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You started this thread with putting a cam for supercharging in the engine. With all the other rabbit holes you have gone down you need to examine where you are going with your project and the timeline. An external analysis would suggest that you just drive the car, and prep/build your drive line, then install it as a unit. Your least cost would be to build an engine and trans to handle the power. You can use a built compatible trans, and you will get the job done with the least down time, and least cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
You started this thread with putting a cam for supercharging in the engine. With all the other rabbit holes you have gone down you need to examine where you are going with your project and the timeline. An external analysis would suggest that you just drive the car, and prep/build your drive line, then install it as a unit. Your least cost would be to build an engine and trans to handle the power. You can use a built compatible trans, and you will get the job done with the least down time, and least cost.
My goal is for around 500hp without machine work. Timeline can be long. I have a few cars so if it has to sit for a while that is ok. I want to use the trans, block and crank that is in the car to keep costs low and to use something that will otherwise go to waste. Maybe I could sell the trans but I'm sure for a lot less than it would cost to buy one already beefed up. When you say "a built compatible trans" I assume you mean one that's already been beefed up? Any reason I can't just do that when the rebuilt one I have goes out? I'll look into it but can you suggest a good budget minded aftermarket option for a solid trans capable of taking +500hp?
 

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A good trans that is going to take the abuse of 500+ HP will probably cost you about $1400 plus a torque converter at about $500-1000. This is about a budget as it gets. You can easily spend more if you want to.

If you use you engine core, it will probably cost you about $800-1000 for the bore, and new pistons (forged) with rings. If you want recommended forged rods, mo money. Cam and lifters about $250-350. Turning a crank is about $150-200, and a forged crank which is suggested for a stuffed engine is mo money. The heads will be $400-600, and if you want them ported...mo money. You also need a new oil pump, water pump with metal coupler, gasket/seal set, harmonic balancer, main and rod bearings. Consider using ARP studs throughout. You also need some specialty tools, some of which you can "borrow", and some you will have to purchase. You need "larger" injectors for the hair blower(s). Plan on a 300+ lph fuel pump. The sender with pump, and lines from the tank will need modification, as well as the type of fittings for the fuel rails. Plan on a different computer with a 3 bar MAP sensor to handle the boost instead of intake vacuum. Since you will not have vacuum, to operate the brakes, or AC motors, you need a vacuum pump. Switching to Hydroboost brake assist will eliminate a heavy duty vacuum pump, but you will still need a small one for the AC motors. Since there is a lot more heat, you need to put insulation on all soft, and some hard lines. Do not forget your intercooler, and plumbing for it. A thicker radiator, and high power fans.

The reason you get all the parts at together, and do the whole job in one shot, is that the longer it takes, the longer it will take. Your enthusiasm will wane over time when it is sitting and not usable. 6 months is the usual term before losing interest in a project that is sitting, and not finished. Bad things can also happen when the project takes too long...rust, accidents, forgetting things, unintended errors, and lost parts. It is hard enough to get the project done in a timely and continuous flow, let alone a stop, and start manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
A good trans that is going to take the abuse of 500+ HP will probably cost you about $1400 plus a torque converter at about $500-1000. This is about a budget as it gets. You can easily spend more if you want to.

If you use you engine core, it will probably cost you about $800-1000 for the bore, and new pistons (forged) with rings. If you want recommended forged rods, mo money. Cam and lifters about $250-350. Turning a crank is about $150-200, and a forged crank which is suggested for a stuffed engine is mo money. The heads will be $400-600, and if you want them ported...mo money. You also need a new oil pump, water pump with metal coupler, gasket/seal set, harmonic balancer, main and rod bearings. Consider using ARP studs throughout. You also need some specialty tools, some of which you can "borrow", and some you will have to purchase. You need "larger" injectors for the hair blower(s). Plan on a 300+ lph fuel pump. The sender with pump, and lines from the tank will need modification, as well as the type of fittings for the fuel rails. Plan on a different computer with a 3 bar MAP sensor to handle the boost instead of intake vacuum. Since you will not have vacuum, to operate the brakes, or AC motors, you need a vacuum pump. Switching to Hydroboost brake assist will eliminate a heavy duty vacuum pump, but you will still need a small one for the AC motors. Since there is a lot more heat, you need to put insulation on all soft, and some hard lines. Do not forget your intercooler, and plumbing for it. A thicker radiator, and high power fans.

The reason you get all the parts at together, and do the whole job in one shot, is that the longer it takes, the longer it will take. Your enthusiasm will wane over time when it is sitting and not usable. 6 months is the usual term before losing interest in a project that is sitting, and not finished. Bad things can also happen when the project takes too long...rust, accidents, forgetting things, unintended errors, and lost parts. It is hard enough to get the project done in a timely and continuous flow, let alone a stop, and start manner.
Valuable insight but I'm planning on building a garage dedicated for this kind of stuff and I hopefully will have everything together in one spot to keep things together and safe. I'm pretty patient and know I won't lose interest but I do like the idea of getting all the parts and banging it out as fast as possible. Good thing I did the opti and its working great so far!

In terms of your list I'll probably skip the trans and just get the high stall converter. Probably 3000rpm maybe 3.5k.

What's a metal coupler water pump? Mine had a metal spline coupler when I took it off to swap it and the opti.

Why do I need a new balancer? Things like fans and radiator I can do pending problems but I probably will get a new radiator off the bat but what do I do about hoses? I really like look of the 9C1 green silicone hoses.

Do I need to get the block bored and the crank turned? I'd rather just do a stroker in that case. I was hoping to avoid these costs all together. Might as well go naturally aspirated in this case. I know I can get +500hp with machine work and no boost. I was hoping to just get new main and rod bearings and be done with that. I might attempt to add some more bolts for the mains. Is it worth upgrading to 6 bolt mains? How difficult is this and is there anything else I should know about it?

If I go with boost I think I'll just use stock heads with a mild port to save $ and get new valves and maybe bigger rockers if they'll work.

I'm not trying to build a long term hardened race car. I just want something that's really unusual and fun on the street to throw people off.

Thanks again!
 

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I made a wrong reference for the metal coupler. It is for the oil pump, not the water pump.

If you do not get a built trans for 500+hp, you will have a bunch of shavings in the bottom of the pan in short order.

Harmonic balancers have a rubber coupling between the inner and outer parts, and they deteriorate just like any other rubber. The OEM unit is not designed for the abuse you are going to deliver. Just get a certified one.

You can use the green hoses over again.

You may need the block bored, and the crank WILL require turning, if it is not scrap.

It is not easy to upgrade the number of bolts for the mains. It would cost about the same for a used 4 bolt block as for upgrading the one you have. As for 6 bolt mains, you have the wrong type of block.

The OEM heads will work fine, but you need a lower compression engine if you are going for boost. The lower compression should be about 8:1. If you are going to build a naturally aspirated engine you need the original compression ratio. You can go one way, or the other, but your tuning options will be severely limited with the original compression ratio, and boost. Furthermore, the boost built engine will be a dog without boost.

You want something to show off, but you do not want it to die while showing off. Build it right the first time, and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I made a wrong reference for the metal coupler. It is for the oil pump, not the water pump.

If you do not get a built trans for 500+hp, you will have a bunch of shavings in the bottom of the pan in short order.

Harmonic balancers have a rubber coupling between the inner and outer parts, and they deteriorate just like any other rubber. The OEM unit is not designed for the abuse you are going to deliver. Just get a certified one.

You can use the green hoses over again.

You may need the block bored, and the crank WILL require turning, if it is not scrap.

It is not easy to upgrade the number of bolts for the mains. It would cost about the same for a used 4 bolt block as for upgrading the one you have. As for 6 bolt mains, you have the wrong type of block.

The OEM heads will work fine, but you need a lower compression engine if you are going for boost. The lower compression should be about 8:1. If you are going to build a naturally aspirated engine you need the original compression ratio. You can go one way, or the other, but your tuning options will be severely limited with the original compression ratio, and boost. Furthermore, the boost built engine will be a dog without boost.

You want something to show off, but you do not want it to die while showing off. Build it right the first time, and have fun.
I get that about the trans but I'll just get a new trans when this fresh rebuild bites it. Or I'll sell it and put the funds into a new one but don't see getting much for mine and I'm expecting to pay at least 3k for a new 500hp trans with converter.

As for the crank I guess I'm going stroked then. I don't trust anyone to turn my crank or bore the block for a fair price. Hopefully the block is good and doesn't need any work either, otherwise I'll just get rid of the car. Not worth ls swapping imo unless that's where I start and don't invest any time tying to rebuild. Looks like I'll be skipping boost at this point though, not gonna need it with stroke increase ?

I thought I read that we can't convert to 4 bolt mains but that 6 was possible. That is something I can do myself so it should be cheap but not if its impossible. I'll check on this again.

Thank you so much for the advice!
 

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I made a wrong reference for the metal coupler. It is for the oil pump, not the water pump.

If you do not get a built trans for 500+hp, you will have a bunch of shavings in the bottom of the pan in short order.

Harmonic balancers have a rubber coupling between the inner and outer parts, and they deteriorate just like any other rubber. The OEM unit is not designed for the abuse you are going to deliver. Just get a certified one.

You can use the green hoses over again.

You may need the block bored, and the crank WILL require turning, if it is not scrap.

It is not easy to upgrade the number of bolts for the mains. It would cost about the same for a used 4 bolt block as for upgrading the one you have. As for 6 bolt mains, you have the wrong type of block.

The OEM heads will work fine, but you need a lower compression engine if you are going for boost. The lower compression should be about 8:1. If you are going to build a naturally aspirated engine you need the original compression ratio. You can go one way, or the other, but your tuning options will be severely limited with the original compression ratio, and boost. Furthermore, the boost built engine will be a dog without boost.

You want something to show off, but you do not want it to die while showing off. Build it right the first time, and have fun.
I agree with most everything Fred mentioned above - It sounds like you want to build a kamikaze motor, lots of power, stock parts, minimal investment, see how long it lives.

One thing that I saw recently was a system that ran 16 fuel injectors and 2 fuel systems. One ran regular gas and the other ran high octane. The theory (near as I can interpret) is that you run on regular gas most of the time, then as the boost comes on, it adds higher octane fuel while taking away the lower octane. This way you can run a 10:1 compression ratio for good off boost performance and efficiency and still boost it without having to consume $8/gallon 113 octane race gas all the time - only when you need it. I think they called it octane on demand or something like that.

I will see if I can find the specific video (
- mentioned at 0:30-0:45), but it was Nelson Racing Engines who did this - Nelson Racing Engines - #Extreme Horsepower Twin Turbo Engines, Supercharged Engines, LSX Engines!
 

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If you are going to make 500 hp, you should have all forged internals as well. HP is not really cheap.

I built my 454 short block with a 0.030 over bore, new hyperutectic pistons, referbed stock rods, and I had the crank turned 010 under for about $1000 plus a short block from the local junkyard. Forged internals will cost you a good bit more. I had a set of heads for a Vortec 350 referbed for about $400. All you need to do is port match them, and clean up any lumps and bumps in the ports. You might consider a junkyard set of aluminum heads from an LT1 Corvette. They will bolt up, and are easier to work on.

You can have the trans built for about $1400, and whatever you want to spend on a TC. You could even rebuild it yourself to save some money, since time is not your issue. Make sure the TC is rated for the HP you will produce.

Building a high performance engine can get expensive really fast, if you do not know how to shop around. When buying parts, make sure everybody will price match.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Wow thats nice! But way out of my budget. I realize things can get expenaive quick which is why im trying so hard to keep spending in check and make sure i get the best bang for my $. 500hp is just a rough number btw. The engine will make what it makes but I want to aim high and if i miss low thats fine. I just dont want to aim too high and spend more then I have to. Keep in mind this is my daily driver so reliability is the main thing for the most part, but i dont really drive daily so i want it to be fun too
 

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I cant help but wonder if you're a troll, just completely ignorant of how to build power, or some combination of both. So many contradictory statements in your posts. Reliable 500 RWHP will cost you $5,000-$6,000 or more - just for the engine. Either up front, or after you start throwing parts out of the bottom of the pan, and an NA LT1 isnt going to make 500 RWHP without being unwieldy on the street. A good set of heads will run you $1500-$2000 alone, and then you can add another $1,000 just for the (solid lifter) cam and valvetrain. Forged 383 rotating assy from a reputable name is $2,000. Then you have to get it balanced. Good injectors are another $350-$500. 500 RWHP exhaust is another $1500-$2000. Oh look, you're already at $5500 - $7500 before you take the block to get worked and before you turn one bolt. You don't want to get the crank turned because you don't trust a machine shop (or have the $), but then you ask about going to a 4 (or 6!) bolt main because you can do it yourself. (You can't, btw...) You balk at spending $2,000 on a stout trans, but then a few posts later say you're budgeting $3k for trans and converter.

Stop posting, do some research, and then create your plan. FWIW, 500 NA hp is a hell of a lot easier to get out of an LS than an LT, and nowadays, its probably cheaper to go LS than to build out an LT.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I cant help but wonder if you're a troll, just completely ignorant of how to build power, or some combination of both. So many contradictory statements in your posts. Reliable 500 RWHP will cost you $5,000-$6,000 or more - just for the engine. Either up front, or after you start throwing parts out of the bottom of the pan, and an NA LT1 isnt going to make 500 RWHP without being unwieldy on the street. A good set of heads will run you $1500-$2000 alone, and then you can add another $1,000 just for the (solid lifter) cam and valvetrain. Forged 383 rotating assy from a reputable name is $2,000. Then you have to get it balanced. Good injectors are another $350-$500. 500 RWHP exhaust is another $1500-$2000. Oh look, you're already at $5500 - $7500 before you take the block to get worked and before you turn one bolt. You don't want to get the crank turned because you don't trust a machine shop (or have the $), but then you ask about going to a 4 (or 6!) bolt main because you can do it yourself. (You can't, btw...) You balk at spending $2,000 on a stout trans, but then a few posts later say you're budgeting $3k for trans and converter.

Stop posting, do some research, and then create your plan. FWIW, 500 NA hp is a hell of a lot easier to get out of an LS than an LT, and nowadays, its probably cheaper to go LS than to build out an LT.
Not a troll just very frugal. I also really appreciate your help and insight! Btw I'm not talking whp, I'm talking hp at the crank. 500whp is probably near 600 a the crank. I have a 79 z28 with ~350-400 hp at the crank from the stock block and crank but the machine work to the crank and block was the most expensive part which is why I want to avoid this on my 9C1. With the LT1 I'm starting from a much higher baseline and figured it should be easier to make more power being all roller etc. This was also my main point for going to a turbo setup. I figured it would be cheaper to do a turbo than N/A for the same power but after many of the replies here, that doesn't seem to be the case. I was envisionimg slapping on a turbo, vacuum system, and a basic rebuild and being done with it. I also have never had a turbo setup and think they are cool and would like to play with one.

As for heads I plan to mildly port the stock heads on my own or just leave them as is. For lifters I would never go solid, just a personal choice, I prefer hydraulic. I only brought up the stroker because that seemed like the best value since it was suggested that the crank wound need machine work anyways, why not do a stroker? Balancing is going to be done if I work the stock crank or go with a stroker. Injectors and fuel pump are something I was certainly planning on spending some money on. I had the exhaust on my 79 Z28 done for under $1k including including hooker ceramic long tubes and labor so if I ain't doing a turbo I expect to pay less on this build and I'm going to do it myself. I already have headers and a cat delete so it should flow pretty well vompared to stock. I did read somewhere that it was possible to convert these LT1 blocks to 6 bolt mains, but that 4 bolt was impossible. I will try to find the thread and post it here but I was pretty confident I could do it (unless it really is impossible). I have quite a bit of machining experience but not enough to do a crank or blueprint a block. But mostly I don't have the equiptment or anything to practice on. I am budgeting 3k for trans and converter but I dont want to do it right away. My trans was rebuilt maybe 20k miles ago and I'd like to get some use out of it. Although this trans looks perfect and the price is right, except it says it's for LS motors and obviously still needs a converter: https://www.monstertransmission.com/4L60E-Transmission-Heavy-Duty-Performance-2pc-Case-2WD-Merch_p_12088.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjws7TqBRDgARIsAAHLHP6Ehs33KryiyMG1jOLfnAbE_XRnzx4N67sACtRsI3U16t8-LMCCeboaAi7QEALw_wcB#.XU5JpNplA0M

I realize LS is probably better but I already have an lt1 and want to use it. I also want to buy a 97 z28 which has the lt1, so it would be nice to "practice" on this car. Besides im not gonna get anything if I try to sell this LT1 so might as well build it and run it. I dont need the best I just want something a little more fun and suprising.

I've done quite a bit of research but there are always details that drive me crazy that are not often discussed for my specific ideas. I.e. can I run a turbo cam temporarily without a turbo. Based on the replies here it seems like I cant but in reality I know its theoretically possible (someone I know told me it can work) so I was seeking advice from someone who has done this. I guess I'm not surprised that I'm the first person to want to do this. I always find myself doing things that are considered impossible or have seldom been attempted. Sure it might run weak off boost and need to be tuned very differently before and after the turbo to work at all. Tuning is certainly an area where I need to study more.

He’s not building anything ever. K&N intake at best.
LOL I already have more than that. Headers, cat delete, pcm, 160 thermostat, TB bypass, and a few other cosmetic mods. I just did my compressor 2nd time this year and just did the opti and wp before that. I know a bit but I'm trying to learn more about engine building.

I have a lot going on in my life right now but before 2021 I'm going to build a garage specifically for building cars. Gonna get a lift, hoist, and a bunch of other gear that's gonna eat deep into my budget for parts for this b-body or I may just delay the build or even get a different car if its gonna cost well over 10k to do this right. I guarantee I can find a car with 500hp for 10k. Might take me a while to find but I know I can. Ofcourse it will have it's own issues. This is why I want to keep my build as cheap as possible. I plan to break stuff and want to be able to repair it as things break. Even if I spend $20k on motor and trans I know I'll break something (power train related or not) and I want to be able afford to fix it. Would rather go cheap at first and spend more later on the weak links. This way I can do cosmetic repairs and start a side business doing repairs and mods for people, or even rent space for people to do their own work. Gotta start somewhere.
 

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FWIW I have a brand new billet core AI custom grind turbo cam I'd be willing to sell for a fraction of what it cost me new. It was spec'd out for my twin 56mm turbo setup on a 396 stroker, but it might work for your setup as well. I would definitely talk to AI first and see what they think first though.
 

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Mendonmafia - your last post adds a lot of context/perspective.

Given that, I'd be very tempted to stick an inexpensive T04 turbo on it with minimal other changes and run it. You'll need a tune and probably some bigger injectors, but you'll learn a lot and see what is possible.

With 10.5:1 compression ratio you'll need to be conservative on the timing and likely run premium fuel, but let the knock sensors back things off as necessary. Even 4-5 psi of boost will make a huge improvement in power over stock, no intercooler required.

Is this an ideal setup or optimized? - absolutely not. Things are going to break/fail, but start slow and build crawl/walk/run your way into it.

Please share your experiences with us along the way!
 

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Discussion Starter #36
FWIW I have a brand new billet core AI custom grind turbo cam I'd be willing to sell for a fraction of what it cost me new. It was spec'd out for my twin 56mm turbo setup on a 396 stroker, but it might work for your setup as well. I would definitely talk to AI first and see what they think first though.
Mendonmafia - your last post adds a lot of context/perspective.

Given that, I'd be very tempted to stick an inexpensive T04 turbo on it with minimal other changes and run it. You'll need a tune and probably some bigger injectors, but you'll learn a lot and see what is possible.

With 10.5:1 compression ratio you'll need to be conservative on the timing and likely run premium fuel, but let the knock sensors back things off as necessary. Even 4-5 psi of boost will make a huge improvement in power over stock, no intercooler required.

Is this an ideal setup or optimized? - absolutely not. Things are going to break/fail, but start slow and build crawl/walk/run your way into it.

Please share your experiences with us along the way!
You guys give me confidence! The first encouraging posts so far lol. Thank you! This is basically what I was thinking. Only reason I wanted to do the cam is because I was going to be half way to it doing the opti. Only other thing is removing intake manifold. But I already did the opti anyways. I still will probably do a cam as my intake manifold has probably never been resealed and could probably use some PM from what I've read.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Anyone see this video before? I realize it has Al heads but can I run these simple mods on our engines with iron heads and expect similar gains? Any reason we can't do these mods? Curious to hear your thoughts.


I'm thinking I'll just go NA. I always wanted a turbo setup but it just seems so easy to get NA power. Lifters, cam, intake manifold, valve springs, that's like $1000 plus a tune. Maybe won't be 500 hp but a small nitrous shot will get you there.

Also how likely is it that I'll throw a rod through the block or otherwise damage the block beyond repair. My engine just turned 185k and maybe 70% of the time has a rod knock when warm starting, about 10% when cold starting. But it immediately goes away in either case.
 

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Anyone see this video before? I realize it has Al heads but can I run these simple mods on our engines with iron heads and expect similar gains? Any reason we can't do these mods? Curious to hear your thoughts.

I'm thinking I'll just go NA. I always wanted a turbo setup but it just seems so easy to get NA power. Lifters, cam, intake manifold, valve springs, that's like $1000 plus a tune. Maybe won't be 500 hp but a small nitrous shot will get you there.

Also how likely is it that I'll throw a rod through the block or otherwise damage the block beyond repair. My engine just turned 185k and maybe 70% of the time has a rod knock when warm starting, about 10% when cold starting. But it immediately goes away in either case.
Unported Iron LT1 heads will not get you 'similar' gains to Advanced Induction aftermarket heads.
Even unported iron heads respond well to reworked spring pockets, upgraded springs, 1.6 roller rockers and the right cam. Just not quite as dramatically as Advanced Induction or Lloyd Elliott heads. There's a reason why AI & LE charge what they do.

You probably won't find Lingenfelter's LT1 intake manifold available, but the FIRST Fuel Injection TPI manifold fits LT1s pretty easily.

I'd hesitate to make any serious upgrades on an OEM engine that now makes noises, but there are people here who know WAYY more than I regarding how to judge noisy old LT1s.
Might be worth it to find one that starts up smoothly? Many junkyard LT1s go for about $750-$1000.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Unported Iron LT1 heads will not get you 'similar' gains to Advanced Induction aftermarket heads.
Even unported iron heads respond well to reworked spring pockets, upgraded springs, 1.6 roller rockers and the right cam. Just not quite as dramatically as Advanced Induction or Lloyd Elliott heads. There's a reason why AI & LE charge what they do.

You probably won't find Lingenfelter's LT1 intake manifold available, but the FIRST Fuel Injection TPI manifold fits LT1s pretty easily.

I'd hesitate to make any serious upgrades on an OEM engine that now makes noises, but there are people here who know WAYY more than I regarding how to judge noisy old LT1s.
Might be worth it to find one that starts up smoothly? Many junkyard LT1s go for about $750-$1000.
Just to clarify I meant stock lt1 aluminium heads from a camaro (Al lowercase L, is the symbol for aluminum) which now I realize can easily be misread as AI for advanced induction.

But i agree. Probably not a great idea to do serious work with engine noise but i plan to rebuild the engine after it lets go but if i throw a rod though the block then thats not gonna happen.
 
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