By December 17, 20050 Comments Read More →

My 1975 Chevy Camaro Needs a New Engine What Do You Suggest?

Reader Question
Dear Austin,

Hi. I would appreciate any help you can give me. My 1975 Camaro with 250 engine has been sitting in the yard for 8 years. I saved it for mostly sentimental reasons, but my son needs a car. He has managed to get it running and on the road.

I need advice. It is over heating. We are investigating replacing the engine. He wants a 350 V8, but I prefer he stay with another straight 6. It has an integral head. I understand this integral head had to do with smog requirements. The car no longer requires smogging. Can I replace with a non-integral head 250?

He takes it back and forth to work, but that is a 10 min drive. I need to make this car road worthy, with as little expense as possible. I also would like to know if you could refer me to a good mechanic. I have been to MANY mechanics with this car and had some nightmares. My son and I need to be able to converse with a knowledgeable mechanic about this car. Can you help? Any assistance appreciated.

Thank you for your time,

Hello There Sue

Thanks for the email. I would rather see you stick with the same engine as the car originally came with. Sure, the 350 engine is stronger, faster, easy to work on and parts are readily available, but “upgrading” will probably cost more than the car is actually worth.

I see this happen all the time. A car sits for years, then the owner decides to put it back on the road, spending a large chunk of cash to get it to run and make it roadworthy. BUT…cars don’t like to sit up for years. Transmissions leak fluid and start to slip, a/c systems fail, radiators and water pumps leak, exhaust systems rust and come apart….etc., etc, etc. My point is: save your cash, you are going to need it!!!

If you really, really want to revive this vehicle and give it to a younger driver, my advice to you is to just get it running, drive it a while like it is, and slowly start to sink money into it as you feel comfortable. No fancy radios, no high performance engine or parts, just tell your son to drive it as it is for a few months and see how it does.

Sorry I don’t know of an auto mechanic in your area.

Austin C. Davis

Chevy Camaro

Posted in: Reader Questions

Got Something to Say?