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Balancing and Blueprinting a 455?


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A friend told me of a 1970 Buick Stage 1 with a 455ci engine. It was running consistent low 12's at the track. The car was bone-stock except for the exception that the engine was balanced and blueprinted.<P>Does anyone have any idea or opinion of this method of gaining power? Have any idea how much something like that will cost?<P>I wonder what something like that can do for my 425 equipped Riviera....

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Balancing and blueprinting is an expensive way to gain HP while retaining the stock engine. It essentially means taking advantage of the machining tolerances.More HP can be gained inexpensively by installing a different cam and a free flowing exhaust system.The 455 had more than a blueprint job to run low 12s. The 1970 stage 1 was the only one with compression and they ran a best of 13.38 from the factory<p>[ 03-26-2002: Message edited by: The Old Guy ]

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There is a good chance that the press car that ran 13.38 was B&B'd. While every factory motor is "hand-built" a balanced motor such as the early W-30's were given special attention, such as matching rod and piston weights and possibly spin balancing the crank. Factory clearances are carefully mic'ed. Racers have refined the process somewhat, with clever tricks like knife-edging the crank to reduce oil drag, etc, but a motor is basically an air pump, and increasing the efficiency of combustion and flow of gasses in and out of the motor is the key to horsepower. Weight is secondary. For example, a well ported cast iron intake will beat most aluminum intakes out of the box. A well ported cast head will run with almost any pair of aluminum heads, etc. For any motor, significant gains are made by a good carburetor with insulator base plate, a good valve job, mild head porting, port matching,well tuned ignition and free flowing exhaust. My Stage 1 is B&B'd only without any porting, and retains the stock manifolds. I have a Pertronics ignition for stock appearance and 2 1/2 exhaust, and run the stock(resrictive) air cleaner. It is scary fast. I know about all of the other tricks, but feel that the risk to the #'s matching block by pushing up the RPM's isn't worth it.Older Buicks won races with their torque, which is mainly a function of bore and stroke, not RPM's. If you are building a track car,go all out, but expect a shortened engine life.

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