Oldsmobile V8 Engine
The Oldsmobile Rocket V8 was the first post-war OHV V8 at General Motors. Production started in 1949, with a new generation introduced in 1964. Like Pontiac, Olds continued building its own V8 engine family for decades, finally adopting the corporate Chevrolet 350 small-block and Cadillac Northstar engine only in the 1990s. All Oldsmobile V8s were manufactured at plants in Lansing, Michigan.
All Oldsmobile V8s use a 90° bank angle, and most share a common stroke dimension: 3.4375 in (87.31 mm) for early Rockets, 3.6875 in (93.66 mm) for later Generation 1 engines, and 3.385 in (86.0 mm) for Generation 2. The 260 cu in (4.3 l), 307 cu in (5.0 l), 330 cu in (5.4 l), 350 cu in (5.7 l) and 403 cu in (6.6 l) engines are commonly called small-blocks. 400 cu in (6.6 l), 425 cu in (7.0 l), and 455 cu in (7.5 l) V8s have a higher deck height (10.625 in (27.0 cm) versus 9.33 in (23.7 cm)) to accommodate a 4.25 in (108 mm) stroke crank to increase displacement. These taller-deck models are commonly called "big-blocks", and are 1 in (2.5 cm) longer and 1.5 in (3.8 cm) wider than their "small-block" counterparts.
The Rocket V8 was the subject of many first and lasts in the automotive industry. It was the first mass-produced OHV V8 in 1949; and was the last carbureted V8 passenger car engine in 1990.
The factory painted "small-blocks" gold or blue (flat black on the late model 307 cu in (5.0 l)), while "big-blocks" could be red, green, blue, or bronze.
As is the case with all pre-1972 American passenger car engines, published horsepower and torque figures for those years were SAE "Gross," as opposed to 1972 and later SAE Net ratings (which are indicative of what actual production engines produce in their "as installed" state - with all engine accessories, full air cleaner assembly, and full factory exhaust system in-place).
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