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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just want to put in my two cents on pontiacs 301 and 301 turbo.
If you own a 301 it's probably ran down and in need of a rebuild don't go off of someone else's opinion and the bad rap and junk it.
1980 was A bad year for all of the car industry. The government really came down hard on car manufacturers initiating major smog and pollution guidelines. Fuel costs were skyrocketed. Pontiac was in a pinch, they were known for their powerhouse motors and needed to do something to keep their reputation. No one and I mean no one had a descent motor in 1980. It was crunch time. Their final outcome was to turbo their small block 301. Putting out 220 hp and almost 400 ft lb of torque! (specs differ from what literature you read) Everybody was a little standoffish of the turbo they didn't think a good motor needed a turbo. They were all used to big blocks and big carbs. Now days that's all you see is turbos! By 1982 pontiac had redesigned the 301 turbo and was down in the 14's in the quarter mile. Chevrolet was falling behind fast. So fast that all they could get was a 15 second quarter mile corvette. In 1982 chevy only put 350's in the the corvette at 190 hp and almost 300 ft lb of torque. Well nothing should or could beat the all mighty corvette so GM shut down Pontiac's engine division and through the pathetic chevy 305 under the hood of firebirds. Everything was ready until that last second the firebird had the turbo hood lined out and ready to go, but no. This was very disappointing to Pontiac fans.
I have a conspiracy theory that GM is Chevrolet. Knight rider the tv show was given the 1982 firebird for K.I.T.T car to keep sales up and Pontiac fans happy. Smokey and the bandit did one last movie to show the firebird kept going also.
When the doors shut on the Pontiac factory not to long ago. This same issue was presented again GM was going down going bankrupt. They could not lose the mighty corvette, even though Pontiac sold way more cars then Chevrolet and chevy also had their truck line. to supposedly save GM they did the worse eliminate Pontiac.
I used to like Chevrolet but not anymore! I will buy mopar or a ford.
So the next time you hear or someone tells you the 301 is garbage and was the worst motor out of Detroit and replace it with a 400. do your own research, compare specs and see what you will find. 1980 their was no good motors except the TURBO 301! and yes the 400 or 455 I do like and they perform awesome. The 301 could have been awesome if it wasn't for Chevrolet saying and giving it the bad rap. Because they were jealous and envied pontiacs motor division. Thanks
 

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If GM was so anti pontiac and anti turbo and anti High performance,why did we get the BUICK grande National? with a good well matched and well working turbo v-6?
oh ya,look where it was developed,,,
 

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Grumpy Old Goat Herder
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Jacksgiants, Welcome to Hotrodders! You and I have the same ideals. I have had nothing but Fords for the street since GM started the mix and match engines, in the mid to late 70s. I have raced one Pontiac or another since 1963 and have owned and raced my '64 GTO since 1990. Here's a picture:


Bill
 

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First off i like the 265/301 engines and i like the turbo setup on the 301---draw thru which i feel really needs to be explored. The hot concensus seems to be either blow thru carb or efi.

i don't know if the corvette theory is true for the following reasons:

1) there were no pontiac v-8's in 1982. 81 was the last yr.

2) The grand national/gnx were faster than the corvette for many years. This does not seem right and is a little shocking to me, but there you have it.

3) i feel the real reason the small block became the corporate engine was dependability, durability and popularity---it was installed in many, many vehicles AND the entire truck line both chevy AND gmc. So, at the time this v-8 was installed in more vehicles that all the other division's v-8's combined.

Pontiac was axed due to poor managment and the obama administration---a 26 year old was appointed car czar. i don't think pontiac sold more cars than chevy in 2008---which was when the brand was in jeopardy; They were 3rd behind chevy and gmc. Which is all more perplexing why they were axed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, you are right, Buick turbo did inspire Pontiac to do their own turbo setup. Buick just had a better foundation and was not in direct competition with Chevrolet. Chevrolet was going to do anything to get their 305 tbi on top and the tbi lasted a long time. I think no one knew how awesome that v6 turbo was going be. 1980 it did not have a whole lot of power by 1982 Buick got that turbo engine to produce 175hp and 275 ft lb torque. Every year after it got better and better. By then pontiac engine division was out. I'm just saying if Pontiac had the chance like Buick it would have gotten better and better too.
 

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I bought a 1980 T/A new with the 301. I drove a freinds 301 turbo T/A too. Either one would hold it's own against all the other cars of the day. You forgot to mention the mighty 305 available in the corvette's too.
That was a dog!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pontiac did get tossed off in 81 but they did have the 82 motors ready to go that's why the firebird still had the turbo hood. Buick only madehundreds not thousands of those turbo v6's. Pontiac was going to produce probably at least 5000 turbo 301's in 1982 but got axed at the last minute. 1980 and 81 the 301 turbo had more horsepower and torque then buicks turbo v6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This thread I have to say it's about the 1982 prototype firebird that was cut at the last minute. Also the fact is why would you pay the money for a corvette when the firebird was so much cheaper and ran faster. GM would have lost sales on the corvette. The new 82 body style was very slick and fresh. Would have been devastating to chevrolet. The 301 turbo motor had so much potential but was cut out of the picture. This is just my idea on the situation. Any thoughts would much appreciate it.
 

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I drove several cars with 301's in them. I thought they ran fine. The 301 was a odd ball off the pontiac family tree as nothing interchanged to other pontiac engines.
They had awful siamesed intake ports. Alot of meat was removed and the casting was very light. The aftermarket never bothered to make any performance parts for the 301 as they looked at them as a lost cause. As said, for daily driver get you there, nothing wrong with a 301. But I sure wouldn't try and hot rod one.
 

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I would rather stuff the 301 in a T bucket, makes them lots of fun. I have a certain fondness for 455s and stroked 400s, and while I dont mind the 301, I like the 455 much better. I agree with Creech, when they stopped producing the Pontiac V8, I stopped caring about the cars and GM in general. The LS1 rekindled some of it, mostly because those engines have tons of Pontiac design and engineering in them, far more than any sbc design. Right now I have a 65 vintage 326 that needs a home, and they are even less desirable than the 301, so it will probably find itself in a T bucket or something of the sort. The only reason I pulled the 400 Pontiac out of my 76 C10 shortbox is because I needed it for the 65 GTO, and I had a 454 laying around to put in it. That 400 would drag that 454 around the yard too.

The only engine I like as much as the Pontiac is the 4V Cleveland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, they cut a lot of metal off to lighten the load. I've ported 301 heads before but not much isn't much to work with. If they only made a intake a little higher then stock it would have been a little more fun. My naturally aspirated 301 I have now is sitting around 230 to 250 hp. That's with headers, roller rockers, 4bbl carb and intake, ported somewhat, did not remove hardly anything just polished mainly. I've had firebirds with 400's and compared to the 301 the 400 did not handle as good braking, steering and suspension. My 301 turbo still beats the naturally aspirated 301 but it's very close! The torque from the turbo always jumps it ahead. I have done nothing with the turbo motor it's all stock. Pontiac probably would have beefed it up a little more by figuring out all the weak points. by 1984 it probably would have been a solid motor (if they had the chance).
 
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