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Early Pontiac 389 - I have questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scootermcrad, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 858

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    oh no, so they sound like Mopars when starting? aggghh.
     
  2. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729

    GassersGarage
    Member

    Along with my Grand Prix, I got a manual with everything you might want to know about the motor and trans. It also came with a DVD showing exploded views of everything.
     
  3. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729

    GassersGarage
    Member

    Hopes yours fits better than mine. I had to mill the spacer for the crank. The spacer put the flex plate too far out to engage the starter teeth, plus, the holes in the adapter plate wouldn't match up.
     
  4. poncho55
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 29

    poncho55
    Member

    I'll let you know. Hopefully no problems:eek:
     
  5. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    draggin'GTO
    Member

    Keep it stock, do a nice rebuild.

    Install a factory Pontiac performance cam so there will be no valvetrain geometry issues. The 9779068 (called the '068' or 'S' cam) used in a multitude of Pontiac performance engines ranging from the '69 350 HO manual-trans cars, the '65 and up Tri-Power GTO 389s to the '71 -'72 455 HO would be the ticket here.

    The 068 is the most versatile, very streetable Pontiac cam ever produced. Get it from AutoZone on special order, they selling Melling equipment (OEM supplier of the 068) under P/N SPC-7.
     
  6. 55yak
    Joined: Nov 5, 2011
    Posts: 41

    55yak
    Member

    Could you tell me a little more about your PCV on your 347? Did you install it where the old road draft tube came out? Does that eliminate the tube? I would do it to my own 347 in a heart beat if it does. Any info on the part number of the PCV you used?
     
  7. 55yak
    Joined: Nov 5, 2011
    Posts: 41

    55yak
    Member

    You guys are scaring me on the Bendsten and Wilcap adapters as I just bought a Bendsten and am a couple of weeks or so away from trying it. I too am pulling my old Hydro out of my 55 Chieftain and installing a 700R4 and need any info you might have on building mounts for this trans. Does anyone know if the 700 and 200 transmissions will even fit in the narrow tri year tunnels without major hammer work?
     
  8. swe64
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 415

    swe64
    Member

    i have a 62 catalina im going to put 700 with a berdsen adaptor intake 60-64 is same i can send pictures of this
    ken sweden
     

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  9. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729

    GassersGarage
    Member

  10. 31 5w
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 107

    31 5w
    Member

    I think there is an intake manifold design change ~1964-65. If I remember correctly you cannot change between early/late designs.
     
  11. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Really great information on the cam profiles that all of you have mentioned! I love it! Great idea! Where is a good place to source the cam? Is it available as a kit with lifters, springs, keepers, etc.? What about push rods? Should they be replaced if I change cams or even just for the sake of freshening up the whole shubang?

    Who? Me?? :rolleyes::D:D HAHA! I walk by this engine sitting on a pallet everyday and decided that I should at least figure out what I'm going to do with it and keep my eyes open for parts...

    ...This is how I ended up with so many Hemis! HAHAHA! :eek:
     
  12. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Let's talk heads for a minute...

    Anythink I should consider since they'll be gone through? Do they need hardened seats or anything like that? Should I run the stock valves if they're in good condition and just replace guides? Switch to stainless valves? Recommendations on guide type? What about cleaning up casting flash in ports and things like that? Anything worth doing or looking at when the heads are off?

    Awesome thread! Learning a LOT!
     
  13. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe 55-64 will bolt on, but ports changed from 61-65.

    Speaking of, what would have been the cast number for the stock 4bbl intake for a 59-60?
     
  14. 31 5w
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 107

    31 5w
    Member

    I think the intake acts as valley cover( as sbc) on '64 back and '65 newer has valley cover bolts to motor and intake has air space between the 2.
     
  15. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY


    No, they all had a separate valley cover. There are basically three intake designs: '55-'60, '61-'64, and '65 and up. '61 was the year that they went to the water transfer port on the front of the intake that butts up against the back of the front cover.
     
  16. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,309

    73RR
    Member


    Scott,

    http://www.pontiacpower.net/intake01.html

    ...yeah, I've got a soft spot for tin indians...

    .
     
  17. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  18. The valve angle changes on 65-up heads. Otherwise, they bolt right on with the corresponding intake. Which means you need to change the pistons out, unless you're running 389 replacement pistons which frequently have both as the 389 displacement crossed over through the change.

    I did hard seats for the exhaust when I redid mine, but if you don't mess with the valves and it's already been run on leaded for a long time it should be okay until you do want to go in there.

    I had one 59 head that had a crack on an exhaust valve seat, too.
     
  19. snaptwo
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 696

    snaptwo
    Member

    Scoot , you might check with Steve Barcak at Pontiac Heaven over in Az. , he lives and breathes Ponchos. Hope this helps.
     
  20. I've had a lotta experience with early 389s...great motors! 1960 was the first year for standard cooling....59 and earlier had reverse cooling so if you buy a new water pump be sure to get a 60...not a 59 pump.
    All pontiac v/8s used a valley cover..
    The distributors with the "window cap" and aluminum housing [I believe 57 and later with points] works best for the pertronix conversions simply because caps, rotors are easier to find...all pontiac V/8 distributors interchange.
    A spin-on filter housing from a later Pontiac V/8 will bolt up to your '60 engine...seems like tempest/GTO and firebird oil filter housings angled the filter back toward the engine..giving a little more room.
    Any Pontiac V/8 manual transmission bellhousing from '58 to '60 [GMCs using the pontiac engine work also..some are big bulky bellhousings in the bigger trucks] will fit your engine and give you the "modern" tranny bolt pattern. Don't forget to get the flywheel with it..almost any GM clutch fork will work. You can then use any modern GM tranny behind the engine...I've used muncie 4 speeds, chev/olds/pontiac 3 speed overdrives, and if you can find a 66 [or maybe it's 65 and later] and later 3 speed overdrive it's gonna be a full syncro 3 speed...first gear has a syncro like the other forward gears...better yet, score a saginaw 4 speed and bolt up the overdrive from the full syncro 3 speed to give you a 4 speed tranny with overdrive. I've done this before and controlled the O.D. with a simple toggle switch and O.D. cable...
    Or you can use a Borg Warner T-5.......a 5 speed with 5th gear being overdrive. Shifter comes trhough the floor. That's what I'm using behind my 370 Pontiac in my 34 ford.
    I'm not sure about this but I think it MAY be possible to re-use the old '53 rear motor mount brackets using the 58-60 stick bellhousing. I do know the design is the same..not sure about a bolt-up deal but it's worth checking. The 55-58 [or 59] Pontiacs had a center front motor mount like the straight 8 has...might also be able to make something work using a combination of early v/8 and straight 8 front brackets.
    Headers will help the engine breathe at higher RPMs but if you plan to keep the single 2 barrel intake/carb headers will be of no advantage to you..keep it simple with manifolds.
    Good luck and let me know if I can help any more..
     
  21. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Rocky! Great input! Interesting stuff about the bell housings!

    Definitely planning on going the automatic transmission route with this car.

    Good to know about the distributors being the same! Thought about just sending mine out to GMC Bubba and and having him work his magic.
     
  22. 31 5w
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 107

    31 5w
    Member

    Sorry gang it was only 1970 when I worked on my last Poncho. I knew there was a change just too many yrs/cars ago. Just trying to help.
     
  23. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't see anyone putting out a camshaft with the 9779068 specs.

    Hmmm....
     
  24. swe64
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 415

    swe64
    Member

    on picture before you see left side of fullsize long branch headers this is why i have to change trans it gave more hp and my stock trans was slipping betveen 2-3 gear
    ken sweden
     
  25. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,908

    40FordGuy
    Member

    Definitely keep that trans !!! It's a great 4 speed match for the 389! You can also use any of the 389 heads, but you must use the intake manifold that goes with them,...Pontiac did make changes to the "intake side" of their heads, so if you have, say, a '61 intake manifold, it doesn't fit an earlier (58) set of heads.

    4TTRUK
     
  26. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Back up... Anything to add on the heads for when they're gone through?

    I'm thinking I will look for a stock 59 or 60 4bbl intake and a Carter 4bbl to replace the 2bbl setup. That will compliment that mentioned stock Pontiac cam grind nicely as well, I suppose.
     
  27. 53chevy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,570

    53chevy
    Member

    If you go after market, like I did, then yes these manifolds can work with 55-60 389s. I have a Weiand intake, I have two, and plugged the foward water inlet on the intake. they have two round ports. The machine shop in Ventura reconfigured the round ountlet to match the stubby "L" design of the heads. you also plug the water connection in front to the water pump. There is no current makers of these intakes, maybe Offenhauser, not sure. Lots of good info here too.

    Scooter, if you need OEM numbers, I have the Pontiac Master parts book for 1960 Pontiac.

    Ken
     
  28. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,305

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You are correct. I don't know of any makers of after market 4bbl manifolds right now. The Edelbrock is the only one I know of at the moment, but maybe there were others.

    How common are the stock 4bbl intakes for 59 and 60? I like the idea of keeping it stocking looking, but painting an after market manifold is doable as well.
     
  29. 53chevy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,570

    53chevy
    Member

    Scooter they are plentiful. but man they are heavy. I couldn't beleive the difference between the Weiand and the cast iron. Edelbrock makes them for the 65 up. But, you can still find the original Weiand and Edelbrock intakes at swapmeets and ebay. I scored mine at the Big 3. It's the block letter and never seen one since. I do see the "Say-Why-And" intakes from time to time. Good Luck!

    Also, the stock will have the location for mounting coil and throttle/TV cable.

    Ken
     
  30. On installing later heads [65-79] on your 389...I'm doing it with my old 370:
    The 64 and earlier pontiacs oiled the rockers from a passageway in the block that culminated in one hole in the block's deck face. The heads [64 and earlier] have a corresponding hole in their mounting surface and the oil flows through the block hole, into the hole in the cylinder head. That hole feeds a galley [passageway] that runs along the head, under the rocker studs, which are hollow. Oil flows through the galley and up each rocker stud to oil the rockers and rocker balls.
    Newer [65 and later] heads and blocks ddin't have this hole as they oiled the rockers from the lifters and up the hollow pushrods. When using later heads on the earlier block some guys just use the late head gaskets [no oil hole] to seal off that presurreized hole in the block. Most guys tap and thread the hole for a 1/8th inch pipe plug and make sure it screws down below the deck surface..that's what I did.
    60 389s all have hollow pushrods but check length for correct rocker geometry.
    I used late heads to get benefit of the hardened valve seats, better choices of intake mainfolds, bigger valves and with my domed pistons I needed the open chamber heads [mine are 96 cc] ...also I now have screw-in rocker studs [use big block chevy studs to get adjustable rockers] and those whippy pushrod guide plates...Oh yeah, speaking of that....use the pontiac hardened pushords that originally came with heads that have the factory pontiac pushrod guide plates if you do indeed use heads with guide plates..I did.
    Pontiacs had non-adjustable rockers from '56-on. So, if you have a machine shop do a valve job on your heads, make sure they understand "installed height" of the valves. If they just grind the valves [especially with non-hardened seat heads] the seats could be so sunken from use and unleaded gas that the valves actually stick up too high in the heads when finished...this wouldn't be a problem except pontiacs [except for 1955 heads] have non-adjustable rockers....book says run the rocker nut down to a certain torque setting [when the rocker nut bottoms out on the fat part of the stud] which works great as long as the valve height is corrrect..if it isn't you can end up with valves that won't close all the way, hence my decision to use big block chevy studs.
    Chevy had a better idea...keep the rocker studs the same diameter all the way down to their bases so the mechanic could adjust the valves himself. I use poly-loc rocker nuts to lock them in place after adjustment..
    I know it sounds like a lotta stuff to remember but if you plan to reuse your 64 and earlier heads you won't need this info.[except for the "installed height" of the valves] If you decide to use late heads it may be of help to you.
     

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