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Apache Rich
Tribal Scout

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2014 :  12:11:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Please tell me your opinion on this motor. I have a 557 block and want to upgrade to a stronger block for the future. I'm mainly concerned about the compression ratio. Thanks, Rich

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/pts/4431986286.html

Apache Rich

bigD
Indian Spirit

USA
643 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2014 :  4:56:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, you asked for opinions. There are a lot of people who build Pontiac motors. Some are better than others. What do you know for sure about this motor and builder ?

Here's something to compare it to. Here's a 385hp pump gas engine built by a long time, well respected Pontiac engine builder. He'll build it with his cores, and ship it to you. I think the price is quite reasonable. He'll probably add some 5140 forged rods for about $200 extra. Hey, it's just food for thought.

http://lenwilliamsautomachine.com/400_Long_Block.html

Edited by - bigD on 02 May 2014 4:59:53 PM
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WDCreech
Sitting Bull

USA
156 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2014 :  8:22:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
5140 rods won't do you a bit of good when the main saddles start breaking apart!


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

Edited by - WDCreech on 03 May 2014 8:23:07 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4797 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2014 :  10:33:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bill--I don't think Don (BigD) is suggesting that Lens Williams will build a 557 block with those special rods...Apache Rich want's a better 400 block, he already has a 557. He could always contact Williams to make sure the block isn't like the one his has.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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bigD
Indian Spirit

USA
643 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2014 :  12:48:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Boyle

Bill--I don't think Don (BigD) is suggesting that Lens Williams will build a 557 block with those special rods...Apache Rich want's a better 400 block, he already has a 557. He could always contact Williams to make sure the block isn't like the one his has.



That's correct ! The guy posted a link to a motor which is for sale. He was asking for opinions as to whether we thought it was a good buy or not. Since we don't know anything for sure about the engine builder of this motor, I suggested that it might be a good idea to buy from a Pontiac engine builder with a good rep. I don't know Len Williams personally. But I do know that he has been building Pontiac engines for a long time, has a good rep, and has advertised in HPP mag for several years.

The prices for the engines advertised on his website seem very reasonable to me for what they are. They are not the 500+hp monsters that Mr. P Body builds. But for the average street guy, seem to offer plenty of power at a fair price. Now, I could be wrong on this. But until I find out different, that is my current position on the subject.

Now as for building or suggesting that someone else build a motor, even a low buck motor, using a 557 block, I wouldn't spend a penny on one. My neighbor tried to get by with one because he had read that they were OK for up to 400hp. But his didn't run hardly any time before it busted one of the thin main webs and wiped out the entire motor. Somehow I don't think Len Williams would build a 557 motor and offer it for sale to the public. He might build one if a customer insisted on using his 557 block. But I'd bet he would 1st warn the guy that it would not be a good idea and would try to convince him to use a better block. Not sure tho if he would do it at all. Obviously many builders do use the blocks.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7222 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2014 :  08:27:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I certainly agree the 557 should be avoided, especially if building from scratch. But your neighbors 557 obviously had an "issue" that was overlooked or not noticed prior to it failing. In the case of this thread and the OP, I think we are all in agreement not to waste time/money on the 557. IF however someone had a good running stock 557 and wanted to mildly upgrade a few things (cam, heads, exhaust), that should typically not raise any alarm bells that the sky is falling.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Apache Rich
Tribal Scout

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2014 :  11:49:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input, I was merely trying to get an opinion of the engine on craigslist. I do have a 557 in my car now and it needs to be pulled to replace the rear main and oil pan gasket. I just figured while I had it out I would just replace it with the stronger block and more power. I also wanted to have a more appropriate date coded engine for my 70 bird. I would then sell or give the running 557 to somebody who just wants a stock motor.

Apache Rich
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ledhed76
Cochise

USA
304 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2014 :  1:54:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A 557 block can be built into a fun street motor as long as you don't go too crazy. I have one myself. I did this for cost concerns and because I had two of these blocks sitting around already.....below is my combo but I wouldn't want to go much more....she runs out of power around 5000-5500 and I rarely ever rev it that high anyways....

Short Block: (assembly and machining done by CVMS)
1976 400 block bored 0.020 over and plate honed
Early 70's 400 "N" crank that had the journals chromed by Lunati
Factory windage tray
RPM forged rods
Speed Pro forged pistons (dished to get compression to 9.3)
Moly Rings
3/4 Groove main bearings
Melling High Volume Oil Pump
Assembly was balanced

Heads/Valvetrain:
#62 cylinder heads (unported)
New SI stainless steel valves (2.11 and 1.77)
"Competition" level valve job done by CVMS
Comp Cams valvesprings and retainers
Comp Cams XE262H camshaft (degreed in)
Comp Cams pushrods and lifters
Cloyes "Double Roller" timing set
Scorpion Endurance series roller rockers (1.5 ratio)

Induction:
Edelbrock Performer Intake (Gasket matched and separated)
Holley 770cfm Street Avenger carb (vacuum secondaries)
Holley Powershot air cleaner
Carter 6122 mechanical fuel pump

Exhaust:
RARE Oversized (2.5") Factory RAIV headers w/ ceramic coating
Pypes 2.5" stainless exhaust system w/ X-pipe
Pypes Street Pro mufflers

Ignition
MSD Ready to Run Distributor (16 initial and 36 degrees total advance at 2700rpm)
MSD 6AL ignition box
Blaster 2 coil
MSD 8.5mm Super Conductor plug wires
AC Delco R43 plugs gapped to 0.045
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Apache Rich
Tribal Scout

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2014 :  12:49:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ledhed, thanks for the info, that sounds like a nice build. Around how much are looking for a bild of this nature? Why does it run out of steam at 5000? I was just thinking about the future and the direction I want to go with the engine. Since I have to pull the 557 anyway, I'll either rebuild it with something like you have or get a stronger block with greater room for expansion in the future.

Apache Rich
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ledhed76
Cochise

USA
304 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2014 :  3:35:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
camshaft runs out of breath at about 5500....we built it that way just because I knew it didn't need to rev too high...I don't know exactly what I spent because I did so many things at the same time....

http://www.compcams.com/Company/CC/cam-specs/Details.aspx?csid=1202&sb=2
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bnorris_74
Crazy Horse

USA
1442 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2014 :  07:11:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TTT
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