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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently acquired a 1980 Camaro with a 305 create engine in it. I'm not looking to restore the car to it original state so much, maybe more like breathing new life into it, maybe a bit of fire. Right now it has a new 305 with 350 trans. I have a 454 vortec I want to carburete and install in the car along with a Muncie 4 speed. With that being said, I'm going to need a lot of good advise and info to pull this off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Adding a clutch pedal is a key factor in my little plan. At the moment, I have a rough looking 83 Camaro with an excellent running 350 and a 5 speed Borg Warner, I'm hoping I can get most of what need from this donor car to set my 80 up. I may run the 5 speed a while until I can get the Muncie looked at.
 

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Welcome to TC!

Are you going to modify the 454 any?

How much power does the 305 have?

The 454 will weigh quite a bit more, and as I'm guessing it's the iron block (and heads?) truck motor(don't think they made a different version of the Vortec 454), and it is made for low end grunt. The car will be pretty front end heavy(more than usual anyway) and it won't have much steam in the upper RPM range
That said, it will still be better than anything the factory put in during that timeframe!
 

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I don't know the horse power of the 305, but it a good strong running engine and sounds great, but I want more. I have the 350 out of the 83 z28, thats strong, cammed with 650 Holly dp I could use, but I want try bigger and that why I'm here to learn from you guys. The 454 I want to use is from a 96 Suburban that I have been driving every day for the last month, so far the engine seems good and strong, but it has about 200xxx mile on it. Yes I want to modify the engine, of course money is tight, so I'm hoping with you guys help I can make the right choices the first time. I do know I want a intake and a carb, cam and headers. The engine seems strong, it pulls that suburban around with ease, but do I need to look deeper because of the 200xxx miles on it. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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The high mileage would worry me a bit. If you tear it down and decide to rebuild it I’d look into all the idiosyncrasies of that particular generation engine. I think it is considered GEN VI. There can be interchangeability issue on some parts like heads. Again I don’t know the specifics but GM played with the block to head cooling holes on some big blocks back then. Before investing in it I’d make sure I could get it to whatever the end goal is without too much trouble. I was told the heads are a little better than truck peanut ports. IIRC the peanut ports quit at about 425HP.


I’m doing an L31 small block Vortec swap into an older car right now. I have to drill and tap the mounting boss for the clutch cross shaft. That would have been a pain if it went un-noticed till it was in the car. The truck’s serpentine set up is a no go for my swap. You might find it the same for yours. I’m converting to a carb. People who play with these say the small block FI is a real limiting factor for power it you want to hop up the little Vortec. They told me the BB Vortec FI has some room for added HP but I don’t know how far you can take it.

If I was going through the trouble of a big block swap I would want at least 500 FWHP or else why bother? Another way to look at is you’ve got a running big block. You can do the swap as is and build HP from this engine later or go with a completely different big block when money allows.


I like big blocks but I fall into the school of thought that believes the sbc is such a great overall package there needs to be a good reason to go with anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, you gave me a few more things to think about especially where things mount. I'll make a point now looking for those type of things. Your right about the horse power I want 500 hp at least for the effort.
 

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Vortec 454 was Gen III. The last big block the was the 8.1. Those are all gone now.

Gen VI doesn't exist.
 

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Welcome, Chuck.
Good suggestions given. Mine is this, if you decide to go BBC, I suggest leave it like it is, EFI and all.
It will have plenty of torque and torque is what pegs your Seat-0-Pants meter.

Depending upon the rear axle ratio, will depend on the model of Muncie you would chose.
A 3.55:1 with a M21 would be a good choice.
A 3.90:1/4.10:1 with a M20 would be a good choice.
But then, you could install a 3.55/3.73 and a T56 6-spd now have overdrive = 0.50:1 (6th).
 
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