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'54 pontiac engine

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by *Boywonder*Kustomz*, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. *Boywonder*Kustomz*
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 3

    *Boywonder*Kustomz*
    Member

    a friend of mine just picked up a two door '54 pontiac. He pulled the motor and apparently doesnt want it. I questioned him about it and he said " if you want it, im not using it, its yours." So im gonna grab it, but im just wandering if anyone knows anything about it. Its the original straight eight. it looks rough but i havent had time to tear into it and see what i can do. Is it worth anything? any clue how much? i just grabbed it because i think its awesome, i mean its friggin huge. anyway any info would help. thanks
     
  2. yorgatron
    Joined: Jan 25, 2002
    Posts: 4,228

    yorgatron
    Member Emeritus

    it would be fun in an open hood car,but it's never gonna make any serious horsepower.
    oh yeah,don't rev it too much,
    the crank is kinda "whippy" if you know what i mean :rolleyes:
     
  3. kurts49plym
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Posts: 386

    kurts49plym
    Member
    from IL

    They are a cool looking flathead. I always wanted one, but couldn't figure out what kind of car to install it in. It's super long as you know. I've seen people make mail box posts from the crankshaft!:D :D
     
  4. JDHolmes
    Joined: Nov 25, 2006
    Posts: 918

    JDHolmes
    Member
    from Spring TX

    I've got one right now in the rebuild shop. Won't ever make a lot of power, but I wanted the 53 original. Couple of notes...not many people can rebuild them correctly, check around. Also, it's going to be costly...more probably than you want to spend...I know more than I intended to spend but I've got $1000 in parts already and he hasn't hit me for the labor yet...probably gonna be around $3000. Worst part of my story is its been in his shop for 16 months now.

    The rebuilder will always put off the old rebuild for something he can do quickly and make quick money on. It's a heavy heavy motor but I like the look.
     

  5. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    The old Motors manual says Pontiac had two engines in 1954, a six and an eight. The eight had 268 cubic inches, was 3 3/8 bore by 3 3/4 stroke, and put out 122 or 127 HP at 3800, depending on compression. Torque was 226 or 234 at 2200. The high compression came on a car with a hydro, if the car came with a stick, it was low compression. The low was 6.8, the high was 7.7
     
  6. Andrew Williams
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 223

    Andrew Williams
    Member

    If it is high compressoin i think it will have it cast into the head at the back. Mine does. It is a good low rpm engine low end torque. I have a 53 that was driven daily by the previous owner till 88 and has a good body. It still runs good and starts good but someone didn't change the oil for years and it is very worn out, alot of knocks, rattles and smoke. It ran for probably 10 years that way with a few cans of stp in the non detergent oil/sludge. Even though it is worn out the old car will still keep up with traffic and would probably last a few more years before blowing. Get it you'll find a use for it or trade it off for something else later don't let it get scrapped.
     
  7. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,375

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Something else to keep in mind with that engine is that they were netorious for having a "sagging" problem. From what I read, a kit was actually sold by Pontiac to better support this engine at the middle. You have a huge amount of mass spanning a great distance. Not sure sure if the additional mounts were ever added during production, but it's been noted that some sag and some don't. Obviously if your crank is not in line anymore, you can imagine the ware on the main bearings. Something to check out.

    Neat engines! I had a 53 Poncho for a bit and had fully intended on running that straight 8 flatty! Plenty of parts for them and they have a good reputation overall. Maybe you can do a thread, when you get that beast, on a start to finish rebuild. Would be cool to see another one saved!

    Good luck!
    Scooter
     
  8. shpotty
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 247

    shpotty
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Rebuild parts are available from several sources:

    California Pontiac Restoration - http://www.pontiacparts.net/

    Kanter Auto Parts - http://www.kanter.com/

    Egge Machine - http://www.egge.com/

    As noted above, they do not like a lot of RPM but they make plenty of torque down low. They do weigh a whole lot, but in a light car it wouldn't matter that much.

    The "high compression" engine was standard on Hydra-matic cars and optional on stick cars.

    I'm freshening one up for the '53 Chieftain in my avatar.
     
  9. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,188

    55chieftain
    Member

    Sorry your friend doesn't like flatheads, I hope he's going to at least put a Pontiac v-8 in there. If it turns over, it shouldn't take much to get it running. My little 239 flat 6 Pontiac came with a 4:30 gear to help with the lack of power. Hydromatic cars should have a higher gear though.
     
  10. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member Emeritus

    My dad bought a new '54 Pontiac inline eight. I didn't think much of it. Cracked the block between the exhaust valve and cylinder in '58. My dad bought a new '58 318 Plymouth. I liked that better
     
  11. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,408

    atomickustom
    Member

    I had a '54 with the "high compression" 8. It weighed about a million pounds and made about 10 horsepower.
    On the other hand, it was the smoothest and quietest motor I've ever had in a car and when you start it up it sounds like an airplane cranking over (something to do with the starter gear, I assume).
    I'm not kidding about the weight, though - it took 2 or 3 grown men standing on the cherry picker to keep it from tipping with the motor and trans hanging. The arm was bending. We sat it down and didn't move it for 22 years. It would come in very handy if you wanted to chain down an entire house.
     
  12. Nekronomicon
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 814

    Nekronomicon
    Member

    I have a 54 pontiac with the straight eight in it now, it only has about 78,000 miles on the clock but its like atomickustom said, very smooth and quiet! I'm not gonna touch the engine for as long as possible, then if it dies, replace it instead of rebuilding it.
     
  13. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    If you plan to part it out, save the rods. They can be used in model A engines.
     
  14. *Boywonder*Kustomz*
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 3

    *Boywonder*Kustomz*
    Member

    well I'm definitely gonna grab it, the thing is just too cool to let go. and it hurts me to even say it but my buddy is going the cookie cutter route with the car and dropping in a sbc.....weak, I know! I really appreciate all the info guys!
     
  15. Roughshod Rod
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 18

    Roughshod Rod
    Member

    Did you take the tranny too?
    I need an access plate from the dynaglide 3.
    How has the engine served you? I have a 239 flat6 in my '54 Chieftain
     
  16. yorgatron
    Joined: Jan 25, 2002
    Posts: 4,228

    yorgatron
    Member Emeritus

    WTF are you talking about?

    Pontiac used the Dual-Range Hydra-Matic in 1954 :rolleyes:
     
  17. Roughshod Rod
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 18

    Roughshod Rod
    Member

    Nope. But I meant Powerglide.
    Pontiacs put Powerglides in them for a year or so when the Hydra-Matic plant burnt down.
    I have a 1954 Pontiac Pathfinder (Canadian version of the Chieftain), it shares panels with the 54 chevy sedan and the transmission with a 53 Corvette (so I have been told), but is OEM from factory! Found the part I needed, but could use some troubleshooting for 53/4 powerglides, if anyone has any info.
    Cheers,
    C
     

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