Third Generation Chevy Camaro 1982 - 1992: Street Performance and Race Mods


Chevy Third Gen Camaro ZZ3 Small Block Engine swap:

Performance smog legal GM performance engine swap kit for the Third Generation Camaro

Installation of the GM California smog emission legal ZZ3 performance crate engine kit for the Third Gen Camaro: This engine kit was supplied by GM as an engine swap upgrade kit for the 1982 to 1987 third generation Camaro. It's aluminum heads and intake, 345 horsepower, street legal high flow dual catalytic converters, dual snorkel air cleaner, computer and chip combination, make for a complete engine swap kit which should not be overlooked. Currently the ZZ3 and kit are not longer available but GM has an equivalent ZZ4 crate engine and many of the parts or equivalent are available to recreate this swap. This kit was created for the Camaros equipped with the 1983-86 L69 (VIN "G") or 1982-87 LG4 (VIN "H") engines. (i.e. 1G1FP3IH0LL10001)

The GM kit is smog legal even in California and certified by the Air Resource Board (ARB) D-278

GM ZZ3 Kit

Cutaway display model of the ZZ3 engine.
This engine has been superseded by the ZZ4 crate motor

GM ZZ3 350 cid crate motor Camaro kit and old tired 305 cid stock Camaro motor.

Chevy Dual Cats

GM ZZ3 crate motor Camaro kit dual catalytic converters shown beside the stock single cat unit

Remount air block to fit.

Note that the stock mounting of the air tube will obstruct the subframe connector and thus was relocated from the top of the exhaust tube to the side. This was only required because our project car had an aftermarket Jegs subframe connector. Installation into a stock Camaro will not require this relocation.

5.7L H.O. Camaro Conversion Kit parts list (partial):

DescriptionChevy Part Number
5.7 H.O. ZZ3 engine (Chevy is currently selling the ZZ4)10185072
Knock sensor10456018
spark control module16128261
Air Induction System
Dual intake air cleaner assembly.25043641
LH Duct14070917
RH Duct14070918
LH flex hose14073299
RH flex hose14073990
Fresh air elbow3970070
Fuel System
In tank fuel pump kit (fuel level float, pick-up, etc.)14085385
In tank fuel pump (14 psi '89 Corvette unit)25116279 (original)
25116163 (replacement)
25163463 (current)
In-tank fuel strainer25055458
Pressure regulator (Required for carb/throttle body units)10185094
Pressure regulator mounting bracket10185069
Pressure regulator outlet fitting (3/8") (Pipe to inverted flare)9432267
Return fitting10185093
3/8" pipe to hose fitting10185096
Tune-Up label (States that kit is emission legal)24502462
"Premium Fuel Only" decal25602518
Dual CAT10185070
Dual CAT air pipe22505116
Dual CAT Y pipe24502461
CAT heat shield10164153
bracket to converter bolt (2 req)11504596
Instruction Manual245023463
Lower control arm (2)10164151

Conversion To A Submersible Electric Pump:

The original Third Gen Camaro had a mechanical fuel pump feeding a throttle body four barrel carburetor. The ZZ3 kit included a conversion to a GM submersible electric pump. This is an improved system as it provided more fuel delivery and pressure for the performance motor. The submersible pumps keep the entire fuel line pressurized which helps avoid vapor lock. This conversion requires changing the in-tank pickup with a unit which has a mount for the electrical pump, wires through the top mount into the tank, an oil pump pressure switch, electric relay, a fuel pressure regulator and connectors.

The purpose of the oil pressure switch (mounts behind the distributor on the main engine block) is to shut off the pump when oil pressure drops. When oil pressure drops, the switch breaks the circuit to turn off the pump relay and pump. This gives the system the ability to know when the engine is not running and thus has no oil pressure and thus the system does not need to keep fuel flowing the the carburetor.

Fuel pump relay is turned off by oil pressure sensor in rear of engine. This prevents potential fires cause when there is a leak and fuel keeps pumping even though the engine has stopped running.

The Holley fuel regulator drops the pressure of 14 psi from the high capacity pump to 6 to 7 psi required to feed the carburetor. Excess pressure will only wear out the needle and seat or flood the engine. The 90 degree elbow has a very small orifice which restricts the return flow to the tank allowing pressure to develop on the fuel feed side of the regulator.

The ZZ3 fuel pressure regulator installation.

The ZZ3 fuel pressure regulator mounting plate orients the fuel pressure regulator at an angle (about 45 degrees). The 90 degree bend incorporates a small orifice to restrict the fuel tank return and thus push more to the carburetor. Increasing the restriction of the return line typically increases the fuel pressure at the carburetor. The return line is necessary so that fuel pressure is releived after shutting off your engine. This helps reduce the risk of fire by ensuring that high pressure fuel is not forcing its way past the float pin into the venturis and into the intake manifold. The fuel intake is on top. The outlet on the right goes to the carburetor.

The pressure regulator mounting plate bolts to what was the mount for the mechanical fuel pump, now blocked off with a cover plate.

The fuel pressure regulator issued with the ZZ3 kit is no longer available. You should be able to use a Holley 803 unit shown here. The mounting brace is generic and something may have to be fabricated or tweaked in order to mount it.

The submersible electric fuel pump is a Corvette unit providing 14psi of pressure and a greater volume of fuel flow than the regular pump furnished for the Camaro.

Installation Notes:

  • Starter: I used a geared hi-torque Corvette unit which works well with the ZZ3 high compression motor. GM part # 10455702
  • The drive gear from the H.O. distributor was transferred to the original LG4/LG69 distributor. The H.O. drive gear is compatible with the H.O. steel roller tappet camshaft (1987 introduced the new harder cam and distributor gear).
  • The GM H.O. 350 conversion is certified to meet emission requirements without an EGR valve or carburetor heat stove. Thus the EGR block off plate should remain. There is a sticker included with the kit which states that the swap kit configuration is compliant.

Installed ZZ3 engine kit. Kit includes dual snorkel air filter and intake ducts.


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