chevy 350 or pontiac 400 or 455??? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-01-2003, 05:18 PM
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Post chevy 350 or pontiac 400 or 455???

i have a good warmed over chevy 350 in my 78 trans am and getting a good savings of cash to put in this.should i build a pontiac 400 or 455 for some good power to haul this heffer down the quarter mile or should i stay with the 350..i always here bigger cubes or better....

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Old 03-01-2003, 05:55 PM
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I have always been a sucker for the Ram Air 3 and 4, 400 Pontiacs. 455 are ok if you get the right one. Check the Knowledge Base for more Pontiac info.
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Old 03-02-2003, 12:05 AM
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Id go with a Pontiac over the chevy. Seems to me they are built way better than chevys and have a much more advanced design.
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:46 AM
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I would go with a pontiac. Pontiacs generally produce more torque. Right now I'm building a 455 that will produce about 510 hp and 550 torque. The buildup was done by Car Craft in 2001 and I'm making a clone of that engine with some slight changes that will reduce compression but actually make about 10 more torque and about 8 more horses.I can send you the buildup sheet if you like. The total for the buildup is around 5300 including the machine work on the block. By the way this is all going in 67 firebird.
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:54 AM
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I put a fresh 400 in the 1969 GTO clone and really like the difference over a worn out 455. LOTS of TORQUE!


Todd

Rat Rods Rule!
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Old 03-02-2003, 08:04 AM
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As much as it kills me to say this because im a pontiac guy from the start....go with the chevy. You can make pontiac motors run hard but for the money your going to get more bang for the buck out of a small block chevy. But in my opinion if you do go with a pontiac motor, use your 455 block, take it .030 over and find a 428 crank, this will give you quicker rpms and still have a ton of friggen torque, and your displacement will be like having a .060 over 428. And guys how much torque does a guy really need, torque is only as good as the chassis its put in, it has to get to the ground. So if you do go with the pontiac make SURE your chassis is sturdy...sub frame connectors etc.
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:34 AM
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Best Bang for the buck? A small block Chevy? Yes, parts for a SBC are cheaper, but you will never make the same kind of torque from a small block as you would with a Pontiac for the same amoutn of money. Yes you can make more HP by spinning the motor faster in a SBC, but things are more likely to BREAK! Try making 550hp, 610lbft of torque in ANY small block spinning under 5500rpms......and under $1500 invested.

Mike, go with the Pontiac, decent 400s are still plentiful and can be built for minimal costs. The $ I quoted earlier might be low for most scenarios, but I got a fresh .060 455 shortblock for $75......guy was moving and didn't want to move it with the other 10 he had in the shop. If you can find a decent 400 or 455 bottom end you can get decent factory Pontiac heads. I bought a set of 6X heads and ported them at home.....bought most parts off e-bay.

It can be done inexpensively.....and right......with a Pontiac.
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Old 03-04-2003, 06:40 PM
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I don't know if I'd go with any heads that were made after 1970. In 71 they dropped the compression, and that's where a lot of your power comes. Cast 12, 16, 48 and 62 are all great, large valve(2.11I, 1.77E) small combustion chamber heads.
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:46 AM
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Those are all great heads......for a 400. The 78 6X head off a 350 or 400 is the best Pontiac D-port (read non-Super Duty) head for a warmed over 455. Will yield between 9 and 9.8:1 depending on wether it's off a 350 or 400 and how much the 455 has been bored.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:54 AM
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I have a 77 Trans Am im going to redo and I had this same question to do a Chevy or do the pontiac.
in talking to my marine engine builder and another marine engine builder I decided to go with the 400 pontiac block. Reason being is the block of the 400 and 455 are basically the same.
Eagle and a few other companies sell the stroker kit which consists of a 4.250 crank for the stroke, punch the 400 block out, choose your forged pistons depending on your heads (got screwed my car came with the crappy 6x-8 head which is 101 cc instead of the 83 cc 6x-4 head.) That being said regardless the heads are 2.11 - 1.66 valves and if you get them milled, get the correct pistons you can create any CR you want.
The rods for the stroker kit are 6.800" BBC rods (Yes CHEVY RODS)
So with this kit from eagle for around 1500 bones, you can punch the block .060-.065 and stroke it, put longer rods in there and you have a 468 right out of a stock 400 block.
put a nice edelbrock intake on there, nice 830 holley and desktop dyno around the 500 HP mark. If you port the heads and do some flow work on them you are just going to make more power than before.
Cam choice is important as well, If you want a streetable ride make sure your LSA is 112-114 range, you want a saturday night special, do a split duration and lower your LSA down to 110-109-108 and make that shaker scoop DANCE like it was supposed to.
After I found out my heads were the 6x-8's my heart sunk but there is hope for them still. Mild porting and do the stroker kit, work the block over and that 400 will be a total fire breathing monster.
So dont worry yourself with Oh its only a 400 not a 455 that really does not matter. Cause if you follow some of these tips you will be running a 468 anyway and like you said in your first post, More cubes is where its at.
No replacement for displacement!
Good luck with your project.
J
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:00 AM
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In my opinion I'd go with the 400, 350's are easier to find parts for, but no replacement for displacement and I've had an overheating problem in my 455s that I had, no matter what I did it still ran hotter than I liked. So my vote would go for 400.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:19 AM
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Go with the Pontiac 400 for a better street machine, 455 if you really intend to drag race it.
Biggest issue with the older heads was not having hardened valve seats for todays unleaded gas. But a good machine shop can fix that.
72cc chambers with 2:11 intake valves, 1.77 exhaust are the better choice for the older heads on a 400. Just need to keep an eye on the compression rato for the street.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:28 AM
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I'm a Chevy guy at present but I started out with Pontiacs and will most likely build another one day. Build a Pontiac, you will not regret it. It may cost a "little" more but the cool factor when people see your T/A is still all Pontiac will be priceless.

To paraphrase....

"Anybody can put a Chevy engine in a Pontiac, it takes a real man to put a Pontiac engine in a Pontiac."
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:47 AM
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Be advised, if you do go with the Pontiac, you will need a tranny....Pontiac pattern is different.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:49 AM
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TransDapt makes a plate to make a chevy trans bolt to a pontiac bell housing pattern.
That is of little concern but Poncho is right, the bolt pattern on a chevy bell housing is different than an Olds, buick and pontiac bell housing.
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