PONTAIC V-8 HIGH-PERFORMANCE ENGINE COMBINATIONS

The key to maximizing the performance of any combination is proper component selection. By expanding on the approach that Pontiac took when assembling combinations for its production vehicles, selecting components that compliment the operating characteristics of one another for a particular application, you typically produce a powerful engine that operates efficiently and reliably over a long period of time.

 


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There are a great number of machine shops, engine assemblers, and engine builders located throughout the country, and most are qualified to assist you in your quest for assembling a combination for your Pontiac V-8 that meets your performance expectations. Contact information for several companies that are intimately familiar with Pontiacs can be found in the Source Guide.

Here I provide you with an assortment of proven engine combinations from professional engine builders that use commonly available Pontiac engines as the basis. While any of those companies listed in the Source Guide should be capable of providing you with quality service and a reliable combination, space constraints prohibit listing every complete engine combination from each. In fairness to all, sources are limited to those companies that build Pontiac engines exclusively. That doesn’t remotely suggest, however, that others aren’t as knowledgeable or talented.

A select number of Pontiacspecific engine builders were each assigned a “stock” and “modified” engine package, using an engine of specific displacement and the intended parameters. The instruction stated that the package must operate reliably and perform within a reasonable range of the estimated horsepower and torque values provided.

The intent of the “stock” combination was to end up with an engine that performs well while maintaining excellent street manners and a completely stock appearance. The builders were told that it must include cast-iron cylinder heads with mild modifications possible, a stockstroke crankshaft, a hydraulic flattappet camshaft, original intake and exhaust manifolds, and an original carburetor.

The goal of the “modified” combination was to produce a highperformance engine that maintains a stock appearance and has good street manners. The use of certain aftermarket components was permissible, and these included certain aluminum cylinder heads, any aftermarket dual-plane intake manifold, and a roller camshaft, but it did require an original carburetor and cast-iron exhaust manifolds.

The combinations on the following pages can be considered guidelines to arrive at the supplied horsepower and torque estimations. While any number of components could certainly be swapped for a like item, longevity, performance, or street manners could suffer. I suggest that effects of any variance outside the stated combination be verified with your builder.

 

Dave Bisschop: SD Performance

Dave Bisschop is well known for taking a moderate approach toward building strong performance engines. In fact, he has been building and racing Pontiacs for a number of years, and has spent a great deal of time finding ways to extract even more performance from stock Pontiac components. Some of the quickest stock-appearing Pontiacs in the country feature cylinder heads that have been ported by his company in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Dave is considered to be among the best Pontiac builders.

 

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Stock 389 Tri-Power

Short Block

Block Casting: Original 389 block or equivalent 389 or 400 replacement

Preparation: Clean and magnetic particle inspect for cracks Crankshaft: Correct crankshaft for block or equivalent replacement

Preparation: Clean and magnetic particle inspect for cracks; grind to next undersize as needed and fully polish

Bore/Stroke: 4.06- to 4.12-inch bore/3.75-inch stroke Displacement: 389 to 411 ci

Deck Height: 10.22 inches

Pistons: Forged-aluminum flat tops or dished to achieve 9.5:1 (compression depends on type of fuel being used)

Piston Rings: File-fit plasma-moly rings with .018- to .020- inch gap or drop-in moly rings

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: Per piston manufacturer’s specifications

Connecting Rods: Tomahawk 5140 connecting rods

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: Minimum of .012 inch

Main Bearings: Clevite or Federal-Mogul (standard bearings) with .0020 to .0025 inch of clearance

Rod Bearings: Clevite or Federal-Mogul (standard bearings) with .0020 to .0030 inch of clearance

Thrust Clearance: .0040 to .0090 inch

Windage Tray: Tomahawk OE replacement

Oil Pump: Melling M54DS 60 psi; disassemble, clean, check for approximately .0030 inch of clearance between gears and bottom plate

Oil Pan: Original or OE replacement with baffle if replacement is required

Camshaft

Camshaft: Elgin Hydraulic flat-tappet

Camshaft Bearings: Dura-Bond

Bearing Clearance: minimum of .0012 inch (cam should turn by grabbing the snout with hand and turn)

Duration at .050 inch: 214/224

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .444/.466 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 107 to 108 degrees

Pushrods: Original or OE replacement

Rocker Studs: Original or ARP replacement

Rocker Arms: Original stamped-steel 1.5:1 or PRW full roller in 1.52:1 if budget allows

Timing Set: JP billet 9-keyway double roller

Cylinder Heads

Castings: Correct castings for the application (716, 77, 093) or equivalent.

Preparation: Clean and magnetic particle inspect for cracks

Combustion Chamber Volume: Verify original chamber volume; pistons should be matched to chamber size to achieve 9.25 to 9.5:1 compression

Compression Ratio: 9.25 to 9.5:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 200 to 230 cfm at .550- inch lift

Valves: Ferrea or SI stainless steel

Valve Diameters: 1.94/1.65 inches with 389 heads or 2.11/1.77 inches with later heads

Valve and Seat Preparation: Multi-angle valve job, install hardened exhaust seats in 389 heads; non-hardened exhaust seat heads can be used if enthusiast plans to drive a lot

Valvesprings: Dual springs with 100 to 115 pounds of seat pressure and a maximum of 280 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 7-degree Manley or Comp Cams

Induction

Intake Manifold: Original Tri-Power for the application or factory cast-iron Quadrajet from 1967 and later

Preparation: Clean, gasket match, and remove any large casting flash in the runners

Carburetor: Original or equivalent replacements calibrated accordingly

Ignition

Distributor: Original or equivalent replacement

Range of Initial Timing: 10 to 15 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 34 to 38 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 92

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Originals or Ram Air Restorations reproduction performance manifolds Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.25 to 2.5 inches

Muffler: Dynomax or similar large body muffler to deliver good flow and a healthy sound without too much incar noise

Exhaust Crossover: An X-type crossover if any is considered Or Complete Exhaust Kit: Ram Air Restoration kits

Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 2,200 to 2,500 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.08 to 3.55:1, depending upon the type of driving planned, or 3.90:1 for drag strip performance

Projected Output

Estimated Horsepower: 350 to 390

Estimated Torque: 425 to 450 ft-lbs Modified 455 4-Barrel

 

Modified 455 4-Barrel

Short Block

Block Casting: Any 455

Preparation: Clean, steel-shot blast, and magnetic particle inspect for cracks; remove casting flash from the lifter valley; tap front oil galley plugs for screw-in studs

Crankshaft: Cast-steel from Eagle or 4340 forged-steel from Scat or SGI in 4.25-inch stroke

Preparation: Balance and polish

Bore/Stroke: 4.155- to 4.195-inch bore/4.25-inch stroke

Displacement: 461 to 470 ci

Deck Height: 10.22 inches Pistons: Ross forged-aluminum

Piston Rings: Plasma-Moly with .018- to .020-inch gap

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .005 inch

Connecting Rods: Eagle 6.8-inch length; check and fit pin bushings for correct pin clearance

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: .028 inch or greater is typical

Main Bearings: Clevite77 or Federal-Mogul (standard bearings) with .0020 to .0025 inch of clearance

Rod Bearings: Federal-Mogul 8-7200CH with .0020 to .0030 inch of clearance

Thrust Clearance: .004 to .009 inch

Windage Tray: Tomahawk OE Replacement

Oil Pump: Melling M54DS 60-psi; disassemble, clean, check for approximately .003 inch of clearance between gears and bottom plate; shim relief spring .060 inch for added pressure

Oil Pan: Baffled original or Canton Road Race 15-450 or 15-452

Camshaft

Camshaft: Comp Cams Custom hydraulic roller, “Stump Puller”

Camshaft Bearings: Dura-Bond

Bearing Clearance: Minimum of .0012 inch (cam should turn by grabbing the snout with hand and turn)

Duration at .050 inch: 230/236

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .565/.570 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 107 to 109 degrees

Pushrods (type): Smith Brothers .083-inch wall replacements

Rocker Studs: 7/16-inch ARP

Rocker Arms (type and ratio): PRW full roller rocker (aluminum or stainless steel) in 1.52:1

Timing Set: JP billet 9-keyway double roller

Cylinder Heads

Castings: Most 1967-and-later castings, other than those used on low-compression 455s that accept 2.11/1.77- inch valves.

Preparation: SD Performance 250-cfm CNC-Ported Head package

Combustion Chamber Volume: Verify original chamber volume; pistons should be matched to chamber size to achieve 9.25 to 9.5:1 compression

Compression Ratio: 9.25 to 9.5:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: At least 250 cfm at .550- inch lift

Valves (type): Ferrea, SI, or Manley stainless-steel

Valve Diameters: 2.11/1.77 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Four-angle seat cut with 45- degree seats and 30-degree back cut on valves at least .060-inch wide

Valvesprings: Comp 995 dual springs installed at 1.65 inches with 130 to 140 pounds of seat pressure and 340 to 350 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree Manley or Comp Cams, chrome-moly.

Induction

Intake Manifold: Factory cast-iron Quadrajet from 1967 and later

Preparation: SD Performance CNC machining to plenum and port matching

Carburetor: 850+ cfm custom Quadrjaet from Cliff’s Q-jet

Ignition

Distributor: New replacement HEI

Range of Initial Timing: 10 to 15 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 33 to 36 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 91 to 93

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold (type): Ram Air Restorations with 2.45- inch outlet

Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5 inches

Muffler (type): Dynomax Exhaust Crossover: X-type crossover

Or Complete Exhaust Kit: Ram Air Restorations or Pypes

Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 2,500 to 3,000 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.23 to 3.55:1

Projected Output

Estimated Horsepower: 445 to 465

Estimated Torque: 525 to 550 ft-lbs

 

Ken Brewer: Pacific Performance Racing

Ken Brewer began street racing Pontiacs on the West Coast and quickly gained a name by consistently beating the competition. At the urging of Ken Crocie and Pete McCarthy, he started building engines for friends and decided to open Pacific Performance Racing in San Pedro, California, in 1994. Specializing in Pontiacs of all sizes, Brewer caters to hobbyists who are beginning with engines that generally displace between 326 and 400 ci. His 383 engine package, which is built around a 350 block, has been featured in several national publications, and his popular “Tomahawk” product line provides hobbyists with quality products at an affordable price.

 

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Stock 350 4-Barrel with Small-Valve Heads

Short Block

Block Casting: Original 350 or equivalent replacement

Preparation: Thermal clean and magnetic particle inspect for cracks; align hone and add 2-bolt studs from ARP; bore and hone with torque plate; surface for zero deck

Crankshaft: Original Pontiac crankshaft

Preparation: Grind journals to next possible undersize, micro polish, and balance for pistons and connecting rods

Bore/Stroke: 3.905 x 3.75 inches

Displacement: 360 ci Deck Height: 10.22 inches Pistons: PPR/Probe

Industries 350 forged pistons (2618 material) with .980-inch pin

Piston Rings: Plasma-moly gapped at .018-inch top, .021- inch second, and a minimum of .015 inch at bottom

Piston to Wall Clearance: .004 inch

Connecting Rods: Tomahawk 5140-forged 6.625-inch length

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: .018 to .022 inch

Main Bearings: King MB551AM series (Alecular material) with .0024-inch clearance

Rod Bearings: King CR-815CP with .002- to .0022-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .006 inch

Windage Tray: Tomahawk replacement

Oil Pump: Melling 10540; disassemble, inspect, clean, and lube

Oil Pan: Stock Baffled

Camshaft

Camshaft: Tomahawk TC-03-HF hydraulic flat-tappet

Camshaft Bearings: Dura-Bond P-4

Bearing Clearance: .002 inch

Duration at .050 inch: 214/221

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .450/.455 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 108 degrees

Pushrods (type): Pioneer PR-380-16

Rocker Studs: Original or PRW PQ Series 7/16

Rocker Arms (type and ratio): PRW stamped-steel roller-tip rockers in 1.52:1

Timing Set: 78512W SA Gear

Cylinder Heads

Castings: 1968 number-16 or equivalent

Preparation: Clean, magnetic particle inspect for cracks, install bronze guide liners, and surface

Combustion Chamber Volume: 75 cc

Compression Ratio: 9.3:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 200 to 220 cfm

Valves: Stainless steel

Valve Diameters: 2.08/1.66 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Five-angle valve job

Valvesprings: Crower 68405 installed at 1.7 inches with 110 pounds of seat pressure and 280 to 290 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 7-degree valve locks

Induction

Intake Manifold: Stock cast iron or Edelbrock

Performer Preparation: None

Carburetor: Quadrajet or Holley 670 Street Avenger

Ignition

Distributor: Tomahawk HEI

Range of Initial Timing: 14 to 16 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 34 to 37 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 91

Exhaust Exhaust Manifold: Stock Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.25 to 2.5 inches Muffler: Flowmaster Delta Flow Exhaust Crossover: Optional Gearing Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: Stock Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.08 to 3.42:1 Projected Output Estimated Horsepower: 340 to 355 Estimated Torque: 425 ft-lbs

 
 

LSB

 

Modified 350 4-Barrel

Short Block

Block Casting: Any 350 Pontiac block

Preparation: Thermal clean and magnetic particle inspect for cracks; align hone and add 2-bolt studs from ARP, bore and hone with torque plate, and surface for zero deck

Crankshaft: Tomahawk nodular-iron with 4-inch stroke and 2.2-inch rod journals

Preparation: Balance for pistons and connecting rods

Bore/Stroke: 3.905 x 4.00 inches

Displacement: 383 ci

Deck Height: 10.22 inches

Pistons: Probe Industries 383 forged pistons (2618 Material) with .990-inch pin

Piston Rings: Plasma-moly gapped at .018-inch top, .021- inch second, and a minimum of .015 inch at bottom

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .004-inc

Connecting Rods: Tomahawk Ultra Light 4340-forged 6.8 inches; small end honed to piston pin

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: .018 to .022 inch

Main Bearings: King MB551AM series (Alecular material) with .0024-inch clearance

Rod Bearings: King CR-815CP with .0022-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .006 inch

Windage Tray: Tomahawk replacement

Oil Pump: Melling 10540- disassemble, inspect, clean, and lube

Oil Pan: Stock Baffled

Camshaft

Camshaft: Tomahawk TC-03-HR Hydraulic Roller

Camshaft Bearings: Dura-Bond P-4

Bearing Clearance: .002 inch

Duration at .050 inch: 236/244

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .558/.558 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 108 degrees

Pushrods (type): Crower 8.850 inches

Rocker Studs: PRW PQ Series 7/16

Rocker Arms (type and ratio): PRW stainless steel roller rocker arms in 1.52:1

Timing Set: 78512W SA Gear

Cylinder Heads

Castings: Aluminum KRE D-ports

Preparation: CNC ported by SD Performance

Combustion Chamber Volume: 65 cc

Compression Ratio: 10.9:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 290 cfm

Valves (type): Stainless

Steel Valve Diameters: 2.11/1.77 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Multiple angles

Valvesprings: Crane 99893 dual springs with an install height of 1.8 inches and 140 to 150 pounds of seat pressure and 370 to 380 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree Comp Cams locks and Manley retainers Induction

Intake Manifold: Crosswind dual-plane (if clearance) or Tomahawk intake

Preparation: Port matched

Carburetor: Quadrajet or Holley 760 Street Avenger

Ignition Distributor: Tomahawk HEI

Range of Initial Timing: 12 to 14 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 32 to 35 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 91

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Ram Air Manifolds

Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5 inches

Muffler: Flowmaster Delta Flow

Exhaust Crossover: X-type

Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 2,600 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.55 to 3.90:1

Projected Output

Estimated Horsepower: 500

Estimated Torque: 480 ft-lbs

 

David Butler: Butler Performance

Butler Performance in Leoma, Tennessee, has been building fast Pontiacs for a number of years. Sons David and Rodney have picked up where their father, Jim, left off. David Butler is among the most knowledgeable Pontiac builders and his approach toward any type of Pontiac performance can be backed up with successful results. With the ability to produce a stout performance engine with a stock appearance, or thousands of horsepower from a boosted application, Butler Performance can assist you with all your Pontiac needs.

 

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Stock 1965-1966 421 Tri-Power

Short Block

Block Casting: Any original 421 block

Preparation: Cleaned and magnetic particle inspection, sonic test, de-burr excess flashing, bore and hone with torque plate, line hone with ARP main studs, square deck, install and fit cam bearings and brass freeze plugs

Crankshaft: Stock 4-inch stroke cast crankshaft or aftermarket cast replacement

Preparation: Check for cracks, chamfer oil holes, grind, balance, and micro-polish

Bore/Stroke: 4.12 to 4.154 x 4 inches

Displacement: 428 to 434 ci Deck Height: 10.22 inches

Pistons: Ross custom Butler-spec forged aluminum, dished for pump gas

Piston Rings: Total Seal Classic Race gapped .016 to .018 inch

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .004 inch

Connecting Rods: 5140 Forged I-Beam with 7/16-inch ARP bolts or H-Beam 4340 forged in stock 6.625-inch length; pin-fit and re-size if needed

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: .020 to .024 inch

Main Bearings: Federal-Mogul

Performance bearings with .0025- to .003-inch clearance

Rod Bearings: Federal-Mogul

Performance bearings with .0022- to .0025-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .005 to .009 inch

Windage Tray: Optional

Oil Pump: Melling 60 psi; clean and check all clearances

Oil Pan: Canton baffled stock replacement with 6-quart capacity

Camshaft

Camshaft: Comp Cams Xtreme Energy hydraulic flattappet

Camshaft Bearings: standard Federal-Mogul bearings

Bearing Clearance: Cam should turn by hand

Duration at .050 inch: 224/230

Lobe Separation: 110 or 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .480/.480 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 106 to 108 degrees

Pushrods: 5/16-inch hardened replacements

Rocker Studs: Convert to 7/16-inch screw-in

Rocker Arms: Comp Cams roller-tip in 1.5:1

Timing Set: Butler Performance True Roller timing set with billet gear and 9-keyway crank sprocket

Cylinder Heads

Castings: 1965 numbers-76 or -77 or 1966 numbers-092 or -093

Preparation: Port and polish, and surfaced

Combustion Chamber Volume: 68 to 72 cc

Compression Ratio: 9.25 to 9.5:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 210 to 220 cfm

Valves: Ferrea stainless steel

Valve Diameters: 1.92/1.66 inches Valve and Seat

Preparation: Three-angle (Butler Spec Serdi cutter)

Valvesprings: Dual springs with 115 pounds of seat pressure and 290 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree, chrome-moly Induction

Intake Manifold: Stock cast iron Tri-Power

Preparation: Port matched

Carburetor: Stock Rochester 2-barrels; rebuilt and jetted Ignition

Distributor type: Stock points-type with Pertronix electronic conversion

Range of Initial Timing: 12 to 14 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 32 to 35 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 91

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Cast-iron Ram Air type

Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5 inches

Muffler: Magnaflow

Exhaust Crossover: X-type

Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 1,800 to 2,200 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.23 to 3.55:1

Projected Output Estimated Horsepower: 375 to 390 Estimated Torque: 450 ft-lbs Additional Suggestions or Comments Upgrading to a hydraulic roller camshaft is highly recommended given the changes in today’s readily available oils. Another easy and recommended upgrade is to use a 1969-and-later timing cover and water pump for improved cooling capacity.

 

Modified 389 Tri-Power

Short Block

Block Casting: Any 389 block; 1965–1966 casting is preferred since starter bolts directly to the block on later model Pontiacs; if earlier 389 block is used with later model transmission, adapter plates that mount the starter are available

Preparation: Cleaned and magnetic particle inspection, sonic test, deburr excess flashing, bore and hone with torque plate, line hone with ARP main studs, square deck, install and fit cam bearings and brass freeze plugs

Crankshaft: Eagle or Scat 4.25-inch stroke cast or forged

Preparation: Measure and polish or turn if necessary to achieve correct dimensions and balance

Bore/Stroke: 4.092 to 4.120 x 4.25 inches

Displacement: 448 to 453 ci Deck Height: 10.22 inches

Pistons: Ross custom Butler-spec forged aluminum

Piston Rings: Total Seal Classic Race file fit; top ring gapped at .018 inch, second ring gapped at .016 inch

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .004 inch

Connecting Rods: 4340-forged H-Beam in 6.8-inch length; pin-fit and re-size if needed

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: .024 to .028 inch

Main Bearings: Federal-Mogul performance series or Clevite77 gapped at .0028 to .0032 inch

Rod Bearings: Federal-Mogul performance series or Clevite77 gapped at .0025 to .003 inch

Thrust Clearance: .005 to .009 inch

Windage Tray: Aftermarket unit is optional

Oil Pump: Melling modified for Butler Performance; remachined and blueprinted, and .25-inch-thick bottom plate added

Oil Pan: Canton 7-quart

Camshaft

Camshaft: Comp Cams hydraulic roller; custom grind to Butler spec

Camshaft Bearings: Federal-Mogul or Clevite77

Bearing Clearance: Cam should turn by hand Duration at .050 inch: 236/242 or 242/248

Lobe Separation: 110 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: Approximately .575/.575 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 106 to 107 degrees

Pushrods: Butler Performance .116-inch wall chrome-moly

Rocker Studs: ARP 7/16 inch

Rocker Arms: PRW or Comp Cams full roller

Timing Set: Butler Performance True Roller timing set with billet gear and 9-keyway crank sprocket

Cylinder Heads

Castings: Edelbrock Performer D-port

Preparation: Ported, three-angle competition valve job, custom assembled per application

Combustion Chamber Volume: 87 cc

Compression Ratio: 10.5:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 300 cfm

Valves: Ferrea stainless steel

Valve Diameters: 2.11/1.77 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Three-angle valve job

Valvesprings: Comp Cams dual springs with 135 to 140 pounds of seat pressure and 335 to 345 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree, chrome-moly Induction

Intake Manifold: Edelbrock Performer RPM

Preparation: Port matched

Carburetor: Modified 800 Quadrajet

Ignition

Distributor type: MSD Billet

Range of Initial Timing: 14 to 18 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 34 to 37 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 92

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Ram Air Restorations “Super” roundport exhaust manifolds with 3-inch outletExhaust Tube Diameter: 3 inches

Muffler: Magnaflow

Exhaust Crossover: X-type

Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 2,400 to 2,800 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.55:1

Projected Output

Estimated Horsepower: 550

Estimated Torque: 575 to 600 ft-lbs

Additional Suggestions or Comments

A 1969–and-later timing cover and water pump for improved cooling capacity is easy and recommended upgrade.

Many options are available to suit each customer’s application. A 4-inch-stroke crankshaft can be used to produce about 426-ci displacement and a 4.5-inch stroke crankshaft can be used to produce around 480 ci. Billet 4-bolt main caps are recommended when using a 4.5-inch-stroke crankshaft.

Optional equipment includes a Torker 2 or Victor intake manifold, 850- to 950-cfm Holley carburetor, and Doug’s tubular headers. With this combination, 600 or more horsepower is possible with optional equipment. The Barry Grant Six-Shooter is also very popular with 389 and 421 customers who want the Tri-Power look but with modern performance and drivability.

 

LSB

 

 

Jeff Kauffman: Kauffman Racing Equipment

Kauffman Racing Equipment (KRE) in Glenmont, Ohio, is among the very best in the today’s Pontiac market. Since introducing its own cast-aluminum D-port cylinder head for Pontiac applications, KRE has gone on to develop various large-bore Pontiac blocks and highperformance cylinder heads. The engine packages designed by Jeff Kauffman provide proven results and rarely fall short of the owner’s expectations.

 

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Stock Low-Compression 400 4-Barrel

Short Block

Block Casting: Any stock 400 block

Preparation: Hot tanked, magnetic particle inspected for cracks, and shot blasted

Crankshaft: Any stock 400 crank

Preparation: Hot tanked, magnetic particle inspected for cracks, and shot blasted

Bore/Stroke: 4.15 x 3.75 inches

Displacement: 406 ci

Deck Height: Stock 10.24 inches

Pistons: TRW or KB Icon forged

Piston Rings: Plasma-moly with .016-inch gap on top and second ring

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .003 to .0035 inch

Connecting Rods: Pro-Warrior stock replacement 5140- forged 6.625-inch length

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: Minimum of .015 inch

Main Bearings: Federal-Mogul with .002- to .0025-inch clearance

Rod Bearings: Federal-Mogul with .0015- to .002-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .004 to .007 inch

Windage Tray: Reuse original if available

Oil Pump: Melling M54DS 60 psi

Oil Pan: New stock replacement

Camshaft

Camshaft: Crower 60918 hydraulic flat-tappet

Camshaft Bearings: Dura-Bond

Bearing Clearance: .003 to .005 inch

Duration at .050 inch: 214/224

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .444/.467 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 108 degrees

Pushrods (type): Stock

Rocker Studs: 7/16-inch ARP screw-in

Rocker Arms (type and ratio): 1.5:1 roller tip

Timing Set: Rollmaster 9-keyway billet

Cylinder Heads

Castings: Common 4X, 5C, or 6X.

Preparation: Hot tanked, magnetic particle inspected for cracks, and shot blasted

Combustion Chamber Volume: 96 to 102 cc

Compression Ratio: 9.0:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: Stock 210 cfm

Valves: Ferrea Stainless Steel

Valve Diameters: 2.11/1.77 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Three-angle valve job

Valvesprings: Dual springs with 110 to 115 pounds of seat pressure and 280 to 300 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree, steel

Induction

Intake Manifold: Stock cast-iron 4-barrel

Preparation: Shot blasted

Carburetor: Stock Quadrajet

Ignition

Distributor: MSD 8528

Range of Initial Timing: 8 to 12 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 32 to 36 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 89

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Stock or Ram Air

Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5 inches

Muffler: Flowmaster 50 series or equivalent

Exhaust Crossover: Optional Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: Stock 1,800 to 2,000 rpm Suggested

Rear Axle Ratio: Stock 3.08 to 3.23:1

Projected Output

Estimated Horsepower: 300 to 350

Estimated Torque: 375 to 400 ft-lbs

Additional Suggestions or Comments

This is considered a typical stock rebuild in which old or overly stressed components are discarded and replaced with modern-stock replacements. It contains very few performance modifications and is designed for a long life with very little to no maintenance.

 

Modified 400 4-Barrel

Short Block

Block Casting: Any stock 400 block from 1967 to 1974

Preparation: Hot tanked, magnetic particle inspected for cracks, and shot blasted

Crankshaft: Ohio

Crankshaft forged-steel with 4.5-inch stroke

Preparation: Balanced

Bore/Stroke: 4.155 x 4.5 inches

Displacement: 488 to 494 ci

Deck Height: 10.24 inches

Pistons: KB Icon forged

Piston Rings: Total Seal plasma-moly gapped at .018 inch for top and second

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .004 to .0055 inch

Connecting Rods: Pro-Warrior forged-steel H-beam in 6.7- inch length

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: a minimum of .015 inch

Main Bearings: Federal-Mogul with .002- to .003-inch clearance

Rod Bearings: Federal-Mogul with .002- to .0025-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .004 to .007 inch

Windage Tray: Canton (if used)

Oil Pump: Melling M54DS 60 psi

Oil Pan: Moroso 8-quart

Camshaft

Camshaft: Comp Cams custom hydraulic roller

Camshaft Bearings: Dura-Bond

Bearing Clearance: .003 to .005 inch

Duration at .050 inch: 236/242

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .600/.600 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 108 degrees

Pushrods: Comp Cams

Rocker Studs: 7/16-inch ARP

Rocker Arms: PRW aluminum full roller rockers in 1.65:1

Timing Set: Rollmaster 9-keyway billet

Cylinder Heads

Castings: KRE Aluminum D-ports

Preparation: CNC porting

Combustion Chamber Volume: 85 cc

Compression Ratio: 10.5 to 11.0:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 310 cfm

Valves: Ferrea stainless steel Valve Diameters: 2.11/1.66 inches Valve and Seat Preparation: Five-angle valve job

Valvesprings: Dual Springs with 135 to 140 pounds of seat pressure and 335 to 370 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree, steel

Induction

Intake Manifold: Edelbrock Performer RPM intake

Preparation: Port matched

Carburetor: Modified 850-cfm Quadrajet

Ignition

Distributor: MSD 8528

Range of Initial Timing: 10 to 14 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 30 to 32 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 89 to 91

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Ram Air Restorations manifolds with 2.5-inch outlets

Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5 inches

Muffler: Flowmaster 40 series

Exhaust Crossover: Optional Or, a Complete

Exhaust Kit: Flowmaster with X-type crossover

Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 2,500 to 2,800 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 3.23 to 3.55:1

Projected Output

Estimated Horsepower: 600 to 615

Estimated Torque: 610 to 630 ft-lbs

Additional Suggestions or Comments

This package is designed to be a sleeper combo and provide great street manners. The engine should idle at around 800 to 850 rpm and offer sufficient vacuum for power brakes. It has an expected power range of 2,500 to 6,000 rpm with a peak power point of 5,600 rpm. That should equate to low maintenance for RPM use and longevity for the street, but should still be very quick on the drag strip. Possible upgrades include installing a KRE Northwind intake manifold and Pro System 1,000-cfm carburetor for an extra 15 to 25 hp. A set of KRE High Port cylinder heads, tubular headers, or a solid roller camshaft increases RPM and power output. Said changes should yield anywhere between 15 and 80 additional horsepower.

 

Scott Tiemann: Supercar Specialties

Scott Tiemann is generally regarded among the top Pontiac restorers in the business, and he’s been operating his company, Supercar Specialties, in Portland, Michigan, on a full-time basis since 1989. He has being building Pontiac engines longer than he’s been restoring vehicles. His most recent accomplishments as builder and restorer are showcased in two different 1968 Firebird’s he’s completely restored and rebuilt for the popular Pure-Stock class and Factory Appearing Stock Tire (F.A.S.T.) series racing. Both Firebirds are not merely consistent show winners; they are the fastest Pontiac entries in both racing series.

 

SA200_FULLBOOK_RebuildPontiacV8s_Page_138_Image_0001

 

Pure-Stock Series 1968 Pontiac Firebird Ram Air 400

Short Block

Block Casting: Standard 1973 400 block

Preparation: Bore .060 inch with deck plate, short fill with Hard Blok

Crankshaft: Original Pontiac 400 crankshaft

Preparation: Offset grind rod journal .015 inch to produce 3.765-inch stroke and size main journals to normal undersize

Bore/Stroke: 4.185 x 3.765 inches

Displacement: 414.32 ci

Deck Height: 10.22 inches

Pistons: Diamond lightweight custom forged with .927- inch wrist pins

Piston Rings: Low-tension pack with .043-inch top and second and 3.0-mm oil ring thickness with top and second ring gapped at .020 inch

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .0055 inch

Connecting Rods: Eagle 4340-forged H-beam bushed for full-floating .927-inch pin

Connecting Rod Side Clearance: .025 inch

Main Bearings: Clevite77 with full oil groove and .003- inch clearance

Rod Bearings: Clevite77 with .002- to .003-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .005 to .010 inch

Windage Tray: Stock tray with five .5-inch holes added in center

Oil Pump: Melling M54DS stock replacement 60 psi

Oil Pan: Stock pan with several small oil deflectors welded to rear pan wall to keep oil from climbing on acceleration and one front baffle for stopping

Camshaft

Camshaft: Cam Motion hydraulic flat-tappet

Camshaft Bearings: Clevite

Bearing Clearance: .001 to .002 inch

Duration at .050 inch: 232/240

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.5:1: .485/.485 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 108 degrees

Pushrods: Stock type 5/16-inch diameter with .080-inch wall and length adjusted for proper valve-to-rocker geometry

Rocker Studs: 7/16-inch ARP

Rocker Arms: Stock stamped steel, 1.5:1

Timing Set: Cloyes Double Roller

Cylinder Heads

Castings: 1968-1/2 number-96 Ram Air II round port.

Preparation: Multiple-angle valve job

Combustion Chamber Volume: 65 cc (NHRA blueprint spec)

Compression Ratio: 12.0:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: Stock flow (approximately 214-cfm intake, and exhaust flows 91.12 percent of that value)

Valves: Ferrea stainless steel

Valve Diameters: 2.11/1.77 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Multiple angles to optimize low lift flow characteristics

Valvesprings: Dual spring with 130 pounds of seat pressure and 320 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: Comp Cams lightweight, steel

Induction

Intake Manifold: Stock 1967 to 1970 cast-iron 4-barrel Preparation: Mill mounting flange as required for port alignment

Carburetor: Stock 750-cfm Quadrajet with calibrated idle circuit for clean and crisp idle and throttle response

Ignition

Distributor: Stock Pontiac points-type distributor

Range of Initial Timing: 15 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 36 to 38 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 110

Exhaust Exhaust Manifold: Reproduction round-port long-branch manifolds Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5-inch mandrel bent Muffler: Pypes Crossflow Exhaust Crossover: X-type Or Complete Exhaust Kit: Pypes Crossflow system Gearing Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 2,500 to 3,000 rpm Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 4.33:1 Projected Output Measured Horsepower: 470 at 6,000 rpm Measured Torque: 490 ft-lbs at 4,000 rpm Additional Suggestions or Comments This engine is currently the fastest Pontiac combination at the Dan Jensen/Bob Boden Pure Stock Muscle Car drag race. Installed into Rick Mahoney’s 1968 Firebird that weighs 3,450 pounds with driver and has ran a quickest so far of 11.63 at 117.64 mph.

 

F.A.S.T. Series 1968 Pontiac Firebird Ram Air 400

Short Block

Block Casting: Original 1973 SD-455 block Preparation: De-burr, and bore .060 inch and hone with deck plate

Crankshaft: Forged steel with 4.15-inch stroke

Preparation: Balanced

Bore/Stroke: 4.21 x 4.15 inches

Displacement: 462 ci

Deck Height: 10.22 inches

Pistons: Diamond lightweight custom forged with dome and .927-inch wrist pins

Piston Rings: Low-tension pack with .043-inch top and second and 3.0-mm oil ring thickness with top and second ring gapped at .020 inch

Piston-to-Wall Clearance: .0055 inch

Connecting Rods: Crower forged steel

Connection Rod Side Clearance: .025 inch

Main Bearings: Clevite77 with .003-inch clearance

Rod Bearings: Clevite77 with .003-inch clearance

Thrust Clearance: .007 to .010 inch

Windage Tray: Stock tray with five .500-inch holes added in center

Oil Pump: Melling M54DS stock replacement 60 psi

Oil Pan: Stock pan with several small oil deflectors welded to rear pan wall to keep oil from climbing on acceleration and one front baffle for stopping

Camshaft

Camshaft: Comp Cams solid roller

Camshaft Bearings: 50-mm needle bearings

Bearing Clearance: n/a

Duration at .050 inch: 264/264

Lobe Separation: 112 degrees

Valve Lift at 1.65:1: .700/.700 inch

Intake Centerline Installed at: 110 degrees

Pushrods: 3/8-inch diameter with length adjusted for proper valve-to-rocker geometry

Rocker Studs: T&D shaft system

Rocker Arms: 1.65:1

Cylinder Heads

Castings: 1968-1/2 number-96 Ram Air II round port

Preparation: Porting by SD Performance

Combustion Chamber Volume: 65 cc (NHRA blueprint spec)

Compression Ratio: 14.0:1

Suggested Airflow at 28 inches: 270-cfm intake and 200- cfm exhaust

Valves: Ferrea stainless steel Valve

Diameters: 2.11/1.77 inches

Valve and Seat Preparation: Multiple angles

Valvesprings: Dual spring with 300 pounds of seat pressure and 750 pounds of open pressure

Valve Locks and Retainers: 10-degree, Comp Cams titanium

Induction

Intake Manifold: 1968 Pontiac cast-iron 4-barrel

Preparation: Porting by SD

Performance Carburetor: 800-cfm Quadrajet with calibrated idle circuit for clean and crisp idle and throttle response

Ignition Distributor: MSD electronic

Range of Initial Timing: 15 degrees

Range of Total Timing: 36 to 38 degrees

Suggested Fuel Octane: 112

Exhaust

Exhaust Manifold: Reproduction round-port long-branch manifolds

Exhaust Tube Diameter: 2.5-inch mandrel bent

Muffler: Pypes Crossflow

Exhaust Crossover: X-type Or Complete

Exhaust Kit: Pypes Crossflow system Gearing

Auto Trans Converter Stall Speed: 4,000 rpm

Suggested Rear Axle Ratio: 4.10:1

Projected Output

Measured Horsepower: 650 at 6,400 rpm

Measured Torque: 620 ft-lbs at 4,200 rpm

Additional Suggestions or Comments

This completely stock-looking combination is installed into a 1968

Firebird that races in F.A.S.T. series. It weighs 3,350 pounds with driver and has ran a quickest so far of 10.50 at 132.2 mph.

Written by Rocky Rotella and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks

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