The New Engine - Part 8 - 05/16/2009

Rounding the home stretch. The engine is broken in and ready, just needs a few brackets hunted down and a carb rebuilt. Tuning will be accomplished, and then the engine will go in the car!

Brackets obtained from a 1977 Bonneville for the throttle and transmission kickdown cable. The middle "extra" is for cruise control that the Bonneville had.

A carb from said 1977 Bonneville in the yard. For a 400. Gooey.

Nice and clean inside. Still had nice smelling fuel in it!

Seems like every carb I pull apart has had one of these tubes fall out. Gentle love taps put them back in.

Carb is on the engine and we tune!

It's not perfect, but Steve gets it pretty good. Seemingly has a relatively minor vacuum leak, we suspect the throttle shaft had enough play to cause issues.


MOV02616.MPG - 0:16 - throttle blip & idle

The fuel return line from the pump has a pretty steady stream. Some people block these off...

Engine is dismantled of accessories for installation in the car! And it's pretty hot still.

And it's on the lift! Who would have guessed it would ever come back to the lift...

Oh noes! It's smoke!

Actually no, it's just us blowing out the exhaust to get rid of any critters and dirt that has accumulated over the many years.

Pellet converter and y-pipe is removed to move the crossmember. Surprisingly the bolts for the crossmember came out easily (3 used cinch nuts and 1 did not) but we had to cut the bolts to the cat off as they wanted to snap.

Exhaust pipe is still decent. Driveshaft is applying parking brake (it works!). We fought with the driveshaft as some of the bolts were VERY rusted in (sitting on the dirt with no wheels for years is hell on these parts). Floors are still REALLY nice. Nothing broke coming out though. Factory u-joints and everything still in place.

Passenger side exhaust manifold is installed.

Driver's side manifold is instaled too.

And the engine is off the stand and ready to mate to the transmission. Those who know F-bodies will see the mistake we made and laugh at our folly...

Engine bay is cleanish and ready for an engine.

Transmission is slid on to the motor using 2 guide pins. Very easy when tilted properly.

Engine and transmission are mated and ready to go in.

Engine is guided in to the bay. Very delicate procedure.

We prepare to stab the motor on to the mounts...

And it's done! Astute eyes will notice the block mounts have changed. That's right. I prep'd and installed a very nice looking set of late model B-body 3 bolt mounts. The crossmember is MUCH wider on those cars, so the mounts go out about 3" on the driver's side and 1" on the passenger. It took Dana (a Chevy guy) pointing it out to us too. Very embarassing and frustrating. LOTS of cursing was done at this point as we were tired and frustrated that the car had fought us all along the way on every little thing. A new set of mounts were found, inspected enough to be found "good enough for right now" and installed. And the engine went in without any hassle. Steve and I have never done an F-body before with a Pontiac engine, so neither of us knew what the mounts looked like. Guess you have to learn the hard way sometimes, right?

Steve was a REAL friend and stayed to fix and bolt things back on after I had to leave. It had simply become a 1-person job and any more than 1 person under the car is really 1 more person in the way or standing around watching. I owe him immensely for that. He also welded up the exhaust that was cut with a blade - cell phone pictures rule!

More work on the passenger side. It looks pretty good! I was so happy that the guys who pulled the engine out did not cut ANYTHING on the car other than these two exhaust pipes. All of the bolts were in the trunk or left on the car, the harnesses were all unplugged, everything. Nothing was hurt. Most places don't do that...

Engine and transmission are in! Next step is to install accessories, radiator, shift cables, backdrive linkages, get new tires, and fire it up for a test run. I also need an air cleaner base for a 1975 Trans Am. Someone ran off with the one that was in this car and I don't have an air cleaner for it!

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Last updated May 16th, 2009