BBC auto, SBC Stick, mild = boring?

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by besserspat, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. besserspat

    besserspat New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    [​IMG] Hi everyone, I haven't been on here in a while!

    Well its that time of the year when you know spring is on the way and you start looking at things to tinker with in the shop.

    I have this 1980 Camaro , in good condition , fully functional , 99% rust free survivor, its a plain jane with a "refreshed" '73 truck 350 , stock 993 heads, GM stock aluminum 4 barrel Quadrajet intake and stock manifolds dumping into a 2" 1/4 true dual exhaust. Th350 and peg leg 2.56 rear.

    Heres a pic of the beast after after too many burnouts.
    20200726_141509.jpg

    So the car drives fine, not great but the thing is 40 years old obviously... but its a fun driver ( very smooth) but off the line is really not exciting with the 2.56 rear, your moms minivan is probably faster...

    We have numerous 454s on the shelves , Th400s, and also a couple Super t-10 ( all aluminum cases) 4 speed transmissions.

    I was maybe thinking of swapping the th350 for one of the Super t-10 ( have 2.88 and 2.64 models)

    Or I could also swap a "refreshed and spray canned" 454 with a little cam , alum dual plane intake and some headers and keep it Automatic and get some 3.08s

    If I had a iron case super t-10 Id probably make it mild BBC and stick... but the BBC will explode a stock aluminum Super t-10...well at least the way I drive.

    In a world of bigger, faster and more expensive is always better (which I don't live by) , I personally think that even just the stock little 350 with some 3.42 gears and a 2.88 first Super t-10 4 speed would be real fun to drive around.

    What would you guys do?

    I owned a race/fab shop pretty much all my life so now im lucky to own numerous muscle and vintage cars, American, German and Japanese, same for motorcycles, its more like a mental disease than a passion I guess...

    So I am not going to make a Pro-touring out of it, or use any modern tech, its not my thing, I like old school, simple and vintage. That's why I like old cars, I love the way the feel, smell and drive.

    So again, what would you do with this little Camaro, A BBC/Auto? SBC/4 speed? Just leave it alone and paint it? tell us your experience.

    I think this post can also help other members in a similar situation with their built.

    Thanks
    Peter
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  2. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    15,973
    Likes Received:
    998
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 1999
    Location:
    San Jose, CA, USA
    IMHO, pretty much any stick-shift version of the car, with decent gears, is going to be more fun than an Automatic.
     
    Zstar likes this.
  3. 351maverick

    351maverick full time Ebay seller/hustler/car killer

    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    542
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    erie, PA
    you said you "like old school, simple and vintage"

    leave it alone...paint it & 3.42s in the rear
     
  4. besserspat

    besserspat New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    That's an option I'm considering, but all the other options are also oldschool , simple and vintage :)
     
  5. xten

    xten Veteran Member

    Messages:
    3,897
    Likes Received:
    2,786
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    I like the "shock and awe" factor of the BBC when the hood is opened. IMO nothing looks better between the fenders of a 2nd gen. Good converter, 3.42"s. Should be big fun.
     
  6. 1978 Z/28

    1978 Z/28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    136
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    A BBC looks good. I am going back to a 4 speed (M-22) I like the sound of a 4 speed and is more fun to drive.
     
  7. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,360
    Likes Received:
    1,032
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Location:
    Canada
    There's just something with a manual trans....all my previous cars were automatic's, fun with the bottle, but not as much as rowing your own gears. Built my ride with a 5 spd, loved it, and now a 6 spd, didn't think I could love it anymore, but I do. Manual all the way if you can swing it.
     
    Zstar likes this.
  8. besserspat

    besserspat New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    The BBC is definitely tempting because the second gen F-body is one of the easiest cars to fit a BBC in with stock parts.
    I have the 454 , the th400 , but I have the 4 speeds too , In an Ideal world it would be a 454 with a 4 speed , but the 4 speeds wont survive long behind even a mild 400-425 hp BBC.

    Going Big block also mean new exhausts all over, new gears, and all the nickel and diming with little parts a swap involves

    A manual swap , I have the transmissions, no need for a new crossmember , manual pedals and bars set can be had for 150$ and the swap can be done in one day. Then little things like adding shorty headers, gears, intake and tuning the carb can be done in small increments while the car remains driveable.

    I already have a 70s chevelle with a 454 th400 and a 73 Firebird with Pontiac 461 Stroker and th400, for the rest we have a couple other cars with V8s and stick.

    Like I said Im just trying to give some personality to this plain Jane Camaro , while staying true to its roots.

    Peter
     
  9. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

    Messages:
    4,859
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    MN
    One thing I will tell you is that you will not break a Super T-10 with a BBC and street tires unless you are shifting without the clutch. I have pound pissed the crap out of many a 4speed, the ones that broke were of course the Saginaw's (no surprise there), but the Muncie's and ST-10's held up well. Launching a car with a lot of torque of a BBC will bust with slick trans. As for 2.56 gear, I ran a 71 Nova years ago that has a nice 400 SBC and it was a very high 12 low 13 sec. car and was a blast to drive. A great combo is a 454 BBC with 3.08 gears and a turbo 400. Will take all the pounding you can give it.
     
  10. besserspat

    besserspat New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    1980RS , as you probably know not all Super T10s are created equal. St-10s from the mid-late 70s with 2.43 First gear ,those transmissions could handle Pontiac 455s and 400 torque without a problem.

    As the first gear ratio changes the strength a bit, from the most fragile "smog era" 3.42 firsts, (why they added a "904" iron case to make it tougher) to the strongest 2.43 first gear from the mid 70s and vettes. We can built a 2.43 first geared, iron cased, mid plated St-10 and it will easily cope with 600hp on a track with slicks no problem. The aluminum housing and higher gears are the main weakness.

    Sadly the St-10s I have on my shelves are aluminum cases with either 2.64 or 2.88 first gears. The 2.64 might last longer behind a 454 and street tires. but the 2.88 I doubt...

    We exploded many in the past and since those transmissions are getting expensive to replace, I would like it to survive. Can always baby it , but what's the purpose of a Camaro if you can't let her stretch her legs a little...

    I have already a 70 chevelle with a 454 and th400 with 3.07s and a 73 Firebird with a Pontiac 461, th400 with 3.08s. And you are right indeed its a very fun bulletproof set up on the street...
    im just looking for something a little different in the Camaro.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021

Share This Page