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Hi gang,
I spent the equity money 3 years ago when I bought the car, so I have to keep costs to a minimum(if possible) because the wife still hates our dump of a kitchen (fine woman)I've yet to go to the track so I'm looking for pure head snapping acceleration, not top speed. This is the current set up. 69 plain Jane Camaro, stock 350 with 882 heads, upgraded HEI, performer RPM, summit k1107 cam .488 int/.510 exh int 234 @.050 exh 302 @ .050 Holley 650 vac. secondaries (also have a 750 mechanical) dynomax ceramic coated headers, american thunder 2-1/2" exhaust, 200r4 trans 24-2600 stall breakaway converter, 3.55 ring, edelbrock high volume fuel pump. After 3 grand it flies, but I want more low end balls. I have been reading alot and I believe a cam change may be the cheap answer, but I'm willing to throw another grand at it this year. The complete Vortec kit from Scoggin Dickey at $1036 looks good because I never see anyone add in the cost of gaskets, pushrods, rockers Etc. when comparing heads. Another option would be a set of 4:11 gears to kick up the torque. She runs about 2500 or so now at 60 mph and I'm afraid the gear change would put me in the low 3000's. I've already done suspension & brakes so safety/handling is not an issue, but I like to only buy things one time, so suggestions and ideas are more than welcome.
Thanks
Don
 

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Obviously the engine is not the original from '69. It would help to know what you have for pistons in that thing. Since 882 heads came on smog era low compression 350's, I will assume that is what you have...a 8.5-1 (at best) 350. Even with flat tops your at best around 9.0-1 compression. You have WAY too much cam in that thing...that cam works ok with 10.0-1 or more compression, 3000+ stall speed, and 4.10 or so gears. Unless you have domed pistons in there, then the single best BUDGET thing you could do right now would be to swap that big cam for either a comp cams 268 high energy cam, or a crane 272H10 energizer cam. You have plenty of convertor and gear for either of these cams...and either of these cams will provide a HUGE difference in low end and midrange power, with a very minimal loss on the top end. The cam you have in there now can't breathe on the top end with those restrictive heads. Add one of these cams and it will feel like you gained 100 cubic inches when you launch.
Keep the 650 vac sec carb...the 750 puddle dumper is too much for the rest of your setup.
 

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I will concur.
 

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Wouldn't the Vortec heads raise the compression and breathe much better? 882 heads are 72cc and the vortec are 64cc? How much would that raise the compression?
 

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The best thing you can do at this point is a heads upgrade. Mortec lists 882's as having 76cc chambers. (333882.....74-80...350/400......76cc chambers) If you have the normal crate 12.5cc dished pistons, your CR would be 8.5:1 with 76cc and 9.5:1 with 64cc heads. (assuming .040" quench) That one point in CR will wake it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The motor & cam were in the car when I got it. The guy was a body man, but mechanically challenged. I have'nt checked the casting numbers but I believe it to be a factory block out of another car of early 80's vintage from what he told me and not a crate engine if that helps.
I appreciate the help guys.
 

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I'm in a very similar quandary: spent the equity on a bodyman's '69, etc. My solution, though I haven't fired it up yet, was to install a set of aluminum heads recommended by my drag racer machinist buddy. With his knowledge and connections he was able to hook me up right, with 64cc chambers and 210cc ports, for even less than your planned vortec swap. Last year I got spanked at our local drag meet by a friend with more poop than my smogger 350, but this year I'm packin'!!!

It is true you can gain back some low speed torque by swapping in a smaller cam, and this may be for you. It certainly would be the cheaper way to go. You just need to ask yourself if you'll be okay with driving a low compression small block with a mild cam.
 

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I'd put the vortec heads on and leave the rest alone. $ for $ Maybe measure piston to deck clearence when the motor is apart and if its more than .020", I'd get some thin head gaskets as well, to minimize quench clearence and maximize compression.
 

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Nitrous will give you the most for the least amount of money. :thumbsup:
 

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My vote is for better heads and looser converter. Something in the 3000/3200 range should work sweet. Of course keep the lock up for good highway manners.
 

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4.10's :) It will, however, be a bit busy on the street!
 

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Guys, he asked for the best bang for his, er, her buck, er, dollar. A store brand camshaft with similiar characteristics to the one Travis suggested from Summit or Jegs would be cheaper than heads.

Yes, I do agree, heads are where horsepower is at and money is well spent for a good set. But, he asked for cheaper hp.

Losing weight, on the car, is free horsepower.
 

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I'd say heads!
Canfields or TFS or RHS, which ever would be the bast $ deal, and could put you at around 10.5:1 comp. Then I'd save for the right cam (around 230s), and the car would run strong everywhere.
 

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Look, travis hit the nail right on the head here, imho too!

Now if you want to bring your engine up to '67, L-48 295hp/350SS engine spec's at 10 to 10.25 to 1 CR., then don't mess around and do it!!

True, 4-notch, flat-top pistons and 64 cc double-hump type heads will do it and then I would NOT run a cam bigger than the great old L-79, 350hp/327, -151 cam and I did in my car 1,200 miles from new for years as my daily driver!! And fwiw, it's just an about 290/222 cam is all, again, imho....

pdq67

And that old RPM cam really need's like 11 to 1 or HIGHER to run it's best, period, end of conversation..

pdq67
 

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so I have to keep costs to a minimum(if possible)
Wow...I guess if I had you guy's money I could just throw mine away :sad:
Lets see...he's ok with his current top end performance but looking for more low and midrange performance, and has to keep costs to a minimum. So rather than fix the obvious problem here (8.5-1 compression with an approx 300* duration cam on a 114 lsa) with a $200 cam/lifter/gasket change, lets just throw a $1000+ set of heads on there which will make even more midrange and top end power with little to no gain on the bottom end. So to help out on the low end, lets add a $500+ convertor (3200-3500 stall like it needs), and some 4.10 gears (another $500 or so parts and labor) like it needs with that cam. I guess many of you consider $2000+ a budget upgrade, but I sure don't. Sure, it will run WAY better...up to the point where the stock cast dished pistons explode from excessive rpms (this cam will pull to well over 6500 in a 383 with dart sportsman heads).
I dunno...maybe I misread the question :confused:
 
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