August 2012 Chevy High Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland Jun 27, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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The power steering pump will work just fine feeding your ’69 power steering box. The only hassle there is that the ’94 pump uses O-ring–style power steering hoses and your ’69 uses flare-nut lines. You could take a fresh power steering line from the truck and have a hydraulic hose shop wedge the correct 3/8-inch flare-nut line end on the pressure hose. The return line will be a snap.

Finally, the alternator will also work and will be a major upgrade over the factory externally regulated alternator currently on your Chevelle. The original alternator could be a 36- to low 50-amp output alternator. The dualie alternator probably is at least 100-amp output from the factory, and could have a heavy-duty unit with an even higher output. All you need to do is to cut the connector off the ’94 wiring harness that connects to the alternator internal regulator. This connector should have one black small gauge wire coming from it to the truck’s warning lamp. On your Chevelle there is a brown-colored small gauge wire that comes from your dash warning lamp to the No. 4 terminal on your original voltage regulator. The voltage regulator is located next to the radiator tank on the driver side of the radiator core support. Disconnect this brown wire and extended it to connect to the one black wire coming out of the ’94 alternator. This will properly excite the internal regulator. You can disconnect the wires going to terminals two and three on the original regulator and insulate them. The No. 1 or F lug is commonly used as a junction block of the power lead from the battery on its way to the firewall plug, feeding everything under the dash.

Now that you have a high-powered alternator, you must upgrade the main load wire from your alternator to your battery. GM has run this load wire to various locations over the years from junction blocks, the main lug on the starter, or the battery. We prefer the last because then the regulator is able to see the load being placed on the battery and charge accordingly. When you run heavy-gauge wire down to the starter lug, it has the chance to be heated by the exhaust and close proximity to the block. As the wire’s temperature climbs, the resistance to electrical flow increases. If you run a single eight-gauge wire from the load lug on the alternator directly to the battery it will stay the coolest and give you the best charging path.

As we’ve said in the past, the OEMs have really built some good stuff over the years. We just need to figure out ways to incorporate them into our builds. Keep looking for money-saving options at the self-service yards. Good luck with your Chevelle.


Pump You Up

I am in the process of putting a 427 high-performance big-block in my ’69 Camaro (clone) and would like to know if there is any way to beef up the crossmembers to handle the extra horsepower or other modifications.

Dennis Forsberg
Minot, ND

We’re not completely sure what you need to beef up. The ’69 Camaro came standard with big-blocks from the factory. The front subframe will handle just about whatever you plan on throwing at it. Now, the factory rubber engine mounts are another story. They are great for reducing vibration into the driver compartment, but we’ve torn many apart over the years. These days, Energy Suspension has come to the rescue with polyurethane engine mounts that directly bolt in place of the factory engine mounts. You can pick up a set by ordering two of the PN 3.1118 mounts with chrome brackets (PN 3.1117 for gold zinc plated). While you’re at it, install the matching transmission mount, PN 3.1108.

Finally, if you’re looking to tighten up the complete car, Energy offers the HyperFlex system (PN 3.18118), which includes polyurethane bushings and mounts for your control arms, rear leaf springs, rear leaf-spring pads, front sway bar endlink sets, a unibody mount set, a trans mount, and ball joint and tie-rod end boots. This, in conjunction with the engine mounts, will help your Camaro take whatever you throw its way. It will make your early Gen I Camaro drive better than new.



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