Keeping big block under the hood

jjjaffo

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jul 2, 2022
35
8
Monroe Wisconsin
Been looking through threads without much luck. My buddy wants to put a 454 in his 80 Malibu but wants to keep the stock hood. I know from when I did my Cutlass that hood clearance is at a premium. In my case I put a scoop on my hood. I need to know what intake and air cleaner combo you folks have used for this swap. He will be running a Holley double pumper if that makes a difference. This is actually something I've been curious about for a long time.
 

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
8,033
113
Elderton, Pa
At least run stock height valve covers, actual stock/repop stock would be better. As you know our stock SBC mounts work. In my HRM May '88 article shows like an Performer intake with either a 4150 or 4160 with no spacers, so a low profile 14" air cleaner should clear. An alternative would be doing an air box with something like the hot air 231's used on top of the carb for some clearance. Back to the intake, there might be some low profile OE ones or get a Vette intake.
 
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jjjaffo

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 2, 2022
35
8
Monroe Wisconsin
At least run stock height valve covers, actual stock/repop stock would be better. As you know our stock SBC mounts work. In my HRM May '88 article shows like an Performer intake with either a 4150 or 4160 with no spacers, so a low profile 14" air cleaner should clear. An alternative would be doing an air box with something like the hot air 231's used on top of the carb for some clearance. Back to the intake, there might be some low profile OE ones or get a Vette intake.
I was looking at the large oval port Weiand street warrior intake and it is just a smidge lower than the performer. I also have a 1" drop base, so maybe this will fit the bill.
In my 84 Cutlass I ran tall valve covers and just had to put a notch in the a/c box and re fiberglass it. Not a big deal. He has the smaller brake booster so no problem there either.
 

Dayzedandkonfuzed

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2010
961
93
Anglemont, BC
I have a big block with the stock 79 truck intake under the hood of my 80 Malibu. I can tell you right now that you will not get away with ANY performance intake, with the exception of a rare Offy intake I saw a picture of long ago. I had to cut my insulation just to clear my air cleaner! The stock intake almost slopes downward from the heads, any aftermarket intake is going to push the carb mounting face upwards. You would have to get really creative with an air cleaner, or if he's running EFI maybe the throttle body will be shorter than a carb, otherwise it's not gonna happen. Also, I have never seen a drop base air cleaner that cleared a Holley's fuel bowls.

And before any clever people mention that I have the same goal with my car, I'm running propane, and am planning on remote-mounting the mixer (that's propane for carburetor,) after I upgrade my intake manifold.
 
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Dayzedandkonfuzed

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2010
961
93
Anglemont, BC
Something like this would be a good option, but I might be a little concerned with getting enough air to feed that big block.

1656876101688.png
 
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565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
9,199
113
Michigan
I would say talk him into a 2" cowl hood if he wants to run a NA BBC to make power, IMO it seems pointless to install a BBC and then restrict the intake side from the start.
Getting some heat out from under the hood will also help keep it cool.
 
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jjjaffo

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 2, 2022
35
8
Monroe Wisconsin
I have a big block with the stock 79 truck intake under the hood of my 80 Malibu. I can tell you right now that you will not get away with ANY performance intake, with the exception of a rare Offy intake I saw a picture of long ago. I had to cut my insulation just to clear my air cleaner! The stock intake almost slopes downward from the heads, any aftermarket intake is going to push the carb mounting face upwards. You would have to get really creative with an air cleaner, or if he's running EFI maybe the throttle body will be shorter than a carb, otherwise it's not gonna happen. Also, I have never seen a drop base air cleaner that cleared a Holley's fuel bowls.

And before any clever people mention that I have the same goal with my car, I'm running propane, and am planning on remote-mounting the mixer (that's propane for carburetor,) after I upgrade my intake manifold.
Interesting. The drop base I have is from K/N and is designed for the 4150 style holley carbs and center hung float bowls.
 

jjjaffo

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 2, 2022
35
8
Monroe Wisconsin
I would say talk him into a 2" cowl hood if he wants to run a NA BBC to make power, IMO it seems pointless to install a BBC and then restrict the intake side from the start.
Getting some heat out from under the hood will also help keep it cool.
Valid points for sure, but not everybody wants/likes a cowl hood.
 

jjjaffo

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 2, 2022
35
8
Monroe Wisconsin
I did read a thread on another sight where people have used the 3963569 rec port ls6 intake, even on oval port heads with good results. This has even been used in the drag racing world. The center divider needs to be cut down for best results from what I understand, so this is an option.
I am just hoping others have had luck with a better intake and kept it under the hood.
 
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