Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway & Chevy Tech Help - Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland Nov 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)

Let's start with the good. You can keep 14-inch Rallys on your Camaro. The bad: They won't be the ones that you currently have on the car. GM built a disc-brake-specific Rally wheel for the Camaros with disc brakes that were offered in 14x6 and 14x7. I had 14x6 disc brake Rallys on my '67, and 14x7s on my El Camino. These wheels allow you to run 11-inch front rotors and either very rare four-piston front calipers or the common single-piston floating caliper. The front brake system you wish to find is original-equipment '69 Camaro or '69-72 Nova disc brakes.

You can scrounge through wrecking yards or contact Master Power Brake, which offers its GM Four Wheel Power Disc Brake Kit (PN DB1743P). This kit is all-new components complete with 11-inch vented front rotors, 11 1/8-inch vented rear rotors, calipers with pads (parking brake in rear), caliper brackets, a 9-inch dual diaphragm power booster and master cylinder, a combination valve kit, front spindles, brake hoses, bearings/seals/dust caps/hardware, front dust shields, and parking brake cables. This kit comes complete with installation instructions for a painless swap.

Sorry we tricked you into installing new Rallys on your Camaro. Unfortunately, there isn't any way to install disc brakes with your standard drum-brake Rallys. You should be able to find disc brake Rallys easily enough. If not, contact Wheel Vintiques to pick up a set of new Rallys custom-built to your specs. Check out the 34 Series, which is the 14-inch Rally offered in 5-, 6-, 7-, and 8-inch widths. Wheel Vintiques also offers all the accessories, like the beauty rings, Derby caps, and the coveted disc-brake Rally caps.

Good luck on your cruiser convertible. These brakes will give you a very secure feeling driving down the road. My '67 had four-wheel drum brakes, and there's nothing like the sinking feeling that you have in your stomach when you feel those brakes fade.

Sources:
mpbrakes.com
wheelvintiques.com

What Is It?
Q
I got a small-block Chevy, casting number 14093638, from a guy who has no idea where it came from. It runs great and I have it in my '80 Camaro. Is there any way I can tell what the compression is without pulling the heads? I was looking at the Edelbrock top-end packages and they say they get that power level with 10:1 compression. Is there any way to tell if it has a flat or roller cam without pulling the intake? And can you guess the approximate horsepower levels or do you need more info? Thanks.
Paul Head
Via e-mail

A That casting number is an '87-95 350ci small-block with either two- or four-bolt mains, a flat or roller camshaft, and a one-piece rear main seal. This block was used in trucks and cars, carbureted, TBI fuel-injected, and TPI fuel-injected. This block could have been fitted with several different piston designs. To hone in on a compression ratio would be tough. With the standard dish pistons these engines were mostly built with, it will yield a compression ratio of approximately 9.3 to 9.4:1 with 64cc heads and thin (0.026-inch) head gaskets.

To see if you have a hydraulic roller camshaft, you could remove a valve cover and glance through the small holes in the head castings by the manifold flange. Check if you have roller-tappet tie bars and a spider to hold them down. Even if the engine doesn't have a roller in it currently, this casting has the bosses in the center of the valley for the spider. All you need to do is tap the existing bosses to bolt down the spider. You can pick up the roller tappets, tie bars, and spider from a local pick-n-pull auto recycler. Then it won't cost you an arm and a leg to get a roller into your engine.

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