Chevy Performance Q & A - Performance Q & A

Kevin McClelland Dec 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)

If you go with a mechanical roller design, and the specs listed above with your package, your engine should easily produce around 800 hp and well over 700 lb-ft of torque. This would be a very fun ride, rowing the gears down the boulevard.

Which Pitman Arm?
Q: I drag race a '65 Chevelle that still has the factory gearbox. I got one from the junkyard out of a '91 S-10 along with the pitman arm; the new gearbox bolts up just fine, but I cannot find a pitman arm that will work with the Chevelle's drag link. I can weld the two arms to make one fit the Chevelle, but how many people would trust a welded pitman arm? What do you recommend for my choices of pitman arms, or do I need to get away from the S-10 gearbox and do something totally different? Any help would be highly appreciated.
Jason Lynch
Via email

A: The S-10 is a great place to pick up a manual steering box for any of the Chevelles (A-bodies). We did the same thing when building our '80 Malibu, but the S-10 box we got out of the yard was full of water and the recirculating balls of the steering box were pitted and scored. As luck would have it, we purchased a brand-new '80 Malibu manual steering box (one of three left in the country) from our buddy Ken Casey. They are completely gone now. Ken said the original power pitman arm from your '65 Chevelle should connect right up to the S-10 box. The S-10 box should be the same spline count and size as the Saginaw 800-series power box that came original on your Chevelle.

Finally, please don't weld pitman arms. It's been done many times on conversions, and unless you are skilled in the art of preheat, proper weld process, correct welding rod, and cooling techniques, it could all go wrong. Losing your steering at speed is no fun. Bolt your Chevelle together and enjoy at the track.

Standing Or Seated
Q: I just received Summit's rotor and pad set for my '79 Camaro. One rotor has an "L" on it and the other has an "R." To play it safe I looked into your Jul. '09 issue and found a discrepancy. "Tomato Fire" (page 73) shows slots in one direction, and "Darkness" (page 80) shows slots facing the other way. Wouldn't the slots on "Tomato" actually trap the gases? Doesn't this affect stopping distance? I want those babies to work at the end of a quarter-mile!

Also, for once and for all, isn't right or left side determined when a person faces the front of the car? I've had to argue this a few times, especially when dealing with some "service" (muffler, door repair) outfits. Good magazine. Keep it up!
Ray Banks
Via email

A: All references to the identification of the side of the vehicle is determined from being seated in the driver seat. It is not from standing in front of the vehicle facing it. I'm sure you've had quite a few arguments with service people and parts suppliers over the years. Hope this helps in the future

On to gas-slotted rotors. For the pictures you mention, yes, they differ on each vehicle. Not knowing the markings from the manufacturer we'd have to say the direction on the "Tomato" is correct, with the slots venting the gases outward when the wheel and rotor assembly rotates counterclockwise on the left-front wheel (there's that side thing again).

Mouse-Motored Monza
Q: I'm looking for a converter recommendation for my '79 Chevy Monza Pro Street. It weighs around 2,700 pounds and has a built 333-cid small-block with a Comp Cams XE294H cam with 0.519/0.523 inch max lift and 250/256 duration at 0.050 inch tappet lift. The engine is topped off with a Team G intake, a 750-cfm carb, Sportsman II heads (mildly ported), and 10.4:1 compression. It has a TH350 trans and a 12-bolt with 4.10:1 gears, and I run a 29x12.5-inch tire. I'm looking for a stall converter that will retain some street manners for local cruise nights and such. By no means is this car just a street cruiser. I'm told 3,800-4,000 stall should be fine. I have built a few cars, all with standard shift. This is my first automatic, so any help would be great. Thanks.
Craig Winter
Norton, MA


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