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Cars > Carolina_29053’s Garage > Blog > Blast from the past! 70 400 Ram Air III Engine :)


Carolina_29053’s Profile Photo


M –61
Columbia, South Carolina
United States


Blast from the past! 70 400 Ram Air III Engine :)

By Carolina_29053

I've heard of them, I've seen them in pictures and maybe even seen a few in person, but I've never owned one. That is until now! Barn find for sure. I scored this 70 400 RA III complete engine (less carb, intake and distributor). The engine is a numbers matching engine that was used in 70 GTO's and Firebirds. It is one of the higher horsepower engines produced by Pontiac for that year (366 HP with 400 RA III heads). It has been sitting for a long time and does not turn over, but I am about to get to the root cause of that. Everything looks fine in the valve train (except for really worn out timing chain) so I suspect maybe this engine might have jumped time and was parked. Then corrosion probably has a piston seized up in the cylinder (which is repairable) but I am looking at a re-build either way, but this is one engine I don't mind putting money in to get it right. (it will cost less to rebuild than I lost in my 401k plan - how's that for justification) This engine combo came with gobs of horsepower and I can't wait to get working on the build (might be going in my 73 in place of my 455). Tearing this thing apart is like opening a time capsule. To put things in perspective:

Aug. 1, 1969, the production date of my "WT" block - Elvis Presley performed at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Aug. 7, 1969, the production date of one of my # "12" heads-
UAW workers would be listening to Elvis songs from the Top Ten list such as "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" while building these heads.

Aug, 8, 1969, the production date of one of my # "12" heads -
The Beatles were putting the finishing touches to what would be their final studio album at the EMI Studios on Abbey Road when they came out of the studio, crossed the street and made history.

I tell you, wrenching on this old engine takes me back in time! Seems like the older I get, the more I want to go back!

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Carolina_29053’s Profile Photo
May 28, 2012 at 6:43 am
The RAIII is back from the machine shop and ready for assembly. The cylinders got a .040 cut, the crank got turned .010/.010. The heads cc'd at 70cc, got hardened exhaust valve seats, new exhaust valves, bronze guides and new valve springs as well as resurfaced. The crank got balanced as well, with new flywheel and harmonic balancer.

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Cars > Carolina_29053’s Garage > Blog > Blast from the past! 70 400 Ram Air III Engine :)

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