The ZL-1 is not in production. It was an All Aluminum 427 Big Block. You
can reproduce one with aftermarket parts.
To fit one in a 82 to 92 F-body wouldbe the same as any other big block.
Being realistic to reproduce one will probably run you over $10K. Then
you will have to upgrade the rest of the driveline, and the chassis to
handle that much torque. Cost wise figure another $4000. You will probably
also have clearance issues with the hood, so plan on either replacing it
with an aftermarket scooped hood, or having to use a snorkel scoop to cover
If you have the car, the money, and the resources to build it, then by
all means do so. If not, your looking at a long and costly project from
If you can afford it:
The name of the game is enjoyment when the five O'clock bell rings. If I had
my choice between a $22K offshore, or another BIG BLOCK, I love big blocks!
I'd drive the big block when I punch out!
This is from GP Performance Parts:
12370850 ZL1 Aluminum Big Block
The Chevrolet ZL1 Aluminum Big Block is back and better than ever. This
block was first introduced in the 1969 Corvette and Camaro. It was one of
the rarest production engines ever built. Now the improved version is
available. This block is based on the original tooling. The new casting is
made from 356-T6M aluminum alloy and has a 4.118" cast iron liner that can
be bored to 4.300". The bottom end has also been improved with new four-bolt
splayed steel main caps, with dowel pins to locate and hold the caps in
place. This block includes screw-in freeze plugs with o-ring seals, and a
two-piece rear seal. The new block has a provision for both dry sump or
regular oil pump systems and mechanical fuel pump. All GM performance
cylinder heads will fit this block and it only weighs 110 lbs. The maximum
stroke is 4.375".
I notice no price is listed, have to call a dealer and get a quote. ;^)
If you wanted to save some money, you could always build a 454 (or a
stroker) and tell everyone it's an L88. Not as much cool factor but a lot
In addition to Charles comments:
I've talked to people who were trying to squeeze 455s into 3rd gens and they
were having a lot of problems with exhaust issues. You might want to do some
research on the net to see if anyone has tried a BBC yet and can give you
Anything can be made to fit but "long and costly project" comes to mind. ;^)
Dave(gonna be a bear to keep cool I imagine)
I was searching the net to see if anyone had a ZL1 block for sale and came
across an article about a vette resto/buildup. That's where I found that GM
was making them again. From the story, GM personnel came across the prints
and the tooling for the ZL1 a few years ago and put it back in production
but they seem to have improved it over the years.
A ZL1 would be too cool but it's so out of reach for most people. I'd rather
race a ZL1 with an iron block and win using all that extra cash for heads,
cam, carb, etc. ;^)
Same goes for the aluminum IA block that is being developed. It's a lot
easier to fix if you throw a rod but cast iron IA2s are selling for $2900.
Maybe I could paint the IA block with aluminum paint? ;^)
A friend of mine runs a performance machine shop near here. A couple of
years ago a customer came in and wanted a tall deck IA block with Wenzler
heads. You should have seen the bucket of shavings they pulled out of the
block, I don't remember the cubic inches when they were done. The engine
ended up costing 25K and it was going into a street car for cruise ins. I
just don't understand some people. I mean if you have the bucks that's your
business but what an engine I could build with 25K.
Dave(I could build a nice car for 25K)
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