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Technical 1960 Pontiac tripower

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Frank Sieber, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    I have acquired a 1960 Pontiac Ventura w/ tri-power and 4 speed. Not sure of engine size 389 or 347 from what I have been told. The problem is the engine has some blow by. I noticed there's no PCV valve on the system. I have had old Pontiacs before and that usually have the PVC in the lifter valley cover. No evidence of that here. Are the tri-Powers even vented like that? If so would the draw come from the center carburetor? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Figured I'd try to find somebody who had experience with this setup before I went to jacking and with it. Thanks in advance y'all have a good one.
     
  2. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,545

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    How about it guys???....
     
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  3. Poncho60
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 234

    Poncho60
    Member
    from N Illinois

    All 60 Pontiacs were 389s unless it's been messed with. Don't think any of them had PCV systems....they had a road draft tube instead. Maybe Calif was different, don't know about that.
     
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  4. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,355

    BJR
    Member

    Just get a PCV from a newer Pontiac 389 and plumb it into the hole where the road draft tube came out of. Hook the other end to the intake manifold or the center carb.
     
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  5. Yes I have a 60 catalina in my hoard. They all are 389 they never had a PCV. It will not hurt to retrofit one. use the road draft to hook up the hose and get a carb base from a V 8 66 chevy truck and the right angle fitting and horizontal PCV valve. put that on the center carb.
     
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  6. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,056

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    All Pontiac blocks have a hydraulic lifter valley pan. That simply means that the intake is not sealed to the lifter valley, allowing you to remove the intake while the engine remains sealed. The distributor is located at the rear of the motor and can remain installed when the intake is removed. This is where you will find your first clue of the engine’s age. Appears road draft tubes were phased out in 1960 and replaced by PCV system.
    • If the valley pan has the PCV port at the rear, the block is from 1966 or older, and
    • If the port is at the front, it is 1967 and newer. Of course, the valley can be easily changed or missing, so you’ll need to pry further.
    Pontiac blocks have different freeze-plug configurations:-
    • 1955–66 blocks have 2 (two) freeze plugs; and
    • 1967–78 blocks have 3 (three) freeze plugs.
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  7. Rich S.
    Joined: Jul 22, 2016
    Posts: 293

    Rich S.

  8. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,056

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Frank, it might also pay to also familarise yourself with the forum rules and do an introduction
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  9. PCV valves were REQUIRED on all 1961 model cars sold in California. It is still possible that a 1960 389 would have one but if not originally a California car probably not.
     
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  10. One easy upgrade I like to do is get the aluminum engine block to oil filter adapter from the newer Pontiac and convert to a spin on oil filter. the later HEI will interchange also but might not fit a tri power.
     
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  11. Poncho60
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 234

    Poncho60
    Member
    from N Illinois

    So where are you getting the blow by? Is the road draft tube still there...smoke coming out of it? My 60 has the spin on oil filter. Pretty sure it was std for 1960. The canister type ended in 1959, pretty sure. Just as aside, I would not be taking any more Pontiac info from whomever suggested your 60 had a 347 in it...just my 2 cents.
     
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  12. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    Has the car been sitting for a good while? Blowby might be a frozen ring or two and will free probably free up.
     
  13. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

     
  14. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    Thank you for your response poncho60.
     
  15. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    Thank you didn't think about that.
     
  16. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

     
  17. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    It has a spin-on filter, and someone put a petronics in the dist. Thanks.
     
  18. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

     
  19. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    It's got blue smoke on startup it goes away. No road draft tube.
    The main gripe is breathers slobbering oil on the valve covers after a drive.
    I put a PCV grommet and valve in that hole were tube was back by the distributor. I left both valve cover breathers in.
    Before I put a PCV valve on it, it acted like it was real easy to flood if you pumped it a couple times in the morning, you have to floor it to clear it. Acted like it was fat, I think putting the PCV on it leaned it out a little. Seemed to help it too.
    Thanks for your input Poncho 60.
     
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  20. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,355

    BJR
    Member

    I fixed a few 389's back in the day with blue smoke at start up. Most times it was plugged oil return holes in the heads from sludge, due to bad oil back in the day and Pennzoil oil. That stuff would stick hydraulic lifters in a few miles, and then turn to sludge. Remove the valve covers and take an old speedometer cable and chuck it in a drill and run it down the oil return holes in the lower corners of the heads. Had many that if I removed the valve covers after running, oil would pour onto the exhaust manifolds, as the valve covers were full of oil because of plugged return holes in the heads.
     
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  21. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

     
  22. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    Had both valve covers off engine is really clean inside.
     
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  23. Poncho60
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 234

    Poncho60
    Member
    from N Illinois

    Couldn't the blow by also be due to valve guides or valve stem seals? Don't see how the crankcase ventilation would affect your start up issues. Do you have a choke on the center carb? Do the butterflies on the end carbs seal completely?

    How about posting a picture of the car.
     
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  24. Blow by is compression gas getting past the pistons & rings. the valves are closed during the compression and power strokes . you do not get blow by from worn valve guides. on the Y block fords (they almost all have excessive blow by) I ran a section of heater hose from the oil fill to the air cleaner inside the filter element. that way the engine ingested the oily blow by. Do a compression test. On a pontiac engine.If any cyls are lower than the remainder I would suspect stuck or broken rings or broken piston ring lands.
     
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  25. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

     
  26. Frank Sieber
    Joined: Jun 15, 2019
    Posts: 18

    Frank Sieber

    Yeah I don't believe the PCV affected the start condition, it sure helped the fat condition that it had. Choke is on the center carb, all three carburetors have a little but not e
    xcessive throttle bore wear.
     

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  27. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What Poncho60 said. Blue smoke on startup that goes away always screams valve seals to me.

    Of course, never a bad idea to plumb in a PCV, but I'm not sure it'll do anything to remedy the smoke on startup situation.
     
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  28. Poncho60
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 234

    Poncho60
    Member
    from N Illinois

    Looks like a nice car. Not to diss this site, but the Ames Performance Years site is all Pontiac. If you can't find your Pontiac questions answered there might not be an answer. There's a section just on tri-powers if you're interested. To get to the technical threads, click on cool links, then Pontiac forums. Site is free btw. Just a suggestion.
     
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  29. yes blue smoke on startup is usually oil from valve guides. It can be cured with umbrella type seals. The 58 Pontiacs have a hole drilled from outside the head into the exhaust valve guide to prevent vacuum from pulling oil thru the exhaust guides. Excessive blow by - crankcase fumes is always leakage of combustion vapors past the pistons & rings.
     
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  30. shadetreerodder
    Joined: Aug 4, 2006
    Posts: 291

    shadetreerodder
    Member

    On a Rochester trip power setup, the primary carb has the port for the PC valve. Does it have a crankcase breather tube?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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