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.
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
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...
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
Sorry to come into this so late but I haven't had access to newsgroups for a
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.
70/76 462 108.50 spinning most of the way but the factory AC still works ;^)
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