Second Generation Camaro Owners Group - Camaro Engine Information & Restoration

The drivetrain in this context is the engine and it's related systems. These include fuel, cooling and exhaust systems. Also included is the transmission, driveshaft and rear end.

Your drivetrain is critical to the functioning of your car. How well it looks is also important, not just if you intend on showing the car, but it makes it easier to work on and maintain if everything is clean.

Nicely restored LT1 in a Z28 Camaro

Please note: There are several different articles and a lot of specific information in the message board about swapping Big Block chevy engines, fuel injected engines (LT1, LS1) and modern drivetrains (T56, 700R4). See the related topics on the message board for more information or to ask specific questions.
EFI GUIDE Installing EFI in a Second Gen - PDF format, by ULTM8Z

Camaro Engine Information
Many Camaro engines were used during the course of the second generations existance. The general engine (or powerteam) combinations are identified in the yearly Camaro information. The below table itemizes the various engines by component. Some engines (the Z28 and SS) have more specific pages. Carburetor, Distributor, Alternator, Exhaust & Cooling System have specific sections as well. This table helps with not only identifying what components make up what engines, but to compare how the engines evolved over time.

These engines are:
1970 - 1972 396 - LS3, L34 & L78 - Super Sport
1970 - 1972 LT1 - 350ci/275-360HP V8 4BC - Z-28 only
1973 - 1974 L82 - 350ci/245 HP V8 4BC - Z-28 only
1974 - 1981 LM1

Engine Component Table
under construction (2/1/04), not verified.
  RPO Block Heads Cam Intake Carburetor Exhaust (LH) Exhaust (RH)
1970 307/200 3970020 3927185 3896930 3958622   3989043 3973432
350/L65 3970010 3932441 3896930 3958626   3989043 3973432
L48 3970010 3947041 3896930 3987361   3989043 3973432
Z28 3970010 3927186 3972182 3972110 *note* 3942527 3946826
396 - L34 3969854 3964290 3904364 3955287 *note* 3909879 3916178
396 - L78 3969854 3964291 3904366 3963569 *note* 3909879 3916178
 
1971 307/200 3970020 3997417 3896930 3991005   3989043 3973432
350/L65 3970010 3973487 3896930 3990948   3989043 3973432
L48 3970010 3973487 3896930 6262932   3989043 3973432
Z28 3970010 3973487 3972182 3959594 *note* 3989041 3986330
396 - LS3 3969854 3993820 3863545 3955287 *note* 3989343 3989310
 
1972 307/130 3970020 3998991 3896930 6262928   3989043 3973432
350/L65 3970010 6272070 3896930 6262930   3989043 3973432
L48 3970010 3973487X 3896930 6262932   3989043 3959562
Z28 3970010 3998916 3972182 3959594 *note* 3989041 3986330
396 - LS3 3999290 3999241 3863545 6263753 *note* 3989343 3989310
 
1973 307/115 3970020 3998991 3896930 6271060   3989043 3973432
350/L65 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997772   3989043 3959562
175hp 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997770   3989043 3959562
Z28 3970010 330545 3896964 3997771 *note* 3989041 3986330
 
1974
350/L65 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997772   3989043 3959562
175hp 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997770   3989043 3959562
Z28 3970010 333881 3896964 340261 *note* 3989041 3986330
 
1975
350/L65 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997772   3989043 3959562
350/155hp 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997770   3989043 3959562
 
1976
305              
350/165hp 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997770   3989043 3959562
 
1977 250              
305              
350 3970010 6272070 3896930 3997770   3989043 3959562
 
1980 229              
267              
350              
Cam Specs:
3896930 -  .390/.410 lift, 310/320 (280/288) duration
LG3 Cam - .372/.410 lift, 272/288 duration

Engine Restoration
Define the scope of the project
Step 1 in your drivetrain restoration effort is to make sure everything is functional, structurally sound and in good condition. If your engine smokes, has a bazillion miles on it, is disassembled or otherwise doesn't work, you'll need to rebuild it.

If the transmission isn't shifting correctly or hasn't made a car go down the road in a couple years, you might need to rebuild it as well. In fact, if you start pulling major components (engine) out of the car you might want to have the transmission rebuilt at this time just so it's nice and fresh. It's a major PITA to have a nice car and have an old finicky item constantly prevent you from having fun with it. This is called being penny-wise but pound foolish. Also, it'll help you avoid the "You can pay me now - or pay me later" syndrome. However, you need to be very careful of the "slipery slope" - which is to unnecessarily expand the scope of your project by tearing everything apart and rebuilding it when all you really wanted to do was clean something up. You can also fall into the trap of replacing everything (alternator, starter, waterpump, coil, radiator....) so it's new, rather than simply cleaning it up and reusing it.

Rebuilding these components are major projects in themselves and outside of the scope of this document. You can find additional information on these tasks here:

Cleaning everything up
Step 2 - Assuming these items are structurally sound, you can simply clean them up. Here's where the amount of effort expended and attention to detail pays off. If you do a Quick cleaning job - Sometimes called a spray-can restoration - it'll look like it. While it's not necessary to remove the engine & trans, it'll give you the best results.

Pulling engine: You can pull the engine & trans together, or disconnect the transmission from the engine and pull the engine by itself, then remove the transmission from under the car. Both methods have pros/cons.

Generally when components are rebuilt they come back nice & clean. Paint them. If you're not going to rebuild the engine or trans, degrease them and paint them. This work is called "detailing". Some folks go to great lengths to detail their cars and make them spotless. That's not really necessary unless you're really interested in that level of detail or if you will show your car. The majority of owners won't have a heart-attack if they drive through a puddle. It's easy to clean the engine bay when everything is removed. You can also inspect and replace the motor mounts if necessary. The best thing you can do is make & keep everything nice, clean & detailed. The level of detail depends on how you intend on using the car. Some folks wipe dust off immediately and are afraid to char the paint on thier exhaust manifolds. Some folks can live with degreasing their engine every once in a while.

Click to view full size Click to view full size
Pictures of Daves effort.

Detailing: Camaro Engine & Underhood colors FAQ | Transmission & Drivetrain colors.


Last updated: 10/20/2011
Author: MadMike Maciolek

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