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Oldsmobile 403 (Olds 403) Engine - Ask Anything

Better Living Through Chemistry
Mark LeBlanc; New Orleans, LA:
I really enjoy reading your magazine. It has helped me with my projects. I am looking for the product I read about a few months ago. I think it was about reworking a console. It was a resin-impregnated cloth that you could form and then it hardened when exposed to sunlight (UV rays). I want to use it on the wing for my Vette. I appreciate any help you can give me.

Jeff Smith: The material you're looking for is called HyperFiber, sold by Percy's High Performance. This is a fiber-weave material similar to fiberglass or even carbon fiber. If you've ever worked with fiberglass, you know that mixing the resin with the layers of fiberglass is a messy proposition and difficult for a rookie to do correctly. The beauty of the HyperFiber is that the resin is mixed in the proper ratio with the cloth and then covered with a dry film on both sides of the fiber so no mixing is necessary and your fingers don't get all sticky. Curing the final product is even easier. The trick is to work with this stuff inside, away from direct sunlight. The fiber is easily malleable by hand to create the desired shape. Once the final shape is achieved, simply move the HyperFiber into direct sunlight. The ultraviolet (UV) component in sunlight will cure the resin and within a few minutes, the part will have hardened into your final piece. We played with this stuff at the recent PRI show in Orlando, Florida, and it works exactly as they say. Once formed, the HyperFiber can be drilled, sanded, painted, and ready for use. Percy's says that HyperFiber is impervious to engine heat (although probably not exhaust temperatures), so this product could be used for engine covers or maybe even a cool intake duct! Of course, ease of work and application mean this stuff is a little more expensive than fiberglass. A 12x21-inch sheet of pre-impregnated, HyperFiber wire-reinforced (which is a little stiffer) twill weave is $271.17, but Percy's offers all kinds of different sizes and applications. Some of the more interesting ones are a trans tunnel kit ($347.38) and a mini-tub kit for $748.10. Percy's even offers a trunk pan kit for $529.10. The company also sells the HyperFiber twill weave material dry, and you then mix the resin with the weave as you would with fiberglass. This is slightly less expensive than the integrated material but will require more skill. The same size dry twill weave cloth costs $204.33, and then you must add the resin. You can order any of these parts directly from Percy's on the website.

More Info
Percy's High Performance

Linn Creek, MO
573/346-4409
PercysHP.com

Hot Trans Am
Eric F. Marx; Racine, WI: I have two problems relating to my LT1 '95 Trans Am Firebird. First, the low coolant sensor is located somewhere under the hood. It seems the expensive GM service manuals specifically for this vehicle do not tell a person where this sensor is located. I emailed Pontiac with my question, and you may be surprised to learn that they wrote me back and said that they don't know where it is either. Can you guys tell me where I might find this sensor on the car?

Also, I do not like the way the engine coolant fans are triggered by the ECM. The ECM tells the two dual-speed electric fans to come on at low speed when engine temperature reaches 226 degrees, and that high speed occurs at 235 degrees. This annoys me to no end watching my temperature gauge climb to the far end of the scale before the fans start. It would seem to me that they should start at around 200 degrees and shut down somewhere around 195 degrees. I have never seen a car that has a cooling system set up like this. On every other car I have owned, the temperature gauge moves very minimally and the fans cycle quite frequently. Do you know of any way the ECM can be adjusted to modify these settings? It makes me nervous having it operate this way, as I don't think is very good for the aluminum heads that are on this engine either.

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65 comments
Charles Nott
Charles Nott

I have a stock 1/2 worn out 70 455 w-30 in my jet boat. It still hauls. wish I could upgrade with a edelbrock top end and rebuild the bottom

Bill McBath
Bill McBath

I had this in my Nova for one last race before I retired, what a ride it was... Thanks to all my fan's ans supporters through the years.... The Raceway Hugger ---- signing off...

Thumper Stahr
Thumper Stahr

To me, Olds is second only to Pontiac. I love these engines.

Nathaniel Green
Nathaniel Green

Yup!!! Ev er since my lon.g gone 87 307 beat a mustang gt more i.nterested in burning out than racing. That 403 deserves to go into an oldsmobile. I suggest you guys dig up a late 70's cutty or something for it.

Herb Edgell
Herb Edgell

joe mondello is your olds power guru.

Jeffrey Roseling
Jeffrey Roseling

I got a 78 olds delta with a 403 runs good with 250,000 mile on it and never rebuilt

Larry Fogle
Larry Fogle

It pisses me off when they put a Chevy in anything that is not a shevy keep the Olds and make her run.

Christopher Shipes
Christopher Shipes

My Dad has a 403 olds in his 79 Pontiac Trans-Am. We still have to redo it. Haven't had the time or money to get it right.

Chris Welch
Chris Welch

Definetly, i had an 81' Olds Cutlass with an Olds 455 in it. That was a fast car, I wish I had it back.

Travis Kerns
Travis Kerns

Build a 455 race motor. Up to 500ci. All motor. Naturally aspirated.

Michael D Taylor
Michael D Taylor

403,307...... run for ever...R.E. Olds would have liked them.

Greg Reinarts
Greg Reinarts

With the added strength of H-beam rods these engines can now be run hard and make lots of torque, and you can find them in self service wrecking yards at bargain prices.

Shawn Dumas
Shawn Dumas

Damn! My first car had that engine they have power yes!

Scott Myers
Scott Myers

Yeah I need one for son's 79, its .030 over, ported heads, forged pistons, Compcam, and a 175 shot of nitrous..

Chip Wilson
Chip Wilson

I've used the Olds engine in a Camaro swap before, fits under the hood better than a Chevy engine and is a lot torquier. Also used the Olds engine in several Chevy pickups.

Marty Decker
Marty Decker

Had a 330 with a power glide in a 66 cutlass ran that thing forever. Pigtailed a pushrod one time was running 100 MPH in 1st gear installed a new one and she was running like new again.

Chad Bauer
Chad Bauer

I had one with a mild build in a 77 buick lowrider. It had no problem roasting those little wheels.

Frank Mahon
Frank Mahon

Big Olds freak. Just put a stout 66 330 in my 87 Cutlass Salon...have a 71 455 on the stand for teardown.

James Motor
James Motor

I'm a olds freak!!! Blaaaa!!! Yeah I had a 403 that was bad as hell !!! Dounuts for dayyyys!

Damon Stickney
Damon Stickney

I have a 403 .030 over in my 85 el camino and a 425 .030 in my 1976 cutlass and they both scoot down the road quite nicely Thank you

Doug Burks
Doug Burks

Love Oldsmobile I've had several olds torque monsters just like Buick were most everyone will bash and say Chevy is better I've had both they are all good but I like not being in the majority

Lee Atkinson
Lee Atkinson

GREAT motor for the street, super-easy to make into a 13-second daily driver. Not much harder to get into the 12's.

Zach Knouse
Zach Knouse

What's the deal with the gold edelbrock valve covers?

Greg LeBlanc
Greg LeBlanc

Olds 455 in my 1975 olds omega, bast to drive!!

John Royal
John Royal

I am just finishing up one for a customer

Aaron Lancaster
Aaron Lancaster

Lol not a 403. I have one in my Trans Am, I wouldnt give a plugged nickel for. It's going in the trash as soon as my big block chevy is done

Dennis L. Young
Dennis L. Young

I had a 77 Olds 98 Regency with a 403 it was to heavy to get off the line fast , but it was a cruiser on the open highway.

Jeffrey Ralph
Jeffrey Ralph

Hey I got a 383 stroker small block chevy in Chevelle what's a good set of headers???

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