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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  12:09:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello all, its been a while since I have posted. I need some advice on where to go with my 400 from here.
I am at the point of wanting more with my engine. The 8.0:1 compression 2801 cammed combo just isn't doing it for me anymore. Here lies the problem. I CANNOT find a small chambered head ANYWHERE in my area. I literally browse craigslist every week for cylinder heads.(Have been for months now) It seems to not be a huge Pontiac following in my area. I can look until my eyes are sore and not find a Large valve screw in stud small chambered head. The engine is a 1973 400 with stock 4x 2bbl heads. Hooker 3 tube headers, Edelbrock Performer Pontiac intake, 750 Holley carb, Stock 1973 short-block. Here is my idea:

I have had a set of 6x-8 heads that are ready to bolt on with what are supposed to be newish comp springs. What I am thinking of doing is milling them .075 Thousands to achieve 82-85cc's. (Intake milling also required) That would put me in the ballpark of 9.37:1-9.1:1 (82 or 85cc) (Wallace racing calculator). Another way would be to use a .027 thick cometic MLS headgaskets that are 86 bucks a piece. This would get the compression up to (almost 9.7:1).
Camshaft specs are 228/228 @.050 .480/480 Lift on a 112 LSA.

My friend is a machinist. I trade him some parts for work occasionally, Lets say for arguments sake he charges 100 bucks to do all of the milling. All of the Gaskets are roughly $50 (with standard .039 gaskets) I already have the camshaft and lifters. I may have to buy shorter pushrods because of the milling. Lets say 75-100 bucks for a set of chromemoly pushrods. (If i cant get 40 dollar steel ones in the right length)
Roughly 250-300 by the time I add all the nickle and dime stuff up. Or 9.7:1 compression for 400-450 bucks with the expensive MLS Headgaskets. Is it worth the performance boost in both valve size and compression ratio to do this? I simply am out of other good options. I cannot find a set of heads at a reasonable price.
The goal is to push my 3700 Pound car into the Mid to high 7's in the 1/8 mile. I really love my car and Pontiac engines, my problem is I am getting very frustrated trying to go fast on a budget. I am at the point where I need to do something to this car to keep my interest in it. I have been helping friends work on their SBC powered cars and S10 trucks. It is just plain stupid how fast and how much power you can make with one with pocket change. I am at the point of stopping further work on this car and building something else to race if I cannot come up with some way to make it faster.

So.... Mill them and use factory gaskets?
Mill them and use a .027 thick gasket?
Scrap the entire idea, make it a weekend cruiser (like it is now) and build a dedicated drag S10 drag truck?



1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.

cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  09:55:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Only part i can comment on is that you can mill them too much and there's not enough deck left to seal the head gasket. I ruined a set of 6x heads doing that. Don't recall how much i took off, but IIRC it's in the .070 area you're talking about.
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3406 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  10:26:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The goal is to push my 3700 Pound car into the Mid to high 7's in the 1/8 mile.


The 3 tube headers and performer are not helping.

7.50's works out to about 11 flat in the 1/4. The $400 wont come close to achieving that number.

Looks like the raced prepped s-10 with a salvage yard 6 liter LS may get you close.


Bull Nose Formula/ 461/ Q-Jet/
TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 28 Sep 2016 10:29:53 AM
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  10:29:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cortcomp

Only part i can comment on is that you can mill them too much and there's not enough deck left to seal the head gasket. I ruined a set of 6x heads doing that. Don't recall how much i took off, but IIRC it's in the .070 area you're talking about.



Thanks for the info. That is certainly something I hadn't thought about...

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  10:38:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blued and Painted

The goal is to push my 3700 Pound car into the Mid to high 7's in the 1/8 mile.


The 3 tube headers and performer are not helping.

7.50's works out to about 11 flat in the 1/4. The $400 wont come close to achieving that number.

Looks like the s-10 with a salvage yard 6 liter LS may get you close.




I do realize the 3 tubes are not the best. I was not expecting to be running in the 11's with 4-500, I should have re stated that to read a little differently. I realize that will require much more effort and $. Basically What I am asking is is it worth the effort to go through with this to receive a reasonable HP gain? Is the HP per dollar spent justifiable? Mid to high sevens would be more logical with a 461 stroker or a 455 with higher compression. If I recall the newer Performer RPM is the better manifold of choice if aluminum? If not the factory Iron Qjet seems to be everyone's favorite. I had a chance to buy a set of 4 tubes a few weeks ago for 50 bucks. They were beat up pretty badly is the reason I passed on them.

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  11:32:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Something to consider, and i'm no expert. But, at 8:1 compression, maybe you are a great candidate for a bolt on centrifugal supercharger kit? You'd feel that in the seat of your pants, without having to open up the motor (if that cam is OK with that i guess, again, i'm not an expert.)

Just have to deal with the carb blow through or pull through setup or whatever. More effort in tuning than breaking engine apart for head swap and cam swaps and whatnot.
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  11:53:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cortcomp

Something to consider, and i'm no expert. But, at 8:1 compression, maybe you are a great candidate for a bolt on centrifugal supercharger kit? You'd feel that in the seat of your pants, without having to open up the motor (if that cam is OK with that i guess, again, i'm not an expert.)

Just have to deal with the carb blow through or pull through setup or whatever. More effort in tuning than breaking engine apart for head swap and cam swaps and whatnot.



I have given both the centrifugal supercharger and a turbocharger lots of thought. These engines are almost setup for boost (strictly speaking compression ratio) from 1971 and on. The problem being their is little aftermarket support in the way of a roots style or centrifugal supercharger. "junkyard turbocharging" is the popular thing these days, but the Pontiac exhaust port angle would make a set of headers an absolute pain to make. By the time you add all of the expenses up for even a home built turbo system you are at the point of buying a Small chamber large valve head off ebay. Their is a set of 1968 #15 Heads on ebay right now for 400 dollars (current bid currently going up) plus 60 shipping. (72cc Large valves) My other problem with boost is Pontiac engines are not as easy to come by as a SBC. If you detonate the Pontiac and melt a piston, Finding a "cheap" replacement engine just doesn't happen. On the other hand, if it were a SBC you would be running the next day with a 250 dollar engine. I don't mind tuning as I have a wideband 02 sensor already installed in the car that is capable of data-logging. It seems the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to "budget" "Pontiac" and "boost"

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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Tub
Sitting Bull

172 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  12:02:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately, if you wanna race REALLY cheap, the sbc is the only way to go. But, me & few other Pontiac freaks would rather not race at all, if we had to run a Chevy engine.

You can run mid 7's with a 455 and some 6x-8 heads. But to to it with a 400 will require more than 8:1 compression. Can probably do it with about 10:1. But it will take the right cam, intake, carb, converter, rear end gears, etc. In other words, you'll need the right combination of parts, and good tuning.

The cam, converter, and rear end gear required to pull it off, would probably not be a street friendly combo. A 455 or larger, however, can be made to do the street/strip thing easily, with the correct set-up.

My last 455 bracket car ran 7.30's. But it had too much compression for pump gas, without some race gas or GOOD octane booster mixed in. So, you could replace the #215 heads, with some good 6x-8 heads, and probably still run mid to high 7's, depending, of course, on the car weight, and complete set-up. It takes quite a bit of power to push a 3700lb car that quick.

I really don't think it is a realistic goal to go that quick, with a 3700 lb street car, and do it on a very low budget. There are quite a few Pontiacs that can do it. But they are not low budget at all.

There are plenty of 72-75cc Pontiac heads for sale. Most are $400-$500 a set for good cores, or around $1000 for ready-to-run heads, with new one piece valves. Don't think it's safe to cut the 6x heads more than .060. Less, if they have been cut some already.

A decent 455 shortblock, with forged rods & pistons will cost $3500-$4000. A 6x head long block will cost about $5000. It will have over 400hp and about 500ft lbs of torque.

http://lenwilliamsautomachine.com/455_Short_Block.html

http://lenwilliamsautomachine.com/455_Long_Block.html

I have no idea how much it would cost for a sbc engine that would make enuff power to run mid 7's in a 3700lb car ??? Somehow, I don't think your $250 sbc engine can pull it off.

But, I've been around racing long enuff to know that it'll take a high stall converter, a big cam, a lot of rear gear, and high rpm to do it.


"...Scrap the entire idea, make it a weekend cruiser (like it is now) and build a dedicated drag S10 drag truck?..."


I can't help but be curious. If you don't have the budget to buy or build a strong Pontiac engine, how do you plan to finance a mid 7's "dedicated drag S10 drag truck" ? Exactly how cheaply do you think you can build it ?

I'll sell you my '68 455 bracket Bird for $10k.

http://psp.aquacomp.net/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10749

Edited by - Tub on 28 Sep 2016 12:36:43 PM
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2016 :  1:38:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your response Tub. Very good information. I think I am at a crossroads with the car. The problem here is that I need to really sit down and decide what I want out of the car. For the 250 dollar SBC i was referencing a home built turbocharged SBC. Do a few minutes of research on what guys are doing nowadays with a stone stock 8.5:1 stock bottom end SBC. I think it may suprise you. (Specifically do a google search for the "Grenade" on the turbo forums. Its a stone stock 350 that makes 700 wheel horsepower with two junkyard turbochargers and nitrous.) I know that sounds completely unbelievable, just see for yourself. If nothing else its a pretty entertaining thread with all of the cheap-ness this guy came up with.
I dont like getting terribly off topic, but you asked how I would plan to do this. You should also know I am not opposed to running used parts. If it works, it works. Who cares if your cylinder heads are used if you win?
My friend has built 2 of these S10 trucks with 350's. The aftermarket support for a Small block S10 is nuts. Ford explorer 8.8 Rear with 3.73's, Posi, and disc brakes literally bolts right up. I know where 1 is for 125 bucks. 88 Chevy truck singlecab shortbed driveshaft fits the Ford bolt on yoke and is the perfect length when using a TH-400. (way bigger and thicker tube than the stock S10 shaft) V-6 S10 Radiator is capable with 2 electric fans of cooling around 400-450 HP. I already have a 10:1 compression 355 with come old camel humps, Kieth black pistons, solid FT camshaft... You would be surprised how cheaply people let this stuff go now that the LS engines have taken over. The SBC is as cheap as its ever gonna get. With the Ford 8.8 and the right wheels you can fit 14 inches of tire under the rear of one of these trucks. My buddy recently picked up some MT ET streets for 200 bucks with 5 passes on them. He bought a TH400 for 100 bucks and changed the fluid and filter. I sold him my 3500 stall B%M converter cheap. Shopping around really leads to some good deals. They weight around 3200 after getting rid of all the unnecessary junk. I have half of the stuff necessary to do it with.

I think the thing is driving that heavy of a car into the mid 7's would as you said kill streetability. The car has a 2.43 First geared Super T-10. I would have to really gear it (final drive) to make it run that number. Finding a 455 is nearly impossible these days in my area. I have a 455 short block with the crankshaft. It needs sleeves in three cylinders. Building and engine from scratch is not in my budget currently. I don't want you guys to think I am some total tightwad... I am 20 years old and trying to save up for a down-payment on a mortgage so I can have my own place soon. Between work and finishing my HP Motorsports degree online I have little time to "just try it and see what happens" with the milling. My wording on the original post was a bit misleading, and now re reading it it sounds like I am trying to go 7.5 for 500 bucks. That is not the case. Pushing a car this heavy into the Mid 7's takes horsepower. Thanks for the input about the milling.

"But, me & few other Pontiac freaks would rather not race at all, if we had to run a Chevy engine." I understand brand loyalty to a certain degree. What I do not understand is that you would not race at all if you had to run a Chevrolet? I have a big passion for all types of racing. I just don't see how someone could give up going fast all because of what sticker is on the valve cover of the engine... After all are the engines we build really a "chevy" or "pontiac" when we use Aftermarket crankshafts, pistons, rods, cylinder heads with different port shapes and designs (Don't the Pontiac guys even use the BBC style rod?) I understand the geometry of things that the manufacturer set in place will remain the same. At some point the only thing that remains Pontiac or Chevy is the piece of cast iron block that houses all of this aftermarket stuff.
I am not trying to start and argument... I respect everyone's opinion even if I don't agree. I am not bashing your viewpoint I am just trying to make sense of your statement.

Also, please don't take this post the wrong way. I am not saying the SBC is the best engine ever designed. I still love Pontiac's. I would NEVER consider putting anything in this car other than exactly that. (Mostly for resale value if I ever decide to do that) I think the problem is how much you really have to pay to play with a Pontiac. That might have been fine if I would have grew up in the 70's 80's or 90's... Being a young person in today's economy doesn't leave a ton of room for extra spending money. (Or hardcore brand loyalty)

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.

Edited by - 79FORMULA400 on 28 Sep 2016 1:44:45 PM
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loosetappet
Sitting Bull

113 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2016 :  2:04:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Detroit area CL

62 and 16 heads-

http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/pts/5776536004.html

455 complete w/ trans

http://toledo.craigslist.org/pts/5701298407.html

just two of many Pontiac related parts I've seen lately
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3406 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2016 :  2:47:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not a bad deal on the motor and bop trans . But fugure a full overhaul on the engine and smaller cc cylinder heads.

The next ad seems high for core's



Bull Nose Formula/ 461/ Q-Jet/
TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 01 Oct 2016 2:48:35 PM
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68bird
Sitting Bull

USA
221 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2016 :  5:04:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I could send you a set of 46 tapped for screw in studs for cheap. I'm Not sure what they flow but felt real strong on my last 400. A running set less than 2 years ago. Minor cleanup and maybe considered some light porting.
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Tub
Sitting Bull

172 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  12:52:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"...What I do not understand is that you would not race at all if you had to run a Chevrolet?..."


Yeah, I can see how a guy your age might not understand. So, I'll do my best to explain it to you.

I suppose you'd need to have been a teenager in the mid '60's to understand. In late 1963, Pontiac came out with ads for a new mid size car, with a big engine, called the GTO !

For me it was "love at 1st sight". I began to collect all the GTO ads I could find, and tack em up on the walls of my room. By the time the '66 GTO came along, my room had GTO wallpaper !

I vowed in those early days that the 1st car I would buy would be a GTO. The brother of a schoolmate of mine bought a '65 GTO, light blue 4-speed. My schoolmate took some of us guys for a ride. The acceleration & "bark" of the tires between shifts was about the coolest thing I had ever experienced.

In our little country home town, there was a "loop" that all the young people made, whether they had a cool car or not. It started at the bowling alley parking lot, then went up the hill past the Dairy Queen, right on up thru the main street blvd, then made a U-turn at the end of main street, and went right back down the same route, and back to the bowling alley. It was the same ritual every Fri & Sat night.

I remember being in town in my dad's '64 GMC V6 pick-up. We'd sit in the bowling alley and watch(and listen to) all the Musclecars "make the loop". When the law wasn't lookin, they would burn some rubber, going up the hill towards the DQ. Hey, we LOVED it !

Of course there were Mustangs, SS Chevelles, 442's, and an assortment of Mopars, including a 4-speed Street Hemi. BUT, my favorites were the GTO's. The 1st was a red '64 3-deuce 4-speed. The next was a light blue '65 3-deuce 4-speed. The next was a black '66 3-duece 4-speed.

I even remember when I saw the 1st '68 Bird. It was a red 400 4-speed. The guy even let me drive it for a "loop" ! By then, a drinkin buddy had a '68 BB SS 4-speed Chevelle. So, I got to make a lot of "loops" drivin one of the cool cars.

I tried to talk him into buying a GTO, instead of the Chevy. But our little town didn't have a Pontiac dealership. So, he wanted to buy loacally, in case he needed service. So, I just made the best of the situation, and enjoyed learning how to drive a 4-speed Musclecar.

Fast forward to the early spring of 1969. I was going to college in Monroe, LA, and working all the hours I could at the local Pizza Inn. I'd got up to $1.50 per hour. But, stuff was a lot cheaper back then. So, I decide I could afford a car. I found a light blue '65 4-speed for $1500. But, when I told my boss, he suggested that I buy a new car, instead of used. He said the monthly notes would probably be a about the same, and I'd have a new car. I'm extremely glad he shared this wisdom with me.

I went down to the Pontiac dealer.They had a new Judge in the showroom. I decided that's what I wanted. But, I told the salesman that I was not about to ride around in an orange car. I was gonna order it either in black or silver. The salesman checked. But at that time, the Judge only came in that one color. So, I ordered a silver RA3 4-speed GTO, with a 3.90 posi. The price was just over $3400. The monthly note was about $125 per month.

A few weeks later, I was driving down the road past the Pontiac dealership when I saw a load of new Pontiacs heading toward the dealership. Hey, my new GTO stood out in that load of Pontiacs like a bright neon light. I turned around as quick as I could and went back to the dealership, to watch 'em unload my Goat. But, the salesman said they would have to check it out in the shop, before I could drive off in it.

I'd ordered it with stock wheels, which had poverty caps. I thought they were so ugly that I took 'em off and gave 'em back to the salseman.

But, the time had come. I got in my GTO, rolled all the windows down, and proudly drove off down the street. It was an awesome feeling which I will never forget ! And, as they say,"The rest is history".

All that is just PART of the reason I'm a Pontiac freak, and would not race a Chevy. But, this is long, and I'm out of time right now. So, I'll add the rest of the story, when I get time.
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  2:42:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 68bird

I could send you a set of 46 tapped for screw in studs for cheap. I'm Not sure what they flow but felt real strong on my last 400. A running set less than 2 years ago. Minor cleanup and maybe considered some light porting.



That would be awesome. These are 72cc small valve correct? Wallace shows them for 290HP 400 in 1969. You can email me at 1mackman.walker@gmail.com if you would like. I know shipping usually runs in the 75-100 dollar range for iron heads depending on the shipper. Im not terribly concerned about flow, I could do a very basic cleaning up of the castings to remove any flash casting and rough spots in the ports. I know that always shows flow gains even with a minor cleanup. I bet with the right camshaft the added compression would really help this car.

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  2:44:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by loosetappet

Detroit area CL

62 and 16 heads-

http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/pts/5776536004.html

455 complete w/ trans

http://toledo.craigslist.org/pts/5701298407.html

just two of many Pontiac related parts I've seen lately


I need to update my profile. I no longer live in Lima, Ohio. I could find Pontiac parts quite easily up there especially in the northern Ohio/Indiana area. Problem is I never had the cash at the right time. I am in the Southwest VA area now. About an hour from North Carolina.

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  2:52:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tub

"...What I do not understand is that you would not race at all if you had to run a Chevrolet?..."


Yeah, I can see how a guy your age might not understand. So, I'll do my best to explain it to you.

I suppose you'd need to have been a teenager in the mid '60's to understand. In late 1963, Pontiac came out with ads for a new mid size car, with a big engine, called the GTO !

For me it was "love at 1st sight". I began to collect all the GTO ads I could find, and tack em up on the walls of my room. By the time the '66 GTO came along, my room had GTO wallpaper !

I vowed in those early days that the 1st car I would buy would be a GTO. The brother of a schoolmate of mine bought a '65 GTO, light blue 4-speed. My schoolmate took some of us guys for a ride. The acceleration & "bark" of the tires between shifts was about the coolest thing I had ever experienced.

In our little country home town, there was a "loop" that all the young people made, whether they had a cool car or not. It started at the bowling alley parking lot, then went up the hill past the Dairy Queen, right on up thru the main street blvd, then made a U-turn at the end of main street, and went right back down the same route, and back to the bowling alley. It was the same ritual every Fri & Sat night.

I remember being in town in my dad's '64 GMC V6 pick-up. We'd sit in the bowling alley and watch(and listen to) all the Musclecars "make the loop". When the law wasn't lookin, they would burn some rubber, going up the hill towards the DQ. Hey, we LOVED it !

Of course there were Mustangs, SS Chevelles, 442's, and an assortment of Mopars, including a 4-speed Street Hemi. BUT, my favorites were the GTO's. The 1st was a red '64 3-deuce 4-speed. The next was a light blue '65 3-deuce 4-speed. The next was a black '66 3-duece 4-speed.

I even remember when I saw the 1st '68 Bird. It was a red 400 4-speed. The guy even let me drive it for a "loop" ! By then, a drinkin buddy had a '68 BB SS 4-speed Chevelle. So, I got to make a lot of "loops" drivin one of the cool cars.

I tried to talk him into buying a GTO, instead of the Chevy. But our little town didn't have a Pontiac dealership. So, he wanted to buy loacally, in case he needed service. So, I just made the best of the situation, and enjoyed learning how to drive a 4-speed Musclecar.

Fast forward to the early spring of 1969. I was going to college in Monroe, LA, and working all the hours I could at the local Pizza Inn. I'd got up to $1.50 per hour. But, stuff was a lot cheaper back then. So, I decide I could afford a car. I found a light blue '65 4-speed for $1500. But, when I told my boss, he suggested that I buy a new car, instead of used. He said the monthly notes would probably be a about the same, and I'd have a new car. I'm extremely glad he shared this wisdom with me.

I went down to the Pontiac dealer.They had a new Judge in the showroom. I decided that's what I wanted. But, I told the salesman that I was not about to ride around in an orange car. I was gonna order it either in black or silver. The salesman checked. But at that time, the Judge only came in that one color. So, I ordered a silver RA3 4-speed GTO, with a 3.90 posi. The price was just over $3400. The monthly note was about $125 per month.

A few weeks later, I was driving down the road past the Pontiac dealership when I saw a load of new Pontiacs heading toward the dealership. Hey, my new GTO stood out in that load of Pontiacs like a bright neon light. I turned around as quick as I could and went back to the dealership, to watch 'em unload my Goat. But, the salesman said they would have to check it out in the shop, before I could drive off in it.

I'd ordered it with stock wheels, which had poverty caps. I thought they were so ugly that I took 'em off and gave 'em back to the salseman.

But, the time had come. I got in my GTO, rolled all the windows down, and proudly drove off down the street. It was an awesome feeling which I will never forget ! And, as they say,"The rest is history".

All that is just PART of the reason I'm a Pontiac freak, and would not race a Chevy. But, this is long, and I'm out of time right now. So, I'll add the rest of the story, when I get time.


See, now this is cool stuff. Why couldn't I have grown up in an era where you could buy a 4spd 65' GTO for 1500 bucks? I suppose I can understand your statements a little better from this perspective. I always tell my friends that I grew up in the wrong era. The "muscle cars" I grew up with would be the LS1 Trans ams, Terminator mustangs, Vipers... No where near as styled or cool as the cars of the 1960's. Take some of Detroit's finest from the 1960s and the "cool" cars I grew up with wouldn't have a chance.

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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Tub
Sitting Bull

172 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2016 :  3:16:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Part 2: Why I'm a Pontiac freak, and would not race a Chevy powered car.

When I left off I had just drove off from the dealership in my new '69 GTO. Not too long after that, they had a drag race on our local airport runway. My GTO only had about 500 miles on it. So, my girlfriend(now wife) and I went to the race and parked as close to the starting line as possible, to watch the race. Since it had so few miles, I did not really want to race it.

BUT, all the local guys would not allow it. They started raggin me, saying stuff like "You just scared you'll get your doors blowed off.", and "If that ole Goat is so bad, put it out there and let's see what it'll do." Hey, I knew all these guys and most of the cars entered in my class. So, I just couldn't stand the pressure. I entered the race.

There was no tree or timers--flagman only. There were several BB SS Chevelles, a 442 & me, in our class. I beat one of the Chevelles in the semis, and the 442 beat another one. So, it was my Goat & the 442 in the final. He had headers & slicks. I really didn't know if I could beat him or not. He jumped out to a lead, right off the start, because of the slicks. But, as soon as the Goat stopped spinning, I started gaining. Drove on around for the win !

Hey, that shut up all the loud mouth Chevy guys ! So, I pulled back to my parking spot & we enjoyed watching the rest of the race.

Never raced again, 'til one day when I was going to Monroe to visit my girlfriend. On the way, I had to pass thru a little town called Chatham. Rumor had it that the baddest car in that town was a white 4-speed 428CJ Torino. Well, as I came into town, I saw a guy on the side of the road who appeared to be flagging me down.

I didn't know if he needed some help or what. But as I pulled over, I noticed the white Torino, backed into a driveway, behind him. This guy was riding shotgun in the Torino. They had heard about my Goat, and thought the Torino could beat me. So, when they saw me coming, they decided to challenge me to a race. So, hey, what else could I do ?

There was a real good straight stretch, just past the town. So, we lined 'em up. The guy that had flagged me down, flagged the start of our race. Hey, it was not even close. I won easily by several lengths. I didn't even go back to talk to them. I just slowed back down to 55mph and went on over to see my girl.

That was the only street race I ever had in the Goat. Didn't enter any more races 'til I took it off the street. It had just over 60k miles, with no engine changes except for a new timing set. Over the winter I added an alum flywheel & new clutch. Also bought some new hard rubber M&H street tires, for the rear. No slicks allowed.

I'd bought a big heavy '68 Cadillac 4-door. I put a trailer hitch on it, and bought a used tow bar. Welded some tow brackets to the Goat, and started racing at our local track, just south of Monroe. It ran D/S. They ran off track records. I reset the D/S record several times. Finally got it down quicker than the track C/S record, which was held by a Stage 1 Buick.

Well, over the '73 & '74 seasons I won lots of races. Before the end of the season, my girlfriend(TJ) decided that since she was going to all the races anyhow, she would like to race too. But, she was so short, she could hardly see out of the Goat. So, I found her a '68 Bird, with a bad motor, for $350, I believe it was. I took the engine out of my Goat & put it in the Bird, along with a junkyard, long tail TH400. I didn't know anything about a TH400. Didn't even know they came in long & short versions.

The Bird ran good, in the high 13's, and she learned quickly. So, over the winter, I had another engine built, so that she could run quicker for the '74 season. Also learned that it needed a stall converter, to launch harder. I had never even heard of a stall converter. Hey, you gotta learn sometime. We were not born knowing everything we need to know.

In '75, we could run 9" slicks and headers. And we ran off the NHRA index system. The Bird ran E/SA, with the 330hp 400 engine. TJ won the first 4 races in a row at our local track, and the first 2, at another track near Alexandria, LA. She also won the biggest race of the year, at the Monroe track, which they called the Louisiana State Championship race. At the end of the '75 season, I put a 4-speed & street gears in the Bird, and TJ drove it for a couple of years as her daily driver.

We had some problems in '76, because of trusting some Chevy guys to build our engines. But, in '77 a Pontiac friend gave me the 455 out of his '70 GTO, which he thought had gone bad. Turned out it was just a lifter had come apart, and caused a loud knock. So, I put a new cam & lifters in it, and stuck it in another '68 Bird I'd bought for TJ to race.

It ran easy 12.40's. At this time, TJ got a liitle ink and a picture of the car, taken at the Green Valley track near Dallas, in the Nov issue of Hot Rod mag. Most local tracks had switched over to bracket racing, by then. For the last race of the season, at the Monroe track, I'd put the 455 in my Goat. I won the race, which qualified me to go to the bracket finals, held at Green Valley. TJ had already qualified. So, I threw a 400 into her Bird, so we could take both cars.

After that race, went to the last race of the season at the track in Prescott, Ark. It was called something like the Southwest Ark State Championship race. It was their biggest race of the year. And yes, TJ won it ! The winnings included a big trophy, probably over 3 feet tall.

1978 was our best year ever. We both won several races, including at least one winner/RU final. Hey, when you have the only 2 Pontiac powered cars in the race, and both cars are in the final round, while all the Chevy powered cars are either gone or are loading up, it's just sorta real cool ! TJ also won at an IHRA points race, held in Tyler, TX, and got her pic and some ink in the IHRA newspaper.

That year we went to 49 races. 4 were rained out. We won 15 of 'em. Hey, that's winning 1/3 of all races run. I finished on top of the season points list at one track. That ain't too shabby for a couple of low budget Pontiac powered cars.

In '79, we didn't race the whole season. But TJ & I both won races. I won my biggest race ever. It only paid $750. But, in 2016 dollars that would probably be several thousand. I'd also built another '68 Bird for another guy to race with us. He also won a couple of races.

We didn't race anymore 'til '83. A neighbor who did shade tree mechanic work for all the neighbors, had a little pinto. He had a street race one day, on the road beside my shop. He won the race. As he had turned around and was coming back by, I flagged him down. I told him that since he liked racing, if he wanted to, I'd help him put a Pontiac together & we could race the next season. He thought that was a good idea.

So, we took a '71 Esprit body I had and threw a mild 400 &TH400 in it, for him. Also threw a mild 400 in my Goat. We raced that next season, and both won races. He won the LA State Championship race. And we both qualified for the bracket finals, held that year in Baton Rouge.

TJ had taken some time off from racing, but in '86, she decided she'd try it again. So, I built a 455 for the '71 esprit. It ran low 12's at Monroe, and low 10's on the 1000ft track in Pesscott, Ark. Added a little more gear and cam, and got it down to a 9.85 on the 1000ft track. And yes, TJ won with that car too.

Hey, I even won a dirt track race with Pontiac power. So, you see, we've won with Pontiac power, when we had the only Pontiac power at most of the tracks we ran. So, this should explain to everybody exactly why I am the way I am. For me, it's Pontiac power, or don't race. And, at my age, that is VERY unlikely to change !

Edited by - Tub on 03 Oct 2016 3:33:10 PM
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Pontiac Dude
Sitting Bull

USA
199 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2016 :  09:12:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Pontiac Dude's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 79FORMULA400

Hello all, its been a while since I have posted. I need some advice on where to go with my 400 from here.
I am at the point of wanting more with my engine. The 8.0:1 compression 2801 cammed combo just isn't doing it for me anymore. Here lies the problem. I CANNOT find a small chambered head ANYWHERE in my area. I literally browse craigslist every week for cylinder heads.(Have been for months now) It seems to not be a huge Pontiac following in my area. I can look until my eyes are sore and not find a Large valve screw in stud small chambered head. The engine is a 1973 400 with stock 4x 2bbl heads. Hooker 3 tube headers, Edelbrock Performer Pontiac intake, 750 Holley carb, Stock 1973 short-block. Here is my idea:

I have had a set of 6x-8 heads that are ready to bolt on with what are supposed to be newish comp springs. What I am thinking of doing is milling them .075 Thousands to achieve 82-85cc's. (Intake milling also required) That would put me in the ballpark of 9.37:1-9.1:1 (82 or 85cc) (Wallace racing calculator). Another way would be to use a .027 thick cometic MLS headgaskets that are 86 bucks a piece. This would get the compression up to (almost 9.7:1).
Camshaft specs are 228/228 @.050 .480/480 Lift on a 112 LSA.

My friend is a machinist. I trade him some parts for work occasionally, Lets say for arguments sake he charges 100 bucks to do all of the milling. All of the Gaskets are roughly $50 (with standard .039 gaskets) I already have the camshaft and lifters. I may have to buy shorter pushrods because of the milling. Lets say 75-100 bucks for a set of chromemoly pushrods. (If i cant get 40 dollar steel ones in the right length)
Roughly 250-300 by the time I add all the nickle and dime stuff up. Or 9.7:1 compression for 400-450 bucks with the expensive MLS Headgaskets. Is it worth the performance boost in both valve size and compression ratio to do this? I simply am out of other good options. I cannot find a set of heads at a reasonable price.
The goal is to push my 3700 Pound car into the Mid to high 7's in the 1/8 mile. I really love my car and Pontiac engines, my problem is I am getting very frustrated trying to go fast on a budget. I am at the point where I need to do something to this car to keep my interest in it. I have been helping friends work on their SBC powered cars and S10 trucks. It is just plain stupid how fast and how much power you can make with one with pocket change. I am at the point of stopping further work on this car and building something else to race if I cannot come up with some way to make it faster.

So.... Mill them and use factory gaskets?
Mill them and use a .027 thick gasket?
Scrap the entire idea, make it a weekend cruiser (like it is now) and build a dedicated drag S10 drag truck?



FWIW: I like the 4X...... and both 6X heads. I was also one of the first to promote the 6X heads in an article in HPP as a GREAT street head back in the mid 90'd when everyone was spending money trying to find #96 heads. LOL.


My 79 T/A is a 455 with 4X heads and runs 13 flat shifting at 4800 rpm. Was a daily driver. 8.5-1 comp and 87 octane gas. And only had a #068 type cam in it. Stock torque converter. Idles at 750 rpm with a nice little sound. 1 3/4" Hedman headers with 2.5" exh with tailpipes. Completely stock chassis with slapper bars. No frame connectors. No trick shocks. Only changed the front sway bar to a lighter one to let the front come up quicker to plant the car better with the torque of the 455.

Installed 2.11/1.77 S.S. valves. 112 cc's. ported the heads. I used a ported to match the heads Holley street dominator intake with a worked 750 Holley. Currently has a ThermoQuad designed for GM applications (Sent to me by the 'Carb King' in Missouri) on the car for better gas mileage and track tested it to the SAME ET and MPH

## 1976 T/A, Hydraulic roller, 3460lbs, stock suspension & Pump gas. N/A: 9.78@136 ##

I Specialize in ALL American Muscle Iron.
https://www.facebook.com/kensautomachineshop/?pnref=story

Edited by - Pontiac Dude on 04 Oct 2016 09:18:53 AM
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79FORMULA400
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2016 :  11:50:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alright, My luck has finally taken a turn for the better! I came across a set of 1970 #64 Heads. The rare one year only 87cc ones. Factory uncut #64's for 100 bucks (for the Pair!). That's what im talking about!
They are 2.11/1.77 Screw in stud. We cc'd em today at exactly 87. I bought them off the local engine builder who is really good at porting heads. We devised a plan today for them. He is going to do a very basic bowl blend to get rid of any rough casting and also get rid of a few rough pieces of casting in the short side radius of the exhaust port. Then they are going to my machinist buddy for a .030 mill to 81cc. This should provide 9.1:1 on a factory 400 with pistons .020 in the hole on the stock replacement felpro gasket. Then provide 9.5-9.7:1 on a later .030 over build. They will also get new seats (guides if necessary) and a 3 angle valve job. We are re using the 2.11's from the 6x's. I am buying new Ferrea stainless exhaust valves (100 bucks). The guy who is doing the port work has a set of comp springs (986-16) that I can get as well. (Is this the correct spring for a HFT combo?) He is also elongating the push rod holes so I can use 1.65 rockers when I decide to buy them. My total bill for the pair should come in right around $700 for everything I have been quoted so far. (Glad my machinist cuts me a good deal) Still cheaper than 1 bare edelbrock new.

Hoping this will provide me with an honest 375 HP at the crank. Cam Specs are 228/228@.050 .480 .480 Lift on a 112LSA. With a 1.65 rocker thats .528 lift (In a few months). I know its not exactly the best thing for a pontiac, but its what I have.

An interesting thing I noticed while I had them side by side:
It was also very interesting to compare the ports on the #64 to the 6x-8 that everyone loves. The exhaust port seems to have a design that would promote flow over the 6x. If you look straight in to the exhaust port of a 6x (through the valve seat area) you will notice a large bump that has 2 flats. Very hard to explain but it has a very noticeable shape that would seem to impede flow. The 64's have what looks like a very smooth exhaust port that should flow better. This may not make a difference but certainly something different between the 2.

1979 Formula 400 WS6, 1973 400 engine 4X Heads. Summit 2801 Cam, 8AN Fuel System,Edelbrock Performer MSD Dist, 6AL-2 Holley 750 Double Pumper,Super T-10, McLeod Super Street Pro, LSD Rear.
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3406 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2016 :  10:31:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can read your excitement in the above post.

"Pontiac builds excitement"

Good luck moving forward!


Bull Nose Formula/ 461/ Q-Jet/
TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 20 Oct 2016 11:55:51 AM
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Lee
Sitting Bull

101 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2016 :  11:56:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 79FORMULA400

Alright, My luck has finally taken a turn for the better! I came across a set of 1970 #64 Heads. The rare one year only 87cc ones. Factory uncut #64's for 100 bucks (for the Pair!). That's what im talking about!


Personally, I'd put the 64's on eBay. You'll probably spend at least $500 getting them in shape for your motor. That $500 plus what you get for the 64's will probably be enough to buy a set of really KRE D-ports.

CURRENT: '73 T/A clone, boring at the moment...
67 Firebird (sold) 11.27 @ 119.6 Feb. '05 issue HPP
69 Falcon wagon, 10.51 @ 130mph Feb. '10 issue PHR (sold)
72 Cutlass Convertible, first car, owned since '82, now with a 6.0 LS, mild, putting just under 400 hp/tq to the wheels.
www.LNLPD.com
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Miles
Sitting Bull

Canada
140 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2017 :  12:55:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tub, I was a teenager In the mid 60s, my 69 GTO came with a Munci three speed and I didn't win a bunch of races, but I know exactly what you mean. Good story!
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