Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Injun Territory, 'Merica!
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A real 1963 421 SD engine had an upside down starter nose in order for the starter to clear the '63 long branch exhaust manifolds and the Catalina chassis. Nunzi in the late '70's had a few and offered the unique starter nose hsg in his catelogue...a very rare part.
'63 421 SD engines usually carrried the "980" casting early SD heads. These had a wider spread between the center exhaust port exhaust manifold bolts. Wider than previous '61-63 cylinder heads, wider than the more civilian use '63 and '64 cyl heads. If you do have have an original '63 421 SD engine, it's a very valuable piece. The "980" casting heads will only mate up to the correct '63 long breach SD manifolds, or the correct '63 Tempest factory tubed ex "manifolds". Installing a '63 421 SD into a '64 or later Pontiac LeMans or GTO would require several things.
- Buy a set of custom headers for the installation. 45+ years ago old school header mfg'ers like Jardine made headers for drag race installations of the '63 SD headed engines. Today, one might be able to find a set, and have them repaired, otherwise, it will be custom built headers, expect a bill of at least $1200.
-the '63 block, like all '63 and earlier Pontiac blocks is not going to have the "ear" to bolt on a starter. On a street car or a street/strip car one can get by using a '62, 63, or '64 cast iron bellhousing from a Catalina, Starchief, or Bonneville. These are very tough to find, I've had 4 of the cast iron bellhousings from those years. One, 15 years ago went on '62 389 that went into a '64 GTO clone convert. On that mess, the owner bought for $75, the wrong 389 block core off the local yokel '65 GTO clone car guy ( felliw lived at local yokel car shows). The buyer had noone knowledgeable for guidance, and had all the machine work and assembly done on the '62 389 and gad it topped off with a shipped in $2000 '64 tripower. Then he paid a pair of local European sports car guys to install the engine and Muncie at their restoration shop. These two got the engine and transmission in the LeMans convert and couldn't figure out where to bolt the starter on! Through some dialing around, they found out the early Pontiac V8's had a starter that mounted to the bellhousing. Local mini starter manufacturer, GPE, was called, and their machinist called me. Correct cast iron bell hsg and custom (early) Pontiac mini starter ended up running the clown car car builder little over $650.
-Another solution is use a custom midplate on the back of the block and mount the starter to it. have examined this setup before on racecar builds with the early blocks ( typically '59 389 blocks, as they are thick and can be bored out .090, sometimes, .120)
-last solution. in the early 90's, I picked up a '63 421 mid horse application block. Someone, very skilled, had taken the starter ear off a later block, machined it and the rear corner of the block, then took the block to a shop that furnace welded the cast iron starter ear onto the '63 421 block. I was very impressed by the work at the time, would have hated to have had to have paid for the fitting and welding.
Hope this helps. Love to see some pics of the engine. Which intake and carburetion came on the SD engine?