SBC 350 rebuild 68 coupe - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 14, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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SBC 350 rebuild 68 coupe

Hi Guys. long time reader, first time poster... I've learned a lot in the past few weeks but would like to ask some direct advice. Reading all of the old posts kinda gets overwhelming.

I have a 68 Camaro, plain jane thats been garaged for 23 years. Just brought it home. The engine and trans are from dads stock 76 elcamino(350 w/882 heads, TH350 trans). Rear is orig camaro 8.2 10-bolt 2.56. I drove this car back in high school and it was fun, but kinda remember it looking a lot faster than it really was.

I want to get this gal back on the road, tight budget. Breaks are bad, gas tank smells like kerosene, front seats sink to the floor, seat belts missing. So i'm trying to stretch dollars throughout the whole car.

I want this to be a fun, local driver. No strip, just a fun car to punch around in finally putting some punch to back up the look. more interested in acceleration than top hp. Don't plan on top speed driving. With the 2.56 im thinking anything i do to the engine will be unnoticed in acceleration though. i plan to keep the th350, would be willing to upgrade the 8.2 to 3.55 unless i can get a nova 8.5 (was thinking 3.55 would help acceleration while keeping hgwy rpm's down a bit).

What do you guys think? what should I start with? I was hoping for this car to feel like an upgraded ss350 camaro with punch and some slight Lope, rather than a tired, stock mid 70's 165 hp version. nothing too hot, i still need to be able to afford pump gas for it!

would love to pull the engine just once. Thinking of changing the cam now while I had the engine out, but keeping all the other original stock engine parts. Then focus on breaks, fuel system, seats, tires etc. Then down the road a short while, upgrade the rearend, heads, intake and carb. Is throwing a new cam in now a bad idea? Should i plan on pulling the engine twice and just do a stock rebuild for now?

any advice would be appreciated THANKS!!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 14, 01:54 PM
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Location: Sturbridge, MA
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Re: SBC 350 rebuild 68 coupe

First redo the fuel lines, sender, and rebuild the carb. You'll probably need new hoses and give it a tune up. Get it running again and fix the leaks. Even though its a lo hp engine, you can still drive it around while saving $$ to make it faster.

Once its running fix the safety related items. I don't think i would trust brakes that have not worked in 23 years, so I would redo the brakes and fix and suspension issue like bad ball joints or rotted bushings. Upgraded shocks and sway bar will definitely help the handling.

Next I would skip the 8.5 if you have mild hp goals and put in the Eaton posi with 3.42 or 3.55 gears in the 8.2.

About the largest cam you could throw in your engine with those smog heads would be the Edelbrock performer cam. I think it has around .204 duration and .442 lift. However, with the low compression of the smog heads and the 2.56 gears, it still would be a dog.

The motor you have is not original and I would just replace it unless you want to tear it down. You could pick up gm 290hp crate engine for 2g. Good luck

1969 Camaro 350, Trickflow heads, ST-10 4spd, Hotchkis suspension, Baer SS brake kit, moser 12bolt
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 14, 01:55 PM
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Re: SBC 350 rebuild 68 coupe

First, add the seat belts.
The T350 is a good trans. Keep it. Put a new filter, gasket, and fluid in it.
The 8.2 will handle your 75 motor. Keep it. But I like the idea of changing to 3.55 gears for the kind of driving you are planning on doing.
Rebuild, dont replace the brake components (calipers/wheel cylinders/master cylinder) in your car. Change out the old fluid.
Give the motor a basic rebuild; Rings, bearings, clean the heads, reseal everything. Dont get too crazy with the cam though, as it is a low compression motor. You will just be wasting money.
Rebuild the carb.
Seats can wait, but replace the rug if its toast. It will make the entire interior look better.
Leave the fuel system stock. Drop the tank and empty it out. Blow the fuel line clean. Replace the fuel pump.
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