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Old 07-09-2017, 09:10 AM   #21
Woodfin
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Location: Kilgore TX
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

Two thumbs up for Monte Pannell with his "Little Chief" build. He has built 99.9% of the entire package in his home shop. The chassis, suspension, body mounting, all manner of brackets and tabs and custom mounts all hand built by him.

His dad, Bill Pannell, and Monte began the build about eight years ago. Bill passed away about four years ago and Monte has kept plugging away to finish the job. It is both a tribute to his Dad and a tribute to Monte's skills.

Monte is a long time friend and fellow racer, as was his Dad. Monte is a key person with Team Woodfin, faithful to travel with us and helpful in all ways. I look forward to being at the track with the Little Chief. It will be a winner.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:41 AM   #22
Little Chief
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

Well there never seems to be an end to the learning process in life and racing. I have been building my Sunfire over the last 10 years as funds would allow. In 2012 I found what I thought was a really "good deal" on a "freshened up" 406 small block that a local racer had been using for a couple of years so I jumped at the opportunity. Two weeks ago after much anticipation I fired her up with the help of Mr. W only to find out the little motor had several hidden issues. After the engine was taken apart we found it does not have the camshaft claimed, it has a bad cylinder head,the bearings were at least 5 to 6 years old in 2012,has one damaged piston, and one spun rod bearing. This latest issue will probably set me back a year or two but the lessons learned are invaluable. I know most of you know about buying used race engines but please be aware not all is as promised. Monte
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:47 PM   #23
S/ST J718
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Chief View Post
Well there never seems to be an end to the learning process in life and racing. I have been building my Sunfire over the last 10 years as funds would allow. In 2012 I found what I thought was a really "good deal" on a "freshened up" 406 small block that a local racer had been using for a couple of years so I jumped at the opportunity. Two weeks ago after much anticipation I fired her up with the help of Mr. W only to find out the little motor had several hidden issues. After the engine was taken apart we found it does not have the camshaft claimed, it has a bad cylinder head,the bearings were at least 5 to 6 years old in 2012,has one damaged piston, and one spun rod bearing. This latest issue will probably set me back a year or two but the lessons learned are invaluable. I know most of you know about buying used race engines but please be aware not all is as promised. Monte
Story's like this are not uncommon , buying any used items is a risky deal. I myself have a engine that was a freshen deal that ended up with only had good rod's and pistons and block. I was lucky as I knew this going in and had all other parts I needed at the time . Monte I feel your pain , hope your set back does not kill your desire. Great Luck with the build its only a matter of time. This is one great looking car......
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:51 AM   #24
Little Chief
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

Nick, have had some things actually go my way in the last few weeks and it looks like I may be able to try out my new ride this coming spring. I have a great friend in Mr. Woodfin and with his help and advise he has managed to keep my head up and moving forward.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:59 PM   #25
Little Chief
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

Well another week has gone by and now we find out the pistons in my little 406 are possibly 15 years old and matching one to the others could be a problem. It looks like it's time to punt. Hopefully I will have a game plan in the near future for little Chief but in the mean time I will be saving all the $ I can to make this happen. MP
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:10 PM   #26
S/ST J718
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

WOW ... missed your 11/2 post and then saw today's post... Its great having a friend like Larry , everything he does it top notch. Hope you can figure something out on the piston deal .
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:46 PM   #27
Little Chief
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

I am currently making plans to rebuild my 406 SBC. I do know the block will need to be bored to clean up a few minor issues. I will need to purchase new rods and pistons and am wanting to know your opinions on these to help me decide what to use. My motor might see a max rpm of around 7600. Any input is appreciated. Monte
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:35 PM   #28
Hacksaw
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

Let a competent machinist determine if you need to bore the block, maybe a hone will do the trick. Try to match weights with the new/old stuff to avoid major balancing on the crank later. Look for " off the shelf " parts rather than custom. Consider a matched bal. crank, rod, piston kit with bearings and rings. Could save you in the long run. Fatigue is hard to measure.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:17 PM   #29
Little Chief
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Default Re: 2005 Sunfire. aka Little Chief

I will have a machinist check the block to make sure what is needed. I was wanting feedback on rods & pistons that you guys like or don't like. I have been looking at Manley & Callies rods and JE pistons. Thank You for your input.
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