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Old 07-27-2008, 08:32 PM
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79' trans am with 455???

Hey,

Well i was looking for a project for college so i had an idea of putting a 455 in my 79 trans am. It has a stock 403 olds motor in it now. I want a lot of horsepower but im not to familar with builds so i was wondering if that is the way to go??? I have heard that 403's were good motors and the same with 455 but i have heard bad about them too. I also would like to make it a manual (might be a little hard for a beginner to swap a automatic to a manual but i love manuals) and as of right now i have to transmission for the 403 that is in it. If you have any ideas on other combinations for a 79' trans am i would love to hear. Thanks!!

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Old 07-27-2008, 08:56 PM
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Go with the 455. The 403 not a bad motor but a limited amount of parts are made for it. the 455 will out torque the 403 by a ton. The hardest thing for a manual swap is going to be finding a flywheel to will fit and a donor car for the clutch and brake pedal.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:23 PM
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I assume you're talking about a 455 Olds swap, not a Pontiac. The flywheels and bellhousings are easy to find. You can get them brand new from Summit, Jegs, etc. The big problem is that Olds did not drill the crank for the pilot bearing when the engine was bolted to an automatic. If you have a manual trans crank, no problem. If not, you can either have the crank machined for the pilot bearing or you can use a conversion bearing available from various Olds specialty houses. The problem with the conversion bearing is that the AT crank recess isn't deep enough to clear the input shaft on the trans, so you'll need to cut the input shaft by 1/2" - 3/4". Alternately, you can drill a clearance hole in the end of the crank. This is easier than machining for a pilot bushing since the clearance hole has no hard concentricity requirements.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:53 AM
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I'm not a big fan of the Olds 455 for anything but stock outputs. The small bores limit breathing, and the old wives tale of how much more torque is made by long strokes has been disproven so many times.

My personal favorite (once you address the weak oiling) is the Buick 455. Huge bore, short stroke, and tons of torque and HP potential. The Olds is somewhat limited to a future of low revs. The Buick is up to whatever cam/heads you want in the future.

I like the Pontiac 455 because of the multitude of good heads, but they are getting darn expensive these days.

Just personal opinion... if you never plan on going past 5000 rpms, the Olds will be a killer street monster, but if you ever plan on street/strip in the future, I'd lean toward something with a little more bore.... like a 403

Look into possibly having the counterweights from a "BBO" 425 machined down. Its a forged crank with a 3.975" stroke that makes a standard 403 into a 473. Not cheap, but probably cheaper than making a 455.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:56 PM
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i've heard of the Buick 455 making like 450hp and 525ft lbs of torque stock
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tresi
Go with the 455. The 403 not a bad motor but a limited amount of parts are made for it.
How do you figure that? With the exception of the pistons, everything made for an Olds 350 also fits the 403. KB sells 403 pistons.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:40 PM
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Hey thanks man for your opinion and all that is the kind of stuff im looking for. it gives me some knowledge on what i want to do and how i want to do it. but i think with the money stand point i am going to stick with the 403. but if anyone has any more opinions or information for me i would LOVE to hear it. THANKS ALL
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:34 PM
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Just a thought if you really want a big block. You may be money ahead with a 454. Lots of good cheap HP parts and easier to find. I just saw a running one today with 90 guarantee for $650 at the Junk yard.

Jordon
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:53 PM
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As was just pointed out,a big block Chevy is a bolt in to your Trans Am,and there is much more available for them than any Olds or Buick engine.A big inch small block Chevy is also an option.
Guy
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:16 AM
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Actually, I'm pretty sure that a Chevy (any Chevy) will not be a truly bolt-in operation - mainly because I'm gonna bet that his trans has a BOP bolt pattern and not a Chevy pattern. Course this might be a moot point if he swaps the trans at the same time.

However, a Pontiac engine will be a direct bolt-in (same trans bolt pattern). Early '79 T/A's with the 4spd manual could have gotten a Pontiac 400 - at least until they ran out, so I would also bet that the engine mount holes are already in the frame. There's also been a good amount of go-fast goodies for the Pontiacs brought to market in the past couple years, so getting it to go fast won't be a problem, either.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
I assume you're talking about a 455 Olds swap, not a Pontiac. The flywheels and bellhousings are easy to find. You can get them brand new from Summit, Jegs, etc. The big problem is that Olds did not drill the crank for the pilot bearing when the engine was bolted to an automatic. If you have a manual trans crank, no problem. If not, you can either have the crank machined for the pilot bearing or you can use a conversion bearing available from various Olds specialty houses. The problem with the conversion bearing is that the AT crank recess isn't deep enough to clear the input shaft on the trans, so you'll need to cut the input shaft by 1/2" - 3/4". Alternately, you can drill a clearance hole in the end of the crank. This is easier than machining for a pilot bushing since the clearance hole has no hard concentricity requirements.
I know this is over four years old, but I was wondering if the Pontiac 455 has the crank drilled for the pilot bearing, to put a manual transmission in it?
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:04 AM
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oneblackgsx,

Yes, Pontiac cranks are machined to accept the pilot bearing (NOT a "bushing"). Sealed Power part number is 7109.

I'm glad you brought this one "back". I would never have seen it. A lot of "hooey" there regarding the various 455s, huh? The 400 Pontiac is tougher than ANY of them, and has as much or more potential as ANY of them.

Jim
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