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The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

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  • The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

    This project has been floating around the background of some of my other project threads for a long while and thought I'd start up it's own project thread.

    The back story is I had a '69 Firebird with a Pontiac 400 back in college. It was taken out by a guy with no license or insurance that ran a red light back in 2002. Took me almost ten years to finally pick up another '69 Firebird. At this point in my life I have three other cars with big blocks so figured when I get another '69 Firebird I'd do something different. Pontiac offered an unusual straight six with a single Over Head Cam (OHC) and figured I'd go that route. I've had a couple engines almost a year longer than I've owned the car and the engine build thread can be found here. I plan on going sequential EFI with a turbo on it.

    The engine build thread.
    http://www.bangshift.com/forum/showt...ontiac-OHC-Six

    Back to the car, I was casually looking for one over the years and about a year ago a BangShift member put me in contact with a fellow Power Tour'r in Alabama that had a '69 Firebird for sale. After looking at some pictures and talking with the owner I decided the price was good and flew out the Alabama to drive the car home to Ely, NV. Which is the second time I've done the fly and drive home routine, the first was with my Thunderbird out of Colorado. On to the pictures.

    The car itself is pretty decent and solid. It has manual drum brakes that have been gone through and manual steering. It needs some wiring work, but I plan on doing quite a bit of wiring with the EFI anyways. The first picture from 383S-10 on here.


    And thus in December of 2011 I started my ~1200 mile road trip home.


    Where I saw all sorts of weather.



    And the heater didn't work :*( I tried hooking up the heater core, but of course it leaked.


    On the way home I stayed over at DieselGeek Scott's house and he convinced me to install a heater core before leaving Omaha for the trip home. Considering the INSIDE of the car was around 23*F for the drive to his place I said we'd do it if the parts store had one. Well there is a NAPA distribution center there and they did, so the work began and a friend of his was gracious enough to let me use his shop.


    The damage. But after it was replaced I was a happy warm camper.


    All was good and I was making good time until about 50 miles before the Utah border.


    When this happened. No over heating, just went. Rut-roh.


    Got towed into Evanstan, WY pretty late, so the next morning got a temporary freeze plug and hit the road again.



    Then I made it home.
    Last edited by TheSilverBuick; November 19th, 2012, 11:23 AM.
    38P likes this.
    Escaped on a technicality.

  • #2

    Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

    Fast forward one year and I am finally starting to actually move forward with the OHC project. I moved over the last summer so it stalled a bit, but it was all worth it as I now have a nice work area to work in, as opposed to the car port in the above picture.

    The engine sounds and runs pretty good. But the V8 400 is coming out for the OHC Six.


    Lined up the car in my new to be barn's shop.



    Had a co-worker's 15 year old son helping me out. He is into cars and taking shop in high school so figured I'd offer up some hands on experience. He helped me out about a month ago doing some routine maintenance to my Skylark, figured pulling an engine is good experience.


    The empty bay.


    Got the engine set on a tire. I don't know what I'm going to do with it. Runs pretty solid, just no use for it right now.




    Also found a spark plug wire pinched in the valve cover. That explains the oil leak, and surprisingly it wasn't missing.


    Found out why the speedometer didn't work, or at least one potential reason. The speedo gear is broke.


    The aluminum intake appears to have the divider mod.


    And rolled the car back for now. I have to change the engine frame mounts for the OHC six, as well as do some wiring work. I'm thinking about installing the exhaust off the Firebird onto the Skylark.


    Time to assemble a new engine
    38P likes this.
    Escaped on a technicality.

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    • #3

      Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

      This should be interesting. Since I'm new to Pontiacs this year, I'll be following along.

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      • #4

        Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

        Todd's gonna WANT that 350!

        Dan

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        • #5

          Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

          Todd's gonna WANT that 350!

          Dan

          Side of the block says 400.
          Escaped on a technicality.

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          • #6

            Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

            I shed a little tear right there. Sniff. I mean, the ohc is cool and all, but the 400 is so iconic.

            Good start Randal, stay after it.
            Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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            • #7

              Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

              Ok I'll call the elephant in the room by name....

              TURBO THE 400!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Ok now that we have that out of the way. Can't wait to see your progress on this thing.
              38P likes this.
              Life is short. Be a do'er and not a shoulda done'er.
              1983 Mustang GT 545/552/302/Turbo302 http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...485-bbr-s-83gt
              1973 F-250 BBF Turbo Truck http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...uck-conversion
              1986 Ford Ranger EFI 545/C6 https://bangshift.com/forum/forum/ba...tooth-and-nail

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              • #8

                Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                I wish I had a car to stick that 400 into. I always wanted to build one. I think that old Edelbrock P4B intake was a great design and does very well against the newer designs. After riding around with NASBackyard in his 68 Firebird, I gained a new respect for their power.

                Looking forward to seeing this car haul butt with the OHV 6
                BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

                Resident Instigator

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                • #9

                  Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                  The OHV 6 are cool engines.
                  What's in store.....bigger bore, stroked?
                  Thom

                  "The object is to keep your balls on the table and knock everybody else's off..."

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                  • #10

                    Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                    The OHV 6 are cool engines.
                    What's in store.....bigger bore, stroked?
                    Stock bore and stroke 250. BBR and others convinced me to let the turbo do the work, and leave the cylinder walls thick and the side wall loading to a minimum.

                    Started putting the 250 I got back together. I had both the 230 and 250 block's cylinder walls sonic checked for thickness and the 230 had around a tenth of an inch thicker cylinder walls (same bore diameter as the 250), so I'll use that block for the 'good' engine, and the 250 will be my 'throw together' engine with on hand parts and a gasket kit.

                    I picked up a reproduction '69 Pontiac service manual. I hear the '67 manuals are best for the OHC stuff, but I will manage with the '69.


                    Got my work area laid out.


                    Measured all the main bearing clearances. Using the used bearings that came out of the engine, they all averaged a hair over .003x". The metal temperature was in the 40* range, so they might tighten up a bit at normal room temperature, which will still put it on the upper range of OE spec's. This was the tightest one.


                    Got the crankshaft all bolted down. I did the usual 'forget' to install the rear main seals until it's all torqued down. D'oh! But have it all in now.


                    Hope to get the pistons installed and rod bearing clearances checked tomorrow. I'll start setting up the head, but I need to do some modifications to it for oil control.
                    38P likes this.
                    Escaped on a technicality.

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                    • #11

                      Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                      One thing I remember about the OHC 6 was the distinctive exhaust sound.
                      Thom

                      "The object is to keep your balls on the table and knock everybody else's off..."

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                      • #12

                        Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                        Looks like a workbench project is in order ( tools on the floor ) .

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                        • #13

                          Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                          Looks like a workbench project is in order ( tools on the floor ) .
                          I have a rolling heavy metal table, the red cart, and a counter top and yet I still put things on the floor. I also have a nice professional mechanic tool box waiting for me to pick up in CA (I think it's a Snap-on, my Dad retired from being a fleet mechanic and the tools are in boxes in my garage).


                          Last edited by TheSilverBuick; November 22nd, 2012, 11:17 PM.
                          38P likes this.
                          Escaped on a technicality.

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                          • #14

                            Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                            I see you have an anvil for reshoeing the truck. I am used to putting tool tray on the fender. But, I dug out the apartment's plastic table for parts table when I assembled my engine. I now have a work bench out back.
                            BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

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                            • #15

                              Re: The Silver Buick's 1969 Firebird OHC six project.

                              This should be fun. Are you going to reuse most of the original parts in the engine?
                              My fabulous web page

                              "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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