Chevy Car Questions & Answers - Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland May 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)

The Benefits Of Moving
If you guys and gals are anything like me, you have way too much to do and many projects going at the same time. Well, faced with the move of my family and all my performance belongings, I embarked on trying to condense everything I could. This meant putting together everything to make the move as compact as possible.

0905chp_02_z Chevy_car_questions_and_answers Engine 1/2

To be more specific, I had three engines in various states of disarray. With heads, cranks, and other components lying all around the garage and on the shelves, putting them all back together was the smartest thing I ever did. First, I had a complete '88 L98 Corvette engine that had been fieldstripped for projects over the years, but the long-block was complete and had never been fired! I screwed this one back together and sold it with harness, sensors, computer, and calibration to a painter friend who needed an engine for his '85 Blazer. He is in the final stages of the conversion from carbureted to EFI on his daily driver.

Next came the engine from Daniel's '65 Malibu. It started life as standard '89 L98 from a GM development Corvette. I had taken it down to the short-block to install the GM Hot Cam Package, port the L98 aluminum heads, and add a Performer RPM manifold. This is a very nice 400hp, 400-lb-ft package that will run forever. It was meant for our Nova project, but I guess we'll take it to SoCal and look for a new engine bay.

Finally, I'm getting to the important engine: my 524 Dart big-block that has been apart almost five years. Back in early 2004 I lost a roller tappet in the engine with only 100 runs on it. This engine was built using a Dart Big M block, CNC-ported Dart 335 Pro 1s, a Dart 4500 inlet manifold, a Crane valvetrain, and Milodon oil components. It was built as a 9.75:1-squeeze 555ci and made 760 hp on pump gas, pushing my Super Gas Roadster to 9.90 at 152 mph. With the chance to change the combination, I shortened the stroke by a quarter-inch and brought it back to a 524. I increased the compression to 10:1 and went with CP pistons and matching Total Seal gapless low-tension rings and a vacuum pump. Everything else stayed pretty much the same, and with the reduced friction and vacuum pump I'm expecting very similar performances.

As I am sitting here finishing this column, the Smith Brothers pushrods just showed up at my door. This was the last thing I needed to finish off the engine and start packing the garage. At least getting three engines together will protect their components from the move-and make the whole process much easier. I'm off to lash some valves and dive into some boxes!

Tanks A Lot!
Q I have two Camaros. One is an '82 Z-28, and the other is an '85 Z-28 with a TPI 305 and a TH700R-4 that is a parts car because of a wreck I was in. (Watch out for little old ladies because they are not watching out for you!) I want to put the running gear in the '82 Z because it has a good body, and I want to keep the TPI. Can I pull a gas tank from a Camaro that has an EFI for a V-6 or from an RS that has a TBI? I don't want to buy anything new, and I can pick this up at a junkyard for $50. I am an aircraft electrician with the U.S. Air Force, so the wiring will be easy for me. Also, I have a disc-brake rearend that is a nine-bolt cover, which I pulled from a late-'80s GTA Firebird. What can you tell me about this rearend? A friend told me it's almost as good as a Ford 9-inch or a Chevy 12-bolt. Any info would be great. Thanks.
John Logsdon Via email

A Little old ladies, UPS Trucks, 18-wheelers-everything is out to get our cars. You have to drive under the assumption that you're invisible. Sorry to hear about the loss of your Camaro. Looks to me like you're going to have a very nice '82 Camaro very soon.

Do you want the good news or the good news? How about that the General used the same fuel tank in all Camaros and Firebirds from '82 though '92! The factory part number is 10269091. Your '85 tank, pump, and lines will all swap over to your '82. That was easy enough.

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