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1941 Buick "Special" Motor"-size and interchange


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Hello Guys-by 1941 was there only one size straight 8 that was offered in the "small" and "big" series Buicks? If I am correct there were 2 size straight eith motors available in the pre 41 Buicks. If not-how can one tell the difference and will the compound (twin) carb set up work on a 36 series 80 motor with only linkage changes and a heat riser etc or will it hit the steering box as some people tell me . Thanks in advance

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There were two engines offered: the 320 was used in the Century, Roadmaster and Limited models, while the 248 (later bored to 263 in '50 or '51 I think) engine was used in the Specials and Supers. The large series motors are about 4 inches longer and their serial number pad is farther back by the starter. On the small engines, the serial number pad is more in the middle near the distributor. Both engines share the same water pump and distributor.

I believe the dual carburetor setup should bolt onto an older 320 engine, it's certainly been done many times. The problem is getting the carbs to work since the '41 engines were kind of sloped towards the back while the '36 motors are more level. It can be difficult to get the floats to work and align everything so it looks right, but neither of these problems is insurmountable.

The big question is: do you have a large series dual-carb setup? If not, you're going to have a bear of a time finding one and if you do, expect to pay big for it. You'll need the linkage, too, to get the compound setup to work as intended, though you can make your own if you don't want the progressive setup that the factory used. The heat riser will be part of the dual carb setup, which will need not only the intake, but the two exhaust manifolds as well. You'll also have to fabricate a Y pipe between the manifolds and the rest of the exhaust. But as I said, none of these is a real big problem for a reasonably skilled mechanic.

Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...


I put a compound on my 1936/60 and had no problems with the angle of the carbs or the floats. They look a bit odd but work fine. The floats would be at an angle if you were going up or down a hill... right????.


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A local buddy of mine has a '36 Special business coupe with the dual carbs, and he said he fiddled with them for months to get it to run right in that car. Perhaps he isn't the mechanic you are! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I'm glad to hear that it isn't a problem--to me, that was the most difficult part of the conversion, I'd say. If you don't need it, great!

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