Value of 389??? - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-20-2019, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Value of 389???

Anyone have any idea of the value of a complete 389 in need of a complete tear down and rebuild would be? Also what would a complete engine go for fresh off stock rebuild. I found a complete 389 locally that needs to complete the gone through. I’d like to rebuild it and maybe throw it in my 66, but would like to know I could get my money back if I sold it after a rebuild. If anyone has any insight that would be great

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 06:06 AM
 
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"...would like to know I could get my money back if I sold it after a rebuild...


NO !

You can NEVER plan to recoup ALL your money from a Pontiac build. The price you get will strictly depend on where you live & whether there is a Pontiac guy near you who needs exactly what you have. Because so many sellers lie, in order to sell what they have, most potential buyers will assume something is wrong with a recently rebuilt, but slightly used engine.

I had a nice 455 bracket engine. It ran high 11's in the 1/4 mile, & 7.30's in the 1/8 mile, in a '74 Ventura. Had forged pistons & rods & a decent HFT cam, #215 heads, a deep oil pan, a Torker 2 intake & 750 vac Holley. Track closed, so I sold the Vent as a roller. Tried to sell the engine, for quite a while. Was only trying to get $3k. Would cost more than that just to build the shortblock.

Didn't even get an offer for a long time. I finally had to come down to $1000 to sell it. And a guy came down from IL to buy it. Only reason I sold it that cheap was because I had another good 455, and I really needed some cash, at the time.

If I HAD to build a Pontiac engine, hoping to recoup most of what it cost me, I'd go with a 481988 400 block, because it's a popular block, & will fit both the '70's models, & the '60's A-bodies & Birds, as well as other bodies. I'd probably use 6x-4 heads. 2nd choice would be 5C-4. 3rd choice would be late '73 or '74 #46 heads, with screw-in rocker studs. And I'd use either a '72 iron intake, or a Performer, and a good Q-jet carb. Well, you get the idea. I'd build something that would work well in a large variety of street Pontiacs. A 389, with 389 heads, water pump & pulleys, just won't work in a large percentage of Pontiacs still on the street.

Last edited by bigD; 10-21-2019 at 06:27 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:32 AM
 
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Would also want to work with the seller to guarantee it is not cracked. If the engine ever had water in the water jacket instead of anti-freeze, the water will freeze come winter months and can crack a block - learned that the hard way on a 283CI Chevy engine. I would want to disassemble it and have the heads magnafluxed and the block inspected for wear to determine overbore size, and have it magnafluxed for cracks.

You don't know what is inside and as old as these engines now are, most of what seems to turn up is not good or damaged in some way that may or may not be repairable.

Agree with bigD, don't look to buy the engine and later build it thinking you will make money, let alone get your money back. Typically, each car owner has his/her idea of how they want to build their car/engine and you don't know what someone else wants out of the engine. The 389 will be a much harder sale for a number of reasons, versus a 400CI.

So if you buy it, buyer beware, and I would not think of making profit or getting my money back if I rebuilt it and had to resell.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigD View Post
"...would like to know I could get my money back if I sold it after a rebuild...


NO !

You can NEVER plan to recoup ALL your money from a Pontiac build. The price you get will strictly depend on where you live & whether there is a Pontiac guy near you who needs exactly what you have. Because so many sellers lie, in order to sell what they have, most potential buyers will assume something is wrong with a recently rebuilt, but slightly used engine.

I had a nice 455 bracket engine. It ran high 11's in the 1/4 mile, & 7.30's in the 1/8 mile, in a '74 Ventura. Had forged pistons & rods & a decent HFT cam, #215 heads, a deep oil pan, a Torker 2 intake & 750 vac Holley. Track closed, so I sold the Vent as a roller. Tried to sell the engine, for quite a while. Was only trying to get $3k. Would cost more than that just to build the shortblock.

Didn't even get an offer for a long time. I finally had to come down to $1000 to sell it. And a guy came down from IL to buy it. Only reason I sold it that cheap was because I had another good 455, and I really needed some cash, at the time.

If I HAD to build a Pontiac engine, hoping to recoup most of what it cost me, I'd go with a 481988 400 block, because it's a popular block, & will fit both the '70's models, & the '60's A-bodies & Birds, as well as other bodies. I'd probably use 6x-4 heads. 2nd choice would be 5C-4. 3rd choice would be late '73 or '74 #46 heads, with screw-in rocker studs. And I'd use either a '72 iron intake, or a Performer, and a good Q-jet carb. Well, you get the idea. I'd build something that would work well in a large variety of street Pontiacs. A 389, with 389 heads, water pump & pulleys, just won't work in a large percentage of Pontiacs still on the street.
Have any more good motors you ae looking to sell??? I would love to find a good used motor.....

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Makes sense guys. Guess I'll hold off until I decide if it has a home. Just thought it might be a good pickup for 200 bucks as a complete engine. The intake alone has to be worth close to that. but I wouldnt be looking to part it out.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gmjunkie View Post
Makes sense guys. Guess I'll hold off until I decide if it has a home. Just thought it might be a good pickup for 200 bucks as a complete engine. The intake alone has to be worth close to that. but I wouldnt be looking to part it out.
A single 4 AFB iron intake isn't worth anywhere near $200.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-GTO-97...AAAOSwT69dh98Q

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-66-Pon...UAAOSwQ4pdbcQC

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-Pontia...gAAOSwaMNdd~UR

A good Tri-Power intake is worth more.

Actually, at that price, you might be able to part it out & make a profit. But, as mentioned, the block would have to be checked by a competent shop, & certified usable, with just a common size overbore. I think you can bore about .058 over & use std bore 400 pistons.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SPEED-PRO-L...oAAOSwbqpTxsfI

The crank & heads would also have to be checked & approved, if they are to be used, or sold for a decent price. Don't know the machine shop cost of checking all the parts to see what's good & what's not.

A good usable 389 block can be used to build a stroker engine, which can also use later model or alum heads. Some will pay $400-$500 for a good 400 block, if they're scarce in the area where they live. So, in some areas, a good 389 block might also bring that.

https://butlerperformance.com/c-1234...480-cu-in.html

Last edited by bigD; 10-21-2019 at 02:20 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 03:27 PM
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Depends what year the GTO is. Depends what the engine code on the 389 is. If it's out of a big car, it's worth about $500 or less if rebuildable. If it is a GTO WS block, you're looking at $1500-$2500. A WT block would be about $1000-$1500. These are good engines with potential. So is the more common, cheaper to build 400. But I get it....389 sounds WAAAAAY cooler than 400. The WT engine in my '65 cost me $150 in 1981. The '66 Big Car 389's in both my buddies '65 GTO's each cost $80 at the junkyard about 10 years ago on 'Half Price Sunday'. These cars still turn up every once in awhile at the local boneyards out here in CA.
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