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So, now that we know it's a 69 400, how does that affect value?
Heres a quote from an interesting article that goes into this a little bit:

"With so many 400 and 455 blocks available, what should Car Craft readers search for when seeking a foundation for their big-cube Pontiac V8 build? We took the question to David Butler of Butler Performance in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for his professional opinion. He advises, "With the exception of the mid- to late-1970s PN 500557 casting, we consider all Pontiac 400 blocks functionally identical. The 455 blocks from 1970 to 1976 are also functionally identical. Core shift can vary run to run, so we check every block casting individually before using it in any application, but we have found that no one 400 or 455 block is better than another beyond the well-known issues with the 500557."

Heres the full article:

Click here!!

Not sure if this really answers your question, but it is good reading...
 

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1970 GTO / 400 / 4 speed
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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
Get the casting date (by the casting number near distr) and 2 letter block code (right under the pass side head).
It's a WT block. What is the additional need for a casting date if I already know it's a 1969? To determine if it was used in a 1969 vs. 1970? Just went and checked. I can make out E for May and 23 for the day of the month but the last one has me stumped. It doesn't look like a 9 for 1969.... more like a 2 or an 8. (Closer to an 8 under a magnifying glass..) However, the casting code says it is a 69 so I'm not sure what to make of it.

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Looks like you got a ‘68 400, 360hp from a manual car. That casting code was used 68-69. Nice engine.

what heads are on it?
6X heads. Interesting about the casting code. I didn't look past 69 so I didn't realize it was the same code as 68... Thanks for that!
 

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Seeing someone ( System ) getting ready to sell their 400 engine makes me wish I could buy it. I'd buy them all if I could. Poor orphan 400's.

Being in the "good years" for the block and 6X heads being a good candidate for a pump gas engine. You have a nice start for someone wanting to build a good motor. Cant' say much about what they go for. Let the sister trading begin...
 

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You guys are making me want to keep it! LOL....
If you have the space, it may not be a bad idea. A buildable core is pretty hard to find. Yours being a runner is an added bonus. If you go this route, be sure to prep it for storage so it's still good should you need it. A little oil in each plug hole, make sure it's completely drained out, and then tape up any openings to keep rodents out. Easy enough to replace gaskets when/if you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
It's a fine plan but I'd really like to recover the money @Jared. I may kick myself one day but right now the mission creep that's already happened in 2 months of ownership is just unreal....

Plus tonight Christine did no behave herself. I noticed a while back that she only had 2 bolts in the door hinges on the door side. One upper and one lower. Both driver and passenger side were the same. Today a set of hinge bolts came in the mail so I figured hey, it's 85 in the garage with 85% humidity and I've already showered and put on nice clothes for the day but... how hard can it be to add a 4 bolts to each door right? Needless to say, my clothes are in the laundry and I just got out of shower two... and I only added 4 of the 8 missing bolts... and scratched the driver side door with some miss adjustment on try number 397.... So, she is on the naughty list tonight.
 

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It's a fine plan but I'd really like to recover the money @Jared. I may kick myself one day but right now the mission creep that's already happened in 2 months of ownership is just unreal....

Plus tonight Christine did no behave herself. I noticed a while back that she only had 2 bolts in the door hinges on the door side. One upper and one lower. Both driver and passenger side were the same. Today a set of hinge bolts came in the mail so I figured hey, it's 85 in the garage with 85% humidity and I've already showered and put on nice clothes for the day but... how hard can it be to add a 4 bolts to each door right? Needless to say, my clothes are in the laundry and I just got out of shower two... and I only added 4 of the 8 missing bolts... and scratched the driver side door with some miss adjustment on try number 397.... So, she is on the naughty list tonight.
Better get used to this sort of thing. I've owned mine for 10 years now and it's spent way more time on stands than actually moving under it's own power. To add to the equation, Pontiacs are expensive to build and parts availability can be a bit frustrating. I ran into your mission creep when I did my engine a couple years ago. Started with a short block, priced out heads, and set what I thought was a very reasonable estimate for cost. Then the "while I'm in there" and "I didn't realize I'd need this" set in and I went a few thousand $ over budget. By the time I was done, the only parts I reused from the old engine was the bell housing, alternator, power steering pump, fan, brackets, and the pulleys.

Free advice on your car would be to give it a very fine tooth comb look over to see what else the PO didn't put together properly. Missing hinge hardware is a concern and not just for what you found. I would be wondering what else they didn't reassemble properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
They didn't put all the hinge bolts in correctly because it makes the door harder to square up. That is what took me so long last night. Yes, there is plenty of things that are wrong with the car and yes, there is a lot of "while we are in there" going on but I'm having a (mostly) good time. I could have just bought a modern Camaro or Challenger and called it a day but that's not what I (we) wanted. Since my 69 Camaro I've owned any number of sports cars, ATVs, Sleds, RVs, a boat, PWC, etc. I had been purposely putting off skinning my knuckles again for as long as possible and part of me thought it would never happen again. But the wife pushed and I jumped and here we are. Right back were I was at 19 with that POS Camaro... starting from scratch...

I think the thing of it is for me is... I'm a very particular person. I am not starting from scratch because I'm trying to save money. I know all too well that it costs more to build than to buy. But for me it comes down to personalization. I didn't want a numbers matching car that was done or even a restomod done to someone else's taste. I wanted my car. (Kind of like building a house vs. buying one.) Because of this, I'll have nights like last night but in the end, that's what I signed up for and hopefully the end result will be worth the price of admission... 🍻
 

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You guys are making me want to keep it! LOL....
It's a better engine/block than a 428-455. Much stronger mains and better integrity. The only Pontiac block that is stronger is the '59-'63 389 block.

You basically have the best 400 block Pontiac made....best iron, highest nickel content, best casting, and best machining. (1967--74 blocks)

The big journal 421-428-455 blocks have rear main seal issues and crank journal/main saddle issues at RPM.

I would much rather run a 400 or a stroked 400 block. I've been driving these cars for the past 45-ish years steadily. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Sooooo.... I've gotten a ton of great info in this thread but the one thing that keeps being left out (other than the 2k suggestion on page one) is the reason I started the thread... A listing price... 🍻
 

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They didn't put all the hinge bolts in correctly because it makes the door harder to square up. That is what took me so long last night. Yes, there is plenty of things that are wrong with the car and yes, there is a lot of "while we are in there" going on but I'm having a (mostly) good time. I could have just bought a modern Camaro or Challenger and called it a day but that's not what I (we) wanted. Since my 69 Camaro I've owned any number of sports cars, ATVs, Sleds, RVs, a boat, PWC, etc. I had been purposely putting off skinning my knuckles again for as long as possible and part of me thought it would never happen again. But the wife pushed and I jumped and here we are. Right back were I was at 19 with that POS Camaro... starting from scratch...

I think the thing of it is for me is... I'm a very particular person. I am not starting from scratch because I'm trying to save money. I know all too well that it costs more to build than to buy. But for me it comes down to personalization. I didn't want a numbers matching car that was done or even a restomod done to someone else's taste. I wanted my car. (Kind of like building a house vs. buying one.) Because of this, I'll have nights like last night but in the end, that's what I signed up for and hopefully the end result will be worth the price of admission... 🍻
Preaching to the choir, sounds exactly like my story but less toys. I sold my two goats for a nice downpayment on a house and put the thought of cars away and also thought I would never have one again. We put our time and money into kids and our dream of buying property and building our dream house before our oldest started school...mission accomplished but then it was doing everything to the house by myself i.e. landscaping, patio, finish basement, build bar...for medicinal purposes 😉 Then the dreaded college tuition of two which strapped us for 6 years, but I never lost the bug. I would look at cars sometimes and freak out at the prices and thought I'll never have one, I would feel selfish spending that much on me but I married an angel that said go for it once the last tuition bill was paid, then I found this car exactly 30 years from selling my first two. She said you gave up the cars you built and loved for us and put everything into the house and kids...but I still wasn't sure and almost got sick when I won the bid ! Little did I nor her know it was just the entrance to the rabbit hole 😀
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Preaching to the choir, sounds exactly like my story but less toys. I sold my two goats for a nice downpayment on a house and put the thought of cars away and also thought I would never have one again. We put our time and money into kids and our dream of buying property and building our dream house before our oldest started school...mission accomplished but then it was doing everything to the house by myself i.e. landscaping, patio, finish basement, build bar...for medicinal purposes 😉 Then the dreaded college tuition of two which strapped us for 6 years, but I never lost the bug. I would look at cars sometimes and freak out at the prices and thought I'll never have one, I would feel selfish spending that much on me but I married an angel that said go for it once the last tuition bill was paid, then I found this car. She said you gave up the cars you built and loved for us and put everything into the house and kids...but I still wasn't sure and almost got sick when I won the bid ! Little did I nor her know it was just the entrance to the rabbit hole 😀
We had been looking on the Chevy side of things casually for a bit but the prices were just too high. Then I started to notice something. The exact same car in the same condition in the same model year in Pontiac form was about 1/2 to 2/3 the price. So, compare a GTO to a Chevelle SS or a Firebird to a Camaro and the savings was substantial. Unfortunately, as you all know, the parts to build could be the opposite and cost twice as much.... but you still come out a bit cheaper in the end and have something more unique. I'm happy with our decision... Plus I got to meet (virtually) all of you fine folks... 🍻

We did end up selling a few toys after the GTO came home. We had a pair of CanAm Spyders that got used little and once the car got here, the dust started piling up on them. So, it was time.
 

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Does the fact that it's complete from pan to air cleaner with all accessories/brackets/pulleys and the fact that it's currently running help?
Like I previously mentioned I must have found a sucker or a guy with money because I got 2300.00 for a 1970 small valve head 455 with a rod knock! It included the p/s, alternator, pulleys, flywheel with worn clutch, a Chinese HEI dist, new stock chrome vc's but no carb and some more parts but stilll.
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