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Welcome - very nice car. Brings back memories of when I had a gold 67 LeMans 326-2bbl w/ Rally I's and 3speed manual on the floor w/ 60/40 split-bench with fold-down armrest.

The link here suggests it's a "2d coupe" based off the VIN. Since it's not a vinyl top, I would think it'd be a "2d hardtop". Are the 2d coupes vinyl tops? What's the difference, if not?
Coupes have frames around the door windows instead of hardtops having none.

o again...I'm growingly undecided as to whether to upgrade this, this or that (including swapping in an LS motor & 6-speed).
THE HORROR!
 

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Welcome to the forum. As I do whenever someone shows with a car that is not a GTO. I beg you to leave it as a Tempest and resist the urge to clone it into a GTO. The three on the floor is definitely a cool option to have. The 326 is a good motor and has potential. Be prepared though, Pontiac engines are a bit pricey compared to their Chevy cousins but they reward you with all that sweet low end torque.

(please, don't LS swap it)
 

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Don't even think about an LS. Enjoy what the car is and work with what you have.

The 3-speed trans is most likely the "Dearborn" Ford 3-speed that was adapted to fit the Pontiac. It is a fully synchronized 3-speed, cast iron case, heavy duty, and a "top loader" just like the desireable Ford top-loader 4-speeds. It is a nice smooth trans and never heard of one breaking, even behind a GTO 400 CI.

Pontiac only has 1 block size, from 1955 on up, NO small block or big block. Bore and stroke changes, as do the main bearing diameter. There is no "medium" block.

The HO 326 uses different heads. Pontiac's typically use a flat top piston. The compression is then adjusted by the size of the combustion chamber, or CC's of the chamber. The lower compression will have a larger combustion chamber.

Can you put a 4-Bbl on the 326? Sure, but you won't get a bunch of gain, just a slight amount. It will be an AFB, typically around 500 CFM's. So you would need matching intake used for 1965-1966, and some 1967's that used the AFB carb. It is a vacuum secondary carb, so it'll only use what it needs versus mechanical secondaries.

Can you improve the power of the 326? Of course. But you will also get many opinions and most will lean towards installing a 400CI, or a stroker kit in a 400CI to get 461-ish cubes, and then go from there. There are of course advantages to using a 400 as your base engine if you want to go that route. The 326 can be made "peppy" and fun, but won't have near the HP/TQ capabilities of the 400. So it boils down to what you want to get out of the car.


My personal opinion is to keep the 326 and put some old "goodies" and modern upgrades into it in an effort to keep it original and, be different from every other Tempest with a transplanted 400, or GTO cloned appearance. But I get it if you want to have a tire shredder and have the finances to put into the engine, trans, rear-end, cooling, and beef up the frame/suspension/brakes. HP/TQ has its costs, and with a Pontiac, not as inexpensive as a Chevy or Ford small block.

Many do the LS swap as they make kits/parts to install them, but they too will add up quick with all the items needed for the install. So it is an option, but you no longer have a Pontiac, you'll have a Chevelle and that kinda defeats the purpose of owning a Pontiac.

Plenty of info on this forum as well as guidance and help when/if you need it. (y)
 

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TK
you just don't see original 55 year old cars like that running around everywhere,they are only original once
I love the car just as it sits , nice find that original window sticker is well preserved
 

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1966 Pontiac Tempest Custom Coupe
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Discussion Starter #27
Yea I was always torn between keeping her true to AS-BUILT.
However, as the years passed I've changed her shoes many times over the years and found the Rally 1's to be the final choice!
That's cool...to see the variety of wheels (on the same car). I do like the #3 photo's look, but agreed...Rallys just look so nice.

Are they 14x6s or 14x7s? The 6" width looks so skinny on my car, a subtle fattening to 7" seems acceptable, at least for the rears.

BTW...nice Sprint 6 Le Mans! And I like the stance too. Would I be correct to think you've lowered the front ~2" (via spindles or springs)? That's just how I want mine...slightly lower in front.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
TK
you just don't see original 55 year old cars like that running around everywhere,they are only original once
I love the car just as it sits , nice find that original window sticker is well preserved
I agree. I usually go straight to modding performance or classic cars, but specifically because this one has obviously been untouched for 5.5% of a millennium, other than a repaint (original color), Rally wheels and fabric reupholstering, I'm feeling like I'd be disrespecting it to go for a resto mod. I'm finding myself liking it for much more than originally (its condition). It's time capsule factor (as pontrc said)...is just too high. At the moment, the most I'm willing to do is a subtle stance enhancement (just looks so much better, I think) by lowering the front end 2" via lowering spindles. I'm not sure I can even change the drivetrain. I was thinking LS swap w/6-speed, leaving everything else as is, but at least for now, I'm digging its originality very much.

Yeah...I love that it came with the original window sticker. Needless to say, it's now in a sheet protector.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
PMD's use of the term COUPE applied to both HT and SPORTS the model number is what is used to define which.

Beautiful. And so, I've got a Tempest Custom Sports Coupe. And...I've got A) Freshly acquired knowledge that at least Pontiac (possibly other GM divisions?) made framed windows and non-framed windows of the same model within the same year (thought it was a model or era specific thing). B) The swirling question in me brainium as to why such variance existed.

Haven't tested the passenger side, but the driver's side window rolls up/down very easily. Though a different animal, the Turbo Regals I owned were frame-free, and had came with the irritating flaw of not sealing properly if attempting to roll up at highway speed. The window would get sucked out just enough to where it left a 1/4" gap at the forward/diagonal area, obviously resulting in lots of wind noise. I can see how the frames negate that possibility. Then again, my '68 Chevelle didn't have frames and don't remember any such issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
TK
you just don't see original 55 year old cars like that running around everywhere,they are only original once
I love the car just as it sits , nice find that original window sticker is well preserved
Agreed...it's original enough to have the (non-power) front drum brakes still in place. However...they're working surprisingly well (this might be the first vehicle I've owned that have front drums). They engage after what feels like less than an inch of pedal action. While I haven't attempted a full lock-up to see if all four lock, it's obvious there's plenty of stopping power.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
I agree it’s too much of a time capsule,l love the way it is 👍
Well...I think I know how get disowned by the purests...modify anything, ha. I fear I might get ousted if I slapped in 2" drop spindles in front or installed 15x7 wheels. I joke. As I alluded earlier, while it was its overall excellent condition that initially attracted me most, now that I've got it, my appreciation for it being so close to original, unrestored condition is way up.

I'm uncertain as to whether it came with dual exhaust from the factory. It's got newer dual exhaust now (with what sounds like OE loudness mufflers; nice sound, but not loud by any means). Just have to fix a minor exhaust leak either at the manifold or mating at the manifold and pipe. Only just detectible, which means...unacceptable.
 

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I understand TK, It’s your car do what you want. Like Jim said the LS thing takes away from what it is.I understand about the wheels, I would upgrade
 

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That's cool...to see the variety of wheels (on the same car). I do like the #3 photo's look, but agreed...Rallys just look so nice.

Are they 14x6s or 14x7s? The 6" width looks so skinny on my car, a subtle fattening to 7" seems acceptable, at least for the rears.

BTW...nice Sprint 6 Le Mans! And I like the stance too. Would I be correct to think you've lowered the front ~2" (via spindles or springs)? That's just how I want mine...slightly lower in front.
Thanks! This what happens when you one for so long, always looking to change it up a bit. The R1 rims are an aftermarket 14X7 with equal size tires on all corners.
As far as Curb height it is factory or extremely close, using all factory suspension. The rear is slightly higher by way of heavier springs, I never liked the dragging a$$ look with the factory rear height on the '66 & '67 A-Bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I understand TK, It’s your car do what you want. Like Jim said the LS thing takes away from what it is.I understand about the wheels, I would upgrade
I've been to a lot of car shows and museums over the years, and always appreciated original condition cars, even unrestored and revealing imperfections. While I may not be the total purest yet, I admit you guys are reviving my appreciation for originality more.

Yep, an LS drivetrain would obviously wipe that out. Of course it would add my value for higher performance, but as I think about it more, I didn't really buy it to have another high HP vehicle. The high today should be over 40 degrees, which means I can wash off the 900 miles of highway towed dirt (it's been torturous looking at in the garage over the last 6 days) and change the oil. First thing I did when the seller started it was go the rear and check for smoking. None, though it definitely had a fairly strong exhaust odor (might be I've just forgotten it's typical of the era of catless, carbed V8s). Anyway, I'll be monitoring how long the oil stays clear. If it doesn't look like black ink after 500 miles, that's good enough for me to believe the motor has lots of life left. It's sure plenty torquey. Point being, I've taken the consideration of an LS swap off the table for now.

And since it's already got Rallye's (vs the original "discs-DLX" hubcaps), might as well just go with a bit wider to subtly sweeten the look. I'm not considering the grandpa look with finding/installing the original hubcaps (as in the old pics).
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Thanks! This what happens when you one for so long, always looking to change it up a bit. The R1 rims are an aftermarket 14X7 with equal size tires on all corners.
As far as Curb height it is factory or extremely close, using all factory suspension. The rear is slightly higher by way of heavier springs, I never liked the dragging a$$ look with the factory rear height on the '66 & '67 A-Bodies.
May I ask why you chose to stick with 14" vs. 15" wheels? I see Summit has 15x7 Rallye I, which would require/allow for a 60-series tire. Is it just that you like the "possibly OE" look of the 14" wheel, 70-series tire combo?

When inspecting the shocks, I saw coil spring spacers (rubber block that sits between two coils) or stiffeners, which is probably a band aide for old, fatigued springs. It's ride is good, but very soft. Fatigued springs and old Gabriel shocks (a tiny bit of rust on them) are surely responsible for the boat-like ride. Fresh springs and KYBs are on the list.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Fluids questions: Should I be adding a lead substitute to the gas? I used to when I had my Chevelle ('89-'99). And any special type of oil other than the proper viscosity (like high zinc content)? I'll also be changing the diff gear oil. I've got the original owner's manual in the glove, so I can refer to that, but it might be limited to the assumption of fluids available during the day. Yes, I know I need gear oil with LSD additive.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Fortunately my 72 came with 14x7 rally II went with a 245 60 14 View attachment 140811
I like that...with BFGs (white lettering out...like that too).

Couldn't help but notice the whitewalls on those old pics. Negative on the whitewalls.
 
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