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Old 08-05-2011, 09:49 PM
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I want a little more torque, and a little more horsepower.

What would be the quickest way for me to get more torque out of my 1974 350cui V8 Base firebird? Im 17, so money is a factor. What kind of things can I do myself with basic tools? I would like to at the very least be able to have enough torque to beat any newer car off the line. I was considering a new carb? Are there enough boltons to get for a car to add serious power to an engine?

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:01 PM
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1.21 giga-watts???!!!!
 
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The absolute cheapest way to get off the line quicker is with a rear gear change. Since we don't anything about you car that's all I would suggest. Maybe a 100 horse shot of nitrous. Again, post more about your car.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:11 PM
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Your right!

MY car is fairly basic, had the dual exhaust redone with dynamax i believe a few years ago by the guy we had it done by, but the mufflers are pretty stock from what i can tell, the tranny has been changed from the original but I really dont know to what, Its just a 3 speed automatic. Honestly I dont know much about what the previous owner had done to it, but i believe it was just enough to keep it running. I also cut apart the original air intake case and took the walls off the side to make a homemade cool air intake, would putting a K&N filter on that give me a bit? I mean what else do you want to know? lol
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:11 PM
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Well what newer cars are you wanting to beat?You said any newer ones and that is a big challange and probley not something that can be done with bolt on parts.With the camaros and firebirds running around and new challengers even the older camaros and firebirds from i think 93 and up.The LT1s in the 93 camaro was rated at 275 horses at the flywheel.I done a search on the 74 firebird with the 350 and it was rated at 155 horses. Great looking cars but wasnt the best years for performance.It would be possible to get good numbers out of your car but its going to take some changing.Cam,heads,headers probley pistons intake all kinds of things.But duels and a cold air and k and n filter is not going do it.Dont get me wrong all these help but nothing like your looking for.Lower rear gears are probley your best bang for the buck but lower gas milage and more wear on the moter is to be expected due to turning more RPMs all the time.
You probley have one of the old turbo 350s for your trans,I like them been around a long time but the 700r4s offer a lower first gear and have overdrive which will lower your cruising RPMs
There are so many options out there i guess thats part of the fun,Always looking for the parts to add more power.Keep searching in the knowledge base and asking questons on here.There are a lot of very knowledgeable people on here that can help guide you and keep you from makeing costly mistakes.Good look to you.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:23 PM
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See my latest post to this thread:Getting Teens Into Hotrodding

In the old days, at least, a set of headers and free-flowing exhaust were the best "bang for the buck" starting point.

Gear ratio was right up there, too, as Cool Rocking Daddy says.

Induction (carb & intake)

Camshaft

By the time you make it to this point, you'll appreciate the need for traction, in order to get that new-found power to the ground. Posi, tires, suspension, etc.

It never really ends ... but the best advice is to have some fairly clear goals and intended purpose in mind.

Commuter?
Street?
Strip?
Daily Driver, or trailered to the track?
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:28 PM
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Thank you, I don't want to play with the tranny to much cause that can get expensive fast. Sorry for not being specific enough with the question either, im not worried about the newer camaros or any of the high performance cars, more just the stock Honda civics that pull next to me thinking their hot ****. 74 was also the year the car manufacturers were cutting down on oil and gas emission as well as efficiency which is the main cause for the low rated horsepower of 155. But because of this I had always thought that lots of the problems i am having with the power could be coming from the 2bbl carb that the car has. Im no expert but to the best of my knowledge nothing really changed from the earlier 350's to the 74' 350's. Yet the earlier ones still had a little more kick to them. Could things like a new ignition system, new carb, and a few other things give enough boost? if not what else could I add to it?
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:33 PM
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I guess i would like to turn it into a street car, but its a long ways away yet. If im looking at new carbs from edelbrock, should i be checking out intakes as well? And as for exhaust Im thinking of just ading some cherry bombs?
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:49 PM
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1.21 giga-watts???!!!!
 
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Kid, how much money do you have? How much do you want to spend? This car your daily driver? How important is mileage? Swap a Pontiac 455 or 400 into it. Can't do that, put nitrous on it. Go to NOS website and get the smallest shot they have.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:06 AM
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Im gonna say to start with $1000(+,-)$600 It is a daily driver and i dont want an insane amount of fuel consumption, and i think a shot of nitrous is out of the question, lets remember i have a next to stock 37 year old car. a sigle small shot of nitrous doesnt sound wise, or cost effective for a 17 year old kid looking to beat civics and cavaliers off the line. im not to worried any about high end speed, as i dont need tickets. And also a full rebuiild will be happening on this car probably five to ten years from now. i also need a bit of fuel mileage still so i dont want my tranny racking up to high in the rpm's
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:11 AM
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5.3 ls engine

Without breaking the bank, maybe a 5.3 engine. Just try and get one with the harness, computer, etc. etc. They are relatively not expensive. Good luck on your project. Just an option.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaden14
...more just the stock Honda civics that pull next to me thinking their hot ****.
I hear a lot of people that like to say this but I've rarely found this to be the case. I've owned a couple new Mustangs in the last several years and never had this happen.

If you think you have $1000 (+/- 600?) to spend then there are several things you can do. For that amount you could set of headers, aftermarket intake, possibly a new carb, and a mild cam swap.

Last edited by Blazin72; 08-06-2011 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazin72
I hear a lot of people that like to say this but I've rarely found this to be the case. I've owned a couple new Mustangs in the last several years and never had this happen.
I think there is a common misconcetion with people who have not done research on these older cars, that they all kick ***. people seem to always look at a muscle car and say "that thing goes.", Whereas with a newer model car they dont think it would be as much fun to play with, i also shouldnt have said that they think there hot ****, as lots of them just want to see what the car can do.

And whats required from a cam upgrade? is that something to send to a shop?
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaden14
Thank you, I don't want to play with the tranny to much cause that can get expensive fast. Sorry for not being specific enough with the question either, im not worried about the newer camaros or any of the high performance cars, more just the stock Honda civics that pull next to me thinking their hot ****. 74 was also the year the car manufacturers were cutting down on oil and gas emission as well as efficiency which is the main cause for the low rated horsepower of 155. But because of this I had always thought that lots of the problems i am having with the power could be coming from the 2bbl carb that the car has. Im no expert but to the best of my knowledge nothing really changed from the earlier 350's to the 74' 350's. Yet the earlier ones still had a little more kick to them. Could things like a new ignition system, new carb, and a few other things give enough boost? if not what else could I add to it?
Yes, there were some BIG changes made in 1972. Emission laws, lower compression, unleaded gasoline, catalytic convertors. Cars got bigger and heavier. Air conditioning and cruise control ... the focus went from horsepower to comfort.

That's also about the time that the Japanese cars hit the North American market. Datsun (Nissan), Toyota ... everyone used to joke about them being "rice-burners" made of recycled Coca-Cola signs. Yep times have changed for sure.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:30 AM
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The first thing you need to do is get some good rear end gears. Something like 3.55, 3.73 or 3.90s. Then find a 72 to 79 Pontiac 4bbl intake and carburator, and when you can afford it, a set of headers. Take it one step at a time. The world wasn't built in a day!

Bill

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Old 08-06-2011, 12:34 AM
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Another reason I would like to wait for a while to invest any money into the transmission is that the day the tranny goes I want a standard transmission installed on the car. I figure intake carb and headers would be definates. If im correct, the previos owner had hooker headers installed on the car already.
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