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Here's one for you gurus. Some time ago (about 1996) I purchased a '67 GTO project car and have had it tucked away until recently. While the body is out for blasting, I'm going thru the rest and have come up with mixed info from local sources regarding the engine. Obviously it is not original. It is a WS code block with a casting date code of H269. The heads are #12 with a casting date code of H079. Seems reasonable so far. Now the unusual stuff. The casting number of the block is 9799915. The numbers lists I have found on the web and in my books tell me it could be a RA III or in some cases a RA IV. However, the last digit of the casting number (5) is a stamp and not a part of the mold. It almost looks like it may have been ground down before it was stamped. I have yet to pull the pan to check to see if it has 4 bolt mains or not, but that will be soon. I'd be interested to hear any comments you might have on any aspect of the subject. Thanks for your time.
 

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The heads and block are 1970 Ram Air III pieces, at least. I have a set of #12 heads dated the same as yours that I got from the original owner of a 1970 Ram Air III Firebird. The #12 heads were used on all the ram air III cars, including Judges. Not a RAIV expert, but if it were a IV, you'd have different heads, round ports. What you have is an excellent block and heads to build into a stout combination, providing you used dished pistons so you can operate on pump gas. #12 heads are about the best stock D-port head there is. Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply. I will be pulling the pan today or tomorrow. I'm still a little curious about the last number being stamped. I am expecting to find 4 bolt mains..................
 

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Thank you for the reply. I will be pulling the pan today or tomorrow. I'm still a little curious about the last number being stamped. I am expecting to find 4 bolt mains..................
I don't remember if the reason for grinding off the 4 and stamping with a 5 was for early production Ram Air IV engines or if they ran out of Ram Air IV blocks (979991) and modified the III blocks until they cast new blocks. But I have years ago ran across information pertaining to this topic. That block is very rare and a couple of things to look for if you take the engine apart would be 1.65 rockers and the Ram Air IV Cam (9794041).

Welcome to the forum and if you get a chance post a few pictures if your 67.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Been busy on the project. I will check rockers and cam, hope I can find GM numbers on the cam from the front when I replace the timing chain/gears (there is a little more slack in the chain than I like, and it's not a double roller, but it does have all steel gears. I also have no idea exactly how to identify 1.65 rockers, but I'll look. Form the sounds I'm beginning to wonder how an engine like this ended up tucked away in a barn in a '67 post coupe up in Maine but it's OK with me. Kinda sorry I let it sit for 15+ years before I got to it. Anyway, I've never attached pics, but even though my '67 is down to bear steel right now, I'll try it. I'll also try to get some clear pics of the engine, numbers, etc. Thanks again for the info and interest. HOLD THE PHONE ON THAT...............I can't get the "insert image" icon to work (almost lost all this text and I type slower than death).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think I've got it figured out. I'll try to post a pic of the block casting numbers. Also, from this and also another 400 I have kicking around I ended up with two 8-hole water pumps which have very different impellers. The one with the short and straighter impellers was in the engine I have been writing about. It will be on the right and had one diverter plate behind it. The one on the left is from a different engine. That one was found to have two diverter plates (as expected).
 

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What is the 2-character stamp on the passenger side front of the block, just below the cylinder head? Also, what is the block date code? (4-characters on top rear, near the distributor hole. One alpha followed by three (3) numerics.)

Bear
 

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Strange.... WS along with the date code (August 26, 1969) and the heads (#12, August 7, 1969) all match up for RA III. However, The ground and re-stamped last digit on the block casting number is consistent for how some RA IV's were built. Now I'm really curious to find out which cam you've got. Right now, I'm leaning towards the following explanation:
We already know that RA III and RA IV blocks were identical except for the numbers, and "running short of" RA IV blocks is the explanation commonly given for the re-stampings. However, keep in mind that the factory cared about getting the cars built and not interrupting "the line". They didn't care so much about making everything match perfectly, numbers wise. It's plausible that on this particular engine, the car was supposed to get a RA III but somewhere in the process someone happened to pull the "wrong" block (one that had been re-stamped for a RA IV car) but by the time the error was discovered (if it ever WAS discovered) it was too late in the build process to go back and change it. Or maybe, on that particular day in that particular plant on that particular build sequence, the plant "ran out" of RA III blocks and someone, knowing they were the same, pulled this one instead. I don't know that you'd ever be able to find out for sure.

When you do get around to finding the stamp on the camshaft (assuming it's still the original cam) then I'd expect to find an "H" stamp for a RA III cam. "WS" along with the date code according to some sources say that engine originally came out of a 1970 Firebird, 4-speed, and in some circles was referred to as a "California Ram Air III". Still other sources say it was in an A-body (LeMans, GTO) manual transmission. (Always check multiple sources, there are mistakes out there.) It'd sure be interesting to try reverse lookups on the possible VIN numbers to get more information.

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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I appreciate the possible background ideas. I'm pretty sure the chances I'll find the original cam are almost nil. I think I can safely say that the one bank of original pistons and another with new(er) TRW pistons along with the 10/10 regrind on the crank indicate a rebuild. Why someone would stop just four pistons short of a complete rebuild I'll never know. Also there are what looks like evidence of an aftermarket set of valve springs (see the spring cap or disc colors) unless the factory ones were done this way. The lifters look very recent too. The car is a Freemont build, but a '67 so that has no bearing obviously. Hope the pics come through, you may find them interesting.
Chemnick
 

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Curiouser and curiouser...

I see different retainers on the exhaust valves, and one bank of replaced pistons along with one bank of original pistons. (The ones with the round circles in the center are original). Just from the photos, I would guess that whoever was last into it was attempting to spend as little money as possible --- so you just might find the original cam after all. I'm also curious to know if the exhaust rockers are the same parts as the intake rockers. I've heard in the past of folks putting 1.65's on the exhaust side only to try to compensate for the D-port heads. Would it be possible for you to check the exhaust pushrods for indications of them having rubbed on the head - and do the pushrod passages in the heads show any signs of having been elongated (top to bottom)?

Bear
 

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Vin????????????????????????

:cool As Bear pointed out, the engine block was originally in a GTO (WS Code). It's most likely that someone other than Pontiac ground off the "4" and hand stamped a "5 (and the "5" is not even the correct font)" in its place for some nefarious purpose.

Since its a GTO all you have to do is add "24237" to the partial VIN that is stamped on the block (drop the first "2" that's on the block). Then call PHS and see if he'll tell you if there's a corresponding GTO in his files.
 

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I've worked with and still work with a few old timer ex-GM techs from back in the day. When an engine came in for warranty work, as little was done as possible to get the unit back out the door in order to save warranty costs. It was common to replace one piston, or one rod, or just one valve spring. The fact that this engine has half of its pistons replaced and that they are still std. bore could indicate that the car had warranty work done at some point. The fact that the pistons are not oem muddies this somewhat, however. But, there could have been time constraints and the dealership did what was necessary to get the car back to the customer in a timely manner. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've taken the short block and heads to the "hospital" for surgery. I will be going by there today. You probably won't believe this, but I DID jot down some numbers from the front of the cam, however in my spotless, very tidy shop (not) and amongst my GTO books, Motor and Chilton manuals, it seems to have slipped away. I do recall that there was a string of one letter and 2 or 3 numbers stamped on the front of the cam and then a second line below it that I only recall had a circled "M", three numbers, followed by a second circled "M" on the end. I'm guessing that you guys will immediately know that as a particular manufacturer's stamp, but I have no idea. I'll get the numbers later today and I will check the pushrods to see if they have and signs of "rubs" from different geometry rockers.
Chemnick
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Camshaft has the following stampings in the rear:
130R
(M)B3 8(M)
There are quite a few numbers and letters cast into the cam between the lobes and bearings, but I was not sure if they would be of any value at this time.

FYI: The other motor I have has a casting number of 481988, a date code of I104 (looks like 1104), the large number cast into the block by the distributor is 75, the stamp code is YT and it has 5 tapped holes on each side for the motor mounts.
 

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The cam stamp we care about will be on the nose of the cam, on the surface next to the bolt hole for the gear. It'll be a single alphabetic character. Sometimes they're very faint and hard to see. If there's not one there, then more than likely it's not a factory Pontiac cam.

Bear
 

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Bear:
Took a pretty good look and wire brushed the nose area and even lightly scraped that end and I find not even a hint of any stamp. The pushrods show no signs of rubbing anywhere, maybe a slight touch where the guides are, but almost nothing. Also, when I wiped off the pushrods (I made sure I chose an intake and an exhaust) to check them out there was a prominent number "48056" in good sized print on both. Does this mean anything to you, such as an aftermarket brand, etc? Can't remember who asked about pics of my '67 but I'm going to attach a few of what she looks like right now (scary).:eek::confused
 

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No stamp means it's not a Pontiac cam. None of those part numbers trigger anything in my feeble old brain, but maybe someone else will recognize them.

Body work scared me half to death too, but I found out that with (lots of) time and patience, it turned out to be possible.

Hang in there.

Bear
 
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