Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

trans am.. where to start

This is a discussion on trans am.. where to start within the Classic Muscle forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; ok guys i have a 78 trans am... i have the original w72 400 in it.. a while back ago ...

  1. #1
    Member mr_r0bert0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Age
    27
    Posts
    169

    pewter
    2002 camaro z28

    trans am.. where to start

    ok guys i have a 78 trans am... i have the original w72 400 in it.. a while back ago i got a hard knock in the engine.. its sat in my garage ever since.. i need some help on where to start... i wanna rip it apart and build it... but where should i ever start..

  2. #2
    Member c5z28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    8,120

    On your ass flashing
    my highbeams

    Do you know if the motor has been bored over at all?

  3. #3
    Member mr_r0bert0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Age
    27
    Posts
    169

    pewter
    2002 camaro z28

    i dont think so

  4. #4
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    pull her out take a head off

  5. #5
    Member 6.0LiterImportEater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    187

    Phantom Black Metallic
    2006 Pontiac GTO

    What do you mean by 'build her'?

    Are you looking to just get her running or start on a restoration project and get a mean bird?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lexington, Ky
    Posts
    78

    Black
    2001 WS6 Trans Am

    Pontiac engine builds are quite expensive compared to chevy builds.. If the car is straight with no rust and good interior AND you want to keep it stock then rebuild the pontiac.. If you have alot of work or you are going the custom route, then I would buy a new LS1 (about 6k) or buy a chevy short block and build it up per your own specs and budget... Once you jump into the big block game, you can easily drop 20-25k on a 700+ hp carbed motor
    (I should know). In my opinion, NOTHING sounds better than a stoked and bored BBC.......

  7. #7
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    big blocks just dont turn the RPM's a SBC does for half the $$$$$

  8. #8
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    12,552
    Quote Originally Posted by bamaz28 View Post
    big blocks just dont turn the RPM's a SBC does for half the $$$$$
    That's a common misconception.

  9. #9
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    12,552
    I've built several pontiac engines, they really aren't any more expensive than say, a well built small block chevy for instance. Years ago this may have been true when the aftermarket support wasn't there for pontiac and we were forced to find GM SD rods, SD forged cranks, etc....and paid big money for a solid short block. Nowadays that's just not the case anymore.

    Block work and head work cost the same. Valvetrain parts are about the same. Since the aftermarket has stepped in for pontiac in the last few years, there are many affordable aftermarket rods, cranks, pistons,,,or entire rotating assemblies.

    Places like Scat, Eagle, and even some cheaper brands out there now for pontiac. Thanks to the aftermarket building a pontiac engine is no longer a high dollar adventure. You can buy complete rotating assemblies for the 400 and 455 blocks, with stock stroke or stroker assemblies for engines over 500ci if you wish. An entire rotating assembly can be found for about the same price as a comparable SBC rotating assembly now.

    Edelbrock has been making Pontiac heads for several years now. Others have stepped up and produced their own D-port and Round Port heads as well like Kauffman and Butler.

    If you want to go crazy there are even aftermarket pontiac blocks now from IA (Indian Adventures)

    Check places like Kauffman Racing, Butler Performance, Tin Indian, Bruce Fulper Performance. This will get you started and you can price shop and see what direction you want to take.

    My advice,,,,keep in pontiac powered, there is no reason to swap another brand in there anymore.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Age
    54
    Posts
    5,170

    Black
    2000 WS6 6spd Hooker LT

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_r0bert0 View Post
    ok guys i have a 78 trans am... i have the original w72 400 in it.. a while back ago i got a hard knock in the engine.. its sat in my garage ever since.. i need some help on where to start... i wanna rip it apart and build it... but where should i ever start..
    First, get your $$$ in order, you don't want to take it apart and then leave it all in pieces everywhere. I've had a few 400s start knocking, it was usually a rod bearing. Who knows, maybe that's all it is on yours, and only did some minor damage.

    If you can take the engine out and take it apart, you'll save some bucks. Look for F'd up rod or crank bearings. Then you can take it to a machine shop, and ask if they've done a few Pontiac motors before. If not, go somewhere else. Keep that 400 under the hood, don't go the Chevy route.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lexington, Ky
    Posts
    78

    Black
    2001 WS6 Trans Am

    Quote Originally Posted by bamaz28 View Post
    big blocks just dont turn the RPM's a SBC does for half the $$$$$
    What??? Not with today's premium performance parts from companies like
    Callies, Oliver rods, T&D shaft mount rockes. etc,etc....
    Both my 507BBC and my 540BBC can easily turn 75-7600 with no issues.. However they both stop making power at 7100...Yea maybe 1/2 the $$$$
    but also 1/2 the HP....I have got high dollar engines for two of my cars and If I had to do over again, I would build an exotic LSx engine for reliability and HP..
    FirebirdJones is correct, Butler and Indian makes some wicked wicked power plants for Pontiac's....That is what Year One is using in their Bandit cars...

  12. #12
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Holiday,FL
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,378

    Green
    1997 Camaro Z-28

    Like they have all said, If it is a straight car everything is original and your looking at keeping it that way rebuild the pontiac but putting big money to it may not tbe the key.

    If it is going to be a custom car then ditch the motor and go smallblock. Cheaper rout would be gen 1 chevy, LS would be a good motor too because it is the new chevy small block, and there are actually more parts for those ls motors than ford 5.0 mustang parts. The gen 1 motor stuff is really cheap right now because of how long it's been around and there is a new big league player in the lsx motors so a nice gen 1 smallblock can be built for a cheap price, or can be bought as a turnkey for a great price right now.
    good luck with it!!! I have always liked those late 70's T/A bodies so a good power plant will make that thing bad ass.

  13. #13
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    12,552
    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    Like they have all said, If it is a straight car everything is original and your looking at keeping it that way rebuild the pontiac but putting big money to it may not tbe the key.

    If it is going to be a custom car then ditch the motor and go smallblock. Cheaper rout would be gen 1 chevy, LS would be a good motor too because it is the new chevy small block, and there are actually more parts for those ls motors than ford 5.0 mustang parts. The gen 1 motor stuff is really cheap right now because of how long it's been around and there is a new big league player in the lsx motors so a nice gen 1 smallblock can be built for a cheap price, or can be bought as a turnkey for a great price right now.
    good luck with it!!! I have always liked those late 70's T/A bodies so a good power plant will make that thing bad ass.
    ICK!!! If ya want to put a small block chevy in something, go buy a camaro. Stop putting bad thoughts in this guys head,,,,lol.

  14. #14
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    Quote Originally Posted by gateman View Post
    what??? Not with today's premium performance parts from companies like
    callies, oliver rods, t&d shaft mount rockes. Etc,etc....
    Both my 507bbc and my 540bbc can easily turn 75-7600 with no issues.. However they both stop making power at 7100...yea maybe 1/2 the $$$$
    but also 1/2 the hp....i have got high dollar engines for two of my cars and if i had to do over again, i would build an exotic lsx engine for reliability and hp..
    Firebirdjones is correct, butler and indian makes some wicked wicked power plants for pontiac's....that is what year one is using in their bandit cars...
    7600 that all ????? Lol

  15. #15
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    Quote Originally Posted by gateman View Post
    What??? Not with today's premium performance parts from companies like
    Callies, Oliver rods, T&D shaft mount rockes. etc,etc....
    Both my 507BBC and my 540BBC can easily turn 75-7600 with no issues.. However they both stop making power at 7100...Yea maybe 1/2 the $$$$
    but also 1/2 the HP....I have got high dollar engines for two of my cars and If I had to do over again, I would build an exotic LSx engine for reliability and HP..
    FirebirdJones is correct, Butler and Indian makes some wicked wicked power plants for Pontiac's....That is what Year One is using in their Bandit cars...
    you make a good point but where not talking newer engines, wehre talking old BB arent we ?

  16. #16
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    That's a common misconception.
    i have to disagree

  17. #17
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    12,552
    Quote Originally Posted by bamaz28 View Post
    you make a good point but where not talking newer engines, wehre talking old BB arent we ?
    Well speaking of the older bigblocks I'll set the record straight since people have this misconception of bigblocks not turning rpms.

    I've owned 3 different L78 cars, 2 camaros and one chevelle. For those not familiar these are solid lifter 396/375 hp engines, factory aluminum intakes, holley carb, large square port heads that when installed on the little 396 promote alot of high rpm HP.
    I used to spin these motors to 6500 rpm all day with the stock camshaft and all. My 69 chevelle I had installed an L88 cam and valve train while the rest of the engine was stock GM, and that motor would spin 7,000 easily and I ran bottom 12's with that car and a 4.88 rear.
    I had 3 buddies,,,all of them were real deal COPO 69 camaro owners,,,for those unfamiliar, these cars came equipped with L72 427/425 HP solid lifter engines. I've also driven a couple of these cars, and one was raced for a bit as well. In bone stock form 6500 rpm was no sweat at all, and were regularly shifted in the 7,000 range.

    The only small blocks of the time that were even capable of this type of rpm were some of the solid lifter engines of the era, LT-1, DZ302, or some of the earlier high horse 327's.

    So like I said, bigblocks not being able to turn rpm, is a common misconception. Only the low HP versions with hydraulic cams and oval port heads weren't condusive to rpm,,,but the same could be said about all the small blocks with hydraulic cams of the same vintage.
    Guess you had to own some of these great cars to know the real truth.

  18. #18
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Well speaking of the older bigblocks I'll set the record straight since people have this misconception of bigblocks not turning rpms.

    I've owned 3 different L78 cars, 2 camaros and one chevelle. For those not familiar these are solid lifter 396/375 hp engines, factory aluminum intakes, holley carb, large square port heads that when installed on the little 396 promote alot of high rpm HP.
    I used to spin these motors to 6500 rpm all day with the stock camshaft and all. My 69 chevelle I had installed an L88 cam and valve train while the rest of the engine was stock GM, and that motor would spin 7,000 easily and I ran bottom 12's with that car and a 4.88 rear.
    I had 3 buddies,,,all of them were real deal COPO 69 camaro owners,,,for those unfamiliar, these cars came equipped with L72 427/425 HP solid lifter engines. I've also driven a couple of these cars, and one was raced for a bit as well. In bone stock form 6500 rpm was no sweat at all, and were regularly shifted in the 7,000 range.

    The only small blocks of the time that were even capable of this type of rpm were some of the solid lifter engines of the era, LT-1, DZ302, or some of the earlier high horse 327's.

    So like I said, bigblocks not being able to turn rpm, is a common misconception. Only the low HP versions with hydraulic cams and oval port heads weren't condusive to rpm,,,but the same could be said about all the small blocks with hydraulic cams of the same vintage.
    Guess you had to own some of these great cars to know the real truth.
    we turn SBC harder dads 327 in his 67 malibu turned into the 9000's this was before my time though. my 355 has turned 8200 by mistake on my part. im not saying a BB cant turn high RPM's im saying the SCB turns higher.

  19. #19
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    12,552
    Quote Originally Posted by bamaz28 View Post
    we turn SBC harder dads 327 in his 67 malibu turned into the 9000's this was before my time though. my 355 has turned 8200 by mistake on my part. im not saying a BB cant turn high RPM's im saying the SCB turns higher.
    Those aren't stock engines either turning those rpms. I was comparing engines of the time period since your comment of old bigblocks was heading in that direction. My comparison of those engines in that time frame explains it pretty well and puts that misconception to rest.

    If you want to get into that sort of stuff, you can make the bigblocks turn the same rpms with aftermarket parts if you wish. Just as Gateman was eluding to. Or if you want, check out an NHRA event, in particular the stock and super stock classes where stock cylinder heads, intakes and carbs are used (depending on the class) and ask some of those vintage bigblock camaro guys what they are shifting at, what rear gears they are running,,,,it's a real eye opener, trust me. What I was doing with mine doesn't even compare.

  20. #20
    Alabama Member bamaz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    heart of dixie
    Posts
    1,215

    06 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    02 superchipsZ28 M6(sold)

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Those aren't stock engines either turning those rpms. I was comparing engines of the time period since your comment of old bigblocks was heading in that direction. My comparison of those engines in that time frame explains it pretty well and puts that misconception to rest.

    If you want to get into that sort of stuff, you can make the bigblocks turn the same rpms with aftermarket parts if you wish. Just as Gateman was eluding to. Or if you want, check out an NHRA event, in particular the stock and super stock classes where stock cylinder heads, intakes and carbs are used (depending on the class) and ask some of those vintage bigblock camaro guys what they are shifting at, what rear gears they are running,,,,it's a real eye opener, trust me. What I was doing with mine doesn't even compare.
    WHO CAN COMPARE TO A SUPER STOCK CLASS, where just poor boys building SBC in a shop in the backyard and hurting alot of peoples feelings that are running BBC. i see your point for that era thats impressive but maybe its me im fond of the the SCB there are so many ways to build one. god knows i've sunk thousands into em the last 12 years or so.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Trans am start up
    By WS SIX in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-30-2013, 07:17 PM
  2. Trans am Start up?
    By WS6 MANN in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-06-2013, 12:11 PM
  3. 1997 Trans AM Will not start please help.
    By mystictealZ28 in forum LT1
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-29-2010, 10:14 PM
  4. New Trans Am, now where to start?
    By TransAmlover90 in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 02-10-2008, 08:54 PM
  5. Trans am won't start
    By 98_firebird in forum General Help
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 06-02-2007, 09:12 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •