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Ken's Engine Project...

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Gone but not forgotten
Jan 30, 2001
Hermosa Beach, CA
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Here's an opportunity...

:L ...to voice your humble opinion as to how I should go about dealing with my engine/transmission build-up. :bang

I saw in another thread where people were asking how they can help me out of my "blue" period, well, here's your chance. ;)

Pretend that you are Santa Claus, and that money is no object (OK, we have to keep some sort of ceiling on this, but it IS a pretty high ceiling. ;)).

Think of what you would like to do to your C4; would you stay with the original L98, or would you drop in a crate engine from either GM or one of the aftermarket engine builders, e.g., Sallee Chevrolet, Lingenfelter, American Speed, Beck, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Guldstrand says he can giive me 400 hp from the ZZ4, I could go that route, but then, Sallee's got the ZZ450! :gap

The transmission and driveline will also be addressed as I enter this project.

I've been following the thread regarding driveshaft materials and strengths in another forum here (I forget who it was that originated it - Bullitt, or one of the Shark guys. ;)) so that is helping somewhat.

Electronics obviously will play a key role in this project as well, so any and all suggestions are welcome. :upthumbs

Thanks y'all. :w
I just paid a visit to Lingenfelter's site today, and I know what I would do. Lingenfelter now has a 427cid Twin Turbo!!!!:eek :D :D And from all I've read, Lingenfelter's stuff is billed as "daily driver" material. Not to leave out the 427 TT ran a 9.524 1/4 mile at 145.25 mph on M/T ET streets, DOT approved street slicks! Now that's the motor for me.:J

Then again, I've always wondered what kind of power you could get out of the new GM 8.1L, aka 496cid, with some minor modification (ie. supercharger, turbo, Twin turbo, etc. :L:L:L)

T Jay
Oh, I'm in heaven! I didn't realize Lingenfelter had so many GOODIES! Thought they just sold whole engines and forced-induction kits.

is there a drooling smilie? :)
Just that mention of Lingenfelter makes me drool:upthumbs
You see what I mean about the Sallee engine? :J

I posted a thread a while ago (http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com...p?s=&threadid=1734&highlight=Sallee+Chevrolet) asking people if they had experience with Sallee Chevrolet, but didn't get much of a response. :eyerole

Man, I like that ZZ450 though. :gap You saw that you can get it either as a long block, or as a complete engine which at seven grand, I don't think is too far out there, eh? Especially when you look at the price tag for the Lingenfelter engine you mentioned. ;)

I figure I could probably build something pretty decent for around ten-eleven grand. :eek

:upthumbs Gimme suggestions, but keep it reasonable; remember this is a street car. ;)

_ken :w
Have you considered the 427 small block or one of the other engines from Bill Mitchell Hard Core? I have a catalog that I'll dig out tomorrow.

Tom, the links I showed above were as I say, only the tip of the iceberg (Remember I have about four-hundred links at my web site. ;)). I have looked at so many engines my head is spinning and I'm more confused than ever with all of the available choices, not to mention having it built to whatever specs I desire. That's why I'm here asking for advice. :L

_ken :w
The FB 385 would save you enough $$ to get a 6 speed also.

:L You got that right!

I've seen and read about the "Fast Burn". Guldstrand told me I shouldn't have a problem getting 400+ hp from the ZZ4 either. ;)

But the Sallee ZZ450 is so pretty on top of everything else! :gap You can even have the block painted "Chevy Orange". :L

_ken :w
385 fast burn

The 385 is an improvement over the ZZ4. Here's some of what Pace says:

"The new Fast Burn 385 uses the proven ZZ4 shortblock and ads to it the Fast Burn aluminum cylinder heads for 385 value packed horsepower. And its Fast Burn cylinder heads are hungry for a little more cam. 430 horsepower at 6000 RPM is achievable by adding the HOT cam and 1.6 ratio self aligning rocker arms. "

Not only could you save enough to get that 6 speed but probably could squeek in a couple of cans of Chevy orange and a few dress-up goodies too. :D

Here's what I came up with today after talking to both Dick Guldstrand and Doug Hooper:

Dick's preferences:
  • Use GM Performance as the source.
  • Go with the "ZZ4" -- $3,395.00, the "Fast Burn 385" -- $3.995.00, or get this, the "HT 383" -- $3,850.00. The 383 is actually a truck engine I guess, but it delivers 415 lbs/ft of torque at 3500 rpm! It's only rated at 325at 4500, but what a torque monster to start with, eh? Add some headers and a good intake...
  • I mentioned using the "Fluidamper" when we do this, and he seemed not to care for it. He says it's just another thing that could go wrong, and that unless I go for the stroker motor, don't use it.
  • I asked about headers, and he said he saw some new headers from "Corsa" at the SEMA show. They were stainless steel, thick flanges, etc.. In other words, he liked 'em. Anybody else hear of them yet?

I made it clear I think, that I want to go "first class" with this project, and that I'm not gonna just throw all the latest goodies that I can find that fit on it. I also made it clear that reliability is of primary importance, but neck-snappin' pull won't be out of the question. ;)

Doug's thoughts:
  • Doug likes the "Fluidamper" :L
  • He thinks Sallee does good work. :cool

My choices:
  • "ZZ4" -- anywhere from 385 to 440 hp! -- from $3,995.00 for the 385 hp version, to $4,840.00/$5,340.00 for the 440/395 hp versions respectively.
  • "Fast Burn 385" -- $3,850.00 for what is the base ZZ430 engine, which is the ZZ4 crate engine with Fast Burn cylinder heads, H.O.T. cam, 1.6 roller rockers, and intake manifold change to #12366573.
  • "ZZ430" -- from $4,495.00 for the base long-block, to $6,295.00 for the "Premium Engine".
  • "ZZ450" -- from $4,950.00 for the base long-block, to $6,595.00 for the "Premium Engine".

From all outward appearances, it seems that I would be foolish to spend any more than around four-grand for the crate engine, then use the difference to purchase other necessities, eh? Such as intake, exhaust, TRANSMISSION... WIRING... :L

Decisions, deccisions... ;)

And if any of you ever get a chance, and you are in the Burbank, CA area, stop by Dick's shop and meet him and Doug and all of the rest of the friendly folk there. Doug's a card! ;)

BTW, the 427 small block can cost as much as $27,000.00! :eek

_ken :w
Sounds like you are on the right track Ken. Your right also about the Bill Mitchell stuff. I think it is way over built for a street runner and the price is a killer.

Ken said:
Geez Jay, I'm not looking to blow away everything on the street! :L

_ken :w

Why not dude? Just cause you've got a ton of hp under the hood dont mean you have to use it. Just to put those pesky Diablo VT's in their places.:)


P.S. What is it with L.A. and Diablo's? Been there 3-4 times and every time I've seen a Diablo on the grapevine.
They woulda been something on the "Old Grapevine". ;)

_ken :w
So many decisions...

My latest leaning when you take into consideration the "name" and reputation behind the product, is the LPE 383cid Crate Engine. :J


This engine goes for a cool ten grand, but it is definitely not your run-of-the-mill GM Performance crate engine. And of course I'd still have to get the intake and exhaust manifolds, the ignition, a flywheel, and assorted and sundry other items. I'm guessing I should top out at maybe fifteen if I go this route. But 465 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque! :eek

Who wants to be my tire supplier? :L

For more details, see my garage page -- Project: Engine ;)

_ken :w
That's about 6 grand for 35 more horsepower and the LPE stickers. Is it worth it?

Keith, all of the specs are found in the link. ;)

_ken :w
I feel like I'm nagging you Ken

Don't get me wrong Ken. I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your car but I think that for 10 grand you should get at least 650-700 hp. We all know that a Lingenfelter 383 would be a perfectly built engine but I would have a very hard time spending that much money for 460 hp when I could get 430 for a hair over 4 Gs.

Of course if you are looking for a basis for large doses of nitros or mechanically induced manifold pressure then that is a different story.

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