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Engine: What to do?
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Hi folks, my first post, looking forward to some good advice! 

My son and I are restoring a '66 GTO from the ground up. I have a 326ci that came with the car (non-matching). My dilemma is what to do with the engine. We'd like to put something in the car with about 400 HP. So, should I look for a crate/rebuild or turn the 326 over to a machine shop and have it rebuilt? Yes, I know its an open question: like how long is a piece of string. That being said I am not sure which direction to take. We are in the Hamilton area. Thus any suggestions of good engine builders would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks in advance!

"Real Rookie Rodder" Mick



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MILTON, ONT

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Welcome from Milton Area. Try Mike Kerley @ activeengines.com in Mississauga. 



-- Edited by 69SS454 on Friday 10th of February 2017 07:57:30 PM

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NIAGARA REGION, ONT

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Welcome from Niagara. If that's a real GTO it deserves a correct 389 or maybe a later 400 or 455. From what I've read, building that 326 to 400hp might get expensive.

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WEST PERTH, ONT

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Welcome Mick. 1966. Nice.

The 326 is a good engine. I have to ask, is it in the car and running ?

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Call Murry at Thornhill crankshaft.
There's also a member here sae50 in port perry with 45 years experience an a very reasonable man.

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BELLE RIVER, ONT

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I've always felt that a GTO deserves the 389 ....should give you about 400 HP in stock refreshed form .

A buddy of mine picked up a 66 or so Lemans a couple of years ago . The owner had installed a 350 but had the 389 rebuilt and sitting on an engine stand . The deal was made to include the 389 ......., buddy listed it on Kijjiji and sold in an instant for asking price .

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Thanks for your replies and advice Gents. The engine is out of the car and I have no idea how good or how bad it is.

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ALLAN PARK, ONT

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Welcome to the forum

Pretty sure a GTO never came with a 326, so I would opt for a larger engine. The 326 is probably much harder to get parts for and would cost more to rebuild in the long run, with less power



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DELAWARE

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poncho62 wrote:

 

Welcome to the forum

Pretty sure a GTO never came with a 326, so I would opt for a larger engine. The 326 is probably much harder to get parts for and would cost more to rebuild in the long run, with less power


 The GTO  was never offered with a 326. 389's in 66. My experience, as I've had both motors, the 389 will make the power you want. The 326 will make it also, but the cost is considerably more! I always had trouble keeping  the 389's  together for any amount of time..The 326 was far more reliable. The 326 also fooled quite a few bigger motored cars!..lol..Good luck with your project and send some pics!!!biggrin



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CAMBRIDGE, ONT

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It comes down to money-if it is not the original engine -get a quote to rebuild-then get a quote on a crate engine-I know I can get a brand new big block chevy engine with a 2 year warranty and everything is brand new for about the same price as rebuilding an engine that is 50 years old-take your time and look at all options!
Keep on Cruising!!!
Dave

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Thanks again Gents! As you have said the engine is not original to the car so I am leaning to a new build vs the 326. I'll post a few pics of the "Swiss cheese" that we started with and are finally prepping for epoxy now. Best

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FORT ERIE, ONT

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If you're in or not too far from the Niagara Region, you can try Precision Machine of Niagara Falls.
www.facebook.com/PrecisionAutomotiveMachine/

If you're leaning towards a crate engine, the LS engines are a good option.
driving.ca/auto-news/news/collector-classic-gm-crate-motors

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I'll leave you to pick the engine and size but I rebuilt a SBC three years ago for roughly 400 hP and the rebuild price was far greater than a comparable crate engine. The US dollar exchange at the time was on par to buy parts from Summit. With the dollar down now, I can't imagine it to be a cheap endeavour to rebuild.  It also took a great deal of time but that could have just been the machine shop I used.

If I had to do it again, I would have gone with a crate engine or at least a crate short block.  You get the added bonus of a warranty that way too.



-- Edited by damion on Sunday 26th of February 2017 09:33:46 PM

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BRANTFORD, ONT

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I think it depends on your idea of a "restoration". Since you don't have the numbers matching engine it will never be "perfect". And the end result will also depend on your skill level and budget. So you need to make an assessment of those things.

Also consider what you want to do with the car ... long cruises, etc..

Keep in mind that horsepower is often overrated and costs money. A nice fresh smallblock will give you plenty of power along with drivability and reliability and not break the bank.

Sheet metal, interior, bodywork and paint will be a big expense. You should get that done and worry about the engine only when the project is closer to completion. To many guys build the engines and then they sit for years (myself included). Get the car done first.

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ONTARIO

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gkent wrote:

I think it depends on your idea of a "restoration". Since you don't have the numbers matching engine it will never be "perfect". And the end result will also depend on your skill level and budget. So you need to make an assessment of those things.

Also consider what you want to do with the car ... long cruises, etc..

Keep in mind that horsepower is often overrated and costs money. A nice fresh smallblock will give you plenty of power along with drivability and reliability and not break the bank.

Sheet metal, interior, bodywork and paint will be a big expense. You should get that done and worry about the engine only when the project is closer to completion. To many guys build the engines and then they sit for years (myself included). Get the car done first.


 Solid advice.



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TORONTO, ONT

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If you want 400hp, just get a 70's 455 and do a mild build on that with that, and drive it with the 326 until the big motor is done. All pontiac motors look identical, and pretty much all external parts interchange within years and head styles.

You can have a mild 455 putting out the 400hp you want, with nearly 500ft-lbs of torque and never have to rev it above 5200 rpm. You don't want to rev a pontiac anyways. The rods are cast, not forged, and are weak.

Don't put a chevy in your GTO, as you are killing its resale value, and its not as cheap as everyone says when you include the ancillaries. You will have to change your exhaust, radiator, engine mounts, and transmission. All of these I assume you already have and could reuse since you said the car has a 326 in it already.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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fraso wrote:

 If you're leaning towards a crate engine, the LS engines are a good option.
driving.ca/auto-news/news/collector-classic-gm-crate-motors


 I agree with this.  I just picked up a 2005 chev truck 5.3 litre in a 1999 truck with a cracked frame for $900.00.  Motor has 160000kms and the rebuild auto overdrive has 60000km's.  Motor is rated for 310hp approx. stock and with a tune and some aftermarket add ons will make 400hp no problem.  Gas mileage and reliability would be an added bonus. 

 



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WATERLOO, ONT

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Yep just dropped a 5.3 LS in my 66 F100 :) ....Id do a 6.0 in a GTO any day :)


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PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, ONT

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Did you ever notice how many 67-69 Z/28s are out there with big blocks or some other form of small block? Z/28 refers to the RPOZ28 engine option and if you are not running a 302, then take the badging off your Camaro. Well, this applies also to the GTO. The early GTOs came with a 389, not a 326, which by the way was really a 327, but Chevy owned the Moniker and wouldn't let Pontiac use it. You say you are restoring a 1966 GTO, if that is the case, why in God's name would you put a LS or any other Chev type engine in it? As has been stated before, the 400 is a good replacement, is only a bored out 389 and they were in the 67s. It is almost impossible to find a good 389 today and if you do, it is probably bored to 400 anyway. If you keep the 326 in it, then replace the badging with LeMans or if you go with the Chev block, remove all badging. The early GTOs were a great car with an incredible history so do it justice.

Warren

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wuga wrote:

Did you ever notice how many 67-69 Z/28s are out there with big blocks or some other form of small block? Z/28 refers to the RPOZ28 engine option and if you are not running a 302, then take the badging off your Camaro. Well, this applies also to the GTO. The early GTOs came with a 389, not a 326, which by the way was really a 327, but Chevy owned the Moniker and wouldn't let Pontiac use it. You say you are restoring a 1966 GTO, if that is the case, why in God's name would you put a LS or any other Chev type engine in it? As has been stated before, the 400 is a good replacement, is only a bored out 389 and they were in the 67s. It is almost impossible to find a good 389 today and if you do, it is probably bored to 400 anyway. If you keep the 326 in it, then replace the badging with LeMans or if you go with the Chev block, remove all badging. The early GTOs were a great car with an incredible history so do it justice.

Warren


 Well you're right wuga..

Pontiac's are like Hemi's ....You dont replace them with anything but...

For years i've looked at or redone cars an trucks for people who said or stated with bills to prove that cars/trucks were restored when in fact they were not .

They were just repaired...If a car/truck has overlapped panels welded in as repair that exactly what it is a repaired piece not restored.

It did not come from the factory with over lapped panels therefore its not restored....PERIOD

Same with the engine game once you remove an replace the orig with a different mill the value drops an the definition of any such car/truck changes an so does the price.

Not saying by changing the engine that it will bring less across an auction block like a repaired overlapped panel car/truck will compared to one that has been restored correctly...

 Muscle cars are not hotrods ...or old iron as the saying goes.

Just my 2 cents not that you want it...lmao.nobiggrin

 



-- Edited by Ground Pounder on Wednesday 10th of May 2017 06:38:01 PM



-- Edited by Ground Pounder on Wednesday 10th of May 2017 06:51:09 PM

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St THOMAS, ONT

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It's amazing how many 67 - 69 Z28 are running around, in fact, there are more on the street now, than what came out the factory door. Having bought a new 68 Z28, it's quite easy to tell what is and what isn't a true zapper.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Put a motor out of a new GTO then! LOL. Build it the way you want it. Life's to short. Have fun and burn the hides off.

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BRANTFORD, ONT

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I think muscle cars are hot rods and that's what they were initially ment to be. However with prices soaring for certain examples the more they are modified the value decreases unless the car has some special history as a race car. There is no doubt a GTO with the wrong engine is worth much less and would be sacrilege to the gto purists.

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BRADFORD, ONT

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I agree with Racer Rick. Put in a 455, get it enlarged. A cam that would kill a 326 would make a 468 thrive. Get some good heads and keep compression at about 9 - 9.5 :1. Check out the 1973 Trans Am engine. It was around 8.5 c/r and even with a highway gear ran amazing 1/4 mile times. The torque of 468 inches will amaze you PLUS you will not need a 4:11 gear, 3:23 or 3:55 will be lots AND good on gas. IF you can find a 1973-75 Buick or Pontiac 800 cfm Q jet grab it. Failing that a Thermoquad or 750 Holley will provide lots of power. Give it a big exhaust system. Not necessarily loud. Have fun you will have a GREAT Toy.




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I know where there a good 455 out of a 74' trans am, if you're interested

20160712_193922_resized_1.jpg



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big dic wrote:

I know where there a good 455 out of a 74' trans am, if you're interested

20160712_193922_resized_1.jpg


 How much for the 455...would like to put in son's 72 trans am.

An where is it located Thank You.



-- Edited by Ground Pounder on Friday 18th of August 2017 12:14:30 PM

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PM sent Ground Pounder

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