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Easy way to 400

Topless

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Ok, maybe not a simple question, but I thought I would ask. I figure building Hp requires a plan. Hence the question; what is the easiest/best way to get to 400hp for a daily driver? (All throttle, no bottle)

What are some of the do's and don'ts to building the power, what should I check first? The LT-1 has 60K on it, of which 30K has been in the last year and a half. Currently I have a 3" KBD exhaust (came with) and a K&N.

Thanks-
Mike
 
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Displacement, displacement, displacement. 383 with a better intake setup. IMHO.

Actually, easiest way? Order up a Z06 motor :)
[RICHR]
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
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1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
How's that go Rich? "There's no substitute for cubic inches." ;)

_ken :w
 

Topless

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1992 Convt w/hard top; 2004 Z06 Z16; 1962 327/300
Ah, you mean "there is no replacement for displacement?"

Ok, if I don't stroke it? Then what?

Hot cam kit?
Heads?
Blower? (humm, same ballpark as 383 $$ wise)

Other means of hp??
 

WhalePirot

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1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
Building HP and putting it to work in the car requires a plan and a lot of homework.

I thought I was thorough, then found that my 406 will rip the teeth off of first gear, in time, as even with ration changes in the Super T-10, it is only 'good' for 325 ft. lbs.

Check that your 6 speed can handle the power and torque. At 60K, I'd really think about high wear items, like the timing chain, etc.

the new cars are engineered very closely, with power on one end and a strict budget for materials on the other.

The bean counters have wiped out the old days of overbuilding driveline components,which allowed a lot of hot rodding.
 

BigRed

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Ive heard the ZF-6 is good till 500 Ft/Lbs

What are you trying to accomplish from the car is another question? Are you simply trying to accelerate faster? Are you trying for 1/4 times?

Or are you after Top end?

If you simply changed your rear end to something in the ball park of 3.53 Up to 4.11's you would'nt reconize your car! but your Top speed would be lowered a bit..

(With the expection of my ECM OBD ignorance)

Id start with heads (Trick Flow, Edelbrock, AFR etc..)
that would increase your Hp a bit and your throttle response would improve greatly.

If you have the $$ and you want the "Gold Package" :)s )
383 Stroker new heads higer compression then change the Throttle body out..

This will probably accompany a (ECM?) change and a custom
PROM (Which TPiS makes specificly for your car) which would also add some Powah!

Go nuts and try a supercharger with intercooler around 8-12 psi from Procharger or Vortech (Methinks I like the Procharger) just watch out for cold weather, the ball bearing doesn't care for below freezing.

LOTS and LOTS of things you can do bud, in the end shes a 350 under there. And besides the 302 (5.0L) 350's pbly the most versitile engine out there!.....

You guys HAVE to see what Im talking about I saw a 86-89 Vette at the local Oldie Burger place....Pics and thread Im going to start now in the Off Road Lounge!
 

Edmond

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I guess it all really depends. There really isn't an "easy" way to that magical 400 mark.

I would have to save that the majority of mods are done over a period of time, possibly years.

Is supercharging out of the question? I think that's a pretty safe way to go about it.

You could always buy a motor though, but then again you already have 300 in your LT1 so 100 more shouldn't be that far away.
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Easier, softer way

We have a saying at our shop. Fast, good, cheap. Pick two and we can talk. You want the easiest way to 400 (405 actually), all you have to do is turn a key. Buy a Z06 (they start around 40k plus financing) and they have 405 out of the box (with an additional 100hp available with a lingenfelter turbo for around 9 grand installed with a new hood). Next option is to get a C5 (they start around 25K) and add the turbo (they add 125hp to a coupe/vert/frc to get you to 475hp) and whatever else you want to add as far as exhaust/headwork, ect. If you want to modify your existing vette, you can start with better exhaust, miniram, p&p the heads (or replace with hotter heads), cam, or try a turbo and you might hit somewhere around 400. The sky is the limit...your only limit might be your pocketbook. No matter what you decide, it is gonna cost a sh!tload to get to 400. I'm with bull...what do you want to accomplish? Fry the tires? More top end? Killer hole shots? Lightning off the line? All of the above?
--Drew:w
 
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WhalePirot, how can the Super T-10 only be good for 325 lb-ft when most of the early C4's had 330 lb-ft stock?

BTW - must be nice to be looking for 400 HP... I'll be happy if/when I get to 300! :)

[RICHR]
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Pony love

I feel ya, Rich. I went from around 225hp with the 84 to around 350 with the 99. Ya know what...I still want more. I think the slow build up is better (for my wallet anyway). I started with the improved breather and now the front end jumps off the ground at WOT! Next is Corsa exhaust, then the p&p of the throttlebody. We'll see if I have any money after that.:D I'm sure the chrome rims will make it go faster too.:L
--Drew:w
 
Joined
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Hey, chrome adds at LEAST 10 hp... per wheel! :)

Pity the stock market is where it's at right now; at this time last year, I would have had PLENTY of money to play with :(.
[RICHR]
 

WhalePirot

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1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
rrubel's question made me look. I relayed what I was told by the 'old head' who rebuilt my Super T-10. The spec sheet, posted elsewhere here, shows 205hp and 290 lb-ft. for the '84.

The guy who rebuilt my box has been building Chevy trannies for 15+ years and is well reputed here. I did not question his statement, that the stock box was good for 225 lb-ft, and that changing to the only gear set available, would bump it to 325. I was not interested in a tranny change project, atop the 2 years restoration/ performance bump already 'enjoyed'. Also, I had dropped some coin on the renewed O/D.

We changed all the gears ratios, due to my 3.73 rear end, which had forced me to shift quickly when accelerating. With the warmed up, but stock 350, the 'show' was over quickly, with the flat, but low-peaking torque of my old engine. I did not like the new gears, versus the 3.08s of the Z-51 package, even if the car was quicker off the line.

Now, this very hot 406 revs lots higher with its '90 speed density port injection, etc., and the rear ratio is less of an issue.

BTW, my 406 cost $4756, with lots of 'good stuff' inside. While my engine was not dynoed, the shop has specs on a similar motor; both numbers well over 500. My larger displacement, roller cam, head upgrade, etc, adds to those numbers, and the car underscores their ratings.

This $$ is lots less than the ZZ4, LT-4, LS-1 or other Chevy alternatives, which demanded the same fuel delivery mods, etc. Every time I had decided on a crate motor option, Chevy changed the availability! Many of these crates, would not bolt up to my tranny, either, which I tried to avoid. I am one of 10 people who actually like the T-10/DougNash package!

I hope the actual ratings on my tranny are higher, so I can avoid that change. I saw the wear- through in the case hardening on the stock gears and the many cracks on most of the teeth in second, first and third gears. All this from a slightly warmed up '84 350, running AMSOIL synthetic tranny gear lube, since day one! Not impressive, GM!

The overdive was fine, and I was assured by Paul, at Gear Zone in Boca Raton, that the redone O/D would take all this power and more. He did all the units for Callaway and started rebuilding them at day one.

Doing it again, I'd start with an '86 or later, and NOT buy from Lingenfelter!
 
S

sothpaw

Guest
Getting back to the original question...

I think to get 400 hp out of a 300 hp car,
assuming you want the cheapest route,
would be to start with a coolant bypass, clean
OEM fuel filter,tpis airfoil, open box intake, 160 stat, and MSD wires, coil, and 6A ignition. This is your best bang for the buck I think for the LT1,I think. I'm guessing on the MSD stuff.

Then add to that roller rockers, headers, bullet cats, flowmaster exhaust (1800 in parts there).

If that didn't get you to 400 hp it would be
very close.

If you just want a better 1/4 mi time or
better road racing power, I would just change
the rear gear box to a 4.09 gear. No additional
hp, lower top speed, but I bet you will be in
the low 12s.

BTW, I talked to a guy Saturday with a '95 ZR1,(a 405 hp car I think)his best 1/4mi ever was 12.7 with low 13s more typical. And he had Michelin pilots that he said gave him 1.9-2 sec starts
form 0 to 60 feet, so some of that is just the
tires.

Ask yourself if this is what you want.
 
Joined
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1986 Bright Red Coupe
GM must have modded the transmission after 84. 85-89 had 330 lb-ft and 90 had up to 350 with the same transmission. I figure I should be safe to at least that.
[RICHR]
 

Edmond

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Louisiana
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2003 Z06
I would do the intake and then the exhaust system. I would go with high performance headers and a nice exhaust system. It depends on what you have/are willing to spend when deciding your exhaust system.

Flowmaster doesn't cost as much, but that's not a knock on their quality; Flowmaster doesn't use stainless steel such as Corsa or Borla. The two latter companies use stainless and therefore would make the cost higher.

Intake and exhaust mods are relatively simple and could most likely be done at home by yourself, a couple buddies and a lot of :beer

You could also use a Hypertech chip, kind of inexpensive and easy to install.

It's really a lot of little mods that get you there; but's it's a lot of little mods that will get you to 400.
 

Topless

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Messages
444
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1992 Convt w/hard top; 2004 Z06 Z16; 1962 327/300
Ok-
Supercharger or N/A?

On the heads, how do p&p stocks compare to AFRs or others? Extrude hone the intake? And heads?

I like the idea of a sleeper.

As far a what I am looking to accomplish, well like every dreamer- everything.

I would like to keep up with a ZR1 or Z06. That being said, I don't what a SS Camero with SLP parts right off the showroom to best me. I could go with some gears, but I have 3.45 (3.42?) already. I do like the top end (151 and still accerlrating), but if I ever get caught doing that......not good.

I might go to the 1/4 mile sometimes, but just for fun, test and tune nights.

I know this will not be cheap, but I also don't want to waste money no things that don't get me to the goal. That is why I am seeking your input.

Has anyone dyno'd an LT1 at 400hp? What did they do to achieve that? I have heard mixed results on the hot cam. Some say big improvements, others say that it does not do much at all. Confused. :confused

Help. ;help
 

Edmond

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2003 Z06
So you basically want an occasional track car and a car for a little bit of impromptu street light to street light battle.

I would do a catback system first, I think that's a very "encouraging" mod since you can really hear it and feel it a little bit.

As for keeping up with the ZR1's and Z06's, that's a whole different story. Now you really want to play with the big kids on the block.

I'd ask around for some weight saving measures as well. How about some lighter wheels? That way, you'd have a better HP vs. weight ratio. Raw HP isn't all that makes a car go.
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Bear huntin with a slingshot

You wanna keep up with ZR1s and Z06s? Keep up like 10-15 carlenghts or like on their bumper?
Repeat after me...turbocharger. Say this mantra 3 times before you go to bed...I don't like my money. Cause if you want a Zcar, then it is gonna cost you. Whether you buy one ready to rock or you build one, plan to spend some serious corn. Just ask one of the real gurus here who have done the big mods (chris and ken spring to mind). These are labors of love. You want a labor of love? Read the "My engine project" thread, that should get you started. Keep us informed.
--Drew:w
 

BigRed

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Edmonton
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1985 Bright Red Rocket
ZR1 and Z06 are very quick cars with some serious thought behind them..

But we/you can accomplish better than they do Id think..(3.8 0-60 Z06 is hard but..) Supercharger Id think would be an automatic with intercooler, Higher duration cam, and roller rockers.

Intake I'd sure look into the minram they add alot of power with a higher flow throttle body to fill the new miniram and also to accomodate the new air flow from the supercharger.

AFR,Brodix,Edelbrock are all quality heads and add alot of power, you'll end up with bigger air and exhaust valves to again accomodate the new intake system.

Now for fuel, raise the Lb's of your injection 2-4lb's and to ignite it go buy a MSD (My peference) Mallory,Crane, or Moroso Ignition box that fires out 60% more spark and three sparks at a time. Hook up to a big coil (Again any of those company's) run through big wires (I like the MSD 8.5's) to a high performance plug (Such as a Bosch +4 Plat)

Exhaust- Bullwinkles right, Corsa and Borla are pretty and sound good however performance wise everyone is very similar. I chose Dynomax because of they're 1133 per muffler CFM rating Vs 800 (The next contender) of Borlas. Lose your cats, and put on a O2 Cheater plug and the O2 sensors (Might want to invest in a good resonator to keep the vocals down)

Then of course I'd like to do the 383 Stroker (400 Crank)

That all said there is many ways you can go but with that set up with NO laughing Gas installed estimate 500+ Hp from where your sitting right now (Im being cautious but Id say way past 500)

That would make you happy, you'd pbly wipe the floor with a ZR1.
 

Edmond

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2003 Z06
You must also remember that they ZR1's and Z06's put their HP down to the rear wheels better and that the WHOLE car is tuned to utilize all that power. Just merely adding HP wouldn't necessarily mean that you can hang with them.

The whole thing is a science and it should be thoroughly researched or you could wind up wasting time and money.

Take it one step at a time, unless you have a fortune saved up in the bank, that's your best choice. You put the mods on slowly, see the results of each mod and learn in the process of which mods to do and which ones to stay away from. Hey, Rome wasn't built in one day.:D
 

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