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 63- 389 Engine
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jwell
Tribal Scout

Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  12:32:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just bought a great, great 62 Catalina, boy, I'm happy. No motor in the car but the man I bought it from sent me home with a complete 63 motor (303 HP) ( eng code 38N) he pulled out of a limo. He stated that it had 35-37K miles on it or thereabouts and it does look to be pretty clean.

I just got all this stuff home (Ohio) from Texas and haven't had a lot of time to look in to all this, but I'm reasonably certain the motor is stuck.

I'm going to pull it apart to see what the cylinder walls look like, hopefully get it honed and put back together with rings/bearings, etc.

Would it be possible to get this thing up around 350 HP without going crazy with parts and money? Also this motor has 10.25 compression so what heads do I need to look for to get back down to pump gas standards?

I'll probably put a 4 speed and 3:08 gears in it and was wondering what you wou would recommend, cam wise? Maybe one of Summit's grinds?

I'm not hung up on originality as this is not the original mtr anyhow. I just would like a good performing motor without spending tons of $$$$$$. Just paid my income taxes!

Thanks in advance for any/all suggestions

Jerry

Mr. P-Body
Running Bear

USA
2244 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  12:48:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mr. P-Body's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jerry,

It all depends on how one defines "going crazy"...

It's a piece of pie to get 350 HP from a 389. A little creative port work, good valves, modern cam profile, etc.

A couple of things first. The "early" heads have a different pattern at the intake flange than the '65-later. It would be more "prudent" to get new pistons and "dish" them to lower compression, than to get different heads. We do that stuff all the time for the 389 "crowd".

The stock connecting rods in those engines are forged, but are infamously known as "butter rods". The alloy and heat treating are less than desirable. I would recommend replacing those with new forgings.

Finding an old Edelbrock EP-4B would also be a good thing. That intake is a very good performer for the early heads. Don't worry about the jabber about P-4B, as the later heads have many "better" choices. A Holley carb will bolt to the EP-4B without an adapter, which is an important issue. If you could find a factory 4-bbl. intake for the Carter, that would work, too. Most of those had the Rochester, which has a smaller flange.

The oiling of the rockers should be modified as well. The earlier engines oil through the block and head, up through the rocker studs and finally to the rockers. That was changed in the '64 models. It's easy to modify it. When you get close to the time to do such things, e-mail mer or post again here. I'll fill you in.

Cool cars, '62s. We call them "Darksiders" (all the "big" Pontiacs).

Jim
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Brian R
Crazy Horse

USA
1446 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  1:22:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mr. PBody - Jim, I have a P4B I am getting rid of. Not sure what an EP-4B is. Is there a difference? If it is the same, jwell, let me know if you are interested. Basically, you can have it as I am putting my factorey iron back on. You pay for shipping and it's yours. It came off a running engine, not cracks, all threads are good. Nothing wrong with it other than I have a newer 400 that will much prefer the factory iron over the P4B.
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Vanmor
Cochise

USA
572 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  2:17:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vanmor's Homepage  Reply with Quote
jwell,

Welcome to the fold (or tribe rather). I like the 62, it's a cool car. Is it a two door ? The engine you have, is it for sure a 389 ? Not sure what they had before 64'.

If the pistons are siezed, you'll be lucky to get by with a hone. I've seen it done though. Saw a guy do a 389. He had the block honed to where he was a little shy of 0.010 over. He bought 0.010 rings, gapped them, and used them. I didn't think they would hold but they did. 66 GTO convertable, dude didn't drive it hard though.

Brian,

You decided to go with the cast iron intake. Cool. Are you gonna block off the heat riser ? I'd do what I could to lighten that puppy.
Been thinking of getting one myself.

I ordered the graphite rope seal kit, then my neighbor said they use that stuff in hydralics now. They use it in some cylinders for packing. He said they have tons of it and it comes in different sizes. I will look at some. If it is the same material as the kit I ordered, I can send you some. No Charge.

Are you just going to leave your rotating assembly in the block and just put in new gaskets ? I recommend the anaroid black sealers that never truely, completely dry. I use it on my motorcycles and it works great.

Anyway I can help you guys, let me know.

Vance

"A man has got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry

Edited by - Vanmor on 21 Apr 2009 2:27:46 PM
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jwell
Tribal Scout

Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  4:29:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys.........
Not my first Indian as I have a 61 Catalina, but it too, is a project I have yet to start on. Guess I'll have to retire then I'll have tons of spare time,,,,,,,,yeah, right!!

P-Body: I'm aware of the head/intake bolt pattern differences and the rocker stud oiling, but did not consider dishing the pistons, but that's a bunch better than starting over with new heads. This will just be a street car, no racin' but I suppose forged TRW's would be reasonable as the cost over cast pistons would be minimal.. hadn't thought about new rods, but your suggestion is a good one. This is a complete motor so I got the stock intake and even the original AFB, at least I assume it's original.

Thanks for the kind offer, Brian, but I think the EP-4B has a different bolt pattern than the P-4B. If it would work I'd sure take yo up on your offer!

Hi, Vance.....yeah this is a 2dr. sport coupe. Originally a California car, then it went to MI, then the guy I bought it from picked it up in MI and took it down to Tyler, TX where I found it and dragged it back north again! One of the best bodies I seen on one of these cars, but like most these cars the trunk floor looks like a seive. I've done body work for many years so the fact that it needs stripped and painted and a trunk floor is not a problem. Yep, I already know where there is a certain 64 Catlina in a junkyard just waiting for me to cut the really nice trunk floor out, but I ain't sayin where!!

Jerry
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Vid
Kicking Horse

USA
1685 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2009 :  12:54:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Remember, with pre-'64 blocks you can not run a th350 or th400 trans, the starter will not mount. You need the trans with the bellhousing starter mount known as a "Slim Jim" automatic.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
6371 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2009 :  2:54:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brian, the EP-4B is for the older engines. Your P4B is for the later design that most of us are using. I seem to remember the split being between 64 and 65.

"Chevy": even the name sounds cheap.

Edited by - Phil on 29 Apr 2009 2:57:46 PM
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Christ
Howling Wind

USA
1805 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2009 :  10:12:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christ's Homepage  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by Phil

Brian, the EP-4B is for the older engines. Your P4B is for the later design that most of us are using. I seem to remember the split being between 64 and 65.

http://s446.photobucket.com/albums/qq190/ckoum/?action=view¤t=DSC00050.jpg

Here picture of the 389 I have. ^5 for newer mount starter. I assuming the ball pivot was for stick shift car linkage? Not sure came out of a gto!
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MIKE
Buffalo

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2009 :  12:51:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When building the 389 for 63 or 64 how do you modify the block oiling of the rockers, I just purchased a 64 389 date code L93
but the block had 69 #46 heads (not running),would you just install later heads, hydraulic lifters and pushrods, as the builder of mine did. i also noticed the oil passages from the cam bearings to the deck, would those need to be tapped and plugged, mine were not, the engine i purchased shows signs of a recent rebuiled, .030 over,new pistons, no ridge in cylinders,fresh crosshatch from honing, i suspect very low running time,is this due to low oil pressure from those passages, i havnt completely tore her down yet, but overall very good condition.thanks for the info guys
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Willshire
Buffalo

Canada
92 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  09:39:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jerry
No need to go to the junkyard for a trunk floor, I just put one in my 64 gp from pontiac paradise $230. Classic2current makes em, $210 from them direct. The used a v-groove instead of a u but, my old man and I put her in in 2 days. I am putting fed mogul 288p cast pistons in mine. P-body said a 3.5"x.080" dish machined into it will lower compression enough to run pump gas. Rods in mine are good, have been for 120000 miles, they checked out ok.

RIP Pontiac 10/31/10
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Mr. P-Body
Running Bear

USA
2244 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2010 :  1:03:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mr. P-Body's Homepage  Reply with Quote


Yes, the feed holes from the cam bearings can/should be blocked. Use a 5/16-18 tap and "set screw". Be sure it's below the deck suface when tight, and all is "good". Also change the rockers to those that have the oiling hole at the pushrod "seat". Later 389 pushrods and rockers work fine.

IF your rods have been replaced, they're "good" (provided they were replaced with a quality piece). If they're the original Pontiac rods and this isn't a "Super Duty", they are NOT "good". They are a blown engine looking for a place to "happen". Sorry...

The size of the "dish" is also dependent on the size of the chamber. No subsitute for mathematics. (:-

Jim
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Willshire
Buffalo

Canada
92 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2011 :  1:35:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mr. P. We have had many discussions on many forums including this one. I am just wondering if, since i have gone to pushrod oiling recently, the hole in the block for stud oiling is open. What can i do to save my self some headaches. does the oil hole at the cam bearings NEED to be blocked? The block is currently in the car with a fresh rebuild (i'm sure you have read my post on the bent intake valve. now that i have gone to pushrod oiling should i be concernd with this oil hole not being blocked? Is ther a way to put the plugs in with the block in the car without leaving metal in there?

RIP Pontiac 10/31/10
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Mr. P-Body
Running Bear

USA
2244 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2011 :  6:36:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mr. P-Body's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wilshire,

It can be "debated". If building "fresh", we always plug the hole. If the hole in th ehad is blocked, it won't needlessly pump oil through the studs. You can fix it "easily" by changing from the early head gaskets to the later ('65-up), but always use Victor/Reinz. The Felpros are ALL "relieved" for the oil passage, including the "race" gaskets. We don't use Felpro anymore.

Jim
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dgray
Cochise

845 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2011 :  3:57:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vanmore - "The engine you have, is it for sure a 389 ? Not sure what they had before 64'"

FYI - Pontiac 389 was introduced in 1959.
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Willshire
Buffalo

Canada
92 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2011 :  4:17:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mr. P, when did you switch to the VR from Felpro (Dana from Fed mogul)? What made you switch?did you ever have to spray the 1016's or retorque em? was it just the oil hole relief that made you change and not quality? i am within days of bolting my heads down so i might as well get all the info my grey matter can absorb.

RIP Pontiac 10/31/10
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james huff
Tribal Scout

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2013 :  10:05:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
where can i get stock connecting rods for 66gto 389
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WDCreech
Sitting Bull

USA
154 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2013 :  10:59:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All Pontiac V-8s use the same size rod, with the exeption of the RA-V and the late 70s 265 and 301. I would suggest a set from a lower milage 350 or 400 engine.

Bill
64 tube chassis GTO, 606 cu" IA tall deck, Superchief heads, glide, 2750lbs, 8.2550 @ 164.17, 1.1981-60'
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