Author Topic: 500 reputation.  (Read 841 times)

Offline packrat

  • Posts: 39
  • Name: Paul Dow
500 reputation.
« on: November 09, 2018, 02:07:57 AM »
I am looking at a hot rod project centered on a "500 cu. in. Cadillac" engine. The running engine was stripped to the bare block to place it in a custom chassis. What kind of reputation did this engine have?
1933 Cadillac 355C
1930 Ford Model A 2-door sedan
!934 Ford Panel Truck "Old" Hot Rod with built Flathead
1937 Buick Series 90 7-passenger sedan
1957 Corvette (almost done)
1972 Corvette survivor/driver
1974 Corvette project
1955 Caterpillar D8 Cable!

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 7039
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 08:20:47 AM »
Generally speaking 472, 500, 425 & 368 are all of the same family and among the most durable Cadillac engines ever built.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 08:55:13 AM »
I think it was billed as the first million mile tested (not on consumers like the next several Cadillac engines) engine.   

Until the LS engines got cheap a 472/500 was a pretty popular hot rod engine. It was slightly smaller and lighter than many other options in its class.  Companies like CadCo and MTS make/made parts and some kits to get started with swaps.   I don't know what the prices are like now but say 10 years ago you could still pick up a donor car for $1000-2000 and grab the drivetrain and epay off parts for $500-1000 and still get $500 for what was left at the junkyard so you had a pretty cheap starting point.   Parts were never as cheap as a chev small block but were on par with big block or other makes.   

Quick highlights:

-The 68-78 Eldorado Oil pan is the closest to a typical Chev pan, you also need the correct dipstick and pickup.  68-76 RWD used a front sump.  77-79 RWD was a mid sump.

-68-73 had the small chamber heads that get you around 10.5:1 with typical pistons.  74-76 had large chamber that gets you around 8.5:1 with typical pistons.  Factory went to a huge dish piston in 71 to lower the compression.

-77-79 was the 425 which used the 'new' thin wall castings so the fully dressed engine was something like 100 pounds lighter than previous models.   Was still a tough engine and all the 472/500 stuff works on em.

-all are BOP bellhousings. 

-68-69 was a different block that needs some clearance work if you wanted to put a 500 crank in one.  70-76 was all the same block.  Difference between a 472 and 500 was crank and pistons. 

-mid 75-79 there was a factory mulitioprt electronic fuel injection option.  If you find one of those there are components that are getting very hard to find so would likely have more value parted out than to actually operate it.  It was an analog system so no 'performance chips' per say for tuning.   Nothing about that system would be considered standard or was carried over when EFI went to mass production.  If you are thinking EFI there are lots of good aftermarket options now including I think vendors that sell a intake already drilled for multiport.     
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline packrat

  • Posts: 39
  • Name: Paul Dow
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 09:59:35 AM »
Thanks a bunch folks, that's what I was looking for. A very talented ex-employee of mine started this project and health prevents him from finishing it. It's a 1951 Chevrolet cabover (short nose) truck with a Fat Man air suspension, rectangular tube frame, and mid-mounted Cad engine hooked to a TH400 trans. He had just started to chop the top when health problems took over. I haven't made a decision to buy it yet as I already have way too many projects but the thing is really cool!
1933 Cadillac 355C
1930 Ford Model A 2-door sedan
!934 Ford Panel Truck "Old" Hot Rod with built Flathead
1937 Buick Series 90 7-passenger sedan
1957 Corvette (almost done)
1972 Corvette survivor/driver
1974 Corvette project
1955 Caterpillar D8 Cable!

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2433
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 10:44:58 AM »
It came from the low compression bigger displacement HP era, so it's not overworked.   Kinda the equivalent to flat head of it's day.    There's companies that specialize in hot rodding this motor and they are getting rarer.   So has value.   
Frankly, today, you can get much more power & dependability out of much less space/weight.   
If fill up the engine bay size matters to you, aren't much bigger, except custom race blocks.   It'll be torqy.
Dependability is a function of materials, lubrication, tolerances, and driving habits. 
Has mystic following, like '70 LS6, which in some corners was a dog.   Factory HP back then was a sham.   Getting it to the ground is the secret to fast.

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 01:56:35 PM »
The engine would be the last thing I would be afraid of with the rig you describe.  Sounds like its made of good parts so the question would be how well were they all put together.    There is defiantly good support for that engine family still and they are not too difficult to find if you did happen to end up with one that was beyond repair.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 10:38:52 PM »
I'm a fan of that engine and have never ever hear or read a negative thing about it, contrary all other engines.
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 12:22:52 PM »
Paul,
A stock 500 with what is known as an "RV" cam would be a good fit to either power a tug boat or your truck.  The motors are low speed torque makers, so  be sure your rear end/tire size is directed to that end.  I don't know how much your project will weigh, but it probably will not be much more than the 5200 pounds a late Cadillac is.
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
Director Modified Chapter CLC
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

Offline packrat

  • Posts: 39
  • Name: Paul Dow
Re: 500 reputation.
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2018, 07:31:41 AM »
Thanks again everyone. As I said before, I have not got it yet and don't know if I will. I am running out of years for all my projects as my wife reminds me daily. I did promise my friend that I would try to find it a good home. If I rule it out maybe I will get some pictures and put it on the for sale forum. I just did not think that this would be the place to sell it but you never know!
1933 Cadillac 355C
1930 Ford Model A 2-door sedan
!934 Ford Panel Truck "Old" Hot Rod with built Flathead
1937 Buick Series 90 7-passenger sedan
1957 Corvette (almost done)
1972 Corvette survivor/driver
1974 Corvette project
1955 Caterpillar D8 Cable!

 

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