79 Engine

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by poconojoe, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. poconojoe

    poconojoe New Member

    May 30, 2005
    alden pa usa
    My 79 camaro has a straight 6 I was thinking of dropping in a hotrodded up 292 straight 6 or should I go with a crait 350/350. What will have to be changed in order to get this in and make it all work as far as the front and rear suspension go. Also this car has manuel get your heart pumpin brakes. what has to be changed to convert to power brakes.
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    Do some careful measuring first. If I remember correctly, the 292 is about 2" taller than all the car 6 cylinder engines. That is one of the reasons it was offered only in pickups where there is more hood clearance.
  3. GetMore

    GetMore Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 8, 2004
    Patterson, NY
    You should already have a TH-350 transmission, assuming you have an automatic, so you don't have to change that.
    Hot rod the six and you will have something different. The torque will move the car pretty well, so it will be fun to drive.
    Get a V8 and you will have more power.

    Actually since the six is lighter the car will handle better with one.
    The rear suspension should be the same. The front springs will need to be a little stronger. The shock are probably the same.
  4. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    if your not concerned about origonality I would throw a 350 at the minimun in
  5. rockheadrocks

    rockheadrocks Veteran Member

    You can actually drop in a small block using the six cylinder frame mounts. This will provide a bit of engine setback (good for handling/drag strip launches). The bad news is you'd have to get a shorter driveshaft, modify your trans crossmember a bit, and an HEI may no longer fit. I think if you want a bit of "Oooh" factor, work up the six a bit. Otherwise, a crate 350 is hard to beat.
  6. Nick Gifford

    Nick Gifford Veteran Member

    Aug 10, 2000
    Chelmsford, England, UK
    I recently swapped the straight six in my 79 for a crate 350. I did this after considering upgrading the six with bigger comp ratio, new manifolds, Qjet etc but thesums didn't add up.
    I already had a 350TH trans. If you have the same, you will need to beef up the clutches in the trans if it is to survive which means a little machining work or swapping some parts.
    The front springs under the six are actually heavier duty, because the six is a heavier casting with more weight forward of the front cross member. The car is better balanced with the lighter small block V8.
    The crate V8 will fit your current engine mountings, so the trans will stay in the same place on the same cross member, and the driveshaft is the same. Clearance for HEI is fine, but obviously you will need a V8 one.

    You may need a bigger radiator. If your six had heavy duty cooling (26" rad) you will be OK.

    You will need new battery cables - V8 ones are longer, a radiator shroud, new hoses, annoying stuff like throttle and kick down cable mounting brackets, reworked vacuum modulator line, exhausts, manifolds, carb etc.

    I got away with the same engine harness without any splicing. It ain't elegant though!

    The V8 swap is fairly straightforward, the parts are much more widely available, and you can build relatively easily at your own pace.

    Good luck!
  7. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Bismarck, North Dakota

    The 292 inline 6 weighs just as much as V8. Even the shorter and lighter 250, 230, and 194 6 cylinder engines were almost the same weight as a small block V8.
    Look at the original spring charts for our cars. The 6 cylinder cars often used the same front springs as the small block V8.

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