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I have a 1980 L48 4 speed <Black/Oyster> and I am looking to up the FUN FACTOR.
I have about a 2500.00 budgit.
Where is the money best spent?
I am not mecahnically inclined - so it will have to go to a local shop for the work.
What should I expect to pay/receive?

Thanks in advance


Welcome to the Corvette Action Center. Ecklers offers a large selection of go fast goodies for your shark, including a cam shaft by Competition Cams that promises to increase your Hp by 80Hp over stock. It's the "260 High Energy Cam Small Block" (P/N A5780.260). It costs 119.99 plus new lifters (89.99)(P/N A5781) and new valve springs (79.99)(P/N A5786) for a grand total of 369.97. The parts really arent that expensive. It's the labor that gets you. Ive seen 70.00 an hour and up at a lot of Corvette shops.

I dont see any heads offered in the Ecklers catalog, but I'm sure you can find some at Jegs High Performance or Carparts.com.

Hope this helps.:D


There are a number of things that you can do to add a little umh to that L48. My first choice is to upgrade your distributor and ignition to Accel or MSD, along with new 8mm Super Stock wires and Rapid Fire or platnium plugs. Potent spark really wakes up a sleepy motor. Headers, full flow mufflers, and high flow cat convertor (or no convertor if you can get away with it in your area) complete the econo wake up. Net gain could be 25-35 hp with just these mods. At this point you have spent about $500.00. Next if you want gain more hp, would be to pop in a mild cam and lifters, an upgrade intake and new Edelbrock 750 carb. These will set you back another $500.00 or so. If you hire someone to install all the goodies you may be at your budget limit with the entire list. Check out SummitRacing.com, even order a free catalog. I have found their prices to be as low as or lower in some cases than Jegs. Service is super.
Road Trip !!

Bang ~ What you need is a Road Trip...To Bowling Green...the Rendezvous. Should be swarming with SHARKS...the perfect place for you to be at. We have a Caravan coming out from the California central valley and will be in Midwest City, O.K. Tuesday June 26th at the Super 8 on I-40 and exit 157.
How about a tour of the Assembly Plant, and also the Holley Performance Plant !!
Lots of cool happenings that weekend. Just something to think about...and could probably come back with all kinds of ideas on what to do to the L-48.
So, welcome to the CAC...and just keep on wavin' !!
First, Welcome to CAC! You'll find lots of knowledge and willing helpers here. I agree with the suggested mods on previous posts. But, I'd like to add this if you've not already addressed it: Before adding ponies, Fix or rebuild any mechanical weaknesses your pride & joy might have...brakes, steering, COOLING-RADIATOR, suspension, tranny, clutch, differential, u-joints, wheel bearings etc. Also, auctions at www.eBay.com are packed with go fast stuff and replacement parts...but know your part numbers before you take the plunge. And, if you can produce/conceive a State retail tax number, here's a real cheap source for engine parts www.autosupplyhouse.com as the equivalent to Ecklers cam&lifters can be had for $51 & $20...engine kits w/ pistons, rings, rod&main brgs, gaskets, oil pump, timing chain, stock cam for $150. Hope this helps; let us know how things turn out.
Do it the right way!


Warning: you don't want to begin adding extra performance parts to a tired or high milage motor. You didn't state how many miles or what condition your engine is in. If you want to invest in extra speed start with a good base motor. I suggest you take it to a good engine rebuild speed shop and freshen that motor. At that time you can make major modifications that will really produce horsepower and speed. A crankshaft change will make it a 383 cubic inch motor. Bore out the cylinders and put in some good forged aluminum pistons. Then a nice strong camshaft, good flowing heads and intake system. Listen to your speed shop mechanic, he will ask you exactly what you want and recommend the correct rebuild/upgrade.

We love what you're doing. Keep us advised and take pictures.

Lots of good idea's here, BUT........, If your car is still close to stock and original, you may want to keep it that way. http://www.ncrs.org can help you out there!
Not many 4-speeds in late model sharks.

Otherwise: Go with a true daul exhaust system with headers and cats if you need them.
Then consider a rear end gear change, that will really wake up that 4-speed L-48
Gears and GOOD DAUL EXHAUST, will eat up most of the $2,500 installed.
Next go up top and re-do the heads and cam as sugested earlier.
Bang thanks you all

I guess I did fail to mention that the car only has 19K miles on it. The engine as well as the rest of the car is in mint condition. One local shop said they thought the car was ready for a NCRS trial - all of the correct labels and crayon marks still on the Diff.
I have considered keeping it stock - I have also considered that I hate getting felt behind at the light.

It does make sense to me to change the gear ratio on the rear-end to wake up the 4 speed - as well as the true duals and headers.
How would such a change effect the resale to a true

Any suggestions on the Headers etc?

Thankds in advance <Adthanksvance>

bang for buck

if you have very little mechanical ability and want to keep car so that its easy to return to stock condition but still want to KICK A** at the stop lite gran prix get a nitrios kit for you car thats 150 hp extra for as long as the bottle lasts and its only in use when you want it plus in less than 4 hrs you can install or uninstall it yourself just by following simple instructions that come with the kit. and as long as you dont exceed 150hp kit the engine will easyily handle the load! ;) you can sell the kit if you sell the car and get some of your money back on the kit TOO :cool and as a plus youll spend less than $600 on a kit and be able too say (I did it myself)

To get the best bang for your buck, you unfortunately (or fortunately however you look at it) must do most of the work yourself. Much of the work is really not that difficult if you take your time and learn as much about what you're attempting as you can. This is especially true since you have this forum to ask questions of :)

Nitrous is always the best bang for the buck with the least work involved. You must however install the bottle inside your car with a Vette (not exactly safe) which also means drilling a hole in the floor for the safety vent. You do have to know how & when to use it or you can make paperweights out of your pistons pretty easily.

Other than that, exhaust will help alot (especially going to headers and true duals). You could also change the heads, intake manifold, and carb without tearing into the engine too far. Just be sure to get a low-rise intake manifold or you may not be able to close your hood when you're done! Using 1.6 ratio rocker arms will give some of the benefits of a larger cam without going through the trouble of actually changing it.

Edelbrock makes a cylinder head, cam, & carb kit that is proven to give 400 hp in a 350 Chevy. These are available through Jegs, Summit, etc. As I said above, you probably can't fit their hi-rise intake under your stock hood though.

Above all, you need to remember this all works together as a system and buying a bunch of mis-matched parts could result in your car not being as fast as it is right now.

My vote for a combo would be:

1) Exhaust (Headers & True Duals)
2) Upgrade Ignition
3) Performance Tune Carb
4) New cam or different ratio rocker arms (new valve covers required)
5) Home port & polish stock heads and intake (or replace with better flowing GM/aftermarket pieces)
6) 3:70 (?) Rear gearset.
7) Open element air cleaner

Stuff like that listed above will get more air and fuel in, more exhaust out, and get the engine in it's powerband quicker. A most basic recipe would be to just maximize the factory set-up as much as possible first.

If you do anything, be sure and save all your stock parts which may be difficult and/or expensive to replace. This is also another advantage of doing the work yourself as these pieces are less likely to "get lost".

Good Luck

You have touched on the delema that faces many vette owners. My suggestion would be to keep all the original stuff that is removed during your upgrade, put it away in a box in the attic. When the time comes to sell your car(if you must) the fact that you "HAVE" all the original stuff will keep the value of your vette up. Plus it gives the new owner options.;)
Bang, I've got that 260H Cam in my '76 L-48. What a difference over stock! Also added Weiand Dual Plane Intake and Mid America's Chambered Exhaust Pipes. This thing now runs and sounds like a Vette should. One thing with the 260H Cam, it wasn't necessary to change valve springs but if ya get much taller or longer than that...then ya probably better. Made these mods for less than a grand and my driving pleasure has increased abt 500%!!!! ENJOY!!!!!:)
Thanks to all

Thanks to all that posted and filled in the blanks for me

Great Forum
stock rear gears are 3.07 go to 3.55 great all around gear. chevy sells vortex heads complete for less than 500 bucks a set(valves,springs retainers)good flow and will boost the compression about 1 point(8.2 to 9.5). a cam with 260 to 270 degrees duration and headders are good.the distributor needs work, curve kit,use the medium springs.vacume bubble,10 degrees is good. the coil,listen carfully get a Gm coil the one you want has three weld marks on the side this coil has maxie voltage they use it for the V6s with .080 plug gaps so it throws a big flame and is good for much higher rpms in an engine useing .046 gaps. get rid of all that vacume crap,run distributor directly to carb.the ones nessessary are headlights,heater valve,brake booster,distributor,and PCV( unless you run an evacuator system)plug everything else this will raise the manifold vacume( better efficiantcy)get an open air cleaner and a 180 themostat.the car will run super and I spent less than 1250 bucks........Evacuator system ??? ask me

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