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Old 12-19-2017, 09:55 AM   #1
IROCZman15
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vehicle prep and upgrades PRIOR to next years 500hp sbc with N20 engine swap

Hey guys, I figured I would put this topic out there to the group to see about getting some advice and input from you guys about my plans to take the car to the next level. I won’t have the budget to buy my new engine package this winter, but I am certain that right around this time next year, I’ll be ordering up the engine that this car needs. My plans are for a gen 1 style small block chevrolet with a modern efi setup on it. I will absolutely NOT be going with any type of LS style setup. I am uninterested, so please don’t mention LS to me. That is not the type of engine I want under the hood for a plethora of reasons. Also, please don't freak out and shout at me about how there are cheaper options out there.. feel free to show me, but please don't get amped up about stuff, or my $spending.. unless I am totally misguided.

Sorry this is a long post with lots of writing, but I’m just putting it all out there.
I am pretty dead set on the major components/features of the engine, and have been sourcing out crate engines and long blocks, across the net, as well as reading many forum posts, reviews, magazine articles, and product information. I want a Dart SHP block, forged crank and pistons, roller cam and rocker setup, great cylinder heads, topped with a Holley Sniper Efi system (or FiTech), and capable of taking 200 wet shots of N20 with ease(on a carb style plate). The goal is for naturally aspirated 500+ hp/tq at the flywheel, supplemented with the N20 on track days. Engine has to be relaible, and not just for racing.. I drive the car all over and it has to be able to handle 4+ hour long trips. I want something a little more than a 383, so I have been looking at 406, 421, 427, 434 cid packages.

Here is my top choice:
http://www.nyesautomotive.net/406_525hp_EFI.html
This is my second choice, however with the Efi instead of the carb setup in the link. http://enginefactory.com/434CSB575HP.htm
That company is very local to me here in NJ and I stopped by their shop last month to discuss broad details and even brought the car for them to look over.

I have several other similar engine options, but that is not the primary focus of this thread. What my goal is here, is to ask for some ideas/input on modifications and upgrades I can/should do to the car PRIOR to dropping in the engine.

In a nutshell, the car has a crate 350 longblock that I was stuck getting back in HS when I blew up the old 305. It is dead on reliable, but very underpowered. I have a “Pro Street” 700R4 transmission package from Dana at Pro Built Automatics and an Edge racing 2,600 rpm converter. Those were brand new as of October 2016. Unfortunately just October of this year, it started acting up on the 3-4 shift, so just this past Sunday I removed the transmission, and will be shipping it back to Dana for a refresh, which is covered under his 18 month warranty. The package was rated to 675 hp/tq, but I might maybe have him upgrade it to the 750 hp package. Maybe. The rear will be the weak point of the powertrain after the engine is done, but I can live with that until it blows, and get a 12 bolt from moser, strange or currie. It is currently the stock axle housing with 3.73 richmond gears and a posi unit.

DSCN5056 by David Martin, on Flickr

The car has a S&W racing subframe connector kit welded in, along with their torque arm and its relocation mount. Fully adjustable front and rear suspension parts from UMI performace. Upgraded front and rear brakes are from Ed Miller at flynbye, 13” up front and 12” out back (C4HD setup, PBR calipers, raybestos rotors, braided lines). The front is lowered on 2” lowering spindles, and all corners have MOOG springs. Shocks struts are curretly Tokico adjustables, but those are coming out in January and some Koni yellows are going in. The car weighs 3,422 pounds as of August this year, and that is with a full tank of gas and full tank of nitrous, but without me in it. 18x8 “ and 18x10” Boze forged aluminum wheels with Nitto 555 tires that are good enough to last me one more full year. Removed heat and air conditioning, MSD Digital 6 ignition control box, line lock, deleted smog setup, radiator is 8 years old but always flushed clean, auxillary transmission cooler, full interior with sound system, Dyno Dons coated headers and y-pipe ( I think 1.75” headers ??), to a hooker 3” cat back exhaust with an electric cut out along the main-pipe.

DSCN2436 by David Martin, on Flickr

DSCN3130 by David Martin, on Flickr


So, with all of the above being mentioned, I am looking to tackle some of the modifications that the new powerplant will need, over this winter. The car is currently up 24” of the ground (in my garage), since I just removed the transmission and driveshaft two days ago. I am wondering what I can do now.

Fuel system:
The new engine will certainly require me to upgrade my fuel system, especially the in-tank pump. After some research, if I wasn’t using the wet nitrous shot, I probably would be fine with a 255lph pump. I’d rather not risk running out of fuel though, so I am thinking… just go with one rated at 340lph like the aeromotive one: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/a...t/model/camaro
…. My question is, if I were to put this (or any other recommended pump) in the car now would it wreak havoc on my current fuel system and TPI?? Or would it just work as normal and return unused fuel back to the tank like the current/stock setup? Could anything be damaged? Should I do the fuel pump now since the car is up in the air, driveshaft is out, and I will be taking down the rear-end soon to install Koni Yellow shocks anyways? I also run a Holley AFPR on the Tpi set in the neighborhood of 49psi if memory serves me correctly. Also, how about fuel lines? Should I be looking to upgrade my fuel lines for a bigger diameter feed/return line? If so, how will this work at the tank bulkhead area ?

Trans:
Mentioned above, can go more into details if needed. Should be back in about 4-6 weeks either with a freshened up 675 hp limit or with an upgraded 750hp limit.

Driveshaft:
Stock steel one currently, won’t last long, so I will eventually destroy it with the new engine, and end up ordering a performance one from Denny’s or elsewhere

Rear end:
Would love to install a 12 bolt this year, but might not be able to budget $ for it. Also, slightly curious to see how long the 10 bolt might last with the new engine next year. Could probably order one from strange,currie,moser and keep it off in the corner of the garage for when the 10 bolt falls apart though. Not sure if I want to go with a ford 9” though.

Exhaust:
Kinda skeptical about the inside dimensions of the headers and hooker 3” setup choking the new engine. Maybe I could keep the headers, and then eliminate the y pipe and have a true-dual 2.5” setup fabricated ? not sure that I should do that now though with the current weak 350 ? that would be overkill and prob hurt performance

Cooling:
While the car never has overheating issues, it might be a good idea to get a head-start on this maybe. The radiator is a stock replacement style, and has been in the car for 8 years. Every two years I drain it, and drain the block by taking out the knock sensor. I do a flush job and refill. Everything comes out clean-ish. Water pump is stock. 180 degree thermostat. BOTH puller fans are wired to spin anytime the ignition is on. Should I invest in a bigger aluminum radiator or hold off? I’d like to reuse the dual puller fans, and I’ll probably just end up putting them on a toggle switch to a relay that I can control from the dashboard. The new engine will come with a water pump on it already.

Pulleys and accessories:
I have the option with the engine shop in NJ to have a set of March pulleys and brackets put on. Their price is expensive though. My stock PS pump and reservoir is doing just fine. I run a 140 amp chrome powermaster alternator that is 2 years old and working great. I could reuse those I would think? I have a Hitachi high-torque mini starter too that I could reuse as well.

Roll Cage:
With the power that the new engine setup will put down, I would hope to be running below the 11.49 second mark, which would mean that I am required to have at least a 4 point roll bar setup to run at Englishtown, Island, Atco etc. I will never be doing an 8 point cage, and the most I would ever do is a 6 point setup with door bar swingouts. Stopped by ProFab Chassisworks here in Nj and they quoted me $2,200 as a starting price! With options closer to $3,000..and at that point I said to myself, that $ would much better be spent a full 12 bolt rear end instead. So, yea, I’ll need a age, but I might wait until I am required to have it, since having this car with a weak 350 and a cage really isnt a cool vibe.

Wheels tires:
Tough one here….I love my wheel setup but they are heavy and too pretty to beat to hell in any type of drag/road course racing or autoX. I will need 4 new tires on these at the end of next year, probably a 200 treadwear nitto, bfgoodrich, or falken. For specific drag racing, maybe I’ll find a light set of centerline convo pros but they would have to be 17” diameter to clear the C4HD brake setups. Might wait on this until the car is setup, running, and already making passes.


What else am I forgetting here?? I know I typed a LOT, but I wanted to put it all on the table, so hopefully I can map out a well thought out plan of attack. Since the car is up in the air and not going anywhere for a good 3 months.. I want to tackle anything I can (within reason) to get the ball rolling in the right direction for 500+ hp in winter of 2018/19.



DSCN4291 by David Martin, on Flickr

IMG_7519 by David Martin, on Flickr

David-Martin-1987-Chevrolet-Camaro-DriveOPTIMA-NJMP-2017_184 by David Martin, on Flickr
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:21 AM   #2
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First off hats to you for a well detailed first post of this thread. Without a specific budget, it's tough to tell you exactly what to do but here would be my recommendations.

- Check over your motor and trans mounts while everything is going to be out. It is the best time to replace them of course.

- Upgrade the trans to the 750HP level now. No sense going with a 500HP engine and hitting it with a 200 shot when the trans won't be able to handle it. That would be spending money twice.

- Spend the money on a rear and driveshaft so you can feel confident that if you have the bite, it shouldn't break.

- Skip the roll bar for now unless you think there is a chance it will roll over lol. Let them kick you out at the track first.

- If the 3rd gen fuel lines are basically the same size as the 4th gens, I don't see you needing to upgrade them. I'm still on stock lines from the tank but admittedly at the limit of my fuel system. I would go with the bigger pump though just to plan ahead a touch.

- Leave the wheels alone for now. Get the car running and driving the way you want, then worry about the jewelry.

Your cars looks phenomenal so if you give it a nice drivetrain refresh for next season, that will keep it fresh to you for the coming year. Then you can decide how much further down the rabbit hole you wish to go.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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You'll want bigger headers for sure, 1 7/8" would be the min.

And without a budget, its impossible to give you direction on the motor. You're going to need a lot of cubes to reliably meet your need.

Something like this- http://www.shafiroff.com/drag-race-n...-drag-race.php
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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How about well proven, forged LTx engine that is ready for some nitrous?
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
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I think the trans is still going to be an issue. I would seriously consider other options like th400, t56, 4l80, etc.

The 340 needs all the wiring upgraded, including inside the tank through the bulkhead. Racetronix had stuff for 4th gens, maybe they have something for you or you can adapt a kit to work. Maybe even change to a 4th gen steel or plastic tank, you'd have to look into that though.

You are looking at a 5 point roll bar. That means a driver side door bar. It can be a swing out or fixed. I went swing out so I could remove it for street use. I would definitely wait as long as you can before putting one in though unless you love the idea and know you'll use the car enough to warrant it.

Are you sticking with drag racing or going around corners too?

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How about well proven, forged LTx engine that is ready for some nitrous?
Oh no he didn't Its not nitrous ready btw
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:12 PM   #6
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What about CTW wheels for racing? But based on your priorities and gameplan I wouldn't think that should be top of your list but it may behoove you to keep an eye out for a sale.

I would absolutely upgrade the trans for 750 given your plans, it'll be way cheaper and easier now than later!

Did you speak with Josh @ JSP? Aside from his own cars, he has built a lot of powerful yet reliable cars that go long distance, especially in third gens
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
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LSx ALL TEH THINGS!!!!

But in all seriousness, lol. I would go for the Holley over the FiTech, these is little to no support for FiTech, you heard the guy this summer with the Chevelle. Customworks can get you a great price, and he does phone support too.

As for the fuel pump and lines, I think the stock lines are going to be good for 700ish horse? There is a calculation somewhere, but you should be good there. Also if you think you need a bigger pump, put it in now, it isn't going to mess with the TPI since the FPR handles the flow, you may need to tweak your fuel pressure though, not sure on that.

I would also recommend you go to Josh for basically everything else you have mentioned, especially the rear. I know he sells one of them, but I forget which.

Also, your short tube headers are probably going to hold you back more than the 1 3/4" tubes, You would gain a little with the 1 7/8, but I think you would gain more from long tubes over the shorts, but I may be wrong.

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Are you sticking with drag racing or going around corners too?
He is definitely going around corners too

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Old 12-19-2017, 06:10 PM   #8
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Brian: thanks. I will certainly inspect and replace the engine mounts net year when the old one comes out. easy enough. the trans mount is good. only 14 months old. just looked at it yesterday. I agree, to skip doin the rollbar setup ahead of time and wait until it is absolutely necessary. the $, the weight, the extra limitations to interior free movement etc. If I can budget $ or work a crap ton of overtime before March, maybe I can afford to do a driveshaft and rear end. the driveshaft from Denny's will be around $600 and the rear setup would be another $2,800 ish. Also definitely holding off on the wheels since that will be an expensive endeavor and the main focus i to get the car prepped for the engine power level, and then rework things from there. and with that, I tank you for letting me know that your fuel lines are stock and with your power level and fuel demands that is peace of mind for me.

wretched: also thanks. I agree that I should plan on doing the headers. bummer, these are in such good condition, but to do it correctly, a header and 2.5" dual exhaust system will have to be budgeted for. Ive also spent a good bit of time browsing on the Shaffiroff site and all of their stuff is way too high dollar and too high horsepower for a street/strip setup like I am going for

Adam, you are correct about the fuel system wiring needing to be upgraded. I did read about that on thirdgen.org a while back too I forgot to mention in. I think you are correct that there are wiring kits available, so i'l plan on that. I thought you had someone interested in your LT engine a few months ago? I think regarding the transmission, that since my current one is fixable under warranty for free, i'll send it out and have it upgraded to be the 750 horsepower capable one. IF for some wild reason that fails, i'll move in another direction, most likely turbo400. I do like hte overdrive of the 700r4, especially for long trips out to Carlisle, and maryland, upstate NY, etc. I'm also in agreement about the swingouts. I would keep them removed for most of the driving, and just put them in at the track. but as mentioned above, i'll save $ and weight now, and only do the cage when absolutely necessary. I think I can get Ted from our LeMons team to weld in the cage, he does good work. If not, i'll see if Pro Fab Chassisworks has wiggle room in their price. My other option is to go out to S&W Racecars in PA (actually only 10 minute drive from my wife's parents house!!) and see if they would weld in and certify the 6 point setup. shall see

Nick, good idea. I had not thought of Josh at JS Performance. Maybe i'll send him an email, and point him towards reading this thread. If he is able to build something like I mentioned above, that could be possible. It is a bit of a drive(compared to "the engine factory" which is over in Lebanon NJ) , but if price is drastically different for the same power/reliability/workmanship/parts I could do that. CTW could be good for wheels too. That will wait as you mentioned.

bear: I do remember what he (Brian Coyle) was saying about his FiTech setup and lacck of tech help trobleshooting it... I subscribe to Holley's youtube videos and have read a lot in magazines and online about their Sniper efi system and I am definitely drawn mostly to that. I like the touch screen handheld display for the dashboard and their video tutorials. They even have one that is built to work alongside nitrous setups. They also have fuel pumps in 255lph. I think walboro and Aeromotive are the only ones I've seen with the 340lph. Good to hear that I can reuse my oem lines. I'll do a bit more research too. As for longtubes, you are right, and thats probably what i'll need. I gotta do some solid research there and find ones that wont be too low, since my car is pretty low already up front. Then I could go over to that place that has been mentioned on this board before (bergen county) and have them fab up a true dual exhaust with x pipe, muffler and tips out the back. shoot, that will have to wait until the engine is in also. Wondering if i could use my current exhaust with the new engine for testing purposes and to get it up to the shop for the exhaust install.

and yes. I do plan on doing BOTH drag racing and corner carving. more autocross, because the only road-course track I know of locally is NJMP and thats kinda far to be running in multiple times a year. I am only 20 mins from island dragway.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:39 PM   #9
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I would highly recommend getting rid of the 60e or getting the best that is covered under your warranty and roll the dice.

For every one person that says their 60e lasts race after race and no freshens up needed, there are twenty that blow up after one or two hard launches. If you get a EFI system like Holley or MS, you can run a 80e which gets you OD with a solid trans. (just don't get one rated at 750fwhp and make 750wtq )

With regards to the EFI system, make sure you get one that is either easy for you to learn how to operate, or has solid local support for tuning. You will be past the mail order level of tune IMO.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
bear: I do remember what he (Brian Coyle) was saying about his FiTech setup and lack of tech help troubleshooting it...
Last I saw he took his EFITech out. It was fighting him at the UMI event in August.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:05 PM   #11
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Why not use EFI connection setup? Uses all over the counter GM sensors and controlled by the E38 or 411 ECUs. Can readily tune the fuel & spark curves/ tables via HP tuners. Can also control your trans. I know a guy that can build a solid 4l60. Got one in the works for a torquey 2nd gen.

Can go too big on the fuel pumps within reason as the system is regulated. Upgrade to 14 GA wire and 20 A fuse w/ relay. OE lines are fine.

BOTH puller fans are wired to spin anytime the ignition is on. NOOOOO!!!

Should I invest in a bigger aluminum radiator or hold off? I’d like to reuse the dual puller fans, and I’ll probably just end up putting them on a toggle switch to a relay that I can control from the dashboard. -

I have a solution for this. Not cheap, but solid.

Rears - Go for the 9" and call it a day.

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Old 12-19-2017, 10:50 PM   #12
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I agree, fans on all the time is not great idea. I'm running a mishimoto rad (Josh is a dealer) in the Z, with 4th gen fans, a DCC fan controller and a stewart water pump. Never gets hot, not ridiculous in price. Depending on EFI setup you go with you can probably use that for fan control as well.

Most third gen tanks are unbaffled right? Given the usage you might want to look into more modern setup. Depending on the EFI route you go would a 4th gen plastic tank and fuel module be a reasonable step up?

Dave, this would be way easier over some beers
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Feather-light suspension, Konis just couldn't hold. I'm so glad I took a look inside your showroom doors.

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Old 12-20-2017, 09:09 AM   #13
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Why not use EFI connection setup?
He would wind up spending a LOT more on the EFI setup because, I believe, he is thinking TBI for the injection, not port over the Holley.

Dave, you can also wire your fans to come on at specific temps with the Holley or a 24x setup, so you wouldn't HAVE to change them if you don't want

Also, Josh can do pretty good on driveshafts. I got more for less than than what you're saying here, so I would check him out on that too

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Last I saw he took his EFITech out. It was fighting him at the UMI event in August.
He seemed set on keeping it, but he also said the phone support sucked. What I got from him was basically, if you have any issues with it you have to figure it out on your own because they either can't, or won't help.

I cringe any time I see people buying them now, not just from Brian, but also form Customworks. IMO the ONLY thing the FiTech has going for it, is price, and I think you're getting what you pay for here.

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Most third gen tanks are unbaffled right? Given the usage you might want to look into more modern setup. Depending on the EFI route you go would a 4th gen plastic tank and fuel module be a reasonable step up?
I think maybe 91 and 92 were the only years for the baffled tanks, and they're not really that great. The 4th gen tank is almost as close to a bolt in as you can get, especially if you're running "returnless". All I had to do was modify the fuel filter bracket and everything screwed together with the 4th gen fuel filter

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Old 12-20-2017, 01:26 PM   #14
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Why not a nice hogged out single plane, plate kit and a swept elbow to a LSX throttle body? Run a 0411 PCM and have the advantage of HPT etc for local support.
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:45 PM   #15
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Why not a nice hogged out single plane, plate kit and a swept elbow to a LSX throttle body? Run a 0411 PCM and have the advantage of HPT etc for local support.
Or this



Edelbrock Pro-Flo XT EFI Intake Manifolds 7137
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:24 PM   #16
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bit of an update:

I have been hard at it with research, emails, and planning . If only I had a lot of extra $... everything would be happening this calendar year, but since I don't, I have to plan things out sensibly.

I have exchanged emails with Nyes engines, Ohio Crankshafts, FiTech, Racetronix, and a few others. I am pretty damn certain I will be going with a 406, 421, or 434 gen 1 SBC with the Holley Sniper EFI system and a nitrous plate. I can buy it now via credit card and some of my car-fund savings account, but I am going to hold off and see what else I can get accomplished in the meantime.

The transmission will be getting shipped out on Thursday for a teardown and refresh, along with upgrading it to the 750 hp level offered by ProBuilt automatics (i still have to confirm this with Dana, but it is my plan). Probably will take about a month for a tunraround, but thats ok with me as long as it is done the best it can possibly be.

Fuel system: Racetonix offers the FULL wiring upgrade kit that I would need, including relays, grounds, power wire to alternator etc. http://www.racetronix.biz/itemdesc.a...WH-005&eq=&Tp=
I checked flow ratings and horsepower ratings and I am confident that an Aeromotive 340 lph in-tank fuel pump will be just what I need for the 525hp +200 wet shot.
https://www.aeromotiveinc.com/product/340-fuel-pump-gm/
I will need to plumb in a separate fuel pressure regulator for just the nitrous feed line later on, but that is once the new engine and n20plate is in and operational. Much research has shown that my factory fuel lines do have the proper diameter and flow to support my upcoming fuel demands so the main lines under the car will be staying.
Also, to solve my infrequent fuel starvation(when racing only)issues I had a few options, but I am pretty sure I want to go with the Holley Hydramat product. probably this one: https://www.holley.com/products/fuel...s/parts/16-104
or the 15"x15" version. anyone have any input on this? the only thing I am curious about, is how I am going to attach it to the new aeromotive pump inlet...and how I am going to do this when the assembly is INSIDE the tank hole..?
Therefore soon i will be ordering the racetronix hot-wire kit and the Aeromotive 340lph pump and the Holley Hydramat. Anyone have any last minute words of advice on that???

Yesterday I ordered the Koni Yellow struts and shocks from Founders performance. They called me today to let me know the rears were out of stock for a few weeks, but that is fine with me. I went with the 3rd gen front struts and the 4th gen rear shocks because the 4th gen shocks are ON-CAR adjustable...where the 3rd gen style shocks need to be removed from the car for any adjustment.

My MSD Digital 6+ ignition box is at MSD getting tested and repaired.

I got one wheel fixed that had very minor curb rash on it, but it was enough to bother me. USA wheels in Fairfield NJ did it for about $160

I will be holding off on ordering a driveshaft, rear axle assembly, roll bar, wheels, tires, and instead leaving the $ in my car-fund bank account so it can go directly towards the engine payment.

I will be removing the whole rear axle from the car when I drop the fuel tank to upgrade the pump. I want to pull out both axle shafts and install longer wheel studs. For full lug-nut engagement, I still can go another 1.5 full threads...so I'd rather be safe than sorry and just do it. I think these are the correct ones, but i will double check my measurments:
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/arp-100-7708
http://www.jegs.com/i/ARP/070/100-7708/10002/-1


I also emailed Josh at JS Perfrmance, but have yet to hear back. That is fine with me since it has been the holidays and people get busy.


That is it for now. If anyone has any input on the wheel studs, racetronix hotwire fuel pump wiring kit, aeromotive 340 fuel pump, holley hydramat, or anything else...feel free to let me hear it. I will probably order some of this stuff mid week next week.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:01 AM   #17
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The Ractronix wiring looks like outside the tank only, not sure if you were going to upgrade in the tank too. And while you're ordering from Racetronix, why wouldn't you just order one of their pumps or dual pump setups? They may have a solution to connect the hydramat, maybe?

Studs look right, but you should measure the knurl diameter, that is really the important measurement, but I think those are the same ones I bought too.

I don't know if Josh gets around to email too much, best to call him.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:04 AM   #18
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F-ing computers

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Old 01-03-2018, 09:15 AM   #19
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cool man thanks.

I just now checked my spam email folder and found that Josh did email me. Excellent. !


I'll double check the knurl on the studs yup.

I thought about a dual pump setup... read a few things about how if one pump fails at WOT and the other one is still running, can cause a ultra lean condition and lean pop the engine. Id rather have a total single pump failure and just stall out instead of a short lived lean condition and catastrophic failure. I could go with the Racetronix pump.. are they as reliable and well built as the aeromotive and walboros ? I am still waiting on an email back from Racetronix where I ask them if the fuel pump wiring kit is ALL inclusive. Ill send another email in a few days if I dont hear back by then
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:37 AM   #20
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Aeromotive, hands down. Just make sure ALL wiring is upgraded.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:34 AM   #21
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I know it's gonna be a wet system but I just do not believe a single 340 can do what you are asking.

I would recommend a separate tank up front for the nitrous system and leave the in tank pump for motor only
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:11 AM   #22
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Dave, LSX ALLLLLLLLL DAY
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