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Is the 400sbc a good investment?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blazer79, Dec 26, 2000.

  1. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    I visited a junkyard today. I found a late 60s Pontiac GTO with a 400 small block in it. Is this a good engine? I'm sure it's a small block because the two center exhaust ports on the cylinder heads are together, and the valve covers had only four bolts each. The owner of the junkyard is positive I wont need any adapter to bolt it to my TH 350 tranny. Is this true? He's sure it's a bolt-on engine and that iit has VERY low miles.

    If he's right and you guys say it's a good engine, I'll be very happy because I won't have to give up my SBC headers and he's only asking for the equivalent of $256. I'll sell my current 350 block to my brother for half of it, so final cost would only be $128. What do you think?

    Thanks for you opinions.

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  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I don't think the late 60's Pontiacs ever came with a Chevy 400 small block. A lot of Pontiacs came with Chev 350's but if it is a 400 it would more than likely be a Pontiac 400. An excellent motor, better than a Chev 400 small block in my opinion. However the Pontiac 400 uses the BOP bellhousing, so an adaptor would be needed.
    Just for comparison a Chev 400 small block should look identical to your 350 externally. Hope that helps, the price sounds good too!

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    It did look the same. The only difference I noticed was that the intake manifold looked wider. But maybe it was an optical illusion.

    Does anybody know how to differenciate between a Chevy 400 small block and a Pontiac one? (I don't have the casting numbers)

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  4. konajoe

    konajoe 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    That sounds more like a Pontiac 400 not a Chevy 400 . Pontiac engines run a lifter valley cover and separate intake setup not a one piece intake like the Chevy SBC. The Chevy Small Block 400 looks identical to your 350 motor. The external id's to a 400sbc are 3 freeze plugs on early 400's and late 400's have 2 freeze plugs and a boss/bump where the middle freeze plug would be located. The 400 is externally balanced and uses a harmonic balancer with a balance weight on the backside and the flywheel also has a weight attached to it. When in doubt jot down the casting numbers located on the flat bellhousing flange behind the drivers side head and double check it out.

    Hope this Helps,
    KonaJoe
     
  5. Josh

    Josh Registered Member

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    I have a pontiac '67 pontiac 400 in the garage, in a '67 Firebird and it is a very strong engine. However, the bellhousing should be different as was stated with a BOP housing and the headers may bolt on to the block but the exhaust ports are so different that they may not fit on right.
     
  6. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    I think that that would have a BOP 400 tranny, right? I think I heard somewhere that these were even better than the Chevy ones, but I might be wrong.

    90K5

    See my truck at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Albumindex?u=1329584&a=9886502>http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Albumindex?u=1329584&a=9886502</A>
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I'm pretty sure that none of the parts from a Pontiac 400 are interchangeable with a Chevy small block. Different block, different internals. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
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  8. Andreas

    Andreas 1/2 ton status

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    The Pontiac 400´s are of the same block as the Pontiac 350´s, all the way up to 455´s. They are a bit bigger than the Chevy smallblocks, but smaller than the bigblocks. I´m not absolutley sure this is the case, but I think so[​IMG]. Someone correct me if I´m wrong.

    Andreas

    406cui of pure sh*t[​IMG]
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  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I could see some confusion if they are not side by side to compare. Distributor in the back, valve covers are similar, maybe a little bigger. The timing chain cover area is quite different. I believe the Pontiac is an aluminum and quite a bit larger than the small tin cover the Chevy uses.
    The valve covers are similar to Chevy's in that they have 4 hold down bolts. The heads should be the giveaway. On the Pontiac engine the spark plugs are above the exhaust manifold and there should be 5 head bolts visible above the exhuast manifold as well. On the Chevy the spark plugs are under the exhaust manifold and the exhaust manifold should be 'hiding' the lower row of head bolts. Also the fuel pump is on the passenger side of a Pontiac 400 instead of on the drivers side like a Chev. Check out the January 2001 issue of Car Craft for a good visual of a Pontiac 400/455 on page 54, 55. (cool article getting 501 HP and 585 ft/lbs of torque out of a 455 [​IMG])

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  10. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Har-har! Me like-um Car Craft! Lots of real world, low budget go fast articles! [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
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  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    [​IMG] I bought it just for the 500 HP poncho article![​IMG]
    I'm always looking at future swap options, and I've always like the Pontiac 400/455 motors!

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I'm a subscriber to Car Craft. I love the engine build up articles! I used to get Hot Rod, but who the hell can afford a $15,000 supercharged, stroked, custom EFI'd big block using parts made out of "unobtanium" to put into a custom tricked out street rod that cost $100K to build? Not me! [​IMG]

    Any of the 455's or the big Caddy motors are a great way to make tons of torque without having to spend much money. Some folks will let you tow the entire car away, just to get it out of their yard! [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
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  13. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    "Unobtainium" I love that material! I prefer real world articles too. Same reason I like 4 wheel and Off Road more than Fourwheeler, more real world trucks and articles.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  14. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Ahh, yes, unobtainium. Great stuff. Super-strong, weighs next to nothing, easy to machine and fabricate, easily polishes to a mirror finish if desired, never EVER corrodes under any circumstances, retains its strength under high temps, and is cheaper than die-cast pot metal. [​IMG] Did I leave anything out??

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     
  15. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    You left out the best part! It automatically adds 200 HP just being on your engine! [​IMG] Oh yeah and its a real chick magnet as well!

    Of course my truck is mostly made of Rustanium which has the advantage of getting lighter the longer its on your truck! [​IMG][​IMG]

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  16. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Only problem is that it's made on Mars and costs a million bucks per pound. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
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