arrangement). The 350 was made from 1968-1980, and there are lots of them out there. That's the way I would go with a daily driver. You will still need to address the exhaust, but it could all be accomplished in a long weekend.
 
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raycow

Active Member
Jason, I checked some aftermarket part numbers, and the 300 and 350 take the same oil pan gasket, so you should be good for a pan swap if it becomes necessary. The 350s I worked on all had rear sump pans, but I can't swear that they were all exactly the same shape.

I would think that a 4 barrel 350 should give you a quite noticeable performance boost over your 300. As for potential, the factory GS350 got up to 315 hp before the govt made car makers lower their CR in order to run on unleaded gas. This of course was "old" hp, before the rating system changed in 1972.

If you like, I would be happy to check engines for sale locally, but I doubt that you would want to pay the shipping cost from San Francisco!

Please keep us posted about what you eventually decide to do.

Ray
 
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rjason

Guest
Ray,

You are correct in regards to the shipping from San Diego!! Lol

Well, I didn't come across any 340's or 350's for sale, however, I did find one of the '64 aluminum 300 4bbl intakes! As I mentioned before, finding one of these at a reasonable asking price might convince me to stick with the 300. I realize that just upgrading from 2 to 4 barrels won't make a huge difference, but I might just get a little more cam and bump up the compression a little and make the best of it for now.

Any thoughts as to a decent carb for this set up? CFM? Brand? Will I need adapters to fit some of the more popular 4 barrels? Will I need to make or modify my throttle linkage?

As usual, nothing set in stone yet. I like to try and consider all aspects before I pull the trigger. Might go the 300 route now and consider attempting the big block conversion a little further down the road when I can afford to take the LeSabre out of service a little longer to do things right.

Thanks again for everyone's input,
Jason
 

sabrerattler7

Active Member
Oil Pan arrived yesterday

Fire me an e-mail rivirichnjackie2:thumbsup:gmail.com and I'll send photos as I go. I'm not proficient at posting pics on this site. took months to get my two cars into my profile.
Oil pan is here and I just laid it in hole I dont see clearance problem, but that' not on a block etc. Next step involves moving immobile cars heavy lifting(hood) and its just me and my wife and I'm too old for some of this stuff, so give me a couple days at least.
Just from visiual, looks like choice of trans is probably going to have as much influence on needed mods as any thing. I know the 200-4R is longer and would involve changing drive shaft. Question is if you can locate engine mounts so trans location doesn't shift.
If you keep your head and just commute and cruise with it, you could probably run the 300ST for a season til you're ready for more work. The 300ST I have is a switch pitch model and I've heard they're not all that bad. Won't hold up maybe behind a week end racer 430, but for a driver it's not that fragile. I don't know the condition of mine but give me $25.00 and pay shipping and its yours with switch, linkage and torque converter. Nobody around here wants it.
 
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rjason

Guest
Fire me an e-mail rivirichnjackie2:thumbsup:gmail.com and I'll send photos as I go. I'm not proficient at posting pics on this site. took months to get my two cars into my profile.
Oil pan is here and I just laid it in hole I dont see clearance problem, but that' not on a block etc. Next step involves moving immobile cars heavy lifting(hood) and its just me and my wife and I'm too old for some of this stuff, so give me a couple days at least.
Just from visiual, looks like choice of trans is probably going to have as much influence on needed mods as any thing. I know the 200-4R is longer and would involve changing drive shaft. Question is if you can locate engine mounts so trans location doesn't shift.
If you keep your head and just commute and cruise with it, you could probably run the 300ST for a season til you're ready for more work. The 300ST I have is a switch pitch model and I've heard they're not all that bad. Won't hold up maybe behind a week end racer 430, but for a driver it's not that fragile. I don't know the condition of mine but give me $25.00 and pay shipping and its yours with switch, linkage and torque converter. Nobody around here wants it.

E-mail sent.

Jason
 
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