Engine options - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Engine options

Hello all,

New member here. Recently purchased a restored 66 GTO. Car is in super condition, unfortunately after a moderate run through the gears last Saturday, she began to knock and oil psi dropped (from 60 to 40). Drained the oil and found lots of metal and copper....

Engine is a 1970 400.

She is parked as I weigh my options. I'll start by saying, I am not an engine mechanic. I am considering the following.

1 - have a local engine rebuilder go through the bottom end. Find what is wrong, flush and replace what is needed. I'm having trouble finding a local "Pontiac specialist" in my area, SE NC.

2 - Locate a builder in region. I've found a guy 3 hrs away with a great reputation. There is even the potential of a 428 replacement engine in the mix with this option.

3 - Go all out with an engine from Butler or Central VA machine. They could use my block, heads (edelbrock RPM) etc. and put together a super goat engine. Obviously this is the high end option$$$


Looking for opinions and advise to get her back up and running strong. I know Butler has a stellar reputation and I have heard good things about CVM. Butler is about 11 hrs away, CVM is about 4 hrs.

I am new to the forum, constructive advise is sincerely appreciated.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 01:31 PM
 
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DO NOT USE CVM IN VIRGINIA!! We have a complete thread on how he screwed one of our members BIG TIME and others also chimed in with their bad experiences.

Glad you got a "restored" GTO - NOT. Bet the seller knew there was a problem? Have you called him up to discuss it with him and see if he is willing to cover some of the rebuild costs? He probably won't of course, but I would sure put him in the hot seat.

Use the engine you have. Take it to a machine shop and let them pull it apart and locate the source of the problem. The more parts you can re-use, the easier it will be on your wallet UNLESS you simply want to go with a different build/combo.

I have heard that Butler is really backed up with engine builds, so it may take some time to get it rebuilt and yes, $$$$.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info on CVM. It is appreciated.

I see you are in NC. Anyone that you would recommend for the engine work? I'm still weighing options.

Thanks
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 04:45 PM
 
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Thanks for the info on CVM. It is appreciated.

I see you are in NC. Anyone that you would recommend for the engine work? I'm still weighing options.

Thanks
I use Greg's Auto Machine out of King's Mountain. He is old school and builds engines of all kinds from stock to blown, flathead to race engines. I know he has customers that come from other states to get work done by him. He (Greg) and his brother (Gary) have been doing it about 40 years. He did all the machine work on my brother's 360 Mopar and did all the machine work on my 455. He currently has my '73 400 block which he is checking out to see if it is useable - bought off Craigslist. He is also working on my buddies 1990 LT1. He is always building something interesting and I visit to see what he's toying with. He always takes the time to let me watch as he works and explains "stuff" as to what is going on.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info!
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 05:01 PM
 
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I'm not sure exactly what I would do in that case. It's not like you have the original engine to that car. If you did, it would be a no brainer with a rebuild. I think I might be leaning towards looking into a 455. Maybe one already rebuilt or one that is very rebuildable. These motors are out there. Just finding the right one and/or a good rebuilder like you mention. I often think about taking out the original 400 motor in my '71 GTO and putting in a nicely built 455. Something with much more power. If it blows, so what. But, haven't done it yet. I'm always looking for 455's at local shows/flea markets. Want to avoid shipping cost and I would want to see the motor in person. Best wishes with whatever you decide.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 05:33 PM
 
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I'm not sure exactly what I would do in that case. It's not like you have the original engine to that car. If you did, it would be a no brainer with a rebuild. I think I might be leaning towards looking into a 455. Maybe one already rebuilt or one that is very rebuildable. These motors are out there. Just finding the right one and/or a good rebuilder like you mention. I often think about taking out the original 400 motor in my '71 GTO and putting in a nicely built 455. Something with much more power. If it blows, so what. But, haven't done it yet. I'm always looking for 455's at local shows/flea markets. Want to avoid shipping cost and I would want to see the motor in person. Best wishes with whatever you decide.
Why would you look for a 455 when you already have a good & known engine that can be easily brought up to 461CI with a stroker kit? A no-brainer in my book. Hard to find a good 455 and most will have large chamber heads which you most likely won't use. So all you basically are buying is the short block and you have to hope it passes magnafluxing inspection and is not so beat on that you could need extra work to get it back to spec.

Stroker kits are the most cost effective and you get forged rods/pistons plus use the smaller main journal size of the 400CI and smaller rod journals to fit the Chevy rods = bigger HP/Torque and more RPM's with greater safety.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 05:41 PM
 
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Good question PontiacJim. I guess I am somewhat fearful of stroking my numbers matching engine and having it blow up. I'm thinking with another motor, I don't care if I launch it. Maybe another 400 would be the way to go instead of a 455.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm waiting for a some quotes from Butler. Looking at this as an opportunity to get the right build in the goat...
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 07:32 PM
 
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Good question PontiacJim. I guess I am somewhat fearful of stroking my numbers matching engine and having it blow up. I'm thinking with another motor, I don't care if I launch it. Maybe another 400 would be the way to go instead of a 455.
Yep, a 400 is easier to find, but still takes looking, and the stroker kit will accomplish the bigger cubes/HP/TQ with all good forged parts and the smaller mains/rod journals for a little less worry at higher RPM twisting. Butler has a good deal on the kits and they fully balance them which is a plus. Just build for around 9.0 or slightly more compression with iron heads if you want to run on pump gas. (You can go more if you live at a higher altitude where the air is less dense and more compression is needed to compensate)
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