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Junkyard Parts - Performance In the Junkyard

Think late-model salvage has nothing to offer? Not so. You Can find some great performance parts in the junkyard. We did.

Photography by Terry McGean

Although they're quickly becoming collectible, the late second-gen Trans Ams and their Z28 cousins still frequent the yards, and they make great donors for GM street-machine projects. This is a '76, but the later they are, the better the parts. For example, '79-'81 T/As with the WS-6 package have rear disc brakes that bolt on to other muscle-era GM axles; close-ratio steering (14:1) was another part of the package that can swap to any GM car with a Saginaw steering box. The fat front sway bars also fit '64-'67 A-bodies as well as '77-'96 B-bodies (Caprice). Don't forget to check the rear for an 8.5-inch
10-bolt with Posi-traction.

Easy Big-Blocks
Technology is great, but there's still something really cool about the killer torque that can only come from a mammoth engine. The popularity of big-block Chevys and Mopars has driven up their value and their scarcity, but you can still go big for moderate cash if you're willing to step out of the mainstream. Check out these frequent yard inhabitants for ideas.

The most common big-block in any yard we go to has to be the 429/460 Ford, probably one of the most underrated engines in the musclecar realm. We built one in the Feb. '06 issue and easily made 514 hp. Even if you can't find mid-'70s barges like this, 460-powered trucks from the '80s are super plentiful. Build the short-block, swap on some aluminum heads, and you've got 500 hp and 500 lb-ft without even trying.

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