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JAH11's 1968 GTO

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Running Again...

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On the 2016 Power Tour, my GTO ate a rocker arm going into Wichita KS.  My son and I spent the next 2 days in the Motel 6 parking lot in 100+ degree heat trying to get it running again.  We were successful, but opted to rent a UHaul rig and trailer it home anyway over concerns that the failed rocker arm had put shrapnel through the engine.  That turned out to be a wise decision once we got it home and torn down.   It had to wait for "awhile" because I was just starting on a project to renovate my workshop and wanted to get that done first.  Then when I did finally get to work on the GTO, I fell victim to a series of "well, while it's apart I might as well do's"...   Two years and a whole lot more than just repairing a rocker arm later, we've got this:

Bear's GTO - Finally running again


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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‚Äé10‚Äé/‚Äé5‚Äé/‚Äé2018 at 10:42 AM, Ringo64 said:

Nice, congrats on getting it running again! What all did you end up doing while it was apart?

Oh... let's see.  More compression to take advantage of the aluminum heads - now 10.3:1, and better quench properties, both from a new rotating assembly w/forged crank.  (Long story there - when I first built the engine in 2010 I used #722 heads and had to do some extreme things to get compression ratio down to 9.5:1 to make it pump gas friendly with iron heads.   "Things happened" and unfortunately, I had to switch over to round port aluminum Edelbrocks.  One of the side effects of that was that even with thinner head gaskets, compression with the E-heads was at 10:1 which was still not enough to really take advantage of them.   So "this time" I knew I wanted to at least change pistons and go to a forged crank, and figured that by the time I bought those parts and had the assembly balanced the cost would be close to that of a complete new rotating assembly anyway, so that's the route I went.) 

New neutral balanced TCI SFI flex plate and Romac SFI balancer on both ends of the new rotating assembly.   (I already had an SFI flex plate on the 'other' build but it was for a 'normal' external balance.)  New Rollmaster .005" shorter 9-way adjustable timing set - block has been align honed and needed the shorter chain to compensate.  Spotts Performance windage tray and crank scraper, plus a Luhn Performance 80 psi oil pump with all his nice bells and whistles round out the bottom end.   On "top"  I "dropped back" to 1.5:1 rockers to take some stress off  the top of the engine, Crower stainless full rollers this time instead of aluminum 1.65's, new Crower cutaway solid roller lifters with their High Pressure Pin Oiling option.  Even though it's now 1.5:1 on the rockers, it has more cam now than it had before:  this one is from Bullet, a solid roller with a duration of 251/257 @ 0.050, 110 LSA, installed at 106 ICL, net .620 lift at the valves after accounting for valve lash.  (The previous cam from Comp used 1.65 rockers and made 236/242 @ 0.050 and about .600 lift).   New intake, a Northwind.  New Carb, AED 850 HO Annular.  It was a challenge making that work with the factory Ram Air system, let me tell you - but I pulled it off.  Also new Ferrea valves, PAC springs, PAC titanium retainers, Isky standard height 7 degree super locks.  New converter, a 9.5" from Tri Shield Performance  (I love it - it behaves almost like a stocker until I hang my foot in it - MUCH better than my previous one).  I also repainted the engine compartment, re-routed the brake lines to clean them up and make them look better.  Had new hoses made for the A/C system and for the hydroboost brake system such that they now route up over and behind the fenders so everything looks cleaner.  Added an additional auxillary transmission oil cooler after the one in the radiator and tucked it away inside the fender behind the windshield washer fluid reservoir, and also ducted air flow to it from the opening in the valance below the bumper. I also made AN braided steel Teflon lined hoses for the trans cooler lines and routed them up behind the fenders as well, both for looks and to get them far away from the passenger side header.  The headers I had recoated.   Previously they had Jet Hot's 'stainless steel' finish on them but that wasn't quite standing up to the exhaust heat this engine makes so I sent them back to Jet Hot to be upgraded to their higher temp coating - they're now a cobalt blue color with a sandpaper texture that will definitely take the heat and also looks nice with the Pontiac silver blue metallic engine color.   I added more instrumentation as well.  The car already had factory Rallye gauges but I wanted more precision information, so now there's a brace of AEM digital X-series gauges below the dash and above the console in addition to the still functional Rallye gauges.  The new AEM's are Oil Pressure, Coolant Temperature, Transmission Temperature, and UEGO Wide Band Air/Fuel mixure.  These all have data logging capability, however I haven't added the logger component to consume that data yet - that's still on the 'future' list.    That's all I remember for now.... :D

Edited by BearGFR
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  • 5 months later...

You guys are lucky down there.  Lots of "summer weather" and no salt.  I am stuck up in Ontario Canada with snow and salt on the roads yet.  Will be another month before it is gone and then wait for a good rain before I can fire mine up again  Come Halloween I park it again.   Too old to move/ Too young to quit !!!!!

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I sure wish Mother Nature would start cranking up the heat already. Most of the snow is gone around here, but it is still too cold to work on anything.

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2 hours ago, Frosty said:

I sure wish Mother Nature would start cranking up the heat already. Most of the snow is gone around here, but it is still too cold to work on anything.

Ok! Ok! Wait a cotton pickin¬†minute! You‚Äôre ‚ÄúFROSTY‚ÄĚ cold weather should be your time of the year to be outside under the car working away, in all your glory! What do ya mean it‚Äôs to cold!¬†:nuts::D¬†:indian: How!!

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I wanna be Bob!

Plus I melt in the rain! I'm Frosty, not Slushy!

Edited by Frosty
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