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Folks,
I am confused. A guy said he has a 70 GTO Judge with a Ram Air 4 engine. I did not realize this was an engine option. I always thought it was an air induction system like cowl induction on a chevelle. Is it an engine option or a body option for the hood scoops? How can you tell if the car came with Ram Air? How can you tell what engine came originally in an older GTO? Trying to learn a new skill.
Kevin
 

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Folks,
I am confused. A guy said he has a 70 GTO Judge with a Ram Air 4 engine. I did not realize this was an engine option. I always thought it was an air induction system like cowl induction on a chevelle. Is it an engine option or a body option for the hood scoops? How can you tell if the car came with Ram Air? How can you tell what engine came originally in an older GTO? Trying to learn a new skill.
Kevin
a real GTO judge with a RA -IV would sell for over 50,000 you caan get info From PHS to see if its real
 

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So I am still not clear. Is this an engine option? Or could you order the ram air package on any engine? This I'm sure becomes important if the motor is not original to the car.
Kevin
 

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Pontiac offered Ram Air engines in Firebirds and GTO's from 67 to 70. They were specific engines for the most part with the RA I, II, and IV having round port heads and the RA III having standard "D" port heads. RA engines usually had better camshafts and exhaust manifolds.

They also made a limited run of Ram Air V engines with tunnel port heads that were only offered over the counter as a crate engine or as components. You could also get over the counter Ram Air induction components for 65 and up GTO's.

I'm certainly no expert on Pontiac Engines but they are a fascinating subject unto themselves and the engineering and politics behind them is a quite storied. From the Super Dutys, Ram Air engines, HO's and even the unique OHC 6 they are very cool powerplants. And these engines make the cars and are inextricably tied to them by VIN numbers and block, head and date codes.

See guy's, I have learned a little since I put a Chevy in my GTO! :lol:
 

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ALKY hit the nail on the head. Check youtube, theres a guy that put a leaf blower on his carb....Now Thats RAM AIR!!!
 

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Yeah, it can get a little confusing to someone who's not familiar with the terminology. There indeed was a "Ram Air" cold air induction system available on some GTO's and Firedbirds. There were also some engines that were named/designated "Ram Air" (and they usually came in a car that also had the "Ram Air" induction system).

So it's both: the name of an intake system and also the name of several different engines.


Bear
 

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"Ram Air" in the GTO's made its first appearance on the 1965 GTO tri-power cars as a dealer or owner installed option. It was a tub that fitted over the three carbs, to which you then bolted down your air cleaners. The tub had a seal that fitted up to the hood, and the hood had a replacement trim piece that was open to provide cool outside air instead of closed off.

In late 1966, the factory produced a few Tri-Power, Ram Air, GTO equipped cars known as "XS" cars after their engine codes. A bigger cam (the 744), stiffer valve springs, close ratio 4-speed, 4.33 gearing, and metallic brakes.

In 1967, the Ram Air option was factory installed and more of a drag package as it was not very street friendly. It was balky on the lower end. This was really the first year where the Ram Air option became more specific to the engine type in that they had special cams, heads, and exhaust manifolds. It was a step above the 360 HP rated HO option, although it retained the same HP rating. You got a bigger cam, improved heads, the carb tub (now a Q-jet) with open hood scoop, manual or auto trans, and it came from the factory with 4.33 gearing only. It ran best between 3,000 - 6,000 RPM's. Production was 751 cars.

In 1968, engine options for the 360 HP were the HO and Ram Air. The "Ram Air I" designation is not a factory name, but one give to this engine by enthusiasts. To make them a bit more streetable, cams were now altered to match the transmission. The HO manual used the 068, automatic the 067. Ram Ar manual used the 744 (used in the '67's), automatic the 068. Again, better heads, exhaust manifolds, carb pan with open hood scoops. New was the 4-bolt main for the Ram Air. In April, the 366 HP Ram Air engine (called Ram Air II by Pontiac enthusiasts) was introduced having forged pistons (only mentioned in one source I have), heads using round port exhausts and the larger matching factory cast iron exhaust manifolds. It introduced the 041 cam for both manual & auto. (used later on the Ram Air IV engines). It too had 4-bolt mains. Gearing was 3.90 with 4.33's optional. Total made, Ram Air I - 808; Ram Air II - 246.

In 1969, the factory introduced its factory named Ram-Air III (366 HP) and Ram Air IV (370 HP) engines. Some of the early RA III's used the 744 cam, but this was changed to the 068 cam for the rest of production. The RA IV used the 041. RA IV used the round port exhaust heads along with an aluminum intake and separate heat cross over, and forged pistons. All had 4 bolt mains. The Ram Air III & IV were an option on the GTO with the RA III standard on the Judge & RA IV optional. Standard gearing by this time was 3.55 with other ratios being optional. Total RA III cars - 8,491; RA IV - 759.

The same engine offerings were available in 1970 along with the introduction of the 455 HO. Total RA III cars - 4,644; RA IV -804; 455 HO -4,206.

Ram Air V was not a production engine, but was offered over the counter by Pontiac.

This is a quick look at the factory installed Ram Air option which can be expanded more fully in detail, but this gives you an idea of what the option was about. It differs from year to year and is based on a specific engine along with the open air hood. The factory gear ratios change through the years so as to be more street friendly rather than race orientated.
 

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Didn't the Ram Air engines also have 4 bolt mains and better rods like the SD's?
I mentioned the 4 bolt mains in the 1968 year production, so yes. The rods were still cast iron, just like all other engines. Factory RPM on the Ram Air IV is shown as 5,500 RPM so safe with the factory cast rods and no need for forged, although the engines will no doubt spin higher.
 

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So... how do you tell if the heads are Ram Air III heads. How does one distinguish if the heads are correct?
 

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Start with the 4-character date code on the heads in order to identify their model year. (Remember the engine foundry would "switch over" and start casting the next model year's components around mid-year --- for example, parts cast after about May or June of 1969 would actually be for model year 1970 cars).

Once you know the model year, then check the id code of the heads for that year (several web sites out there carry the information) to figure out what they are.

Bear
 
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