Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68 - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Team, I am looking for advice regarding some trouble I am having fitting a new GMPP ZZ502 into my 68 coupe.

My car is in the paint shop in primer with the front clip off the car. As the firewall and frame is now painted, I wanted to fit the motor and gearbox to the car whilst the front was off. My car originally had a 454 when I purchasd it. Now the old 454 didn't leave much clearance between the HEI and the firewall, and as I didn't know the history of the car, I bought new frame mounts for the ZZ502 (Classic Industries 67 - 68 BB Frame Mounts #K702). I changed the pan to a Milodon #30955. So here's the thing, using the new frame mounts, the motor seems to have been positioned forward more than my old 454 with plenty of clearance between the HEI and the firewall, but the right side seems too short as the pan hits the frame before I can bolt up the mount. If I change to my old original frame mounts, they are tall enough to provide a sliver of clearance between the pan and frame, but the motor is pushed back further and the HEI is hard against the firewall. I have some pics for you which highlight my issues, but I am looking to understand which components I have wrong?

This is the problem with the old frame mounts


This is the right side old frame mount



Left Side
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 03:39 AM
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Is the width of your new frame mounts wider than the original ones ?

The 67-68 frame mounts were about 2-5/8" wide and the 69 style were about 2-3/8" wide.

Your frame brackets should also be different; the drivers side is taller than the passenger side.

Interference with the firewall is normal for a big cap HEI, so the mounts that cause this may be the correct ones. There are small cap HEI's you can use; I wouldn't ding the firewall for clearance.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 04:32 AM
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

I believe the old mounts shown are for a SBC as Bethanne suggests, the pass side mount is half the height of drvr side. Offsets the engine to pass side by 3/4 inch.

Also, a BBC trans crossmember will be needed. They can be identified by having a 5-sided hole for the bolt access vice 4-sided hole as a SBC member has.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Thanks for your responses so far.

Regarding the new vs old mounts, from memory, they appeared to be the same width. The new mounts certainly positioned the engine forward and the drivers side mount was certainly taller, however whilst I could bolt in the left side, the pan would hit the frame before I could bolt in the right side mount.

As far as the frame stands pictured, they are the same which were used with the previous BB in the car, so I assumed they should be OK. I have seen many ZZ502's used in 68's with the HEI clearing the firewall, so I am wondering where have I gone wrong?

I should also mention that to settle our curiosity, we drilled new holes in the old mounts to buy us some clearance between the HEI and the firewall. A quick test fit seemed to indicate that this might work. Is there any reason why this is not a viable alternative? This is only a budget build so I am really trying to make do with what I have and I really can't afford to start buying other distributors, pans, etc.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 07:29 AM
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieCamaroOwner View Post
As far as the frame stands pictured, they are the same which were used with the previous BB in the car, so I assumed they should be OK. I have seen many ZZ502's used in 68's with the HEI clearing the firewall, so I am wondering where have I gone wrong?
If you saw big cap HEI's clearing the firewall in other first gens, you probably didn't notice the dent in the firewall that made that possible.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 09:00 AM
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieCamaroOwner View Post
Team, I am looking for advice regarding some trouble I am having fitting a new GMPP ZZ502 into my 68 coupe.

My car is in the paint shop in primer with the front clip off the car. As the firewall and frame is now painted, I wanted to fit the motor and gearbox to the car whilst the front was off. My car originally had a 454 when I purchasd it. Now the old 454 didn't leave much clearance between the HEI and the firewall, and as I didn't know the history of the car, I bought new frame mounts for the ZZ502 (Classic Industries 67 - 68 BB Frame Mounts #K702). I changed the pan to a Milodon #30955. So here's the thing, using the new frame mounts, the motor seems to have been positioned forward more than my old 454 with plenty of clearance between the HEI and the firewall, but the right side seems too short as the pan hits the frame before I can bolt up the mount. If I change to my old original frame mounts, they are tall enough to provide a sliver of clearance between the pan and frame, but the motor is pushed back further and the HEI is hard against the firewall. I have some pics for you which highlight my issues, but I am looking to understand which components I have wrong?
I think you are going to have to switch the oil pan.

If they actually sent what you ordered, you have the correct frame mounts. They pull the mounting point for a big block farther forward than small block mounts by 1/2 to 3/4 inch. That is why you are seeing more clearance than when you had small block frame mounts with your 454.

And as already mentioned, you may have to make some modifications to the crossmember.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 03:58 PM
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Fwiw, even with a small block my firewall is dented to allow the big cap HEI to clear. It was this way when I bought the car almost 15 years ago or it wouldn't have been this way. Sorry to say, a small body HEI is your best route UNLESS you are willing to dent or relieve the firewall by 3/8-1/2".

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Wow, thanks for all your feedback team, it is most appreciated!

Regarding the firewall clearance, I have no issue with modifying the firewall to provide extra clearance. This is the least of my concerns. Also, every bit of research I have done indicates that I have the correct pan for the job. I even know of a couple of Camaros with the same engine/pan combo!

I suppose my biggest issues/concern is if I indeed have small block stands and I modify them to bring the engine forward to the same position as the big block stands, is this a viable solution? Will this create any other issues?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 11, 10:18 PM
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Re: Having trouble fitting 502 into my 68

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieCamaroOwner View Post
I suppose my biggest issues/concern is if I indeed have small block stands and I modify them to bring the engine forward to the same position as the big block stands, is this a viable solution? Will this create any other issues?
Using small block stands will cause your driver's side headers to hit the power steering box (if you have power steering).

Big block stands moved the engine 1/2" toward the passenger side.
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