OUR NEXT ENGINE BUILD

Recently, I asked our readers for their opinions regarding our next engine build project. The response was overwhelming, ranging from late-model Ford 4.6 modular to a slew of “vintage” street-rod-popular muscle engines (Ford Y block, AMC bigblock, Mopar 360, 392 Hemi, 347 Ford stroker, Buick nailhead, etc.). It was actually somewhat surprising (and good news as well) that interest in older, classic engine platforms remains strong.

After digesting the very large response from our readers, I’ve decided that our next project engine will involve a “vintage” Pontiac 455, one of the current nostalgia-favorites, popular for both street rod and drag race applications. Naturally, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to a bit of excess, so I plan to overbore and increase stroke, and to take full advantage of current technology to enhance performance, while maintaining enough of a vintage flavor to make the build appealing to both the restoration and rodder crowd.

Stock bore and stroke for the 455 is 4.151”/4.210”. Depending on the block that I locate, I’ll plan to overbore by +0.060” or more (I’ll know better after performing a sonic wall-thickness check). I’ll likely stroke to either 4.250” or 4.500”.

As with all of our project engines, I’ll detail every single aspect of the prep and build in painful detail. I’ll include all specifications, final clearances, OE casting numbers, aftermarket component part numbers, torque specs, etc. I’ll provide a complete road map for the buildup of the ‘ol Indian bigblock, incorporating today’s technology to enhance durability and performance.  I’m in the process of locating a core long or short block as we speak.

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NICE COMMENTS FROM A READER:

Hi Mike, I would like to thank you for the fantastic Ford flathead engine build-up in precisionenginetech.com. The care and detail that you put into the project is amazing.

I apprenticed in a Ford Dealership in Victoria B.C. Canada during the late fifties and worked on many flathead motors during that time. Back in those days, I don’t remember ever seeing the level of workmanship that you put into your build.

I recently decided to build a model ‘T’ roadster and put a flathead motor in it. Using your articles as my guide, I began by purchasing a stroker kit with a Scat crankshaft from H & H Flatheads to begin my build.

Thanks again for the excellent text and photos that are included in the Project Flathead.

Gus McTavish

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2011 IMIS SHOW

The 2010 IMIS show in Indy was a resounding success, with sold-out booth space (579 companies and 1,145 booth spaces) and a great attendee turnout. The 2011 show is scheduled for December 8-10, once again at the Indiana Convention Center in good ‘ol downtown Indianapolis. The 2011 show will be the third annual event for IMIS. Interestingly, IMIS initially scheduled its 2011 show for November 30-Dec 2, which apparently prompted PRI to schedule its Orlando event for the same dates. As a response to exhibitors who planned to attend both shows, IMIS has re-scheduled its 2011 show for Dec 8-10. Now you have choices: attend one or the other, or hit both.

For more info regarding the 2011 IMIS show, visit www.imis-indy.com, or call True Speed Communication at 317-569-9514.

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  • Jason R. Sakurai

    Great buildup, Mike. Now I want to know where you’re going to put the Flathead. If you don’t have a ‘home’ for it, I can certainly help you find one.

    The Pontiac 455 will be another hit. I was a DM for Pontiac at the time when the 400 was phased out, and some of the Calif. cars were coming through with a 403 Olds in its place. The 400 was a great motor in a TransAm, and I can only imagine how much better it could be with a 455 like the one you have in mind. It’s going to be tough having to wait for each monthly installment, but well worth waiting for. Keep up the good work!

    Best regards,

    Jason R. Sakurai
    ROADHOUSE MARKETING