Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

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Thread: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

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    Hey gang, I have a few Qs about the 301, and poncho engines in general.

    301 - what head castings did it use? Flow numbers?

    301 - What were the cam specs?

    301 - What was its gas mileage in the 79-81 Firebirds? Small displacement + tiny cam + quadrajet should equal good economy... no?

    General - Is it true Chevy cams work in Poncho engines?

    General - is it true there is only one block type for all displacements? (No big block vs small block)

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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 PontiacJ8's Avatar
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    Originally posted by [Corporal Dan]@Jul 6 2004, 06:20 PM
    301 - What was its gas mileage in the 79-81 Firebirds? Small displacement + tiny cam + quadrajet should equal good economy... no?

    General - is it true there is only one block type for all displacements? (No big block vs small block)
    I can answwer these two, but I'll asked my Dad the rest and answer the other's later....

    http://c6firebird.freeservers.com/Tribute.html
    There's an article on early 2nd that states:
    "The 301 had better chassis balance because it weighed about 100 lbs less than the big Pontiac or Olds motors."

    So it must be the 301 was the only Pontiac block that was different :huh: .....and yes it is true from back in 1955 287 ci. to 455 are all the same block> A Pontiac Engines ARE big blocks.

    As far as mileage goes I'm sure they got around the high teens or mid-twenties??
    give user Andy a PM, he has a Firebird with a 301

    ........Well as a typed I did a search for casting numbers and found this: http://www.bassettracing.cz28.com/custom3.html

    So 3 of your questions are answered, I think :P

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    Cool - Thanks!

    Anyone interested in a slightly used 301?

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    Parts do not interchange between divisions.

    Besides yearly changes, Ponitac had main blocks. However the Big Block(401-455) was basically a tall deck version of the short block. Olds did the same thing. So alot of parts interchange.

    The 301 was kind of a unique engine though. It was lightened severally and it ended up being pretty gutless and weak.
    -T

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    88 Buick Lesabre T-type (daily driver)

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    3.0 Liter SIDI V6 Andy's Avatar
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    yeah, the idea behind the 301 was to lighten the engine as much as possible. It was considered their "economy V8". The 301 is one of the only Poncho engines that is different from the main family of engines and is usually excluded when generalizing the performance and strength of the engines. The engines mass was reduced from taking away webbing and lightening up the crank. This made the engine rev well, but quite weak. I've had mine up to 6000 RPM and it was still pulling, but Im not going to ever trust the engine past that engine speed. About the gas milege, i haven't kept track, but with my 373s, it wouldn't be a reasonable figure to compare with. about the flow numbers, no too many people cared about the 301 so it's performance was rarely tested and i havent seen any. I was lookin' for the cam specs as well, to compare to my new cam but I was never able to find them.

    also, ask gmlinedog. he's put a lot of money and effort into his 301.
    <u>1979 Firebird</u>- 301 W/ 4bbl intake, new federal mogul cam (278/288, .420/.444), rebuilt heads, true dual exhaust with T/A tail pipes, 3.73 gears and in the spring come some American Racing wheels. Bottom end rebuilt because of leaky mainseal.

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    I&#39;ve never heard them refered to that way. Buick had two completely different engines, Olds and Pontiac had two different versions of the same block. Why would you call them all a big block?
    -T

    87 Buick Lesabre T-type (supercharged)

    88 Buick Lesabre T-type (daily driver)

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    He is maybe thinking of Chevy which did at one time have two totoally different engine families. I heard the Pontiac 301 was kind of weak and didnt have a long life. Is this true. My 1981 Bonneville has the Oldsmobile 307. I think it is better mine came with this rather than the Pontiac engine. Is this true?
    2005 Chevrolet Equinox LS

    1981 Pontiac Bonneville. Last of the full size RWD Bonnevilles.

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    1.8 Liter ECOTEC onebadbonne's Avatar
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    The 301 was VERY different than all other tradtional pontiac engines. Almost no part&#39;s interchange. The deck height is differnt and the intake runners on the manifold are siamesed. The only parts that interchange are the carb, timing cover, and valve cover. All of the other parts are 301 specific and dont interchange with any engine including the 301 turbo. THE 301 IS A PILE, GET a L78/W72 400.
    I have rare 301 parts if anyone needs them.
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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    Quote Originally Posted by montecarlolsus
    He is maybe thinking of Chevy which did at one time have two totoally different engine families. I heard the Pontiac 301 was kind of weak and didnt have a long life. Is this true. My 1981 Bonneville has the Oldsmobile 307. I think it is better mine came with this rather than the Pontiac engine. Is this true?

    Be glad you have the Olds 307 motor. That is a 150 hp engine that can be upgraded because it has the better 5A heads. It probably doesn't have much in the way of performance now but if gone through and dialed in will be a better engine in the long run than the 301 ever thought of being plus part availabilty will be much better for that 307. If your Bonneville was a 1980 model it would have the 140 hp 301 4 bbl lower output motor and a 3 speed THM 200 metric trans. If the 301 made it to your 1981 Bonneville it would have been reduced to 135 hp as in the LeMans wagons. This may be the reason Pontiac went with the Olds motor and the required 200 R4 overdrive automatic trans. On a different note, I have a 1980 Grand Prix SJ with the TA specific 170 hp 301 4 bbl and it has 140K miles on it and has never been pulled apart save the timing chain and valve cover gaskets. It still has good compression all around and will pull you back in your seat on the low end. From what I understand these TA 301's all had the same block as the turbo motor and were thus a better and longer lasting engine. They also had a slightly hotter cam and better carb with richer secondaries. The 301's biggest deficiencies were it's light duty crank with missing counterweights and the terrible siamesed intake ports on the heads that killed high rpm power.

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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    REVIVE!

    Very old thread I know... LOL...

    I have a 1979 Pontiac Formula Firebird.

    It has a 301 V8... I know I know bad engine... Runs great though...

    Before you even say it...Motor swap is not an option... LOL...

    My question is will Pontiac 326-455 headers match up to my 301?

    I was thinking of these... http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SU...0/?image=large the big seller for me is the price...

    OR

    What headers would fit? The cheaper the better...

    THANKS...
    Last edited by turbochargedhel; 07-20-2009 at 10:58 PM.

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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    >>"Pontiac Engines ARE big blocks."<<

    Only way to have a 'big block' is to ALSO have a small block at the same time (& from the same division).
    It's a relative term.

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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    Quote Originally Posted by balthazar View Post
    >>"Pontiac Engines ARE big blocks."<<

    Only way to have a 'big block' is to ALSO have a small block at the same time (& from the same division).
    It's a relative term.
    The 265 / 301 Pontiacs could be called "small block" compared to big block 287/389/326/350/400/421/428/455... of course there are also thin-wall / thick-wall 389's to consider but not really

    There isn't anything really wrong with a 301 just drive the thing. High Performance Pontiac had an article about 301 hop-ups many years ago. I don't think that "other Pontiac" manifolds fit the 301, I think the 301 is notably smaller.

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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    Quote Originally Posted by turbochargedhel View Post

    I have a 1979 Pontiac Formula Firebird.

    It has a 301 V8... I know I know bad engine... Runs great though...

    Before you even say it...Motor swap is not an option... LOL...

    My question is will Pontiac 326-455 headers match up to my 301?

    What headers would fit? The cheaper the better...

    THANKS...
    First off, it's not a BAD motor. Don't listen to the forum jockies or your father's friend's uncle who had one it and _______ he didn't like about it.
    It was a motor designed on a 'diet' and to make good mileage in an emission and MPG terrified 70s. It is what it is.

    I have the same car as you, 79 Firebird Formula 301 2bbl. It's got 118,000 original miles on a 30 year old motor and is still ticking and can light up the radials.

    Traditional Pontiac headers will fit. They won't utilize the supposed 5th bolt hole though. I've read good things on using RamAir Restoration exhaust manifolds for the 301.

    Aside a stock 4bbl set up, your intake has no real options since traditional Pontiac intake manifolds won't work with our siamesed intake/exhaust ports on the 301.

    Don't write off the 301 quite yet, they are very capable of decent power outputs. A rebuild with a cam shaft and timing kit, maybe coupled with roller rocker set up and dual exhaust and 200+ HP is not an unreasonable goal.

    Then there's the Turbo301 and it's a whole other beast to wrangle.

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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    I have a 1981 oldsmobile cutlass calias and I had a 1977 301 engine put in it. I had a edelbrock carb put on there now I have no hood clearance because of the spacers that were used. I was told to get an edelbrock intake manifold. Now I see that edelbrock doesent make a intake manifold that fits the 301. Can anyone help me with another option or does anyone know where I can find the correct manifold without having to use the spacers?
    Last edited by Newhill; 03-25-2010 at 03:10 PM.

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    Re: Pontiac 301 (non-turbo) questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Newhill View Post
    I have a 1981 oldsmobile cutlass calias and I had a 1977 301 engine put in it. I had a edelbrock carb put on there now I have no hood clearance because of the spacers that were used. I was told to get an edelbrock intake manifold. Now I see that edelbrock doesent make a intake manifold that fits the 301. Can anyone help me with another option or does anyone know where I can find the correct manifold without having to use the spacers?
    Edelbrock, nor anyone, makes an aftermarket intake for the 301, sadly.
    Your best bet is to hit up eBay for a 4bbl manifold. 2bbl manifolds are also common and go for almost nothing, but I assume you Edelbrock is a 4bbl.
    Also, try browsing your Craigslist. I find entire 301 motors for under $100 all the time.
    I recently picked up a complete 301 w/ 4bbl manifold and TH200 tranny for $50.
    And if no luck, I do have an additional 301 4bbl manifold I might be willing to part with.

    Derek

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