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455 Supercharger!!

This is a discussion on 455 Supercharger!! within the Classic Muscle forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hey guys, I've been looking to supercharge my 74 Pontiac 455 motor (in a 71 Bird) and have had trouble ...

  1. #1
    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    millenium yellow/green
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    455 Supercharger!!

    Hey guys,

    I've been looking to supercharge my 74 Pontiac 455 motor (in a 71 Bird) and have had trouble trying to find kits for these carbureted engines. I would prefer a roots style supercharger, but I want my stock formula hood. Are there any roots kits out there that will fit under a hood lol?
    Last edited by Musclecargt71; 09-28-2009 at 06:10 AM.

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    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    thats before you tore into it, wow, must be sexy now!

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    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    millenium yellow/green
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    Haha...ya I wish. I tore the engine out, the whole front end off, re-did the entire front suspension and stalled out because of $$ issues. Now I may sell my current project to finish this one. Here's some pics of the engine removal and current state.






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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I too have a 70 formula, short of the stock intake, carb and air cleaner there isn't much else that fits under a stock Formula hood.

    You would be hard pressed to get the Edelbrock rpm air gap under there, even with a drop base air cleaner it would be iffy. The standard performer fits as it's the same height as the original cast iron piece.

    So in a nutshell,,,,a roots blower ins't even going to be close. You best bet would be a centrifical from someone like Procharger mounted on the front of the engine, and hope the carb hat fits under the hood,,,,lol.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of the original engine in my Formula. Being a ramair version with the stock aircleaner leaves me no options as far as aftermarket intakes.

    Just to give you an idea of how tight things are, take a close look at the bottom of the hood. See that triangular shape that is in the wire mesh on the hood???

    Years ago someone removed the original air cleaner and stuck one of those little wire mesh triangular air cleaners that use a foam filter,,,they were very popular in the 70's,,,and they only stick about 2 inches above the carb. And it was hitting the hood as you can see. You can also see where an open element with a drop base was on here at one time, it made the impression outside of the triangle air cleaner.

    That's just how tight it is.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    I remember those air filters. Makes you wonder why the hell anyone would defeat the CAI, eh? I mean, what was that person thinking, hot underhood air makes better power? Nice Formy, BTW!

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    I remember those air filters. Makes you wonder why the hell anyone would defeat the CAI, eh? I mean, what was that person thinking, hot underhood air makes better power? Nice Formy, BTW!
    Ya I don't know what people were thinking, it was the 70's and we all did silly things to the cars back then. Thankfully when I found the car 15 years ago they had enough sense to keep the air cleaner,,,,I've seen them at swap meets fetch $1500 +.

    Here is a better shot of it up at the Tri-Power Nats on the chassis dyno.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    So how much power did it make then? A guy I work with has a '70 Formula, he actually drove it last week. Looked like a car from a magazine in the 70s, 255/60/15 rear and 205/70/15 fronts. With a ?72 stripe along the door. Maybe I'll actually post a pic. 4-speed car...he's had it since about 1980.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Here it is, with my '68 Le Mans next to his car:

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    When I built the motor in 1999 it made 392hp and 460 tq at the flywheel.

    That pic is in 2007 at Norwalk, I put it on there for giggles and it made 301 hp and 355 tq at the wheels. Through the 400 turbo with stock converter, and the original 12 bolt with 3.31 gears. Still healthy after years of abuse. Still have the car by the way. I was running it in "pure stock" at the time running 13.60's at 102 mph on the original bias plys,,,lol.
    Not too shabby for a car that meets the pure stock rules. It's used as a cruiser now.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Here it is, with my '68 Le Mans next to his car:
    Click for full size
    Very cool, love the formula, I'm a sucker with not so common colors.

    Here is my fathers car at the same event, threw that in since you had a lemans. Dad bought this car new and still has it. I built this motor also, made 609 hp at the flywheel, and 501 hp at the wheels on the same chassis dyno that day.
    I believe this is one of the last passes before he got parked for no cage,,,haha.

    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 09-25-2009 at 08:40 PM.

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    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I too have a 70 formula, short of the stock intake, carb and air cleaner there isn't much else that fits under a stock Formula hood.

    You would be hard pressed to get the Edelbrock rpm air gap under there, even with a drop base air cleaner it would be iffy. The standard performer fits as it's the same height as the original cast iron piece.

    So in a nutshell,,,,a roots blower ins't even going to be close. You best bet would be a centrifical from someone like Procharger mounted on the front of the engine, and hope the carb hat fits under the hood,,,,lol.
    Thanks for the info firebird, i guess now that I think about it, it is pretty tight under the hood. What do you guys think is the most restricting piece on a stock 455 (cam, heads, intake)?

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    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    millenium yellow/green
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    Oh and thanks for all the sweet pics...

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Very cool, love the formula, I'm a sucker with not so common colors.

    Here is my fathers car at the same event, threw that in since you had a lemans. Dad bought this car new and still has it. I built this motor also, made 609 hp at the flywheel, and 501 hp at the wheels on the same chassis dyno that day.
    I believe this is one of the last passes before he got parked for no cage,,,haha.

    Click for full size
    Very nice, your dad still rippin' it down the strip, and had to park bc his car is too fast! 501 at the wheels. Excellent!

    And yes, that metallic brown is a rare color for the Formulas, but in the sunlight it looks pretty good.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musclecargt71 View Post
    Thanks for the info firebird, i guess now that I think about it, it is pretty tight under the hood. What do you guys think is the most restricting piece on a stock 455 (cam, heads, intake)?
    I would get some round port heads, if you don't have any. Or use some Edelbrock aluminum heads if you're not looking for an OE look. But you could paint them for some stealth. After reading HP Pontiac for 2 decades, it seems those Edelbrock heads can be ported for much superior airflow than the iron heads. The intakes flow pretty good, usually as good as the aftermarkets up to about 5,000 RPM, so I'd say the heads are the most restrictive. You're gonna change the cam anyway, so talk to the manufacturer or better yet a Pontiac engine specialist to see what they recommend.

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    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    I would get some round port heads, if you don't have any. Or use some Edelbrock aluminum heads if you're not looking for an OE look. But you could paint them for some stealth. After reading HP Pontiac for 2 decades, it seems those Edelbrock heads can be ported for much superior airflow than the iron heads. The intakes flow pretty good, usually as good as the aftermarkets up to about 5,000 RPM, so I'd say the heads are the most restrictive. You're gonna change the cam anyway, so talk to the manufacturer or better yet a Pontiac engine specialist to see what they recommend.
    Thanks! Ya the engine has a mild cam in it now...i'll see if maybe i can get ahold of some heads

  17. #17
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Ya,,,Too Fast is right, with any engine build the heads really become the deciding factor.
    Not sure what year 455 you are dealing with. If you are using factory D-port heads there are various casting numbers that the pontiac guys favor over others.
    I used the original ram air III's on mine and they are untouched castings other than a "nice" valve job. I did clean up the factory intake a bit, and used some lightweight parts in the shortblock with a small ring package for less friction. Had the original ram air manifolds extrude honed,,,still stock cam, carb, etc....and it makes okay power for a little 400. I could have done much more with it,,,the biggest improvement could be found by porting the stock cylinder heads. I elected not to for what I was doing with the car.

    Something similar could be done to your 455 and have even better results,,,if you are looking to keep the stock appearance like I did.
    If you don't care about stock appearances, I'd shoot for Edelbrock heads just as Too Fast mentioned.
    I used them on my fathers engine build and had Kauffman Racing CNC port them to flow 330 cfm at 28 in. Just a 455 .035 over With a custom hydraulic roller cam, RPM air gap intake with a 950 HP, and only 10:1 compression it runs great on pump gas, and you can see the power it's making. Although that picture is a tad early, it pulls that left front wheel about 6-8 inches up and twists the car pretty good.
    There are many ways to go,,,depending on what you are looking to do.

  18. #18
    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Ya,,,Too Fast is right, with any engine build the heads really become the deciding factor.
    Not sure what year 455 you are dealing with. If you are using factory D-port heads there are various casting numbers that the pontiac guys favor over others.
    I used the original ram air III's on mine and they are untouched castings other than a "nice" valve job. I did clean up the factory intake a bit, and used some lightweight parts in the shortblock with a small ring package for less friction. Had the original ram air manifolds extrude honed,,,still stock cam, carb, etc....and it makes okay power for a little 400. I could have done much more with it,,,the biggest improvement could be found by porting the stock cylinder heads. I elected not to for what I was doing with the car.

    Something similar could be done to your 455 and have even better results,,,if you are looking to keep the stock appearance like I did.
    If you don't care about stock appearances, I'd shoot for Edelbrock heads just as Too Fast mentioned.
    I used them on my fathers engine build and had Kauffman Racing CNC port them to flow 330 cfm at 28 in. Just a 455 .035 over With a custom hydraulic roller cam, RPM air gap intake with a 950 HP, and only 10:1 compression it runs great on pump gas, and you can see the power it's making. Although that picture is a tad early, it pulls that left front wheel about 6-8 inches up and twists the car pretty good.
    There are many ways to go,,,depending on what you are looking to do.
    Thanks for the input...ya I really don't mind about keeping the stock look. I've done some stuff to the car that makes it not original so I basically want to build the coolest car possible....original or not. My CETA on the other hand is going to be original (for the most part).

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    Senior Member justinmc978's Avatar
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    hey man is your bird really a 71? i noticed the t-tops, if so, I LOVE IT, always wanted to see an early 2nd gen with them fabbed in, more pics if you have them, i know nothing about a roots charger that would work sorry:/

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    "Car Builder" Musclecargt71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinmc978 View Post
    hey man is your bird really a 71? i noticed the t-tops, if so, I LOVE IT, always wanted to see an early 2nd gen with them fabbed in, more pics if you have them, i know nothing about a roots charger that would work sorry:/
    Yep, shes a 71.....the roof is off a 79 camaro. Spliced it in for a custom look. You wouldn't believe how many people get thrown off by those t-tops lol....but ya i really like the look of the t-tops and the small back window of the 2nd gen (instead of the rear window that wraps around the quarter panel)

    Last edited by Musclecargt71; 09-28-2009 at 06:09 AM.

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