Pontiac 400 Engine Question/Opinion

I recently purchased a 68 Firebird with an engine that is not numbers matching or even a Pontiac engine. I am just interested in making for a good and reliable driver with only a rare trip above the speed limit.
I am thinking about putting a Pontiac 400 engine in the vehicle and have gotten a couple of bids. I have been quoted 4,000 to replace the current engine and transmission with a rebuilt Pontiac 400 setup. The 4,000 price would cover all associated parts and labor and would like to know if that seems to be a fair price.
I would also like to know if there are negatives to going with a Pontiac or specifically with the 400 engine. A friend of mine suggested I go with a 350 Chevy setup because it would be cheaper upfront and easier to maintain.
The other upgrades I would like to do is a VintageAir A/C installation (I do live in Texas) and a disc brake upgrade for better stopping.
Any comments will be welcomed.
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I would definitely go with the 400 Pontiac. Putting a Chevy motor in an early Firebird should be against federal law :0) $4k is probably a fair price if it covers all labor involved and you get are getting both the engine and trans rebuilt. - Gary

or
350
do
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go with a 350 Chevy setup because "it is cheaper upfront and easier to maintain." and parts are more easily found.
-- i am the darkest creation of god

or
350
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S.S.I.N. Spilled my beer when they jumped on the table and proclaimed

That's what he already has. He wants to go towards a more historically accurate setup, IIRC...
NOI
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yuck !
-- i am the darkest creation of god
"Thund3rstruck"

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S.S.I.N. Spilled my beer when they jumped on the table and proclaimed

What's wrong with that? Some just like to drive a properly restored car. Others want to modify the hell out of it. Who's right and who's wrong? My answer: Neither.
NOI
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Thund3rstruck snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.comremove says...

Lets not forget the endless amount of low end torque a Pontiac has over the Chebbie :-)
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Dennis Smith
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Yep. Only engine I know of that will pull in fourth gear from 800 RPM without bucking...
--
Zang! Who is that, rampaging on the mountains!
It's the VampireMuffinMan, hands clutching a meaty axe! And with a vengeful
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comvVGrrVv (The Vampire Muffin Man) wrote in message says...

Then you've never driven and experienced the ol' caddy 500!!!
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Not with a 4-spd manual.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comvVGrrVv says...

My friend used to have an old 455 '72 GTO that would chirp the tires at 70MPH without downshifting out of 4th gear.
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Bad u-joints? j/k I'm not surprised, though.
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If you want something as common as dogshit, build a Chevy. Nothing to it :)
Want a challenge? Build a Pontiac.
My opinion? You won't find a Chevy powered Pontiac EVER in my fleet. Nothing against Chevy products, they just don't belong in Pontiacs :).
Go with a 400 :). Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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Saw this ad yesterday @ http://www.collectorcartraderonline.com /
Grantsburg, WI $375 1970 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX RAM AIR 400 ENGINE, NUMBERS MATCHING, INCLUDES CARBURETOR, $375 ; 715-488-2393 GRANTSBURG(715) 488-2393 Date Placed: 07-NOV-03
I thought it was a good deal based on the condition, but did not call or pursue.

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Well, he already has two and I don't need another project. hehe $375 sounds like a steal just for a running '70 400, and of course TH400.
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or
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Sorry to come into this so late but I haven't had access to newsgroups for a while. ;^)
I would at least ask for a detailed price breakdown for the work to be done. You'll be able to make a better decision once you see where the money is going and also have some input on what will be used for parts and what you expect when it's done. You'll need a complete 400 (don't forget a carb, distributor, starter, exhaust manifolds) and a transmission for starters. Then you may need new engine mounts, a crossmember change, possibly a shifter and a new driveshaft. The old exhaust will need some work to get it to fit. Also try to find out what has to be done to get all of the accessories to fit properly (brackets, power leads, hoses, etc.), fuel line plumbing and cooling issues. The existing radiator may not be up to snuff to keep a poncho 400 cool during the summer.
Looking at the job now, $4000.00 an out the door may not be that bad of a price for a quality job but way too much for a hack job.
As far as the engine goes, make sure you know what the expected compression will be since there aren't a lot of choices for 400 heads. Early heads will have a 10:1 or higher compression while the later heads could drop you down to around 7.6:1 or less. Make sure the cam matches the compression and stay away from 1.65 rockers. Unlike the 73/74 SDs, modern cams can be bought with the lift built into them.
Vintage Air makes some good stuff, never heard a complaint yet. Disc brakes are always good.
Altering the car usually results in a decrease in value but it depends on what you want to do. If you want a nice driver that you will keep for years, you probably aren't wasting your money. If you are looking to sell the car for a profit, car, numbers matching is the best bet.
Dave
70/76 462 108.50 spinning most of the way but the factory AC still works ;^)
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