Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Question Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Hi, I'm a new member here...getting bit by the bug again

I was offered what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block just had new sleeves put in it.

All I know is from reading your archives here and there for several hours.

Major points I gathered are that they are stronger than the normal ZL-1's

blocks in the Camaros and Vettes back then and they are siamese cylinder

design.

Haven't seen it yet its many miles away.

What questions should I be asking and if it is the real deal

what is a fair price to pay?

Any other advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 10:52 AM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

One question I would ask is why it has sleeves.

The design requirement for sleeves in the ZL-1 block limited bore size so the Can-Am block was designed without them. Also a true Can-Am block does not have provision for a mechanical fuel pump.

Caveat Emptor.

William

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 12:22 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

there were a few different design Can Am blocks made.
Some did have sleeves some didn't.

I would have it checked by a shop that knows alu blocks and could check it for cracks and other problems.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 12:37 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Pistons could also be a problem as the standard bore is 4.400 inches using a 3.470 inch stroke for a 7.0 liter motor.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 12:47 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

The September 1972 Hot Rod has a good tech article on the block which is referred to as the "Can-Am" block: no sleeves or fuel pump boss.

There were larger-bore aluminum blocks with sleeves were developed after the ZL-1. However the article mentions one reason for doing "Can-Am" version was the siamesed sleeved cylinders were causing blocks to crack in that area. Doesn't sound stronger to me.

Having done one ZL-1 project be aware that the aluminum motor will present some technical hurdles, particularly if you desire it to appear absolutely OE.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Great advice.

The seller said it is a prototype block with these numbers on it

0-326711.

I appreciate your help.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 02:11 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morezl1spuleez View Post
Great advice.

The seller said it is a prototype block with these numbers on it

0-326711.

I appreciate your help.

Skip
Hmmm ... Prototype Block, Huh. Maybe I'm just a little skeptical by nature, but I think I would want to know how the current owner came in to possession of the block and what the history is behind it. Any chance that you can maybe talk to whoever had the block prior to the current owner?

To Quote William, "Caveat Emptor".
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 02:38 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Whoa whoa...that's a Chev Engineering "0-" casting.

Some guys pay big for that stuff, most of which was run hard and put away wet.

It may be priced accordingly. It has no special value to someone that just wants to run one. That said there seem to be enough gennie ZL-1 blocks around and todays aftermarket castings are better.

William

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post
Whoa whoa...that's a Chev Engineering "0-" casting.

Some guys pay big for that stuff, most of which was run hard and put away wet.

It may be priced accordingly. It has no special value to someone that just wants to run one. That said there seem to be enough gennie ZL-1 blocks around and todays aftermarket castings are better.
Well, the seller, who has a good rep from my independent referencing on him, just got the block.

He told me the fellow he bought it from is trying to get pictures of it in one of Grumpy Jenkins cars.

Asking price for the bare block is $25K.

I will pay what its worth without a hearsay premium

Thanks again for the help.

Whatever it is, at the very least it is interesting learning and looking into these pieces

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 05:26 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Is this block a ZL1 block or a Can Am block? They look similar but are not the same.

I think Wayne on this site link below has a zero casting ZL1 block. maybe you can try him for info

http://www.camaro-untoldsecrets.com/welcome_fs.htm


Jenkins ran the Can Am block in his 1968 Camaro in the first Pro Stock race in 1970

The Can Am block with the steel sleeves was stronger then the ZL1 block.

Most racers used the Can Am block with the steel sleeves as there was problems with the special coated pistons needed to run the Can Am block with no sleeves.

Super Stock had to run the ZL1 block as the Can Am block was not legal in Super Stock but was legal in Pro Stock.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 07, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

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Originally Posted by JOE58 View Post
Is this block a ZL1 block or a Can Am block? They look similar but are not the same.

I think Wayne on this site link below has a zero casting ZL1 block. maybe you can try him for info

http://www.camaro-untoldsecrets.com/welcome_fs.htm


Jenkins ran the Can Am block in his 1968 Camaro in the first Pro Stock race in 1970

The Can Am block with the steel sleeves was stronger then the ZL1 block.

Most racers used the Can Am block with the steel sleeves as there was problems with the special coated pistons needed to run the Can Am block with no sleeves.

Super Stock had to run the ZL1 block as the Can Am block was not legal in Super Stock but was legal in Pro Stock.
Thanks Joe.

This is actually the link to the ZL1 info: http://guinns-engineering.com/Palcah...type%20ZL1.htm

It is supposedly a prototype ZL-1 block that Jenkins used.

The owner says "its like a Can-Am block" but it does have a provision for a mechanical fuel pump.

0-326711 is molded into the Front of the Block and the Rear of the Block. Elsewhere on the block is 52296


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Last edited by morezl1spuleez; Oct 6th, 07 at 10:57 PM.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 07, 07:05 AM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

It is a bit confusing because the “ZL1” block was used in early Cam Am racing until the “Can Am” block was made.
Jenkins must have had some early ZL1 blocks. He had a ZL1 powered 69 Camaro in late 1968 made from his SS396 L78 and failed NHRA tech inspection at the first race he took it to. It failed because NHRA had no proof (at the time) that 50 ZL1 powered Camaros were factory made to make it legal for Super Stock.

The racers found the “ZL1” block casting would “move” under heavy load/high RPM and would loose power due to poor ring seal. They found that by eliminating the water passage between the cyl (siamese cyl design) the block was stronger and can take a larger bore.

Here is a post I made awile ago after talking with Bill Jenkins at one of the shows about the engines he ran.

Jenkins had both the "ZL1" engine and the CanAm engine. That was the first question I asked him and I'll never forget what he said because I was so surprised. Grump said, "the ZL1 block was junk" He said it "moved" too much and wouldn't "seal". He said they even made a water heater and pump to run hot water through the block to keep it at 180 deg all weekend. This was to stop the heat/cool cycle from "moving" the block. It would still lose power after a few runs because the block couldn’t take the high RPMs.

The CamAm block is stronger because it has a siamese cyl design meaning water does not pass between the adjoining cyls like it does on a iron or ZL1 block.

The CanAm block was not legal for Super Stock but was legal for Pro Stock.
The ZL1 block worked ok for the road racing SCCA Corvettes where the RPM was not as high.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 07, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

That is great firsthand info.

Thanks again Joe.

I appreciate your time.

The seller said he is going to put it on ebay this week so we will see if more

info comes out from potential bidders.

Particularly about those particular numbers cast into the block and perhaps

the block history itself.

Here is the sellers id if anyone wants to follow it.

bear123jetski

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 07, 06:18 PM
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Wayne Guinn is the one to contact when it comes to the O-Dash codes.He wrote a real good book called Camaro-Untold Secrets which gives pictures and info on this subject.Wayne is a real good guy,very helpful.If you need his email ,ask and I will PM you with it.I have his phone number but thats up to him if he wants to give it to you after you email him,but most likely he will.By the way the 1969 Red Camaro with the TRACO ZL1 use to be mine,but Rick from Rick's First Generation bought it from me.The motor has one awesome sound!! Dan
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 07, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions on what is supposedly a Can-Am ZL-1 block offered for sale.

Dan, thanks for the offer of Wayne's help.

I appreciate your assistance.

I don't have a comfort level with the deal since the seller doesn't have any verified history on the block yet so I told him I'll pass.

He said he'll now put it on ebay.

It will be interesting to see what it brings.

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