May 2011 Chevy High Performance Q&A - Performance Q&A

Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Kevin McClelland Mar 29, 2011 0 Comment(s)

This engine has been built to be stuffed into a ’79 Camaro with a stock 350, a Saginaw four-speed, and a 3.73-posi rearend at the present time. This will mostly be used for car cruises and occasional quarter-mile passes. Any suggestions on the engine combination and the type of trans would be greatly appreciated.
Fred Stipkovits
Via email

Many folks are reliving their high school years with Minnie Mouse engine combinations. Your buildup is very cool, but there is one clear choice (for us) on transmissions. The TH400 is a massive transmission that was built to be used in trucks! The thing is heavy, the rotating mass is high, and they eat horsepower. Many estimate the amount of power to rotate one from 20 to 30 hp. All we know is that you’re going to need a four-speed connected to the back of your 302 to keep that little Mouse in its powerband. Anyway, rowing the gears is much more fun at 7,500 rpm than just moving a stick one click! Enjoy the song that your small-block is going to produce. CHP

Technical questions for Kevin McClelland can be sent to him at


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