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 Pulling a 400
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SIX8YAK
Two Feathers

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  1:36:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good afternoon gents,

This month I'll be taking my 400 out of the GP for a refresher. I've never pulled an engine before so I'd like some tips and/or tricks from those that have. I have a cherry picker, an engine stand, and I will need to build a crate for it as I plan on putting it in my truck to transport.

I will make sure to take plenty of photos of the bay before I start ripping stuff off, and using labeled tape and baggies for all the nuts/bolts/apparatus'. The tranny is staying in.

I plan on having it rebuilt as stock, with a .20 over bore and dished pistons, along with as lopey a cam as I can get. Any recommendations on parts to buy to get that accomplished is also appreciated.

Thanks!

1968 Grand Prix 400/TH400

Edited by - SIX8YAK on 10 Oct 2017 1:39:55 PM

BDH79TA
Tribal Scout

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  3:13:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Obviously you'll want to drain the oil and antfreeze before pulling. In that big old car there's lots of room to work. This makes it much easier. Remove the hood. Two people for this is best. Don't want it slipping and breaking the windshield. Done that one! Also, scribe around your hinges at the hood. This'll help when putting it back on when it comes to alignment. Remove the radiator, fan and most front end accessories like the alternator and power steering pump. I usually leave the power steering pump in the car. Next would be to unhook fuel lines, electrical wiring running to sending units and the starter. Unbolt the exhaust pipes from the manifolds. One thing to consider is whether or not you want to pull the engine and trans or just the engine. I've gotten to the point I prefer to pull both at the same time. You'll either need to drain the trans fluid or purchase a cap that will go over the trans output to keep the fluid in it while tilting the assembly to get it clear of the car. I also pull the distributor so there's no chance of breaking it against the firewall. I use an engine tilter now....makes a huge difference. At this point, I'd hook up the cherry picker, take the slack out of the chain and remove the bolts from the engine mounts the trans mount and driveshaft. You may have to remove the trans crossmember. Just go slowly while lifting the engine up. Use the tilter to help get the correct angle to pull it out. There's usually something that you've forgotten to unhook. Going slow and steady is best. Once it's out you can unbolt the trans and torque converter. Good time to do a shift kit if desired and change the filter. I may have forgotten a detail or two, but that should get you started.

'79 428 T/A
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BDH79TA
Tribal Scout

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  3:20:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry...I missed the part about the tranny staying in. In that case, you'll need to pull the torque converter cover and remove the 3 converter to flexplate bolts. Run a bar through one of the flexplate holes if you can to keep the engine from turning as you loosen the bolt. I use a large screwdriver to spin the flexplate around to the next bolt and repeat. Make sure to support the front of the transmission before you remove the engine to trans bolts. Once the engine is pulled I always ran some strong wire, coat hanger will do, through one of the trans bolt holes and wired it to whatever I could find to keep the trans from falling down. Just a safety precaution.

'79 428 T/A
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Cobrabill
Talking Dog

Aruba
3152 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  10:09:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Talk to someone who has experience with cams(and not anyone from Grand Terrace).A "lopey cammed engine" can end up running worse than a factory cammed engine.

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tjs44
Crazy Horse

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2017 :  09:36:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
2X what Bill says.Build it to drive first.Tom
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SIX8YAK
Two Feathers

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2017 :  7:13:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It was a little longer than a month, but we are out!


1968 Grand Prix 400/TH400
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SIX8YAK
Two Feathers

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2017 :  7:19:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've talked to a local guy who is all Pontiac, and he will be the one who gets this thing back to (and even further) its former glory. I've talked to him about some specifics, but I'd also like to get some of your opinions as well.

The plan is to bore it as little as necessary, maybe .20 over. Then recessed pistons, new internals as far as standard rebuilds go, new springs, rockers, etc. The crank will be polished and balanced. Heads and intakes staying the same, not zero decking, and also probably plugging the crossover.

What should I use for gaskets, bearings (King?), and other areas of importance? What recessed pistons do most of you agree on in terms of vender? He has rebuilt a ton of motors and owns a few himself, but I still think there may be room for improvement on the usual way if you can point me in a direction.

1968 Grand Prix 400/TH400

Edited by - SIX8YAK on 17 Dec 2017 7:20:32 PM
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Cobrabill
Talking Dog

Aruba
3152 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2017 :  8:12:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Zero deck it.

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Brian R
Crazy Horse

USA
1706 Posts

Posted - 18 Dec 2017 :  11:05:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Define "recessed pistons?"

Are you having them dished to lower compression? What heads? Zero deck is the way to go - hence my question.
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SIX8YAK
Two Feathers

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 18 Dec 2017 :  1:35:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, lowering compression to run pump gas. I've heard of some good and bad versions, but I see TRW brought up often. My engine guy says he usually only zero decks for maximum performance, whereas on my motor I think ill be hovering around 385-390ish once it gets assembled. Could I just "deck" it instead of going all the way down? Other opinions welcome.

1968 Grand Prix 400/TH400
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3505 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2017 :  11:26:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If your guy does not want to square the decks to the crank tunnel, he may not be set up to do so.
For a daily driver build, just a re-surface is fine.


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

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 19 Dec 2017 11:31:49 AM
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