is there any difference between a pontiac 455 sd and a 455?

Asked by Nov 14, 2013 at 09:41 PM about the 1973 Pontiac Firebird

Question type: General

what's the difference between engines? 455 sd verses 455

3 Answers

122,405

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_V8_engine -- check out the 455 portion of this link it should give you some insite into the differences.

2 people found this helpful.
122,405

In 1973, a further refined and even stronger version, the Super Duty (SD) engine was introduced with "only" 310 hp (231 kW)/231 kW (SAE Net) using a similar camshaft specifications to the Ram Air IV 400. The 455 SD used round-port cylinder-heads similar to those used on the 1971 and 1972 455 HO, with specific "LS2" intake and cast-iron exhaust header-manifolds. Still, it was the strongest American engine offered that year. Its power was achieved through bending of EPA emissions-testing procedures, which led engineers to de-tune the engine to 290 hp (220 kW) via a camshaft change to the same profile used in the early RA III 400 engines for mid-1973 and 1974, after which point it was discontinued. While an evolution of the RA IV and H.O. engine designs, the 455 SD was a much improved engine. In addition to the more refined cylinder heads, block casting reinforcements in the lifter galley and main bearing oil pan rail area along with the addition of forged connecting rods with larger 7⁄16-inch-diameter (11 mm) bolts, the SD was made with a provision for dry sump oiling from the factory. This truly was a racing engine, detuned for use in passenger cars.

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Super Duty 455's used Pontiac's legendary round port cylinder heads while the non Super Duty used standard D-port heads. The SD blocks utilized 4 bolt mains, forged connecting rods and pistons, and the blocks were cast with a provision for dry sump oiling. The lifter galley was reinforced with additional bracing to prevent cracking as well. Pontiac used a revision of it's standard 455 emissions rather than classify it as a brand-new engine. Since the standard 455's were already emissions certified, it allowed Pontiac to skip the certification process required of all new engine's. Without that it's highly unlikely that the SD-455 would have been approved for production. The SD-455 was the last of the true muscle cars. They were genuine 13 second cars when other so called '73 and '74 cars were struggling to manage 15 seconds in the 1/4 mile. It's a miracle that the SD-455 was even considered much less produced considering the market for high performance cars was definitely on it's last leg.

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