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Pontiac 195 4 Cylinder Engine

The Pontiac 195 four cylinder engine was produced from 1961 to 1963 and was known at the “Trophy Four” motor. It was only used in the Pontiac Tempest and was designed to attract customers who were looking for good gas mileage in a family size car. The engine was interesting in the fact that it was essentially a Pontiac 389 engine block cut in half. The same exact heads, valve covers and many other parts that were used on the 389 were interchangeable with the Pontiac 195. This also allowed Pontiac to keep production cost cheap for the 195 simply because it could be produced on the same assembly line right beside the 389. For customers who were not too thrilled about the power of the Pontiac 195, there was a four barrel carburetor option that could be ordered from the factory that pushed the horsepower up to 166 bhp.

There were several problems with the 195 that lead to its demise after a 3 year production run. One of the biggest issues with the engine was that it had a lot of problems with vibrating heavily because it was improperly balanced. This let to problems with the timing chain in the earlier models literally being shaken apart over time. Pontiac tried to fix the problem by using rubber engine mounts to absorb the vibration and the beefed the timing chain up to where it was strong enough to handle the unbalanced engine.

Even though this helped the situation with the motor there still remained one problem with the 195 that Pontiac could not fix. In the early sixties the horsepower wars were just starting to heat up which meant that most people wanted power and could care less about gas mileage. And with gas around .25 a gallon in 1961, who could blame them. This led to low production numbers of the 195 due to obvious lack of enthusiasm for the engine which lead to the end for the Pontiac four cylinder by the end of the 1963.


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