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Modifications Sanity Check



Well, I plan to tear into the '73 over the holiday's and just want to do a sanity check with ya'll. Here is what I plan to do;

1. I have a Edelbrock Performer intake with Edelbrock Performer carb in the garage. I will swap the stock setup for this, with the expectation that it will all fit under the stock hood using the stock breather.
2. Plan to order a full polished underdrive pulley setup to swap all the rusted stuff up front.
3. I have a new high flow water pump that I will swap in.
4. Pull all the non-working smog pump stuff off and cap the holes. Never had a problem getting anything inspected in Texas this old.
5. Ordering the Ignitor electronic ignition to replace points and condenser and a MSD Blaster Coil.
6. If I can get it all in time, will pull the stock fan and install the dual electric fan setup from a '90-'96 Vette (as related in the BBfH series).
7. Hi-Perf thermostat and new chrome housing (along with a few other chrome goodies)

This should clean up the compartment considerably and provide an additional 30-40 HP or so, in theory. Have I missed anything of note that I should do while I'm at it? Any other speed tricks (aside from the obvious like headers, later)? Confirmation or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
I havent installed the performer intake but Ive researched the stock small block hood fit with it plenty. All indications are, the hood will close with the performer, but not so with the performer RPM. or the airgap manifold.
Its possible you may be limited to a 2" height for your air cleaner also? no big deal switching to that.
Good luck with the upgrade,
Sounds good to me.

If anybody thinks what you are doing is not sane, then I am way past being a certified nut.
Thought about the serpentine route, but what will I have to do with the A/C pulley? I have not seen a conversion for this. Has someone done it and still run their A/C?

Dont feel too bad Chris, I am always accused of not being able to leave anything alone. My '72 Cheyenne is a total custom. I did the Auto Meter Phantom guage thing like you are doing in the stock face plate, hand rewired the engine compartment, shaved the gas tank filler to a marine style billet unit, and have done so much more that I could fill a book on it.

My '99 Silverado has a drop on it, custom flamed gauge setup, painted interior components, 18 inch rims with 285/60R18's on all four corners, a roll top cover and more goodies on the motor than I can recall. When I pay it off I plan to drop a Whipple supercharger in it.

I have left the wife's mini-van alone. I mean, what's the point!
I believe there is only ONE certified "Nut". Moi. :grinsanta Jinx, sounds like a fun winter project. You'd only be insane if you DIDN'T do it. Good luck.

........ (the one and only).... Nut :cool
I have some input on the serpentine belt set up Im trying to adapt a 89 camaro serp system on my 82 vette and heres some problems you will encounter stock crank pulley hits front crossmember/ stock smogpump pulley hit pass/side A-arm and A/C lines need to be modified with two smaller pulley's system will work though about using like a 90 vettes serp system but the F-bodies seems just like it is far simpler to put on and alot less pieces to mess with I paid 120 bucks for my complete serp system off ebay and it came with every part includine belt driven accesories

hope this helps ya
topless82vette said:
I have some input on the serpentine belt set up Im trying to adapt a 89 camaro serp system on my 82 vette and heres some problems you will encounter stock crank pulley hits front crossmember/ stock smogpump pulley hit pass/side A-arm and A/C lines need to be modified with two smaller pulley's system will work though about using like a 90 vettes serp system but the F-bodies seems just like it is far simpler to put on and alot less pieces to mess with I paid 120 bucks for my complete serp system off ebay and it came with every part includine belt driven accesories

hope this helps ya


I am glad you mentioned this. Now, is that a tuned port serp system or throttle body? Back when I was planning on dropping the small block in my car, I had my eye on the same trick. I have a complete serp system here off a 1990 Chevy truck (the aluminum system) that is the same as the throttle body camaro. In fact, you can removed the smog pump all together and buy a smaller belt and it will run perfect. I dont know if the Tuned port is the same.

Please post some pics of this. I really think it is the way to go. The 85-91 Corvette serp system is dependent on the air pump to be there and is much wider than the Camaro/truck/caprice, etc.

Whooooa nellie

I have the full March serpentine conversion including power steering and a/c.
There are NO cleareance issues.

its of a TPI motor car but I have a throttle body V-8 camaro and there doesn't seem to be any difference, as for the smog pump I cant get rid of it since I live in california :eek:(

also you wanna paint my corvette yours came out awsome looking hope I can find someone that can do it nice and not mess the car up
No, I cant remember where I got them from. They are available from everywhere these days. I go them when they first came out. I get lots of comments on them and the painted dash trim.
'73 Mods

1. The Edelbrock "Performer" intake manifold and carb will work fine with no clearance problems. Check the CFM rating on the Edelbrock carb. It might be less than what you are currently running so you may want to keep what you have. Most of the Edelbrock carbs are 600 CFM while stock Holleys and Quadrajets are 750+ CFM. I rebuilt my Quadrajet and installed different jets and rods, which are readily available from Edelbrock.

2. Sounds fine.

3. You didn't state what brand high-flow water pump you have. Almost anything is better than the bent-pressed-metal impeller set-up that comes as stock. When you get your stock water pump off, remove the screws on the back, pop the cover off and look at that stock impeller. While most aftermarket water pumps are better than stock, several are not worth the money. You can buy a Moroso for $120 and get ripped off or spend $159 for an Edelbrock and get a good value. It's your choice.

4. I would never encourage anyone to remove or alter their smog system, but if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. Get rid of all the hardware you don't need, pump, EGR, air intake vacuum system, stove pipe, vapor recirc. system, the anti-dive idle solenoid and all pulleys and heavy brackets. Use rubber plugs, not plastic, available at most good hardward stores. While you are at it, replace all your old vacuum lines to restore lost performance.

5. Fine.

6. That or install a flex blade fan.

7. High-performance thermostats don't do squat. Forget it. Chrome water outlet return are usually cheap metal plated with cheap chrome that eventually chips and doesn't dissapate heat well. Instead, polish your stock aluminum thermostat housing, it will look better than chrome.If you still want chrome I will send you a new one free.

Other: You mention headers. If you want a relatively simple upgrade, try the Hedman header "tight tubes" made for "street rods". Only minor alteration of the Y-pipe is required and you retain stock ground clearance.

Fuel pump: Take off the stock POS and throw it away. The stock fuel pump is reliable, but over time they begin to seize up requiring allot of effort to actuate the arm. GM has a great 1-in 1-out fuel pump made for the Z1 with adjustable presure, smoother action and quality construction. AC Delco part#40083, GM part #6415325. $30 or $4 less than the stock POS fuel pump. If your Vette has the third line that recirculates fuel to the tank (to help cool the fuel and prevent vapor lock which never happens), simply cap the return line at the pump and at the top of the fuel tank. Simple.

Fuel filter: If you have a tiny fuel filter inside your carb, remove and throw it away. Install a generic in-line fuel filter between the fuel pump and the carb. This will improve flow and filtration and avoid the clogging of the tiny in-carb filter. Changing the $2.49 filters is also a snap.

Cat Converter: Your 74 probably doesn't have a cateletic converter, but for those that still have the heavy and highly restrictive original cat converter on their car - get yee to a muffler shop and get a new, less restrictive and cooler running cat installed.

Dual exhaust: If you have improved the engine flow substaintially by adding a high flow intake manifold, aluminum high flow heads, headers and a cam, then consider replacing your old exhaust system with a 2 1/2" dual exhaust with dual cats. Shop around and you can have the entire system with quality parts (2 cats and 2 mufflers) installed for about $600. You would normally spend half that to have the original cat replaced at most muffler shops.

Aluminum cylinder heads: GM makes some nice "fast-burn" heads and Edelbrock makes some nice stuff. Check out the Edelbrock 64cc combustion chamber heads. Retail is north of $1,100 but if you establish a good repore with some dealers, you can buy these same heads for $900 a pair. Are they worth $900? No, but if you want to boost performance and don't mind spending too much money, these are a nice item to add to the car.

Bottom end rebuild: Don't forget that whatever increased power you add to the top end gets transferred to the lower end ... pistons, rings, bearings and crakshaft. You can add bits and pieces without worry if your engine is relatively tight, but once you increase compression with new cylinder heads, you might as well send your short block to your local machine shop for balancing, bearing replacement and cylinder/piston work. Should cost about $1,000.
Great Response

Impressive and well written.. Thanks
Roy, thanks, and I agree well written. Let me address a few items, and thanks, you told me a number of things I did not know.

1. I think your right, the Edelbrock carb I have is a 600 or 650. I have the original Q-jet on there and its dumping fuel like a fire hose. I also have two Holley's sitting around a 650 CFM 7145 and a 750 CFM 4150. It sounds like I need to stick with one of the 750's, based on the original spec's.
2. --
3. The one I have is a Carter I bought some time ago for another project and never used. I'll check the impeller.
4. The smog pump is not working (broken). I should be able to get away with removing all this crap as Texas laws on this are pretty soft (at least that's been my experience at the shops I get inspections done at. Anything 25 years old or older they do a few test and let you go, unless the pipe sniffer looks bad)
5. I decided on the Ignitor II. Has anybody tried this unit?
6. Yea, I am going to wait a while for that mod.
7. Didnt know it would be possible to polish the original. I'll give it a try.
I'll check out the headers you mention. They sound like a good idea. I was going to go Dynomax ceramic coated, but I like the idea of keeping my ground clearance stock. Thanks for the tip. I have a new higher flow OEM fuel pump that I can put on and the fuel filter that I plan to use is an SX billet unit that is way more than I will need for now.
As for later, heads and bottom end. I have a brand new 4 bolt block still in the crate, a set of camel hump heads and a 400 crank just waitin to be built into a 383 stroker. That is what I plan to use for the foundation of a 425 HP beast to drop in her later on. I mainly wanted to use up what I had layin around and was trying to get some validation on the Vette.
Thanks for everybody's help. I will be printing this off and keeping it for notes.

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