Watch this full rebuild of a 389 V8 engine from a Pontiac GTO


Hagerty’s series of Redline Rebuild videos recently saved a beat up 389 Tri-Power V8 engine. The 389cid V8 engine hails from the Pontiac GTO and features three two-barrel carburetors that pushed the engine up to 348 horsepower back in the day. Regular 389 V8 engines made 325 hp.

There’s something satisfying about timelapse videos, which make daunting tasks look effortless. Rebuilding an engine is anything but effortless, but sped up and compressed to 10 minutes, it’s a pleasant ordeal to watch.

We don’t know the full story behind the 389 V8 engine, but the video description says it started with bins full of rusted 389 V8 engine parts and an engine block with a cylinder crack as big as a tennis ball. Then, Hagerty began their work to save the engine with a total rebuild, which took several months.

The work along the way is almost relaxing to watch as technicians and mechanics port the cylinder heads, machine various components, and give the engine a new protective coating. Then, watching the crankshaft, pistons, and every other small component that makes the engine tick come together doubles the rewarding feeling.

In the end, we’re also treated to the engine fully assembled and clips of it firing up. It runs and sounds just as General Motors’ late “Excitement Division” intended with a thumping idle and angry bark when revved.

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