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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-30-2019, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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opinion on builds

I've been on this forum for a while. Seen so many different builds and swaps. For those of you that have modified your impala's engine and/or transmission, I would like some feedback as to what you would have done differently or do considering the advancements of newer engines and trannys.

I have my 95ss bone stock and would like to update the engine and maybe transmission. I have over 200k. No mods have been done as yet. What I'm looking for, is some more hp around 500. I do plan on adding a turbo depending on the motor
Appreciate the info.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-30-2019, 12:13 PM
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Hi, i think you have to have a plan/goal first. You talk about modifying the engine and tranny, and then you mention newer engines and trannies... You really need to pick a discussion as i think they are totally seperate AFA the answers you will get.

My vote is you already have a LT1 and 4L60E and this forum is full of recipes that work on how to build them and get the whole car working together for performance.

As many have said work from back of car forward.... exhaust, brakes, gears, tranny,engine, PCM tuning..

Good Luck and have fun.
P.S. over 300K on my DD keeps me busy enough just keeping it road worthy.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-30-2019, 01:19 PM
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Questions:
1. Budget
2. Mechanical ability
3. Reliability - how important?


Given what I have in my engine and trans now, looking back, I'd have gone LS. That said, having a ballsy Gen2 in the age of "LS ALL THE THINGS" makes it an odd duck, which is also kinda cool.
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1995 Caprice ERE 383, CIA long tubes, Dynomax VT's, RAISS, Kore3/Z06 brakes, 3.42 posi, Boss 338 20's, 12 way seats, Impala SS console, etc etc etc
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-30-2019, 01:52 PM
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Depends on your HP/TQ goals. If below 450hp, LT1 is ok. Beyond that, LS. If you decide to stay LT1, there are cheap built LT1s for sale on the facebook group LT1 Nation all day long. Quality 4L60Es are generally readily available too but it's a lot harder to find build sheets for them than the engines. Going over 425hp in a 4L60E does make parts cost go up a bit but it's not horrendous.

Tuning is something to consider. Many more can tune LSs than LT1s. If you're willing to learn how to tune yourself, the 94-95 OBD1 LT1 setup is easy to tune via eehack. If that's not something you want to do and can't find an LT1 tuner nearby, LS might be a better way to go for you.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-30-2019, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I'm just trying to weigh the options of keeping stock engine or swap. Either way I want a Dailydriver out of it. Not planning on running on the track or racing.
From what I've seen builds with addons on the stock lt1 quickly add up to over 5k. So would it be better to build the lt1 or do a ls swap ?
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-30-2019, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95impala View Post
…..Either way I want a Dailydriver out of it. Not planning on running on the track or racing......So would it be better to build the lt1 or do a ls swap ?
Check my sig, bruh! And this is with a relatively mild cam.

But if you want 500hp to the wheels, reliability and be able to run it as a daily driver....then a heads/cam LS3 (or 6.2L LS) with about 11.3:1 static compression ratio is the way to go.

From personal experience.

KW

1996 BBB SS, 398ci Solid Roller LT4, TorqHead 24x Conversion


1995 DCM SS, LS3, Texas Speed 260cc PRC heads, Lingenfelter GT1-1 cam, V-max 90mm TB, Headman 1 7/8 LT Headers, 2 1/2" cat-back, 3200 Circle-D TC, 3.73 gears -- 493HP/434TQ @ the wheels (Daily Driver)


2014 Chevy SS; Low Lash Solid Roller 429ci LS3 -- 548HP/464TQ @ the wheels....


Last edited by KW Baraka; 08-30-2019 at 11:38 PM.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-31-2019, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95impala View Post
Been on this forum for a while. Seen so many different builds and swaps. For those of you that have modified your impala's engine and/or transmission, I would like some feedback as to what you would have done differently or do considering the advancements of newer engines and trannys.

I have my 95ss bone stock and would like to update the engine and maybe transmission. I have over 200k. No mods have been done as yet. What I'm looking for, is some more hp around 500.
I do plan on adding a turbo depending on the motor.
Appreciate the info.
I want a Dailydriver out of it. Not planning on running on the track or racing
Sooner or later, you'll either sell the car, or rebuild the 4L60E.
Although a 4L60E rebuild that can withstand 500 horse & torque could cost over $2000, it's not a mod, it's maintenance, like tires or brake pads.

Unless you plan on racing, upgrading your rear gear from 3.08 to 3.42 gives more smiles per gallon, barely costs much if any MpGs, and you won't need a new driveshaft. ($800-$1000 installed)
With 3.73, you might or might not need a new driveshaft, and there's no cheap way to tell til after the deed is done. ($1300-$1500 installed)
Probably the most important performance mod, it makes every other performance mod more effective, and even helps the 4L60E last longer.

Mid-length or longtube headers ($1000-$1500) will extract the most from the 1.6 roller rocker upgrade ($500) for either your stock iron heads ($0), or your ported aluminium heads ($2500 installed).

(Ported heads {$2500 installed} with an OEM cam is senseless. If you're getting ported heads, get a cam {$3000 installed}.
It might not be so crazy to keep the OEM heads and upgrade the cam {$500 installed}.)

A RAISS or an SSRI3 ($250) is also tough to find, but you should be able to make a coroplast knockoff for about $100. Either way, install it yourself.

The 2nd most important performance mod is, without question, having your pcm reprogrammed, since it's also a maintenance upgrade.
For a nearly OEM car, there are some few options left for $200 or less - and frankly, there are still too many who have yet to do this to their bone stock LT1 cars, just plain DUMB.
For a car with all the aforementioned mods [especially cam and/or cam&heads], more like $250-$275.

If you still have money left to burn, upgrade the tires brakes steering and suspension BEFORE getting a bigger engine ($4000 or more).

How fast can you afford to go?

(I'm not so sure our Iron LT1s like being turbocharged, something about the heads not holding boost too reliably well )

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-31-2019, 09:00 AM
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Even if you do not plan to tow anything, think of 3.42 or 3.73 as FIXING a very important thing, instead of 'changing' a major thing.
Superior rear gears help considerably to improve the longevity and durability of the 4L60E, our cars' major weakness.

More good news is that your city / metro / urban MpG will be improved by 3.42 or 3.73.

There are, however, a few potential drawbacks to 3.73 or numerically higher axle gears:
a. Highway MpG WILL suffer compared to lesser gears [in direct proportion to your highway cruising speed above 46MpH].

b. There is no surefire way to tell if your driveshaft will 'resonate' at ~63MpH or more, except to
either have your driveshaft balanced at unusually high speeds that are impossible for the vast majority of places,
or to install 3.73, and just HOPE your driveshaft doesn't try to impersonate a jumprope between 63 & 85MpH.
If it does, the only guaranteed cure is an even better driveshaft.
Having a 9C1 or WX3 driveshaft lowers the likelihood of resonance compared to civilian driveshafts, but by how much is, unfortunately, unpredictable.

c. If your exhaust upgrades and/or your roller rockers are noisy, your ears - or your significant other's - may wish you'd chosen 3.42.

d. Without 1.6 roller rockers AND reprogramming to raise the WOT upshift from 5100RpM to at least 6000RpM, no stopwatch has yet found a statistically meaningful difference between 3.42 & 3.73.

Some people could not possibly care less about any or all of the above. Others do [or worse, wish they had]. To find out which you are in advance, I present:

The 3.73 vs 3.42 Questionnaire
1. This is my toy, not my daily driver?
Y=3.73
N=3.42

2. I'm gonna race, or 'play hard' [for money]?
Y=3.73
N=3.42
(also see ?#6, unless you are kidding yourself)

3. I'm gonna tow/haul, or 'work hard' [for money]?
Y=3.73
N=3.42

4. I care more about city MpG, less about highway MpG?
Y=3.73
N=3.42

5. Many or mostly steep &/or long hills where I usually drive?
Y=3.73
N=3.42

6. I've an extra $600 lying around, just in case I NEED to buy and install a new driveshaft?
Y=3.73
N=3.42

7. My valvetrain has [AT LEAST] 1.6 roller rockers AND upgraded valvesprings to support a WOT UpShift of at least 6,000RpM [or higher]?
Y=3.73
N=3.42
(see ?#1)


If 'Y'=7, get 4.10 or more [especially when racing or towing is of the utmost importance]
If 'N'=4 or more, get 3.42 (3.23 or less are for 'non-enthusiasts')
If 'Y'=4 or more, get 3.73

Either way, some kind of kind of limited-slip differential is generally recommended by any and all, and would be foolishly ludicrous to omit.

1g1bl82p7rr127841 Rust In Pieces, Rest In Peace
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-31-2019, 09:07 AM
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Boy it's sure gratifying to prove the old saying, "Evil minds thinks alike." Before any other replies I ended up with the exact same thoughts as about all the rest a ya's. Is the plan for about $8k doing everything yourself, or, twice that with a blank check to someone else.... You know, little details like that. And then, - the point? Is all that work ever going to the strip, or just the meanest beast on the interstate doing 45 on the way to work.... To laminate the dyno slip for the glove box? Out-pull (almost) everything domestic at lights for 1/3 the cost of a CTS-V?

So, 95- you answered most of those questions and the guys have great thoughts. With all due respect to this "500horse" thing, here's just a wild hare of a thought over Saturday coffee. You're starting with a bonestock quarter-century relic and classic in its own right. Guys, gals and even you will see its allure vanish every time you F with it. If compelled to the aforesaid, "F with it", then just a thought.

$3k in reversible bolt-ons to the motor, gives you plenty of power to achieve $2000 tickets plus maybe jail time in a big city.
$3k in suspension and brakes. The running gear under these 2-ton tubs is better than a lowly Caprice sure, but still decrepit compared to easy upgrades. 500horse ain't WAS if you can't corner over 25 anywhere.
$2k dolling up the paint.

With all that, if you're married, every male on the road will hate your guts. If single, all the gals will love you to death (ok at least your car).

See you blew lots of dough and have something awesomely satisfying. Instead of just another 500hp motor you can't do nothing with.


WOAH - I just spied that Marky has posted a treatice and have to go and read all that now. More coffee.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
\'96FWB BUW-Butt Ugly White: PCMPerformance tune, HDFA w/ swissed filter, 1/2 SLP s.s. catback with H- and Flow Super 50s, oem opti rebuilt 3 times, SS Bars, METCO LCA, Airlift 1000, Monroe SS, PowerTrax No-Slip, CTS wheels with +1 rubber. Finally, yes again... LT-4 knock module!
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Unread 08-31-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Marky Dissod. Excellent breakdown of options and cost on the stock motor. The gear ratio is an excellent tip. Thanks 👍
96 black I do plan on using the car to tow between 5-6000 lbs. That's one of the reasons I wanted the 500hp. But with all the bolt ons would do that without putting extra stress on the 4l60e. I'm leaning towards a 6.0 motor with possibly the 4l80e. I do plan on keeping the car another few decades 😏
I'll continue reading and following up on the best
Build options.
Thanks for the info 👍👍
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