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1965 LeSabre 400


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Hello all. My name is Steve and I'm new to this forum, new to Buick, and never owned a car older then myself (I'm 40). I just purchased a 1965 LeSabre 400. I bought it to cruise around on Sundays and go to some local classic car meets, but I would like a little more horse power then stock (about 250hp).  I noticed a very small amount of oil on my garage floor. Anyone with knowledge and or experience with this motor can please share some insight. I really appreciate any and all input/suggestions. 

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Thats a nice Buick!  Good luck with it. Sorry to say I don't have an answer to your question about horsepower.  While not much exists to bolt on for your engine what is there should be sufficient to move the car.  You already have a factory 4 bbl right?  

If your interest is basically lighting up the rear tires then you might want to invest in less tire and or a race oriented set of rear axle gears. 

But that car looks perfect just the way it is to me. 

I always told my sons that classic cars should be driven so people have a chance to see and appreciate the sight. 

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Steve, that's a nice looking LeSabre you have!  As far as the oil leak is concerned, I'd start by taking the car out for a drive, then park it on a level spot (your driveway should be fine) and place a large piece of cardboard under the car in the area where you see the drips.  After a few hours (overnight is perfect) remove the cardboard and note the relative location of the drip(s) and the color and viscosity of the fluid.  Green is coolant (antifreeze & water), red or pink is transmission fluid and black or brown is oil.  Based upon what you find, try to get under the car (safely) and try to back-trace the path of the leak to its source.  You may need to clean a portion of the engine or transmission and repeat the cardboard exercise a few times in order to locate the actual source.

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That's a great suggestion EmTee I'll definitely try that when I get back home. Thanks John and yes it is a 4 bbl. I'm not interested in racing or anything remotely close. I just want to maximize my current set up and clean up engine bay, however, if 250 horses is the most I can get with this set up, I'm happy. Just don't want to leave any horses on the table if that makes any since

 

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Welcome aboard, that is a beautiful car! The mighty nailhead is a great dependable torque producer built for moving heavy cars around. Drive it, get used to it, and make sure the engine is fully tuned up before thinking about any modifications. If you are new to older car ownership you will find that a small leak is basically the norm, most likely oil which can come from many locations. Follow EmTee's suggestions and you can probably minimize it. Good luck!

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2 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

If you are new to older car ownership you will find that a small leak is basically the norm, most likely oil which can come from many locations

 

If it's not leaking at all, it's probably low on ____________ (fill-in the blank)...  ;)

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1 hour ago, TexRiv_63 said:

Just saw on your other post that this engine is not a nailhead but a 300CI later model. The later models were still torque monsters but 300 CI hauling a car that size is just not going to be burning much rubber.

Makes since. It's just that This sexy red slick body just looks like she supposed to be burning rubber. I'm a cruiser tho, so I'm ok with high torque low speed

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It's a 300 4 BBL 11.-1 compression. Not a lot of performance add ons available

 

My 64 had aluminum heads, if yours does too buy a sacrificial anode on ebay to put in the radiator

 

Basically an economy engine akin to a 289/302 in a ford wagon, it'll do the job. High compression will need the best gas you can afford  so you can time it properly.

 

Looks clean!

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The wheels and tires you have are holding you up - too big.  Go back to stock.

 

The optional 400 transmission you have is on of the best - not just the Turbo 400, but the Super Turbine 400 with the hi and low stall torque converter.  There is an electric switch in the accelerator linkage that needs to work for this to function properly.

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1 hour ago, TexRiv_63 said:

11 to 1 compression in a 1965 base level engine? That seems awfully high!

It's not actually that high.  The '64 with aluminum heads had a rated 11:1 compression, but the iron-headed '65 had 10.25:1.  It's in my Skylark's service manual, but some literature wrongly lists the 11:1 figure for '65. 

With that being said, I run 93 octane in my '65 Skylark with the 250-horsepower 300.  It will ping fairly badly on the 1-2 shift (it's a 2-speed) if I don't, and I still have to be conservative with its timing curve. 

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7 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

11 to 1 compression in a 1965 base level engine? That seems awfully high!

 base Lesabre was a 2bbl 300 V8 9:1 compression

 4bbl was the upgrade. 

I didn't know the 65 300 were cast heads, sounds like they dropped the compression a bit, too

 

All the other big cars came with a nailhead standard

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