Hitman's Pontiac Trans Am Forum

Trans Am Information => Trans Am Information => Topic started by: bryant on June 22, 2007, 08:27:09 AM

Title: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 22, 2007, 08:27:09 AM
Hello Everyone, I am a new member and a proud new owner of a 79' TA. I have loved these cars since I was 16 and now 15 years later I finally own one. Quick question, the engine is rebuilt and I am not sure if its a pontiac 400 or a chevy 400. I do know that its a 400 though, is there a way to identify the engine without removing the engine to look behind the block. As you all know the back of these engines but up agianst the firewall so its hard to read behind it. Any info would be helpful on this.
Thanks.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Rick on June 22, 2007, 10:11:33 AM
Welcome to 78TA.com!  Pontiac V8s are pretty distinctive.  SBCs used more cylinder head bolts and the water pumps are different, among other details.  Got any pictures?  That'd let us tell in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 22, 2007, 10:59:10 AM
Sure do....hope this helps

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 22, 2007, 12:19:51 PM
Looks like a Poncho to me.  Looks too wide to be a Chevy motor.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Rick on June 22, 2007, 12:24:02 PM
I agree with turbota400 -- but a pic showing the water pump and more of the front of the engine would remove any doubt.  I dunno what kind of bracket's been worked out for the alternator -- probably had the idler pulley removed when the AC was taken off. :-\ :-\
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 22, 2007, 12:28:46 PM
Thanks guys, I'll take better picts tonight and repost to be sure.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 22, 2007, 01:11:37 PM
That bracket kinda threw me off for a second too.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 08:21:24 AM
ok, I am trying to post some more pictures but itys telling me the file is too large. Does anyone know how to compress my picture file size down to the allowable size?
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 08:41:58 AM
lets try this.....

(http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j24/sandlbryant/79%20TA/000_0739.jpg)

(http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j24/sandlbryant/79%20TA/000_0740.jpg)
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 23, 2007, 10:00:30 AM
yep. it's a Poncho.  You can tell by looking at where the intake attaches to the water pump.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 11:31:43 AM
Thanks turboTA, greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 23, 2007, 12:08:32 PM
No prob!
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Joker (告r茺agon) on June 23, 2007, 01:01:37 PM
Now all we need are the #s and we'll be able to see what size and year it is. ;)
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 23, 2007, 01:02:56 PM
Precisely.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 02:37:50 PM
I cant locate any numbers (becuse I really dont know exactly where to look). However, I did find some numbers on the block just under the valve cover on the driver side. They are a letter and 3 numbers, is this usefull, if so I can give you those numbers - its A198.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 23, 2007, 02:56:06 PM
The casting numbers are on the passenger's side at the rear of the block just in front of the bellhousing.  And IF you can see them, the size of the motor is cast into the block under the exhaust manifolds.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Joker (告r茺agon) on June 23, 2007, 03:09:27 PM
There will be a short code on the front of the block on the passenger's side between the head and the water pump. That is the engine code. If I'm reading Brett's list correctly that should be "PWH" if it's the original engine for your '79. Then on the rear of the engine towards the driver's side from the distributor hole will be the 4 digit date code. The casting number will be on the block behind the passenger's side head.

Here's one question that I forgot to ask though. Is your car a 4 spd?
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 03:16:55 PM
no its a 3 speed with a rebuilt 400, i just want to 1. make sure its a 400 and 2. see what kind of engine it is.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 03:26:30 PM
so i guess ill have to pull the engine out to see any numbers that would be useful? Its real tight in the back of these TA's
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: turbota400 on June 23, 2007, 03:36:42 PM
It takes a little practice but you can use a smalll mirror and a flashlight to look at the back of the block and get the numbers
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Joker (告r茺agon) on June 23, 2007, 04:00:35 PM
It's a 3 spd auto?


Look on the front of the engine at the red arrow.

(http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b230/SirLDragon/Cars/PontEngCode.jpg)

This will get a start on finding out what it is.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 04:18:13 PM
its an automatic. believe it or not there are no numbers at that location, does this mean it not a Poncho?
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Joker (告r茺agon) on June 23, 2007, 05:01:37 PM
No, it's defitely a Pontiac engine. Maybe it's a GM replacement block. I've just learned to use the two or three letters/numbers stamped into the block at that location as the first means to ID them. In that case TurboTA400 is right. Time to get out the mirror.

The reason I was asking about the tranny is because I'm pretty sure there were no 400/automatic cars built in '79. ???
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: bryant on June 23, 2007, 05:41:36 PM
I'M GOING TO GO AHEAD AND PULL OUT THE ENGINE TO CLEAN IT AND PAINT IT, SO I'LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT THE NUMBERS ARE WHEN I GET THEM. I REALLY APPRECIATE EVERYBODYS HELP.
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Joker (告r茺agon) on June 23, 2007, 05:44:11 PM
No problem! :)
Title: Re: ENGINE ID , NEED HELP!
Post by: Rick on June 23, 2007, 05:56:10 PM
The numbers will, in all likelihood, be there, but understand that the numbers/letters there are STAMPED into the block (in the machined surface) and may be very light -- not to mentioned covered over by crud, although your engine looks pretty clean overall.  Just look closely. ;)