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Help! new project


New member
Jul 3, 2014
stockbridge georgia
79 l82 with 454 swap
Good afternoon everybody. I have recently decided that it is time for me to take my projects from two wheels to four and what better way than a car my dad brought me up to love and covet. Even though we are long time Ford fans you cannot deny that the vette is a fantastic car and hands down a masterpiece over a mustang.

The situation: Through odd circumstances i have come to the opportunity to be the proud owner of a 1979 L82 corvette at the exchange of a motorcycle I rebuilt. Investment was minimal. It is a projecr car with some odd modifications i had not heard much about. The previous ownter took out the stock L82 small block and replaced it with a 454 big block out of a 1980 suburban. Seeing as it is already not a stock car i believe the collector aspect of it is severly diminished therefor i want it as a fun muscle car to play with and use modern upgrades to make it mine. In research I have read that in the late 70's and 80's the 454 took a major power cut. What i am Wondering is what it would take to get the early LS5 or LS6( LS7 even if it is a pipe dream) performance from the big block smogger engine. or even just make it a more fun ride from the 230 horsepower doldrum that it probablly is. It runs and drives but needs a new alternator and power steering pump. The interrior also has seen quite a bit of devastaion. But for basically a free big block Corvette is it worth trying to get the extra power? and how should i go about doing so. i am going to look at it tomorrow afternoon so if there are special things i should look for or things i should pay attention to please let me know. i really appreciate any help yall are willing to give and will post pictures and progress on it as i go through the whole process.

these are the pictures i have gotten from him and will post ones i take tomorrow as well.
Unfortunately, a 454 out of a 1980 full-sized truck was a poor choice. Yeah, it may have made a little more power than the L82, but the extra weight, negates that advantage.

If you're looking for a hotrod, I'd be thinking of putting a Small-Block back into it. A well-built Gen 1 SBV8 of about 383 cuin will run rings around a truck Big-Block.
Why is that? i cannot really find any of the specs on why the truck block and the car block are different. i was really leaning twards the build of the big block for the low end torque and frankly for the sheer wow factor of the big block. Guess i been talking to the chevelle guys too much lol
You've been talking to "Chevelle guys" who don't know much.

Big-Blocks can be capible of tremendous power and torque...given some high-performance basics and a big budget, however, truck BBCs from the 80s and early-90s are weak sucks. Look up some of the power numbers for full-size trucks with Big-Blocks then look at the engine speeds were peak torque and horsepower are made.

The biggest problem with truck Big-Blocks are their heads. Useful for boat anchors or door stops (for really heavy doors). Take the intake manifold off that Big-Block and you'll see. They're freakin' tiny.

To use a truck 454 and really make some power...that is make enough power such that you can't use a Small-Block of the same performance, you'll keep the bare block and maybe the crankshaft and throw everything else away, then add a lot of money for a lot of aftermarket performance parts.

Don't get me wrong. High-perf BBCs are great. I have one in my 71 but sometimes, getting there is expensive.
FWIW, your seats and door panels are from an 82 Collector Edition. Good luck with the project. You may want to consider going here on the forum http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/infosearch/index.php?cmd=area and see if you can obtain a copy of the original dealer invoice for you 79. The invoice will show where the car was delivered when new, original color combination, and the options ordered for the car.

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Bio blocks get it done too.

Why is that? i cannot really find any of the specs on why the truck block and the car block are different. i was really leaning twards the build of the big block for the low end torque and frankly for the sheer wow factor of the big block. Guess i been talking to the chevelle guys too much lol
Having owned these plastic toys for 45 years now, I think big blocks can be fun. The torque comes early and leaves late. Pull the heads and pick up an early set with better ports. For weight and wow factor go aluminum heads and intake. Put on decent exhaust, a good cam like a comp cams thumper and match up the carb size. You will be amazed. If you have someone who knows big blocks a little, have them explain the difference between open chamber and closed chamber heads as well as oval port vs square port heads. Take your toy and have a good time. You are the only one that the car has to please. Bertsdad
You might go to one of several purveyors of speed parts and pick up a crate motor such as Gen V 502. My other suggestion would be to do as I have done and build a stroker small block. Lots of torque (the feel good stuff) and a pretty good amount of horsepower all at reduced weight.

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