Dennis Manner, one of the engineers who worked on the Buick 455 project at Buick is quoted as saying this engine actually "made 372-376hp on the dyno and that it was tuned for that power and torque where it would do the most good; on the street..." As always when dealing with information from that time, take it with a grain of salt. The 455 Buick is noted for its huge torque band, not peak HP numbers. Also, it weighed a fair bit less then others of its day, being one of the first "thinwall" castings. The Buick 455 weighs 616lbs, the Pontiac 455 is 636lbs, Olds 455 at 655lbs, Ford Boss 429 at 680lbs, Chevy 454 comes in at 720lbs, the Mopar 426 Hemi at a whopping 765 pounds. I've heard the small block Chevy of that era was 575lbs, not sure how accurate that is. Put an aluminum intake on and your Buick 455 weighs the same as the small block Chevy.
Another 500 Horsepower buildup (two pages)
Keep in mind these articles are a bit old now and they always start with brand new everything...aluminum intakes save weight more than anything else, you don't want to run a hi volume pump (they cause lots of issues so save your money and dist gear) etc, a quick visit to http://www.v8buick.com in the engine section will get you all the info you need. The Buick 455 has some areas that warrant special attention, so do your research!!!
Several new items have hit the shelves since these articles were printed as well. TA now has the TA 1559 backgrooved cam bearings which have two oiling holes for better positioning of lube and come teflon coated if desired. TA also makes a new "no trim" rear main seal that does not require trimming to fit like the Fel Pro BS40012 seal. Wiseco makes forged aluminum pistons in .038 over, both dished for 10 to1 and flat top for 12 to 1 compression, allowing use of mopar 440 (0.030) low tension rings and of course SRP and Ross will make you whatever you want. The most interesting item though, is the aluminum Stage 1 heads that look totally stock outside but have some great internal modifications to really wake up the flow. They will flow like the best ported heads right out of the box, and save some 60 pounds right off the front end where you need it the most. This allows a (kinda) budget buildup which still makes great power.....Fed Mogul (inexpensive and heavy) forged pistons, deck the block to .010, stock bottom end and a mild TA 288-94H camshaft (great smooth idle and 17" vacuum, can run stock rockers and springs) with the aluminum heads made over 500HP on a dyno with unported cast iron exhaust manifolds!
Aluminum block is in the works for the Buick 455 as well, along with supercharging kits and F.I. Interesting that there are more speed parts for these engines than there have ever been, even though it has been out of production since 1976!
And don't forget about the Buick 350. Weighing in at 450 lbs completely stock, an aluminum intake will drop this engine to 415- 420 lbs and it too is capable of some big numbers. Looking at the design, I wish the Buick engineers had made the 455 more like it with deep skirted block and many other design features that you can see today in GM's LS series of engines. The biggest issue here is lack of speed parts, but that may be changing.
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