Third gen Camaro worth hotrodding?
I can buy a '82 base model Camaro with the 4cyl and 4spd for $2000. I have a '81 Caprice with a 305 and automatic. Is this a project worth doing for an old man like me. The Camaro has a good body with no dents or rust issues but I don't know if it would be worth any more than $2000 with the 305 in it.
Installing a 305 in place of the 4 cylinder engine will not increase the resale value of the car.
Look for rust on the floor front and back Floor foot pans and near where the rear lower axle control arms
attach to the floor, near the rockers . These are common rust areas.
If the car is not rusted or damaged it is a good base for a hot rod.
The floor and sub frame and rockers need reinforcing once significant power is added.
(sub frame connectors)
These cars have a torque arm that attaches to the tail housing of the transmission.
This requires getting the transmission tail housing from a like transmission, from 3rd gen car
or converting to a aftermarket crossmember with the torque arm mount on it.
If you just want a fun car that is good on gas and don't need mega horsepower just run the stock 4 cylinder engine and transmission. Not every car needs 500 horsepower.
If this car is all OEM stock in good overall condition then a engine swap will probabily actually lower the market
re-sale price of the car. And destroy its true "collector car" value as the most valuable collector cars are all stock OEM.
The guys with the $$$'s know what they are looking for.
Any modifications or engine swaps should be done only after consideration for the Smog laws that apply or will apply in the future. As a car that cannot be licensed to drive has little real value to a buyer.
Plan on keeping any smog equipment intact and functional if re-sale marketability is what you want.
The third gen Camaros make good Hot Rods but don't do it expecting to make the car more valuable to others.
Do it cause it makes the car more valuable to you, based on how you want it to perform and drive.
A bigger motor swap will not improve the fuel mileage.
A turbocharged or supercharged 4 cylinder in a light weight car is a lot of fun.
There are more 305 Camaros than factory origional 4 banger Camaros around. Nothing rare or special about a 305 Camaro.
With the ever rising price of gasoline you'd be smart to consider a swap to a modern more efficient but powerfull engine from a new car that fits and is smog legal. (get the transmission and all the smog stuff with it)
Or keep the 4 banger in it.
Just remember anything you do to modify this car will likely lower its real market value.
Check the firewall under the heater blower motor,
inside and out.
Also the horizontal seam, again the firewall, behind the distributor.
That old it will need resealing on the inside of the plenum.
Putting a 305 in is just an engine swap not hotrodding it. :nono:
You have already been given some good info but I thought Id chime in. I believe you could Hot Rod the 3rd gen camaro. That car is popping up more and more looking hella cool. Hot Rodding is sweet because its a mix of style, cool factor, a lil art, and of coarse YOU and what you like. It can be done on the cheap or done extremely costly. You can make almost anything cool including 6's 8s' 10's 12's:D flatheads, even 305's. Maybe you wont ever want to sell it. Just enjoy the project and youll be happy. :thumbup:
Here is 82 if the picture goes,I have not had very good luck getting pics to show up. It was a V6 with busted crankshaft, Went to sbc 350.
Extremes of course but everyone can build to their own cost level.
I know from experience used parts for these cars are rising in price,
some parts are just not available.
Track-Day Third-Gen Camaro
1982 Chevy Camaro - Affordable Track Car
There are a load of pics of mine in my gallery.
The third gen cars are a heavy car. So if you want it to move,you have to get after it with some power. There are guys swapping in LXs with T56's. The best of both worlds might be a turbo 5.3 for gas mileage and HP.
Torque moves a car.
I checked the areas prone to rust and found some. The floor pan was beat up like someone didn't know where to put the floor jack. I had better finish my '73 Triumph Spitfire project anyway. Then I should work on my '70 Chevy C10.
Triumph Spitfires are very cool lil cars. Good luck.
I went over to England to look at an IROC that was for sale.
Beautiful red it was with a tan cloth interior, went like a scalded cat.
I asked the guy where it was imported from in the States.
He says Detroit Michigan.
He goes indoors to drink tea.
I lay down and look under the car, it was rust from front to back.
He was quite pissed that I had decided not to buy. :nono::nono:
A manual is very fun way to drive your build.
A couple tips I cannot confirm -
The 8.8 ford rear end will bolt in to a 3rd gen camaro / firebird common 3.73+ ratios. It is the cheapest 3rd member avalible . It is the correct enough width depending. A poor mans 9" rear, stronger than the gm 8.5 rear.
The L 33 Ls 5.3L is a very hot small block. Makes impressive results and can be had complete for about $5-600 with the 4L80 trans. Makes 300+ hp as is. Hot turbo tip they can internally take 16psi constantly. Many single T45 turbo kits and recipes to make 600hp. 600hp and cheap, and fast, and reliable. Hotroding is never gonna be the same.
honestly you can find one already done with some hp in place for $2500 to $3500!
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