Best combo for gas mileage? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 08, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Best combo for gas mileage?

Thinking of doing more of a restoration on my Camaro ('67), including the engine and transmission. My goal is to make it a daily driver, but with the gas prices high and rising, I'm trying to find a nice combo that gets good gas mileage.

The car currently has a stock 327 with the stock 3 speed (manual). Gets horrible gas mileage, but the engine needs rebuilt bad anyways... so thats probably why.

I was thinking of putting a 350 with a Muncie 4 speed in it, but what do you think? I would rather not have to do any cutting of the frame like the LS series needs. Would prefer it to also be a manual... maybe a 5 speed would be good?

Any help and combo's would be appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 08, 10:51 PM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

IMHO, you can Get a TPI 350 from an 87-90 Iroc-Z and a 5 speed from the same car. friend of mine has this combo and gets 16/ 27 MPG and is still REALLY fun to drive.
All that was required was a stand-alone computer to run the engine. Everything bolts right up. Good luck!!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 08, 11:54 PM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

Upgrade the motor to a new powerplant.... LT1's are cheap and put down good mileage. LS motors are "better" but are bringing big $$$ these days.


Im doing the LT1 swap simply because its what I can afford right now.


Chris

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

Thanks for the info Harley, I'll make sure I check into that route.

Chris, Does the LT1 bolt right in without notching the frame or anything? I know LS1 doesn't, so I already marked that off the list (That and the price )
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 06:06 AM
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Post Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

LT1's are a pretty easy swap. They bolt in just like any other SBC, no expensive adapters. Depending on what accessory configuration you go with will dictate whether you need to modify subframe or not. I have had mine in for 5+ years now. My gas mileage is about 18 city/22 highway, plus it cranks up year round without any adjusting (due to changing weather conditions like a carb might). I am upgrading to a 6 speed pretty soon though. EFI swaps can be an expensive upgrade. One of the best upgrades you can do for gas mileage is get an overdive style transmission, EFI is nice but not mandatory. IF you have anymore questions, just ask away. There are several of us on the board that have had success with their LT1 swaps.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 08:02 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

23 mpg with Holley, 3.73 gearing and TKO

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 08:07 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

Since my wife gets to drive our Camaro on occasion, I had the 700r 4 speed automatic overdrive installed with my 350 4 barrel Qjet and 3.08's Im hoping to get upward of 26 mpg on the highway and it still lays rubber from standing start

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 08:13 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

I am going to disagree with a modern engine. My plan for my 327 car (original engine) is to rebuild it with the original 2 bbl, but put a 2004r overdrive in it with 3.55 gears.

If you wanted to go further and stick with a manual trans, I would go with a TKO500, reasonable gears in back to keep the top speed @65 in 5th just inside the power band maybe 1200-1300 RPM. Put a bolt on EFI system to the 327 with a cam that is designed for lower torque RPM and gas milage with the EFI.

That way, the mods are all bolt in and you keep the 327 (which is a great little motor!)

Kevin


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 08:54 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fewski View Post
Thinking of doing more of a restoration on my Camaro ('67), including the engine and transmission. My goal is to make it a daily driver, but with the gas prices high and rising, I'm trying to find a nice combo that gets good gas mileage.

The car currently has a stock 327 with the stock 3 speed (manual). Gets horrible gas mileage, but the engine needs rebuilt bad anyways... so thats probably why.

I was thinking of putting a 350 with a Muncie 4 speed in it, but what do you think? I would rather not have to do any cutting of the frame like the LS series needs. Would prefer it to also be a manual... maybe a 5 speed would be good?

Any help and combo's would be appreciated. Thanks.
Well, you have to factor in the costs of the swap to whatever you want to run and see based on the gas savings how long it would take to recoup the initial cash outlay with your gas savings.

So, personally I would agree with Kevin and go with a 327. I would want one that was zero decked, balanced and rebuilt well. Work with the cam manufacturers or someone you trust on a cam and run a carb. When I daily drove my 69 ragtop with a 383/2004R/3.73 and a QJet I was able to get 20+ if I drove like a grandma. I would also invest in a wideband O2 sensor so that you can monitor the AFR. In my experience I needed that feedback as I'd get the carb dialed in and then weather/seasons would change and I would need to change rods/jets to keep the AFR where I wanted it.

Running a carb is waaay cheaper than EFI but will require adjustments.

When I switched to EFI I didn't see much if any MPG increase...the benefit was more adjustability and that the ECU would do the tweaking based on weather for me.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 09:27 AM
 
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

Since one of your goals is decent milage, you might want to consider staying with a smaller CID motor like the 327. IMHO, I believe an overdrive manual transmission coupled to a smaller CID engine like a 327 with the right rear gearing could be fun and still get respectable gas milage. (If you could resist the urge to Buzz the little 327 up to 6K between shifts... )
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 10:30 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

I have a bit different theory or approach... It takes torque to get a car moving and to keep it moving unless it's rolling down hill. For best fuel economy at cruise speed you want to have a final drive ratio (final trans gear, rear gear and tire size) to put your rpm into the torque curve enough that the engine doesn't struggle to keep the car moving. Small cubic inch short stroke engines are not known for low end torque. If you want to get the best fuel economy from one high rear gears and overdrive really are not going to give you what you are after.

A 327 with OD and 308 gears taching 1500 rpm @ 60 mph might get you some impressive mileage numbers on a flat road with no headwind if you can keep it right at 60 the entire trip. But if you end up in some traffic having to slow down a bit then speed back up, are traveling through rolling hills and are driving into the wind your mileage is going to drop because there is not enough torque and you have to put too much of your foot into the throttle to keep a 3500lb car moving under these conditions.

Now if you build a long stroke bigger cubic inch engine that has a very flat torque curve that starts between 1500 and 2000 rpm you not only will get good fuel numbers under perfect only rolling resistance conditions like the 327 but when you're driving under more typical conditions you can still pull some impressive mileage numbers.

If you are not up to building a stroker and want the best from your 327, 283, 302 or even 350 have it dyno'd to find out what your torque curve looks like and gear to get you into the start of your power band when at cruising speed. With an OD trans you gain an extra gear (sometimes 2) which helps stay in the power band when getting up to cruise speed and allows you to run a lower gear for those performance moments when fuel economy is not important.

...Dennis

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 10:54 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

A 327 is a small engine? I can remember when it was the big engine and was hauling 4000# cars down the road just fine.

I think that if you want the best fuel mileage you need a smarter motor than the original one, like a modern LSX setup.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 11:57 AM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

go new go vortec heads with overdrive manual trans or auto like mentioned earlier.. fuel injection is ezier to set up for good mileage altho many say they can get a carb to give you just as good of mileage. I think a fuel injected set up is a no muss no fuss deal pretty much set it up and forget it and the computer will adjust for altitude and temperature differences.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 02:39 PM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

I Go along with DjD;s concept...and basically have done so
A car ex factory is designed for wide range of driving styles
As is a street strip..
What you are looking for is like I have done tp my 350....something 100% your style.
Your approach BEFORE building is right on the mark

U need a cam that is all bottom end a power range 1200 to 4000 to 5000
Low duration/overlap, slow ramps and advanced 2 degs
heads like the old powerpcks that have smaller runners.
A set of cast rams horns, GM hei, and small carb a 450 or 500 cfm holley on a performer dual plane
Rear end 308 on 14" rims
Trans a 4 speed auto...manual for faily is cool at 1st but u will soon get sick of it..so go for a 4 speed auto...or at least a 350 with low torque conveter..a 2500 works well
This will give u a car that is basically what we call over here a "stump puller" All the power is in the range of 30 mph to 100+ mph cruise. And it will spin the tyres without full throttle and still run low 14s in drive.

Now If you wabt to get REAL SERIUOS go LPG..I did and have for the last 20 odd yrs
350 basically a blower cam high lift just over .500 with slow ramps between 4000 and 6000 rpm range and installed 2 deg advanced
Early small chamber 327 202 camelheads
A 'L' or "E" impco converter with 425 mixer (carb) on a holley 450 cfm baseplate on a permformer dual plane
The "L" or "E" converter try to get the obsolete front plate with EC1 opition
ACL flat top pistons
GM HEI
Colder spark plugs (2 steps down from stock)
160 thermostat and have the stock radiator headers removed and cores manually cleaned
308 diff 15" wheels
Trans as above...thu 14" wheels preferably for a 4 or 5 speed.
Dizzy Cent curve all in about 2500 to 2800 rom @ 30 to 33 deg and vac advance about 4 or 5deg working between approx 9 and 14 degs
This basic combo strts to lean out about mid 4000 rpms and not a good idea to run from 5 mins or so at over high rpms...but then how often with u be cruising at 120/120 mph?
With the high octane 105/110cheap fuel with high compression I pull high 13s in drive thru a 350 trans and 308 diff
Im now running highway about 30 mpg and round town 26/28, and towing one of my vintage cars on the trailer about 28 mpg
Im running cheaper and faster than a modern 3.8 v6 GM with computers fuelinjection and all the whizz bang stuff, and better emissions.
Best place world wide for LPG info
http://fuelsforum.rasoenterprises.com/index.php
Draw backs
Forget that slightly smallish gap in interesection traffic on a damp road..u go nowere
Forget 1/4 / 1/3 fast throttle on a damp road, the rear end lets loose at 40 mph
Normal take off ones head bends back..slightly more than normal the rear wheels chip
I have a 80L tank in the trunk tucked right back...still heaps of room plus spare tyre
But refill on the open road about every 130 miles...get used to this , one tends to see those things on a trip one always says "must stop there one day" and never do.

DjD is right on the mark..it is all about getting ALL..every drop of the torque/power down into the rpm range u will be using..be it a daily economic driver or a strip /circuit car

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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Last edited by Steptoe; Apr 10th, 08 at 03:01 PM.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 02:41 PM
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Re: Best combo for gas mileage?

There's no frame cutting required for an LSx swap (unless you are trying to do a low-mount AC compressor). And you can get a 4.8L for next to nothing. Buy a used set of Fbody accessories and intake, and sell the truck stuff. If you want to go cheap, put a T5 behind the 4.8L and don't abuse it (or ever run sticky tires).

Or just rebuild the 327 and put a TBI system on it (like that Holley commander 950 system JimM is running). Higher compression and fast-burn aluminum heads will help fuel economy a bunch too. If you're going for economy, you probably want a manual trans with an overdrive. TKO500 is the most popular 5-speed swap right now I think, but again if you're trying to be cheap, you might be able to get away with a T5.

Lots of different options... what you've gotta ask yourself is
- What are my goals for the car? (performance, economy, handling, reliability, etc?)

- How much work do I want to do to achieve those goals? (and related, how long can I live with the car being torn down?)

- How much can I spend on it?


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