Mailbag: How to Get 400+HP from a Pontiac 400 Engine

pontiac 400 with edelbrock performer package

(Image/Street Tech Magazine)

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We work with the Summit Racing tech department to help you tackle your auto-related conundrums. In this week’s Mailbag, we’re recommending a parts combo to get 400+ horsepower from a Pontiac 400 engine in a 1968 Firebird.

Q: I want to build a Pontiac 400 engine for my 1968 Firebird. What parts would I need to build a sweet-running engine that makes around 400 horsepower? (Money is no issue!)

A: We think the Edelbrock Performer RPM package would be ideal for you. Here are the parts you’ll need:

The Edelbrock cylinder heads have Ram Air exhaust IV ports—so you should use this set of Hedman headers. Keep your compression ratio at about 9.5:1.

According to Edelbrock, this combo will yield 422 horsepower and 441 foot-pounds of torque on pump gas.

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  1. You mid-read the catalog!!! There’s no way the Performer cam will get anywhere near 400 hp. Barely mid 300’s is more likely.
    The Performer intake must be run with a 1” spacer to out perform a pre 1972 factory iron intake! The Performer RPM would be the recommendation.
    I realize the tech guys try to sell certain products but outside the heads and intake Edelbrock leaves a lot on the table with their generic cams and carburetors.

    Dyno proven 405-419 hp @5400 rpm 470 TQ @4100 rpm.
    400 9.50-9.70-1 Compression (Iron D-port heads)
    Crower #60916 Cam w/1.65 rockers
    Edelbrock RPM intake
    Holley 750 carb jetted 74/84
    This combo idles strong at 900 rpm and pulls 15# of vacuum. Shifts around 5500-5700
    Add in a set of Edelbrock heads your well over 405-419 hp and can pull 6000 rpm.

  2. Do you work for C & C?

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