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Old 03-14-2017, 08:43 PM
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327 to a 454 in a 65' ELCO

I found a good used 454 that cranked up on a stand and saw it ran with my own eyes. Sounded as if it had an aftermarket cam: He claimed it did before we met, and I could see the stock intake had been replaced for a performer rpm, guy also claimed it had been bored .60 over

This is my first ever engine swap, Its going in an el camino from the year 1965 that came from the factory as a V6 Manual, and had a 327 that I blew; I would like to know if anyone has done a swap on a similar year model what will I need to replace and what can be reused. Also how will the front end handle after I drop this behemoth big block in there. Currently have a Turbo 350 trans, should it mate without any problems, have a one tire fire rear end, should I upgrade to some 373s with posi?


If you can help me one at a time answering any of these many questions it would be much appreciated: I will update the thread with pictures and more information as time goes on. Aiming to get it in and hash out all problems before the end of April.

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Old 03-14-2017, 08:51 PM
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You'll need big block engine frame stands and the correct motor mounts to match in order to correctly install a big block. You will also need a car or aftermarket oil pan, the truck pan won't clear the steering linkage.

The Th-350 will bolt right up but depending on it's internal condition and how powerful the big block engine is then the TH-350 may not last long. Big blocks always came with TH-400 automatics , never with the lighter duty TH-350. The Th-350 can be built up, but it takes more than stock parts to make it live a happy life behind a big block.

What you do with the rear axle is up to you, the stock 10-bolt rear won't last long either if you use sticky tires or abuse it a lot. All factory big block cars came with the stronger 12-bolt rear axle.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:09 PM
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Most obvious changes will be accessory and motor mount brackets. You'll also want to make sure the oil pan doesn't interfere with anything. I don't remember if a big block was available in the 1965 El Camino, but SS396 Chevelle parts should work. Also you may have a 5/16" fuel line, which should probably be upgraded to 3/8".

Engine will bolt right up to a TH350. But with 3.73 gears, the engine will be very busy at anything above 60 mph. Would be nice to have a feel for the engine's powerband before choosing axle ratio. If it makes good power at 2000 RPM, something around 3.08, 3.31, or 3.36 should work great, depending on gear ratios available for your axle. Would be nice if it was a 12-bolt, and not the much weaker 8.2" 10-bolt used behind 6-cylinder, 283, and 327 engines.

I just read what Eric said. He makes a good point about a TH350 holding up to 454 torque. I mean you are easily talking about 125-150 lb/ft more torque than a 327.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:22 PM
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Do you know the year of the 454 as they came in Mark IV, V, and VI versions... minor differences in them... is it car or truck version?

'65 Chevelle/El Camino came with a 396" big block engine, so everything you need for the swap should be readily available...
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:08 PM
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Don't forget about the flexplate. Balanced different for a 454.
On that 454 subject.
Never assume anything.
Get the casting number and suffix code off it to make sure it's a 454 and not a 396.
Check the codes here.
Mortec Chevy V8 Big Block Casting Numbers
How to decode Chevy Engine Codes
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWENUTS View Post
On that 454 subject.
Never assume anything.
Get the casting number and suffix code off it to make sure it's a 454 and not a 396.
Reminds of the guy in here complaining that his 454 wouldn't spin the tires off the line... turns out he had a 454 block with a 396 crank and about 5:1 compression ratio...
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:46 PM
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First year for a big block in an El Camino was 1966 (396), but it was the same body style as a 1965, so there are factory parts that will make a big block fit your '65.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:43 PM
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all so front springs and breaks
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