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Old 11-04-2012, 08:52 PM
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Pontiac 350

I'm itching to rebuild a engine by myself. A buddy of mines has a 1972 pontiac 350 out of a Lemans he's willing to sell me for $50.....$50! Ijust had my 455 built for my Grand Prix and it was kinda exspensive....I wanted to start out with a Chevy 350 because the parts seem cheaper and plentiful...but for $50 I feel like I need to rescue the Poncho engine.. What you guys think?

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Old 11-04-2012, 08:57 PM
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50 is good but you will still spend less money buying a few hundred dollar chevy and rebuilding it. Unless your talking about pure stock rebuild. Still machine work my cost you if it high miles. Even stock for stock chevy is still a lot cheaper. But the cost is still only couple hundred bucks for simple kits.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:58 PM
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Does the engine run now? What do you want to do with engine when your done? Yes small block Chevys are cheaper because there everywhere but a Pontiac is an excellent engine to learn on...I cut my teeth on a 283 Chevy, but, after I built my first Pontiac, a 326 in Physics class in school, I was hooked....love those Pontiacs.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:11 PM
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yes the engine ran...he took the 350 out and put a '70 400 in the lemans. I want to build a high horsepower street engine thats Pontiac. Rebuild it myself and put it in a 1970-72 Ventura if I can find one someday....I love My Grand Prix but want a smaller "Street Machine"
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:12 PM
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Pro Touring Ventura would be cool
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:18 PM
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Your fortunate in the fact that you are planning on doing this in today's aftermarket world. There are a ton of speed parts out there for Pontiac today. Unfortunately they do cost more than a SBC. How much money did you want to invest in a high horsepower engine and how much horsepower do you want to get out of your 350? Today you can make almost as much power as your wallet will let you.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:23 PM
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Well I invested over $5000 in my 455 in the GP....Since I'll be doing most of the work my self this time, over a longer period of time it wont be that bad on my wallet. This time i want some good racing parts. I want to get as much out of the engine I can...Put it this way what ever i put it in I want to smoke my buddies Lemans with his old engine lol!
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:41 PM
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A lot of the work that goes into making an engine make power is machining, porting and polishing. What makes it stay together is stronger parts than factory. What makes it stay together at high RPM's is balancing. The assembly of an engine that isn't balanced doesn't cost that much, even balancing in the scheme of things is not that expensive. A major cost though in building a high performance engine is in the machining. Now the question is does the engine need to be bored, if it does your looking at pistons. The engine to make power needs to breathe, that means you need at least head work, maybe different heads, and that brings you to a cam shaft and lifters and off course you need an intake manifold and carb. Now you have all this performance in the engine you need to get rid of the exhaust so headers are a must. I don't want to discourage you by any means but building power costs money.

Like I mentioned to you earlier, you need to know how much power you want, versus how much money you have to spend. I would suggest a game plan before you put any money into a go fast engine. So why don't we start with another question. First and foremost, what kind of heads are on the engine now. The Pontiac heads usually have a 2 or 3 digit number between the 2nd and 3rd exhaust port that will give you this information. Does it have a 4 barrel intake on it now? This is a good place to start, maybe even before you buy the motor, get all this information. Figure out if you want 350 HP or 400 HP and then we can guide you through it.

I hope this makes sense, all to often I've seen people feel that they can bolt on a bunch of horsepower and don't do the things correctly that keep it together when they are using the horsepower.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:52 PM
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I have a guy to do the machine wirk.. Same guy that built my 455. Im thinking at least 400 horse. I have to check the engine out but im prepared to invest in the long haul. I want a reliable street machine. Just like my GP. But i want to learn also. If its better for me to go stock since its my first engine i will. But i think i can go performance.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:06 AM
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The 350 Pontiac is not worth spending a dime on. Build a 350 Chevrolet or a 400 CI Pontiac.

Reasons:
The bore of a 350 Pontiac is too small in comparison to the stroke. The bore/stroke ratio is terrible for making good high RPM power. Pontiac only produced the 326 CI and 350 CI Pontiac engines as "me too" engines for the showroom when Chevrolet introduced their 327 CI and 350 CI engines.

The 2.11" and 1.77" valves found in the performance heads if used on a 350 Pontiac are useless because of the shrouding by the 3.875" bore. Unless you can find a way to bore a 350 Pontiac .245" OS, build a 350 Chevrolet or a 400 Pontiac. Top of the Pontiac performance list is a 455 CI Pontiac engine, 9.5:1 compression ratio and a mild camshaft in a Tempest or LeMans body. You probably already know that. That combination was popular in the past and for that reason rebuildable 455 blocks and cranks are becoming difficult to find.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:23 AM
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I wouldn't go so far as to say "worthless", but certainly, a 400 will offer MUCH more "bang for the buck". 350 Pontiac's "strong suit" is the same as any Pontiac, low-end torque. The "HO" engines were quite snappy and performed quite well. A 350 Chevy in a Pontiac body won't have the desired effect... Highly recommend a Chevy body if a Chevy engine. They're less expensive than most of the "good" Pontiacs today.

Chevy engines use a different bellhousing pattern, mounting method and "underhood" wiring harness. Just be aware.

At most machine shops, machine work is machine work. The price doesn't vary based on the color of paint on the engine. There's no more or less labor boring a Pontiac 455 than a Chevy 350. If your shop DOES charge more for non-small blocks, find another shop.

Jim
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseFink View Post
The 350 Pontiac is not worth spending a dime on. Build a 350 Chevrolet or a 400 CI Pontiac.

Reasons:
The bore of a 350 Pontiac is too small in comparison to the stroke. The bore/stroke ratio is terrible for making good high RPM power. Pontiac only produced the 326 CI and 350 CI Pontiac engines as "me too" engines for the showroom when Chevrolet introduced their 327 CI and 350 CI engines.

The 2.11" and 1.77" valves found in the performance heads if used on a 350 Pontiac are useless because of the shrouding by the 3.875" bore. Unless you can find a way to bore a 350 Pontiac .245" OS, build a 350 Chevrolet or a 400 Pontiac. Top of the Pontiac performance list is a 455 CI Pontiac engine, 9.5:1 compression ratio and a mild camshaft in a Tempest or LeMans body. You probably already know that. That combination was popular in the past and for that reason rebuildable 455 blocks and cranks are becoming difficult to find.
I would agree with much of what you say and in a perfect world I would choose any 400 Pontiac or Chevy over a 350 Pontiac or Chevy. I would also agree that the bore stroke ratio in a 350 Pontiac is not a favorable for making RPM but power is not not just measured in HP it's also measured in something that to many people underestimate when building a performance engine which is torque. Because of the bore stroke ratio the Pontiac 350 has the potential to be a torque monster if built properly. That being said, higher torque means you wouldn't need to step up to as tall a gear to get your tires moving.

Where the Pontiac 326 and 350 "me to" engines. Probably yes, then I guess the 396 was a me to engine to the 389 and the 427 was a me to engine to the 421. Back in the day the big 3 where all trying to outdo each other. Buick and Olds also had a 350 that they put out to compete, Ford put out the 351, Mopar the 340 and later the 360. Thank God or we wouldn't have a forum to debate which one is better and will go faster. Yes the Chevy is more popular and they are great...A Pontiac 350 can go fast as well and agreed it will cost more, I think the person posting is aware of that and if he has his heart set on a Pontiac 350, not you or I can tell him that it's not possible or a waste of money, it's personal preference.

We can sit here and debate Chevy Versus Pontiac all day and chances are Chevy is going to win because of popularity, versatility and just the plain fact that there are a pile more cheaper performance parts for Chevy than Pontiac. That isn't the question. The question is "He wants to make his 350 go fast and is it possible". If Chevy 350 or Pontiac 400 is a better choice apparently doesn't matter and the answer to the question is yes.

In conclusion, if I wanted to turn 400 Hp and go fast and a budget was the big part of the equation I would choose Chevy over Pontiac, not because ones better, They are different) but because of the availability of less expensive performance parts.

Wouldn't you agree?
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. P-Body View Post
I wouldn't go so far as to say "worthless", but certainly, a 400 will offer MUCH more "bang for the buck". 350 Pontiac's "strong suit" is the same as any Pontiac, low-end torque. The "HO" engines were quite snappy and performed quite well. A 350 Chevy in a Pontiac body won't have the desired effect... Highly recommend a Chevy body if a Chevy engine. They're less expensive than most of the "good" Pontiacs today.

Chevy engines use a different bellhousing pattern, mounting method and "underhood" wiring harness. Just be aware.

At most machine shops, machine work is machine work. The price doesn't vary based on the color of paint on the engine. There's no more or less labor boring a Pontiac 455 than a Chevy 350. If your shop DOES charge more for non-small blocks, find another shop.

Jim
Thanks Jim...I was posting while you posted...although I'm a little more long winded than you are I think we both said the same thing.

I agree with everything you said and it's individual choice that makes this hobby what it is today...wouldn't it be boring if we only had small block Chevy's. The fight then would be mine's better because....I don't know, the color, or what?

I had a 326 many years ago, I actually got expelled from Physics class for balancing my engine during class, (they had these awesome gram scales and little electric grinders, who would pass up that opportunity). That was in the mid to early 70's. I ported and polished the heads with a 3 angle valve grind, a fairly lumpy cam, (I can't remember the specs, wow 40 years ago), Offenhauser 360 dual plane intake, 750 Holley (a little big but I had a 4 speed and re-jetted it), headers. A fairly tall rear end and all in a 67 Firebird. The car ran a best 13.73. Did 327's go faster, some with more work into them sure, but I loved my Firebird.

So I do understand someone wanting to build a Pontiac, many small block Chevy lovers told me I was crazy 40 years ago, I guess I'm still crazy, I must be I still love Pontiacs.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:27 AM
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An engine is a air-pump:
How much torque an engine can make is based on its cubic inches.
How much horsepower an engine can make is based on its total valve area.

A Pontiac 350 CI engine is deficient in both areas.

The maximum oversize bore for a Pontiac engine is .060" regardless of the original bore size. The maximum OS bore for a 350 CI Pontiac engine is 3.935" for a total displacement of 365 CI. A Pontiac engine needs at least a 4.00" bore to unshroud 2.11"/ 1.77" valves. That is exactly why Pontiac engineers went to a 400 CI engine (4.12" bore) in 1967 (2.11" / 1.77" valves) to be competitive with the Chevrolet 396 Rat motor.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billonwheels View Post
I have a guy to do the machine wirk.. Same guy that built my 455. Im thinking at least 400 horse. I have to check the engine out but im prepared to invest in the long haul. I want a reliable street machine. Just like my GP. But i want to learn also. If its better for me to go stock since its my first engine i will. But i think i can go performance.
OK, if your committed to building a Pontiac 350, buy it for the fifty bucks...Take it home...Take it apart and don't throw everything into a box and hope your going to remember it...you won't by the time it comes to putting it all back together. Mark each piston as to which cylinder it came out of the block, mark each rod and cap as to how they came off. Label everything that doesn't go to the machine shop Take your block, heads, crank, pistons and Rods to your machine shop...Get the block checked for cracks (magnaflexing), check to see if the engine needs to be bored...Chances are it does, have them check the crank to see if it needs to be ground. Get a price for all the machining including cam bearing installation as well as new freeze plugs. I left the heads out of this because I don't know what kind you have, let me know about your heads and we can discuss it.

First steps, we can try and walk you through it and I think one step at a time is probably the best way. That way you don't spend a bunch of money on parts and pieces only to find that your block is cracked.
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