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Posted: 10/1/2014 10:21:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 1:41:04 AM EST by xanadu]
I must be crazy but I have a guy wanting to trade me his 1971 Pontiac Catalina Convertible with the 400 engine and turbo 400 transmission for my do-not-want-camper that needs repair.

I think the Catalina is a sleeper hot rod but I'm not sure if I need to be asking for more trouble right now. I'm sure that gas mileage is nil and it'll be a summer ride only.

Or I can trade for it AND THEN trade it in on a used Jeep for my teenage son Something with air bags and a mpg over 5 - if I can find a dealer willing to take it.

Or I can drive it down to Manchester or Nashua and camp out in a grocery store parking lot with a sign that says "perfect Hooptie - bad ass ride - $7,000 cash, deal completed at local cop shop" and see I I get any urban interest.

Thoughts? (I'm not car smart)

Link Posted: 10/1/2014 10:24:28 PM EST
Depends on the camper. What's it worth?
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 10:33:40 PM EST
My 2007 camper is up for sale at $5,200 needs some work. BBook is $9k on it
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 10:47:47 PM EST
Seems fair and fun
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 10:54:43 PM EST
Where you located I am looking for a camper

Pics of Camper please
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:21:49 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 45_nut:
Where you located I am looking for a camper

Pics of Camper please
View Quote

Vermont
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:23:04 PM EST
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:25:44 PM EST
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Originally Posted By xanadu:
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?
View Quote

Its been around for 43 years, how long should it last?
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:37:01 PM EST
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Originally Posted By xanadu:
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?
View Quote


The 400 is a durable, but less common Olds engine. Most you find now seem to be 350 or 455CID (usually with shitty smog heads).

Pretty sure Mondello and a few others used to make some speed stuff for the 400, but it's been a while since I looked for anything Olds related.
My '72 wagon got parked when gas broke $3.00 a gallon, and that was a while ago.

Should probably sell it. .

The TH400 for a time was about the stoutest auto trans you could get from GM, and any shop that can't afforadably build one into a reliable driver really should not be in the business.

If you're worried about mileage you could always stick a low ratio set of gears in the diff and let the engine and that big TC do the work.
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:40:14 PM EST


Make sure it is rust free.


Frames on convertible's are very unforgiving.


Everything else is mechanical. Check fluids, run engine until it gets hot and thermostat kicks in. Shut off and check for leaks.


Then, test drive like you stole it.





Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:43:55 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Imbhindu:


Make sure it is rust free.


Frames on convertible's are very unforgiving.


Everything else is mechanical. Check fluids, run engine until it gets hot and thermostat kicks in. Shut off and check for leaks.


Then, test drive like you stole it.





View Quote


Pretty much this. Check for rust in the rear quarters on either side of the trunk, and if it cranks -slow- with a fresh battery, you're going to have a bunch of headaches of the electrical kind til you replace the battery cables. Delco /Packard electrics of that era were pretty reliable otherwise.
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 11:44:53 PM EST
I would fo then start building a 455 for it.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:23:54 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Pokernut:
I would fo then start building a 455 for it.
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haha!
I'll sell you mine, you just have to take the rest of the car with the engine!
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:44:03 AM EST
I'm trying to get rid of a free 19ft sailboat - I feel your pain.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:54:06 AM EST
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Originally Posted By xanadu:
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?
View Quote

I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a 1971 Oldsmobile 400.

Did you mean Pontiac 400?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:15:55 AM EST
There are two 400 olds motors. They are both durable and well built, easiest plug change that you can imagine. The early 400 make more power but I wouldn't kick a later big block out of bed. Olds did something genius with the big blocks, they raised the deck height to make the big blocks. Cams are compatible between big and small blocks, aftermarket heads fit both, distributors interchange, they are quite amazing. The older car will maintain value, your camper will not.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:21:31 AM EST
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Originally Posted By xanadu:
I'm trying to get rid of a free 19ft sailboat - I feel your pain.
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I haven't really tried yet, need to take pics and actually list it. I figure if I list it cheap enough someone will take it out of my sight.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:24:58 AM EST
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Originally Posted By P400:

I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a 1971 Oldsmobile 400.

Did you mean Pontiac 400?
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Originally Posted By P400:
Originally Posted By xanadu:
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?

I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a 1971 Oldsmobile 400.

Did you mean Pontiac 400?


It's possible it's not the original engine. Like how people used to swap the 260's in later Cutlasses with 350's or the odd 403.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:30:31 AM EST
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Originally Posted By P400:

I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a 1971 Oldsmobile 400.

Did you mean Pontiac 400?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By P400:
Originally Posted By xanadu:
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?

I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a 1971 Oldsmobile 400.

Did you mean Pontiac 400?


Yeah, I had the Olds 455 on my brain. I always just lumped them in to GM blocks in the past, now I have to refer to them by liter - the 400 being a 6.6 liter I believe. Not knowing the difference between the sub mfg's on engines -

Apparently a Pontiac 455 and is very different from the Olds 455 as would be the Pontiac 400 different forfrom other GM sub Mfg's 400's.

Wiki
The Pontiac V8 design differs from most other manufacturers' designs in that the external dimensions of each engine, from 326 - 455 cu in displacement, is identical (AMCs 290-401 engines identical). The displacement is determined internally with changes to the bore and stroke; therefore, there is no "small-block" Pontiac engine,in fact the same connecting rod length ( 6.625" and journal size remains the same for traditional Pontiac engines of.. ( 287, 316.6, 347, 370, 389, 421, 336, 326, 350, 428, and 455 and the "Indy 4" .) with the exceptions of the later short deck 301 and 265.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 2:40:31 AM EST
The 403 olds is 6.6 liters and is a small block. The 403 is what powered the legendary trans ams from 77-79ish. Cool fact about the 403 is it has a larger bore than the 455.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 3:15:54 AM EST
Looks damn fun
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:35:56 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Spaceboy:
There are two 400 olds motors. They are both durable and well built, easiest plug change that you can imagine. The early 400 make more power but I wouldn't kick a later big block out of bed. Olds did something genius with the big blocks, they raised the deck height to make the big blocks. Cams are compatible between big and small blocks, aftermarket heads fit both, distributors interchange, they are quite amazing. The older car will maintain value, your camper will not.
View Quote



Also same bell housing, motor mounts, headers, all that good stuff. Pulled my 455 out of my 4-4-2 and dropped it straight into a 79 T/A. Only thing I changed was the carb.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:21:47 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Pokernut:



Also same bell housing, motor mounts, headers, all that good stuff. Pulled my 455 out of my 4-4-2 and dropped it straight into a 79 T/A. Only thing I changed was the carb.
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Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Originally Posted By Spaceboy:
There are two 400 olds motors. They are both durable and well built, easiest plug change that you can imagine. The early 400 make more power but I wouldn't kick a later big block out of bed. Olds did something genius with the big blocks, they raised the deck height to make the big blocks. Cams are compatible between big and small blocks, aftermarket heads fit both, distributors interchange, they are quite amazing. The older car will maintain value, your camper will not.



Also same bell housing, motor mounts, headers, all that good stuff. Pulled my 455 out of my 4-4-2 and dropped it straight into a 79 T/A. Only thing I changed was the carb.



My Mistake guys - it is a PONTIAC 400
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:31:34 AM EST
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Originally Posted By xanadu:
So anyone know about the 1971 Olds 400 engine and Turbo 400 transmission combo = Solid or trouble?
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Very solis combination. TH400 is very Heavy Duty, the 400 is a BBC equivalent, you cannot go wrong with it.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:33:58 AM EST
You will have a much easier time selling a vintage car than a camper. Even if they both need work, more buyers interested in old cars.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:35:24 AM EST
i would trade in heartbeat
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:39:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Spaceboy:
The 403 olds is 6.6 liters and is a small block. The 403 is what powered the legendary trans ams from 77-79ish. Cool fact about the 403 is it has a larger bore than the 455.
View Quote


My 1977 Trans Am has the Pontiac 400!
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:53:07 AM EST
I have a '67 Catalina with a 400. The engine is a well built monster. the the Turbo 400 is a legend. New parts are available for modding and rebuild kits are out there for just about everything.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:57:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 8:58:40 AM EST by Kuraki]
There is nothing wrong with either the Pontiac 400 or the TH400. I would take the trade just because I think it's easier to move neat old cars than campers.

In fact, I would trade you my 1999 Wrangler for the Pontiac. The only reason I have it is because my wife likes that the soft top goes down. I'd rather have the Pontiac.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:02:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:05:36 AM EST
I would FO. The Pontiac 400 is better than the Chevy 400 in the aspect that the Pontiac is a big block vs the small block chevy. The issue with the chevy 400 was the lack of cooling channels in between the cylinders (due to bore size) and led to a higher engine temp especially with a smaller radiator and stop and go traffic.

IMHO the TH400 is the go to transmission for any GM vehicle. Solid and dependable.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:37:55 AM EST
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Originally Posted By xanadu:
My Mistake guys - it is a PONTIAC 400
View Quote

The Pontiac 400 is a great engine with a lot of performance potential. It still enjoys a ton of aftermarket support (definitely the most of the BOP brands) despite being out of production for decades. Pontiac engines have a large cult following and you will have no problems finding repair and performance parts for it.

Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:40:44 AM EST
I'd fo on that car so fast it couldn't even keep up.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:44:29 AM EST
Pontiac 400's are very solid engines with a fairly large following. Parts and information on them is easy to find. I would do it, AFTER checking very carefully for rust in the frame, floors, rockers, etc.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:46:20 AM EST
I hate all convertibles.

Even more if I lived in Vermont.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:47:04 AM EST
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Originally Posted By grywlf52:
I would FO. The Pontiac 400 is better than the Chevy 400 in the aspect that the Pontiac is a big block vs the small block chevy. The issue with the chevy 400 was the lack of cooling channels in between the cylinders (due to bore size) and led to a higher engine temp especially with a smaller radiator and stop and go traffic.

IMHO the TH400 is the go to transmission for any GM vehicle. Solid and dependable.
View Quote

There are no big block/small block designations with Pontiac engines. All Pontiac performance blocks have the same exterior dimensions.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:53:26 AM EST
The car has potential, could be worth 5k might be worth 3k. Then again, around here since a lot of campers come through a local auction company, your camper would probably only bring about 2-3k if it needs repairs.
Too many campers for sale here and a lot are trucked back out of state once they sell.

Personally Id fo.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:54:18 AM EST
What head casting on that 400? that'll tell you some things.

me, i'd trade a camper for a cat any day of the week, but i'm also a fanboy.


Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:56:35 AM EST
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Originally Posted By oscardeuce:


My 1977 Trans Am has the Pontiac 400!
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Originally Posted By oscardeuce:
Originally Posted By Spaceboy:
The 403 olds is 6.6 liters and is a small block. The 403 is what powered the legendary trans ams from 77-79ish. Cool fact about the 403 is it has a larger bore than the 455.


My 1977 Trans Am has the Pontiac 400!



'77 and up firebirds had both pontiac and olds engines. pontiac was ramping down production of their V8s and olds had a surplus. The fact that they had the same bell housing pattern was a no-brainer.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:28:56 PM EST
Waiting on the guy to give me all the info on miles, history, mods, etc.

In the mean time...








Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:31:31 PM EST
Those wheels are the biggest problem I see.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:35:19 PM EST
I would trade in a heartbeat.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:37:57 PM EST
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Originally Posted By P400:
Those wheels are the biggest problem I see.
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My thought as well.

Ugly.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:39:11 PM EST
Do it, and then get rid of the bro-wheels.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:21:17 PM EST
I wonder which axle ratio the car is equipped with. Pics of you doing a brakestand coming tomorrow?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:28:52 PM EST
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Originally Posted By TylerF:
My thought as well.

Ugly.
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Originally Posted By TylerF:
Originally Posted By P400:
Those wheels are the biggest problem I see.
My thought as well.

Ugly.



Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:09:20 PM EST
I'll drive my Wrangler to you and bring that back if you want I like it.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:15:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/3/2014 12:50:02 AM EST by telemarker]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By P400:
Those wheels are the biggest problem I see.
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^^^ This.
How in the hell did it stay what looks like mostly all original all this time just to wind up with those wheels on it?

I'll take the trade if you don't. that car will only go up in value over time if its free of rust.
Watch out for this guy!

Link Posted: 10/4/2014 12:07:46 AM EST
Well?
Link Posted: 10/4/2014 12:39:49 AM EST
If past body work is important, take refrigerator magnet to get an idea of what you're getting. Place said magnet on lower portion of body, fenders and rear quarters. Magnets don't stick to bondo.

Also, pay attention to different color reds between body panels, which will hint at past accident repairs. Panel gaps can be a tell, but those doors are heavy and can sag.

Repainted? Look for overspray and the jams, inside of trunk, and engine compartment will be different colors.

Finally, it looks like ds rear quarter is tweaked but it might just be the door not fully closed.

Link Posted: 10/4/2014 12:57:46 AM EST
Just look like hinge sag on the driver's door to me. Very common on cars with big heavy doors and is only a 10 dollar hinge pin and bushing kit to repair. Your fridge magnet and other tips are spot on.
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