June 2012 Chevy High Performance Q&A

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Kevin McClelland Apr 23, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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Hopefully, this has given you the information you need. I don’t know how happy you will be dragging around a truck with this engine. At 3,200 pounds that’s one light truck. At least you have enough gear that you should be able to stay out of the stall most of the time cruising. Have fun with your project.

Source: cranecams.com, airflowresearch.com, edelbrock.com

Can’t Keep a Good Man Down!

Kevin, can you help an old gearhead out? I’m 60 and have had everything from 10-second street cars to a 7-second dragster. I’ve been busting my knuckles since the late ’60s. I’ve stopped drag racing due to a medical condition, and NHRA will not renew my license, so now I’m back playing on the street.

My questions are about my ex-tow vehicle that now serves as my daily driver in the summer months up here in southern Ontario. It’s an ’86 Chevy C10 1/2-ton that came with a 4.3L V-6 and three-speed manual. I built a 511ci big-block (0.060-inch over/4.375-inch stroke), Eagle forged bottom end, forged 10.25:1 slugs, as-cast AFR 305s, Crane hydraulic roller (PN 139631), Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap, with a 750 mechanical secondaries. Holley, headers, and an MSD 6A box with an HEI. I put a TKO 600 behind it with a 12-bolt with 3.73s and 12.50x33 tires. I want to take the drivetrain out and swap it into an ’87 C10 short box that somehow found its way up from Arizona. The ’87 cost me less than it would to fix the rust and dents in the ’86. The ’87 has a TBI 305, air, dual tanks, and was a four-speed manual. I plan to remove all the A/C stuff. How do I get around the computer and still retain all the electrical components? I don’t want to lose the gauges/lights/wipers, and I want to keep the dual tanks functional. I was going to reuse the sending units and alternator from the 305 but what can I disconnect or bypass without causing headaches? Will the in-tank pumps feed my 511? What about the pressure regulator and return line? I have a mechanical pump on the 511. Can I use both (if needed)?

Finally, what does the air dyno make of the combination? Also, I found two pairs of bad lifters (one had a seized roller) and a bad lobe. I spoke with the people at Crane, and they will regrind the cam, so while it’s out I can have it re-ground to other specs. Would you change anything? I’m happy with it now. If anything it has too much low-speed torque. That’s why I went with the 33-inch tire to try to get it to hook somewhat, but now I find it will “buck” at anything under 1,800 rpm in Fifth. Before with the 31-inch tires, I could cruise at 1,400-1,500 in OD all day long. Thanks for your help!

Howard DeSchryver
Via email

As all of us with NHRA racing licenses well know that we have to pass a biannual physical to continue racing. Before I sit down to write next month’s column I have to go in for my physical to continue racing. Every time you go for the physical, you are just waiting for the doc to come in and say something stupid like you can’t race anymore. I feel your pain. At least you’re enjoying yourself with your 1/2 ton of fun. A 511-inch big-block and a TKO 600 gearbox must be a blast. Let’s get that engine swapped into your ’87.


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