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hdkeno

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
277
Location
CT
Corvette
2005 Victory Red coupe
Hi All,

Hope everyone is well,and all is well with your vettes.


Again,I come seeking advice from my fellow poster's.

I have a dilema.

My 81 4 speed L81,has 42k original on the odometer,runs excellent,and the body is near flawless,original paint.


Now the rub. A good friend of mine whom owns a shop,and whom i know and trust for many years,and whom also is an excellent wrench,as are the guys who work for him.

One of them,specializes in building,modifying etc. primarilly 350 motors.
And does excellent work,I have seen the results of his craft firsthand,on several chevys.

one in particular,is another guy whom I know casually,through the shop.

1980 L82.

We talked today a bit after work,and i pondered the possibility of him doing the same treatment on my 81.

Im a nutshell,it would go like this,rebuild top end,new vortec heads, headers,cam,ignition distributor,new carb etc.

He said it would be good for 325 hp easy.

Right now the only mods,i have done are high flow cat,(dynomax) and a set of dynomax super turbos,

All total,about $2500,parts and labor.

Now should I go ahead with this,on a perfectly good nice running stock motor with 42k or leave well enough alone?

As always, thanks in advance, Ken
 

vett boy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3,057
Location
Florida sometimes Maine
Corvette
2008 vert 6M silver
It shouldn't hurt the value.I'd say from your post you kinda want to head in that direction,if thats true go for it.Or you might say why shouldn't I?
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
...A good friend of mine whom owns a shop,and whom i know and trust for many years,and whom also is an excellent wrench,as are the guys who work for him..... He said it would be good for 325 hp easy.
Right now the only mods,i have done are high flow cat,(dynomax) and a set of dynomax super turbos, ....... All total,about $2500,parts and labor..... Now should I go ahead with this,on a perfectly good nice running stock motor with 42k or leave well enough alone?
As always, thanks in advance, Ken...

Ken,

$2,500 for parts and labor sounds a tad bit conservative. Based on what you described, I did a quick 'back of the envelope' estimate on parts alone and stopped when I reached $2,300. I did not include gaskets, bolts, wires, hoses, sealant, paint, and other little necessities / goodies that help drain the wallet. Labor and machine work will surely be a few hundred bucks. Of course costs for parts will be higher if the machine shop finds other items that need to be replaced.

Have you considered going with a crate motor?

Here's one that has vortec heads, 330 hp etc., for a little more than $2,500... http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=NAL-12486041&N=700+115&autoview=sku

If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone the crate-motor route.

Ralph

:w
 

red70vette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
328
Location
Cortlandt Manor,NY
Corvette
1970 red cpe 350/300
I think the crate motor is the way to go. Especially if you have a place to store the original motor. That way you have the best of both worlds a hot ride and the original equipment if someone prefers that when you want to sell it. Plus the crate is new and built correctly.
 

crause

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
266
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
75 Convertible-steel blue / 2000 lt. pewter conv.
I have a 75 with 44k original miles, all original interior and paint, not perfect but still nice and turns heads. I have opted to just drive and enjoy. Repair as needed.
Do what makes you happy, it's all about the ride.
 

Garagetoyz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Messages
53
Location
New Jersey
Corvette
78 Silver Anniversary 4 spd Crate engine
The new ZZ4 crate engines out now will take you to around 355 HP..good stuff.
 

6880 Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
...should I go ahead with this,on a perfectly good nice running stock motor with 42k or leave well enough alone?...

My .02: leave well enough alone, tune your L-81, and keep the rest of the money in your pocket for future projects.

:)
 

kingkeith427

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
5
Location
77373
Corvette
1979 coupe
Go the crate motor route. Just having the warranty is worth a ton. I bought a basket case '79 that had an engine fire. The original motor had been bored and stroked to 383 ci. After opening it up was in bad shape. Went completely thru it. It should be good for aboout 400 hp now but would have been cheaper in the long run to have gone with a crate motor. But when I can boil the tires off of it from a standing start , get it sideways in 2nd and get a 3rd gear scratch, its was worth the money spent. Good luck, Keith.
 

srs244

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
462
Location
the deep south
Corvette
1978 pace car, 04 CE convert
Have you considered going with a crate motor?

Here's one that has vortec heads, 330 hp etc., for a little more than $2,500... http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=NAL-12486041&N=700+115&autoview=sku

If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone the crate-motor route.

Ralph

:w

i think when you are done ADDING all the NO answers on the what's included, you will find you are well into the higher 2,000 range or maybe even touching $3,000 with top end stuff. while i agree the way to go is with a crate, if you believe in the quality of the wrenches you refer to, and they will hold to their price estimate, i say go for it. you're not building an NCRS car, and it comes down to what will make you happy (assuming you don't cry or regret the cost of the modifications at a later date, lol).

steve
 

craig32

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
482
Location
PA
Corvette
1981 repainted black coupe
I have a dilema.

My 81 4 speed L81,has 42k original on the odometer,runs excellent,and the body is near flawless,original paint.

Ken,
It doesn't really sound like much of a dilemma to me. Do you enjoy the car as it is? If you put more HP in it than it can handle, you risk everything else being subpar. I know there's quite a contingent here that will recommend the 'ZZwhatever' and the 'BTO whatever' If you change all that, can your 25 year old suspension handle it?
Read some of the other posts from people saying how their 'upgrades' left them flat, and ask yourself if you want to do that as well. If you say no, you're at LEAST $5,000 ahead of the game. JUST MY OPINION.

Craig
 

black_81_vette

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
295
Location
wisconsin
Corvette
black 81 corvette 4-speed
Well truthfully the stock engine is ok for a cruiser its not gonna win many drag races and even moms mini van has more power nowadays. But if your looking for more power and still have a nice allaround ride Id go with a good exhaust headers arent really needed as the factory tubular manifolds do a decent job.Next would be decent cam something around a 260 advertised duration with .450 lift or so id change the valve springs to.As far as the intake goes the stock piece is pretty decent also what i deffently would do is ditch the feedback carb and the computor controlled dist.Shouldent be very hard to find a pre feed back Qjet and non feed back HEI just by going to the carb and dist swap will gain alot in the seat of the pants dyno. The factory carb is wayyyyyyyy lean and the distributor controlled by the ecm only allows 26 degrees total timing to help keep emmissions inline so you can see why the change of those parts will help the most.Ive been through it all on my 81 and truthfully with the above mods on the stock engine it went pretty damn well and still passed emissions.In my case a poor rebuild got the best of the combo so I ditched it all and went with a 430 small block lol way different animal there!
 

hdkeno

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
277
Location
CT
Corvette
2005 Victory Red coupe
Thanks to all for the great advice and feedback, I have come to the decision,at least for now,to keep my 81 as she is.

BUT,when and if the time comes to change my way of thinking;I AM going to go the crate motor route,most likely the lower "budget" priced 350 330hp
GM crate motor,that seems to be very popular,or whatever reasonable fact simaly therof happens to be out at that time.

Many good thoughts,and good points brought out by you all that responded on this. Thanks, Ken
 

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