'72 Big Blocks?

Thunderkyss

Veteran Member
Sep 16, 2012
223
Texas
Hey guys, I don't know how, but I stumbled across your message board a couple of weeks ago (maybe a month) & I've been bit really hard, picked this beauty up Saturday.

20121006_154826.jpg


It's a '72 Z28 "tribute" but I've seen a few Big Block threads here & I got to thinking, maybe I should make it a big block "tribute" I think '72 was the last year of the big block Camaros, is that right?

What can you tell me about big block Camaros?
 

ThumperZ28

Veteran Member
Nov 8, 2008
1,018
Oceanside,California
1972 was tge Last year for the big block in the camaro model
It was a 396 cu in
So yeah... f41 suspension, 396 big block with a mild port & Polish, headers, dyno tuned and a limited slip differential ..your choice of automatic transmission or 4 speed manual

And you got a BEAST! !! in little sheep clothing
 

shad_van

Veteran Member
Jun 15, 2012
212
las vegas, NV
I am fairly new here myself. I have a 1971 Camaro SS396 and i have to say it is a monster.

Big block cars are almost a completely diffrent car from a small block. the 3 biggest things I know of that will need to be changed are listed below.

1. motor mounts. they are completely diffrent from small block mounts. i believe you can get them from classic industries, NPD, Year One or any of the other venders.

2. Coil Spring. a Big Block is significantly heavier than a small block. I do not know anyone repoping big blocks springs for second gens. I believe Hotchkis makes big block springs but I think they lower the car 2 inches. I would also look at the sway bars, i think they were diffrent as well. big blocks got them front and back. but they were smaller than Z28 bars I belive.

3. there are 2 intake manifolds that will clear the stock hood on a second gen. both are low rise designs. A highrise intake will not fit under the stock hood. I have been told the old edelbrock Torquer II and Terantula will fit but i have not tried it. the factory intake manifold on my car is 3955287. it is made of cast iron and only fits oval port heads.

there is only one intake that will fit square port heads on a second gen with a stock hood. It is aluminum and casting number 3963569. from what i understand it was used only on 1970 SS396 L78 cars is like trying to find gold. they only made about 600 of these cars give or take a few.

There is also a 71 corvette manifold with the same design as the camaro/chevelle manifold but a diffrent casting number. I dont know the casting number for it off the top of my head.

you can tell the diffrence between 1971 LS6 intake manifolds the cylinder numbers cast on the runners, where 1970 LS6/L78 manifolds did not. any of the square port intakes are going to be very hard to find, do to the fact that they sucked so everyone ditched them for edelbrock or wieland manifolds back in the day.

Personally I think oval ports are the way to go. square port heads and the crappy lowrise manifolds make anyting smaller that a 454 a dog on the street. if your looking at a cowl indution or L88 aftermarket hood the sky is the limit as far a manifolds go.

there are a lot of little things that are diffrent as well. the radiator support is different, it should have hide-away wipers, bullet mirrors. fan shroud is diffrent. you can get them repop, but the quality is low. my orignal factory one was pretty busted up, i got a repo from year one. it fits and funtions properly, but looks nothing like my orignal. I think all V8 wiring harnesses are the same and only differ if you have the optional guages. both My SS396 and 307 coupe only have the idiot lights. so i dont have a good reference to compare it to. I believe there are more diffrences but that is all i can think of right now.
 

BigBlock73

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jul 10, 2002
2,230
Accord,New York
Radiator supports are the same except for the radiator opening size.The non-heavy duty support can be opened up to the larger size.Hide-a-way wipers and Bullet mirrors would be an option on any early camaro.
 

flowjoe

Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 7, 2006
8,146
SoCal
shad_van said:
I am fairly new here myself. I have a 1971 Camaro SS396 and i have to say it is a monster.

Big block cars are almost a completely diffrent car from a small block. the 3 biggest things I know of that will need to be changed are listed below.

1. motor mounts. they are completely diffrent from small block mounts. i believe you can get them from classic industries, NPD, Year One or any of the other venders.

2. Coil Spring. a Big Block is significantly heavier than a small block. I do not know anyone repoping big blocks springs for second gens. I believe Hotchkis makes big block springs but I think they lower the car 2 inches. I would also look at the sway bars, i think they were diffrent as well. big blocks got them front and back. but they were smaller than Z28 bars I belive.

3. there are 2 intake manifolds that will clear the stock hood on a second gen. both are low rise designs. A highrise intake will not fit under the stock hood. I have been told the old edelbrock Torquer II and Terantula will fit but i have not tried it. the factory intake manifold on my car is 3955287. it is made of cast iron and only fits oval port heads.

there is only one intake that will fit square port heads on a second gen with a stock hood. It is aluminum and casting number 3963569. from what i understand it was used only on 1970 SS396 L78 cars is like trying to find gold. they only made about 600 of these cars give or take a few.

There is also a 71 corvette manifold with the same design as the camaro/chevelle manifold but a diffrent casting number. I dont know the casting number for it off the top of my head.

you can tell the diffrence between 1971 LS6 intake manifolds the cylinder numbers cast on the runners, where 1970 LS6/L78 manifolds did not. any of the square port intakes are going to be very hard to find, do to the fact that they sucked so everyone ditched them for edelbrock or wieland manifolds back in the day.

Personally I think oval ports are the way to go. square port heads and the crappy lowrise manifolds make anyting smaller that a 454 a dog on the street. if your looking at a cowl indution or L88 aftermarket hood the sky is the limit as far a manifolds go.

there are a lot of little things that are diffrent as well. the radiator support is different, it should have hide-away wipers, bullet mirrors. fan shroud is diffrent. you can get them repop, but the quality is low. my orignal factory one was pretty busted up, i got a repo from year one. it fits and funtions properly, but looks nothing like my orignal. I think all V8 wiring harnesses are the same and only differ if you have the optional guages. both My SS396 and 307 coupe only have the idiot lights. so i dont have a good reference to compare it to. I believe there are more diffrences but that is all i can think of right now.
For '70-71 the frame side engine mounting bracket is the same for Z/28 (SBC) and BBC applications in Camaro. Other SBC in those years use a different mount.

In '72 GM moved to the clam shell style mount. This was used, interchangeabley, for SBC AND BBC applications in that year.

If the OP has a '72 then he can use the same motor mounts he already has.
 

flowjoe

Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 7, 2006
8,146
SoCal
BigBlock73 said:
Radiator supports are the same except for the radiator opening size.The non-heavy duty support can be opened up to the larger size.Hide-a-way wipers and Bullet mirrors would be an option on any early camaro.
If the OP has AC or the HD cooling package his radiator support opening will already be at the largest size.
 




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