New TA 455 Aluminum Block, What's up!

Discussion in 'Race 400/430/455' started by TA Perf, Jun 6, 2006.


    JEFF STRUBE Well-Known Member

    More to Add to the Block

    We run a Peterson External Wet Sump on my Engine now.We Welded up the cover and welded a Aluminum Plate to the Cover to Mount Oil Pump on PS.

    What about some Mounting Hole's in the Block for dry + wet mounting for the Pump's

    I think you could set the Block up with the Dog leg or With Out.

    I think i would make it with the Dog Leg from a sell stand point it would be universall then.

    Just put some extra meet in it.

    So if some one order a Block with out it . You could Machine it Straight.

    Time Frame on the New Block to be able to Purchase and Have in Hand?

    Just my two Cent's

    JEFF STRUBE Well-Known Member

    Main size

    What are Options on the Main Size?



  3. bobc455

    bobc455 Well-Known Member

    Even though I drive my car every day, I would love to have the capability of getting some mega-HP from my Buick. Ever think of boosting 10 PSI, and using 200HP of nitrous as an intercooler? Still on a daily driver.

    Although I'm not 100% certain of the reasoning, I've been told that a street car would only want a cast-iron block. If that is true and the aluminum blocks would be race-only, then Jadebird's reasoning is correct and you would only want a mod'ed oil pan anyhow. Even if they can be used on the street, I don't see why it would not be okay to make a concession in this one small area.

    The thing that should be avoided is to have to use custom oil pumps, cranks, lifters, cams (& blanks), heads, and so on- then it isn't a Buick piece any more and we might as well just use BBC blocks because they aren't Buicks any more. It's fine to make provisions for non-stock stuff of course.

    If the only sacrifice I'd make to use a TA block instead of a factory Buick block is the oil pan, I can swallow that. Same as I plan to swallow a set of special headers to go with some Stage II heads.

    One more note as a consumer. If a special oil pan is required, build it in to the price of the block. It is much more acceptable for a consumer to hear a price of "$5000 which includes the oil pan and special gasket" than "$4,500 but you have to pay $395 more for an oil pan and $100 for a special pickup and $5 for a special gasket". Just include it and charge the price.

    Oh yeah. And if a special oil pan is required, don't make it hang so low that it won't clear speed bumps...

    -Bob Cunningham
  4. alan

    alan High-tech Dinosaur

    Is this in consideration of deep skirts? If so, I say move forward and forget the stock pan.
  5. john massoud

    john massoud 2nd Fastest REAL Stage 1

    My 2 cents

    If anyone can make this happen Mike can, but if this block starts to look nothing like a buick block then why build it ? you can buy a dart or bowtie block for a lot less. i say make it look just like a buick block or why not just build a chevy !!!! and im sure some guys already have crazy oil pans that fit stock blocks so if you change that there goes another grand. just my 2 cents. TORQUENSOVER.
  6. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    In a conversation with one of the more knowledgable Guys I know that deal alot w/ Nomally Aspirated Engines told me that an engine like we're talking about here would be best w/ a 50mm cam and leave the extra material in the Block....
  7. alan

    alan High-tech Dinosaur

    I didn't really think about it untill I looked at the Bulldog block in Bobbs car at the GS Nats. You can't really see the block! With the headers, frame, etc all in the way the only thing i could really see was the very rear of the block where the trans bolts up, and the front. I think the front cover needs to stay because that's one of the things that make it a Buick, but I'd be willing to do away with the stock pan if it helped make the bottom end bullet proof.

    If deep skirts and cross bolted mains don't really add that much, I'd be more willing to stick with the stock type pan. I don't plan on building a big inch motor, and in fact could stand to go with less than 455 cubes.
  8. tlivingd


    couple ideas. replaceable or servicable thrust bearing surface for the cam (needle thrust bearing anybody). would it be possible to use the 3800's timing cover/oil pump in race applications?

    remember this engine needs to stay a Buick. otherwise it's a TA race engine and has nothing to do with Buick. To me staying buick means being able to use stock heads, crank and intake (however provisions to make billet stroker cranks and crazy head designs). the oil pump issue i'm up in the air on because I know it's a lousy design but it is infact Buick. It would be nice to keep the stock oil pan but it will become difficult engineering wise to make the block deep skirted.

    also important. keep very close to the stock 455 footprint and external size. the great thing with the buick 455 is that it's a small package.

    another idea to save $$ for the little guy are two forms of block. one with thinner webbing, for us cruzer guys (650hp) and then an all out one with crazy thick webbing for the racers. this would most likely need a modular engine design.

    oh on new racing head designs how about room in the head for direct injection? :Brow:

    CTX-SLPR Modern Technology User

    I think TA needs to introduce the next generation of Buick front covers for the V6 and 350 and one for the big block centered around the gerotor pump off of the 3800 V6 or the Gen III small block Chevy pumps and with provisions for the GM hall effect crank sensors on the big block since the V6/350 already has them needed. The V6 cover won't work as the cam centerline is way too low and there is no provision for the dsitributor since the engines use DIS. I'd honestly love to be able to use "LS1" electronics on my Buick 455 when I go for the turbo twins later this decade. I think there is a reason GM went to the gerotor pump for all its new engines and with Buick's historically horrible oiling systems we need all the help we can get. Make the new block use the stock passage location so that you can use a stock or the new gerotor covers but design for dry sump, forced multipoint oiling and design the front cover for use either with an external pickup or the internal passage. There will honestly have to be a drive collar designed to fit the crank snout though the 3800 V6 collar/lower timing gear fits the V6 and 350 crank snouts, a coresponding cut must be made off of the back of the balancer to maintain pulley alignment.

    I've been designing this for my V6 by taking the lower section of a Series II 3800 timing cover and welding it to the top piece of a Stage II drysump cover which has no oilpump area to get in the way of the weld. The balancer will be cut down in a lathe as will the drive collar after I jewlers saw off the gear portion. The oiling will be kind of wierd since the Series II relocated the oil feed passage to the inboard and up so it will come out the filter adapter to an external filter setup then feed into an enlarge to 1/2" NPT oil sensor hole in the block. TA if you are interesting in this let me know and I'll accellerate my development so I can ship you a prototype cover for study after I get it welded up.

    I really am a Mad Scientist,
  10. Buick

    Buick Ramin Ansari

    Knock sensor bung.
  11. 76century

    76century Well-Known Member

    I say scrap the idea of making this motor w/ the stock oiling system/pan. I would say to go to a deep sump pan...this engine is something that we should be looking at the performance-only prespective, and just because the oiling system will be better than the original 455's, that doesn't make it a non-buick engine. :Smarty: It's still a Buick design w/ improvement! If you put on a set of chevy's adjustable rockers on a buick motor, that still doesn't make it a non buick motor, just a Buick motor w/ an Improvement done to it! I-M-P-R-O-V-E-M-E-N-T is the key word here! :Smarty: And the more modernized this aluminum 455 block is, I can guarantee the more people that will buy these, just for the fact that they are much better than an original 455 block. Also, make sure this block has enough beef in the cylinders to handle a major bore, and make sure it has the capability of some major horsepower, as this aluminum 455 should be all about performance! :TU: Just my thoughts and opinions.
  12. jadebird

    jadebird Well-Known Member

    yep... what he ^ said.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  13. Mr Big

    Mr Big Silver Level contributor

    My thoughts exactly...If you go too far and the entire engine becomes NON-Buick specific (a complete aftermarket design), one might as well buy a Merlin, DRE, or Rodeck block. You would be way ahead from a cylinder head stand point. Been there done that. :Do No:
  14. D-Con

    D-Con Kills Rats and Mice

    How about integrating an aluminum pan with the mains? Similar to the way a 4-cylinder motorcycle block goes together. Something like the PAE pan that is actually the main bearing caps too? Basically the finished product would look like an iron block with PAE pan on it.
  15. 76century

    76century Well-Known Member

    The key to this engine here, is keep the design and a lot of the parts the same or similar, but w/ some improvements either made/or make it an option to make the improvements on our own. :Do No: Another thing is, this is a total aftermarket block. :Dou: If it wasn't aftermarket, then it wouldn't be available, because unfortunately, the Buick 455 was discontinued in the bicentenial year, and not once did Buick ever again make a 455. And they never will, so it's up to the people, like us(or the vendors), to make the 455 available to the public once again. :Do No: In fact, the cold but hard truth is, Buick hasn't had it's own V8 since the early 80's(the 350)! Truly, the main thing I want to see happen more than anything else, is the lightweight, aluminum block, be able to handle a huge bore, and not break under consistent, but daily, and heavy acceleration. In other words, to go along w/ the performance aspect of it, it should also be practical as well. :bglasses: Once again, improvement is the key word here. What would be the point in reproducing a 455 w/ a weak oiling system, weak block(stock 455 block isn't nearly as strong as Buick should have designed it to be :rolleyes: ), and to create something identical to the stock 455 motor, I mean, if you want it to be just a total reproduction of the original 455, then you should be thrown overboard off this boat, buddy, because if you want something like a stock 455, I am gonna tell you this only once, it would be cheaper to just go out and buy a rebuilt 455 than to put your money into this aftermarket 455; common sense tells you that. I know this may not be affordable to almost everyone who wants one(namely me), but if it sells good, then I will definetly be a future customer for this block, provided it's still being manufactured by then.
  16. Steve Reynolds

    Steve Reynolds SRE Inc

    Aluminum Block

    Let me first say, THANK YOU MIKE and ASSOCIATES at TA PERFORMANCE!!!
    This is a huge undertaking.
    I think we should step back and take a good look at the big picture. Do you ever remember any company asking for CONSUMER input in a public forum, on such a big project? THIS IS GREAT! Even if 5% of the comments lead to improvements in the design, just think of the possibilities with this block! More heads are definitely better than one, and Im confident that Mike knows how to sort thru all the ideas and utilize the best of the best.
    Just think, by TA allowing everyone to give their input into this new design, were all becoming part of Buick HISTORY, and believe me, when we look back at this someday, we will see that is was significant! I predict that if this all goes well and aluminum big blocks and their accessories (like new heads, etc), sell according to plan, you will definitely see the 350 get the attention that it truly deserves!!
    It will certainly be fun in the next several years to watch many Buick racers be able to step up and really play with the big dogs. And dont fool yourself by thinking its going to cost so much more because its a Buick. Getting down in that 7 and 6 second range costs BIG money no matter what BRAND you start out with. The only difference is that well be able to do it with some realm of reliability, knowing that were not dancing on eggshells every time we start the engine.

    Anyway I really like some of the ideas that people are coming up with. My thoughts on the oil pan configuration is to not worry about the stock setup. I already talked to Mike about building custom pans for this block and what would be easier, cheaper, etc. I guess that it really depends on where the pan rail ends up. A totally flat pan rail like the V-6 or 350 would be easier to build, more cost effective, easier to modify and less leak prone. A deeper skirt would definitely help the block also.

    One thing that would be important is if the internal pickup is utilized, move it back towards the rear of the engine. Then a straight pickup tube without all of the compound bends could be used. Perhaps it could start at a boss above the pan rail (when viewing upright) and point at an angle towards the bottom of the sump. There could be a cross hole drilled from outside of the block to connect the holes which could be utilized, (if desired) for an external oil pickup line.

    The key in my opinion is to keep the esthetics of the Buick engine. When opening the hood, all things visible should lead you to believe that its a BUICK. I dont mean that you would fool anyone, just so long as it appears as a BUICK. The last customer car that I built was a 540-inch BB Chevy. I say Chevy but there wasnt a single Chevy part on the motor. Merlin block, Dart heads and intake, etc, etc. The point is everyone still calls it a Chevy!!
    The oil pan, the bottom of the block and all of the internals are really irrelevant, and should be made to perform. High performance and reliability is what this block is all about, and as we all know with stock Buick components and dimensioning we can only take it so far and still be reliable.

    Thanks again Mike (and Sherry) & TA
  17. DaWildcat

    DaWildcat Platinum Level Contributor

    Just my $0.02 on the oil pan & pickup concerns...

    I think that since for every engine build there might be a different school of thought in regards to pan/pickup/plumbing design, as well as different ground clearance/chassis design requirements depending on the application, that the best thing to do would be to focus on "lessons learned" with the stock oil pan rail & front cover design which we've all had to work around.

    Not having gone this far myself, is there anyone here that has dipped into the sub 10 second field that has had to consistently overcome the same pitfalls of the stock design?

    I realize that the majority of folks in this category have already graduated to the TA girdle, which effectively puts the stock pan configuration right out the window, but I'm just wondering what common problems with the stock design everyone is having.

    My experience is narrow because my stock frame requires the center sump pan design for the BBB; I am not running a block girdle. My oil pan/pickup fabbing so far with the Electra/Wildcat frame has been because of the following:

    • Studding the mains caused pan interference at the front journal studs
    • Needed to deepen the center sump as much as possible
    • Had to make room for a full length screen-type windage tray
    • Needed to baffle front & rear of sump to keep the pickup covered in oil at all times
    • No 5/8" center sump pickup available (fabbed one)

    I haven't measured, but adding a girdle would probably make things worse than they already are for my application, and if for some whacked-out reason I wanted to use an aftermarket block with a lower-than-stock pan rail for the Wildcat, I'd be in the same boat (pun intended).

    I guess in a nutshell I'm saying:

    • Give us a pan rail at the stock height
    • Solve any common problems with the existing design (this might nullify point #1)
    • Make a deep rear sump pan & pickup good for the majority of A-body folks
    • Make a pan rail & pickup kit to get the rest of us started with our wierd needs

    Thanks for putting up with the reading!


    JEFF STRUBE Well-Known Member

    No No No No Deep Skirt Block's. You Kick a Rod. It Blow's out the side of your Deep Skirt. Look at the Stage 2 V6 Block's alot of them out there that have been windowed.

    I don't like Deep Skirt Block's there are - than +s
  19. Buick Power

    Buick Power Well-Known Member

    The TA block girdle allows full use of the stock oil pan! It drops it one inch and extends the pickup at the same time.

    1. TA's main stud kit clears the front of the oil pan, it is made differently than the off the shelf ARP set.
    2. Yes the center sump oil pans need attention as far as capacity and oil control
    3. The block girdle would have made the windage tray set up easier
    4. same as #2
    5. TA Performance makes a 5/8" pickup for center sump pans and even has an additional tubing kit for extending or relocating the pickup.

    The block girdle would have fit fine. If using a full skirt block you won't be using a stock pan. You would actually be choosing from multiple more common and cost effective pans that are already on the market. There is a good chance that there is a center sump pan already, but I haven't checked.
  20. stagetwo65

    stagetwo65 Wheelie King

    Mike and Dave, just my opinion, but I think changing the bore spacing is waste of time. You would have to make a head just for the customers that went for the larger (spaced out) bores and at that point I think you are getting into that "what makes it a Buick" territory again. Plus, what do you gain with the aggravation of moving the bores, 20 cubes or so? Not worth it in my humble opinion. Comments?

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