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 Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?

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59vista

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PostSubject: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:09 am

It has been a bad year for my Pontiac - first the front took a hit, and just after the repair was completed (repaint only temporary, waiting for new bumper, but looking OK) the engine blew up.
The story is that the original engine gave up 4 years ago, and i completly rebuilded it. I had the block proffesionally bored 020, and the cranck was cut to 010 under.
Unfortunatly the machine shop (that is no longer in buissenes) made the fit to tight, and the engine was damaged during breakin. I did not realize it at the time, but it seems that a piston cracked back then, and the cylinder wall was cracked - this has now led to a broken rod.
After taking everything apart, i know what is needed to get it running again.
Cranck rod bearing needs grounding/bearings.
Block needs sleeve (crack is not all the way, so it could be fixed).
New piston & rod.
The twisting of the rod turned the piston, and the valves struck the piston - new valves.

This is all very expensive and time consuming.

Now it seems that someone has a 69' 400 engine to spare, and i may buy it for a resonable price. (i have not talked to the owner yet, but apparantly it came out of a 69 firebird that he bought for racing.

My question is : Could i install this engine as a temporary solution ?.

I would prefer to run it in front of the original Hydramatic.

Anyone know if the bolt pattern is the same - or even close ?
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Palle



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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:25 pm

No, I dont think it will fit, because on your original combination the starter is mounted with two horizontal bolts to the transmission housing. The later Engines (65-up) has the starter mounted with two vertical bolts to the engine block. Try to find an engine up to -64, I think, or a -65-up with a 3-speed TH 400.
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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:48 pm

Thanks Smile - i've read about the starter isssue, and i know that the early block won't work on a newer car, but i was not sure about the other way around... - i think that this engine comes with a TH400 - but then i will have to make a new driveshaft. I hoped to do it without making modifications to the original parts, since i want to be able to swap the original engine back in at a later time. I am lucky to have a very original car, and i try to avoid any permanent changes Smile .
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Palle



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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:14 pm

Hello again, try to put an ad at "www.classiccars.se", a source for classics and parts in Sweden. Southern Sweden is probably just an hour travel time for a Dane, and there is a couple of Pontiac guys in Skåne, I bought my -59 Bonnie there in 2007. Maybe I can watch for parts around where I live, I am located 80 km northeast Gothenburg. Good luck with your car, any 59 is a Beauty!
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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:18 pm

Hi Palle !

Thanks ! cheers - I just left the workshop, after taking out the other pistons - bearings are all worn down (after max 2000 km), so something was done wrong when the engine ws rebuild. It seems the tolerance was too tight, and there is evidence that at least one bearing has spun
When i rebuild i am going to recheck everything myself before final assembly Rolling Eyes . I thought i could trust a well reputed engine builder that has been around since at least the 30ties - but apparently not.

I'm pretty sure about the block beeing repairable (with a sleeve), but i am not so sure about the cranck.

I live in Jutland, so Sweden is a few hours, and bridges, away, but having said that i don't mind a little drive if a good engine shows up !. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:49 pm

Finally some good news - and some bad...

I picked up my engine from the machineshop today (along with a 3k$ bill). The block was sleeved, and bored to 0.60. Decks reworked. cranck reworked. Everything looks nice.......
I brought along the heads for inspection, and was told that my small crack in one of the heads would be a problem. I was told that the best thing was to find a new head.
I am going to assemble the bottom end, but i now desperatly need a new (or rebuildable) head. As far as i can tell it needs to be a 59 head (because of the reverse flow cooling) - casting number 531395.

Does anyone know where to get one - or have a spare one sitting around - i am very interrested.

This is my prefered solution, but if i can't find one i wonder if newer heads could work ?. At the very least i will properbly have to change the cooling system.....

scratch
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CATBIRD



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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:30 am

Christian.....1959 and 1960 only. If you find and use a 1960 head, make sure to use the coolant tube from inside the 1959 head. 1961 and later heads will fit the 1959 block, but you must use both along with an intake manifold from those years. You would also need to convert the block to non-reverse flow with a corresponding timing chain/coolant distribution cover from 1961 and later. 1958 heads would also work, but again you would need both. If I'm not mistaken the valve sizes are smaller than 1959. A 1960 head is identical to 1959, except for the coolant tube. My Catalina, for some reason unknown to me, has 1960 heads. Whoever did it had the foresight to reinstall the original tubes......John
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PontiaCat59

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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:45 pm

This kind of post is exactly what I'm talking about when it comes to sharing information. I may or may not be able to always distinquish between fact or B.S. but I do appreciate the input. Thank you John! (BTW, I don't think your posts are B.S.!)
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Finfan

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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:56 pm

I can probably come up with a '60 , I cannot imagine what shipping would be though affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:30 pm

CATBIRD : Thanks for all your help Very Happy . This is exacty in line with the information i have been able to dig up - i need 59 or 60 heads. I was not sure about the 60' heads, so i am happy to hear that they will fit too.

I have spend some time looking into pin-stitching repair, and it looks like a plausible option - crack looks exactly like the one in this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4cGvYBb9Ag

Anyone hwo has tried this ?

However, as i mentioned i would still prefer a 'new' head.

FINFAN : I know that shipping will be fairly expensive, but i am still very interrested in the 60' heads. Can you tell me more about them ?.

Once again thanks - it has proven really difficult to find accurate info on these early pontiac engines. Most of the stuff out there only covers the later versions. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Temporary engine swap - will it fit ?   Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:16 pm

Time for a update !

I had a go at flamespray/hotbed welding. No such luck - the head failed the pressure test.
When i got the bad news, i went into e-bay mania mode, and stumbled on a complete 60' engine + trans in the Chicago area. 1000 $, unknown state. Unfortunatly it turned out to cost about 3000$ to get it home.
It has now arrived, and i have pulled the heads. After a bit of cleaning they will be off to the machine shop.
The bonus stuff is an original 4brl setup, including airfilter, servo pump, a 'heavy duty' (30A) generator, block and gearbox, etc.
Fingers crossed for passing the pressure test Smile .
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