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Author Topic:   successful with a pontiac???
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted December 18, 2002 02:41 AM
I'm new to this page and have learned alot by reading some of these posts. After reading most posts from the last year i was shocked to find that almost nobody races pontiac engines. In the 1990's my family won three track championships with the pontiac. My dad and uncle won championships using 400 pontiacs. After they won in consecutive years the track added a 360 c.i. limit. when i came of age i ran a year with my dads old motor(it was illegal but i couldnt drive well enough to finish in front anyway.) The following year we decided to build a legal 350 pontiac and i won the championship with that.
the few posts i have read that mention pontiac dont talk well about them. The best comment i saw was that the 455 has great torque.
However the 400 is the best pontiac out there. It creates just as much torque as the 455 and has a much lighter crank.I normally turn mine in the 6000 rpm range and have gone as high as 6400 racing. once the tach said 6600 when i broke a u-joint coming off turn two.
pont is that pontiacs are not getting a fair shake. everyone says build chevy, its the best least expensive way to go. well, i spent 1400 for a log block rebuild on my 350 and have ran it the last 4 sesons without any problems. I have changed rod and main bearings twice in that time. Pontiacs are great if you give tham a chance. I did and have won a track championship and have won races at 5 different tracks.

i hope someone took time to read all of this, i would like any feedback and would love to hear from anyone else running a pontiac. WHEW!!!!!!! Thank You

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 353
posted December 18, 2002 07:39 AM
I agree with you on the awesome torque Pontiacs have. I've owned a few older TA's with both the 400 and 455, and a '69 Firebird with the HO 350. But the ones I've seen race had bottom end problems. Also, around here Pontiac engines are hard to find and costly to build.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 620
posted December 18, 2002 08:11 AM
i agree that pontiac built some great engines with a lot of torque, mostly due to their long stroke.

i disagree that a 400 pontiac will produce as much torque as a 455. everything else being equal the 455 wins hands down.

i had a friend in high school that had a 455sd trans am and he always dusted another friends 400 ram air 4 gto. of course my 429 swapped '68 mustang cleaned both their clocks, he he he. ooohh, those 429 ford's can turn some rpm's.....

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 22
posted December 18, 2002 08:43 AM
same about oldsmobile motors I luv them over a chevy I got 4 455's and 2 403 (one is in my z-28) these motors along with the pont,and buicks just seem to take more abuse then the good ol chevys I blew 4 of them up this year. next project puttinf a 1970 455 rocket in my 80 TA

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1565
posted December 18, 2002 11:00 PM UIN: 54865418
we ran the ole poncho 400 in our cruiser car and i loved it we are also in a 360 cid class now so i can't run it in my bomber. i'm gonna run her in a 84 lesabre in figure8's and enduros this year should work out pretty good on those short figure 8 tracks around here

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 98
posted December 19, 2002 05:51 AM
expensive-tough to find-HEAVY

that is the pontiac downside, yes they build great power and torque though.

In '84 I chased races at Hutchinson KS in the street stock class and two brothers raced Pontiacs, Darryl and Darwin Ferguson...they were fast and tough as they get.

I had a godzilla big block chevy and we had some great races together, but my camaro weighed 3750 pounds and their firebirds were heavier yet, I think Darryls was 3900...that much weight a push going in is the rule, I carried 250 pounds on the nose weight and them I am guessing about the same.

I built lighter cars with more power for less money, sbc parts are everywhere

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 564
posted December 19, 2002 08:28 AM UIN: 25419780
When I first got into racing I raced a Pontiac motor...loved the motor...I was told to keep them alive you have to make sure that you have plenty of rods and main clearence..I use to crank mine about 5200 to 5800 all the time..on short tracks the motors was the best but on long tracks it was ok off the corners but mid track it lost it seem to jus run out of motor..This is befor I every one started putting big bucks in a car to have

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 197
posted December 20, 2002 09:02 AM
What is everyone using for headers on these, I ended up running, standard street type headers, and was not happy with them. Does anyone make IMCA type headers?

rico 08
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 372
posted December 20, 2002 04:56 PM
always heard of spun bearings, aftermarket rods would help a lot and for some reason they didn't seem to like a lot of cam,maybe because the heads flow pretty good?

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 42
posted December 20, 2002 05:29 PM
I have raced a 455 pontiac for the last three years. It has gotten me in the top five in points for three years straight. The extra weight seems to be the largest problem I've had. The only problems I've had were broken rocker studs, big block chevy studs solved that. A guy at our track ran a 455 buick in his hobby stock and was almost unbeatable. He now has a modified with a buick in it and is getting it to run real good. I enjoy hearing of other people that are making different engines work for them. It may be a little more work but it sure is fun to beat up on the chevy guys once in a while.

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