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Old 07-22-2013, 04:51 PM
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Budget performance advice

I live in Arizona so a lot of my highway driving is around 75 - 80 mpr. I have a Goodwrench crate (block # 10066038) with an Edelbrock Performer Manifold and 600 cfm carb, 700r4, and GM 10 bolt with 3.27 gears. This works well on the freeway with good mpg. I want a little more performance without spending a lot of money. I've always had a passion for classic cars and have owned a few, but never got into the mechanical side of it. So please excuse my lack of knowledge. Would a different cam and ring and pinion be a good idea for this low hp set up?

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Old 07-22-2013, 05:19 PM
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with a budget you can a use a 650 carb but , you know a passion for classic cars. to me means not a need for speed!!!
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Az57 (07-22-2013)
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:41 PM
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I'm not sure if I'm double posting here but...a good place to start would be a set of headers....headers will increase exhaust flow and even out exhaust pressure with a great possibility of increasing fuel economy, if you go to things like cam shafts, it's a good idea to match them with the parts you have on your engine, heads intake that type of thing. Good bang for your buck is headers.

Ray
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:02 PM
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Oops. Forgot to mention that I have Hedman headers on there too.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az57 View Post
I live in Arizona so a lot of my highway driving is around 75 - 80 mpr. I have a Goodwrench crate (block # 10066038) with an Edelbrock Performer Manifold and 600 cfm carb, 700r4, and GM 10 bolt with 3.27 gears. This works well on the freeway with good mpg. I want a little more performance without spending a lot of money. I've always had a passion for classic cars and have owned a few, but never got into the mechanical side of it. So please excuse my lack of knowledge. Would a different cam and ring and pinion be a good idea for this low hp set up?
This is the old Targetmaster truck engine, typical late 1970's through mid 1980's thinking and a replacement for trucks of that era. It mainly suffers from compression too low for the cam that's in it. This results in lost power and torque made up with exceesive fuel consumption. It uses a round dish piston and large 76 cc chamber heads. The cam is so-so but probably appropiate to how you want to use the car/engine with intake timing of 194 lift of .383; exhaust timing of 202 lift of .410 lobe seperation (LSA) of 112 degrees; all degrees measured from .050 inch lift. This is pretty close to the L31 Vortec roller cam timing wise except this cam is a hydraulic flat tappet.

Since you speak of budget I'll leave replacing the pistons on the table, but the round dish piston is not the best way to efficient and effective squish/quench and the mechanical octane that brings to the engine (4-6 more than the fuel you use is rated). But the most effective thing you can do is to change the heads to a modern design with features of the L31 Vortec. However, these require a unique intake because of the bolt pattern and port height. Since you have a decent intake and carb more bang for your buck can be had from the aftermarket. Aluminum heads would be a good choice and living where you do in the desert heat the aluminum would be more forgiving of high temps as that relates to detonation and preignition. These from Speedway are mostly a bolt on that will accept the intake and exhaust you have while providing most of the positive elements of the L31 Vortec: <<< Flo-Tek 102505 Assembled S/B Chevy Aluminum Heads, Straight Plug - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop >>>. This type head with the cam you have will boost the wheezy 8.0 compression to very streetable 9.2 with a .028 inch composite head gasket. Either of these are perfect (GM 10105117, this baby is a multi-layered stainless steel gasket with a 4.1 bore, it's .028 thick, works with iron or aluminum heads, good for holding back high compression and tolerates some surface irregularities in the deck and head surfaces. Or GM 14096405, marine apps with stainless faces over a graphite core, 4.1 bore and .028 thick. This thing hangs tough on uneven surfaces and puts up with high compression ratios. Good for iron or aluminum, this makes a good race engine gasket as it's very tolerant of engines running very hot. It lets the block and head move around to adjust for their temperature differences without breaking its seal and doesn't corrode the aluminum head.

This combination will mostly pick up the off idle through mid rev torque with a nice 30-40 hp rush on the top end for under a thousand bucks while making the most of what you already have.

Bogie
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Az57 (07-22-2013)
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:38 PM
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Thanks oldbogie! Appreciate the reply. Those look reasonably priced too.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbogie View Post
This is the old Targetmaster truck engine, typical late 1970's through mid 1980's thinking and a replacement for trucks of that era. It mainly suffers from compression too low for the cam that's in it. This results in lost power and torque made up with exceesive fuel consumption. It uses a round dish piston and large 76 cc chamber heads. The cam is so-so but probably appropiate to how you want to use the car/engine with intake timing of 194 lift of .383; exhaust timing of 202 lift of .410 lobe seperation (LSA) of 112 degrees; all degrees measured from .050 inch lift. This is pretty close to the L31 Vortec roller cam timing wise except this cam is a hydraulic flat tappet.

Since you speak of budget I'll leave replacing the pistons on the table, but the round dish piston is not the best way to efficient and effective squish/quench and the mechanical octane that brings to the engine (4-6 more than the fuel you use is rated). But the most effective thing you can do is to change the heads to a modern design with features of the L31 Vortec. However, these require a unique intake because of the bolt pattern and port height. Since you have a decent intake and carb more bang for your buck can be haid from the aftermarket. Aluminum heads would be a good choice and living where you do in the desert heat the aluminum would be more forgiving of high temps as that relates to detonation and preignition. These from Speedway are mostly a bolt on that will accept the intake and exhaust you have while providing most of the positive elements of the L31 Vortec: <<< Flo-Tek 102505 Assembled S/B Chevy Aluminum Heads, Straight Plug - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop >>>. This type head with the cam you have will boost the wheezy 8.0 compression to very streetable 9.2 with a .028 inch composite head gasket. Either of these are perfect (GM 10105117, this baby is a multi-layered stainless steel gasket with a 4.1 bore, it's .028 thick, works with iron or aluminum heads, good for holding back high compression and tolerates some surface irregularities in the deck and head surfaces. Or GM 14096405, marine apps with stainless faces over a graphite core, 4.1 bore and .028 thick. This thing hangs tough on uneven surfaces and puts up with high compression ratios. Good for iron or aluminum, this makes a good race engine gasket as it's very tolerant of engines running very hot. It lets the block and head move around to adjust for their temperature differences without breaking its seal and doesn't corrode the aluminum head.

This combination will mostly pick up the off idle through mid rev torque with a nice 30-40 hp rush on the top end for under a thousand bucks while making the most of what you already
have.

Bogie
instead of using vortec heads check out edlebrock e-street a lot like vortecs but are aluminum and you wont have to buy new intake they are affordable
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:06 PM
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Thanks Doug. I'll check those out too.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:08 PM
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Instead of either head option just install a blow through turbo. Much more power and if you're very very careful the same price. Heads are an easier job for a novice than your own turbo setup though.

A tpi conversion is good for your type of usage too.
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Az57 (07-23-2013)
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az57 View Post
I live in Arizona so a lot of my highway driving is around 75 - 80 mpr. I have a Goodwrench crate (block # 10066038) with an Edelbrock Performer Manifold and 600 cfm carb, 700r4, and GM 10 bolt with 3.27 gears. This works well on the freeway with good mpg. I want a little more performance without spending a lot of money. I've always had a passion for classic cars and have owned a few, but never got into the mechanical side of it. So please excuse my lack of knowledge. Would a different cam and ring and pinion be a good idea for this low hp set up?
With the ratio of the 700R4's first gear (3.07:1), you don't need more rear gear ratio to get a good launch (you want a first gear ratio in the 9:1 to 10:1 range. Ratio is figured by multiplying the rear ratio times the first gear ratio). But given the OD ratio of .7:1, you could go w/a lower rear ratio (higher numerically) to make better use of OD- that's if it 'hunts' in and out of OD at the touch of the throttle at highway speed. If not, then you're good to go as far as gears go.

The "go-to" mods for a SBC are long tube headers and dual exhaust to go w/free flowing intake and a good carb. Better heads like from the aftermarket or even the L31 Vortec can make a big difference if you now have smog heads. A different camshaft is a common mod, but that requires new springs and checking all the clearances. And a new cam must be broken in correctly if it's a flat tappet cam.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider some reading material or videos and keep digging here and elsewhere for the answers to questions that are bound to come up the deeper into engines you get.

Good luck.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:39 AM
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You want the best bang for your buck, change your gear ratio first off. Go with something in the low 4's like a 4.11 at minimum. It will increase your launch acceleration by about 30%. Not enough, ditch the small beans engine and go with more cubic inches. Here is a little story. Had a 65 Chevelle back in high school with a 327 with mild performance. It was fun but it jyst lacked power. Messed around with different heads, carb, etc. The imprivements were subtle. Sold the car to my brother and he took the car one evening and we yanked the engine and transmission out of it. Next day we went next door to the junkyard and found a big block buick 455 from a 1970 Electra (not well circulated but they are stage one engines, the same ones they put in the GS models). Spent another few nights after work putting a shift kit in the stock turbo 400 transmission, reseal the engine, tuned the big Quadrajet, shortened the driveshaft, etc. A week later and 200 bucks later we took it for a spin...Holy shipyards! No joke, we turned that car into freakin Frankenstein! Whereas before it would sort of light up the tires with the small beans engine, now it would smoke the tires all the way through the first two low gears before finally hooking up at around 70 mph! At any soeed below 70 you could drop it down a gear and smoke the tires. We also did a lot of work in lightening the car- removing excess sheet metal. Its weight with the 455 was around 2700 pounds.

We never lost another street race after the big block was dropped in. Car was absolutely scary fast from takeoff (buick 455's build max torque at like 2600 rpm). Stock 455 is conservatively rated at like 370 hp but with a good carb tweaker, high energy ignition, and dual exhaust its pretty easy to get that number up over 400 for little money.

Bottom line- there is no substitution for more cubic inches and gearing. Both are cheap and doubles your power instantly.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:07 AM
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OP- what vehicle is this engine in, anyway??

His gear reduction in first gear is already at about 10:1 w/the 3.27. That's almost perfect. Going to a 4-something rear ratio will put him over 12:1 and some would say that's too much for an effective first gear. However, if he wants to cruise in OD w/o the trans shifting in and out at the touch of the throttle he may want to go lower rear gears, but he really doesn't need them for the launch possibly unless this is a very heavy rig. IMO. YMMV.

Stage 1 in an Electra? I thought the casting numbers were similar but the Stage 1 was a GS-specific engine that had bigger valve, hotter cam, more CR, etc. There a guy here who knows these cars pretty well, maybe he can chime in. Joe P, you out there? Not doubting you, just hoping to learn somthin'.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by killeratrod View Post
AZ57 his first post was longer , selling a boat. mods removed it .
Budget performance advice
No, you're mistaken, nothing has been removed. When ANY post in a thread is edited, whether the editing mod makes a note or reason statement, it is automatically noted at the bottom of the post, we cannot remove or alter it.

Off topic posts to this thread removed, let's stay on track.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:17 PM
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OP- what vehicle is this engine in, anyway??

His gear reduction in first gear is already at about 10:1 w/the 3.27. That's almost perfect. Going to a 4-something rear ratio will put him over 12:1 and some would say that's too much for an effective first gear. However, if he wants to cruise in OD w/o the trans shifting in and out at the touch of the throttle he may want to go lower rear gears, but he really doesn't need them for the launch possibly unless this is a very heavy rig. IMO. YMMV.

Stage 1 in an Electra? I thought the casting numbers were similar but the Stage 1 was a GS-specific engine that had bigger valve, hotter cam, more CR, etc. There a guy here who knows these cars pretty well, maybe he can chime in. Joe P, you out there? Not doubting you, just hoping to learn somthin'.
We build exotic street machines where I work. We have found that ideal first gear ratio to be in the 12:1 to 15-1 ratio for adequate launch. Anything less is unsatisfactory unless you have a big engine thst develops tons of low end horsepower such as the Buick 455. Smaller engines really need a steep first gear ratio if you want quick launches.

I found out about the stage one thing when I went to buy a fuel pump for the engine. Found out that at least in 1970 the lower end is a stage one with the higher compression and higher power setup.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:25 PM
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We'll just agree to disagree about the ratio. 12:1 maybe, but 15:1 for the average street performance vehicle? I dunno.

The power in a Stage 1 455 is mainly in the heads (valve size) and cam if I understand it right. The added compression was needed for the sake of the cam. Added compression w/the standard 455 cam wouldn't net nearly as much difference as it did w/the hotter camshaft. It would make it octane-hungry, though.
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