502 crate swap questions - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 05, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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502 crate swap questions

I have a 68 convertible with a tired 396 (not original)....Rather than spending the bucks to rebuild I am thinking of a 505/502. I have a 4.56 rear, muncie 4spd. Would this 502 be streetable? Or is it just a big pain/waste of money. I have heard I need to change the oil pan, add an electric fuel pump and drill for clutch linkage. I am thinking 2' Hookers.....does anyone know the correct part number...Will have power steering and power brakes which I will be adding after I get the 396 pulled out. Will it all fit? Can I use my old flywheel or do I need a special one for the 502? Any comments or helpful hints? Joe
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 05, 01:14 PM
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Re: 502 crate swap questions

The 4:56 gear is a little to tall. You will run out of RPMs at the end of the quarter and you'll prabably be running 3500 to 4000 RPM at 55mph.

You will need to change the oil pan and you will need the 168 tooth flywheel. Drilling the block and running a tap for the Z bar stud is not a big deal. There is a pad on the side of the block for this purpose. GM sells a kit for the oil pan change, it comes with a new pick up and studs. Power steering and brakes will fit with the BBC and headers. I had both but removed them in pursuit of the 10 second 1/4 mile. I used hooker headers and had to dent them a little for the steering column.

I didn't think it is a waste of money but it's really your personal taste, preference that counts. I spent over 7,000 on the rebuild but I bought rotating assembly, cam, heads, carb, intake and I am not sure what the ZZ502 is going for now a days. You could build a stroker sb and it would work fine but if you are a BBC fan the 502 is alot of fun. The vavle train is the limiting component in these engines. GM redlines these things at 5800 RPM and they make most of their hp/tq below that. That said your biggest problem will be keeping all that torque from spinning your tires. I went through a rebuild on my 450hp 502 and am really happy with the way it turned out. Of course it was built with Cubic Money!


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 05, 05:00 AM
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Re: 502 crate swap questions

Regarding the flywheel, the 396 is an internal balance, 502 is an external balance. So yes, you'd need a different flywheel.

You would need a new pan. The 396 (Gen IV) pan won't work, and the pan that comes on the 502 is a 6 quart truck pan that probably won't fit a 1st gen F-body.

Looking at the curves that GM published for the 502/502, it's hard to define streetable. The 502 HP peak is above 5,000 RPM, but it looks like 550 ft-lbs starts down low (curve starts at 2,750 RPM, so it's hard to say where the torque actually starts).

The 454 HO (425 HP/500 ft-lb) might be a good choice if you have to have a crate; it can still use the mechanical style fuel pump.

Seems like a lot of cash. I would (and did) have the 396 rebuilt.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 05, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 502 crate swap questions

How about driving around town????? Is the idle on the 502 livable? Wth the cops having so little tolerance I cant see getting on it very often, but still like to know its there. This car will never see a drag strip....street use only, driven on a nice sunny cool day, with no rain in sight. I hate having to buy 600 dollar ceramic coated headers and have to start beating on them with a mallet...2''? 2 1/8th? 1 7/8? what do we think? Thanks for all the advice. Joe
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