If you have a first-gen big-block Camaro, or you simply have big-block Camaro knowledge, then you know that big-blocks have a different heater core than a small-block and L6 (inline 6) Camaro. If you’ve installed a big-block in a non-big-block Camaro, you found out why the heater core outlets were relocated closer to the heater blower motor. It can be done, but it’s a real pain to get the heater hoses on the SBC core tubes between the engine and the firewall.
We’ve made the easy swap to change an L6 ’68 Camaro to a big-block before in order to make our lives easier when working on the Camaro. We installed the BBC core into the internal heater box using modified SBC core clips. It was a very tight fit. Then we installed some gasket material to cover the big holes in the firewall previously occupied by the SBC core tubes. The external non-A/C heater duct is the same overall stamping. There’s even a little dimple in the duct to locate the core tube bezel that holds the tube seal in place, and you can lay out the tube holes by using the bezel as a template. We drilled the proper portholes in the external box and installed the BBC core tube bezel and we were BBC ready.
Even though this works great, it’s not the way Chevrolet did it. There’s a difference few people know about. When hanging out with big-block Camaro extraordinaires, Brian Henderson and Joe Swezey at Super Car Workshop, we were lucky enough to get the lowdown on a few additional tidbits about big-block Camaro heater cores.
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