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I have a '68 GTO hardtop and PHS docs state it was equipped with the HO option. From what I know (or think I know!), it came with the "068" cam and......what else? The car is pretty much original and it has the HO free flow exhaust manifolds, I"m wondering of those came with it or were added at some point. And now, I find a reproduction "HO" air cleaner on Ames (N177). It's open element and looks aftermarket. The air cleaner now is single snorkel with a chrome lid, which I had assumed was original. So my question is....just how did that 360 hp HO motor differ from the standard 350 hp engine??

Doug

PS - Those valve covers have got to go!
 

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The open element/chrome lid was for 1967 HO & RA engines. 1968 used the air cleaner as you have and was standard on the GTO.

I show the exhaust manifolds being the same HO/RA, but also show that standard exhaust manifolds were used on the HO engine.

Camshaft was the "068", part # 9779068 for manual transmission, Letter Stamp on the front of the cam is "S", and the "067" for automatic equipped cars as opposed to the "067" used in the 400/350HP manual engine and the "066" used in the 400/350HP automatics.

So, it appears the 360HO is an engine/HP option above the standard GTO 350HP engine. The PHS documents for your car would confirm this as well as any additional options that were ordered with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks PontiacJim! That's what I was thinking, but good to hear the same!

Thanks
Doug
 

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Thanks PontiacJim! That's what I was thinking, but good to hear the same!

Thanks
Doug
No problem. I would get some Pontiac chrome valve covers, and if money allowed, add the Ram Air System - which could have been added by the dealer. I am also a fan of the hood tach, but it would not have been installed from the factory if you had the Rally Gauges with the tachometer built in.

HO400, 4-speed, 3.90 posi - its gotta be a mover. :thumbsup:

I recently posted this one on the '68 GTO test cars: http://www.gtoforum.com/f12/1968-drm-gto-test-car-125033/
 

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PJ - "1968 used the air cleaner as you have and was standard on the GTO."

This is also the one on my 1968 H.O - Baltimore built; and I currently believe is one year only design (long - kind of oval). The block code is WS with M20/21. I bought mine last spring and the resto is 15 years old and I'm having fun researching all the details. Seeing pictures of the car before the resto makes me think the po had to source the part. He did an excellent job to find the date coded - correct parts for the car in the early 2000's. The build date for my car is early Feb 68 according to the PHS billing history. So a matching data point.

I was reading a back issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines (#120 - Aug 2013) that has the buyers guide featuring Stan Ubben's '68 H.O. w/ M21 that he has owned since new. One of the pictures shows the dual snorkel cleaner that was used on 69 (like Ames N177CW); so maybe late in '68 they started using the dual - that was used in later years.

-- I do not claim to be an expert and not challenging what PJ has said --- I'm just sharing more data points.

Anybody know Stan?

P.S. I have my own experience that the single snorkel is restricting - because mine is noticeably quicker with the open element style like N177.

:)
 

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It also had the 7028268 Quadrajet and different battery cable routing under the HO manifolds. I added the ram air kit to mine as well, see my thread for the build.
 

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integrity6987 "not challenging what PJ has said"

PJ Don't ever question me, I am always right, dammit! :smilielol5: Pulled my info from the PONTIAC GTO RESTORATION GUIDE 1964-1972 by Paul Zazarine & Chuck Roberts, plus the 1968 Pontiac sales brochure and a few other '68 engine pics. The '69 GTO Pontiac brochure shows the twin snorkel air cleaner and found pictures/drawings of the '70 - '72 GTO air cleaners which used a twin snorkel air cleaner.

However, as been stated here before, Pontiac did not always follow form and different manufacturing plants did different things. Quite possible that a dual snorkel could have been used if it were a late build near the 1969 run. I suspect the GTOAA judges would be the final authority on it. To me, not a big deal as I too would go dual snorkel for added air inlet if I used one, but I wouldn't use one as I like all the airflow I can get so I usually invert the cover or get an aftermarket open chrome air cleaner. :thumbsup:

And, I'm no expert on this stuff, just an enthusiast like everyone else and have my personal experiences and a pretty good library to source info from. I am here to learn as well - and have learned a bunch myself. :yesnod:
 

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It also had the 7028268 Quadrajet and different battery cable routing under the HO manifolds. I added the ram air kit to mine as well, see my thread for the build.

Last digit of P/N = Even for Automatic and Odd for Manual Transmission. Feb 18 Hemmings Muscle Machines has a good article.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My build date is 5/68 in Pontiac, MI. It's equipped with a single snorkel air cleaner and a #263 carb. I"m not absolutely sure that's the set up it was born with, but with the original owner having it till 2008, and the subsequent owner being meticulous, I"m thinking that's what it had in '68 as well.

Thanks!
Doug
 

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PJ - "1968 used the air cleaner as you have and was standard on the GTO."

This is also the one on my 1968 H.O - Baltimore built; and I currently believe is one year only design (long - kind of oval). The block code is WS with M20/21. I bought mine last spring and the resto is 15 years old and I'm having fun researching all the details. Seeing pictures of the car before the resto makes me think the po had to source the part. He did an excellent job to find the date coded - correct parts for the car in the early 2000's. The build date for my car is early Feb 68 according to the PHS billing history. So a matching data point.

I was reading a back issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines (#120 - Aug 2013) that has the buyers guide featuring Stan Ubben's '68 H.O. w/ M21 that he has owned since new. One of the pictures shows the dual snorkel cleaner that was used on 69 (like Ames N177CW); so maybe late in '68 they started using the dual - that was used in later years.

-- I do not claim to be an expert and not challenging what PJ has said --- I'm just sharing more data points.

Anybody know Stan?

P.S. I have my own experience that the single snorkel is restricting - because mine is noticeably quicker with the open element style like N177.

:)
Many base 400 4bbl '68 GTO's gained '69 or '70-72 dual snorkel airxleaners when owners installed used dual snorkel aircleaners. In the mid 80's when I first began working swappers it was very common for '68 owners to buy a later dual snorkel aircleaner to install on their '68. Similar deal with '68 & 69 Firebird owners.

An original '68 400 HO GTO received an open element aircleaner, there was no Pontiac Q-jet dual snorkel aircleaner avail on '68 models, base 350 horse GTO's or 360 horse HO cars.

The '69 dual snorkel GTO aircleaner is year specific, 1969 ONLY. The '69 GTO dual snorkel aircleaner has a wider spread between the snorkels than a '70-72 Pontiac A/B/GP body dual snorkel aircleaner. The reproduction dual snorkel avail through Ames, etc, was reproduced by Joe @ the Parts Place & is patterned off the '70-72 aircleaner.

All '68 GTO single snorkel as well as the '68 Olds 442 aircleaners utilize the same wide mouth single snorkel that have a sideways embossed line on the snorkel. Both of these different airckeaners also continued the use of a silkscreened on aircleaner element replacement instructions. The gummed off white AC element/aircleaner ID decal showed up with '69 aircleaners.

The '68 embossed style stamping of snorkel has also showed up on original very early production '69 Firebird 400 & 428 GP single snorkel aircleaners. Fairly early during the '69 run, this embossed line disappeared from these '69 Pontiac Performance engine single snorkel aircleaners.

The embossed lines, however, continued on I believe on all '69 GTO dual snorkel aircleaners. The last six original '69 GTO dual snorkel aircleaners I've sold all have had the embossed lines. By the into of the '70 model GTO's, their factory dual snorkels were smooth on top, just like the snorkels on the vast majority of '69 Firebird 400 & 428 GP/ 428HO B series aircleaners.

Hope this clears up any misguided ideas about the factory usage of these aircleaners.
 

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Weird that the one in Hemmings buyer's guide owned since new shows the dual. HMM buyer's guide usually feature these cars in stock form. https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2013/08/1968-Pontiac-GTO/3728891.html

HMM has a couple other 68's featured but both are Ram Air so not helpful for this discussion.

PH - Would you please be able to show a picture (or part number) of the open element type you said should be on our 68 H.O. engines so we'll all know what to start looking for?

I took it as fact based on the GTOAA judging rules that state "1964 - 1974 Pontiac GTOs were built in seven different assembly plants across the United States and Canada. Not all colors and plating used were the same. Some model years even had mid-year changes to identify certain modifications that were made on the production line. Other changes included using previous model year parts stock." That some variations were inevitable seems like a logical outcome and explains why several of us have the single snorkel type shown in the original post.
 

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PH: "Many base 400 4bbl '68 GTO's gained '69 or '70-72 dual snorkel aircleaners when owners installed used dual snorkel aircleaners."

PH: "An original '68 400 HO GTO received an open element aircleaner"

PJ: If many base 400 4bbl cars received the later dual snorkel air cleaners, why would it not make sense that some also got the '67 HO open element air cleaner?

Here is an article showing a 1 owner, original purchaser, of a 1968 GTO with the 400HO engine. The photo spread of the car includes a shot of the engine. It has the dual snorkel chrome top air cleaner and not the open element air cleaner. Seems odd seeing the car was restored, but he could have swapped his open element for a dual snorkel which would support your statement above. https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2013/08/1968-Pontiac-GTO/3728891.html

Hemmings - "Our feature 1968 GTO hardtop is owned by Mt. Morris, Illinois, resident Stan Ubben, who purchased it when new from Ken Nelson Buick-Pontiac in Dixon, Illinois. Using it as a daily driver at the time, Stan tells us that he fell in love with the combination of its Night Shade Green color and painted top, along with the then-new styling and power derived from the H.O. 400. Since its restoration in 2002-'03, it's been relegated to show duty. He recently offered some ownership insight to prospective collectors."

But, here are a number of other supposed documented HO400 original cars:

56,000 mile original GTO with HO 400 - supposedly numbers matching. Single snorkel, chrome top. No open element air cleaner. https://www.volocars.com/vehicles/14140/1968-pontiac-gto-h-o

Another documented HO400 with single snorkel air cleaner: https://www.cleanclassiccars.com/1968-pontiac-gto-400ho-c-2021.htm

Barrett-Jackson 1968 original numbers matching HO400 with single snorkel air cleaner: https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1968-PONTIAC-GTO-COUPE-194228

The only 1968 GTO's with the open element air cleaners I can find are those having the Ram Air option - as seen in the factory promo ad. Do you have any photos of documented HO engines, non RA, with the open element air cleaner? That would clear things up. :thumbsup:
 

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I believe all 1968 GTOs left the factory with a closed lid air cleaner with a snorkel tube. I believe all had a chrome lid and single snorkel but I suppose some late model builds could have received the dual snorkel model seen on the 69 models but those would be the exception and not the rule. At any rate, none were open element type.....not from the factory.

Ram Air cars were fitted with the chrome closed lid snorkel air cleaner complete with heat riser tube and shroud. The open element air cleaner, ram air pans, foam seals and open element hood scoops shipped in the trunk. Those parts were intended to be fitted to the car at the dealership. The owner was expected to keep the original parts for use in inclement weather.....I doubt anyone ever reinstalled those items but that was the intended use.
 

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Decals on the air cleaner lid.

PH: "Many base 400 4bbl '68 GTO's gained '69 or '70-72 dual snorkel aircleaners when owners installed used dual snorkel aircleaners."

PH: "An original '68 400 HO GTO received an open element aircleaner"

PJ: If many base 400 4bbl cars received the later dual snorkel air cleaners, why would it not make sense that some also got the '67 HO open element air cleaner?

Here is an article showing a 1 owner, original purchaser, of a 1968 GTO with the 400HO engine. The photo spread of the car includes a shot of the engine. It has the dual snorkel chrome top air cleaner and not the open element air cleaner. Seems odd seeing the car was restored, but he could have swapped his open element for a dual snorkel which would support your statement above. https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2013/08/1968-Pontiac-GTO/3728891.html

Hemmings - "Our feature 1968 GTO hardtop is owned by Mt. Morris, Illinois, resident Stan Ubben, who purchased it when new from Ken Nelson Buick-Pontiac in Dixon, Illinois. Using it as a daily driver at the time, Stan tells us that he fell in love with the combination of its Night Shade Green color and painted top, along with the then-new styling and power derived from the H.O. 400. Since its restoration in 2002-'03, it's been relegated to show duty. He recently offered some ownership insight to prospective collectors."

But, here are a number of other supposed documented HO400 original cars:

56,000 mile original GTO with HO 400 - supposedly numbers matching. Single snorkel, chrome top. No open element air cleaner. https://www.volocars.com/vehicles/14140/1968-pontiac-gto-h-o

Another documented HO400 with single snorkel air cleaner: https://www.cleanclassiccars.com/1968-pontiac-gto-400ho-c-2021.htm

Barrett-Jackson 1968 original numbers matching HO400 with single snorkel air cleaner: https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1968-PONTIAC-GTO-COUPE-194228

The only 1968 GTO's with the open element air cleaners I can find are those having the Ram Air option - as seen in the factory promo ad. Do you have any photos of documented HO engines, non RA, with the open element air cleaner? That would clear things up. :thumbsup:


Thanks for the extra data points PJ. My general assumption is that all of the 50-year-old cars have had some level of restoration (w/ possible day-two upgrades for original owner cars. - e.g. I saw a youtube with '68 on riding shotgun with Michelle Rodriguez with early split exhaust tips (4:37)
) had been done. They look good.

Other dudes like the look of red-pmd center caps and shiny trim rings on their restos before they were used from the factory on those cars. I'd say a majority of enthusiasts don't care about originality. Clearly, there are others that do.

PHS helps with a ton - as do books like the original shop manual, vintage (copywrite 1971) Chilton manual, and contemporary GTOAA identification guide. Today seems like it is super difficult to run down original parts, and most repos are "good enough" to stump mere mortals when seen at car shows.

I have not had my 68 HO long enough to touch every part on the car let alone determine if they are "correct". So far the main systems I have checked are numbers matching - have not examined date codes yet - so may not be "correct". The resto on my car was also completed 15 years ago and the po was a very detail oriented engineer/small biz owner and could afford to buy original parts as he found them over the years. I'm learning a lot from this forum - for example can't wait to check for silk-screen printing on the air cleaner. (Car's in storage - so have to wait months)

So to extend the thread topic: One of the cars picts show decal 400-4 on the top of the air cleaner. These are popular and many local GTOs display these. I see the repos in catalogs - were these originally factory items and on what years? Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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"One of the cars picts show decal 400-4 on the top of the air cleaner. These are popular and many local GTOs display these. I see the repos in catalogs - were these originally factory items and on what years? Inquiring minds want to know."

None had them - they are aftermarket add-ons. Only ones I am aware of that were factory on the air cleaner were the 1971-72 455HO decals.
 

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Not all original '71 455 HO A-body aircleaners had the 455 HO decal on their original aircleaner lid. my HO GT-37 as well as Jack's HO T-37 Coupe built several days later, both out of Fremont plant had plain black painted airclener lids. It's been my experience that original '71 RamAir aircleaners originally had the 455HO decal on the lid. Have owned 3 original '71 RA RamAir air cleaner setups, the nicest original lid left here in '07 with my previous 'Lucerne blue/blue M22 71 Judge.

The use of the silly engine size-hp stickers has came straight out of the local yokel car show ranks. Many in the Pontiac restoration community refer to them as Buick aircleaner stickers as Buick did have red background 350, 400, & 455 aircleaner lid decals in the late '60's/early 70's. Chevrolet, of course, had an even wider variety of such stock aircleaner lid decals.
 

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Since last I visited this thread, have had inquiree's out, trying to track down & converse with three relatively local '68 GTO owners, all of which I had experience providing original parts & services for their '68 GTO's. Quite a few of those transactions date back as far as the late 80's. I've dealt with many dozen '68 owners over the last 35 years, but only the three from my old records owned '68 400 HO cars, or what we thought were '68 400 HO cars.

None of these '68 GTO owners were the easiast to track down, next to no one under 60, today, has the land line phone they had 20+ years ago. Keeping a land line is fairly odd today unless one is running a dedicated alarm line off it, or a fax line for an in home business. In my own instance, am not nesr as easy to get on the phone, as was for many years. We dropped our landlines over 15 years ago & have had 3 different cellphone carriers since the Motorola bag phone of the late '80's.

Back to the GTO's, each of these '68's were relatively stock apppearing cars when I first encountered them & having worked under the hood on each, sometimes for days, each engine was topped by a plain chrome steel lid 14x3 open element 1.5" drop air cleaner. The first of these '68 hardtops, the prev owner Shane confided to me, he installed his aircleaner, a late '60's Camaro/Chevelle piece, when he was first aquiring parts & rebuilding the '68. Shane also noted the HO exhaust manifolds & 16 heads, factory intake, distributor, Muncie 4sod, flywheel & linkage all came with the car when he bought it as a project. He knew the block was not original, it was eventually replaced with a '68 428 out of a '68 GP. I provided a complete single piston front disc brake changeover, as well as an 8.5 A-body posi rear for this particular GTO in its eventual buildup. I hesitate to refer to the process of the build on that particular '68 as a restoration, as in my books a restoration is to make new again, just like the car rolled off the assembly line. Shane's '68 was an improved upon '68 that looked relatively stock enough,j including under the hood, at least til it gained headers, that it showed decently at local shows. 1-800 PMD Cares was only providing invoice copies for very late '68 model Pontiacs when Shane bought his GTO in the late 80's, & the car being built earlier in the model run, there was no free paperwork. Jeez I miss those days, very interesting '69-72 hands on finds of performance Pontiacs, nearly every month! Shane's '68 was assumed to be a '68 HO GTO just from the presence of several things, the original '68 dated manifolds being the biggest clue. When Shane sold the '68 in 2009, PHS docs were ordered, & the car came back as an original 400 WT engined '68, not a WS engined 400 HO car. Our only verdict is the previous owner had come up with various parts including the '68 HO manifolds.

Also managed to reconnect with another face from the past, Scott. We reminissed about Scott's '68, which i found out had been wrecked & parted in the early 00's after he moved to Houston. From the time Scott bought it in '83, til he pulled the original WS 400 engine & replaced it with a well built 467, the GTO ran an open element steel 14x3 drop base aircleaner. I quizzed Scott if he remembered paying much attention to the aircleaner, & we both came to the conclusion it must have been an original '67 49 state 400 HO aircleaner. Have not been able to find any current contact info on my other old customer, do remember his light green, ivy gold interior '68 was an auto car & ran the same style open element aircleaner & original GM HO exhaust manifolds. For those that don't know it, original HO or Ram Air manifolds weren't exactly salvage yard pieces in the 80's-90's. Far from it. & I spent much of my time hitting boneyards back then. Unless one was in the national clubs, subscribed to Hemmings, or lived up in Michigan-Ohio-Pennsylvania where Pontiac GTO parts were everywhere, it took a lot of networking to find such pieces.

Speaking with several long time '68 owners, one who owns 5 '68's, I do now realize the stock embossed line style single snorkel 350 horse engine aircleaner came stock on '68 400 HO GTO's. I stand behind my descriptions of the embossed lines on the '68 4bbl GTO & Firebird 400 air cleaners discerning this style from later style wide snorkel air cleaners Pontiac used through the '70 model. Also stand behind this most common '68 GTO 4 bbl aircleaner having silk screened on lettering for the aircleaner element description, just like other GM aircleaners of the period including the reddish orange '68 442 aircleaner, both styles of which I have owned well over a dozen examples. Also stand behind my description of the single snorkel aircleaner used on 370 & 390 horse '69 GP's as well as '69 Firebird 400's, have had well over two dozen such aircleaners. On the dual snorkel '69 only GTO aircleaner, stand behind my description of it.

Also, will note, just like tens of thousands of other specific year application detail parts, they dont come out a model year early! not on production cars! Anyone suggesting such happenings is clueless when it comes to how Pontiac built these cars! Occasionally, but very rarely, a certain part will run over into the next years production. That's rare, typically the excess year specific parts at each assebly plant will be shuttled to service parts. Documenting the fine nuances of how one plant assembled a Pontiac A-body versis another plant is something I and numerous other hardcore restorers have spent decades make notations & using in Concours restorations as well as much of that info rubbing off onto less intense restorations. Over the last 20 years I've been friends & am friends with several GTOAA Judges. One who wrote tech articles for HPP magazine for nearly a decade, we spoke nearly every month. Another who was GTOAA's Concours Judging chairman til his death just a few years ago I was privledged to know & share info with. The last is one of my best friends & I've spent hundreds of hours with him. Both of these latter two have stayed at my home & we have hit monster salvage yards together, making notations, as well as pulling detailing parts. All of us are or have been extremely serious about correctness, originality, correct finishes, & are very skeptical/watch for trends when it comes to original usage of original parts.
 

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OK, great leg work in making you contact calls. So I think we can all agree that the 1968 HO400 engine did not come with a chrome air cleaner ala the 1967 HO400, but had the standard GTO air cleaner, single snorkel, chrome lid. One for the concours judges. :thumbsup:
 

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OK, great leg work in making you contact calls. So I think we can all agree that the 1968 HO400 engine did not come with a chrome air cleaner ala the 1967 HO400, but had the standard GTO air cleaner, single snorkel, chrome lid. One for the concours judges. :thumbsup:
Agree.
 

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This is great!

Thanks for taking the time to do the research and share your discoveries!

PH: "All '68 GTO single snorkel as well as the '68 Olds 442 aircleaners utilize the same wide mouth single snorkel that have a sideways embossed line on the snorkel."

Anybody have a picture of this distinctive feature?


I checked my cleaner housing and it has a sticker instead of screen print - didn't try to see if screen-printed underneath the decal - but some of the links provided by PJ show screen print pretty clearly. My assumption at this point is that it's not the "born-with" part.

For a while I've been thinking I would try to collect correct date coded parts. Now - I'm getting gun shy and don't think it would be worth my time/money to do this. IF I DID put it back to "as born" I'd definitely be more afraid to drive it (MS/MB/ 4.33).

I do want to get the hand-painted rally stripes applied after I get it repaint in a couple years.... I did find the '68 (3 tab) chrome door edge guards on ebay :) so will install those this spring.
 
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