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Mini-ram

Edmond

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Aug 1, 2001
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2003 Z06
Hey all,

Just had some questions about the mini-ram setup. I went to the TPIS site, but they weren't really specific except for the expected 95+ HP gain.

I know that 69MyWay runs it and some other guys do as well. I'm looking into a project car for next year and thought about really doing some major mods to an L98 since they're very affordable, while keeping my current 88' as an everyday driver.

Any feedback or related mini-ram sites would be greatly helpful! Thanks,
 

maxrevs85

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Dec 17, 2001
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709
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Eaton Rapids, Mich
Corvette
!985 ,blue coupe, 4+3 Z51
If you go with the Miniram ,build your engine to withstand the higher rpm's. Thats where they make their power. Even though I stayed with the stock appearing parts from TPIS and stroked it , I dont intend to rev over 5500 because there is no more advantage , i still went with the steel Oliver 4 bolt main caps. If I changed to the mini I would go with the steel crank and rods. The Mini can rev 6500 +. I found the L98 block to be a very good piece . It has good steel in it unlike the other chevy blocks of that era. The block #'s are not familiar . What i really think is cool is that 69myway is using the stock injectors and chip and it runs very strong.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
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1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Edmond, if you aren't careful, Chris will try to sell you the '90 instead of you starting your own project. :L

_ken :w
 
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Shadowing1985v

Guest
yeah, i have this same plan

after my car is painted,,

i rebuild my engine

going to put the mini ram in as well
new cam
magunum rockers
and other crap i dont know to much about
i thinking of making my lifters with stand the high octane of NOS as well

anywas,, go to TPIS and order there catalog its free, it gives you more detail

plus if you put miniram manifold you your fuelrails wont' fitt 100 percent perfect.. if you wan tit to you will need to buy the fuelrail, im just going ot machine mine to how ever i need it
 

-=Jeff=-

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Feb 2, 2001
Messages
909
Location
Bartlett, IL. (Chicago Suburb)
Corvette
1990 ZR-1
I have a miniram!!

You will need the Fuel rails that go with it.. as for the fuel lines they Sell to connect to the stock lines and the rails , I decided to use braided line instead and saved some money.

I have heard the 92-93 LT1 rails fit but I have yet to try it.

As for the 95 Hp claim on a stock L98, I kind of doubt it. I dyno'ed last year on an untuned PROM running way rich at 301 RWHP. Will most definitely need heads and a cam so the car is streetable, I had a lot of streetability issues with a set of pocket ported stock heads. I now have a set of CNC L98 heads and it is a world of difference.
 

Edmond

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
5,218
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
2003 Z06
Jeff,

I was kind of skeptical about that 95+ claim gain on HP as well. But I was even more concerned about the other things that you needed to make the mini-ram done right. I was thinking about this as a long term project, 3-4 years to complete since I have my 88' to drive around.

With all the money added up for the mini-ram, I debated if it would've been cheaper to get a ZZ4 or some other crate motor like that. Any thoughts?

BTW. 301 RWHP isn't anything to be ashamed of!:L
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
BullWinkle,

You talked abut "major mods" but you did not indicate if this is the only mod you will make at that time.

IMHO when building an engine, everything has to match, i.e., don't use a stock L98 injection system and stock heads with a really long duration, wild race cam.

If you put the mini ram on an otherwise stock L98 engine you will definitely have a mismatch.

The first thing you should do is determine if you want a torque engine or a high horsepower engine, then match everything up for that purpose.

I personally like the approach of maxrevs85. He built a torque engine rather than a high horsepower engine. To me this is MUCH more fun to drive on the street. To me a max horsepower engine is a race piece.

When it comes time, I plan on going the 383 route with a well matched cam and a modified long runner intake system. A few years ago I built a carbureted, flat tappet 383 for a pickup my son and I built. The 383 is definitely a torgue master and since you don't have to spin it up for effect it should, at least theoretically, be a longer lived engine.

This is only my opinion and taste, and I totally understand the high RPM, high horsepower desires of others. You have to remember the old question: "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?"

My $0.02,
 

Edmond

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Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
5,218
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
2003 Z06
Larry,

I'm thinking that it would be a street machine with maybe an occasional romp at the 1/4 strip.

This is a project that I'm looking to take on possibly next year and complete a few years from now. I know that it costs serious money to build a machine like I'd desire, but I'm patient and have time.

Are there any durability issues with the 383?

The main concerns I have are:

1. How much HP/TQ can the L98 handle?
2. How much HP/TQ can the tranny handle?

On average, an automatic transmission would last longer than a manual transmission?
 

-=Jeff=-

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2001
Messages
909
Location
Bartlett, IL. (Chicago Suburb)
Corvette
1990 ZR-1
BullWinkle said:


The main concerns I have are:

1. How much HP/TQ can the L98 handle?
2. How much HP/TQ can the tranny handle?

1. the L98 is just the RPO for the Factory motor.. A splayed 4 bolt main bolt would be perfect for higher torque

2. As for the trans.. the ZF6 is a nice high torque rating.. but a TH400 with a Gear Vendors overdrive would also be good.

I have my miniram on top of my 350.. I have a 400 SBC I am wanting to build.. not sure how I am going to build it yet
 
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LarryBible

Guest
I agree with Jeff, the L98 is just a four bolt improved block like any other 350. The 383 can be built several ways, but if you plan on spinning it to high RPM you would be better served building a steel crank 350.

A 383 lends itself to midrange torque, so there's no need to spin it to high RPM. Most of them until a few years ago were built from 400 cranks with the mains turned down to fit the 350 block. All the 400 cranks were nodular iron, plenty good enough for a street motor, but not that great for high RPM, high HP use. Additionally a shorter stroke is much better for high RPM use anyway.

In the sixties when the 350 came out we all said they must be starting to use dump truck motors in the cars. The thinking then was short stroke, that's why the 301/302 was so popular with the hot rodders then, they could turn high RPM.

If you plan on doing 1/4 mile work with it, you need to make HP, if you just want something fun for the street, you need mid range torque. That's my thinking anyway, talk to a few more people and I'm sure you'll get a few more opinions.

To build a 1/4 mile engine and keeping the budget somewhere in the realm of reality, I think you would be better served with a steel crank 350, lots of cam, short runner intake like the mani-ram and larger volume heads.

As far as transmission durability goes, you'll have to ask someone with that experience. I am a fanatical manual transmission fan and drive a 4+3 on the street and don't slam it around too much. If you like a manual I think the 6 speed will hold up okay, the others can make much better recommendations about the automatics since I have zero A/T experience. To me driving a Corvette or any other sports car with an automatic is like hiring a prostitute that doesn't have a "you know what!" Since only about 10% of Vettes in the last twenty years have manual transmissions, it is clear that I am in the extreme minority. Sorry to be an odd ball, but there it is.

Have fun with your project,
 

WhalePirot

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May 9, 2002
Messages
2,942
Location
SoCA
Corvette
1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
AMEN, Larry

So true, the package, planned approach. That's when we get some bang for our upgrade bucks. Unfortunately, a piecemeal, add-on approach can only go so far. Seems better to save UR dough and do it right and all at once.

Torque gives acceleration.
HP gives top speed. Which do YOU use more?

The 383 has stroke like any big block; hence the torque. I opted for the added displacement of the 406, as there ain't no substitute for cubes, but Kalifornia won't allow a big block retrofit is such a new car. I envy you Floridians, that.

Also, watch the rear gearing. The torque of these newer motors and low revs makes the high gearing less attractive for my street driving. Now all I get in first is wheel spin.

The low revving, stock '84 engine was disappointing with 3.73 rear gears. Shift, shift, shift-done already? A case of premature shift completion!
 
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LarryBible

Guest
WhalePirot,

Did you use a 400 block? If so did you use roller lifters or flat tappet, is this an earlier C4? If you used a 400 block did you drill the steam pocket holes?

I'm not above doing the 400 if I can stay with a roller cam. Now that reasonable priced one piece rear main seal cranks are available, my inclination is to stay with the original block, take advantage of a decent street roller cam, a little more runner volume, some tweaking on my '88 heads and go for all the midrange torque I can make.

Hopefully our industry will get rolling again and I can fund such a project some day.

Thanks,
 

WhalePirot

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Messages
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SoCA
Corvette
1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
Had a good, seasoned shop do it

Yes and no. The block is a 70's 400, truck block, I believe.

I talked the engine build through with an experienced builder. While I have and like to build engines, I felt I know few 'tricks' that make the difference between a good angine and a great, surviving engine. There is some art involved, no?

I looked at all the crate motors; thought about shipping the '84 to Florida for a 'crate' job, but after GM chnged the crates' specs every time I had decided; concern over compatibility of some new engine with my driveline, etc., I felt this a cheaper and better way that offered more tailoring.

Digging through receipts, now. Only two inches of 'em for this 3 year restore/improve project!

For $4370, I added: forged crank, Aluminum dart Pro-1 heads, fluid harmonmic dampener, flattop, 64cc pistons, internal balancing, Comp hydraulic roller and a McCloud 25# billet flywheel to their 'Sportsman' engine.

Sportsman: "383, rated at over 500 HP, features 4340 forged 6", 'H' beam rods, lightweight J&E pistons, ARP rod cap bolts and head bolts, SpeedPro low friction 1/16" moly rings, swirl polished stainless undercut valves, performance springs, guide plates, rocker studs and positive seals, heat-treated .080 push rods."

That one dynoed at 495 ft.lbs@5000 and 538HP@6500. They said I should do a bit better with the added cubes and rollers. Rollers allow a steeper ramp on the cam lobes, while reducing friction losses (freeing HP); allowing me to go more aggressive while passing (hopefully) emissions in Kalifornia.

The aluminum heads transfer heat better than iron, plus save 50 pounds I think, cutting understeer and allowing a higher compression ratio w/o knocking. Details on the machine work I have not. The shop has been around for 25+ years and has built a few more than I have. I trust they know the fine points of making a great 406.

In retro, I'd have used more ceramic coating; on the piston tops and the headers and Y pipe; possibly the engine bearing surfaces (cool idea!).

Oh, hell, the car lights the 315/35x17s anytime I wish in first gear, and pulls like the devil in the other gears, while looking like a stock '84. I fear breaking driveline parts, so accept the tire spin as my 'fuse'. My pal's similar car kicks butt on EVERY Viper and turbo Porsche (Mustang?, get serious!). His is under 4 seconds to 60. My total restore/retrofit was just over $15g; a bargain and a beauty, inside and out.

Those stretch marks on my cheeks are from positive G's. Ha Haaaaaaa! I'm not crazy, just passing my 50's crisis! I got the car I was building with my LS-6'd '71, only better, and 25 years later! Sweet, whenever.

Oh no! Now I have lost some of my stealth! Y'all forget this. My car is STOCK, and I live in Anchorage!
 
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Shadowing1985v

Guest
i guess i don't understand much about engines

on a 383

do you keep the 350 block and upgrade it to a 383

is that how it works.. or what
im real confused
 
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Shadowing1985v

Guest
hmm

is there a site that i can get kits for my 350 to get the most horsepower out of it

i figure i will build my engine for horse power

and put a super charger on it to give me the faster start

is that an idea,,, or just something stupid i made up?
 
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LarryBible

Guest
A 383 is basically a 350 block (not necessarily 350, but a 4" bore, large journal) with a 400 crank (3.75" stroke instead of the 3.48" stroke of the 350, with the main journals turned down to 350 main journal size. The 383 requrires special pistons with a different pin location.

The 400 block is 4.125 bore. The 3.75 stroke in this block gives 400 inches. Whalepirots is obviously overbored to give him the extra 6 inches.

The 400 blocks are known for overheating problems due to their cylinders being siamesed together. This can be cured by drilling some holes in the deck at strategic locations to prevent steam pockets.

The 383 or the 400 offer significantly greater mid range torque because of the longer crank arm, the added inches don't hurt either.

Actually a 350, any 350 is not shy on midrange torque compared to most engines, but the torque of the longer arm crankshaft is uncanny.

To me the only down side to a properly prepared 400 block is the lack of factory roller setup. These days this really is no big deal because of the great aftermarket hydraulic roller systems availability.

I'm still curious to know if Whalepirot used the deck holes to prevent steam pockets and to know how well they worked out.

Have a great day,
 

Edmond

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Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
5,218
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
2003 Z06
This was the way that I looked at my options:

1. Buy an earlier C4 and build it up

2. Save my pennies and buy the current high performance Vette down the line

I'm going to go with option 1 simply because it's more fun and it's something that I will enjoy doing for the fact that I did it and it will be that much more enjoyable.

I figure that since I still have my 88' around to drive, this could be a true project car that doesn't really have a deadline to meet.
 

maxrevs85

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Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
709
Location
Eaton Rapids, Mich
Corvette
!985 ,blue coupe, 4+3 Z51
Whale pilot, Heck of an engine you got there. I too @ 52 am having fun with HP of the old days. Also ,unless I missed it , are you carbed or FI?
When I planned my engine build I opted for the extra cubes first and when from there. It was the single most gain for the $$ . The L98 block is a great block . I opted to have the billet steel 4bolt caps from oliver to help strengthen the bottom end. If I was to have gone with any more HP I would have went the forgde crank and h-beams. But with the TPIS tune port Rpms were not a factor in my build.

Oh by the way I have a totally new 383 in my garage that was built for my exrace car and has dyno time only on it.
Dart block
eagle steel crank
eagle steel h-beams
AFR 215 fully ported and polished heads Stainless swirl valves
Comp Cams solid lifter roller cam
Jesel rockers
2926 edelbrock manifold
830 cfm pro 4150 Holley
3 stage dry sump
stewart wtr pump
ATI balancer
all pullies and belts and ready to dop in.
It dynoed at 540ftlb. @ 5400 ....634 Hp @7000

The cost WAS 15k.........Must sell ,not racing . asking $8500 it was built by highly reputable race engine shop.
If you know of any one looking for a piece like this ,let me know.
 

Edmond

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Messages
5,218
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
2003 Z06
maxrevs85 said:
It dynoed at 540ftlb. @ 5400 ....634 Hp @7000

:eek :eek :eek
 

maxrevs85

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
709
Location
Eaton Rapids, Mich
Corvette
!985 ,blue coupe, 4+3 Z51
Bullwinkle, If you only know how many time I looked at that motor and said ,let see . change it to a wet sump and buy the mini-ram , ...............:crazy
 

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