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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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I really hate to admit this...

I got my books on Monday. (How to Rebuild and Modify Rochester Quadrajet Carburetors (Sa Design), How to Rebuild Pontiac V-8s (Sa Design-Workbench), How to Build Max Performance Pontiac V8s (Sa Design) ) I am glad they finally arrived, and I have since been half reading them and half scanning through the highlights.

After having done so, I am honestly a bit intimidated. I last rebuilt a motor 20 years ago or more (I was 18-20) and either the people involved with me on that endeavor were not nearly so knowledgeable as I was led to believe OR things have changed A LOT in the past 20+ years.

There were parts of the process that seem to be referred to as common knowledge in the books that we did not do when I rebuilt my 400. Now that said it ran good and strong and as far as I know it STILL runs good and strong. But WOW there is A LOT in there and it seems I might not A. be capable of some of it and B. not be equipped for some of it.

Has anyone done a garage rebuild following these instructions? Can anyone give me the inside skinny and let me know it can be done by an average gear head with average equipment in an already PACKED garage in Kansas?

Oh and the carburetor book, NOW I am SURE they are part voodoo and witchcraft.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 07:57 PM
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Putting an engine together is easier than a lot of things. It's just parts, assembled one at a time. Don't be intimidated. The most important thing is checking the machine work that has been done: measuring ALL the rod and main clearances, making sure the bearings are positioned correctly, making sure the piston rings are gapped and clocked and installed correctly, making sure ALL the oil galley plugs are installed, and making sure everything is squeaky clean. Working at home, it takes about a half day to a day to put one together if you check everything. I've run into mis-boxed bearings, etc, so clearance checking is crucial. If the clearances are correct, and the instructions are followed, it will run well a long time. I did my first one in 1981, and it's still running great in my '65 GTO and has never been opened up...not even for a valve adjustment. (has hydraulics). Yeah, I didn't know about the oil galley plugs (all three were missing) but I found out about them really fast! Go for it. Help can be found locally or here. Others will chime in. Assembling an engine and hearing it run is tremendously satisfying!!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 08:16 PM
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Purebred i started with a half ass set of wrenches and a carpenters tool set, and had'nt wrenched on my cars in 20 yrs. key is to have your machining done by someone that KNOWS pontiacs, the tolerances on our engines are different than chevys. There I would contact Jim (MrPbody) and discuss the spec work with him and relay those specs to your machinist. Also have it balanced and have them verify clearances with the bearings, rods and crank then clean up your work area invest in or borrow a good torque wrench and put it together, you'll get lots of help with the steps here, take your time and check off tasks as you go so your not wondering later "did i do that?". I have gotten to the point were i pulled and reset the motor alone in two evenings.....You can do it!!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 09:03 PM
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I built a 540hp 550ftlb 455 and stuffed it into a 79 Formula that ran mid 11s in a one car garage, and for less than $5k total cash outlay. Yes you can do it, unless I am some sort of mechanical genius and you are completely clueless. I seriously doubt both of those.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 09:17 PM
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That's what you pay the machinist for.. Is it right, yes or no.. Yes, I bolted it together and didn't check anything on my BBC, and it runs great, #8 spark plug gets a little oily, may be missaligned rings. I torque the mains, then 1 rod at a time and make sure it still turns, if it doesn't, then I check it. Bolting the motor together is quicker than most of the things you do to a car. Those books, especially the Qjet book will go over your head so quick it isn't funny. I've rebuilt 20 Qjets, never modified one, that's why I'm a Holley guy, Qjets are black magic. Thumpin is the man on them.
If you spend the money at the machine shop, and get quality parts, the rebuild shoould go fine. When the day comes to reassemble, put it up here with pics, plenty of pro's to get you through it.
I bought how to high perf Pontiac by Jim Hand, and didn't get through chapter 1 on an 8 hour flight to Europe, I dissapointed myself. Good info, but a motor will run without getting crazy. Good luck and get on it..

Burning rubber since 1982!!
My photobucket, lots of dif car pics.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I was hoping I'd get some feedback like this. I was hoping I didn't REALLY need a degree in astrophysics just to rebuild this darn motor.

When you read those books it makes your head swim.

I am certainly going to give it the "old college try" anyway. And I will follow the block and head prep directions (I guess I will try to port and polish the heads myself - as well as matching them to the intake and exhaust) And we'll see how this all comes out.

Hey Thumpin ... would ya, could ya, rebuild a Q-Jet and upgrade it for my engine recipe if I provide you with my plans?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 04:35 PM
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Jump in there and do it. Just go slow, check your work, make sure it all makes sense to you. You'll be fine - and it's very rewarding the first time the beast fires and you know that you did it all.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Bear,

Yea I am going to. I got done pulling the heads off the 400 last night. It's original bore too. That's nice. But it did have some moisture in the cylinders so if someone uses it (maybe me some day if no one buys it) it will require a bit more work than the 455. The 455 just needs to be put on the stand and the lower end removed but I will be doing that Sunday. (Supposed to be 82 here in KC ) So it's full steam ahead. I will probably get the heads and block tanked and then do all the block prep work (outlined in Jim Hand's book) and polishing and porting of the heads and intake. Then hopefully get the real machine work done early next year and start the rebuild.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. After reading that darn book I needed it.
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