A discussion of engine superiority

Discussion in 'The "Other" Bench' started by Donuts & Peelouts, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Alright well, I’m a bit drunk, and I sense I’ll be contributing to this thread late into the night.
    My friend bought a Trans Am with a Pontiac 400 that supposedly had 400hp. He ran a 13.59 at 3675 pounds. Equates to a measly 335 hp. I don’t believe it could push 400, without porting. For that reason I believe 400 Buick’s have more mild power potential, than the same Pontiac build.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
    Waterboy likes this.
  2. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    The olds was the easiest to convert. The valves are at a 6° angle. That made it relatively easy to make the flat chamber thats needed for a diesel head. Any other engine would have required a major redesign in the heads and valvetrain.

    Thats also why the olds engines look so wide.

    Back to the original post. If I were to build a small block it would be an olds. Good oil system, large bore and wide parts availability.
  3. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Completely agree with you. Isnt your name Joe? I’d love a good Olds small block to surprise people. I’d have to have the car for it first though. Not sure what it would be
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  4. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    That's not why they designed the nailhead that way, their goal was to keep the intake runners as short as possible. Buick, because of the straight 8, had a bad rap on fuel consumption (and rightfully so). When atomized fuel leaves the venturi it begins to condense into globs that don't burn that wastes fuel, the longer the runner the more this happens. This phenomenon occur on racing engines even at WOT. They pushed the intake valves up to keep the runners short for MPG. This also had the advantage of moving the spark plug almost to the center of the chamber which also helps MPG. Yes, these heads don't flow well but it was designed for bottom end torque not RPMs. I'm sure I can fit a 455 into the engine bay of my 38 Special with no problem.

    My favorite engines were excluded from this conversation, the 300, 225 and 231. They're bulletproof even with a turbo. Too bad they never made larger versions.

    My sprint cars have SBCs in them. $20K for an engine that makes 750 HP and lasts an entire 35 race season. When volume goes up the price goes down.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  5. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    In defense of the Cadillac engine platform that the 500 is on as far as it not being able to build them to make power:rolleyes:, the very first HRM Drag Week (and I'm not talking about wearing women's clothes for a week either:D) there was a fox body Mustang with a Cadillac 500 in it with a factory bottom end and that included the factory cast iron rods, factory heads and a single plane intake that IIRC was in the low 9s with a 500 shot of nitrous! Talk about a cheap way to get into the 9s!:cool:

    Another example is the single engine salt flats land speed record holder a few years back that used a 472 of the same platform built to still under 500 cubes that used the factory block, ported factory heads and the factory crank made over 2,000 HP with a twin turbo setup without any block fill or a jockstrap!:eek:

    Even though the Cadillac engine isn't included with the original question I would have to say that for a factory block and factory cast iron crank that can handle that much HP with the twin turbo setup or even the nitrous setup using factory parts is one stout engine platform!:cool:
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  6. Steve73GS

    Steve73GS 73 GEE YES

    Friend of mine had a 71 (I think) Cutlass with a 350/4 and I had a 70 Cutlass also with a 350/4. Both cars ran strong enough to have some fun in. Handled well for what they were too.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  7. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    No such thing as an Olds small block. Calling a 350 Olds a small block is like calling a BB MOPAR 383 a small block because the deck is shorter than some of the other big block MOPARS. Same deal with Pontiac, which would only include the 265 and 301 with a shorter deck height than the other Pontiac engines that include the 350 that has the same deck height and bore spacing as a 455 Pontiac.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  8. Donuts & Peelouts

    Donuts & Peelouts Life's 2 Short. Live like it.

    "Damm Ronnie" hahahahha
    Ok guys keep it coming. Save the bs for your momma. I'm really liking this thread, I know it's hard to speak on non Buicks but we are doing a great job. Lucas what the hell is a see threw belly button hahahahaha, damm Montana slang hahahaha.

    Here's some questions. Why does the Pontiac react good to performance mods.
    What makes the olds 350 oiling so good?
    Does any other bb platform suffer from core shift?
  9. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    First of all. Pontiacs suck when not ported. That’s proven. A 230/230 .500 lift cam in a Pontiac 400 cant make 350 horses? Performer RPM intake and a manual trans? That **** is weak
    PGSS likes this.
  10. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    Partially. One of my best friends has an original numbers matching, 20,000 mile `69 RAIV automatic Judge. This was 25 years ago but he decided he wanted to take it to the track. It has the original driveline, stock RAIV cam, intake and carburetor, 4.33 gears (yes, a factory option), TH400 transmission and full weight. He added a 3,500 stall converter, headers and a pair of 26"x8" slicks on stock 14"x 6" rally II wheels. He ran a best of 12.30 with the car. Then he had the heads ported, no other mods, and ran a 12.17. Call me visionary but I think he had more than 350hp even before the porting.
  11. wovenweb

    wovenweb Platinum Level Contributor

    Proven by ?

    I can't find the videos any more, but Jim Mino in a '68 RA II Firebird won multiple "shootouts" back in the '80s against Mopar Hemis, Chevys, etc. The Pure Stock RA IIs ran in the low to mid 12s. And some of those cars were subjected to tear downs.

    Link to '85 Super Car Showdown at Beech Bend.


    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  12. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    That’s very impressive, and the RAIV cars were a different breed entirely. I see the drinking worked last night.
  13. BQUICK

    BQUICK Well-Known Member

    Mino's Firebird sure was impressive.....but not totally stock....close

    Stock to me back then was a motor was never apart and heads never off.

    Definition of "stock" has come a long way since then....
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  14. Donuts & Peelouts

    Donuts & Peelouts Life's 2 Short. Live like it.

    Why does the Pontiac react good to performance mods.
    What makes the olds 350 oiling so good?
    Does any other bb platform suffer from core shift?
  15. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Because every other engine does, why wouldn't a Pontiac.

    Its not that good, its as crappy as all the other GM 350 oiling except it probably doesn't need to be "modified" for it to work as good as it should?

    Just remembered, the olds oiling system needs restrictors installed instead of drilling the passages larger. Restrictors so all the oil doesn't get pumped to the top end of the engine through the lifters and restrictors so the mains get fed more oil than the cam because it needs more.

    If its made out of cast iron there is a chance of core shift for any block.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  16. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    From what iv'e seen through the years, the big 472" and 500" Caddy's got tired when hitting 90,000 miles. I'm going by 5 relatives who had one at some point. Was it because they used suppositly a nicely built tight tolerance blue printed type of thing from the factory that had no give and take when some parts started to wear??
    My 2 66 Nailhead's gave me no issues whats so ever and other than a starter and a solenoid started every time. Brutally reliable. You can swap out intakes in 10 minutes without the need to drain the coolant also.
    John Riv67, yes horsepower is hard to make on them for cheap but iv'e seen 500 to 600 torque numbers.
    My 455's were only in a 73 Riv and 74 Electra but they were not a easier serviced motor like the factory had claimed, at least to me..
    The Pontiacs make torque but its weird?? as you need to keep the revs up to make it. I could basicly ideal up a 45 degree hill with 5 people in my 66 GS nailhead in drive at 1000 rpm..
    I have a Hemmings or MCR magazine that build a 77 400 Pontiac and it only just made 300 hp and not much torque. It was a somewhat mild build and maby 9 to 1 compression but had the good heads.
    I can try to find it..
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  17. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    As far as superior design goes, I have no idea why you guys thing there is something wrong with the BBB oiling system. Can it be improved?.. sure it can, but what is that not true of.

    It was not inherently defective, proven by the fact that there was no great rash of failed engines when the cars were new. It was different, and frowned upon by the automotive aftermarket because it was different, no real other reason.

    There are plenty of engines with cast iron oil pumps in the pan, that have all manner of pump/oiling system issues..

    Once you go away from the original application for the engine, then you have to modify it accordingly, this is true of every engine out there. The Buick needs modification to the oiling system, but it's not brain surgery.. nor is it wholesale re-design..

    I may be biased, but when you consider engine design (shaft rockers, one of the biggest cylinder bores sizes in the industry, oversquare bore/stroke, light weight) and then how well it responds to just simple upgrades, I think the 455 Buick is hard to beat. I sucked up and spit out many a "muscle car" with supposedly "superior" engine, with their big HP ratings, with my mildly modified GS back in the 80's...

    Used to piss them off when they saw a cast iron intake and Q-jet, with just headers on it..

    Back then, high 12's with just a couple mods would pretty much rule the streets. I only got beat once, and that was by a very well built 67 Chevelle, with 307 emblems on the fenders, but a 468 BBC under the hood. Looked like an advertisement for a speed shop under the hood. had everything you could get for a BBC back then, including alum heads.. Older guy, who was baffled as to why he could only pull my stock looking GS by a fender..

    johnriv67, SpecialWagon65 and PGSS like this.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    Not a fan of poncho motors. Poor combustion chamber design, and its funny how, during the displacement wars were going on, the poncho 455 only made 10 more horse than the 400. 55 cubes to make a measly 10 horse?
  19. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    Wonder why Pontiac put so much effort in building the 400 even when the GM "400 inch" ban was lifted?
  20. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    John67, MCR Dec 2009 issue.

    1973 Pontiac 400 block, .030 over seal power pistons, 6X heads 2.11 intake valves, Howard cam, 214 deg intake 224 exhaust at at .050, 1.6 rockers, Edelbrock intake, 750 Q-jet.
    310 hp. at 4600 and 411 lb-ft at 3300
    Wondering if you saw the same right up?
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019

Share This Page