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m far later, one-piece rear main seal engines that would allow you to run factory-style hydraulic roller camshafts. You could still convert to a hydraulic roller camshaft, but it would be more expensive because you would have to purchase the retrofit aftermarket hydraulic roller lifters. These are much more expensive than standard production hydraulic roller lifters. Given that option, we spoke to Jim Hall at Tuned Port Induction Specialties (TPiS), a company that has loads of experience building '80s- and '90s-style performance engines. Hall recommended the company's ZZ8 camshaft that specs out with 212/212 degrees of duration with 0.483/0.483 inch of valve lift and a lobeseparation angle of 114 degrees. He says this will idle at 19 inches of manifold vacuum. TPiS built an LT4 engine with that ZZ8 cam, CNC-ported LT4 heads, and headers that made 430 hp. Your S/R Torquer heads are not quite as strong, so you could expect around 400 hp, which would make your Monte SS a great little cruiser.
You might even want to consider a mild upgrade to the heads while you're at it. The World Products S/R Torquer heads are perhaps the best-flowing, iron, direct-replacement castings on the market, but even these heads can use some help. The hot ticket is to improve the exhaust flow of the heads with a little pocket porting. All production-based small-block Chevy heads tend to be weakest on the exhaust side of the flow curve. A mild amount of bowl work directly underneath the intake and exhaust seats always results in the most amount of flow improvement for the least amount of labor invested. If you're thinking of doing the work yourself, check out past stories on home porting heads to get the technique. Or you can call our pals at Slover Porting in nearby Sun Valley, California, and they can do the work for you at a very reasonable price.
If your Monte needs a catalytic converter, California has also made life a little more difficult for those car crafters driving '80s and '90s OBD-I emissions-controlled vehicles. In 2009, California outlawed the use of less expensive, non-approved aftermarket catalytic converters. Apparently, these cheaper catalytic converters minimize the amount of precious metals such as palladium, platinum, and rhodium. I did some digging and discovered that MagnaFlow's parent company. Car Sound, makes an exempted replacement catalytic converter that is available in either direct replacement or universal applications. For the Monte, a California-legal, direct-fit four-bolt catalytic converter for the high-output Monte
We just returned from Holley's LS Fest, and we thought this has to qualify as one of the cleanest third-generation Camaro engine compartments on the planet. This Camaro was running on the dragstrip, so ignore the green towel around the breather. It's also running Holley's new EFI system.
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