Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

New Guy Here



I have a 1976 vette that I recently picked up for 5k, from a guy who needed $$ due to delenquent tax problems *dunno, shrug* anyways here is the low down.

This car runs fine mechanicly, no smoke etc... it is rather weak though and this drives me insane. He had the engine rebuilt about 30k ago and went complete stock no performance. He also had the suspension reworked and gave the vette a new coat of paint over the last couple years.

I am considering the following engine mods and really need some opinions.

Edelbrock performer egr heads
Edelbrock performer egr intake
Edelbrock performer 570 carb
Dynomax headers
2 hi flow cat converters *true dual to rear exhaust*
2 flowmaster mufflers

I am not going to mess with the cam or lower end of the engine atm since it runs fine. I just want to add a little pick up to the engine. I also am debating 3.55 gears in the rear and a TCI breakaway torque converter in the future.

Does the above mod's sound beneficial? I am trying to stay emissions capable.

Or should I just leave the engine in its stock attire and focus on the interior? The interior needs new carpet, door panels, console, and reskinning the seats. The prior owner replaced the dash pads trays etc...

Thanx for any directions & advice
Welcome to the CAC.

Sound like you got a pretty good deal on a solid car.

I love higher performance, and mods that make sense.

Having built a small block using Edelbrock heads, etc, I can tell you that you will not regret the upgrade. However, a cam shaft is not that much more money or trouble if you are already down to the short block. There are plenty of good cams out there that are 50 state and CARB legal that will work really well with the mods you mentioned.

A nice benefit is better performance and maybe even better fuel economy with cleaner better burning heads.

The 3.55 gear will really help. We have one of those in my friend's 77, and it allows the otherwise weak stock motor to push that car pretty hard in a short distance.

You can easily get up to 300 or more dependable hsp on the flywheel and still pass emissions. Just make sure all the parts match and are designed to work together. Edelbrock does a great job matching things up for you.

Post some pics so we can all enjoy.

Thanx for the input.

The only reason I was not going to replace the cam/lifters to be honest is the effort of getting the bugger out. I do not really want the labor required to pull the old cam and install a new one, since 2 reputable shops told me I would have to do ALOT of work to get the cam out while in car, or pull the engine. I am mechanicly inclined but not a mechanic.

Any tips/info on doing a in car cam swap? The 2 shops want to pull the engine and want to hit me for engine pull/install fees that make it uneconomical to mess with.
Cam swap

It's always a chore to swap a camshaft while the motor is still in a car. Be prepared to remove the hood, as well as the radiator. The problem with removing the radiator is the radiator support brace. If it is weak and rusty, you'll want to replace it. However, removing the brace might screw up the alignment of the doors to the front clip. While I have never seen this personally, I have heard of a few Vettes that incur this problem. While a motor pull seems worrisome, it provides you with the oppurtunity to really clean up that engine bay and replace worn out motor mounts and the like. Shop around for prices for this procedure. Sometimes asking a mechanic to do it on his off time, provided you have a lift at home, can keep the cost down, too. Make sure the guy he works for doesn't throw a wrench at you. I took out my buddy's tranny last year, without ever tackling this problem before. It seems like a big task, but if you are carefull, have the time and the right equipment, as well as help, you might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish. You might try renting an engine lift, so you won't have to shell out $300. Good luck!--Bullitt
I agree with everything Bullit says.

If you pull the hood (5 minutes with a friend's help)
Pull the radiator (20 minutes)
Pull the a/c condenser (get it discharged first!-10 minutes)
Pull the core support (30minutes unless it is rusty)
You have three 1/2" head bolts on each side accessed from inside the wheel well, and two 5/8" (size of the hex head) you must reach from underneath on the front cross member.

Now, you are looking at the whole front of the engine with enough room to get the cam in and out, plus pull the harmonic balancer etc.

Now, when you consider the fact you are changing intake and heads, it is starting to be more worth while to pull the whole thing.

After you pull the core support, you don't want to put any weight or pressure on the fenders as there is nothing much up front holding them.

If you have a good hoist, and good plan, you can yank the whole thing in about 3 hours, install the hot parts, paint it pretty, and make sure everything in the engine bay is spic and span.

The install will take longer, maybe a whole weekend. This is because you will want to take your time and have final adjustments, etc.

Good luck.
Now, when you consider the fact you are changing intake and heads, it is starting to be more worth while to pull the whole thing.

Would also be an excellent time to do the stall

Now you see how the 'ol budget goes out the window. Hmmmm..., how about a new crate motor?

Ok speaking of engine swapping (crate route) I have acces to a 71 lt1 engine with about 20k miles on it that has about 375hp I could get.

Would it be better to just go that route or keep the l48 in service?

The problem with the lt1 is the lack of emissions comptability on the heads, which would nullify the egr system and that is bad for me.
It all depends on your budget and your need for speed :)
no big need for speed actually, I just find the stock 180hp rather lacking. That was the reason for the small mod's intake and heads etc,..just a slight boost.
More power

Ahhh...., the allure of more power. Hey 1976C3, I'm not familiar with your state's local emissions. Many states have a "rolling year" rule. What this means is that the law only applies to cars 25 years and older. A 1975 car had to meet emissions testing last year(2000) but not this year since it is now 26 years old. Your '76 might become exempt next year, so check your local laws first. If this is the case and provided you can wait till January to get your baby on the road, you're home free for the 375hp LT-1 swap. If you can't do this, perhaps you only have to meet the tailpipe sniffer test. Many people think a high horsepowered car won't pass, but you'd be surprised at how clean you can get the engine to run. A couple of mechanics down here have been known to lean out a carburetor short of detonation, to just pass the test. You shouldn't have to do this though, if you can get your motor in a sweet state of tune. But, if you have the dreaded "underhood inspection," you'll have to stick with the motor that is compatible with your emissions system. This method is so outdated and stupid. If you don't pollute, why should anyone care what's under the hood? So check everything out and get back to us with your options.--Bullitt
All your suggested mods make great sense, but I feel you're missing something by not changing that wimpy cam. All I changed in my '76 (also White w/white leather)was a new Weiand Dual Plane Intake, Double roller timing chain, 2 1/2" chambered pipes and a CompCam 260H and it made a HUGE difference over stock for abt $600.00 parts outlay. Still have stock heads and ramhorn manifolds. Didnot have to take my hood off but radiator did have to come off. I'm just offering a cheaper way to go to still get a good boost...enjoy!!!:w :w

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom