When you port the MAF, you throw off the mass air calibration in the software. The MAF flows more air than the computer thinks is going through it. If they corrected this in your computer tune, great; however, the only way to properly calibrate a MAF is on a flow bench with the complete ducting and airbox attached to the air meter. Most calibrations have enough room to accept modified MAFs, but because of the ton of modifications you have, you may have run out of room. Anyone good with tuning software can verify this for you.
The rich exhaust smell you're getting is most likely caused by the overlap of your performance camshaft. When an engine has a lope at idle, it is a misfire. When the engine lopes, it allows unburned fuel to pass through the engine. This challenges the EFI system to figure out if it's unburned oxygen from a lean mixture or oxygen rich from a misfire. Either way, the answer for the EFI system is to add fuel. This is why you can chase your tail trying to calibrate fuel injection systems with performance camshafts. It's always a compromise.
Down in the Hole
Q: Can you tell me about how far down in the hole the pistons are in this engine? Mine is a PN 10067353 that was made in Mexico. Thanks.
A: Production tolerances for deck clearance for Gen I small-blocks come in somewhere between 0.020 and 0.030 inch down in the hole. Most of the engines we've dissembled have fallen in around 0.022-0.025 inch. This, combined with a thin head gasket, will give you a decent deck clearance. However, when many people swap out cylinder heads on these engines they go with the standard Fel-Pro-type head gasket, which comes in at 0.038 inch. If you do the quick math you'll see you have just killed whatever quench you had and have a deck clearance in the low 0.060-inch range. Make sure when changing a cylinder head not to go with a gasket any thicker than 0.028 inch.
All You Need Is Wrenches
Q: I read every article concerning your bitchin' Camaro. I salivated over the five-speed tranny swap and it got me thinking. There's an '88 I can purchase for next to nothing, but it has a V-6. How difficult would a V-8 swap be? The same buddy has a World Class T-5 five-speed that he'll throw in the deal-$500 for a car and tranny! The car runs, and the tranny is out of a wrecked '92 Firebird. Is this doable or wasted cash? Love the mag.
James "JB" Hale
A: The swap you're considering is a complete bolt-in with the right components. You may want to check in your buddy's parts pile to find the V-8 engine mounts for the frame and the engine-mount cups for the engine block. The K-member in the Camaro is drilled for different mounting locations for the various engine combinations. The engine mounts (isolators) that bolt to the frame are different between the V-6 and the V-8. The GM V-8 mounts are PN 22188497. The engine-mounting cups are different between the V-6 and V-8 also, and they're different from left to right. On top of that, the right-side engine cup is discontinued, and there is not a single one left in the 5,000 GM dealers across our great country! Here are the part numbers to help you in your junkyard search. The right-side cup is PN 14039436, the left-side PN 10213125. (Thanks to Ken Casey at Burt Chevy for running this information down for us.)
With all the third-gen parts cars lying around, this would be a simple swap. If you can pick up a clean V-6 car for dirt, jump on it. For the price of the car and a decent small-block, you could have a very nice Camaro for little cash. Enjoy your new project.