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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a 1971 Lemans. I really wanted a 67 but I couldn’t pass up on a hell of a deal.
Let me start off by saying I’ve only been part of one other forum (which was off road based) so I’m getting use to the layout and search features of this site. I am also not your average new guy. I have plenty of fabrication tools and skills but have minimal experience with the specifics on older cars. The problem is I’m cheap and want to get a reliable driver for a decent price.

Thanks

My main question is, I have a chance to buy a WS6 with a 6speed without a title cheap. I can handle the engine and trans swap no problem. My question is how much of the 4th gen can I use on lemans?
Front suspension?
Brakes?
Rear axle?
Seats?


I understand anything could be made to work I’m just wondering if anything will switch over relatively easy so buying the entire Ws6 is worth it as opposed to just swapping motor and trans.
 

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"...The problem is I’m cheap..."

Yeah, that's why most guys don't use a Pontiac engine.


I'd recommend going with a Pontiac V8, or selling the car to someone who will. If you want late model power, use a late model body.

Just because you have the skill to make it work, don't make it right.

There are still a few of us old Pontiac freeks(or farts if you prefer) who don't appreciate guys buying an old Pontiac, then using an engine that was never offered in that body style. So, I think a '71 Lemans should have a 350, 400, or 455 Pontiac engine. Or, if you want even more power, you can go with an aftermarket Pontiac block, 500+ cubes, and 700+ pump gas hp, if you want that much.

But, as somebody usually says, on these forums, it's your money & your car, so do what you want with it. Just don't expect all of the older Pontiac forum members to be happy with your engine choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Car has rust. Trunk pan and rear quarter have been replaced (poorly) the original motor is long gone. It does however have a Pontiac 400 in it that has been warmed up. Intake, carb, msd ign...

I understand your concern on the drivetrain. But I bought this car cause it’s a driver and it will be driven a lot on road trips with my 2 children. I need it to be reliable.
Even if I don’t swap engine, I was actually very surprised how well it cruises at 70 and kind of fell in love with the 400 on my first trip in it, the drum brakes and suspension are shot so they will be getting replaced. Why not upgrade them to something safer/better in the process?
 

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You all ready have a reliable driver!!! Like any motor if done right the Pontiac power plant is rock solid reliable, able to be pushed to 400HP/420TQ without too much investment, and CI/CI will outperform any similarly set up SBC in any category. if its running why would you want to put a sub par cookie cutter SBC in to replace a high torque Pontiac. You will hear all about how pontiac motors overheat and are hard to tune...from chevy guys who, dont know how to clearance and install a Pontiac water pump and fan shroud, and put the wires on in reverse because they dont know the rotor spins the opposite way and fires different than a chevy.
Mine with dual quads, 462CI , high lift cam starts every time with a pump of the pedal in 3-4 rotations no matter how long since driven. with a 165 thermostat and factory clutch fan with "correct Pontiac shroud" I have sat in Woodward dream cruise stop and go for 2 hrs and never had it get over 175. It is more reliable than my two 2019 vehicles...lol. The Moral is, Pontiacs are made to be pontiac powered, You can learn all the intricacies on here from us that have done them before you , all you need to do is ask and search previous posts as all these "quirks" of our Proprietary power plants have been discussed in depth.

Looks like you have a great foundation and a classy color scheme all ready. I would get the motor cleaned up and running right, (you will be even more impressed). Wash and drive it in the patina it has earned over the years before you make any major decisions. You'll be surprised at how many people LOVE an honest vehicle that shows its use. And the more you drive and unlock the raw power in the Pontiac motor you will forget all about those SBC's...drive and have fun thats what its all about!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Seems like you guys are on the defensive about LS swaps. Understandable considering everything has an LS swapped in now. Regardless this is going to get driven from Orlando to Birmingham multiple times a year. If the 400 (which is not original motor) proves to be reliable it will stay in the car for some time as I’m not looking to tear apart something I just got.

However the main part of the question seems to be getting ignored because we are on the “I hate LS bandwagon” if the motor gets swapped or not the suspension is getting upgraded and the drums are coming off for disk so I can feel comfortable letting my family drive it.
With the donor car being a ws6 I was wondering if suspension components and brakes could be used. Which some would argue is more pure then putting after market parts on.
 

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Looks to have potential, but........

Eddyj: "But I bought this car cause it’s a driver and it will be driven a lot on road trips with my 2 children. I need it to be reliable."

PJ: I am baffled as to where this asinine Myth that a Pontiac engine is somehow not reliable.

I would really like someone to tell me specifically, and with unequivocal proof, that a Pontiac engine is not reliable! Really, this is BS that gets my panties in a wad and then some.

You stated you are looking for a driver and it will be driven on road trips. OK, so build the engine aimed at road trips, a common sense horsepower output and RPM range, not one that is aimed at street/strip, turn 6,000 RPM's, runs 3.55 rear gears and spins 3,200 RPM's at a highway 70 MPH for long periods of time.

The Myth comes from the "other" makes owners who favor their make - not from a real Pontiac owner/enthusiast. It may also be a residual statement left over from the days when Pontiac was dominating the street scene. I did not say drag racing - no question Mopar had that sewed up and one of the reasons the NHRA changes the Heads Up rules and you raced against the time you posted and the car closer to that posted time would win, thus a Hemi Cuda could be seen racing a Ford Pinto and the Pinto win the match!

I have this really neat book called Wards 1968 Automotive Yearbook. It is a yearly publication that gives you all the automotive, truck, buses, and import car totals as well as breaking them down by model. Just for giggles, for 1967, the total known number of all PONTIAC automobiles registered in the US was 583,198.

Chevrolet had the highest total of registered cars with 1,359,662 with Ford in second with 1,179,932. No surprise there as both had base models far cheaper than Pontiac and Chevy & Ford had more dealerships and a better nationwide network. BUT, the amazing thing is that PONTIAC sales come in at 1/2 of what Chevy and Ford show registered. Hmmmm, not dependable? Then why so many still on the road?

The next make behind Pontiac in 4th place is Buick with 395,544. That's 187,654 behind Pontiac, so almost a difference of 200,000 cars. Hmmmmm. Pontiac's aren't reliable???

Taking this further, let's compare 1967 new cars manufactured of competing or adversary models. The Chevy Chevelle - 369,133. Ford Mustang - 472,121. Pontiac Tempest - 301,069. Next closest rival? Oldsmobile F-85 - 251,461. Pontiac Tempest for 1966 produced 359,098 cars. Hmmmmm. Chevy and Ford sales are once again, no surprise. Pontiac on the other hand, well, they must have fudged on their production numbers BECAUSE we all know how unreliable a Pontiac engine is.

Have in hand a neat report put out by Buick. They wanted a share of the market in the upper end "graphics" cars of what they called the "A" Car Line . They used 1969 production numbers. The top 4 were: Chevelle - 457,039. Torino - 350,088. Tempest - 286,878. F-85 - 283,878. Holy Crap Batman! Do I see the Tempest line still at number 3 after all these years? No Robin, that's obvious the dubious doings of the Penguin in a diabolical scheme to take over Gotham with Chevies and Fords. Hmmmm. Even Buick saw things for what it was. And how many Skylarks were sold in 1969? 235,093.

Thus enter the Buick GSX (base price $4171.00) as a model offering to go against the GTO Judge (base price $3376.00), Olds W-30 (base price $3757.00), Torino Cobra (base price $3073.00), and they threw in the Charger R/T (base price $3484.00) also as a comparison car. (Base Price is the list price the car is sold by the dealer, not Dealer Net which the dealer purchases the car for - GSX Dealer Net was $3269.17)

Wow! If that darn Judge had just been more dependable. BS! Apparently Buick thought it pretty good, good enough to come up with the GSX and its extra cost Stage 1 455CI option in an attempt to spank that GTO Judge and its RA IV option.

Have I made my point yet? Anyone who tells you that a PONTIAC engine is not reliable, is the ENEMY, talking out their butts, is jealous, or simply wants to sell you on a corporate engine that never went into a Pontiac and rationalize it with you because it is a GM engine and Pontiac is a GM car. I want some of that Koolaide to drink too, and maybe the world will be a happy place. :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Still not one mention of the original question?!?
So I feel like you guys need a safe place where you can get all your hate out. Feel free to use my thread as your personal rant room, after that can we get back to the question at hand?
lot of built up hostility on this forum...
 

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Still not one mention of the original question?!?
So I feel like you guys need a safe place where you can get all your hate out. Feel free to use my thread as your personal rant room, after that can we get back to the question at hand?
lot of built up hostility on this forum...
Apples and oranges. No on here that I know of has used a WS6 car to do such a swap. Putting two different platforms together is called fabrication.

You are better to break it down into components. Will a 6-speed fit? Sure, you make it fit. Will it bolt up and in, doubt it.

Will the rear end fit? Probably not, completely different control arm set-up.

Will front the brakes work? They might. You will have to look into possible conversions. The key is the spindles and of course rim size to clear rotors/calipers.

Will your geometry be off? Maybe, depending on spindles used.

Will the engine work? They make adapter mounts.

So the bottom line? You can make anything work/fit. Will it bolt in? Doubt it. If you have deep pockets, go the WS6 and fabrication route. If not, go with factory as it was designed.

If you want to go WS6, I would honestly go to a Chevelle site and see if any of them have swapped parts from same year Camaro to Chevelle of the same year (1971) as they will have the same frame and assume a Camaro of the same year WS6 will use the same platform - so if this has been done on a Chevelle forum, you are in luck.

This is more a Pontiac forum and not a hybrid forum as we are slightly bent on keeping our Pontiac's powered by a Pontiac 326-455 engine. Upgrades to transmissions, suspensions, brakes, etc. fall into "resto-mod" and even safety, so this is done and acceptable without the whippings. :yesnod:

We also would not put a Pontiac 455 in a Chevelle LS454, LS3 in a Hemi Cuda, Ford Pinto engine in a 428 Shelby because it is still a Ford. There are unwritten rules and unspoken words when building some muscle cars. Salvage cars, rusted out buckets, and bringing a totalled out Pontiac from the dead back to life gets a little more leeway on how it is powered, but it'll still be strongly suggested on this forum to go Pontiac power.
 

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"...My question is how much of the 4th gen can I use on lemans?
Front suspension?
Brakes?
Rear axle?
Seats?"


If I understand your question, you wanna know how many items off a 4th gen F-body can be used on a '71 Lemans. The short answer is: almost nothing will just bolt on.

The rear end is a little 7.5" thing. Not many guys want 'em in a high performance app. The Lemans came with an BOP 8.2". An upgrade is an 8.5", which came in a FEW early '70's Olds & Buick A-bodies. Next up would be a GM 12-bolt, like those that came in big block Chevelles, in the late '60's & very early '70's. They're now hard to find & overpriced. Next up would be an aftermarket 9" Ford.

The Lemans is a full frame car. None of the 4th gen F-body suspension parts will work.

BUT, if a guy has good fab skills & all the needed tools, he can MAKE, MODIFY, and otherwise FORCE things to work, which under normal circumstances would not. Race car guys have proved this, for years. They build the chassis, then make the body fit that. Lots of drag cars look fairly stock, from the outside, but underneath are either "back half" or full tube chassis cars, with ladder bar or 4-link rear suspension.

So, build it like you want it. Then tell everybody how easy it is to do, if they have the necessary skills.

Hey, you might build the very first '71 Lemans, which has 4th gen F-body suspension, front & rear.

I've seen GTO bodies on a jacked up 4WD truck chassis. Lots of possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like you better with the sarcasm.
I just got done febbering a off-road rig from scratch. I’m not looking to get back into another 2 year build. I’m using this thing until something breaks then I will upgrade. Just trying to get a game plan and had a heck of a deal on a ws6 with “title problems” thought it might be a good donor car. Usually “hot rod” guys know all the tricks, about swapping to newer stock upgrades and keeping the cost low.
It seems like anymore everyone just orders the cheapest tubular whatever off eBay then bitch cause it’s junk.
 

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I like you better with the sarcasm.
I just got done febbering a off-road rig from scratch. I’m not looking to get back into another 2 year build. I’m using this thing until something breaks then I will upgrade. Just trying to get a game plan and had a heck of a deal on a ws6 with “title problems” thought it might be a good donor car. Usually “hot rod” guys know all the tricks, about swapping to newer stock upgrades and keeping the cost low.
It seems like anymore everyone just orders the cheapest tubular whatever off eBay then bitch cause it’s junk.

One of the reasons many here will steer you towards Ponitac parts is that they are less hassle because they bolt back into factory places. Once you begin to change items from a non-factory fit, you may run into trouble. If you have all the shop tools, have the experience to fabricate, modify, or fit non-factory items, then all the better. But most owners want a fairly straight forward remove and replace installation. Even these can cause headaches and not fit as advertised or flat out don't work. We have seen this a number of times and sometimes, the forum members can't help.

If you want to throw an LS engine in your car, go ahead, its your car. But it is not necessarily cheaper as some claim, and not as easy as bolting it in and go with it. If you are trying to get a 1st Gen A-body to handle/ride/and get the gas mileage of a contemporary car, then expect to shell out a lot of money. Better yet, buy a new manufacture chassis designed to use all the modern upgrades to give you that ride/handling and mount the body to that frame. But when its all said and done, you have missed out on enjoying a part of history as the car was built.

If I installed a diesel engine under the steel skin of a steam engine, would it still be a steam engine and would it give me all the sounds & feelings of what the steam engine originally was? Trying to justify the swap because it gets better mileage with a diesel, I don't have to fill it with water or coal, it doesn't smoke and throw cinders out the stack, its lower maintenance, its smoother running, and its quieter. Well, the whole experience of riding the rail being pulled by a steam engine has been lost, so why ride it when I can ride an engine designed and manufactured as a diesel from day 1? Same with our old cars. If you are going to put a completely different engine under the hood, the experience of what was a Pontiac is not there and it is no longer a Pontiac anymore than a steam engine with a diesel is still a steam engine.
 
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