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Fabio Parede's 1969 Catalina

2023 June
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Pontiac V8 engine building series in 1080HD on Vimeo


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Hey all



I just introduced myself in the introductions section, but just in case you missed that, here's news about my new master engine building series: Pontiac 455, Machine Shop. I've just uploaded part 2 to Vimeo.



Part 1:


https://vimeo.com/60051620



Part 2:


https://vimeo.com/60619852



Check it out and let me know what you all think about it, how it can be improved, etc.



I'll post new videos as they become completed in the weeks to come.


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I've enjoyed part 1 so far. Very thorough explanation of what to look for while you are tearing a motor down and why you tear it down in the order that you are doing it. Good job.


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I just finished watching part 2. I though the magnafluxing demonstration was great. Thanks for showing us what a cracked item shows up like. Clearly we don't get to see the science behind what goes on in the machine shop when we drop off a motor. I look forward to the next installment.


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I just finished watching part 2. I though the magnafluxing demonstration was great. Thanks for showing us what a cracked item shows up like. Clearly we don't get to see the science behind what goes on in the machine shop when we drop off a motor. I look forward to the next installment.

As am I! I'm loving these videos. Makes me want to pull my 305 out hahaha

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey guys. Here's part 4, prepping the connecting rods:



>https://vimeo.com/63287673



Once you get on there you can access the rest or merely put Pontiac 455 in the search.



We're probably about half way there and I'm really excited about the build! The .030 overbore calculation cleared the way to order and receive the Ross/Butler pistons (4.181x1.495 CH flat top forged) coupled with 66 cc heads will net 12.68:1 compression! Butler strongly recommended the Comp Cams Johnson lifters, not Rhoads, so that part of the plan changed.



We're making progress, as the filming schedule allows, so stay tuned and let me know if you all are learning. Thanks!


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Nice job. You appear to be using Clevite's, (can't read the box) in my opinion the only bearing worth the while, and also worth your pro/opinion for those that have never rebuilt an engine. Whats your opinion on 20 or 30 over bearings? Personally 30 = new parts.


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Definitely using Clevite bearings. If you enlarge the video to full screen size, you can read the box clearly at one point. It is definitely Clevite.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys. Part 6 is now online:



Align honing and decking the block.



>https://vimeo.com/64665860



Hopefully, we'll be rockin' this summer. I'm looking forward to doing the testing sequence and all the action shots!


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  • 4 weeks later...

>https://vimeo.com/67009628

>https://vimeo.com/67025309

Hey guys: These last two cover most of the balancing and blueprinting process to be concluded in part 10. (I can only upload 5G a week on VimeoPlus).

We've started recording the assembly, so it's finally coming together.

Some others have commented on Wayne opting out of using a torque plate for the honing, but with a head screwed on it, it still seems to measure dead nuts (my new machinist term).

Any guesses on the flywheel hp or rwhp ?

On other news, I picked up a 1980 Turbo Trans Am Indy Pace Car, for a near future build-up, that will answer the question of slow or go? What is the potential of 301's much maligned motor given high-octane and a host of aftermarket upgrades. To some a waste of time and money - to me a challenge and a chance to redeem one of the most handsome of all the Trans Ams. Stay tuned!

p1010011ty.jpg
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Love the idea of turning a turbo 301 into a small rocket, I am curious to see this happen, I am just not aware of a lot of aftermarket love for the 301 given all its shortcomings with its lack of strength, webbing support, shorter deck height, etc. All the things Pontiac did to make it a more eco-friendly motor did nothing for performance. So it is generally considered the weakest of the lot. There are reasons most aftermarket companies stayed away from this engine. I am anxious to see what you come up with.



I will hold off my guess on the flywheel and rear wheel hp until I see what's going in on the top end. I know you plan to run alcohol in it. So I am sure you are looking for something north of 400 hp.


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Thanks Frosty!



Over at 301Garage there's been some success with this motor, including an NHRA world record holder using all stock internals. So, the feeling is that for moderate power levels the block and crank are plenty strong enough. The shorter deck height shares the same bore and stroke ratio as small block ford and chevy 302s, meaning piston speeds are way down. This coupled with a 4500 rpm rev limit and the block is not all that stressed even under an occasional blast of boost. The 301T block was beefed up over the standard '77-'79 301 and featured a crank with rolled fillets.



My guess is that the engine got a bad rap because most people, myself included, for many years, still had the musclecar era performance in mind. But the 301T did exactly what it was designed to do - provide spirited acceleration for passing comparable to the 400 it replaced. In an era where musclecars were cheap discards, the complexity and underachieving 301T were not taken seriously. I, myself, owned a pair of Boss 302s during the eighties and none of the later Trans Ams were considered a threat on the street, especially the 301 cars, at least not until the '89 TTA came out and blew my mind!



Now, 33 years past 1980, after the Grand Nationals changed perceptions about turbocharging and modern 4s and 6s are embraced by the current generation of tuners, the environment is right to give the 301 its fair due. Like the 455, I wouldn't be surprised to find it also north of 400 hp, but stay tuned and we'll see how this story develops.


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So what are you going to run on the top end of the 455?



I agree with everything you said. What limits the 301 to 4500 RPM, the limits of the turbo? Or just practicallity? I was not aware of this particular rev limit. Is it an inherant design threshold of the stock components that was discovered by lots of drag racers with exploded engine parts?



I think part of the 301s bad rap was also earned due to its anemic performance in naturally aspirated applications. When I was growing up, we had a '78 Buick Lesabre Custom 4-door with a 301 in it. Being a full sized car, it didn't get out of its own shadow without my dad and I tweaking it a bit. So I imagine some folks saw the 301T as just a turbo version of the still anemic 301 (to some extent they were right). Buick, however, had years to develop and refine the turbo V6 engine, including an Indy car engine program. Lets not foget Buick had been putting turbo V6s in Regals, Lesabres, Centurys, Riverias, and the Monte Carlo for years before the '89 Turbo TA came along.



So Buick was allowed to beef up and tweak the even fire V6 into the 3800/4300 monster it became in the Grand Nationals. Add to that, GM "corporate" engine gurus had pretty much killed Pontiac's engine programs and supported the Buick V6 turbo program. The 301, 301T, and 265 were the last Pontiac V8s and the iron duke 4-cylinder was the last engine to come from the Pontiac foundry and engine plant. To my way of thinking, I believe Pontiac engineers did the best they could with the limited time, funds and the plethora of restrictions they were given. Buick had corporate backing, and even public support on their side.


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  • 2 weeks later...

On the 455: 1969 #16 GTO heads prepared by Ken Keefer, AKA Pontiac Dude. Hoping for 13:1 compression. We are cc'ing the heads and will measure them tomorrow.



The Pontiac is better than most people know, according to those who use them. I mean to find out just how good. 4500 rpm because of the cam design and because there is no need to rev it more than absolutely necessary. I'd rather make up the power with more boost rather than revs. Everything now is tentative, except we will build one engine and start tuning a stock one, soon.



We already started to assemble the 455 (462), uploaded in parts 11 & 12:


>https://vimeo.com/67915745


>https://vimeo.com/68349318



We plan to bench fire it (break it in), but no word on a dyno shop in SC, GA, or NC.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys: There was a mistake in the last video (part 13). Can you spot it?



>https://vimeo.com/68810731




>https://vimeo.com/69113336



Part 14 is online: covers checking over the assembled heads, measuring the spring height and pressure, cc'ing the heads and calculating the engine's compression ratio.



Bench testing and break-in this weekend then off to the engine dyno!

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  • 1 month later...

Update:



Part 13 has been reedited to correct the camshaft thrust plate mistake:


>https://vimeo.com/70936437



Part 15, assembly:


>https://vimeo.com/71524501



Part 16 to be uploaded next week - final assembly.



Part 17 crank and run is uploaded - crank it up, guys!


>https://vimeo.com/71934370



Next recording at Butler Performance for a dyno session!



Next video series: Building a max performance 700R4!


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

Here is Part 17 - Crank and Run - the final episode in this series it seems. I would like to see the engine in its final destination and see how it performs in the real world too.



>http://vimeo.com/71934370

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