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Question: L98 Build

MBianco86

Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
11
Location
New Jersey, United States
Corvette
White 1986 Pace Car Convertible L98 TPI
Hi all,
My 1986 Convertible was at one point a barn find. We picked it up for next to nothing and about all it had was a (barely) running engine. The interior was destroyed, the suspension and brakes were virtually nonexistent, and it was missing part of it's exhaust. Cosmetically it was missing a left headlight, it needed a front bumper and was chipping paint all over the place. Long story short, the car has been in my family for quite some time now. It started off as a project between my father and I, and now that I am "of age" to work on it myself, I have been slowly but surely restoring it on a very modest budget. Many people told me it would have been smarter if I sold the car off and bought one in better condition for less money than it would cost to restore mine, but I loved her too much to let her go.
For anyone familiar with my past posts, my restoration has come a long way over this winter.
I've dumped quite a bit of my money and time into my car, and it is near complete. The interior is almost entirely new, with nice new door panels, seats, carpets and I even tracked down the little Indy 500 badge that goes next to my heater controls.
The exterior has new emblems, fresh paint, a new top, a new bumper and mask, and lights that flip up and down like factory new.
The car also has fresh suspension and brake parts to top it off.
That leads me to the point of this blog post.
The one thing the car needs, however, is an engine.
The L98 that is in my car has seen much better days. It burns oil, suffers from vapor lock and is just not what it once was.
After having several tests performed on the car and adding a new distributor, alternator, fan and other parts, it is apparent that the motor is simply at the end of its life.
I decided that instead of yanking it and rebuilding it over the course of a few months, I would like to keep driving it.
With that said, I plan on buying another L98 out of a 'Vette, trans-am or camaro and rebuilding it. I would like to build it with a little bit more performance than stock, but all on a pretty cost-effective budget.
I am a young kid, and this will be the first multiple piston engine I've ever built. So I'm turning to you guys, the Corvette faithful, to help me out here.
What would you recommend in an L98 that will perform well, but not kill my pocket?
I'm looking to spend no more than $2k.
Also, will I need ECM tuning and will my 700R be able to handle the new motor?
Thanks!
 

vetteoz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
1,561
Location
Not in Kansa anymore
Corvette
1990

MBianco86

Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
11
Location
New Jersey, United States
Corvette
White 1986 Pace Car Convertible L98 TPI
Thanks for the help. It's greatly appreciated. I have no real reason for wanting to tear down another TPI other than the fact I want to better understand what is currently under my hood. I think I'll just pick up an SBC long block on Craigslist or even at the junkyard and start from scratch.
I might as well build it the way I want it anyway.
I'm not going to go crazy with mods, just something to make her a little bit more jumpy. Definitely starting with intake and exhaust.
 

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