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Discussion Starter #1
I know that there used to be a lot of wild speculation concerning the Pontiac RAV motors. Has it ever been definitively proven whether or not some key dealerships may have gotten RAV cars delivered to them from Pontiac (not necessarliy from the Assembly line) for racing? I know that some dealers installed RAV's themselves...

Also, speaking of ghosts near halloween... How many RAIV SD's were ever put into Pontiacs?
 

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As far as I know, none of the factory SDs have been found. So nothing but theoretical performance is available. The 455 SD was filled with ideas from the Ram Air SD program - main caps, bracing in the lifter valley, thicker saddles and oil pan rails, etc. It was supposed to have the forged RA type crank, too. The 455 SD head was lifted almost exactly from the RA SD. These are actually some of the best flowing heads (at ~240cfm) made. So who knows how they would compare? The 455 used displacement to reduce cost.

I've never heard of Knafel, but if they are pretending to be a COPO-type deal, then they were probably lying. The RA V documentation is pretty air-tight.
 

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If I remember correctly, the 303ci that was part of the Ram Air V development program was rated at 475 hp. That was a full race engine.
 

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Known as the Tunnel Port 400, the RAV was released for service parts only and available only to Pontiac dealers in limited quantities. The engine was developed for performance and durability outside of normal usage -much like the SD421's were. (Chevy offered the over-the-counter LS-7 package while Buick had the Stage II)
Pontiac designed the RAV engine for 6,700-6,800 RPM's.

Block, #545686, was a special casting having:
four bolt mains
thicker bulkheads
cross-ribbing in the lifter gallery
larger distributor hole for special dist. w/larger gear
oil galley holes received 3/8" threaded pipe plugs
the pipe plug near the distrib. got a .030" hole to oil the distrib. gear

Crankshaft, #545671 is forged steel:
3.0" main journals
2.25" rod journals
3.75" stroke
all 5 mains are cross drilled
journals polished
Morraine 400 bearings, mains -grooved top & solid bottom
High-inertia harmonic balancer

Connecting rods, #545855 are forged steel:
balanced and magnafluxed
Nominal weight is 900 grams -265g small end, 635g on big end
Rod uses cap screws instead of bolts & nuts -torqued to 60-65ft lbs
Unique shape as the rod looks more like a large "A"

Pistons are forged, #545856, made by TRW:
Slight dome to give 10.5 to 1 compression
Moly filled cast iron rings
Standard 3/16" oil ring

Cylinder Heads, #546534, cast iron:
Round intake ports, 50% larger in cross sectional area then RAIV
Valve centers repositioned to fit 2.19" valves
Pushrods run through intake ports in sealed tubes
Intake valves are lightweight hollow stem fitted to fully radiused seats
Round exhaust ports
Sodium filled exhaust valves
Stainless steel exhaust valve seat inserts
Valve springs are single spring w/damper spring for over 7,000 RPM's
1.65 rocker arms, positive locks
Special oil deflectors

Camshaft:
Solid-lifter
.520" lift on intake & exhaust
308 duration on intake
320 duration on exhaust
Valve lash is .018" on intakes, .024" on exhaust



Intake manifold, #545288, aluminum round port:
Single 4BBL, designed for mid-range torque with good peak power
No exhaust heat crossover
Heated air is supplied to the carb via to heat stove pipes run off exhaust manifolds

Carb, Holley 800CFM square bore (not a spread bore) with electric choke

Ignition, #1111972, "Mag-Pulse" breakerless distributor:
Larger base and gear
Can be used with either transistor or capacity-discharge amplifiers
Designed to handle any engine speeds

Special cast iron exhaust manifolds, round port

Several of these features found their way onto the SD-455CI

Found this as well, a little more details on the engine:
Lance Kramer’s 1969 Ram Air V Trans Am | First Generation Firebirds
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya but do you know anything about them?


;-)


Wow, thanks for that info. So never a substantiated rumour of a "Factory" or at least Pontiac provided one that made it into the wild....
 

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In my opinion, I don't believe Knafel would be FOS. Along with Royal Pontiac, Knafel Pontiac ran a very successful racing team called the "Tin Indian" that was factory backed. Pontiac supplied a lot of "mysterious" engines and components to perform and win week-in and week-out. Their race cars still exist, but the original motors that they raced with are long gone, which only adds to the rumor speculation. If Knafel said they had one, I would tend to believe, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In my opinion, I don't believe Knafel would be FOS. Along with Royal Pontiac, Knafel Pontiac ran a very successful racing team called the "Tin Indian" that was factory backed. Pontiac supplied a lot of "mysterious" engines and components to perform and win week-in and week-out. Their race cars still exist, but the original motors that they raced with are long gone, which only adds to the rumor speculation. If Knafel said they had one, I would tend to believe, in my opinion.
In fairness, I have read Wanger's book and Milt's book. Knafel seems to come off as a bit jealous and petty in their accounts. Does Knafel have a book? For some reason, the little that I have read about Knafel, he seems like a typical Pontiac "Dealer" as a bit of an exagerator. Not fair, I know but that is the sense I get...
 

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In fairness, I have read Wanger's book and Milt's book. Knafel seems to come off as a bit jealous and petty in their accounts. Does Knafel have a book? For some reason, the little that I have read about Knafel, he seems like a typical Pontiac "Dealer" as a bit of an exagerator. Not fair, I know but that is the sense I get...
Tons and tons of guys make these vague, undocumented claims. You see a car like that at every large show. "It's a factory special. Off the books, of course." Your "dealer" comment was spot on. These men were in sales, not engineering.
 
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