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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

New member here. Recently purchased a restored 66 GTO. Car is in super condition, unfortunately after a moderate run through the gears last Saturday, she began to knock and oil psi dropped (from 60 to 40). Drained the oil and found lots of metal and copper.... :(

Engine is a 1970 400.

She is parked as I weigh my options. I'll start by saying, I am not an engine mechanic. I am considering the following.

1 - have a local engine rebuilder go through the bottom end. Find what is wrong, flush and replace what is needed. I'm having trouble finding a local "Pontiac specialist" in my area, SE NC.

2 - Locate a builder in region. I've found a guy 3 hrs away with a great reputation. There is even the potential of a 428 replacement engine in the mix with this option.

3 - Go all out with an engine from Butler or Central VA machine. They could use my block, heads (edelbrock RPM) etc. and put together a super goat engine. Obviously this is the high end option$$$


Looking for opinions and advise to get her back up and running strong. I know Butler has a stellar reputation and I have heard good things about CVM. Butler is about 11 hrs away, CVM is about 4 hrs.

I am new to the forum, constructive advise is sincerely appreciated.
 

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DO NOT USE CVM IN VIRGINIA!! We have a complete thread on how he screwed one of our members BIG TIME and others also chimed in with their bad experiences. :00/o:

Glad you got a "restored" GTO - NOT. Bet the seller knew there was a problem? Have you called him up to discuss it with him and see if he is willing to cover some of the rebuild costs? He probably won't of course, but I would sure put him in the hot seat. :yesnod:

Use the engine you have. Take it to a machine shop and let them pull it apart and locate the source of the problem. The more parts you can re-use, the easier it will be on your wallet UNLESS you simply want to go with a different build/combo.

I have heard that Butler is really backed up with engine builds, so it may take some time to get it rebuilt and yes, $$$$.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info on CVM. It is appreciated.

I see you are in NC. Anyone that you would recommend for the engine work? I'm still weighing options.

Thanks
 

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Thanks for the info on CVM. It is appreciated.

I see you are in NC. Anyone that you would recommend for the engine work? I'm still weighing options.

Thanks
I use Greg's Auto Machine out of King's Mountain. He is old school and builds engines of all kinds from stock to blown, flathead to race engines. I know he has customers that come from other states to get work done by him. He (Greg) and his brother (Gary) have been doing it about 40 years. He did all the machine work on my brother's 360 Mopar and did all the machine work on my 455. He currently has my '73 400 block which he is checking out to see if it is useable - bought off Craigslist. He is also working on my buddies 1990 LT1. He is always building something interesting and I visit to see what he's toying with. He always takes the time to let me watch as he works and explains "stuff" as to what is going on. :thumbsup:
 

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I'm not sure exactly what I would do in that case. It's not like you have the original engine to that car. If you did, it would be a no brainer with a rebuild. I think I might be leaning towards looking into a 455. Maybe one already rebuilt or one that is very rebuildable. These motors are out there. Just finding the right one and/or a good rebuilder like you mention. I often think about taking out the original 400 motor in my '71 GTO and putting in a nicely built 455. Something with much more power. If it blows, so what. But, haven't done it yet. I'm always looking for 455's at local shows/flea markets. Want to avoid shipping cost and I would want to see the motor in person. Best wishes with whatever you decide.
 

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I'm not sure exactly what I would do in that case. It's not like you have the original engine to that car. If you did, it would be a no brainer with a rebuild. I think I might be leaning towards looking into a 455. Maybe one already rebuilt or one that is very rebuildable. These motors are out there. Just finding the right one and/or a good rebuilder like you mention. I often think about taking out the original 400 motor in my '71 GTO and putting in a nicely built 455. Something with much more power. If it blows, so what. But, haven't done it yet. I'm always looking for 455's at local shows/flea markets. Want to avoid shipping cost and I would want to see the motor in person. Best wishes with whatever you decide.
Why would you look for a 455 when you already have a good & known engine that can be easily brought up to 461CI with a stroker kit? A no-brainer in my book. Hard to find a good 455 and most will have large chamber heads which you most likely won't use. So all you basically are buying is the short block and you have to hope it passes magnafluxing inspection and is not so beat on that you could need extra work to get it back to spec.

Stroker kits are the most cost effective and you get forged rods/pistons plus use the smaller main journal size of the 400CI and smaller rod journals to fit the Chevy rods = bigger HP/Torque and more RPM's with greater safety. :thumbsup:
 

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Good question PontiacJim. I guess I am somewhat fearful of stroking my numbers matching engine and having it blow up. I'm thinking with another motor, I don't care if I launch it. Maybe another 400 would be the way to go instead of a 455.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm waiting for a some quotes from Butler. Looking at this as an opportunity to get the right build in the goat... :)
 

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Good question PontiacJim. I guess I am somewhat fearful of stroking my numbers matching engine and having it blow up. I'm thinking with another motor, I don't care if I launch it. Maybe another 400 would be the way to go instead of a 455.
Yep, a 400 is easier to find, but still takes looking, and the stroker kit will accomplish the bigger cubes/HP/TQ with all good forged parts and the smaller mains/rod journals for a little less worry at higher RPM twisting. Butler has a good deal on the kits and they fully balance them which is a plus. Just build for around 9.0 or slightly more compression with iron heads if you want to run on pump gas. (You can go more if you live at a higher altitude where the air is less dense and more compression is needed to compensate)
 

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Consider looking into Len Williams engines if you want to just 'plug and play'. He has an excellent reputation in Pontiac crate engines ready to go, and is downright reasonable. Reviews of his engines can be found on the AMES Performance Years forums. Since you don't have a #'s engine anyway, it is certainly an option. I think his 455's go for about $3500--$4000 ready to run.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guys ,

I really appreciate the replies. I'm still gathering information. Should have quote in hand today from Butler. Butler will be the high end option. The cost is stout but I believe it would be a top shelf engine option. The thing that bothers me most is wait time. 3-4 months for a short block, 5-6 months for a turnkey engine. That is a long time for the Goat to sit... :(


A local machine shop has given me a quote. They have a good local reputation and have done a few Pontiacs, but the shop is dirty (like really dirty) and that scares me a bit. My preference is a Pontiac specialist.

I will look into Len Williams.

During my research, I keep seeing engines from a company called "blue monkey". Ant feedback or experience with these guys?


Again, thanks. It is great to have a resource like this forum.
 

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Consider looking into Len Williams engines if you want to just 'plug and play'. He has an excellent reputation in Pontiac crate engines ready to go, and is downright reasonable. Reviews of his engines can be found on the AMES Performance Years forums. Since you don't have a #'s engine anyway, it is certainly an option. I think his 455's go for about $3500--$4000 ready to run.
I agree with Geeteeohguy..... Len Williams should be at the top of your list 455 Long Block

Just for reference / comparison, the quotes I have to rebuild my heads are almost have what his complete motor costs (w/o core fee). While I agree and respect PontiacJim's opinion on stroking the 400 to 461 as a viable and affordable option, unless you are doing all the work yourself, it will cost you as much if not more than buying a complete motor from Len Williams.

455 vs 461 cu in. - I doubt most would be able to tell the difference. Most of the serious horsepower will be made / lost in the head.
 

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Guys,

I talked to Len Williams AND received my quote from Butler today. Yesterday I spent probably 30 mins on the phone with a fellow at Butler and today about the same time on the phone with Len. The Butler quote is for a 461 stroker (turnkey), using my block, heads, intake and carb and includes break-in and dyno test (cool to have that sheet). I talked to Len about both a "stock" 400 build using my block, heads and intake and about a stroker build. The Butler build should come in around 500hp and 580 lb ft tq. Len was talking numbers a little lower (stroker) at around 425/500, not quite turnkey (I would install distributor/carb/all bolt ons).

To be honest, Len came off as more knowledgeable. The guy at butler knew his stuff but Len was straight up and on point.

I'm trying to justify spending 2.5 times the money and waiting twice as long for a Butler build. Is it really that much better or is there some "I've got a Butler" markup??


Once again, I appreciate the insight that you guys have shown me.
 

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I'm also in the market for a engine build. I was just checking out Lens Williams link. This might be a serious option for me. My plans had been to get a stroker kit for the 400 block and top end kit from Butler with aluminum heads but it would cost almost as much as a complete Butler stroker.....around 10 grand, just don't know if I want to spend that much. My second option was to get forged pistons and rods and use the stock crank but that is almost as much as the stroker kit.....But now seeing Len Williams 400 aluminum head for less than 8 grand, I might have to call them and speak about it, tell them my trans and rear gears and see what they say.
Thanks
 

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Hello all,

New member here. Recently purchased a restored 66 GTO. Car is in super condition, unfortunately after a moderate run through the gears last Saturday, she began to knock and oil psi dropped (from 60 to 40). Drained the oil and found lots of metal and copper.... <img src="http://www.gtoforum.com/images/smilies/frown.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Frown" class="inlineimg" />

Engine is a 1970 400.

She is parked as I weigh my options. I'll start by saying, I am not an engine mechanic. I am considering the following.

1 - have a local engine rebuilder go through the bottom end. Find what is wrong, flush and replace what is needed. I'm having trouble finding a local "Pontiac specialist" in my area, SE NC.

2 - Locate a builder in region. I've found a guy 3 hrs away with a great reputation. There is even the potential of a 428 replacement engine in the mix with this option.

3 - Go all out with an engine from Butler or Central VA machine. They could use my block, heads (edelbrock RPM) etc. and put together a super goat engine. Obviously this is the high end option$$$


Looking for opinions and advise to get her back up and running strong. I know Butler has a stellar reputation and I have heard good things about CVM. Butler is about 11 hrs away, CVM is about 4 hrs.

I am new to the forum, constructive advise is sincerely appreciated.
I'm not sure on your knowledge of the Pontiac motor . If I were you I would read as many thread you can on this forum and PY. I would also buy Rocky Romanalli and the best book on the market Pontiac v8 by Jim Hands( crazy money as no longer in press but you can find that used). I think my spelling on rocky last name may be incorrect. After you get them spend a week reading the forums and these books and you will fell better taking it to local shops . The Pontiac motor is different than the Chevy buta good builder with a CLEAN shop can do a great job.This is what I did and found a local shop who built a fantastic motor for s lot less than Williams or Butler with close to the same power. I just don't see spending over 10000/12000 on a motor that can be built with all the best forged parts fora lot less. I know some won't agree and I wish you the best. I just think that educating yourself will make you feel better with your decisions no matter what it is . Doug
 

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I have a lot of trouble beating the Len Williams price and quality. IMHO, you won't find a better deal - $5K for a built 455 and you get to keep your stock, numbers matching motor wrapped in a bag. As I have stated before, most would never be able to tell the difference power wise between a 461 & a 455. If you want crazy power, then get the 455 built bottom and aluminum heads.

Have fun!
 

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I have a lot of trouble beating the Len Williams price and quality. IMHO, you won't find a better deal - $5K for a built 455 and you get to keep your stock, numbers matching motor wrapped in a bag. As I have stated before, most would never be able to tell the difference power wise between a 461 & a 455. If you want crazy power, then get the 455 built bottom and aluminum heads.

Have fun!
The 455 short block is said to be a 400 block fitted with crank/rods to make a 455. Whereas the 455 long block is a 455 block. I would not opt for the factory prepped rods, so you would want to step up to the eagle crank/rods which puts you at $5300. Then there will be shipping which is not cheap. Adding all the items not included on the engine, you could still see 7-8K depending if you used what you had on hand or went with new along with the new engine. Now should there be a problem, and Len seems to have a good rep, you would then have to ship it back for re-work and ship it back to yourself. If you have a local guy, you save any shipping costs and you can go directly to him with your problem - and that to me is worth saving all the shipping and grief problems IF they should arise.

The 425HP with 9.25 compression is a good figure I like.

There is a difference between a 400 block based 460 and a 455 block based 462. First of course is the problem with the rear main seals. Seems the 400 has less problems. Next is the journal size. The smaller 400 mains are a better choice for higher RPM's if you choose to spin higher. On the rods, you can get stock or go with the smaller Chevy journals based on crank/rod choice - again, safer at higher RPM's with the smaller journals if you want an engine to wind tight and take advantage of some of the aftermarket high flowing aluminum heads & intakes.

So apples and oranges until you know what power range & RPM's you want out of the engine, and whether you plan on iron heads or aftermarket aluminum.

For fun and I am no expert on pricing, but as an example, lets go with a Butler stroker kit for the 400C1 which makes it a 460. Cost is $1900. I had my iron heads rebuilt with all new and 3 angle valve job - $1100. So we are at $3000 for rotating assembly & heads. Lets select a Comp Cams cam/lifters kit - $200. Now $3200. Stock type pushrods - $40.00 Cam bearings - $35.00. Total now is $3275. Mellings oil pump & screen - $55.00. Hardened oil pump shaft - $29.00. Felpro Gasket set - $120.00 Total now is $3475. New balancer - $50.00 Total now is $3525.00 Timing gear/chain - $55.00 (double roller). Grand total - $3580.00

OK, if I got this right, it looks like I have all the parts for the 460CI shortblock assembly & heads. Cost looks to be about $3600.00.

What is needed is a 400CI block/engine which I will figure on about $500, so up to $4100. Then boring/honing the 8 cylinders - $200. Add hot tank & magnaflux block - $100. We are up to $4400. Need to install cam bearings & freeze plugs (55.00?)

So with what we have, it appears to be around $4455.00 for our 460CI shortblock with the owner doing assembly and adding the water pump. distributor, intake, and carb of choice. Looks about $840 less than Len Williams plus shipping costs. Keep in mind that any parts purchased typically have shipping costs attached, so the do-it-yourself guy may find that the savings is minimal as compared to buying an assembled engine - and no hassles of having to do the assembly. The real loss in pricing may be in the shipping, and of course, not having the engine builder right around the corner if something goes sour.

Based on a stroked 460 CI as compared to the Len Williams 455 long block price, this price could be lowered or increased depending on what the owner wanted to re-use, ie valves, spring retainers, hypereutectic pistons instead of forged, forged I-beams instead of H-beams, etc. or increased with forged crank, milling block, line boring, aluminum heads, etc.. A stock 400CI would also lower the overall costs and perhaps get the price down closer to $3200 - $3500.

Just my opinion, of course. But building a Pontiac engine, no matter what the cubic inch, is not inexpensive as even I have found out - Ouch!. :thumbsup:
 

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Shipping is a few hundred to Cali....So with the forged components, shipped you are are more like $5600 (most). OP has the additional items, distributor, carb, etc., so that should not add to the cost. Either way it is not cheap, but it is not $10K + either.
 
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