Buick 215 and a turbo

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    I have a Buick 215 V8 and a Jetfire turbo and intake. How much effort would it take to get the turbo going on the Buick motor? Is it worth it? Has anyone done it? Do the Olds exhaust manifolds work on the Buick heads? From what I see the water injection system could be a killer to set up. Is that true. How rare are these turbos? I would think that it would be easier to just buy an Olds turbo motor but I haven’t seen any complete ones out there. Any insights to help a guy new to this engine.



    Hi Joel,
    I have not seen a Olds Jetfire turbo mounted on top of the Buick 215 engine. I am not sure if the exhaust manifolds will fit for correct connection to the turbo, but let’s assume they do. The next issue would be turbo and intake fitting with the Buick style valve covers, the Buick valve covers are taller. You would have to be sure the complete intake system “clears” the top of the Buick valve covers. Olds Jetfire uses unique valve covers that provide a fitting/opening for the turbo oil return to the engine crankcase on the right (passenger side) of the engine. The left valve cover has an opening/fitting for the PVC valve and engine breathing gases to be drawn into the air cleaner. So, both Buick valve covers would require modifications to work correct with a turbo set up. I do not believe the Jetfire valve covers will fit on the Buick heads. The Turbo Rocket fluid injection system will work, regardless of the engine brand. You will need the Turbo Rocket fluid supply tank that is mounted on the inner left fender well of a Jetfire. I do believe the intake manifold for the turbo set up will fit either brand of 215 engine. It would be a “project” and would require you to check out the placement and fitting of the turbo exhaust and intake manifolds before you get too far into the project.
    You would want the Buick engine to be the Skylark version from a ’62 or ’63. They were the higher compression 195 H.P. engines. Putting a turbo set up on the 155 H.P. engine, either Buick or Olds, would be a waste of time and money. You would NOT get the performance expected.
    Olds Jetfire engines are “out there”. Turbo intake systems can be found. I understand that you would like to work with the parts and money you already have into your collection, but as I stated, it will be a project!
    Any specific questions? Send me an email.
    Good luck, Jim



    The exhaust manifolds will interchange between Olds and Buick. The only difference is how they mount on the block. You will need a turbo intake to change over from the 4 brl which is stock on all Buick Specials and Skylark’s.

    The turbo-engines are worth a LOT if you rebuild it right, keep it original, and do not put it in the wrong car. (Good in: Oldsmobile Jetfire from 61′-63′.. Bad in: MG’s, Rover’s, Buick’s, Pontiac’s, Oldsmobile F 85 and Cutlass Models.)

    The turbo in the condition of needing to be rebuil is not worth much more then $750., but if it works and is complete (Bolt in and drive) could range from $1250-$1750. depending on condition of course.

    I think it would be best to transfer the turbo onto an Oldsmobile 215 since the heads bolt on differently, same with the valve covers, and sometimes an F 85 will have a 2 brl carb and intake.

    I do have a 1962 Oldsmobile F 85 215 in an unknown condition. Of course it will need to be changed over to a turbo intake, turbo exhaust manifolds and all the turbo related parts.

    Just my opinion. But it is always your car, unless you wish to sell it. So build it for yourself!





    My car (see 62OldsF85 blue convert pics) had a Buick 215 in it when I bought it. I rebuilt an Olds Jetfire motor, removed the Buick 215 and put in the Olds Jetfire 215. Before I put in the Olds motor, I converted to an ’62 Olds T-10 4 speed, so I have some knowledge on that end, too. When I had the Buick motor in, I converted it from a two barrel (155 hp original Special engine) to a four barrel with an Olds manifold and carb. Everything lined up fine and worked fine. Got some nice pop horsepower out of that.

    However, I wouldn’t suggest strapping the turbo setup onto the Buick motor. Internally the Olds turbo block (having stripped mine down and compared), is way more stout, and the mains have longer bolt holes and bolts. Running mine now, the turbo causes a lot of pressure and heat, especially. So much so that this motor spun a rod (a common problem, I think, on these engines), blew up a piston and threw it through the block sometime in its life before I rebuilt it. Also, having had some issues with a lifter and a few pushrods once I built my engine and having had to remove my valve covers a few more times than I’d like to admit, that passenger’s side valve cover is engineered to work a certain way and I can’t see duplicating that. Olds valve covers don’t fit on Buick 215’s, so don’t bother with that.

    I’d say source an Olds turbo block with heads and a missing turbo. It shouldnt be that expensive and then you’d have the right stuff.


    Here’s the skinny

    The comments about the J block are correct, but it wasn’t always used. In the block sequence numbers where Buick would have explained everything is a smaller upside down alpha-numeric code, most start with HI the jetfire block starts with J.

    The valve covers do have the oil return bung on the passenger side. The oil cap is also relocated forward, as standard olds it’s located in the middle and that where the downpipe and exhaust turbine chill, as well on the driver side where the carburetor and rocket fluid metering equipment is. Pretty much gonna find em on a motor or nowhere.
    It’s like the flex plate on a 61-62 tempest. Only gonna find it on a motor still in a tempest. If you pulled it for whatever reason you would find out really fast when you somehow ignored how shallow the bellhousing is. These are engine and Car specific parts. Plus to make it worse Pontiac offered a recall to convert you to 4bbl. Also the drivers side exhaust manifold is special, it has a different angle on the choke heat provision, as well as for the crossover pipe to connect both manifolds.

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