Quick, inexpensive horsepower? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

Gents: I am working on upgrading my crate 350, I put an MSD, Victor JR intake, Holley 600, Headers, 2.5" dual exhaust,,,
now I am stumped??? Thinking about aluminum heads to improve the HP/Performance but cant afford to do the whole cam, lifters, pushrods etc... is it an option to put the heads on, and work toward the rest of the upgrades later? Basically, I have a limited budget, want some improvement but don't want to break the bank...

Option 1) Heads, all the trimmings, cam, roller lifters, rods etc.. ($3,000)
Option 2) 3:73 /12bolt posi rear end, ($2300)
Option 3) Heads/ bare ($900)
I have about a grand to blow,,,, any suggestions?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

I was leaning toward Aluminum for the look, I like the look and want the performance, I know I could get some cast heads for about $600 but the aluminum is worth the extra $300 for me...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 02:48 PM
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

Your money would be better spent on a cam upgrade along with rear gears and torque converter (if automatic trans) to match the cam and leave your existing heads for now... Depending on how much you can do yourself the 3 upgrades will eat your grand and give you the most bang for the buck...

...Dennis

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 03:14 PM
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Wink Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

And you sure don't need a 12-bolt for those HP levels
A good 8.5" from a Nova would be much cheaper and live just fine behind that and future combo's.

I agree with Dennis - a good Cam choice and mayve a convertor will net you more quick performance improvement - than going 'big-time' on the heads and other parts unless you're willing to drop a bunch of coin ...

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 03:22 PM
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

I agree with all the above..... But also lose some dam weight, just start taking parts off you don't need and send them to me.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 04:37 PM
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

You match your cam to the heads, if you have a cam that is optimum for your current set up, keep it.
If your current rear is an open unit with highway gears, that is really holding you back.
A great set of aluminum heads and a good roller cam, you start to approach 450-500hp very quickly.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?


thanks for the tips Skip... what is your address, I have some remainded 1.5" exhaust, a couple old weather seals,,, and a huge pile of used gaskets that I was able to pull off my car... surely you can find a home for that hi-demand stuff right... he he he....:-)

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

I do have a two bbl carb/intake/air cleaner I am trying to find a home for,,,, does anybody actually buy that stuff??
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

and on the torque converter,, I had a new one put on recently, was supposed to be 2400stall,,, it is 11" my buddy said it should be 10" at best for the higher stall.. your thoughts? right now at 700rpm, it moves forward as I let my foot off the brake at idle,,, should a 2400 stall move like that? thinking I might try a 10" 3000-3500 stall? does that make sense? the guy I bought the last one from said he would give me trade credit it was not high enough stall for me???
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 06:15 PM
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
And you sure don't need a 12-bolt for those HP levels
A good 8.5" from a Nova would be much cheaper and live just fine behind that and future combo's.
Yep, find one from a 73-78 Nova. But make sure it is an 8.5 rearend. I have a complete rear from a Nova, a set of 3.73 and a set of 4.10 gears plus a low mileage posi unit. I pieced that together in the last year - now it is ready for a future project. I have a total of $300 in all of the parts.

68 Camaro SS 396 - 468 BBC now, M21, 12 bolt 3.73 coded housing but w/ 3.31 gears.
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016
CRG -
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 07:10 PM
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Re: Quick, inexpensive horsepower?

Best seat of the pants bang for-the-buck would be gears, assuming you have a 2.73 or 3.08 (you didn't say). If you have a 8.2 and it's strictly a street car, I wouldn't even worry about getting an 8.5, nice as they are.

OR

If you have a Powerglide, forget the gears and swap in a T350 first. Gears next, though.

Either one will feel like an additional 100 HP.

If you already have a T350 and decent gears, disregard.


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