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Pontiac 326; worth building?

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Pontiac 326; worth building?

NKau NKau
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 02/08
Posted: 02/29/08
01:59 PM

A friend of mine just picked up a '67 Le Mans with a 326 and what we assume is a powerglide trans.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone has ideas on building a budget 326 using as many stock components as possible.  Supposedly the 2V motors (which his is) had 9.2 to 1 compression and made around 250 hp.

Wondering how close we could come to squeezing 300 rwhp out of one of these motors, and what it would require to do so.  Would he be further ahead to start looking for a 400 or 455?  Thanks for any input.


TheSilverBuick TheSilverBuick
Guru | Posts: 1227 | Joined: 02/06
Posted: 02/29/08
06:05 PM

It's probably good for a stock rebuild.  A decent cam(don't go too big), intake and headers would almost certainly put you in the 300hp ball park.  Good news is pretty much any bolt on accessory you buy for the 326 (like heads, intake, headers,etc) would most certainly bolt to a larger displacement Pontiac down the road, thus saving money on buying parts for two engines.  Get the bolt on stuff and install them as budget allows and when you find a good deal on a 400-455 engine get it.  
The Silver Buick- '77 Skylark coupe w/ a Fuel Injected Buick 455&TKO-600, '72 Centurion Conv't - 455w/TH400, '67 T-bird 4Dr (suicide) w/428&C6. '69 Firebird replaced!

69gtodude 69gtodude
New User | Posts: 19 | Joined: 02/08
Posted: 02/29/08
09:12 PM

The Silver Buick has the right idea. I would watch for a 400/455 and get the heads redone with hardened seats, new springs lifters etc .. I think the 4.. motor would have larger valves. Use FREE craigslist WTB ad .I would stick to ram air type cam lift if you build the 326 and look for used headers(cheap)also replace oil pump and timing set on 326 for now( I like sd/ra pump for high pressure ). Also look for HEI (cheap) and at least a quadrajet. RPM alum intakes are fairly cheap.Good luck  
Im sorry you must have misunderlistened !

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 436 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 03/01/08
09:24 AM

several things... i had a 66 gto with a 326 when i first got it...  some of the 2 bbl 326 heads have small intake ports... the 4 bbl manifolds have much bigger ports.. they work but there is a mismatch ...

i dont think the 4 bbl heads or the aluminum heads will have enough valve clearance on the cylinder bore ... i may be totally wrong..

i totally agree on the hei...  works great... be sure to try to have it recurved to match the orignal point type... as they generaly dont have enough for the earlier motors..

or with an ajustable timing light. a tach and some thought could see how much centricical timing and then how much vacuum advance the point type has . then the hei can be set up once it is installed...

if you are going to rebuild it... please use trimetal bearings.. and aftermarket rod bolts... if you can afford the aftermarket H beam rods... go for it ... they can be moved over to a larger pontiac motor later... the cast steel rods dont like to rev over 5200 rpms and live... they tend to go egg shaped and let the bearings spin wiping out the crank and rod...    pontiac cranks can be welded if the journals are damaged...  

and for headers.... invest 5 bucks and buy off ebay the frame dimention chart for the lemans...   after decades of use and abuse the crossmember in mine has collapsed and brought the frame rails in.. i could not get a set of headers in easily... my gto had a lot of miles on it when i got it ... it only takes 30 minutes  to measure the the front width frame...    and if you had the stuff i had access to an hour to streach the frame back to spec..    you can tell if the frame needs work... the motor mount bolts wont go in without pulling and pushing things around... when i was finished... the went right in.. and the headers had lots of room... the car rode higher.. the wheels could be aligned... and it did not bottom out on every dip....

if anybody wants i can describe how to streach the frame with minimal stuff in an hour...without pulling the motor... or anything else but the front wheels..  

Pontiacman Pontiacman
Guru | Posts: 1890 | Joined: 11/07
Posted: 03/02/08
12:31 PM

What is the casting numbers on the heads.  
Professional hi-performance engine builder
Horsepower sells Engines and torque wins races.

NKau NKau
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 02/08
Posted: 03/03/08
10:34 PM

Thanks for the advice guys.  I'll get the numbers off one of the heads as soon as I get back out there.


nascar_37_2001 nascar_37_2001
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/08
Posted: 03/25/08
11:30 AM

Save yourself the hassle and buy this 400 from me:

It's way cheaper than you can re-build your 326 and a lot more power.

My loss is your gain - Chris (585) 317-0123  

goat_nut goat_nut
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 07/07
Posted: 03/25/08
01:50 PM

I have a 326 out of my 65 Tempest collecting dust in the garage. I went for a 400. I am still hunting a good 455 core. Remember...there is no replacement for displacement. That being said the 326 is still a good cruiser motor. Just don't have big horsepower hopes unless you have deep pockets. I am a die hard Pontiac guy but if brand loyalty is not an issue go for a small block Chevy. Way more bang for the buck. Getting 300 rwhp out of a 326 would be a lot more pricey than a 350 Chev.  

GreenNova GreenNova
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 06/07/08
06:21 PM

If you go with a small block chevy, you will need to change the tranny.  If your current 2 speed auto is the original attached to your 326, it is a BPO tranny.  It only fits Buick-Pontiac-Oldsmobile engines.  

55Guy 55Guy
Enthusiast | Posts: 444 | Joined: 08/07
Posted: 06/09/08
08:07 AM

Stay with the Poncho motor!

If I remember correctly, the new Edelbrock aluminum head will fit your 326 and give you some significant power gains combined with a good intake and 4bbl carb. Throw in a good hydraulic cam, and you'll have a good cruiser that you can afford to drive in these high gas price times.

If the car's got a Powerglide, I'd definitely recommend covnerting to a 700R4 or 200-4R overdrive automatic to help yor economy and cruising comfort.  

isaias_1 isaias_1
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 06/10/08
01:38 PM

I have a 326 that I had rebuilt and it was great! I am looking to upgrade some of the internal also, I am going with a comp cams XE268 cam and lifters along with the 1.52 rollor rocker tips. I am upgrading the exhaust to flow tech headers and an american thunder exhaust system from flow master. I also am changing the heads to 67 #140 heads with 7/16 screw in studs for the rockers and the fact I need it to bolt on the edelbrock performer intake and going with a 1405 manual choke 600cfm carb. can't wait to get it running again. Good luck, and if you need any advice or parts I got a few extra.Let me know?