zz454 in 1971 LeMans Convertible - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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zz454 in 1971 LeMans Convertible

I am sure the title has gotten the blood pressure up on a lot of readers.

My plan is to build 3 or 4 everyday drivers to rotate through on an annual basis. My first car is a '71 LeMans convertible with a 350. I am having a frame-off restoration done and want to go with a big block. I plan on driving the car 3 to 4 months every year, again as an everyday driver which will probably amount to 3k to 4k miles per year (I travel for work and don't drive around home much).

Because I want something very reliable over the long haul (I plan on keeping this car for a long time) I thought I would go with a brand new zz454 GM Performance engine and pair it up with a new transmission, drive-shaft and rear-end. Has anyone done something like this? Advice on how to find/pair engine with transmission, drive-shaft, rear-end?

I really like the 455 rebuilds I've seen...just thinking they aren't going to be reliable over the next 10+ years as a partial year, daily driver...
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 09:24 AM
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Built right, a 455 will/can be just as reliable as a crate 454.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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]Built right, a 455 will/can be just as reliable as a crate 454.

Thanks for the response...I would much rather go with the 455 do you have any experience with re-builders? I've read a lot of posts / reviews and looks like there are a lot of mixed results out there.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 10:02 AM
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I do the disassembling and reassembling myself and have NAPA do the machine work.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by smcconkey View Post
]Built right, a 455 will/can be just as reliable as a crate 454.

Thanks for the response...I would much rather go with the 455 do you have any experience with re-builders? I've read a lot of posts / reviews and looks like there are a lot of mixed results out there.
Lots of options for real Pontiac power that's also reliable. For example, start with a Pontiac 400 block, build it with an aftermarket 4.25" stroker crank and rotating assembly, and you've got 461 inches in an engine with a smaller main journal (3.00 as opposed to 3.25 in the 455) and because of that, the block is stronger (more meat in the main webs). I built my numbers-matching 400 in my 69 GTO into a 461 using such an approach. I drove it on the full Hot Rod Power Tour this summer (Dallas to Charlotte (Concord) N.C. and back) with nary a peep, and the car has run a best of 11.86 (so far).

For an honest consult with one of the best builders there is, I'd refer you to Jim Lehart at Central Virginia Machine.

Central Virginia Machine Service - Home of the Injun Engine!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 12:56 PM
 
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mine has a 2:56 rear end and got nearly 17 MPG on long haul freeway trip. Pontiac motors have enough low end torque to turn a tall gear or you can swap to any of the newer OD trans and go mid 3's on your rear end. Starts up every time, easy to work on, no computers or sensors to worry about.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks...I will check them out. I've gotten enough feedback that I am thinking I will go with a rebuilt 455. I've exchanged messages with "Tuff Dawg"...can get a turnkey 455 with 400TH all put together.

Anyone with experience using Tuff Dawg engines?
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Projects, Barn Finds & Restoration Discussions

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