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Discussion Starter #1
This will be my first car of this type (classic, muscle).

Its my understanding that this is a massive engine.

Since this will be my first car of this type, is it better to avoid something with an engine of this size?

I plan on doing a lot of highway driving and would think that this thing will suck gas (gallons per mile vs miles per gallon).

I'm being told that the engine is accompanied by a rebuilt turbo 400, 3500 stall converter and an 850 holley.

Not sure if this is a good set-up or what else I need to know...

:(
 

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496 = gallons per mile. Unfortunately, even the old small blocks are not going to get you respectful miles per gallon.

If you truly want to get a car you can really drive today, you should look at one with an updated drive train i.e.: LS Motor, T56 Six Speed Trans and 3.73 rear gears will get you at least 22+ MPG. Of course don't forget the need to handle fast stops on todays highways and make sure you have Disc Brakes up front, preferably in the rear as well.
 

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This will be my first car of this type (classic, muscle).

Its my understanding that this is a massive engine.

Since this will be my first car of this type, is it better to avoid something with an engine of this size?

I plan on doing a lot of highway driving and would think that this thing will suck gas (gallons per mile vs miles per gallon).

I'm being told that the engine is accompanied by a rebuilt turbo 400, 3500 stall converter and an 850 holley.

Not sure if this is a good set-up or what else I need to know...

:([/

]

You only live once :D
 

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It's not about the miles per gallon, it's about the smiles per gallon. If you are going to do a lot of highway driving, might want to look for something set up a little different, though. It's going to use quite a bit of fuel. On the other hand, if this is just going to be an occassional cruiser, go for it. A 496 is a pretty common engine anymore. There are guys running larger ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok so lets say I go forward with this purchase.

What kind of gas mileage can I expect? :(

Hows the rest of the setup: rebuilt turbo 400, 3500 stall converter and an 850 holley.

Apparently its a newer "Jeggs" engine with a warranty so I got that goin for me, I guess.
 

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I'm thinking 10 or less....

Rear gears ?
 

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A big, inefficient crate motor would be the last thing I'd look for. I order to justify 496 CID I'd expect no less than 750hp. really closer to 850. I'm betting this pig makes 650 max. Boat anchor. Not only is the MPG going to be awful (single digits), with the 3sp auto you'll likely be @ 3000rpm+ trying to keep up with traffic on the free way. No fun.
 

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I'd agree with the above statement....if you are concerned about gas milage, then don't buy it! I've just got a 350 in my 69 and 4.11 gears and at highway speeds, I'm running at 3500/3700 rpm and I have a 750 Holley on it. It is GUZZLING the gas at those rpms! I don't really care though since it isn't a daily driver. If it's going to be just a fun weekend cruiser and you don't care about gas milage, go for it, but if you are really worried about good mpg, then I'd look at something else.....the LS engines get good milage and have good Hp too. I personally wouldn't hesitate to put a 496 in my car if I had the chance!! Would be awesome!!! Just keep the tanker truck behind me so I can fill up when I need to!!! haha!!!
 

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Classic, muscle, and MPG are words/phrases not to be used in the same sentence.
Regardless of Classic muscle brand - especially highway driving.
 

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A big, inefficient crate motor would be the last thing I'd look for. I order to justify 496 CID I'd expect no less than 750hp. really closer to 850. I'm betting this pig makes 650 max. Boat anchor. Not only is the MPG going to be awful (single digits), with the 3sp auto you'll likely be @ 3000rpm+ trying to keep up with traffic on the free way. No fun.
A 500 hp Big Block in a 1st Gen is far from being a boat anchor. They have tons of torque.

750-850 motor are not very street able and very expensive

The down side with the TH400 and 3500 stall you'll be 7-8 mile per gal if you don't get on it.

For power and mileage LS is the way to go. However you can get power and reasonable mileage with a SBC too. The most important key to this is using an OD tranny. The 2nd thing is to convert to EFI.

My 355 Roller motor with a TKO 500 and 355 gear was getting 18 mpg and easily running along at 70-75 mph. About 420 hp with a Holley DP. Converting to EFI would have put it over 20 mpg.
 

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I see two 496 ci. from Blue Print Engines sold by Jegs. One is a 480 hp engine and the other is a 575 hp engine. If you want a Camaro with good gas mileage you would want one with the LS engines. The Camaro with the 496 crate engine is not setup for any kind of gas mileage in mind. It would need an overdrive transmission and 373-4.10 rear gear ratio to help get decent gas mileage.
 

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This will be my first car of this type (classic, muscle).

Its my understanding that this is a massive engine.

Since this will be my first car of this type, is it better to avoid something with an engine of this size?

I plan on doing a lot of highway driving and would think that this thing will suck gas (gallons per mile vs miles per gallon).

I'm being told that the engine is accompanied by a rebuilt turbo 400, 3500 stall converter and an 850 holley.

Not sure if this is a good set-up or what else I need to know...

:(
The bold line above says it all... I have belonged to a Camaro club for almost 15 years. We get out and drive our cars for a lot of events and puts lots of miles on them, many times a year 200 miles or more in a single outing. We have some big block owners in the club but you don't see them too often at driving events that will be over 50 - 75 miles.

All that said, the key to getting some gas mileage out of an old car like a Camaro is rearend gears, overdrive transmissions, the right engine combination and keeping your foot out of it. Modern fuel injected, computer controlled transplants will give you all the power you want and some decent fuel economy but a car so equipped really starts loosing it's retro appeal. A typical small block with a carb can also get you decent numbers but may not give you the same ponies as an LS conversion.

My buddies almost stock 307 with a TH350 and high rear gears will go almost as far on a tank of gas as my 400hp carb equipped 383ci small block with overdrive and 3.42:1 rear gears. I can pull down 20-23 mpg depending on if I drive a steady 60mph or 75mph and don't stick my foot into it at all.

The car you're describing would be a blast going between your garage and the local cruise-in or an occasional back road jaunt. The high stall converter is taking away the cars stoplight manners and the cubic inches and 850 carb mean that thing will drink like a sailor on one night shore leave!
 

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Look at it like this (my combo see sig):

454 + TH400 w/3500 stall + 4.10 geared 12 bolt = 6 mpg city / 8 mpg high way (55 mph = 3500 rpm)...

That makes for roughly 100 miles between fill ups. If that's a major concern then look for something else with a more complaint drive train.
 

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I ran a 468 with about 570 to the wheels and a 3.50 rear gear for years. It ate the gas in town, but on the highway i was getting 17-18 with the trans that i was running. I ran a built up tremec tko .67 overdrive gear so 70 mph was about 1800 rpm. Unless you are going to run something like that, i wouldn't go old BBC. As previously stated, a newer LS engine will get you mpg and performance. If the car already has this engine, look into an overdrive auto if you prefer auto's. You can get a well built 700 r 4 or a 200 4 r for around 1200-1500 and have all the town fun you want plus the highway mileage that comes with an overdrive trans. Gotta have an overdrive gear.
 

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It's not about cubic inches (entirely at least), it's about the package. A 496 or combination thereof is really just a 454 for all intents and purposes. I have not seen any info regarding the build of the motor but that will make the difference. If it's a 9:1 small cam regular build with more cubic inches it will be substantially better than a max effort motor of the same cubes.
A bigger cube motor is more than likely going to be a gas hog but how much will depend. In addition to motor build an overdrive trans and proper gearing is a huge factor.

On that note, if it's pump gas, why does anyone care about mileage? There are gas stations everywhere, and it can be as reliable as any other motor.
I understand drivable, but I darn sure didn't buy a classic car to get Prius miles per gallon... Just saying. ;)
 

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Everything's a compromise as they say.

I love BBC's. Love how they look (the wide valve covers with Tonawanda decal) , how they sound and the TORQUE.

To get reasonable gas mileage requires:

1) A manual trans with overdrive. Cruise rpm should be below 2000
2) A reasonable cam. The ZZ502 cam 224/232 is the max I would ever run
3) Compression should be as high as possible. 10-1 with aluminum heads or 9-1 with cast iron

If you do these 3 things, a 496 should be able to get 15 mpg minimum at cruising speeds.

I may be wrong, but I think I'm close to the truth ! :D
 

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Wait and buy it when you and your prostate are both older. That way filling up won't be as much of an inconvenience since you'll be stopping every hour to go to the bathroom anyway.
 
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