help putting a big block in place of a small block - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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help putting a big block in place of a small block

A few years ago I put a 454 in my 67 Camaro, it's my daily driver and I've been driving it since and love it. My other daily driver is my 77 Silverado, the wife borrowed it and ran it out of oil so I'm considering doing a 454 swap. The truck has A/C and power steering on its 350sbc. I know I'll at least need exhaust manifolds and a flex plate. Will the accessory brackets from the small block bolt onto the big block? More specifically the A/C bracket. What else will I need and if brackets aren't interchangeable, where can I find an affordable set? Thanks in advance.

67 454 Edelbrock air cleaner, performer carb, intake, heads & shocks. headers to 3" duals, HID 85K headlights, custom motorcycle twist throttle controls (paralyzed waist down), all new interior
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 02:38 PM
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Wink Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

Is it 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive?
What trans does it have?

I bought two 1977 full size trucks in 77 - a 1-ton (utility spec HD 3/4 ton sold to gas/electric companies and also the MIL-Spec 'COPO' unit ... yup - GM had a COPO code for this option ...) pickup and a 3/4-ton HD Suburban - both were 4-wheel drive.
The Suburban had a 454/TH400/Auto-4-wheel drive driveline.
The Pickup has (still own it) a 350/SM465 (4speed w/granny)/Manual 4-wheel drive driveline.

The 454 AC mounts and other accessory drives will NOT work/bolt to a Big Block
The Axial design AC unit is on the left (drivers) side and the Alternator is on the right (pass) side on both, but there are some minor differences in location and belt routing that precludes interchange.
They changed these location on later models when they changed to the Rotary design AC compressors.

The transmission mount patterns are the same, but the torque output of the 454 is way above the TH350 rating, so it wouldn't be reliable for long ...
The BBC and HD 4X4 units also had an added support brace that ran from the bellhousing to the transfer case to help support the added weight and power.
The engine mounts are the functionally the same and will bolt up. But ... you may effect location of some support systems if you do not grab these from a donor vehicle with a 454 for the swap.

Best option - IJMHO's - would be to locate a 'donor' 1977 (or compatible year model) and use all the mounts, supports and electric wiring from it as required.
You can find these for pretty reasonable prices in most areas. This would give you all the parts needed and maybe a rebuildable core(s) for your Camaro in the future.
I've parted out a couple of these years and the left over parts are easy to sell to recoup some of your investment.
I still have a couple rear quarters and a 14-bolt rear axle in the shop from the last one ...

BTW - here is a late 70's BBC full size pickup engine bay for reference - Click image for larger version

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 03:07 PM
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

I put a 502 in place of my old 350 in a 87 four by four HD Suburban (K20 with live rear axle instead of C-clips in the 14 bolt rear). I used parts off of a one ton truck to make the switch as the BBC wasn't used in any thing but a HD light truck.



I used stainless steel RV exhaust manifolds as cast iron manifolds tend to crack on a 4x4 due to water splashing onto them. They also clear the front drive shaft which requires a set of very special headers.








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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

It's 2wd with a TH350 automatic. I have a 454 in my Camaro also with a TH350 automatic, it's withstood years of abuse without incident so far.

67 454 Edelbrock air cleaner, performer carb, intake, heads & shocks. headers to 3" duals, HID 85K headlights, custom motorcycle twist throttle controls (paralyzed waist down), all new interior
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

"The 454 AC mounts and other accessory drives will NOT work/bolt to a Big Block"

Was this a typo or am I misunderstanding?

67 454 Edelbrock air cleaner, performer carb, intake, heads & shocks. headers to 3" duals, HID 85K headlights, custom motorcycle twist throttle controls (paralyzed waist down), all new interior
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 05:41 PM
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Wink Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whysohigh View Post
"The 454 AC mounts and other accessory drives will NOT work/bolt to a Big Block"

Was this a typo or am I misunderstanding?
typo of course

The 454 mounts will not work on the 'Small' Block ...
They have different hole patterns for the block mounts.

And the 14-bolts I have are "Full Floaters" ... no "C" Clips in any of them to hold axles, just the bolts to the hubs ...

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 05:42 PM
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

I can't offer any advice or comments on your pending swap.
But I gotta say I like the way "your wife ran the engine out of oil". Don't let her see your post. LOL
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

Ok thanks for clarification on that. Those are some unusual looking exhaust manifolds, but interesting. Mine is a 2wd, I found some headers on summit racing's website part number sum-g9011, if you happen to look them up, I think they'll work for me but if anyone thinks otherwise I'd like to hear your input, thanks again.

67 454 Edelbrock air cleaner, performer carb, intake, heads & shocks. headers to 3" duals, HID 85K headlights, custom motorcycle twist throttle controls (paralyzed waist down), all new interior
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old May 7th, 15, 08:56 PM
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

With a Two Wheel Drive you can use headers off a car if necessary. If they don't list headers specifically for a C10 with a 402 or 454 in a 1973-'76. The big block engine was only available in a vehicle with a GVW of 8,500 pounds after 1977 and was discontinued for a few years from 1978-'82 when the general was "Experimenting" with the 350 Olds block converted over to a Diesel was being tried out. In 1983 the 6.7 liter Issuzu diesel truck engine was introduced in it's place and the big block Chevy again reentered the power train line up, but it might have been offered as an option as early as 1981 as the Olds diesel wasn't a stellar seller (I just can't remember exactly).

Truck headers are preferable as they hang down a little more than car headers do for more exhaust pipe clearance under the truck. If the truck is a 1975 and up it will have a cat in a C10 and the C20-C30's got a cat in 1979; if you have to comply with inspections (though the 292 six banger had dual exhausts and no cats, go figure).

Those RV exhaust manifolds are no longer available and where only offered on the front wheel drive dual air bagged rear axle GMC motor home (powered by a 454 with a 10,000 GVW rated TH400 transaxle from an Olds Toranado that had a Chevy bolt pattern case). I found mine used at the Turkey Run car coral a few decades back.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old May 8th, 15, 06:58 AM
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

A complete engine from air cleaner to oil pan, exhaust manifolds, Clutch fan to flexplate is all you need. All the accessories will work especially if it is a late 70's early 80's engine.

Drop in a 90's 454 and the accessories have moved some so the AC hoses will need to be re-made. PS hoses are different too.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old May 9th, 15, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

Ok I got the 454 last night. It's out of a 83 1 ton. It has all the brackets and everything on it, pretty much a turn key. Will my radiator be ok or do I need a big block radiator? The power steering looks to be the remote reservoir type but missing the reservoir and tubing. The A.C. compressor brackets look to be the same. Motor mounts look like they'll work as well but I could be wrong.

67 454 Edelbrock air cleaner, performer carb, intake, heads & shocks. headers to 3" duals, HID 85K headlights, custom motorcycle twist throttle controls (paralyzed waist down), all new interior
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old May 9th, 15, 10:32 PM
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Wink Re: help putting a big block in place of a small block

The mounts should be fine, and only necessary to change if you need to tune installed height or placement to clear other item - I doubt either will occur.

Did your truck have the HD Cooling system or a lower base system?
I've done and seen quite a few swaps in 70/80's vehicles of SBC to BBC where the OEM radiator was plenty big enough if the rest of the support systems - fan(s), shroud, and other items - were also able to handle their end of the task.
So, I'd make sure you have a fan system that can move sufficient air first and then worry about increasing radiator size next.

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