How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box cover - Team Camaro Tech
Heating & Cooling Heating, cooling and air conditioning

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 19, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Tom Anderson
 
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How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box cover

Hey guys have any of you drilled out the small block heater box cover and made it into a big block cover with the hoses coming out by the passenger fender. The reason I ask is I put tall valve covers on and it really makes the top hose hard to get to
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 19, 06:42 PM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

I have not. If my car wasn't a "numbers" car, I would have drilled it and converted to big block heater core when I had the car apart. This is one of those INSANE things that GM did back in the 60's. Why wouldn't they just use the same cover for big and small block? Would have been less part numbers, and easier. The big block heater cores are even easier to swap out when one goes bad.

But, back to your question. Can you buy just that little plate that bolts on the BB heater box cover? If so, I would buy one of those, position it on the cover comparing to a pic of the BB cover and get out the hole saws. Someone somewhere has probably posted a template. I am certain someone on here has a BB that is under construction, and would be glad to take some careful measurements for you.

Lynn
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 19, 06:43 PM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

67-69 CAMARO 70 NOVA SMALL BLOCK HEATER BOX COVER CONVERSION TO BIG BLOCK COVER https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F192696045645

Here you go. Easy as pie
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 19, 08:35 PM
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I did mine. Seems like there were factory dimples in the cover to line up the holes you need to drill, just like the dimples all over the firewall for accessorie holes.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 04:57 AM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

I did 1 a few years back, not a big job, not expensive, there are pics out there.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 04:58 AM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

Quote:
Originally Posted by socal_tom View Post
Hey guys have any of you drilled out the small block heater box cover and made it into a big block cover with the hoses coming out by the passenger fender. The reason I ask is I put tall valve covers on and it really makes the top hose hard to get to
Yuup, I did too!
No problem if you are accurate when measuring and using the heater tube flange plate as a template! The heater box cove is identical on the outside, in the engine compartment, so really can't tell the difference after the drilling is done and the heater core and the heater tube flange plate with seal are mounted place.

You can read a little more about this in my ZL-1 build thread, page no 10, https://www.camaros.net/forums/133-b...zl-1-a-10.html

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Last edited by Hgger69; Jan 26th, 19 at 03:06 PM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 07:39 AM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

I did it Tom. Very easy to do. I had every intention of putting a big block cover on, so I bough a repop. What a piece of junk! Save your money and use the original, at least you know that it already fits.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 08:13 AM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

After cracking one of the heater core pipes when installing my engine and flooding the interior. I bought a repop big block cover to see where the holes were and just drilled the small block cover that was already on the firewall. The fun part was making the brackets to hold the big block heater core in place.

Dave

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 11:28 AM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

I did mine a few years ago. I drilled my existing small block cover to except the big block heater core. You are going to need the "Big Block Heater Core Conversion Cover" that John linked in post #3. Below are a couple photos that may help with converting your existing heater core cover.

After you remove the heater core from inside the car, place a wide piece of painters tape along the dimple in the firewall heater core cover as shown.


Using the Big Block Heater Core Conversion Cover as a template, hold it along the dimple on your existing cover as shown. The left side of the template should line up with the outside crease in the cover. Use a marker to identify the center of each hole on the painters tape.


Remove the template and use a 1 3/4 inch hole saw to drill the holes. Note: You can enlarge the holes as needed with a round metal file when installing the big block heater core.






You can use the original small block heater core retaining clips to hold the big block heater core in place, but you will need to modify/file the clip that is next to the big block heater core tubes as shown.


Finished install. You will also need to block/cover the small block heater core tube holes that remain in your firewall.


Hope this helps.

Last edited by oldschoolchevy; Jan 26th, 19 at 11:48 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 02:34 PM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

The kit it posted includes material that blocks the SBC holes

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 04:22 PM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolchevy View Post
Remove the template and use a 1 3/4 inch hole saw to drill the holes. Note: You can enlarge the holes as needed with a round metal file when installing the big block heater core.
Correction: I used a 1" hole saw to drill the holes in the heater core cover mounted on the firewall.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 19, 05:06 PM
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

I forgot which house it was, but think it was NPD that I got my last core from.. Came with bent tubes that directed the hoses away from the valve cover. Didn't have to drill and still clear the Tall valve covers.

Brandon J. licence 1NASTY67

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 19, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Tom Anderson
 
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Re: How to drill a sbc heater box cover and make it a bbc heater box c

Hey guys thanx a lot for all your input . The team has a bunch of great guys and I am proud to be a member
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