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Pontiac V8s

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boulderdash, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. 54nomore
    Joined: Nov 5, 2012
    Posts: 137

    from illinois

    AMEN, Brother!
  2. Pontiac Slim
    Joined: Jan 16, 2003
    Posts: 1,188

    Pontiac Slim
    Member Emeritus

    like mine...

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  3. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,590


    31Vicky is right on the money with this. My dad was a master mechanic and grew up in the glory days of hot rodding and we always had something warmed up sitting around the shop.

    My dad and I built a nasty 400 back in the early 80's - it was my first experience with a "significant" Poncho. We built the motor to street race and put it in a '73 Firebird shell. After we got the engine dialed in we took the car out on it's shakedown cruise.

    I have ridden in and driven a lot of stout cars in my life but nothing could have prepared me for that ride. I have never been in a car that had as hard and brutal of a launch as that car. That ride bordered on a religious experience. It may sound like hyperbole, but that motor was baddest, nastiest motor I have ever run.

    If you have a chance to build a Pontiac you should give it a try.
  4. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    may the truth be spoken .

    I was lucky I got the feel at a young age and found the darkside of the Arrowhead and not turned back .
  5. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    They are great engines, rear sump allows them to fit in an old Ford and they make great power.
  6. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    Thor if you think the 400 was a Bad ride try a warmed up 421 or 428 . it will pin your ass to the seat .
  7. 30panel
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 129


    Quick run down of all the varied Pontiac components that are in my Model A Panel.
    59 block 389 bored .040, stock crank and rods, Lunati hydraulic cam, Engle lifters, dished cast pistons, 57 prehistoric gusher pump, 62 cast heads, dual quads, 55 slant pan hydro, its amazing it all works so well. lots of torque for the street. Now the Ram air III in the garage is good too for a stock ride.
  8. 53chevy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,570


    I love my daily '60 Pontiac, about 4 years now. Finding speed parts is pretty hard to come by. I've managed to accumulate/acquire some stuff. Holmes and Offenhauser valve covers, W&H DuCoil, NOS Weiand 4 bl intake (both block and say Why And), some other stuff. I'm seriously thinking about a future build that involves a Pontiac early V-8. Did anybody make a valley pan for these engines? I know they changed quite often, hence the lack of speed equipment.


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  9. racer32
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 745


    Yup. My OT Pontiac ran 12:60's with mufflers, street tires, and 3.08 gears.
  10. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,218

    Speed Gems

    Here's one of my favorite coupes with a 400 Poncho in it.

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  11. They didn't change that often, D-port heads will take any Pontiac D-port header, there are two valve cover bolt patterns (64-back, 65-up), distributors interchange on all of them, front covers will physically swap on all of them, valley pans will swap - the road draft tube hole became a PCV valve mount on some of them just by adding a rubber plug to it. The biggest changes were the front cover design, the intake bolt pattern changes three times and the engine to trans pattern changes three times.
  12. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    rusty don't forget the valve angle change in 67 , so to use later than 1967 heads on a pre19 67 motor you have to make sure the pistons have the notches in the right spots . or you bend valves
  13. That change is in '65. When I bought .030 pistons for a '59 389 they came with notches for both possibilities.

    Somewhere on here there is a Pontiac engine tech thread that covers all this stuff, too.
  14. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355


    I honestly think its lack of knowledge from the younger guys about pontiac motors. Iam 33 and just got into pontiacs about 2 years ago. Before that all I had was ford and Chevy motors.
  15. This has a Pontiac 350 in it.


    I'm growing weary of the long tube headers.
    If anyone has a rear dump drivers side exhaust manifold gathering dust and spider webs, hit me up please.

    The one I have now is a center dump, and will barely clear the F-body cross member.

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  16. Stimpy,

    And for those who need alittle history briefing.
    Pontiac were Pontiacs on this side of the border as well as the Chevy engine and chassis built Pontiacs I had both versions, 1956 Pontiac 2dr sedans.
    There is no such thing as an Arcadian, it is Acadian that was introduced in
    1962-1972 Pontiac version of the Nova, same body, Exterior trim changes.
    For years at car shows I've heard Arcadian and had to laugh wondering where in the world that came from ?? when the car is clearly badged ACADIAN.

    Maybe you can give me a history briefing on that.

  17. henry's57bbwagon
    Joined: Sep 12, 2008
    Posts: 677


    Norm don't forget the Beaumont that was the sister car to the Chevelle, same car except the trim.

  18. I bet this story and the Camada thread have a lot in common.
    There was a Pariesian (sp) Chevy powered pontiac cross breed to.
  19. Bluzman
    Joined: Sep 3, 2010
    Posts: 38


    I 'got' it man. That was funny.
  20. I've had good luck running pontiac engines in my cars, including my old shop-truck 79 F-100 with a firebird clip and 400 Pontiac with a 350 turbo.
    I generally use the 60 and earlier engines for my stuff except one 57 Pontiac 2 door sedan I bought with the '67, 400/muncie 4 speed already installed. Had 11, 55-57 Pontiacs and most of 'em ended up with 59-60, 389s with 4 speeds except my trusty ol' 56 chieftain with a slant-pan 4 speed hydro original to the car. Never suffered heating problems, crank/rod problems but I blew the timing gear/chain in my 68 GTO 400/4 speed. once...took almost 2 hours to change it in an apartment parking lot in the rain!
    And one time I was [ahem] seeing how fast another motorists 55 chevy would go coming up I-5. I was just curious, that's all. I was NOT racing...I just didn't want him to pass me. after toying with him for 10 miles or so he fell back and as I drove under an underpass I heard the rattle of a wrist pin in a loose hole! I nursed the old 389/4 speed along for a few more months....ended up selling the car for waaaaay too little.
    Ok, my 57 super chief [347/AFB, dual exhaust wouldnt' start one day and I put a timing chain/gears in it. Turned out the coil had gone tits-up and the steel gears/chain was fine if not a little sloppy.
    I've got a 370 Pontiac engine/5 speed built for my 34 ford coupe project and a '59, 389 sitting on the engine stand in case I need it.
    Love my old Ponchos!
    BTW, the "Yahoo award" given at the HAMB drags [car has to be a street car, driven a certain number of miles to the race and driven home] was won multiple times by our very own Jeff Yocum ["FlamedAbone" here on the hamb] with a best of 10-something in the quarter........has a built 400 Pontiac, 671 blower and a 400 turbo in a model A tudor sedan. Everything Jeff builds gets a Pontiac engine...including a 49-50 Merc sled, Henry J gasser, and many others.
    The Poncho V/8 is somewhat similar to the chevy in design with a few exceptions. One is the fact #2 cylinder is the front-most cylinder and yet the firing order [18436572 same as chevy] starts with #2 [as marked on the rods/caps] cylinder...
    Also early Pontiacs oiled the rockers from an oil galley running the full length of the cylinder head and fed from a hole in the block's deck. The oil goes up through a passage drilled into each rocker stud and comes out a hole drilled in the side of the stud at the top. Late pontiacs used the hollow pushrods to oil the rockers.
    55 [only] engines had adjustable rockers, anything newer used a shoulder on the stud and you tightened the rocker nut down until it contacts the shoulder...add 20 LB with a torque wrench and it'd done.
    There are early and late oil pumps and the late pump wont' work on the early engine because the crank hits the pump's body....but I think you could use an early pump [with its' weird "floating pick-up" on a late pump but with it's skinny pickup tube, you wouldnt' want to.
    If you arm yourself with as much "Pontiac knowledge" as possible, your Poncho will run many, many trouble-free miles and may very well put a hurt on the ford/chevy guys at the out for the MoPar guys tho!

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  21. Yes, the Great Pontiac V8! What an outstanding design! I use it daily for all transportation and have all my life. They are great motors for most any application and size from 195 up to 600". The best interchange of all the V8s, just a great motor. The more you know it, the better it is.

    There is no bolt difference on valve cover patterns by the way. I have run early covers and late heads and vice versa.

    As an example, here is an early set of stock covers I run on my 6 second 200mph 389 AA/Fueler with late alum custom high ported heads. They bolt right on FYI.



    Pontiacs torque also make them great tow vehicles!


    They are also just wonderful on the water too. The boat is powered by a blown/injected '62 M/T HEMI Pontiac.

    Here is another example of using early rocker covers with late heads. The pattern is the same.


    It is a mock up project based on a '59 389 that is bored .315" over, stroked 1.050" to 577", 2" raised deck and 14-71 blower in an altered wheelbase '65 Tempest sedan funny car.

    The smallest stock Pontiac V8 is a 265 offered in '80 and '81. It is a small bore version of the 301. I play with that little motor too. I like all of the Pontiac V8s and Tempest 4s. Just great engines. :)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Yeah.....especially since once they offered a V8 in '55, that was their one and only engine. You'd have to go to Canada to find a '55 or newer full size Pontiac with a six.
  23. 53chevy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,570


    The after market Weiand intake (I have two, one installed) for the 61-64 is a bolt in (Basically can be used 1955-64), but changes to the the front water ports were needed and the rear needed to be shorted for my '60. So yeah it bolts in, but it's not per say "bolt and go" Also the three different compression that was offered. Also, '60 was the first year for conventional from reverse cooling system.

  24. titus
    Joined: Dec 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,075


    Ive always heard lots good about pontiac motors and i love vintage engines so i have been collecting parts to build a cool one for a hot rod, i ended up with a 60 389 2bbl hydromatic so im hoping its around 10-1, ill have to dig in and see how to tell the differenct, im assuming theres a casting number difference to tell the higher compression heads?

    I also have a edelbrock x2 6x2 intake and a spalding flamethrower distributor for it. should be fun when done.


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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  25. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,415


    When I first got my driver license, my mom's car, which I borrowed every chance I got, was a '66 Bonneville 2 dr hdtp with 389. A couple years later, I got a '65 Catalina with 389. Love the torque and the sound of a Pontiac V-8!

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  26. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 549


    My 48' Pontiac convertible coaxed me into learning more about Pontiac engines. Once you start learning about them, they are not much different than other engines (just a handful of quirks between years) and they make a shick-load of power.........There is also a shick-load of documented information on Pontiac performance on the internet if you care to read about it..........not to mention numerous stroker kits available for not too much more than you would pay for Chevy or Ford stroker kits........Yes, i agree, due to sheer numbers, Pontiac will cost you more than bread and butter engines but don't some of us want something just a little different? Just got this old rag-top rolling with 64' Catalina 389 (soon to get 467 stroker kit) with T-56 from 98 Fbird. Also running billet specialties serpentine that will be stripped and painted factory colors to soften the look. final assembly will run 6x2 log intake with rochester 2g carbs......

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  27. 347 in my T Model Ford. Not an easy choice this side if the pond;

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,210


    The good thing is that they're not for everyone. I know enough about Ponchos to be dangerous. I've always been under the impression that without proper prep (expense) and a knowledgeable source for building (expense) it's easier to slow them down vs making more power. Most of the hi-po engines straight from the General run best when well tuned. Reliable, lots of low end grunt, good looking and easy to service, and that's just the "movie trailer" version of those things. I'm now surrounded by more Pontiac stuff than I've ever owned at one time thanks to our brother safari-wagon, and I hear I have a pant load more left laying around up there.

    I'm not sure I'd run one in an open-hood hot rod. Kinda like the Caddy, the early Olds, Buick Nailheads, and of course a well dressed SBC just a bit more. My Pontiac desires tend to remain where they were born. 1/2 the love is the cars they came in. Well, for me at least...
  29. jimmy1931
    Joined: Jan 13, 2012
    Posts: 728


    Been learning the hard way with my .060 over 389. Gone thru a few parts, but as everyone has stated, motor will run faster than I care to go.

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  30. Then you won !!!

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