Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

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punisher66j
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Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#1 Post by punisher66j » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:03 pm

Hi all, I am new to the site and new to the sport. I have always been into cars since I was able to walk and have always wanted to race. I grew up going to demolition derbys with my step dad because he drove in them, and would always hit the dirt track with grandpa when I could. Grandpa was a member of a car club and we would always head to cruise nights and take a ride in his 56 Crown Victoria. Over the years grandpa would continue to take me to races, mainly dirt track but I have always wanted to go to the drag races. Been running demolition derbys now with my step dad since I was 14 and now am 25 and burnt out on it. I am tired of smashing cars and am ready to fix one up into a drag car. I have done auto body work since I was 16 so the body work doesn't concern me much but the engine and mechanical thing you have to deal with in drag racing does. I bought a 68 camaro SS roller off craigslist to build into a street/stock class car. The class will be held at Eddyville Raceway in Eddyville Iowa. Its a heads up 7.50 class on a 1/8th mile, no power adders and no line locks, all foot. I have a 454 that I am puting in it, it already has a 12 bolt rear end with 3.73 gears. Car has ladder bars but no sub connectors. I am wondering what advice you would give for this build. Tires what to do to the motor etc. I wanted to start in this class because it fits my budget and because I believe its a good place for a beginner to start. Thanks for any info you can give me, Tony :thumb:
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Hitchcock
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#2 Post by Hitchcock » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:56 pm

Go to a swap meet and get a set of factory gm oval port heads. Look at the last three numbers on the casting number in the top of the head. (The past the valve covet hides) Get your self a set of 781's or 049's. Have a machine shop go through them and put a decent quality valve in them. Go with a 2.19 or 2.25 intake, and a 1.88 exhaust. Those heads will support up to 700 hp on the right motor. And will very easily handle a 7.50 index on a 454. They will actually be enough to run 6.50 if you turned everything up a notch. Then take your 454 and get some 10:1 compression pistons. Stock crank cleaned or turned. And a decent rod, scat I beams will handle more than what your talking about right now. And here's where to spend some coin on the build. Get a solid roller cam and lifter, and a converter. Look for something in the 250-260 @ .050 range with .625ish lift. Then stick an edelbrock performer rpm air gap intake on top with a good holley 850 mechanical secondaries. Thst will be a good starting point. And you will have to slow the cat down to run 7.50s. Matched with the properly complimenting components of course.
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bracketchev1221
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#3 Post by bracketchev1221 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:17 pm

Work on stiffening the chassis up. Go for frame connectors and a roll bar.

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Bruce69Camaro
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#4 Post by Bruce69Camaro » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:24 am

You definitely want to stiffen up the sub frame with frame connectors and a roll bar. I had a 302 in my 68 and that little motor crinkled new quarters because I had no sub frame connectors on it. If it has a stock front suspension, loosen up the front springs. I just went through this. Depending on how serious you are with this, there are different options, Santhuff makes very good springs but I didn't want to spend $189 for them, so I went the cheaper root and bought a factory Moog spring, #6314, with is #289 spring rate. I had to cut the spring height down a little for my liking.
I also installed Competition Engineering upper A-arm bushings which help loosen things up.
Removing the sway bar and put the battery in the trunk will help.
If you're keep the stock rear springs, I suggest you look up Calvert Racing for components. They make some good stuff for leaf spring cars.
One keep thing to remember, if you are running an automatic transmission, spend the extra money on a good converter company, don't buy from some fly by the night company. There are a bunch out there, ATI, Trans Specialties, Chance Racing, PTC are just a few.
P/G and T-350 transmission crossmembers are the same but if you go with a T-400, you'll need a different one. You can use the same driveshaft and slip yoke for the P/G and T-350 but again, the T-400 will be different in length and a different yoke.
The 3.73's might be good for the street, but not sure if they will do to good on the strip?
Also if your car wasn't originally a big block car, you will need new frame mounts and probably a bigger radiator but it's mainly all bolt in stuff.
A the key thing is to have fun, which can be hard at sometimes but in the end, it's all fun.
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#5 Post by punisher66j » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:19 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys, I have located a set of oval port heads. They are around $500 though, is that reasonable? Is it a good idea to get alluminum or cast? There are plenty to choose from on ebay but the ones I found are on local craigslist. The class I am looking at says you don't have to have a cage but I do prefer one, only thing is I don't really want to mess up the interior with a cage.
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#6 Post by punisher66j » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:44 pm

Test fitted the engine in the car today and was looking at the engine mounts and how close the engine is to the fire wall. How close it supposed to sit? Also I believe I am going to have to buy some frame mounts because I don't believe they are correct and somone welded them in and did a crappy job doing so, will try and post pics later.
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#7 Post by waterdog » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:53 pm

Punisher, 7.50 is a fun class for sure, I had a blast running it. Get the frames tied and put a cage in that thing, you can't be too safe. Shoot for enough power to run 7.0s and then slow it down. Walt
1970 Nova SS 3580lb, Shafiroff 434 na, 9.94@135.8

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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#8 Post by John_Heard » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:32 am

You should have approximately 1/2" clearance maybe a bit more between the firewall and the back of the drivers side head if you're using stock motor mounts.

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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#9 Post by bracketchev1221 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:45 am

punisher66j wrote:Test fitted the engine in the car today and was looking at the engine mounts and how close the engine is to the fire wall. How close it supposed to sit? Also I believe I am going to have to buy some frame mounts because I don't believe they are correct and somone welded them in and did a crappy job doing so, will try and post pics later.
It would be a safe idea to make SURE the frame stands and mounts are correct. Not only is the location needed to be right, but the height as well. It would suck to put an oil pan on it and find that it hits the steering or crossmember.

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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#10 Post by punisher66j » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:45 pm

Also was going to say that I am doing this on a tight budget and also want to be safe so I can live on to pass the torch to my son when he is old enough. What kind of decently priced helmet and suit should I get ?

Also are these a decent engine mount, says they are factory replacement for a 68 big block. Was told 68 was the ones to get because they sit higher and make a good drag mount because since your engine sits higher it makes for better weight transfer. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/gmk-4 ... lications/

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Bruce69Camaro
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#11 Post by Bruce69Camaro » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:51 am

Here is what I have but this is a newer version.
It's Snell M2010 approved and at a good price.
I bought mine from this place and had it in two days.
http://www.helmetcity.com/page/HC/PROD/hjc-cl17-black

Those engine mounts should work fine.

One thing to remember, make sure you put the mounts in the right spot. I remember someone having troubles install a motor and found out the mounts were on backwards and it shoved the motor back towards the firewall.

I tried to find a good picture of mine but I don't have any at work. If I remember the one portion of the pad that has the two bolts holes, sticks past the rear portion of the cross member a little.
Those who think they know it all have no way of finding out they don't......... :scratch:

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punisher66j
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#12 Post by punisher66j » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:52 pm

Bruce69Camaro wrote:Here is what I have but this is a newer version.
It's Snell M2010 approved and at a good price.
I bought mine from this place and had it in two days.
http://www.helmetcity.com/page/HC/PROD/hjc-cl17-black

Those engine mounts should work fine.

One thing to remember, make sure you put the mounts in the right spot. I remember someone having troubles install a motor and found out the mounts were on backwards and it shoved the motor back towards the firewall.

I tried to find a good picture of mine but I don't have any at work. If I remember the one portion of the pad that has the two bolts holes, sticks past the rear portion of the cross member a little.
Thanks man for the link, I will have to get a helmet bought. I also need to get ahold of a fire suit. I am hoping to get this thing put together by the end of april. It won't be finished but want it drivable if possible, eddyville is having a test night and I am curious what it will run as is. I want to see what I am dealing with then I will pull it apart and make changes. As for the engin mounts they are on there way, who ever did this I'd like to :pissed: :nutkick: :gundown: :attack: in that order.
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#13 Post by BracketNova » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:11 pm

Hitch is right. 781 heads work ok. That's what I run and my gar has been 6.70 on them with junk slicks, and I only have a .060 over 427 (439).

A roll cage has been mentioned, I do believe a roll-bar is required at 7.30.
A driveshaft safety loop is required is you run slicks.
A helmet if you run faster than 9 seconds I believe.

Eddyville has went back to IHRA (last year we were NHRA), it wouldn't be a bad idea to find a rulebook so you know what other safety stuff you will need.

See you out there!
"I always compare drag racing to lighting $100 bills on fire, only it's more expensive." - Craig W.

Check out my website...
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1.4257 60'
1700' DA

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punisher66j
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#14 Post by punisher66j » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:47 am

BracketNova wrote:Hitch is right. 781 heads work ok. That's what I run and my gar has been 6.70 on them with junk slicks, and I only have a .060 over 427 (439).

A roll cage has been mentioned, I do believe a roll-bar is required at 7.30.
A driveshaft safety loop is required is you run slicks.
A helmet if you run faster than 9 seconds I believe.

Eddyville has went back to IHRA (last year we were NHRA), it wouldn't be a bad idea to find a rulebook so you know what other safety stuff you will need.

See you out there!
Are you from my are? If you are would be cool to meet up somtime and have you evaluate what I am doing on my car.
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Re: Rookie help/ Advice 1968 Camaro SS

#15 Post by BracketNova » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Pm sent

Also, looking at the Eddyville site...there aren't any 7.50 index classes. There is a sportsman bracket class where cars are 7.50 and slower. Bracket classes are the type where you each try to run a number.

However, it does look like there is going to be four 6.90 index races. But those are not heads up either...more of a closest to 6.90 without going faster kind of thing.

Just wanted to make sure you understood so you don't have any surprises in May :mrgreen:
"I always compare drag racing to lighting $100 bills on fire, only it's more expensive." - Craig W.

Check out my website...
http://www.findmoneyraces.com


'71 Nova E85
6.69 @ 100.2 MPH 9/6/14
1.4257 60'
1700' DA

13:1 439 BBC
3330 lbs

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