How To Rebuild Pontiac V-8s by Rocky RotellaHow To Rebuild Pontiac V-8s by Rocky Rotella

How To Rebuild Pontiac V-8s

byRocky Rotella

Paperback | April 29, 2011

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Under the guidance of Semon "Bunkie" Knutson, John DeLorean, and a host of creative and innovative people, Pontiac established its own identity and distinct V-8 engine platform under the GM banner. In 1955, Pontiac's V-8 started out at a meager 287ci, but it was an auspicious beginning to an illustrious line of engines. The potent power plant grew and evolved over the coming decades; it included the 389 Tri-Power, 421, Ram Air IV 400, 428, and the Super Duty 455. These V-8s powered a number of legendary cars: the GTO, Firebird, Trans-Am, and many others. This Workbench series book will guide proud owners who want to rebuild these engines and give them a new lease on life.

Long-time Pontiac expert and magazine writer Rocky Rotella guides the reader through the entire rebuild process. Drawing on his vast experience, Rotella uses detailed captions and explanatory photos to show each crucial step of the disassembly, inspection, machine work, parts selection, assembly, and break-in process. This book instructs the reader how to skillfully pull the engine and prevent damage to the car. It documents how to carefully inspect the components for problems and fix these issues that could spell doom for a newly rebuilt engine. Finding a reputable and professional machine shop that specializes in Pontiac engines is discussed, as well as aftermarket parts and OEM parts interchange for high performance so you can select the best parts for a particular engine. All essential machine shop procedures are covered in detail. Inspection and pre-assembly are thoroughly explained.

Most important, as with all Workbench series titles, the methodical and practical approach provides the insight and vital information required for the task. This, the first-ever book dedicated to rebuilding the Pontiac V-8 engine, is a valuable addition to any Pontiac enthusiast's library.

Title:How To Rebuild Pontiac V-8sFormat:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 0.38 inPublished:April 29, 2011Publisher:CartechLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1613250355

ISBN - 13:9781613250358

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Table of Contents


Foreword by Joe Oldham



Chapter 1: Restoration Resources

Reproduction Parts Suppliers

Reproduction Exhaust Systems 

Pontiac Engine Colors 



National Clubs

Internet Web Forums


Chapter 2: Preparing for the Rebuild

Rebuild Basic

Creating a Plan 

Setting Performance Expectations

Gathering Required Equipment 

Selecting a Machine Shop 


Chapter 3: Disassembly

Pulling the Engine 

Component Inspection 

Top End Removal

Valvetrain Disassembly

Camshaft Removal

Bottom End Disassembly

Cylinder Head Disassembly


Chapter 4: The Factory Parts

Oiling System


Connecting Rods 


Harmonic Balancer 

Crankshaft Hub 



Cylinder Heads

Intake Manifold 


Exhaust System


Chapter 5: Aftermarket Parts



Pistons and Rings

Connecting Rods 

Stroker Kits


Cylinder Heads

Intake Manifold


Fuel Pump

Exhaust Manifold 

Gaskets and Fasteners


Chapter 6: Machining and Pre-Assembly



Block Preparation

Crankshaft Preparation

Connecting Rod Preparation


Crankshaft Polishing

Intake Manifold Selection 

Cylinder Head Preparation

Compression Ratio 

Camshaft Selection



Chapter 7: Final Assembly

Key Areas

Short Block Preparation

Rotating Assembly Installation Preparation 

Rear Main Seal Installation

Short Block Assembly

Long Block Assembly

Bolt-On Components Installation


Chapter 8: Startup, Break-In and Tuning

Engine Test Stand or Dyno

Engine Reinstallation


Flat-Tappet Camshaft Break-In

Roller Camshaft Break-In

Engine Break-In 

Engine Oil and Additives

Carburetor Tuning 

Distributor Types

Spark Advance Tuning

Vacuum Advance Tuning

A Final Note


Chapter 9: High-Performance Engine Combinations

Dave Bisschop, SD Performance

Ken Brewer, Pacific Performance Racing

David Butler, Butler Performance

Jeff Kauffman, Kauffman Racing Equipment

Scott Tiemann, Supercar Specialties 


Appendix: Torque Reference

Torque Sequences 

Cylinder Location

Cylinder Firing Order


Source Guide