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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2012, 08:36 AM
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Where would a good place be to start looking for parts, and what specifically would you guys recommend as far as connecting rods, camshaft, pistons, and the works, if possible with part numbers. I am trying to get a good list of things so I can start budgeting some of each of my paychecks to this. The trans am will probably follow me to Indianapolis and become a project in school. Thank you guys so much for your help so far, it is very much appreciated.

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Old 03-12-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix7828
Where would a good place be to start looking for parts, and what specifically would you guys recommend as far as connecting rods, camshaft, pistons, and the works, if possible with part numbers.......
I have used Jeggs for Pontiac parts and Crower for push rods. Check out this site for good Pontiac built info.

http://pontiacstreetperformance.com/...harticles.html

Pay close attention to how Pontiac did cams regarding duration and lift then use this as a starting point for cam selection. Pontiac used the 068 cam for autos and 744 for manual trans car. For more cam they used the RAM AIR IV in manuals. Select a cam that will work with your compression ratio, car weight and axle gear.

If you are using a auto trans be sure and add a stall converter.

Here is another site.

http://www.dapa.org/category/technic...treet-machine/

Get a copy of Jim Hand's book on How to Build Max Performance Pontiac V8. A lot of good info here.

Summit makes two cams you may want to look at the 2801 and 2802.

Good Luck,
BT
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:14 PM
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You should use edelbrock round port or kre alum heads. With alum heads you can run 10.5:1 compression. Butler performance has balanced rotating assemblies that take the guess work out and you end up with a motor that works like you want instead of putting together a missmach of parts that might not work so good together. It's what they do so no guess work. It's only a hundred bucks to bore a block and then you have a nice new motor. A Pontiac like that will have 400 LBs of torque at 1800 rpm you can fry the tires forever. All trans-ams came with posi rear ends yours should have 3.08 gears. The turbo 350 has a lower 1st gear than a 400 so if it works run it. When you can afford to put in a 2004R so you have overdrive do it. 2000.00 for a built one. I would recommend a roller cam. Again whoever you buy the parts from(good Pontiac builder) will help with cam choice. Do your homework! It pays off. Go to highperformancepontiac.com to get more info. Jim
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:58 AM
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A common area of "misconception" (having nothing "to do" with Pontiacs) is the remark about "you can" run more compression with aluminum. That's misworded. It should read "If all other factors are equal, you MUST run higher compression with aluminum to achieve the same level of power". This is not an opinion. Aluminum "soaks" a significant amount of heat from the combustion process, reducing overall efficency of the "burn". If both heads flow the same and compression ratio is the same, the iron-headed engine WILL make more power.

Aluminum heads have gained favor because they're MUCH easier to port, and MUCH easier to repair in the event of a catestrophic failure. They're also lighter, but I doubt that's as much a concern as some believe. MAYBE with the BBF and BBC heads...

FWIW

Jim
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:29 PM
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Well that's interesting I was under the impression that the alum heads outflowed the iron heads right out of the box. And with Pontiac max pump gas comp was 9.5:1 with iron so 10.5:1 with alum would be more power. So is that not true?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:09 AM
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Yes, it's "true". What it actually means in "real world" terms is the misconception.

Edelbrock heads "flow" about 280 @ .600 (advertised numbers) with their more popular head for the Pontiac. That makes them out-flow all but the Ram Air V head ("tunnel port", VERY rare). This is not due to the material the head is made of. It's due to the larger runners "cast in" when the heads were made. The whole purpose of an aftermarket performance head is to improve over the factory head. Most of the "other" engine family aftermarket offerings also significantly out-perform their "factory" counterparts.

There was a "test" done by Dart a couple years ago, in one of the more popular Chevy-oriented magazines, Popular Hotrodding, I think. They (Dart) ported a pair of aluminum heads and a pair of iron heads to flow "the same". They also made sure the chamber volumes were equal. On the same shortblock, the iron heads made about 1.5% more HP and 2% more torque. After several "pulls" on the dyno, the aluminum heads had .050" milled off, and the power level came up a little past the iron. They went from 9.2 to 10.5:1. The conclusions were that iron did indeed, make more power with all factors "equal", though not a LOT more.

We usually limit iron to 9.5:1 for 93, 9.2:1 for 91-92. We set aluminum to 10.2:1 and have had no negative issues there.

FWIW

Jim
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for the info it's always good to know more
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:53 PM
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With Pontiacs, often less is more. as stated above get a copy of Jim Hand's book.

I'd say it's worth it to build a 455/400 (400 with a 4.25 stroke, minus the giant 3.25 mains of the 455, minus the extra material of the 400 piston due to the higher placement of the wristpin on the 455 piston) but i don't think you're gonna see 700, or 600 hp with 4-5k. 500 is more reasonable, but you're going to have to be very wise about where you spend your money and you'll burn the whole budget on the motor i'm guessing.

Call Butler, ask about getting a balanced rotating assembly from them, tell them what you are trying to accomplish and they'd probably set you up with a cam and lifter set as well.

--edit : this can be tricky, you'll want to know your deck height before you call really, just to make sure everything is the proper length and whatnot, but that implies the deck is square and you have the tools to measure.

You could probably get away with cast pistons if you aren't going forced induction or N20. on a street motor i'd rather have cast pistons than the cheapest forged pistons due to weight. I'd definitely say if you can afford it get aftermarket heads, hell sometimes it's cheaper to go that route if your stockers are in really bad shape and it's going to cost a fortune to rebuild them. but if you can't afford it, i had a very strong 455 motor that ran ported 6X heads (factory iron, not even high performance D-ports) so that's always an option. Still cost money though, these motors are what, 35+ years old and components are going to be worn out.

After proper machine work, you may be hitting the ceiling of your budget and you'll still have the rest of the drivetrain to worry about.... not trying to be negative just realistic.

Last edited by CaptainCaveman; 03-23-2012 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:44 AM
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On a 455 I agree the 6X-4 and similar later production iron Pontiac heads do a reasonably good job. I also used 6x-4 heads on the engine I mentioned above (F-body easy 12's shifting at <5000 rpm, w/3.08 and 89 octane).

The advantages the way I see it is they are relatively easy to find, cheap, have hardened exhaust seats, screw in studs and guide plates (studs need replaced for straight-type), and give enough CR to use enough cam to run 12's w/ease.

Downsides are they have their limits flow-wise, although they can be ported (I did my own, Jim Hand's book has a chapter on this as well). But if the port work is farmed out, the cost will quickly exceed the cost of an aftermarket set of Edelbrock etc. heads. The exhaust valve is a 1.66", although this isn't a big hindrance. Obviously they can be enlarged to 1.77", although I didn't bother on the heads I used.

One reasonable option would be to assemble the engine using iron heads to get things sorted out, then swap the heads one weekend after everything is in order and the budget will allow.

For headers, I used Hedman. I learned recently from Mr. P-body that Hooker headers are the go-to brand. There was a thread elsewhere that has a run down of primary header tubing sizes you might want to search for.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:14 AM
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I must correct myself, the 455 is a 4.21 inch stroke, sorry bout that. I also ported my 6x heads myself though I didn't remove as much material as in Jim Hand's book because I was afraid of messing them up, but I did clean them up pretty significantly. I ran a RAIV cam and a 750 cfm carb, 3.23 gears and an 1800 rpm stall, TH350. I had stock rods and TRW forged pistons (pretty heavy).

For exhaust I ran Hedman 1-3/4 full length headers with a 3 inch collector and a 3 inch x-pipe exhaust, with cheap mufflers and turn-downs right in front of the axle. It stank in the car though. The hedmans are cheaper than the hookers but they are just painted steel.

With cheater slicks I could get into the 12s, but only if i could cut a good light and not spin tire... I wasn't all that great at drag racing at the time... I could easily run in the very low 13s all day long with really terrible R/Ts and street tires, which is actually fast enough to jump all over a whole lot of cars you'll meet on the road. I also can guarantee the car wasn't tuned as well as it should have been. But it was a pretty cheap motor to build and I ran the snot out of it for several years.

As far as cost goes, now I'm running a 455 block, eagle crank, H-beam rods, Ross pistons, custom cam, KRE D-port heads, lots and lots of meticulous machine work and custom parts, and by the time I cranked it i had about double your budget in the motor and torque converter alone. I'm still not done with the car as a whole though
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:45 PM
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I skipped right over that, there are so many companies making 4-1/4" cranks for the Pontiac, especially in the 400 main journal size along w/2.2" rod journals nowadays.

Your old engine sounds a lot like mine. I had the forged TRW's and stock cast rods, too (w/ARP, polished the beams and resized, that was it). Never worried about the piston weight or the cast rods- it was a 5000 redline engine as far as power/shift points went.

Same headers, too. My '81 Camaro weighed 3400 lbs ready to run (manual steering, factory A/C delete), I had L-60 x15 McCrearys on 8" Centerlines on the back; it would spin about two extra revolutions the first 60', short time was high 1.6's. Drag shocks, skinny fronts, battery in trunk, all else pretty much steel/stock.

I used a Performer intake (the RPM wasn't out then) and a 4777 carb. I know I could have used more than 650 CFM, but it ran so well that I just never bothered to change it. This was also well before Hand's book was out- shame, that. I did as best I could w/porting and was pleased w/the outcome just the same.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:01 PM
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WOW! very similar! my rods were exactly the same, ARP hardware with polished side beams, stock crank turned down .010. I rarely if ever pushed revs past 5000 rpm and it made me nervous to do that. I weighed those old pistons and i'm wanting to say my Ross slugs were something like 180-200 grams less per piston (+.060 sizes) that was a while ago though, I don't remember the actual numbers. These are weights including wrist pins.

I also had the performer RPM, i swapped back and forth between it and the Torker 2 but the RPM had so much better street manners I kept it. I still have it on my newer motor but I may experiment with a single plane... maybe EFI if i can afford it. These KRE D-Ports have the '315 cfm' port job according to KRE, I know side by side the ports and combustion chambers are radically different than my old 6X heads. So we'll see about intake manifolds.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:15 PM
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Those heads are the schitzs! Makes a world of difference, I bet.

A good friend of mine was building a big inch Pontiac when I moved here from FL, he had the Ross slugs and they are a bunch lighter. I never weighed mine (or balanced the engine for that matter- this was a budget build all the way).

What is your new engine in?
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:22 PM
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70 trans am... i don't think i have any pics on this site. I have an open thread in transmission section, I've been plagued with issues (700R4) but I'm going to try a different tactic.

Sad to say, I haven't driven the car yet In my own defense I've had an extremely heavy work load this year, with many 80+ hour work weeks. It's been rough, so I haven't messed with the car often.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:23 PM
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read all and seems like good advice but didnt see much other than stock 400 bore and stroke, even tho the advice to use butlers balanced assembly is right where i would send you, i would just add that i would, since your block will have to be bored anyway, to go with the stroker kit. despite jim hands use of stock rods, new rods are almost free when you add the ARP's. e heads or kre you cant lose. rav iv cam, etc etc. you need to get into the 12's to "walk" STOCK new cars like camaro, stangs, and even subarus' WRX, so my only thoughts are do whatever it takes to run sub 13's. i would only entertain the turbo thang on your budget if you jerry rig one out of a wreckin yard with home made intake and exhaust.
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