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I have a bone stock 1980 vette with a SBC 350 and a 700R4 transmission. The car is slow as snow and i want to make it faster, but i dont want to piss off my wife and neighbors from the noise of a super loud engine. I have spoken to a local performance shop that said they could stroke the engine and get me up to 425-475 HP. I was curious about how much HP i can get out of a new cam, performance heads, holley 650 Carb and full length headers? Also would there be much of a difference in noise levels created by these 2 engines?
 

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I have a bone stock 1980 vette with a SBC 350 and a 700R4 transmission. The car is slow as snow and i want to make it faster, but i dont want to piss off my wife and neighbors from the noise of a super loud engine. I have spoken to a local performance shop that said they could stroke the engine and get me up to 425-475 HP. I was curious about how much HP i can get out of a new cam, performance heads, holley 650 Carb and full length headers? Also would there be much of a difference in noise levels created by these 2 engines?

Your 1980 engine is likely all of 165HP, anemic as hell, so it shouldn't be hugely difficult to get some more zip out of it. A set of later heads and a cam will fix a lot of it's issues. Depending on the condition of the rest of the engine, this would be the way I'd go, but I'm doing the work myself.

A real professional shop will likely not, with good reason, go messing with a 30 year old engine, they will of course want to build a complete new engine, and I can't say as I blame them.

That said, be careful who you enlist to do the job. A 4-500Hp build from a GOOD shop will be a hoot to drive and will be reliable as a rock. On the other hand, an engine built by "the guy down on the corner" could very well be an undriveable pain in the *** that will make your life miserable.
 

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Is the Boss (aka the wife) gonna be happy with your wallet draining attempt at some new power.
Could be 10 grand or more depending on the motor.
Just remember it's not just the motor you'll do.
Tranny will need to be beefed too.
And the rearend.
And the suspension.
And do you have the skills to tune and maintain your mega horse motor.
Do you have a timing light and vac gauge?
You'll need them!

First thing I'd do is put a sharp tune on what you've got.
Maximize your timing first, tune the carb etc.

I'm just speaking from experience.
It'll cost double what your budget is.
It's not just the motor, it's the whole set up you need.
 

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I am budgeting 5k. I already have the 700r4 set up to handle 500hp and the performance shop quoted me 4k for the stroker kit, bore and installation. Not too sure about how the vac will handle, but i can cross that bridge when i get there. Im really curious about the HP difference between 383 stroker vs new heads, cam and tune? Also is there going to be a huge difference in the amount of noise created by these 2 engines. I'd like to be able to drive the car to work and take it on dates when i want without doing a complete engine swap.
 

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The noise emitted is going to be a product of your exhaust system. You can make your current motor too loud with a muffler change. FWIW, 475 HP is alot as compared to what you have now.

I would guess that for your current motor a decent set of heads & roller cam with gaskets and misc parts is going to run 2K. If you don't have headers, then you should get them - so add that on to both builds. 350 HP to your current motor should be no issue with a roller cam and be extremely streetable. And you can tell the 'boss' that it won't be too loud - LOL.

Just out of curiousity, are you currently using oil, smoking, or any other issues that might lead to a full rebuild of the 350.
 

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Exactly what have you done to that 700R4 trans to allow it to handle 500 hp?

You're wondering what a rotating kit will to vs. new heads, cam and tune? You're going to need those items on your new 383 as well, the anemic heads on that Corvette won't support big power. You'll also be needing a new stall converter and other driveline parts to handle the power like RW already told you about. A 650 carb won't support 500 hp, nor will your stock intake.

Rethink that 5K budget, it's not near enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited by Moderator)
64nailhead

There are no issues with the original engine, which only has 84,000 miles on it. If you say i can get 350hp out of a new roller cam and some heads (i was thinking pro comp 190cc) i may wait to go the 383 route and save some moolah along the way. 350hp is double what i have now lol. Any ideas on a quieter exhaust system to go with?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited by Moderator)
Nova

The performance shop is going to rework my current heads if i choose to go 383 route. Stroker kits are only $900. My buddy has had a holley 650 on a 550hp camaro for over 5 yrs and had no major issues. Runs strong all day. Maybe the shop mis quoted me, but they seemed to be decent and honest people. Now thinking i'm just going to go with a set of aluminum heads with a cam and tune and hold out for the 383 rebuild for later. I just want to be able to get to that 350 hp mark while having a car that is still streetable and wont annoy the wife and neighbors.
 

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The performance shop is going to rework my current heads if i choose to go 383 route. Stroker kits are only $900..... .
This statement right here is a good reason to avoid that shop...if they were really that honest, they would tell you that it is throwing good money at junk heads to do any kind of rework in the current stock heads on your Corvette 350.

Those heads are among the worst heads GM ever bolted on a Small Block, no amount of rework is going to make them great....all it will do is line the pockets of the shop doing all that head work....of course they WANT :rolleyes: to rework them, it is a big profit $$$ maker for them, they won't make near as much money off you if they sell you a set of modern performance heads, because they won't be doing a ton of labor to those before they hand them over to you.

The best they could do to the stock heads still won't make the power even most imported aluminum head castings will.

With a 5K budget, if you spend wisely and do the assembly of the short block yourself you could manage to do an aluminum headed 383 stroker

If your stock 350 short block is in sound condition, a set of aftermarket heads and a cam upgrade along with intake, carb and headers will easily get you to the 350 hp figure. 650 carb will de fine at that level.
If your 700R4 is well built then it and the stock rear-end will survive unless you plan to add drag slicks to the picture.
 

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350 build
750 Carb
Dual plane intake
Import Promaxx Heads 185cc
Hyd Roller
Morel lifters
Pushords
Gaskets
ARP Head Bolts

375-400HP build

383 build
850 Carb
All the rest from up top plus rotating kit
490-530HP build

Either is very fun.
 

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I have less than $3000 in my 400hp aluminum head 355 and it was built by a very reputable shop close to me. Stock crank, Eagle Sir 5.7 rods Flattop pistons 10.5-1 compression, 240/246 duration @.050 .507/.510 lift 110 seperation, Pro-Filer Aluminum 195cc runner 64cc chamber 2.05/1.60 valve Pro-filer's and Edelbrock performer rpm intake. If anyone has a desktop dyno I'd love to see what it says. My builder said approximately 1.2hp per cubic inch
 

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I'd go a different route entirely:

I'd buy a 4 bolt vortec crate engine direct from GM, pull the heads,change the springs etc to enable higher lift and reinstall with a shim gasket and then shotgun a nice roller cam designed for the vortec heads in it.
Add a low rise intake manifold from edelbrock and nice Carter/Edelbrock carb 650cfm+
Now your corvettes numbers matchy engine is intact. Pull the distrib and accessories off it.
Now you won't overpower the suspension and rear axle either. You should be in the 380+hp/ft-lbs of torque range for about $2500. You get a roller cam, a nice fat midrange, and if you want to go nuts later, a set of .027 head gaskets and some fastburn type heads will get you a wilder ride when you've upgraded the axle and suspension :)

Just a different way to skin the cat
 
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