Heat In The Street
Q I just completed my Pro Street 'Vette that runs a 502-inch big-block Chevy with an 8-71 Weiand supercharger, good for about 1,000 horsepower. I'm having cooling issues. I have a Griffin in it now, but the core is only 21x15 inches, which I'm told is way undersized for this motor. I'm thinking of removing the front sway bar to open up enough room for a deeper and wider radiator with bigger fans. I'm running "Sportsmans" in the back and skinnies up front, so it's not much of a corner carver anyway. Is this car safe to drive without the front sway bar? Going slow in corners, of course.
Scott Voth
Lexington, KY

A You're absolutely right: That radiator is undersized for your motor. It's even too small for an aspirated motor of the same displacement. The 1972 Corvette came with two different radiator supports, one for the base models featuring a pin-mounted radiator, and one for big-block cars with a cradle-mounted radiator. By the dimensions you've given, it looks like you have the pin-mount, direct-replacement radiator. In order to fit a larger radiator, you will need to replace the support. These supports go for around $300 new, but are well worth it because they accept a 32-inch-wide radiator. Once that is replaced, Be Cool's bolt-in 32x19-inch radiator can be installed. I'd imagine you are running a single fan that can't produce the airflow for this engine. You've got two options depending on the available clearance. Be Cool offers a 1,000hp-ready dual 13-inch fan kit. If you need a little more room, you can move down to the 11-inch set (shown).

As for the sway bar, I've seen a lot of drag racers remove theirs for better weight transfer, but it's not necessary for the radiator upgrade. The first clearance issue you'll have is with the blower belt, not the sway bar. I wouldn't recommend removing the sway bar on a street car, since the car can get out of shape if you're trying to avoid something in the road.

I hope this helps; many Corvettes have cooling issues, but the models that came from the factory with a big-block had a much easier time dealing with it because of the larger radiator. The Be Cool direct-fit radiator measuring 32x19 inches with a natural finish will run you around $1,300 with the dual 11-inch fan kit (PN 82029), or $1,670 with the dual 13-inch fan kit (PN 82329).

Be Cool

T56 Chevelle Swap
Q I have a T56 out of a 1997 Camaro that I want to put in my 1970 Chevelle. The engine is a somewhat stock 350-inch small-block Chevy. I'd like to use my original mechanical clutch. Is there someone who makes a bellhousing, adapter, and crossmember to complete this installation?
Barry Zomisky
Via the Internet

A This is a swap that's been done quite a bit. The third-generation Camaro carcasses are becoming more abundant at the pick-n-pulls. There are parts available from McLeod to get the engine and transmission working together. You will need to replace the bellhousing, intermediate plate, pilot bushing, and throwout bearing. This particular LT1-powered Camaro used a pull-style clutch and an external slave cylinder, so the stock intermediate plate does not have provisions for a mechanical clutch fork. McLeod has a replacement bellhousing and intermediate plate that allows you to use a factory clutch setup.

The crossmember will need to be modified to fit the new transmission. The bracket that hangs out from the middle of the crossmember needs to be relocated to mate up with the transmission mount. The instructions to properly align the transmission are on Street and Performance's website as well. The T56 is larger than the transmissions that came in the car, so it's necessary to trim the transmission tunnel to fit. Make sure to lift the transmission into place and check where you need clearance so you don't overcut the floor.


Street and Performance

Cubes Vs. TorqueQ What is the relationship between engine displacement and peak torque rpm? If I have a strong but well-mannered V-8 and increase its displacement with a stroker kit, what is going to happen to the horsepower/torque curve? This is with keeping all other aspects, including the cam, heads, intake manifold, headers, and compression ratio the same.
Mike Peissner
San Diego, CA

A I'm glad you clarified keeping compression ratio the same, because increasing the displacement of the cylinder when keeping the combustion chamber size the same will affect compression ratio. With all things equal, the increased displacement should yield more power and torque with peaks at lower rpm. The additional cubic inches will demand more flow from the heads. If the port volume is left the same, they will reach their flow limit at an earlier rpm than the smaller-displacement engine. There have been some extreme cases where a smaller-displacement engine will make more peak horsepower. Even in these cases, though, peak torque has been higher in the bigger-inch motor. Another thing to consider is the power loss caused by the stroker motor's increased piston speed and travel distance. This contributes to the motor's lower rpm limit.

Westech Performance Group

Smeding Performance

Part: Manufacturer: PN: Price:
Bellhousing McLeod 8710-10 $509.95
Intermediate plate McLeod 8705-11 $130.39
Pilot bushing McLeod 8-1094-4 $46.39
T/O bearing McLeod 16505 $95.69
Total     $782.42

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