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Engine build

 
1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/25/12
03:00 PM

I have a 68 firebird 400, 4 speed muncie transmission with a two bbl carb, new dual exhaust with flomaster 40's, new performance flex fan other than that its pretty much stock. I want it to have a great increase torque well remaining a street car(on an average joe budget). I was looking to start building it. Now I was thinking aluminum heads, camshaft complete kit (lifters ect), 4 bbl carb, a new intake manifold, and lastly some headers. I have a couple questions-how do i know the right combination of those upgrades and will i need new pistons and other engine upgrades as well to handle the increase in power. some input and advice would be great because i want to do this right the first time.  
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idrivejunk idrivejunk
Addict | Posts: 5148 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/25/12
04:58 PM

Welcome aboard, you're in the right place. I'm mostly a bodyman but I can help you get started. The engine helper guys will want to know which engine castings you have, particularly the cylinder heads. There are common recipies but each car is different. Here is a link to a site that can help you establish exactly what you're working on:

http://www.pontiacpower.net/castnum01.html  
idrivejunk

mb68bird mb68bird
Enthusiast | Posts: 468 | Joined: 06/10
Posted: 04/25/12
05:32 PM

What are your overall intentions for the car. Do you want a complete factory look and a maintenance free 150K mile engine that you can drive every day or do you want to get more radical with after market intake manifold,carb...etc. and have a bit more maintenance.
In factory stock form a Pontiac can be built to perform very well and be reliable.
If you plan on drag racing the car on the weekends it could be at the opposite end of the scale.  

1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
08:22 AM

yeah i dont plan on drag racing or anything, maybe a race at a stop and go light here in there i just want a real well performing engine and i dont mind maintenance as long as its nothing major like a blown motor. and i like to order the parts out of classicindusteries magazine just because i trust it and there reasonable. and im going to check the block sometime today. and i dont care for the factory look when it comes to the engine bay, but i wouldnt mind getting beefier suspension if i need  it.  
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Brazil Brazil
Addict | Posts: 3951 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 04/26/12
09:28 AM

Welcome to the forum 1968_pontiac.400!

Is your Firebird currently running? If your going to go for the expensive goodies you probably should have the block and heads checked over by a reliable machine shop... magna-fluxed, checked for any cracks, see what extent the cylinder walls may have been previously over-bored. Just in general what condition it's in.

If everything checks out OK, just send us the casting numbers and we'll help you get started. Don't spring for headers yet - that gets into a different catagory.

One thing I would suggest while you have the engine out is to update the original drum brakes. Extra torque comes with extra need to stop!  

1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
09:50 AM

yeah its currently running well, and yes i agree! i was planning on putting a front disc brake conversion kit in before these other upgrades. and im having trouble locating the block id #. to make this more interesting my dad (past owner of car) said the motor was actual a 400 out of a 72 pontiac grand prix  
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78gp455 78gp455
User | Posts: 72 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
10:10 AM

Icon Quote1968_pontiac.400:
yeah its currently running well, and yes i agree! i was planning on putting a front disc brake conversion kit in before these other upgrades. and im having trouble locating the block id #. to make this more interesting my dad (past owner of car) said the motor was actual a 400 out of a 72 pontiac grand prix

The Block ID should be just to the left of the timing chain cover/water pump before the head. You will see 2 letters and  then a series of number (8 I think). If its not the stock engine you probably want to look at the head numbers which are on top of the center exhaust ports. If you want to know when the block was made you can find the date code next to the distributor shaft on the block. All these numbers will help to determine exactly what you have.  
_________________
There is no replacement for Displacement.
Real cars dont power the front wheels, they lift them!

78 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1970 455 YH HO, 6X-8 Heads, .476 Lift Comp Cam, Dual Plane Performer Intake, 600 CFM Edlebrock, TH400

1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
10:23 AM

the head number on top of the exhaust port says 6. idk if there are suppose to be more numbers, it is kind of hard to read as well because of rust from all the heat. and the date code appears to be different on both sides- L138  and the other side L149 or L146 i dont know a 100% like i said some of it is hard to read. does this help?  
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Pontiacman8 Pontiacman8
Moderator | Posts: 5777 | Joined: 02/08
Posted: 04/26/12
10:32 AM

6X Head Id  
Engine builder,self taught auto body guy.
Horsepower sells engines and torque wins races

Pontiacman8
Pontiacman8
Pontiacman8

1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
11:23 AM

alright i got the # stamped on the block next to the timing cover it reads- 29B199134  
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tuffnuff tuffnuff
Moderator | Posts: 2567 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/26/12
11:56 AM

This is where your numbers can be found.,. at the very bottom of the block.

Numbersmatchvin

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
12:02 PM

yeah that is where i got it from, does the code i gave above help?  
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tuffnuff tuffnuff
Moderator | Posts: 2567 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/26/12
12:26 PM

OK, that is the right code, but I can't help you with that because all my #'s are on my laptop and it needs repair.
Pman, GtoJack or several other members can help you with the #'s.,. be patient.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

1968_pontiac.400 1968_pontiac.400
New User | Posts: 30 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/26/12
12:30 PM

okay thank you I just wanted to make sure. I was getting frustrated because i had to take off the shroud and fan to get that #. just glad it will work for you guys  
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tuffnuff tuffnuff
Moderator | Posts: 2567 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/26/12
12:35 PM

That # coincides with the VIN # on your dash (for a # matching car).,. so hang in there and I know you'll get answers.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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