Small Block to Big Swap

There is nothing like opening the hood of a nice Camaro and seeing those fat valve covers of a big block. There are many advantages to making the switch from small block to big block power like the monster torque available under your right foot and that unmistakable rumble 

Back in the Day there was no substitute for cubic inches in any kind of car, in fact the saying went "Theres no replacement for displacement."The only thing that kept you from owning a big-block was, much as today, the wallet-bending dollar. Much of the car-crazy public had to settle for a small block (307, 327, or 350) . Today, many of those who dreamed of a 396, 427, or the awe-inspiring 454 are taking that giant leap by doing what man has done for decades - the engine swap!

The small block to big block swap in any Chevy is relatively easy, provided you have all the necessary tools and parts & some Brains! When performing this swap in the Camaro, Steve's Camaros has just what the doctor ordered. Tool-wise you'll need access to an engine hoist, an engine stand, jack stands, floor jack, 1 or 2 sets of sockets and wrenches, and maybe a few other common mechanic's tools. 

Parts needed will include 2 major items that are critical to this operation: the motor mounts and the engine frame mounts. 

The engine frame mounts are particular to the big block engine and also differ between the 67/68 style and the 69 style. The big block-style mounts pull the engine forward away from the firewall and also tilt the engine towards the passenger side (RH side) of the car to make up for the large amount of torque produced by the larger cube engines. Many people have tried to drop in a big block using small block mounts only to discover "no room" between the back of the block and the firewall and the side of the block and the heater core cover - not to mention only 1/4 to 1/2 normal throttle response. Correct frame mounts cure this problem. The mounts are available from STEVES CAMAROS (sold as pairs) under Part Numbers #110560(1967-68), #110570(1969). These mounts can be used with either original GM or reproduction motor mounts. 

If your not going HEATER DELETE and you want to keep your heater you'll also need a new heater core and Big Block Heater cover. On original factory big-block cars without A/C, Chevrolet put the heater hose outlet very close to the passenger side fender - versus right next to the engine block like the small block cars. So to KEEP the heater you need both the big-block heater core (Part # 150120 for 67-68 non air and Part#150150 for 69 non/air) and the big block heater box (Part # 150010)for 67-69 Camaros, and are available from us. 

When utilizing power steering on your Camaro with a big block, you will need the correct power steering pump brackets and pulleys. Once a hard part to find, STEVE'S now makes it easy! On 67-68 cars, order pump cradle bracket #110650 and adjuster brace #110660. For '69's, use kit #110710 and your problems are solved. 1969 cars used a big block-only power steering pump, while 67-68's with V8 all used the same pump. Get pulley #111680 and you'll have that end covered, too. 

An often asked question on this swap is: "Why does my engine sit offset 1 inch to the side?" This problem only seems to arise when the small block frame mounts are used. 

To ensure proper alignment of the transmission, unbolt the cross member until after the engine is in place. In some instances, new alignment holes may have to be drilled, but again, not until after the engine is in. 

You should also replace your front springs with a stiffer set for the Big Block to ensure proper steering and load handling (Part #251110)and don't forget your new radiator or at the very least the B.B. Fan Shroud (Part #070380 for 67-68 and Part #070390 for 69) 

The last two items involved with this swap are the exhaust system and accelerator linkage. These will depend on the set-up you chose (I.E.: Headers or manifolds; Mechanical or cable linkage) just remember for your piece of mind, there are no headers for a big block camaro 1967-1969 that will clear the power steering box with out modification. 

Aside from minor adjustments and owner-chosen accessories, like radiators, hoses, fan shrouds, Just use your smarts, that pretty much finishes the swap. Remember that almost everything is available from Steve's Camaros.

Also If your car is a manual car(stick shift) you will need to change the Z-bar (part# 260030) and lower push rod (part# 260730) you should be able to reuse your old return spring just leave off the extension!

Good luck!

Camaro Unibody Frame Dimensions

Under Body 67-68-69 Camaro/Firebird Frames Basic Dimensions.

These are the Basic measurements from Fisher Body Specs and are modified, to correct printed errors in the Fisher Body manual. All measurements are center to center unless otherwise noted. Car must be setup on a level surface, for accurate measurements. 
Factory Tolerance plus or minus 1/8 inch.

Note: Your car may measure out differently. This is due to difference in measuring methods used. Most important is that the car is square and level to its self.

Note: A Tram Gauge is recommended for more accurate results, the supplied diagram is for basic building references to help with frame mounting and alignment questions, and measurements are a must when installing SUBFRAME connectors for them to be the most effective