A: The difference in heights moves the engine over to the right side of the engine bay for header clearance around the steering box and clutch cross-shaft. The taller frame mount is installed in the left side (driver side). This gives you the correct header clearance. The engine isolators (motor mounts) are both the same thickness for the big-block. The frame mounts may look like they are two different heights, but when bolted in the engine bay and the engine sitting on them, the height difference just moves the engine over; the engine will sit level in the car.
Good luck with your Camaro. The first thing that I would do as soon as it’s running is buy stock in your favorite tire company. The rear tires aren’t going to last long my friend! Good luck.
Q: I hope that you can give me a little help on figuring out what the estimated horsepower would be and what I will need for a torque converter. I have a ’68 El Camino SS 396 with 350 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque big-block. The engine was rebuilt to stock specs about 3,000 miles ago. Here’s what I’ve done so far: Edelbrock 2161 intake, 1411 carb, 2162 cam, 5895 valvesprings, and 7810 timing chain, DUI HEI distributor, Hedman 68196 headers with 3-inch Flowmaster stainless exhaust, and TCI 700-R4 trans (rated for 450hp max). The rearend has 3:73:1 gears, posi, and Strange axles with C-clip eliminators. I don’t plan to race it; I built it to show off at our local cruise nights.
A: What a nice cruiser! The ’68 was the first year of the new Chevelle/Malibu body style for the A-bodies. The Chevelles really grew up from the ’64-65 and ’66-67 body styles. I was lucky enough to have a ’69 SS 396 Malibu convertible for several years. To this day, my wife still reminds me that we should have never sold that car, but that is another story.
Your engine build will give you years of service and the Edelbrock Power Package that you’ve installed will give you great torque and horsepower to the 5,000- to 5,500-rpm range. The Performer 2162 camshaft specs out at 218/228 degrees of duration at 0.050 inches tappet lift, 0.500 inches max lift on a 114-separation angle. This camshaft will deliver a very smooth idle and great torque from the crack of the throttle. That said, a stock stall speed converter or the tightest performance aftermarket converter will give you excellent driveability with your low 3.06 first gear in the 700-R4.
As for horsepower, I assume you’re running the stock closed chamber oval port heads with the slightly domed pistons, which gave you 10.25:1 compression ratio from the factory. With the addition of the Edelbrock Power Package, Hedman headers with 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust, I would peg your horsepower right in the 400hp range. The torque should come in right around 410 to 420 lb-ft of torque, and the torque curve should be about as flat as a tabletop. Don’t be afraid to stop by your local dragstrip and make a few passes. You will really enjoy the rush and you won’t have to worry about any red lights in your rearview mirror! Enjoy!
On Your Own or With the Pros?
Q: OK, I have a few questions to ask the pros. I’m currently deployed in Iraq and have a ’72 Nova sitting at home. It has a tired two-barrel two-bolt 350 in it. Of course this won’t do, and I want a replacement. My question is should I go long-block GM crate and Vortec heads with the addition of my cam and intake? On the other hand, should I buy parts and have a local machine shop throw together a 383 with parts I have selected? Going that route would be cheaper, but I’m not sure which one will last longer. Lastly, the YearOne $3,000 small-block looks like it would be a good contender. Please, any and all advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
CW2 Bryan Bartucci, UH-60 Pilot
Balad Air Base, Iraq