Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: Getting Into the 12s with a Chevy Camaro and a 454

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We work with the Summit Racing tech department to help you tackle your auto-related conundrums. In this week’s Mailbag, we’re building a combo that will hopefully get a big block-equipped Camaro into 12-second ETs.

1968 Camaro with 454


Q: I’m in the process of building a street/strip 1968 Chevy Camaro. My goal is to run high 12s in the quarter, with a few restrictions. I’m going to use a Chevy 454 big block with oval port heads and 9:1 compression pistons, a stock TH-400, and 3.73 rear axle gears. What carb/intake combo, camshaft (preferably solid), headers, and torque converter should I use?

A: You should be able to get into the 12s rather easily with this combination of parts.

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  1. I would agree with all suggestions, except for perhaps the camshaft. Why would a solid lifter cam be excluded due to low compression ratio? I thought that the cam’s duration has more impact on effective compression ratio than the type of lifter. If the reader prefers a solid lifter cam (maybe for the sound, as I do), he might explore some of the custom cam grinders (Mike Jones, Bullet, etc.) who will grind a solid lifter cam to perform best with his engine’s compression ratio.

  2. Robert Chambers says:

    I would put a little focus on the Heads being used ? Before any cam recommendations are given, as the heads may be key to a well planned build that has the results felt at the traps

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