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Projects 1956 Pontiac Gasser 389 swap

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by wvenfield, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,361

    73RR
    Member

    I believe that these two phrases are mutually exclusive.....

    Also, a bit surprised that your cam question did not find an answer. If all else fails, you can send it to a cam grinder for analysis. Most charge about $25 to run it through a CamDoctor or similar programme.

    .
     
    wvenfield likes this.
  2. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    When it comes to Pontiac's unanswered questions seem to be more common. LOL.
     
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  3. Don't recognize the numbers on rear of cam. Look at the front where the timing gear goes on. See if there's a letter stamped there.
    Measure across a lobe, side to side, with a caliper.
    Then measure the lobe (high point) all the way down to the heel (bottom)
    Subtract 1st measurement from the second.
    Multiply this amount times 1.5 .
    If it comes out around .400 lift, little more or less, it's probably a factory or replacement cam and you probably don't want it anyway
     
  4. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    I'm relatively sure that is what it is. Thanks.
     
    1947knuck likes this.
  5. I'd run a 55-57 chevy pedal set and move that defroster. Aught to be relatively easy to find and not expensive. You'll have to drill a few holes to bolt it in.
     
  6. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    I need a 1960 389 cast iron front timing cover. Anyone need a front suspension?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. I am going tom follow your thread as your 56 is almost exactly like my first car I bought in 1963 for $395 and was like new outside and in. The original motor was not to good though, Was like fill the oli and check the gas. LOL My car blue was a little darker. Good luck with the swap.
     
    wvenfield likes this.
  8. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    Yeah, making progress but I still need a 60 Timing cover.....I know someone out there has one.

    DSC_3798-20141212 (1280x852).jpg
     
  9. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    Bit of a crossroads trying to determine the best way to go. I can get this front end for a fraction of a Speedway kit. It just came off a fully restored truck but the guy wanted IFS. (early 50's style)

    [​IMG]

    How can I make this work with the least amount of fuss? Obviously I have little clue what I'm doing but that isn't going to stop me. LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  10. I had to take a double take on that '55 front on your '56 Pontiac. Did the '55 grille/bumper bolt onto the '56 front fenders or is it a complete '55 front clip?
     
  11. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    Bolted right up. I bought the car wrecked but I liked the simpler 55 front. Seems to me that the bumper brackets were a little different but I had both.

    That and the 55 was all I could find at the time locally. LOL
     
    1947knuck likes this.
  12. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,464

    belair
    Member

    press on, brother. Good work, you have been patient.
     
  13. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    Yes, too.......LOL. I just hate to go the wrong direction only to have to go another. It's 15 degree's or something like that here so it's not like I don't have some time.

    Also......(for anyone reading this, I know someone has to know even though this is a Pontiac and not a Chevy). LOL.

    Should I have a problem with stock springs running this?

    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/lun-10510702

    They are new and....................
     
  14. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I think the springs will be fine, but with the extra lift you may want to convert it to an adjustable valvetrain. For stock it's just 20 ft lbs on the rocker nut and the factory used a .410 lift not sure if your currant cam has this much lift? I've done this with some roller tip rocker arms and worked out. I have an extra set, just needs some new lock nuts.
     
  15. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    I have a new set of lock nuts. I'll let you know on the rockers. THANKS!
     
  16. Its your car build it the way you want. however if it was me I would get a later firebird, Nova ,Camaro subframe and graft it on. the engine mount problems will easily be solved. You get power steering & disk brakes and it will handle very well. With that engine yours will be a fast car. and a straight axle just don't handle well at speed unless its in a straight line Even then steering a dodgy car with one hand and shifting with the other will be exciting! We have a tri five chevy 56 that we wanted to install a 400 pontiac engine and stick trans. We frame clipped it with a 78 firebird subframe everything fits now even the hedders.
     
  17. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    And air conditioning? LOL Couldn't resist.
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  18. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    So I went and finally picked this up. Now I just need to figure out how I want to put it all together.

    DSC_3898 (1280x853).jpg
     
  19. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    So I had to at least set it in place.

    [​IMG]

    Now this is nothing like it will be. 99% decided to cut the frame off in front of the steering box and build a 2X3 box frame. It should give me more room and actually make things easier. This came out of a 51 so it's the tapered springs (probably going to have to have them re-arched. Living in podunk the only place I know that does them is an hour away). It will also solve the timing cover issue. I won't have to use it as a mounting point.

    I note all of this as I'm open to any suggestions. After a bunch of looking the only solution I can come to us to buy small block fenderwell headers and Pontiac flanges and combine them. I think this will look neater than making a set from scratch. I'll be removing the vent for the underseat heater.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    1947knuck likes this.
  20. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    The one advantage of leaving the front frame and very front crossmember intact like how I did mine helped to insure the alignment of the front clip. I rearched my own springs with the f1 axle I got but figured it would settle back down and be too long again with the springs being soo old. That's why I went for the speedway springs. I took them apart and used a press and slowly worked along the axle to bend the springs.
     
    1947knuck likes this.
  21. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    When I bought this car it was wrecked. It wasn't hit hard but the front frame horns did get tweaked and the drivers side cracked. It was welded and supposedly put straight (my buddy own a body shop with a frame machine) but it never seemed quite right to me.

    If it hadn't already been cracked, welded and maybe straightened I would be less likely to cut it off.
     
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  22. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I forgot about that until now, I remember you showing the pics of the bent frame.
     
  23. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    I got the frame cut. I'm certainly to the point of no return now. I noted that I'm doing this at my buddies garage and I decided to put a new water pump on. He just called and had it delivered (that's pretty cool LOL). Anyway I thought the delivery guy was going to cry as we started cutting. LOL

    I don't know what happened with the engine pic. Stalled waiting on a double roller timing set. Hopefully it will be here tomorrow. I hopefully will have the new rails at least tacked in tomorrow.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
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  24. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  25. This is awesome! and I have subscribed to this thread. I have a 57 Pontiac that will be going through this process soon. Thankfully, it is a Canadian manufactured car meaning that it is built with the 57 Chev frame, and drivetrain so I will be avoiding some of your headaches...
    Keep up the good work! I'm excited to see your progress.
     
    wvenfield likes this.
  26. I did not remember seeing anyone answering your question about your trans..

    It is an M-21 Manufactured October 27th 1973
    Ratio: 2.20 / 1.64 / 1.28 / 1.00 / 2.27
     
  27. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    Thanks!! I finally figured it out myself. People don't bother with Pontiac posts. :D
     
  28. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077

    wvenfield
    Member

    Mostly just a shameless bump. Bonneville on it's way to Kentucky. The 389 is almost back together and ready to set in place but I'll wait until I get it all painted for pics.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    1947knuck likes this.
  29. brut4s
    Joined: Sep 19, 2011
    Posts: 56

    brut4s
    Member

    Looks like a lot of work
     
  30. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,777

    stuart in mn
    Member

    Wow, I've been around '61 Pontiacs all my life and I've never seen one rust out like that one.
     
    31hotrodguy likes this.

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