Classic Camaro Engine under the hood view

Camaro And Other Chevrolet Engine Rebuild Or Replace Decisions: Is New Technology The Answer?

A Camaro or other Chevrolet engine rebuild can save money, over buying a new replacement motor, when restoring a classic or fixing up any older car or truck. There are some new high-tech advancements for engine rebuilds involved including the new aluminum heads, and high-performance rebuild kits.

Classic Camaro and Corvette engines are not known for fuel economy. Thankfully there are also some energy efficient fuel injection retrofits that can improve gas mileage as well as performance. Some of the best retrofits replace traditional carburetors and some, such as the New Edelbrock EFI fuel injection system are easy to install on Corvettes and Camaros. See the video below.

A Chevrolet engine rebuild, or a Ford engine rebuild for that matter, makes sense in most cases if one has the capability to do so. Whether it’s an old Chevrolet Camaro or a classic pickup truck it is thrifty to use what one has. It’s greener points out Super Chevy.

“In a way, hot rodding is one of the “greenest” hobbies out there. We take old worn-out junk and rebuild it into functioning items. This is especially true of engines.”

Replacing the engine in a Chevrolet Camaro or any standard Chevrolet with an equal or better one out of a wrecked car can save a lot of money even compared to a rebuild, in the short run, but for a Camaro, Corvette, old Chevrolet pick-up or another potential classic, there might be serious regrets over time. This is especially true for Chevrolet Camaro or any other car that may have collector value in the future.

When considering a Camaro or other Chevrolet engine rebuild or replacement there are a lot of decisions to be made. It is important to consider carefully the potential of the vehicle, and the budget constraints as well.

Is an 85 Chevrolet IROC Camaro’s 305 worth rebuilding? The question was posted on the Third Gen Forum some time ago. Perhaps both forethought and hindsight are required for a good answer.

A 1975 Chevrolet Camaro was just basic transportation with a bit of extra flair during the mid-1980s, much like the Chevrolet IROC Camaro in question. Neither Camaro was really a collector at the time, so it was very common to trade the engine blocks. At one time, even a now rare 68 or 69 Camaro was sometimes separated from its original engine.

Replacing a classic 1969 Camaro or another classic Chevrolet engine is often something the prior owner gave little thought to, but down the road, it could a regrettable decision. In general, any sort of classic car is less valuable if the number on the body doesn’t match the number on the engine.

Chevrolet Corvette 350 engine
Chevrolet Corvette 350 engine [Image by David Huntley Creative/Shutterstock]

A classic Camaro, Corvette, or old Chevy truck with a different engine can still be valuable, but it will never bring as much money or be as coveted as if it had the original engine. Replacing an old engine can improve the value temporarily, for a car that isn’t yet a classic or antique, but eventually, it might be quite regrettable for a car that has collector potential.

Hiring a professional mechanic to do a Chevrolet engine rebuild for your Camaro or Corvette will likely cost about as much as ordering a new crate engine. If the engine is not the original motor anyway, and one does not have the equipment or expertise for a Chevrolet engine rebuild project, then one might consider buying a new crate engine.

Restoring a classic Chevrolet Camaro or Corvette with a Chevrolet engine rebuild isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Sometimes a friend with know-how will help for a small fee. There are variables involved that the mechanic won’t know until they get inside the engine, though listening to a worn or blown engine run can yield a few clues.

Camaro, Corvette or other Chevrolet engine rebuild projects require an adept mechanic, a helper, an engine hoist or block and tackle, a rebuild kit, and at least a few weeks of spare time. Time varies greatly depending on the level of expertise and what is wrong with the engine. A book might be helpful according to Chevy DIY.

Chevrolet 350 and 305 are the most typical rebuilds since both are common sizes for Chevrolet Camaro and other classic older Chevrolet cars and trucks. Crate engines and Chevrolet engine rebuild kits are very common for these kinds of engines so it’s possible to shop around.

Classic Chevrolet Engine
Classic Chevrolet Engine [Image by Vladimir Korostyshevskiy/Shutterstock]

Aluminum heads are commonly available, and one might consider these if the head must be replaced. Traditional heads are tougher and less likely to warp in high heat than aluminum, but aluminum heads are much cheaper according to Super Chevy. One might also consider using the original head and simply replace the gasket if the head itself is undamaged.

A classic Camaro or other Chevrolet engine rebuild kit should include a cylinder head gasket set, camshaft bearing set, crankshaft main bearing set, expansion plug kit, conversion gasket set, piston set, piston ring set, and a connecting rod bearing set according to Auto Parts Warehouse.

Shopping for Engines and parts for a Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette or other V8 Chevrolet engine is both enjoyable and extremely worthwhile, so there is no sense rushing into a purchase. There are a lot of different brands, and high-tech, high-performance parts for Camaro and Corvette, so consider each option carefully.


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Researching before replacing a Camaro, Corvette or other Chevrolet engine and considering a Chevrolet engine rebuild is crucial and will save time, money and energy later on.

[Featured Image by Julie Clopper/Shutterstock]

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