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Technical Is an OHC Pontiac straight 6 worth messing with?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by anthony myrick, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,252

    Okie Pete

    If I was closer it would be in the back of my pickup headed to my barn .
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,526


    My buddy put a sprint 6 in his 48 Chev pickup in the late 70's and it ran like a bandit but just like most of them he fried the #5 cylinder. They have notorious heating problems with # 5 cylinder and that info comes from the days when I worked in a Pontiac dealership.
    As the guys said, parts are hard to get and have been hard to get for years. Standard procedure used to be just pull it out and put a 230/250 or a V8 Pontiac in it and be done with it back 30 years ago.
    Deuces likes this.
  3. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,790


    I had one in my 67 firebird. It was a pretty good engine compared to the Chevy sixes. The previous owner of my bird did very few oil changes and it did not oil the cam very well. I wore on out and went to a bone lard and got the whole top end and cleaned and cleaned all the oil passages we could. Then put in a new oil pump. We wore out the next cam in 20,000 miles and I put a 10.5 comp 389 in it and that was much more fun!
    Deuces and anthony myrick like this.
  4. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,004


    I was working at a Pontiac dealer when they came out. a guy bought a stripped down Tempest 2 door post with the Sprint 4 barrel and a 4 speed with a 3.55 posi. All special order.
    He surprised a lot of 289 Mustangs back then . It dead hooked and they didn't. If they were stock they couldn't catch him.
    He held the AHRA record in one of their weird stock eliminator classes.
    j-jock, Deuces, Mark Yac and 3 others like this.
  5. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,427

    from Berry, AL

    I did some work for a guy who had one in a 67 Firebird convertible. His wife drove it mostly, she loved it. I pulled a blown one out of another convertible Firebird for him and replaced it with a 400 or a 455, don't remember now.
    Deuces likes this.
  6. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,499


    I looked into them a few years back when the 302 in my ‘55 F100 died. I wanted something really different but stout enough for a working truck. I found several websites and lots of info. The parts are out there but just like a Nailhead or Olds Rocket you have to look around a little more than you do for Chevy parts. I didn’t find an OHC when I needed one and I was offered a low miles 302 Ford so I went that route but I’d use one in a New York minute.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Deuces likes this.
  7. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,154

    anthony myrick

    Even at the $850?
  8. Not me. Too many drawbacks and too much money IMHO.
    flatford39, Old wolf and Deuces like this.
  9. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,514

    from Diablo Ca.

    I would love to have one that runs. As to price, no straight six is worth 850 to me. I would offer 350 , just because it's an ohc. Not many into these engines, so you may be the only offer.
  10. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,979

    from Ks

    We did a 66 lemans and pulled the ohc 6 out with the 3 spd floor shifted trans it was running my buddy still has the engine trans shifter and all. Ran pretty good. Lippy
    Deuces likes this.
  11. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,587


    Well what happens if you buy it for $850 or somewhat less, then discover it has a spun main bearing, a cracked block or some other typical used engine defect?
  12. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,869

    from Nicasio Ca

    My mom had a Firebird with an OHC 6 and Powerglide. Thing would do about 80 in low.
    Deuces and anthony myrick like this.
  13. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,154

    anthony myrick

    True. Going to see how firm they are. It’s s couple hours away from me. Need to know what’s all there and if it turns.
    I only think it’s worth 1/2 that at best.
    bchctybob, 6-bangertim and Deuces like this.
  14. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,514

    from Diablo Ca.

    Well,that's buyer beware, although if that is a fear, it is a bargaining point to get the pricelower.
    Deuces likes this.

  15. Interesting.......So does the last issue of Car Craft!
    klleetrucking and Deuces like this.
  16. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 577

    Bird man
    from Milwaukee

    That motor would be worth 250-300 max, cash & carry.
    Sell the Air conditioning bracket for $100. Stick Bell & flywheel are worth about $2-300.
    Lots of info on this site and lots of support in the Poncho community.
    bchctybob, Deuces and anthony myrick like this.
  17. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,979

    from Ks

    I thought about getting it and putting in my Gambler sprintcar chassis and put it on the street. LOL. Lippy
    6-bangertim and Deuces like this.
  18. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,808

    stuart in mn

  19. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,979

    from Ks

    That's a beautiful engine. I like it! They are pretty snappy from what I hear. Hmmmm. Lippy
    Deuces likes this.
  20. Desmodromic
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 571


    To me, this engine loses just about all its value, if not prominent visually as a "conversation piece".

    I looked at one many years ago, with visions of its appearance with triple Weber sidedrafts. As I recall, i was disappointed to find it had only three, siamesed intake ports, which kind of ruined that idea. (Although, I did note triple Webers on [probably] custom made manifolds in the pictures attached to earlier post #48. Maybe a better option would be triple Carter YHs, a la early Corvette sixes).

    I recall "Car & Driver" magazine swapping one of these into a fairly new E-Type Jaguar (sacriligious!), of course proclaiming it improved performance.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
    6sally6 and Deuces like this.
  21. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,879

    from So Cal

    So we've had threads here before about "The Coolest Engines", that right there, wow, that ranks right up there toward the top. An early 30's hot rod sporting that mill? Wow! That's eye candy right there!
    6sally6, 6-bangertim and Deuces like this.
  22. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,511


    To gather some info and knowledge of the engine with the resources that are available today is the easy part..
    Then its what its going into and how its going to be used gets figured in.
    Then its a matter of how much money are you willing to spend to be just a little different than the norm...
    Personally I'm more of the earlier Chevrolet 6's , 235 and Jimmy's 270"s /302's and I have had a Pontiac OHC 6 it was in a 66 Lemans with a 2spd turbine glide it was a cool looking engine ...seemed exotic compared to a normal 230/250/292 6

    Sent from my SM-T387V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Deuces likes this.
  23. T. Turtle
    Joined: May 20, 2018
    Posts: 198

    T. Turtle

    Same solution in Israel back then. Made no sense to keep an expensive and rare motor. My heart would tell me to get it but my brain would veto. Keep the money and build a stout 292.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  24. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,732

    from Minnesota

    Had one and it had decent power and good gas mileage.
    Deuces likes this.
  25. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,712

    from Michigan

    My uncle Carlo had one in a '68 Firebird once.... That thing had some grunt for a 6 popper... :):rolleyes:
  26. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 550


    Had a friend with a 66 Lemans & ohc 6 Sprint with 4 spd. I'd trade my 52 Vic in a heartbeat for a nice one. Yes it is worth "messing with" !
    Deuces likes this.
  27. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,323


    I'd spend the 800 on a
  28. I would not probably be too stressed about intake and exhaust. Those can be fabbed in most back yard shops. What would be my biggest concern would be cam followers, cam shafts and bushings. I do not know how available they are and not something that you are going to build with a drill press and a Sawzall.
  29. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,126

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    Back when I was a young lad I bought my great uncles (original owner) 1969 Pontiac Custom S (one year only nameplate) as a "winter car". It had an OHC inline 6 in it (250ci I believe) Being a western NY car it was rusted about half way up the fenders and doors (the door skins would flap at any speed above 45mph lol)
    It was a peppy engine right up until the timing belt broke.
    My cousin pulled the engine and trans out of it and put it in his barn where it sat for 20 or more years... a number of years ago we were talking about it and he said he had looked into rebuilding it but the cost and availability of parts made it not worth while... I think he said the timing belt alone was around $150 and availability was hit or miss.
    I can't imagine the situation has improved in the last 5 years.
    I found this on Kanter website so there are some parts available (master overhaul kit $1300!!!)

    anthony myrick and Deuces like this.
  30. Any engine you cant hear run and isn't on a stand with a radiator so you can hear it run until its gets up to normal temp. and look for bubbles in the cooland and check the oil pressure, . That engine is a core at best. and its still a pig in a poke gamble. It was pulled for some reason. Being rare don't always make something valuable. If it was completely taken apart so you could visually inspect everything it might be possible to determine if its a rebuildable core. My opinion not worth as much as a good Running 230.

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