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Projects Wild 577" Blown Injected AWB Tempest Funny Car build...for the street!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by applekrate, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. It's taken some time to get this thread going but, should be quite interesting to say the least.

    As the title says, this build is based off a Tempest, it is a '65 Tempest sedan, not even a Tempest custom but, the plain Jane Tempest. It is a 2 dr sedan, some call that a 'post', I call it a sedan and will refer to it as such. This rusty car came from Michigan many years ago, it's a 215 6 cyl, auto radio and heater. Not much else.


    Here are some things that make this build stand out-

    1. rear axle moved forward
    2. front axle moved forward
    3. front fenders stretched
    4. hidden cooling system
    5. hidden charging system
    6. use of a a magneto
    7. use of mechanical fuel injection
    8. custom engine '59 based 389 bored and stroked to 577" with enough custom made parts to , well, you get the idea
    9. Lenco trans
    10. 14-71 blower

    What is a funny car? Most here know this but, others may not so... For the younger ones out there, the name 'Funny car' came about in early 1965 as a way to describe people, primarily Chrysler, were moving the axles around to get better weight transfer. Some thought they were 'funny' because of how they were 'interpeting' the rules. Others simply thought they looked funny. By spring 1965, the term "Funny Car" was well in the lingo of drag racing. Over the course of the next 2-3 years, 'Funny cars" became all fiberglass 1 peice tilt bodied jobs like you see today but, the word and term 'Funny Car' started with altering the wheelbase. This style of car was outdated in the higher classes by the end of 1967.
    Am I recreating someones car from the day as others do? No, my intent is to build what I would have built IF I was around in the day. There will be changes in safety and a few other things but, that is a general theme.
    We'll be going through the entire build process as well as the engine(s) and Trans (s) planned for this monster.
    Sometime down the road, it will be crusing the streets of Arizona and racing at tracks like Speedworld where I host the Nostalgic Show & GO! and Pontiac Heaven drag and show events outside of Phoenix. I certainly wish to do some match racing as well.
    Here is a mock up from a few years back. You can compare it to the above photo to see how it has changed a bit. [​IMG] .
    There is still much work to do and much to write about. As they say,,,stay tuned.


    If you study the picture , you can compare the wheelbase changes between the "Funny" Tempest and the stock '64 GTO in the background.

    Here is the mock up of what is planned to be the ultimate engine for this build.

    1. 1959 389 block. The deck has been raised 2" and is the tallest deck Pontiac block known. It also has a 6 bolt main custom billet lower end the ties all 5 main caps together. It is the strongest bottom end of any Pontiac I have ever seen. Probably the strongest bottom end regardless of make. Just the thought, time and money on this bottom end set up alone is staggering. I use this same 6 bolt billet bottom end on my 389" Pontiac AA/Fuel Dragster. Then, on the 577", the lower end is tied to the top end and the valley is also braced from deck to deck. The block has also been modified also to fit any standard wedge head or the M/T HEMI heads which I have a stash of.
    The bore was 4.06 and is now 4.375", that is an overbore of, or you could say,is bored .315" over! This is the largest Pontiac engine known using a stock block. All this was done before aftermarket blocks were available.
    2. The crank is a custom Crower billet with a 4.800" stroke with center counterweights and 2 keyways in the snout.
    3. the rods are also custom billets made by Crower with a length of 8.25" center to center. It is the longest rod known ever in a Pontiac and maybe in any auto engine from this era. The reason for the extra long rod is to give me the same rod to stroke ratio (1.66), as a 421/428! It is essemtially that with an extra 150 or so inches!

    The motor, as you can see, is a story in itself. More on that later. Going to focus on the build of the car for now.

    When will it hit the streets? As soon as is possible. The project was going well for awhile but, had been delayed for some time due to lack of funding. Now, am hoping it will be running in 2012.
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->__________________
    Steve Barcak
    Hundreds of Pontiacs in Az
    "Real Pontiacs corporate nonsense!"

    Arizona Pontiac Power Group

    2012 Pontiac Heaven March 30- April 1 Phoenix
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  2. Looking forward to this build!

    What wheels and tires will you be using? Those front wheels look like Ansen or Fenton pizza cutters, :)
  3. BadgeZ28
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,112

    from Oregon

    Amazing. How are the block deck extensions fastened to the block?
  4. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,973


    So why don'tcha just put a Chevvie in there???

    I'm kidding, of course....That little 389 is a bad mofo. How did you do the overbore part, and how is the tall deck part attached/sealed? And, I would love to see some pics of the main girdle.

    Keep us posted, -Abone.

  5. They are vintage slot mags. the rears are Ansen Sprints, not sure what brand the fronts are. I did have them polished too.

    To answer an older post, the front alum slots are indeed, Ansen Sprints as are the rears.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012

  6. Later, will provide pics on how the boring was done, how the decks were built ( I did have a second pair made ), etc.

    Essentially, the deck plates were machined out, then bolted permanently to the block using counterbored holes and allen bolts. The deck plates are 2" thick, the counter bores for the mounting bolts use the stock head thread holes and are 1 1/2" deep. This way there is still 1" of material left in the deck plate to mout the head studs above the allen bolts. Special thread insterts were made just for this purpose to use above the allens. The water passages were also sealed at that time. Once the deck plates were mounted, I bored each cylinder out. the original cylinders were gone completely. there iw where the deck plates add structure lost by removing the cylinders. Then I had a set of special stepped custom sleeves made out of a high grade of steel, I think it was called nodular ductile iron, and pressed each one in. After doing one, did the next. The bore is so big, the sleeves overlap. It was quite a process.

    The deck plates were also gun drilled lengthwise for some cooling on the exhaust side.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  7. Even though I am a MoPar guy, I fully appreciate the engineering, the effort required, and especially the vintage aspect of making a big cubic inch engine out of old OEM parts!

    I'd love to see your method of attaching the deck to the mains and reinforcing the block. I have heard of main caps being tied through to the heads via very long studs on some old diesels, but they were inline engines...

    Too bad you are so far away from the Meltdown Drags. Your car would fit right in...

    Subscribed to this thread. Two thumbs up!
  8. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,768


    Looks like a very interesting project. Had a 66 389 GTO so I like the body style/ powertrain combo already. I will be sure to follow this build.
  9. WOW very freakin cool paint it orange.......... BRUTUS clone very nice work
  10. Mad project. I'll be watching.
  11. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,301

    from Midwest

    WOW! Subscribed!!
  12. This is pretty freaking cool, it just looks right too !
  13. Very high level of dedication on your build. Nice to see the work to use an original style engine block and design (for the most part). That 14-71 is Huge! Will you share any pictures of the specialized engine parts and machining?

  14. Sure, am willing to answer and show most any of it. I could not see running as smaller blower with 577 inches.
  15. The first part of this build was to pull the eng,trans, front clip and misc parts. Then, get the body off of the frame and prep for some major surgery.

  16. The, deciding on how much to move the axles. Much thought went into where to put the rear axle, how much to enlarge the wheel openings, how much to move the front axle, where to put the motor, etc, etc, etc.

    Here, the decision was made to move the rear axle forward 7 inches, the wheel opening was stretched too so I can fit larger tires.

    We marked where the first cut would and got to work.

  17. Here we are fitting a sample tire/wheel combo. I did not want to run huge, modern era rubber. It was important to have the right stance and location of the axle.


  18. The way I will attach the mains to the deck is with external bracing, same for across the decks above the valley. Picture it as an external brace around the entire engine for support/strength.

    When I designed this killer engine in the early 90's, the plan was to have the largest, most powerful Pontiac ever! I also wanted to have the quickest Pontiac in history.
    Not a bad plan and tangeble but, things have progressed beyond this build.
    Because of this, the 577" is now a 'pet project' because I am fortunate enought now to own and have built a AA/Fuel dragster also with a 389 based engine. I did set the absolute ET record at the Hot Rod Reunion, Bakersfield in 2006 at 6.77 with a much smaller combo but, on nitromethane. That was a legal nostalgia Top Fuel deal- 6-71 blower, 15% over, point mag, small pump, no transmission, 3.90 rear, small 12" nostalgia tires, etc, etc.That is another project altogether but, does have some things in common. I used the ideas from the 577" project on the 389 and copied much or what I designed, or had designed, to also use on the Fueler. Things like the bottom end and more.

    Other parts I either designed, or had designed for me were the following- driven fuel pump
    2. crankshaft snout support
    3. custom oil pan and adaptor
    4. magneto base to fit a Supermag
    5. competition superchager drive
    6. blower hub
    At the time, none of these hard core parts were available for a Pontiac engine. Even today, many are not. I did make quantities of some of this stuff and sold them to others.
    The 577" will be a 'putter' and run an gasoline but, may occasionally run nitro in it for exhibitions.
  19. Inland empire hot rods
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 870

    Inland empire hot rods
    from so cal

  20. Butch M
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,590

    Butch M

    way cool.........
  21. Thanks for the nice words everyone. It's funny but, on the Pontiac boards there is little excitement for this build. I guess there just is not the level of core hot rodding on those sites, it seems more understood and appreciated here. Thanks again. Will be posting more pics and reporting progress too.
    Most of the money for the build has been spent, it is now primarily time to finish. I do have lots of time but, have 4-5 other neat projects I am doing too so, have to allot some to each. I just cannot getmyself to ignore the others and concentrate on just one. Kinda' like a pig in mudd I guess.
  22. BADASS! Love it.
  23. Tank
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 749


    This thing is gonna be bad! I like it!
  24. lockwoodkustoms
    Joined: Dec 22, 2005
    Posts: 3,910


    This one is gonna be GRRRRRRRRRRREAT!!!!!!!!!
  25. Chuckles Garage
    Joined: Jun 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,366

    Chuckles Garage
    Alliance Vendor

    Chuckles Approved!
  26. CH3NO2
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 93


    This thing ought to be interesting for sure.
  27. Here is a pic of my 6 bolt main lower end with all 5 mains tied together. I had this idea and went to my friend Frank Baker who owned a mill. He took on the project for me and it evolved into this , what I consider, a masterpiece for a bottom end. At that time, I had zero machining skills.
    This all started around 1992 or so. I had found my first set of M/T Pontiac HEMI heads in 1990 and from that time on, my plans were considerably 'stepped up' on the horsepower ladder. I sold off the other parts for the engine I had planned to build before this ( Ram Air IV heads, 366 NASCAR rods, 990SD crank, etc ) and planned to build this giant 577" HEMI with a billet crank, etc.
    Eventually, I had 3 complete 6 bolt main lower ends built as I planned to build 3 577s. Later, as things progressed, one went on the 389 for my AA/Fueler, a second for this ultra rare alum Ram Air V prototype block shown. The 3rd is for the tall deck 577 for the Tempest. Do not think I will have a need for a 4th one but, can build another if needed as I now have my own mills and some of the skill to do it myself.


    Here is the 2nd 6 bolt main billet lower end installed on my '59 389 for my AA/Fuel Dragster "Pontiac Heaven Special". The 577" 6 bolt bottom end is basically the same as this. The project started off with the 3 readily available center billet caps. After making the side rails, I had a second friend, Jeff Wegener, cut out the spacer parts needed as he had access to an EDM wire machine. Frank then finshed fitting them to the block and tig welded together. The front caps ( remember 3 of these assemblies were made ) were made from scratch. When the first one was almost finished, we were in a jam as for what to for for a #5 cap. I was about to drop a fortune to have one scratch built when I learned that Pro-gram engineering made them. Whew! We had a few sent over and fitted.
    Having to make a #5 cap from scratch would have been a real pain but, I was willing to do whatever it took.
    The first bottom end was built to a 1962 block. At that time, it seemed to be the strongest block I could find as a start. While Frank was working on this, I learned of the advantages of using an even earlier block for this high horsepower project quite by accident..
    While picking through a core engine pile at a local junk yard around 1993, I found a Pontiac motor upside down with the pan off. I was puzzled as to what is was because it had this heavy strengthening rib that ran along the length of the block. From all the Pontiac book I read, and from all the experts I had talked to, only Ram Air Vs had this rib. But, this engine was 2 bolt mains and was a 2bbl!! something did not compute. I later realized that these era blocks '58-'60 were very heavy duty, so heavy duty that Pontiac engineering actually took weight and strength out of their engine starting in 1961! the reason was they were 'over engineered'! Even my beyond rare 1962 M/T HEMI Pontiac engine in my red boat does not have this rib! Up until this time in my llife, I basically ignored most any Pontiac engine prior to 1964-5. Big mistake but, even today most Pontiac guys do the same thing.

    So, I told Frank I was going to use a different block. He was not happy with me as this lower end was fitted to this particular '62 block. I did get him to make the switch but, it took even more money and time but, I wanted the absolute best I could get. You can clearly see the 'rib' in these pics.

    Here is the '59 389 bottom end more assembled. this one uses a stock stroke, 3.75" Crower billet crank and alum rods more suited for a nitro motor. It also shows the titan billet oil pump and a BDS hub I no longer use. This pic also shows the first oil pan adaptor I made for my AA/Fueler. Since then, I have built a better type of pan set up for my digger and this unit is planned for the Tempest ( getting hand me downs, so to speak ).
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  28. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927


    can't wait for more pics and info!
    this is going to be cool!
  29. BOP-Nut
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 746


    Holy shit is that awesome. I can't wait to hear it run. Love all the attention to detail on axle placement, tire size, etc.

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