215 C.I. Aluminum V-8

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Postby res0o7eb » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:03 pm

I noticed that the 215 has a 3.50" bore, but only a 2.8" stroke.
How does that short stroke affect the torque? I thought short strokes meant higher RPM's, but sacrificed low-end torque.
Considering that these were put in the Y-Body - a mid-size/compact by early 60's standards, yet a fairly large car by today's standards - I am assuming the 215 had enough grunt to get them going.
Any power and torque numbers on these motors?
Last edited by res0o7eb on Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bugdewde » Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:22 pm

My '63 "JN" code 215 had high compression pistons from the factory..... rated at 200 hp and 240 lb-ft torque. Double what the Vega 140 put out. Double is just GREAT!

I had your same concerns when I first purchased mine. I can tell you from a couple years of driving experience..... it is great.

I do not know what cam was in my engine but I can tell you it pulled very good down low. My '72 has a 2.5x rear gear with stock 13" wheels. I could regularly pull out from a dead stop in 2nd gear with the T-50 5-speed with no added trouble at all. No problems.
I drove it up a curvey mountain river road for over 10 miles in 5th gear at speeds from barely off idle at 1000 rpm to 1500 rpm with no pinging, detonation or overheating. It's a trooper. Just mash the gas without downshifting and it accelerated with no bucking, hiccuping or any problems..... smooth.

The only person on this board that ever drove my car was Mike Mitchell in Morganton, NC. This was a few years ago.... and in the rain.... so Mike didn't really put the car through it's paces. I made it a point for him to lug it a bit and gauge it's torque to any other car. He said it was between the stock V6 and V8 H-bodies he's driven.

I owned a 3.2L V6 powered '72 years ago.... It had a real nice, flat torque curve and I really approved of this combo..... up until I drove a 215 powered Vega wagon that was for sale locally(I wish I'd bought that early wagon).

I can tell you the 215 is the motor for the H-body..... not for it's shear, neck-snapping power :D but for it's lightweight, powerful package that compliments the H-body perfectly.
It handles like a dream.

Imagine the best naturally aspirated V6-powered H-body you ever drove, and increase the power a tad but lightening the weight of the V6 by 100 lbs (compounded by the lower center of gravity.... yep, a huge improvement) and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about.

The nominal power increase is multiplied by the weight loss of the engine. Handling, as well as performance is greatly improved.

Remember.....All this with a 2.5x rear gear....... imagine what it would be like with something fun... like a 3.42 or 3.73?
:D
Dwight

'73 Vega GT Hatchback, mostly stock....
'72 Vega GT Kammback, 215 V8
'73 Vega Wagon - Currently in Limbo....
My rides: http://www.cardomain.com/id/bugdewde
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Postby bugdewde » Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:59 pm

Here's some numbers on the other Buick 215s offered (not Olds 215s)
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Buick 215s
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Dwight

'73 Vega GT Hatchback, mostly stock....
'72 Vega GT Kammback, 215 V8
'73 Vega Wagon - Currently in Limbo....
My rides: http://www.cardomain.com/id/bugdewde
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Postby res0o7eb » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:27 pm

1963 - 200 HP and 240 PF? Awesome! 8)
11:1 CR and a 4bbl, but still ... power per pound is way up there.
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Buick/Rover V8

Postby Vega75randy » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:48 pm

Buick 215 V8's are stuck into the back end of Corvairs all the time due to their low C/G and weight. The flat 6 engine is only 25 lbs lighter than that V8. Most of the V8 Vair crowd lowers the compression to 10:1 to run 87 octane without worry and with the radiator up front almost 50/50 weight distribution. Check out the V8Vair web site. Talk about waking a car up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8)
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Postby bugdewde » Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:39 pm

Daily Driver.jpg
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side 300.jpg
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As you can see.... this car was pretty stripped down. No carpet, back seat, interior plastic, door panels, dash, instruments, heater box or fan, no counterweight behind the T-50 trans, and for a while.... no bumpers.
Fully loaded, these early cars were around 2300 lbs... I'd say mine was somewhere close to 2100.... maybe 2000 lbs.
Anyway, it was close to 10 lbs per horsepower.... and near 8 lbs per lb-ft torque.
Respectable numbers for only a meager 215 cubes.
but once you add:
--Great front/back weight distribution
--The lower center of gravity offsets the 30 lb weight gain
--Added driveability at lower rpms with good power/weight ratio and 4 more pistons powering along each revolution.
--28 mpg with the 2.54 rear ratio and 0.80 overdrive
It's a great combo.
I am a big fan of the Vega 140 but I really like the 215 for all the above mentioned reasons. Imagine a fun rear ratio like 3.36, 3.42 or 3.73 and a limited slip diff? :burn:
Or adding :nos:

And let's not forget the stroking out to 265 cubes with the '64-'67 Buick 300 crank.... 3.4" stroke. That should increase torque values a bit.... as well as HP.
And then there's Nic's larger bore Rover variant 3.7" bore and 3.4" stroke nearing 300 cubes..... and more HP/Torque for just a couple more pounds.

215s were put in just about everything you can imagine.
D&D Fab does MG conversions, now that Vegas are all in the scrape pile... they did over 2200 Vega conversions and still do them today.
There are/were adapters for VWs, 'Vairs, Porsche, boat outdrives, airboats, numerous kit cars, airplanes... yes, airplanes.

They'll never match the power of a stoutly built 350 but that's not the idea.....it's no drag racer.... it's all about handling with a 215.
Last edited by bugdewde on Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dwight

'73 Vega GT Hatchback, mostly stock....
'72 Vega GT Kammback, 215 V8
'73 Vega Wagon - Currently in Limbo....
My rides: http://www.cardomain.com/id/bugdewde
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Postby res0o7eb » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:53 am

I was thinking of the ratio of the SAE gross engine power output to the weight of the ENGINE.
Buick/Olds Al V-8 = 155 HP / 315 lbs. = 0.492
Buick/Olds Al V-8 = 185 HP / 315 lbs. = 0.587
Buick/Olds Al V-8 = 200 HP / 315 lbs. = 0.635
Vega L-4 = 110 HP / 285 lbs. = 0.386

These are SAE Gross HP numbers for comparison purposes. These changed to net HP in 1973, I believe.

The equivalent for the SBC is:

Chevy V-8 = 278 HP / 565 lbs. = 0.492
Chevy V-8 = 331 HP / 565 lbs. = 0.587
Chevy V-8 = 359 HP / 565 lbs. = 0.635
Chevy V-8 = 218 HP / 565 lbs. = 0.386
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Postby NixVegaGT » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:32 am

Nice, Dude. BTW thanks for changing your avatar. That demon you had on there was pretty scary. LOL!

Thanks for including me in the thread. I've finally gotten to the engine assembly. Well actually engine mock up for the new engine placement. Here's a pic right before I put the heads on the bare block, right after I installed the studs:

Image

I also set the grungy valve covers to see what they will look like, and I set the single plane intake on with the Qjet on top to get an overall dimension.

Image

The strange part is that the Buick is setup to be mounted with the engine angled back at something like 3-5º but the single plane intake is set level with the engine. That could be a problem. I also have a Performer 3.5 I'll be testing with this engine as a comparo… well I'll get to that. Anyway here's the empty engine and trans ready for mockup. Funny, I can practically carry this assembly around with nothing in it it's like 180lbs. LOL!.

Image

Ok I know what you're thinking; Probably the same thing I am: Why not just use the engine mounts you have and be done with it? Well since I've got to have the driveshaft shortened anyway I figured I might as well take the opportunity to move the engine back a few inches. I think I can move it back about 2 1/2" with no modifications to the firewall. Better weight distribution. Not much change but every little bit counts.

OH one more thing. Mounting the heads on the block with no rotation assembly afforded me the opportunity to get a look at what the cylinders look like with the chamber:

Image

It looks pretty good. I don't think I'll have any problems with valve shrouding even with the larger valves I put in. SWEET! The other nice thing is the edges of the chamber matches up with the edges of the cylinders.
- Nic '73 Vega GT "DogBoxx" Batwing LS1
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2357894
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Postby res0o7eb » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:06 pm

NixVegaGT wrote:BTW thanks for changing your avatar. That demon you had on there was pretty scary. LOL!
Kind of like that evil dude emoticon! Right? :evil: That is Hunter. He turned 2 last week.
What IS scary is that with these latest pics of your impending build-up , I am thinking of building one of these. 8)
With all of the other engines I have right now, do I need another one? That voice is saying YES. :twisted:
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Not so scary after all.
Just a little red eye from the camera flash.
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Postby bugdewde » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:02 pm

Nic......
You know that's like PORN to me..... ?
Wow!!! Drool...... :nurse:
Dwight

'73 Vega GT Hatchback, mostly stock....
'72 Vega GT Kammback, 215 V8
'73 Vega Wagon - Currently in Limbo....
My rides: http://www.cardomain.com/id/bugdewde
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Re: 215 C.I. Aluminum V-8

Postby bugdewde » Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:57 pm

Reviving an old post after 7 years. :shock:

New members within the last 5 years probably don't even know what a 215 Aluminum V8 is.
Hoping my video will provide some interest in the old 215 Aluminum V8, as there are some good information in this thread about them.
I know there are a couple others that have since built 215s for their cars.... since this thread was made years ago.

It's been too many years since I've had a running 215 in a car. So I bought this car with the Oldsmobile version.
Olds used a wedge head type combustion chamber versus the Buick's semi-hemi combustion chamber.
Olds varied compression ratio by changing pistons versus Buick's combustion chamber size in the head (only one size piston for all Buick versions).

This engine has an advertised compression ratio of 10.5:1 ..... nothing has been verified by me since purchasing car.
Advertised Isky 282 hydraulic cam.
Buick 300 exhaust manifolds (larger than 215 logs and better exit positions)
2.5" y-pipe to a 2.5" single exhaust with a single glass pack muffler in the stock transverse location. Exits car behind driver side rear wheel.
VIDEO:
My '72 Kammback idling at 600 rpm with the Isky 282 cam
https://youtu.be/9BmrGiWKGlE

Comparison to the SBC V8 ('75 262)

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Herb Adams 2.jpg
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Herb Adams 3 UNDERLINED.jpg
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Comparison to the Vega 4-cylinder

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Vega-2.jpg
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Dwight

'73 Vega GT Hatchback, mostly stock....
'72 Vega GT Kammback, 215 V8
'73 Vega Wagon - Currently in Limbo....
My rides: http://www.cardomain.com/id/bugdewde
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Re: 215 C.I. Aluminum V-8

Postby bugdewde » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:09 pm

215 auto shifting at 3000 rpm. https://youtu.be/0EgUDF6GCRU
215 rolling about 3000 rpm. https://youtu.be/adHk-tHldUI

Just a reminder for any 215 newbies...... the 215 in stock form maxes out about 200 hp and 240 lb-ft torque. It's not a huge powerhouse.... it's all about doubling the Vega 2300 power output with no appreciable weight gain and a much lower center of gravity.
215 V8 weighs about 320 lbs.
Vega 2300 weighs about 300 lbs.

2300 has a huge cast iron cylinder head way up high in the engine bay.
NOTICE that the 215 aluminum block/heads are down low in the engine bay.... much lower than the stock 100 pound iron cylinder head.
Lower COG.jpg
Lower COG.jpg (56.69 KiB) Viewed 170 times


Some good reading on how to improve the 215.
http://www.teambuick.com/reference/libr ... um_v-8.php
Last edited by bugdewde on Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Dwight

'73 Vega GT Hatchback, mostly stock....
'72 Vega GT Kammback, 215 V8
'73 Vega Wagon - Currently in Limbo....
My rides: http://www.cardomain.com/id/bugdewde
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Re: 215 C.I. Aluminum V-8

Postby cammerjeff » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:39 am

On my 77 Astre the 215 is actually about 50lbs lighter than the all cast iron, Iron Duke that it replaced. My modified Buick 215 Dyno'd at 230 net HP and 316 Ft Lbs of torque. and it was still pulling at 6000 rpm but that was my redline for the mostly stock bottom end of the engine. There are big gains to be made just on the upper end of the engine. And replacing the stock intake manifold with an Edlebrock Performer that is still available.

I chose the 215 for size weight so chassis modifications could be kept to a minamum.
Jeff R

78 Sunbird Safari Wagon, 3.8 N/A, 1971 Catalina Freeway Enforcer
77 Astre Formula, some day soon powered by a 215 Buick V-8
1973 4-speed Lemans Safari STOCK!!!!! 1978 Catalina Safari
1971 Lemans Safari/GTO Clone, 1969 Firebird Sprint 301 ci OHC6, T-5, 4.10 12 bolt posi
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Re: 215 C.I. Aluminum V-8

Postby Thunderbolt » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:47 pm

Buick Aluminum V-8 in restored 1974 Vega GT. I have installed a 2006 Pontiac Solstice I-4 in my Vega. It was difficult to fit and the interfacing units were very exoersive. I wouold like to replace it with the Buick V-8 and the "world class" T-5 transmission. I'm looking for a Buick V-8 to rebuild and a T-5 transmission. I installed a Buick V-8 in my 1971 Vego GT years ago and D&D provided all the parts. It was a great fit without any interference.

Any one out there with an engine and a T-5 transmission for sale?

Frank M
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Re: 215 C.I. Aluminum V-8

Postby Thunderbolt » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:49 pm

Buick Aluminum V-8 in restored 1974 Vega GT. I have installed a 2006 Pontiac Solstice I-4 in my Vega. It was difficult to fit and the interfacing units were very expensive. I would like to replace it with the Buick V-8 and the "world class" T-5 transmission. I'm looking for a Buick V-8 to rebuild and a T-5 transmission. I installed a Buick V-8 in my 1971 Vego GT years ago and D&D provided all the parts. It was a great fit without any interference.

Any one out there with an engine and a T-5 transmission for sale?

Frank M
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