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Old 02-06-2006, 09:23 PM
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Hopping up a '73 SS454

What can be done to a 1973 SS454 El Camino to increase power over the pitiful 240 net HP as delivered. The car is a VGC unrestored original so I don't want to get too carried away, but I figure there has to be a bunch of HP hidden away in there.

Thanks,
Smac

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Old 02-06-2006, 10:47 PM
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049 heads (milled for about 9:1 if required with your pistons)
+ Comp XE268 cam
+ Edelbrock Performer intake
+ Reworked Qjet
+ 2200-stall converter
+ 3.42 gears
+ headers
________________________

400+ hp and a slight tick at idle. I just did the same thing, but I used an XE262 cam (heavy car, stock converter) and I estimate my output at 380-390.

Double check before you go buying heads... you probably already have 049s on it. If you keep the stock 8.5:1 compression, I'd stick with the XE262 cam, but that should still get you in the neighborhood of 375 honest hp at the crank.
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
049 heads (milled for about 9:1 if required with your pistons)
+ Comp XE268 cam
+ Edelbrock Performer intake
+ Reworked Qjet
+ 2200-stall converter
+ 3.42 gears
+ headers
________________________

400+ hp and a slight tick at idle. I just did the same thing, but I used an XE262 cam (heavy car, stock converter) and I estimate my output at 380-390.

Double check before you go buying heads... you probably already have 049s on it. If you keep the stock 8.5:1 compression, I'd stick with the XE262 cam, but that should still get you in the neighborhood of 375 honest hp at the crank.

I had a '74 454 that I was going to drop in a '76 GMC Sprint, I came up with almost the same combo except I was going to put a 200-4R and a 3.73 behind it. The camshafts in the mid-70's BBC's were awful and the intake manifolds weren't much better, a cam swap, intake manifold and headers will do wonders. One good thing, the '72-'74 passenger car ( including El Camino) had some of the best factory oval port heads you can get. Keep your stock Q-Jet and dial it in to the new combo and swap in an HEI with a curve kit and good aftermarket internals.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:59 PM
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I'd throw on a 750 vacuum secondaries Holley, 4150 or 4160. It made my 396 a lot faster off the line and on top. Probably uses more gas though.
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:04 PM
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I'd put a bigger cam than a XE268 in a 454BBC. How about a 292H Magnum?
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibu73
I'd put a bigger cam than a XE268 in a 454BBC. How about a 292H Magnum?
It all depends on the static compression ratio and squish. This is where some of you guys get into trouble, using too much cam for the c.r.
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Old 02-08-2006, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
It all depends on the static compression ratio and squish. This is where some of you guys get into trouble, using too much cam for the c.r.
Second that! The 268XE is a good match for his stock piston/head configuration and his engine/chassis. '73 A-bodies aren't especially light. Also his 454 came with a 800cfm Q-Jet, properly tuned it will perform just as well as a 750 Holley on the street and give better mileage and low speed throttle response. In retrospect though I would probably run a Performer RPM with the spreadbore carb pad instead of the regular Performer for a 454 with the oval port heads. Although even a '69 or older factory cast iron intake would be an improvement over what came on it.
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