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68 Riviera engine?


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We own a 68 buick riviera, it has a non original 430 engine in it now and needs overhauling. We also have a 455 72 buick motor that runs better. We are trying to decide which engine to fix and put in the 68. This is a really nice car inside and out. What is your opinion on which motor too overhaul.We are worried about the oiling on the 430 and the 455 seems to be a more powerful engine.

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For day in and day out driving I would use the 455. You are correct, by 1972, the Buick Big Block's oiling issues were solved, more or less. The 430 can be rebuilt to be very reliable. Besides, I would not just pull the 455, clean it and drop it into the Riviera. You'd want to go through it anyway if you were going to all that trouble. If you are going to show the car, then I would rebuild the 430. It may not be original but it is the same motor that came in a 68 Riviera.

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I would think about which motor would run better on the gas that's now available. I would imagine the 420 has a higher commpression ratio than the 455 does. If they both need rebuilding and the 430 needs to be bored, then you could get new pistons to lower the compression ratio and make it easier to run on today's gas. If the 455 doesn't need rebuilt and you could "drop it in and drive it" that would be one consideration. See what the concensus of the group is then decide for yourself what to do. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Good luck and keep us posted.

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If originality is not a concern - my choice would be the 455!

It's probably a little better engine, there are more of them, so parts are more plentiful.

It will also mate with the ST400 tranny and bolt right into your Riviera without any major modifications.

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Would any of you knowledgable folks by willing to edumacate me and elaborate (in laymen's terms) on the oiling problems associated with the 430 engine? I recently aquired a '68 with the original 430 showing just under 80k miles. The engine runs smooth, and does not appear to burn oil (I have not driven it much yet, but I get no blue smoke on start-up). There is some subtle lifter noise, but not beyond what one would expect for an engine of this age and mileage. The car was aquired thru a quasi-estate situation, so I do not have the benefit of knowing the car's full history. By all indications of my forensics so far the car was well maintained and cared for. I'm just trying to understand this issue to know what may lie ahead for me as I hope to have this car for many years. The car will be driven sparingly, no more than 800 miles a year for show use.

Thanks much.

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Don't worry about it Dan - my original 430 has just a little less time and I put on roughly the same mileage in a season! All 430/455s make noise - especially on startup, but unless your going to to do the 1/4 mile thing, your 430 engine will run just like a Timex watch !

( It'll take a lickin and just keep on tickin!)

Change your oil and filter every year, and enjoy driving it !

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Would any of you knowledgable folks by willing to edumacate me and elaborate (in laymen's terms) on the oiling problems associated with the 430 engine? I

Thanks much. </div></div>

Dan: There is no 'oiling issue' that's generic to the 430. The only 'issue' was '67 heads didn't have as good of oil porting ...so if anything, '67 heads aren't as desirable as '68 on. In your '68, you shouldn't notice any problem (except, as mentioned, both 430 and 455 are noisy on startup. As your engine gets closer to 100K, watch the oil pan for any signs of plastic shavings. Your timing gear has nylon plastic on it's teeth and as it wears, those shavings will become noticeable. Plan to change timing gear/chain at around 100 to 120K. Other than that, just do good maintenance.

Darwin Falk

1966-70 ROA Technical Advisor

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