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Discussion Starter #22
How's the saginaw hold up under the power? I've heard they aren't to fond of high horse power.
They may be easier to break than a Muncie, but as long as you consider it to be a weak point and treat it accordingly, you'll be OK. Apply full power after it is fully in gear and don't side step the clutch and it will last a long time.

I did a fair amount of research on shifter placement of the various transmissions. The Saginaw shifter is about 4 inches farther forward than the Muncie, which was probably done to fit the passenger area of the Gen 5. I was not able to find a way to install a Muncie without moving the shifter box and hole in the floor pan from the factory position. That move is far enough to require welding a patch in to fill part of the original hole. I'm still looking for a shifter or mounting package that comes close enough to install one without surgery, and still be able to move the seat forward. Until then, I will find out if you can break the Saginaw under ordinary usage. A lot of things, like gear oil, have improved since the trans was released well over 30 years ago, so while I don't think they are Muncie strong, I also don't think they are overly fragile. You can also two or three of them for the price of a Muncie.
 

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Great write up Kern...

You've got me chomping at the bit to get the ZZ383 / 700R4 combo up and running.

Arnie:nanawrench:
 

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Great write up, but to me there is no comparison to a big block. I have a 454 in my fifth generation, I love the torque and power, I don't mind the fuel milage, it is a weekend car anyway. It's a testosterone ride!.....merc
 

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the average sucker like me who switched from sb to bb can only say that i should have done this swap the day i got the car. excellent write up by the way.
 

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Great write-up, the only two things I don't like about my Big Block is the price of parts and the fact she never saw a gas pump she didn't like. :beer:
 

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Oh, a Camino with a T-Type powertrain? Yeah, those are fun too! They can be a real sleeper 'cause they are quiet and very quick. I drove Gary Nelson's white Camino with one and started to really keep my eye out for a T-Type powertrain that I never found.
How would you compare the acceleration between the T6 against the other two you have?
 

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Oh, a Camino with a T-Type powertrain? Yeah, those are fun too! They can be a real sleeper 'cause they are quiet and very quick. I drove Gary Nelson's white Camino with one and started to really keep my eye out for a T-Type powertrain that I never found.
How would you compare the acceleration between the T6 against the other two you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #31
That's a great question. Gary's conversion was pretty well stock when I drove it, and I also had a Regal T-type for a while. We know that any of the engines we're talking about can be built to make a lot more power, but we'll assume that the T-Type setup is close to stock and the cars are being driven by people who know how to drive them

The T-type will probably have a quicker 60 foot time because it has less total weight and a better front/rear weight bias. It also makes a little less power down low, so traction is not as much of an issue. So, for 1st hundred feet, simply be cause it is easier to launch, I'd say the T-type will be in the lead, followed by the 383 and then the big block. The 383 will start to gain on the T-type and I would think it would be a real horse race to the end of the quarter mile between the two of them. The big block, because of the added weight, will probably take about 150 feet to catch them and will then go right on by.


The t-type is the easiest to drive and would be my choice for most informal street racing - if there was such a thing, but it since it is illegal - yeah, I know. I would chose it because the power curve is better for a traction limited application and your foot stays on the floor, keeping the turbo spooled. The 383 will lose time to shifting. I think the days of manuals being quicker than autos is past. Better converters and more gears, along with keeping the hammer down works, The 540 is very easy to make a mistake and dive too deep into throttle and lose traction. When you do, the recovery takes race losing time. If the Big block had a true traction control system. it could change the whole game. But it does not and it requires more skill to be the one laughing at the next light.


If I were dealing with late enough Gen 5's that they required ECM's, I'd seriously look for a T-Type powertrain because it can be made to pass smog without a problem. Most members here don't seem to care about emissions, but it is a huge issue in states where smog checks exist,
 

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I live in Texas, in a town that butts up against Houston. Currently, any vehicle over 25 years old is exempted from emissions testing. I myself am working on a Turbo Buick hybrid build in my 81 El. The reason I asked about the acceleration comparison is because I have never even ridden in a GN, much less driven one. I have made some performance upgrades, many of which are the standard go fast GN goodies. Bigger fuel pump and fuel pump circuit, adjustable fpr, 3 inch downpipe, 60# injectors, and the only non emissions alteration a test pipe in place of the catalytic converter with a dump. I'm just wondering what to expect if I ever finish the damn thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I remember my first encounter with one - I had a good friend who ordered a T-type because he did not want the removable panel roof that seemed toe be standard on the GN's. He brought it by with about 500 miles on it and I looked at the tiny engine and said "Nice idea, but it can't be fast". Then I drove it.

You will be impressed. I sure was.
 

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383 in mine has surprised the hell out of more than a few big blocks. at 50mph breaking the tires loose is only a gas pedal stomp away. Drivability ? it sucks, its either idlin like a coffe can full of bolts or its "hold the heck on" it sure dont like traffic and rushour commutes. its all out fun tho. Not saying iits better than the bb not saying its worse. the mouse can surprise the rat .
 

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“….I agree with everything you said but it's really an unfair comparison……”


Old Coot, I’m not sure that a head to head comparison was what KERNO was actually after. His thread does a really good job showing the vehicles are in fact an apple/oranges kind of thing. Putting a BB of any flavor into a 5th Gen is really a personality changer for the El Camino.
I'm sure he didn't mean it as a direct comparison either but in the end he did compare them and while the 540 was an all out runner with aluminum heads and all the 383 had iron heads and "according to him was only good to 4500" either heads or carb limited---who knows---the 383's I've built with decent aluminum heads and a throttle body fuel injection were strong from idle to better than 6500 rpm....would the 540 still win in straight line acceleration----maybe, depending on traction. But all I was saying is the 383 can hold it's one with about anything streetable when comparing apples to apples...........Dan
 
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