FAQ about oldholdens

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Frequently asked questions about holden stuff

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions on oldholden.com, if answers are not listed below please click on the internal link(in blue) and that will answer your question.

Can i bore my 253 out and make it a 308?

A No! you cannot bore a 253 to 308, there is not enough metal in the bore of the 253 to bore it out to 308. They do share the same stroke but the cranks cannot be interchanged as they have different size counterweights, also a neoprene rear main seal type crank/block is not interchangeable with a wick rear main seal type crank/block.

What sort of Holley do i have? "the number on it says 0-1848"

Can I put a blue motor head on a red motor block?

A Yes! you can put a blue motor head on a red block with some minor modifications to the block to line up the revised water passages in the blue head. This is done by laying the blue motor head gasket on the red block and using the gasket as a guide, center punch the water gallery holes, and using a suitable drill bit (covered in grease to catch the swarf) drill the new passageways to suit.......

I am looking at buying a HQ-WB Ute, how do I tell if it is original, and what year it was made??


I have a stock standard 6 cylinder motor, how can I make it go better?


What’s the difference between a red, blue and black motor?

A The Red motor has a nine port head, six exhaust ports and three shared inlet ports.

The Blue motor has basically the same bottom end as the red but the head has twelve ports, six exhaust and six inlets which allows for better flow characteristics, leading to better cylinder filling (more power). The blue motor also has electronic ignition which delivers a better fatter spark than the points system used on the Red motor. The Blue Motor has a fully balanced crankshaft, which makes it able to rev higher than the red motor. The Blue Motor came equipped with a 2 barrel "varajet" carburettor, with vacuum secondaries. These are renowned as a poor carburettor with lousy fuel economy. The Blue Motor had several emission control features which the red did not, including exhaust gas recirculation (part of the exhaust gases were sucked back into the carburettor when inlet manifold vacuum was high. this was intended to re burn some of the unburnt fuel and products of incomplete combustion such as carbon monoxide.) Other pollution control features on the blue motor include more restricted centrifugal distributor advance than the red motor, and restricted vacuum advance (6 degrees compared with the red motor's 9 degrees.) The Blue Motor had a slightly longer duration and lift camshaft than the red motor, to compensate for the power - sucking anti - pollution modifications. A stock blue motor produced about 105 bhp compared with 135 bhp for a stock red motor. Of course blue motor parts on a red motor (without anti pollution equipment) can increase the power output of the red motor.

The Black motor is essentially the same as a Blue motor i.e. same bottom end as red/blue, fully balanced crank, a twelve port head the same as the blue but with higher profile inlet ports for better flow. The Black motors came with a varajet carby or Fuel injection. Fuel injection giving the best power results, but the carburettor being slightly more fuel efficient (according to manufacturer's figures at time of release). The Black motor also had a new ignition with "electronic spark timing" or EST that is triggered by a sensor to sense the position of the flywheel, which was terrific when new but can give problems as the motor ages and is in my opinion best removed and replaced with the Blue motor electronic ignition. The EST does not have adjustable static advance. The carburettor Black motor had a slightly longer duration and higher lift camshaft than the blue or red motors, and the EFI black motor had a longer duration and higher lift camshaft again, similar in fact to the GTR XU1 camshaft fitted to performance 186 engines some 10 or more years previously. The Black motor produced a claimed (approx) 120 bhp for the carby model and 135 bhp for the EFI model.

What sort of Gearbox have I got? M20? M21? M22?

What is timing or ignition timing?

A Ignition timing is the position of the piston in degrees that the spark plug fires at. i.e. 6-degree btdc....The spark to ignite the fuel air mixture in the combustion chamber will fire when the piston is 6 flywheel degrees before top dead center (its highest point). The spark is fired before the piston reaches its highest point in its cycle to give time for the fuel/air mix to ignite and start to burn in a controlled manner expanding the gasses, which then push the piston down, thereby turning the crank . If the spark fires too soon the expanding gasses will try to push the piston down before it reaches tdc (Backwards, which causes a loss in power) If the spark fires too late, the piston will already on the down stroke when the air/fuel ignites, being pulled down by the crank Assembly, not being pushed down by the expanding gasses.(again loosing power)

How do I fit an electronic distributor to my red 6?


How do I tell what motor I have?

What size carburettor should I fit to my motor?

How do tell what differential ratio I have?

How do i calculate what differential ratio would suit my car?

How do I tell the difference between a 253 and a 308?

What is a stage 2 shift kit?

A Stage 2 shift kit is a modified plate that goes between the valve body and the body of the trans. In some trans, holes have to be drilled and different checkvalves and checkvalve springs have to be used. This makes the shift harsh-no lagging/flaring between gears-a positive gear change feeling. Stage 2 trans is different again-heavier clutches/springs/servo etc. A shift kit can be put in with the trans still in the car-not recommended though.

How do I change the lifters on a 253/308?


1. Take off the inlet manifold making sure you have drained the coolant.

2. Take off the rocker covers.

3. Turn crank by hand until a cylinder is on the compression stroke and the pressure is off the rocker arms and take the pair of rockers off the head, lift out the push rods keeping each rocker and push rod in order to go back where it belongs. Do this for each cylinder.

4. Now you should have no inlet manifold and nothing stopping the lifter from coming out. That is if the lifter hasn't worn a lip on the bore, if it has it may be a little more difficult to remove, though it just needs to be lined up correctly.

5. When installing the new lifters use engine build lube or Vaseline both work well to lube up till the oil gets there.

6. I take it you can put it back together from here.

The inlet manifold and it can be a bugger to seal. The rear seal in front of the dizzy can move and slide out the back and you end up with an oil leak that runs down the back and imitates a leaky rear main seal.

I usually silicon them in as they have a type of glue on them that works ok for a while but it eventually squeezes out and leaks. Check the length of the seal first, never had one that was the correct length yet, always too long. Cut a bit of each end to align it properly in the center. Run a bead of silicon along the block, put on gasket and let it go off for a couple of minutes to go tacky (makes it harder to push out), run another bead along the top and put the manifold back in place, checking the gasket is still in place, use a mirror. A bit of silicon around the water ports won’t hurt either but put only a little. Leave the silicon to dry before filling with coolant or starting.

Does more Air = More fuel???

What advantages can I expect from feeding more air to my air filter (via a scoop, cold air induction etc)? If more air is fed to an engine does the engine compensate for this by drawing more fuel to keep the air/fuel mixture right? Should I expect to see a rise in fuel consumption??

A It all depends on whether you want more air or cold clean air. If you put in more air you also need more fuel to keep the fuel air ratio correct for combustion. If either is out you will not get combustion. If you were in a vacuum like space (no oxygen) and stuck a match in a drum of petrol it would go out and not explode due to the incorrect fuel air ratio and petrol liquid doesn't burn the vapour does.

Now Holden motors love cold air. I think just a cold winters night gives 5 - 10% gain in power. So if you can get your air from somewhere other than the engine bay it will perform better. The air coming to the carby under the bonnet has first gone through the radiator to cool down the water so the heat exchange has to be quite good; therefore the air hitting the carby is quite hot and not good for horse power. Heat also rises from the exhaust manifold up to the carby.

What's a HP motor?

There is nothing special or different about the 179HP engine. All EHs with 179s (up to around Oct '64) have this block casting. After that date the blocks were cast '179', with no changes. When the red motor first came out the 149 blocks had no casting ID & the 179 were cast HP, probably for 'High Performance' which they certainly had when compared with the 149.

Yes, they had forged steel cranks, but so did every other Holden 6 up to April '67. (Greys & the 149/161/179/186)

Yes, they had slightly thicker cylinder walls than the 186, well of course they did, because they used the same casting moulds, but the 186 is bored slightly further. The 179 & 186 have the same maximum overbore limit of .060" resulting in a 192 ci motor.

If looking for a motor to modify these days, you're much better off with a later red or blue. These early castings are now a bit rusty in the water jacket & are probably best left to the guys who want originality for there old EH.

Dr Terry.

more discussion here [ http://oldholden.com/?q=node/view/18357 ]

Should I run my car on LPG?

discussion http://oldholden.com/?q=node/19296

hardcore facts http://franzh.home.texas.net/lpinfo/index.htm