Freeing up the Time Stuck 1959 Pontiac 389 Bonneville Engine

Articles, How to's, tips, and suggestions on wrenching your ride or project.

Moderator: maniacmechanic

User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



yedister wrote:Why don't you just take it apart, clean the crap out of it and rebuild it ?
Would that be less time consuming

.
Now that the longblock is free unstuck I can take it apart.
I have 3 other 455 Pontiacs.
Building one for my Trans Am.
Any engine rebuilt is an Automatic $3,000-10,000 spent.

The 1959 Pontiac 389 Bonneville engine is a prime example of the Entire GM World and Corvette world.
No money .
They are Fucken Broke.

This 389 will run again in 2017.

User avatar
Strictly Attitude
Ring Finger
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:42 am



yes look forward to video of fired and running

:ridiculous: :toilet: :ridiculous: Be good or be good at it!!!
User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



I have the 1959 Pontiac 389 engine turning free by hand pretty nice with a breaker bar & 15/16" socket on the balancer.
Still a slight drag tight spot but is almost Negligible.

For the past few weeks every day after work I have squirted A mix of Castrol Edge 10w30 synthetic- Marvel Mystery Oil - Castrol Dextron III ATF down each cylinder about 15 shots each with my squirt oil can.
I then cranked the engine over with stater motor for 100 -200 revolutions.

About 2 weeks ago I pulled the oil pan down & cleaned out the old sludge with solvent mineral spirits.
I used my Snap On Solvent Air blast gun to clean off the entire bottom end rotating assembly & pickup screen.
Reinstalled the pan & filled the pan with 10w30 Castrol Oil.

I have spare time this weekend coming to remove the intake manifold & lower pushrod cover.
Pull the valve covers off again.
Clean out the old sludge & solvent air blast the rest clean with the engine flipped upside down on my stand.

For such an old engine once the crud is cleaned off its amazing virgin clean rust free iron & steel underneath.
It may run again without too much $.

Money is tight for a few weeks yet.
Started a New Job Recent.
Diesel Mechanic once again.
It Pays way better than Auto Mechanics earn anywhere unless your lucky enough to work in a Ferrari dealership But I think they get MotherFucked too.

Got Health Insurance for the Wife & Kids also.

BR

User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



Image

Image

User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



The Piston Rings & Valves are Sealing.

Factory Compression spec is 155-165 psi.

I have 150 - 170 psi.
The 1959 Pontiac 389 will run again.

User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



Image

Image

User avatar
Strictly Attitude
Ring Finger
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:42 am



Bet you are excited to get it back in the car and cruise again

:ridiculous: :toilet: :ridiculous: Be good or be good at it!!!
User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



Strictly Attitude wrote:Bet you are excited to get it back in the car and cruise again

Its not so easy to install a Modern Trans Behind an early 1955-1963 Pontiac V8 287, 316, 370, & 389 Cubic inches.
They had different bellhousing bolt patterns than we are used to with 1965-81 Pontiac V8, Oldsmobile V8, & Buick V8-V6 & Chevrolet Gen 1 SBC & BBC.
I have to fabricate a transmission adapter plate. I wish to bolt the 1959 Pontiac 389 behind one of my Pontiac Turbo 400's.
The Motor Mount pads are in the right location for my 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix & use the same engine mounts.
I can buy an aftermarket early Pontiac block adapter plate to an Later 1965 & Up Turbo 400. Has universal BOP & Chevy Trans bolt patterns.
They cost $700.00 - $900.00.
Or I can find an early 1958 -1960 Pontiac Manual Transmission Bellhousing, that allows me to use a Muncie 4-speed transmission. Seen them on Ebay & guys sell them for $700-900 bucks. :ridiculous:

I did get the Superhydromatic transmission bellhousing & Flexplate & Special 1959-1960 only starter motor so I can fire up this 389 engine when ready to. Test Stand test it out.

I found Blueprints to Fabricate the Trans Adapter plate. Written up by a Pontiac GM Engineer & signed off by him.
A Fellow Pontiac guy from Illinois left it for me on another Forum.

The Pontiac & Olds Superhydramatic is a very good automatic transmission from what I read. 4 - Forward Gears.
But has no torque converter, has 2 separate Fluid couplings internal / Dual Coupling - No fixed stator to make it a True Torque converter.
Guys claim they are the most Power Efficient GM Auto transmission till The GM 700R4 came out in 1982 & finally perfected in the 1987 Corvette.
I have a 1964 Pontiac Superhyromatic trans here, wrong bolt pattern for the 1959 389 Pontiac engine. Its a Rare Bird also because its an All Aluminum Case unit(1964 Only) where earlier Superhydramatics were All Cast iron case transmissions.
Oldsmobile used the same transmission behind their 394 ci V8 Big Block Cars, called Super Jet Away transmissions.

The early 3 - speed GM Transmissions were crappy for Drag Racing I have read. Only Manual trans offered in 1959 By Pontiac.
Borg Warner 4- speed manuals were delicate & known to fail drag racing hard in the Early C1 Corvettes.
It was until 1963 When the GM Muncie 4-speed was released.

The Drag Racer choice of manual transmissions back in the 1950's was an early 3- speed manual. The LaSalle transmission. Used 1937-1938.
Was found to Bullet Proof. Mickey Thompson pushed over 750 HP through them. GMC 6-71 Supercharged 1959 Pontiac 389's running on 30% -90% Nitromethane Fuel.

The 1st Modern transmission 100 % Bullet Proof with a full functional Torque Converter was the GM Turbo 400.
1st used by Cadillac in 1964 Only.
1965 Pontiac, Oldsmobile , & a few Chevrolet cars used the Turbo 400.
Still the #1 Transmission in Drag Racing today. Guys are pushing 4,000 HP through a Built Turbo on Drag Strips Nationwide today.
STREET OUTLAWS....ALL USE THE GM TURBO 400.

User avatar
maniacmechanic
VFF Tech Mod
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:26 pm



I found my Fel Pro Gasket set for the '59 389.
Made just for 1958 Pontiac 370, 1959-1960 389 engines.
Need a $100 Benji to buy.

Going to clean out the Block & Cylinder Heads Coolant Passages with 2 gallons of Evapo Rust Remover Next I bought Recent.
Will Chemically Chalate Clean spotless to Virgin Bare Cast Iron all internal Coolant passages.
Let the Evapo Rust remover do its stuff for 3-7 days during the work week.

The Motor Oils they had back in the 1950's, 1960's & 1970's was Nasty Shit.
Fucken Sludge.

Castrol GTX was the Only GOOD OIL Back then.

I am only using Castrol GTX Edge Full Synthetic 10w30 in this engine.

The Factory GM Pontiac 1959 Service manual calls for 10w30 motor oil for its 389 engines.

User avatar
Strictly Attitude
Ring Finger
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:42 am



Awsome on getting the plate design. Beats that insane cost off fleabay. Hadn't even thought bout that issue.

:ridiculous: :toilet: :ridiculous: Be good or be good at it!!!

Return to “Tech”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests