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Dazed and Confused SD 455

This is a discussion on Dazed and Confused SD 455 within the Classic Muscle forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Remember that we're talking about a giant air pump, and that's all. No magic involved. Since you mentioned the factory ...

  1. #21
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    Remember that we're talking about a giant air pump, and that's all. No magic involved. Since you mentioned the factory restriction plate, I take it we're not arguing factory ability, in which if this is the case, it is clearly no longer in Pontiac's favor. No Pontiac engine will ever have a chance in making more power up against any similarly worked Rat engine, period. End of discussion
    I know you have alot of love for your engines and all ... but boy are you off on that one ...

  2. #22
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    I know you have alot of love for your engines and all ... but boy are you off on that one ...
    Will you ever be elaborating as to why I'm off? Or will you simply continue with this; I'm right, your wrong method?

    I have nothing but love for Pontiac engines, and have owned quite a few 400's in the past. Great torque motors, just like the rest of the BOP engine configurations. Heck, even the Caddy 472-500 engines were great performers, when built properly...

    However, how is it possible for the Poncho engine to dominate a Chevy Rat motor? An explanation is in order, not some theoretical fluff. The Chevy block itself can be bored out more than the Poncho because of it's literal size (more cubes = more torque), the heads themselves will always be able to flow more than the Poncho because of their literal size (more flow = more horsepower)...

    So, exactly how is it that the Pontiac can possibly dominate a Chevy Rat? Kindly explain yourself this time...

  3. #23
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05gtoautoX View Post
    I disagree with street lethal, The sheer size of the head itself means nothing, the valves can only be as big as the bore allows...
    No kidding, and how much more can the Pontiac engine's block be bored out to compensate for much larger valves? Now ask yourself, how much more can the Chevy Rat's block be bored out to compensate for much larger valves? Quite a difference there, don't you think....?

    Quote Originally Posted by 05gtoautoX View Post
    ...the rest of the head such as the ports can only be ported so much until you reach antifreeze, so the literal size of the head does nothing.
    Really? Show me the best aftermarket Pontiac head that flows better than the best aftermaket Chevy Rat head? Have you any idea of the actual CFM ratings that Rat's are capable of... or are you just blowing smoke?

    In reference to hitting antifreeze, lemme tell you, the Pontiac head has more of a probability of hitting a coolant port than any Chevy Rat head when allowing for more CFM (thus, helping to prove the Rat's superiority right there). So that was a pretty irrelevant comment. Every head has it's limitations, but the Chevy Rat, clearly, has a tremendous advantage over the Pontiac's because of it's size....

    Now, let's get into where it really counts. Lets talk about cubic inch displacement. There are many aftermarket companies out there that offer Poncho's, aluminum Poncho's for that matter, well into the 500+ cubic inch displacement range. Suddenly, the Pontiac's heads have now become a problem. Thinking the Pontiac will make more power than the Chevy in this respect is quite wrong, which was my original point, all along...

    Bigger is always better....

  4. #24
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    I think it is because most people dont know much about the SD 455 , or PONTIACS for that matter ...
    Is that right? I purposely brought up the Rat's cylinder head advantage.... waiting for such Pontiac enthusiasts, such as yourself, to delve into our automotive history. There have been experimental Pontiac engines in the past built that would annihilate the "Super Duty 455", as well as the "LS-6 Chevelle's", and I'm surprised that both you and the other Pontiac guru failed to embellish on them.

    Being that I'm a Pontiac enthusiast, I'll gladly bring his genius to light, since you didn't. Mickey Thompson! The man offered Hemispherical heads for the beloved Pontiac back during the 60's, that sadly were dismissed. This would have been a tremendous concept for the Pontiac loyal, that would have dominated....

    I know, I know, you Pontiac guru's were getting to that, right....?

  5. #25
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05gtoautoX View Post
    And I disagree with him saying any engine over 400 cubes can be considered a "torque monster" a SBC400 has it's fair share, but by no means is it considered a torque monster, (one example)...
    One example? A pretty bad one at that. Exactly which year Chevy 400 are you referring to? What were the cam specifications (in comparison to the Poncho you have in your head)? What was it's dynamic compression (in comparison to the Poncho you have in your head)? I'm getting so sick of people who imply that some type of "torque God" lived within the Pontiac engines alone. Cubic inches makes torque, period...

    Quote Originally Posted by 05gtoautoX View Post
    Pontiac was making as much torque with their smaller displacement engines as everyone else was with their big blocks...
    Really? Hmm, yet, I wonder why the Pontiac "Ram Air V" project (their forgotten 303) failed to match Chevy's powerful 302 (a small block) during the pony car wars? I wonder why the Pontiac 301 failed to match the Chevy 305 (a small block)? I wonder why the Pontiac 350 failed to match the Chevy 350 (a small block)? I wonder why General Motors chose to stick with Chevy, over Pontiac...

  6. #26
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    the 455 SD came out in 73-74 what did Chevy have that would even keep up with it...Take you LS6 drop its compression take away the big Holley and aluminum intake .. see what you got ..

  7. #27
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    And dont kid yourself the only reason GM stayed with Chevy motors was because everything was going front wheel drive except trucks and a few cars . Pontiac realy only had the Trans Am , after the bonnville went FWD ...

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    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    Pontiac V8's were extinct long before the Bonneville went to FWD.
    Chevy's became he Corporate engine of choice because it was easier to make them powerfull, economical, and emissions compliant.
    How many of yu have ridden in a Ram Air V Equipped car ?
    Pontiac's R/A V was a 475+ HP 7000+rpm Beast that was never installed in a factory car and it was only 400 ci. This engine could of been the equalizer but only a Handfull were built.
    Pontiacs managment was making a transition in the late 60's and that is partly why they lost there dominance in the HP wars.

    Comparing the SD455 with the LS6 454 is Dumb they are from 2 different Era's

  9. #29
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    Pontiac V8's were extinct long before the Bonneville went to FWD.
    Chevy's became he Corporate engine of choice because it was easier to make them powerfull, economical, and emissions compliant.
    How many of yu have ridden in a Ram Air V Equipped car ?
    Pontiac's R/A V was a 475+ HP 7000+rpm Beast that was never installed in a factory car and it was only 400 ci. This engine could of been the equalizer but only a Handfull were built.
    Pontiacs managment was making a transition in the late 60's and that is partly why they lost there dominance in the HP wars.

    Comparing the SD455 with the LS6 454 is Dumb they are from 2 different Era's
    I was just saying it was not economical for Pontiac to keep makeing their own V8s....and that Chevy was ready to make V8s in mass ...

  10. #30
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    the 455 SD came out in 73-74 what did Chevy have that would even keep up with it...Take you LS6 drop its compression take away the big Holley and aluminum intake...
    Snaggel, this conversation is starting to go in the wrong direction. We're both enthusiasts, and I'm trying to explain myself as best I can for you, and your taking it the wrong way. I'll try again....

    I am a Pontiac enthusiast. I consider the '64 GTO to be the first muscle car, and the '79 Trans Am to be the last. Pontiac's built great motors back in their day, as I should know, I've owned quite a few Pontiac 400's, one in which resided in an '84 Camaro...

    The argument was in fact which engine being more dominant.... the '73/74 SD-455, or the '70 LS6-454. Well, there's little question as to which car is considered to be more powerul from the factory, the '70 LS6 Chevelle. That's not an opinion, that is fact.

    Now, when you get to modifying these engines. The Rat motor wins, hands down, because of it's cylinder heads. Bigger is always better in the long run. Yes, you only really need a certain amount of air per cubic inch displacement, but flow is just as important, then there's the ever increase in cubic inch displacement....

    Now, had Mickey Thompson offered his heads through Pontiac.... there's little doubt that Pontiac would have been dubbed king of them all. No question about that, as those hemisphercial heads were that good...

    Also, why do you think Pontiac performance was lacking before the advent of the Ram Air IV heads offered by Edelbrock during the 90's? When these heads finally came out, it was like a breath of fresh air for Pontiac enthusiasts. We (speaking as a Pontiac enthusiast) felt like Pontiac was back on the map, believe me...

    As for what Chevy produced during the 73/74 model year, to combat the Super Duty line-up. I never said that they did build anything... however, one could take any 73/74 Camaro, work it's 350, and contend with it, easily. This is what I meant when I stated that there's no magic involved. Any engine can be made to perform....

    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    And dont kid yourself the only reason GM stayed with Chevy motors was because everything was going front wheel drive except trucks and a few cars...
    Listen, there are a few reasons why General Motors dropped the Pontiac engine line-up, but getting into them is besides the point. I was being a tad sarcastic when I threw that part in...

  11. #31
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    How many of you have ridden in a Ram Air V Equipped car ? Pontiac's R/A V was a 475+ HP 7000+rpm Beast that was never installed in a factory car and it was only 400 ci.This engine could of been the equalizer but only a Handfull were built...
    I seriously doubt that you yourself have ridden in a Ram Air V equipped car, which would make such a claim as the one written above, fluff. Rumors and speculation. Again, all theory, and no substantiated proof...

    I've heard countless stories in reference to the Ram Air V project, but never any hardcore proof. The Chevy 302 dominated the Trans Am series, while Pontiac claims that there was simply not enough time for them to develop it's 303...

    ... excuses, excuses.

    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    Comparing the SD455 with the LS6 454 is Dumb they are from 2 different Era's...
    Wrong era? They both flourished during the early 70's. I hope you don't think we're referring to the LS6 engines found in the C5 Corvette's lol....?

  12. #32
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    Pontiac's R/A V was a 475+ HP 7000+rpm Beast that was never installed in a factory car and it was only 400 ci...
    The Ram Air V was designed for Trans Am racing, and was not 400 cubic inches in displacement (your confusing it with the Ram Air IV). It would have been immediately disqualified if it was...

    Ram Air V - 303;

    2.5 in. (63.5*mm) journals, special "tunnel port" heads, solid-lifter version of the 400's Ram Air IV camshaft, 4.125 in (104.8*mm) bore, 2.84 in (72.1*mm) stroke, displacing 303 cubic inches...

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    Senior Member Hurley711's Avatar
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    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    As for what Chevy produced during the 73/74 model year, to combat the Super Duty line-up. I never said that they did build anything... however, one could take any 73/74 Camaro, work it's 350, and contend with it, easily. This is what I meant when I stated that there's no magic involved. Any engine can be made to perform....

    There is my point ... You have to mod a 350 chevy ... a lot to keep up with a stock SD .. And SD you got in that car was just like a kit with only most of the parts ...

  15. #35
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    There is my point ... You have to mod a 350 chevy ... a lot to keep up with a stock SD .. And SD you got in that car was just like a kit with only most of the parts ...
    But re-think what your saying here though. I'm not arguing if a "stock" 73/74 Chevy 350 will be able to hang with a built from the factory 73/74 SD-455. That is not my argument, as Chevy clearly did not offer anything worth while during those two particular years. We were debating the LS6-454 vs the SD-455, weren't we....?

    If what you stated above though would be your case, that would be like me asking you what Pontiac offered during the '69 year to battle the COPO Camaro. Their GTO "Judge" was clearly not in it's league....

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    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    That is because the COPA cars were not known to about 90% of the buying public.. The Judge was just a option you selected on the purchase sheet ,,Most of the time people bought what was on the lot.... They did not have the internet to reaseach cars like we do today.. I saw in MuscalCar mags that most LS6 Chevelle were not bought for what it was made for ... Some were bought with Auto, sometimes on the coloum, and regular rear ends ... Not cars set up to take advantage of the engines ..

  17. #37
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    That is because the COPA cars were not known to about 90% of the buying public...
    Once again, we dance around the original argument of the SD-455 vs the LS6-454. I'm game though, let's toss the COPO out of that little scenario I mentioned, and replace it with the more common L88 vette in it's place. Better yet, lets end this thread, as I believe all points from both sides were already made...

  18. #38
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    I would suggest you guys pick up Pete McCarthy's Book Pontiac Muscle 55-79

    There are whole Chapter's on The Ram Air's SD's and the R/A V's
    True the 303 was originally slated to use the tunnel port heads but they found that the engine made more power with the R/A IV Heads. Still not enough to compete against the Fords And Chevy's of the times. In `69 Pontiac was also looking at the Dominating at the dragstrip so the R/A V 400 was developed alongside of the 303 Program. A 428 version was also tested with dual quad manifolds. These Engines used Blocks with reinforced webbing cast into the lifter valley (like the SD 455) and Heavyduty Forged Rods.
    The projects got cancelled but alot of parts were already available. About 100 R/A V Engines were assembled and sold over the counter to Racers
    An SD R/A IV Engine was slated to go into the Trans Am in 1970
    It would use the block and rods from a R/A V with R/A IV heads and valvetrain
    The RPO for this Engine was LS1 (sound familiar) This would have been the first of the return of the SD engine program. This also never Happened The Trans Am's received the same engines as the GTO that Year.
    The SD455 (RPO LS2) was the next engine in this lineup but was sidlined for a couple years because of the EPA's mandate on compression and emissions requirements.
    And yes I have ridden in a R/A V !
    I personally Know Milt Shornack who was the main wrench and Driver for Royal Pontiac back in it's Hey day.
    My Friend Bill Shultz Is the Owner of the `69 Turquoise and White Royal Bobcat and It Has a R/A V in it.

  19. #39
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    L88 was hardly a common car being that only 115 was made in 69... Why dont you try the more common 375 Hp 396 ...
    Well there was 4500 Ls6 in 70 so they are fairly common ... I guess what they would have met was the RAIV 400...
    All I have been trying to say is that just because a LS6 might have outrun some Sd 455s dont mean some did not loose to them as well..
    Last edited by snaggeltooth; 11-24-2006 at 12:00 PM.

  20. #40
    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggeltooth View Post
    L88 was hardly a common car being that only 115 was made in 69... Why dont you try the more common 375 Hp 396...
    "Try a more common 375-HP 396"? LMAO, so, your saying that the 73/74 Super Duty Trans-Am's (in which was in fact your original argument, not the GTO, correct?) were more "common" than the entire L88 Corvette's production? Hmm, you can argue that the Super Duty engines were that good, while I'm limited to just the 375 horsepower 396...?

    I'll put up any version of Chevy's 396 against any version of Pontiac's 400, any version of Chevy's 427 against any version of Pontiac's 428, and any version of Chevy's 454 against any version of Pontiac's 455. There you go. My argument was their cylinder head design, and NOT their yearly factory displacement. Go ahead. Pick an engine, and lets continue on with this ridiculous discussion...

    The Chevy LS6, L88 & ZL1 engines will destroy anything that Pontiac had to offer during those years, period, end of discussion. I don't want to hear about removing restriction plates, because, as you so pointed out; "There is my point ... You have to mod a 350 chevy ... a lot to keep up with a stock SD".

    Well then, please tell me, what STOCK Pontiac engine (ANY of their engines) could keep up with a STOCK LS6, L88 or ZL1 (WITHOUT MODIFYING)....?

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