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Old guy getting 1st vette-81-has a few questions

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Derster

Guest
Expecting 81 in about a week. Since winter is almost here I will probably be working on it more than driving so I am interested in your favorite carb,cam,header,exhaust,ignition add-ons as this would be my first step at getting this thing to run a little better. Looking for low end power in particular. What changes gave you the most for your buck.
Thanks
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
946
Location
Scottsville, Kentucky
Corvette
08 Jetstream Blue Z51 coupe
Welcome to the CACC

There are a number us here Derster!!:w
You should get plenty of feedback from this thread. I changed my carb to an Edelbrock from the original Q-jet, have Heddman headers, true dual exhaust, Accel ignition (super coil), & 8mm high temp silicone wires. The computer was gone when I bought her, so the ignition is of the 80 style vacuum advance. The old girl has plenty of power and is truely a joy to drive.
 
W

wildman406

Guest
Lets have it

Keith i 2nd that i,ve got a buddy with a 61 thats got a 327 popped to 40 over steel crank, fireball 2 cam,dart 2 heads curved hei w/mallory set up turning up to 9000 and still wanting more ,
Money PIT,lets have it,:cool
Derster welcome ,you,ll love it here ,lota good folk,:upthumbs
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
Derster said:
Expecting 81 in about a week. Since winter is almost here I will probably be working on it more than driving so I am interested in your favorite carb,cam,header,exhaust,ignition add-ons as this would be my first step at getting this thing to run a little better. Looking for low end power in particular. What changes gave you the most for your buck.
Thanks

hehehehehe "Old guy" I like that ;) ~ Derster ~ Welcome to The Corvette Action Center Community :D

I've had my L81 for almost 4 years now. The first winter I had Rare, she spent the entire time on jack stands. I went through the suspension and drive train, everything from shocks to brakes to new suspension rubber. She runs good so I figured I would spend the money getting her back into physical condition. Next year I had a hotrod shop do the exhaust all new 2 1/2" with new cat and Flowmaster 40's.

I guess, my suggestion for the best bang for your $$$ is to have the car "Ready" for the engine mod's, IMHO it does no good to spend big $$$ building and modify and engine if everything else is falling apart.. Next will be the engine, at least as much as the Smog Nazi's here in Kalifornia will allow :(

Welcome aboard, take some time and enjoy your L81, make a list of things you need, a list of things you want and compare ;) sometimes they are one in the same. Most of all Welcome to our Community, enjoy, have fun and :w at all Corvettes :D

I invite you to check out The L81VetteRegistry
 

Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Plenty of advise

Derster,

Welcome to the CAC. There are a lot of '81 guys that hang out in here. Since Bud didn't mention it, I assume you've registered with the L81VetteRegistry.com. ALL '81 guys in there. Between both sites you should be able to get any question answered to your satisfaction. And as Bud said... I lot of really great folks in here. Welcome again and enjoy. My '81 has had the smog gear removed (yeah even in MD she still passes the sniffer test with flying colors), Blackjack headers and 3" pipes. Very little $$ outlay and bought me almost 30-35HP as tested on a Dyno. But the previous posts are correct. Fix the stuff that needs fixin' first, then work on the upgrades. Keep it touch and let us know how it goes.

Regards........... Nut
 

jbonifas

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2001
Messages
94
Location
Shreveport, LA
Corvette
1981 silver/blue: two tone
No new revelations, just "WELCOME".
I too have an 81 and have recently participated in the Rendevous road trip where I met all the other great 81 owners. You will continue to get great advice and help and should enjoy your 81 for some time. As far as speed, as one of my friends told me, "**** 6 cylinders have more than 190 hp." Just enjoy the ride and keep waving.
 
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Derster

Guest
the funs begun

Thank for the welcome and the input. Inquired at two local speed shops this morning about true duels for my 81, reaction was as if the feds were in the back room listening in. I made my excape quickly and quietly out the side entrance, hopeing no one was following. Whew!
 
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rpounds

Guest
Welcome to the community - and congratulations on your first 'Vette.

You might want to check out the post on this board concerning the 'X' being installed in the exhaust system. I have true dual exhaust, no cats and Flowmasters . . . . after reading the afore mentioned post, I'm reconsidering my exhaust set-up.

Ron
 
M

mga

Guest
....ok, so if i removed my cat on my '81 what effect would it have on my ECM?
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,265
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Cat removal

None. We had the cat off of ours for a few years. When GM had the recall and we got a new cat I reinstalled it. I honestly couldn't tell any difference between the straight pipe and the new cat. I'm talking about a completely original unmodified car here. If you had engine mods that required better breathing you would notice a difference with every exhaust improvement you made.

Tom
 
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UKPaul

Guest
2 1/2" dual exhaust system from Mid America & a high output coil with 8mm spiral wound leads both had a big effect on my '81. Free flow "mufflers" also had a small noticeable effect - but not as much as the effect I noticed with the dual pipes fitted with the standard mufflers.
Paul
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
Racer78 said:

Paul, did yuou have to change the chip in the computer?

Keith,
I did basically the same thing... No need to replace the chip.. I have a "High Performance" chip.. I tried it.. I really don't think it made any difference.. maybe a little more pull at the high end of the clock, but I put the original back.. IMHO wasted $$$ on the L81..

BudD
:w
 
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UKPaul

Guest
Racer78,
No. Not yet anyway! I had problems with the check engine light flashing occasionally which I finally found the cause of (the EGR valve had been removed, but the vacuum pipe connection in the solenoid had been left open to the air!!!! Hence at just off idle, when the EGR would kick in, a load of fresh air would get in to lean the mixture down enough for the ECU to detect). I have also found that the idle mixture screws were set completely differently & the drivers side seems to be weak on idle (air leak?). So I still have carb problems to sort out, but all indications are that the computer is happy, when cruising or at WOT, with an exhaust system that is straight through.
I've been offered a chip for an '82 which I've been assured will work in an '81. I can't believe this (TBI controlled the same as a carb?). I've emailed Hypertech asking about it, but haven't had a reply yet. If I need to upgrade the chip I'll post & let you know. If only I had a Hex image of a performance chip.....
Paul
 
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UKPaul

Guest
Racer78,
I really need to learn how to type faster!! :)
The computer on the '81 is very basic in what it does. All it really does is control the carb mixture (except at WOT?) & advance the ign. timing. It also decides when to lock up the torque converter.
I think the performance chips really only affect WOT operation by advancing the timing a bit more & maybe giving a slightly richer mixture. Getting info on this is very difficult but it would seem to me that it may be worth advancing your base timing when running with a performance chip to see what happens (in the same way that you'd advance in 2' with traditional dizzy & carb.
I'm pretty sure that the standard chip is OK with the exhaust mods (later cars with more computer control would probably complain) but I'm not sure what it will do when I change the intake side.
Cheers
Paul
 
D

Derster

Guest
UKPaul said:
2 1/2" dual exhaust system from Mid America & a high output coil with 8mm spiral wound leads both had a big effect on my '81. Free flow "mufflers" also had a small noticeable effect - but not as much as the effect I noticed with the dual pipes fitted with the standard mufflers.
Paul


Did the Mid America setup direct fit to the original manifold or did u use headers.
 
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UKPaul

Guest
Derster:
Yes, the Mid America duals fit straight onto the standard manifolds. It was a very easy job (even when using just 2 Jack stands).
The pipes are supplied with 2 "J" hangers and some large hose clamps. I think the hose clamps are supposed to hold the "J" hangers to the pipes & the hangers are then bolted to the crossmember (I may well be wrong about that!). I didn't want the pipes rigidly bolted to the crossmember so I got 2 rubber straps from an exhaust centre, bolted one end of each strap to the crossmember & held the other end of each to the pipes using the hose clamps. Works really well.
I'd recommend them to anybody as they went on so easily.
Paul
 

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