Project Firebird

More Power

The motor had been rebuilt about 30,000 miles before the accident so it decided not to do a complete rebuild.  I cleaned it up, fabricated a custom windage tray, and installed a better oil pump.

The engine is a 350 cu. in. Pontiac but feels like a lot more. Most of it's power comes from the factory stock ram air cam was installed with a 4 deg. offset key. Mark was very helpful with this part. With the oil pan on and engine painted, we lifted the motor in place by hand (no engine hoist). We installed the heads next. The heads got a new set of 1:1.65 rocker arms for a little more lift out of the cam. I purchased a set of cast iron ram air exhaust manifolds to keep the stock look and provide more flow. A cast iron intake manifold was used with a Q-jet carburetor. The carb was revamped by RPM speed shop with larger jets and more space in the bowl. Slowly but surely, more pieces were cleaned, painted and installed.




With the radiator installed, the engine was crying out to be started. It was quite loud with only the exhaust manifolds connected. It sounded very healthy. Fire was coming out of the exhaust manifolds so I didn't run it long.


By the way, I drove the car to my brother's muffler shop for the exhaust work with no doors, no fenders, no hood and open exhaust manifolds. Now that's fun! On the way back, I was stopped by the local police. Fortunately my car was quieter and I only got a warning. Thanks a lot Mark!


See my Dyno Run on 9/19/06


New Timing Cover and Water Pump



Wish List for Motor Mods


Bullet Cams (Bob Cook)


Cam Card

duration @ .050 239/246

lobe lift .3450/.3220, separation 112 deg

valve lash (hot) .018/.020

desired spring pressure: 130-140 seat, 320 open (300-350)


Crower 66962x980

Solid Lifter w/ Cool Face Oiling for Pontiac & Olds (not the Chevy ones)


Crane Cams 28624-16

4130 Chromemoly Steel, heat treated, Dia. 5/16", Length 9.125", B-4 Ends, 0.062" wall thickness.


Crane Cams 99838

installed height 1.640", coil bind 0.950"

Seat pressure 130#, open 355#


Ohio Crankshaft N4554210



Keith Black KB371-030

Dished 30.50cc, Hypereutectic, 4.180 in. Bore, 5/64 in., 1/16 in., 3/16 in. Ring Grooves


Sealed Power



C.A.T. Power Engine Parts


CAT H beams w/bolts, Center 6.625", Rod 2.2490", Pin 0.9800", Weight 750G

Installed Specs

Machine Work

Westside Performance & Machine

9100 Emnora Ln
Houston, TX 77080
(713) 465-7996

you're in great hands with Jeff Cowie

Timing Chain

Engine Works 3512AX from

Jim Butler Performance

Heat Treated Billet Steel Gears, 9 Keyway Crank Sprocket - 8 deg. retard or advance in 2 deg. increments

Timing Cover

Kauffman Racing timing cover

 3/4 length

Water Pump

Flow Kooler aluminum water pump

aluminum with cast iron performance impeller


Crankshaft Scrapper

Ishihara-Johnson Crank Scrapers

 0 clearance Teflon scrapper

Windage Tray

Tomahawk from Jim Butler Performance

 3/4 length

Oil Pan

Canton Racing #15-450 plus 15-451 pickup plus gasket set.

The 7" deep 6 qt. Road Race pan did not fit very good. It was too close to the steering center link. I moved the motor mount back 3/8" but this was not enough. The GTO pan would work better but I didn't want the 8" depth. The gasket set was a great. The thick solid material went together like a dream.

Exhaust Gasket

Remflex Exhaust Gaskets

 1/8" thick, fills gaps up to 1/16"

Current Carb

Carter Qjet 7041264 LO VF

7041264 LO VF

originally used on a 1971

YS block, 400c.i. 300HP Auto






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ęCarl Matthews 1998,2003