The Buick V6 has been in production for many years, but became noted as a performance engine with the introduction of the popular "Grand National". This turbocharged muscle car was a dominant force in the mid-eighties, and created a new interest in V6 performance. Recent years have seen non-turbocharged versions of this engine gain popularity in oval track racing.
Key determining factors when selecting pistons for these engines are the presence of a turbocharger, and the crankshaft design, which may be either odd fire or even fire. The odd fire version uses a crankshaft with three equally spaced rod journals which results in a rougher running engine. The even fire design uses a smaller offset journal for each rod providing smoother driving characteristics. The latter style is found in most applications.
Turbocharged engines require that particular attention be paid to the compression ratio and to the strength of the piston. Any efforts to increase performance through additional boost will put greater strain on components and may increase the chances of detonation and subsequent engine damage. Engines that are computer controlled may not realize the full benefit of modifications if the computer is forced to retard timing in order to protect the engine. Fuel quality will play a major part in determining performance in such engines, in most cases turbocharged engines require lower compression than do naturally aspirated ones. Compression ratios in this catalog are calculated with an .0375 gasket thickness.
Also worthy of special attention is the oil pump, which is built into the timing cover assembly. Scoring or other damage to the housing will require a new timing cover. High volume pump kits are available, using a spacer to increase the depth of the pump. Be particularly careful to install the spacer and gaskets correctly, as their combined thickness must provide the required pump rotor to cover clearance.
BUICK V8 TECH HIGHLIGHTS
The Buick V8 can be an excellent engine for street performance. While not seen often at the track, the 455 engines are among the best when optimized for low end and midrange torque. They were used in the factory "Stage 1" cars in the early 70's, and most available performance parts are based around a similar combination. Our hypereutectic pistons are among the first "new" parts to be released for these engines in many years, and will fill the need for those restoring or modifying these cars. They deliver a moderate compression ratio, which is well suited for today's unleaded premium fuels.
Aftermarket Camshafts from Federal Mogul are available for the Buick engine have been selected to work with this combination, and will result in an excellent street package when properly tuned. As manufactured, these engines are not really intended for high RPM, so pay close attention to the valvetrain during assembly. New rockers, pushrods, and rocker arm retainers are good insurance. Maintain at least an additional .060 of valve spring travel at maximum valve lift, and check for adequate piston to valve clearance.
The oil pump is built into the timing cover assembly, similar to the design of the V6. Any scoring or damage to the housing will require a new timing cover. High volume pump kits are available, using a spacer to increase the depth of the pump. Be particularly careful to install the spacer and gaskets correctly, as their combined thickness must provide the required pump rotor to cover clearance.