Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by hutchenc, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. hutchenc

    hutchenc Veteran Member

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    Hey fellas...

    It's mighty cold up here in Wyoming and all I can do is plan for more fun this coming Spring. I have some ideas on how to get a few more ponies outta my 355, but I'm not sure it's worth the $. Here's what I have to work with on my '72:

    355 ZZ4 rebuild...stock shortblock
    Isky 225/234 at .050 .505/.530 hydro roller
    Profiler 195 heads direct from Profiler, 64cc chambers for 9.7:1 compression (running .038 quench)
    1.52:1 Comp Magnum roller tipped rockers
    Weaind Stealth dual plane intake
    650 Speed Demon VS carb
    Beat up 1 5/8" full length headers (numero uno on my replacement list...the primaries are smaller than the Profiler's exhaust ports by about 1/16" all around)
    Magnaflow 2 1/2" exhaust with X-pipe
    M-21 four speed
    Centerforce dual friction clutch
    3.73 rear with Eaton posi and Superior axles

    The car is fast and keeps up with my buddy's 2002 LS1 Camaro that runs 12.4's at Bandimere...until 4th gear and he starts to pull away. I'd like to think that I would be well within a half second of him in the 1/4 mile, but I honestly don't know (we have had some fun on some desolate Wyoming highways though!). It is a street car through and through so I don't want anything radical. I'd like to get some more power without nitrous.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    -Send heads out for mild porting...would like to send them to Chad Speier (not for full porting though)
    -Have heads decked to 62cc for about 9.9:1 compression (that's as small as you can go with the Profilers I think before you get into the valve seats)
    -Have the intake manifold ported and port-matched (I've already notched the plenum btw)
    -Throw on some 1.6:1 full roller rockers

    Is this worth the expense or not? Do I stand to make much more power? If not, what would you do first (other than replace the headers)?

    *I'm not considering a cam swap...I run power brakes and it will stay that way. Also, I do not have a cowl-induction hood...I can't slip in an intake any taller than the one I have now nor can I use a spacer. I like the mild sleeper look. I also have a full Holley HP EFI TBI set-up (yes, the new Holley EFI stuff) that I can throw on the car, but that might take the back seat to a few other things for now, but EFI is in its future for sure :)*

    Advice? Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  2. Madmike72

    Madmike72 Veteran Member

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    Have you considered buying a stroker crank and leaving everything else the same? More cubes,more torque,more fun. You have the heads to support it. Just a thought.
     
  3. Led Zep

    Led Zep Veteran Member

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    I would opt for a set of 1 3/4" headers.Hedman makes a set just over 200 bucks.Hookers will run around 450.
     
  4. hutchenc

    hutchenc Veteran Member

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    I don't think I want to touch the shortblock so making it a stroker isn't in the cards.

    Planning on Hedman 66104's I think.

    Anybody else have opinions on how much power I might pick up with porting?
     
  5. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Let your wallet be your guide.

    I don't think porting those Profiler heads will give you what your looking for. Replacing the headers won't pick up a whole lot either but that's not really expensive.

    IMHO - a small shot of giggle juice will be the best bang for the buck. Take into account the hyper pistons & ignition system before your start reaching for the big pills.
     
  6. vegafish33

    vegafish33 Veteran Member

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    Make a cold air Intake! plumb it yourself and keep it cheap!
     
  7. hutchenc

    hutchenc Veteran Member

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    Been doing some reading on intake manifold porting. Seems like there's not much to be had under about 5500 RPM which on a street car, isn't worth it at all. Even from 5500 to 6000 it seems like a $650 port job only gains about 5HP. Up above 6500 it seems to take off and on a race car, that's useful power, but not here.

    I hear ya on the nitrous thing I do, but I want the extra power on tap all the time. Besides, nitrous may be cheap to get into, but you gotta keep filling bottles and eventually, the cost will catch up to an investment in making the most power NA. I also live in Laramie, WY and I'd have to drive 60 miles to fill a bottle further adding to the cost. It's just not a very attractive option.

    I like the cold air intake idea...I'm gonna need to do some measuring to see if I can get a 3" filter in there first.

    How much power am I leaving on the table by not having the heads worked on? 20...maybe 25 horsepower?

    I should emphasize that I'm not looking to have the heads really worked over...just nicely cleaned up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  8. Enigma

    Enigma Member

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    If you don't want to change the cam, and don't want to have the heads completely ported......what's left? You can do everything you listed, and wouldn't gain 20 hp. Shave the heads to lose 2 cc?! Really?! I seriously wouldn't waste the money on that, unless the were warped or had sealing problems. Your best bet would be to have Chad or meaux or someone completely port the heads. If you just want them "cleaned up".....do it yourself. You'll save some money, gain a few hp, and learn a lot. There's dozens of books with great info to guide you through it. All your torque and hp is made in the induction package. Cam, heads, valvetrain, intake, carb. The only real gains are going to come from a redesign. If you don't want to do that....you're going to have to go for the "3 hp here, 5 hp there, 6 hp here" deal. It all adds up. Going to a 1.6 rocker will help. But be VERY sure you have the clearances to do so.
     
  9. frankz

    frankz Veteran Member

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    Pretty much sums up my thoughts but I'd be inclined to try the AFR Titan dual plane manifold before modding the one you have.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  10. Enigma

    Enigma Member

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    It's $600 clams. And if you've ever stood in front of it and stared at it, it's basically a super victor, or an rpm airgap. Depending on which spider you choose. In the op's situation, wouldn't gain him a thing. Maybe the lighter wallet would help with acceleration. To get any real gains....it's going to take changing hard parts. He doesn't want to tear into the engine, so tuning and tweaking is the next course of action. Put some 1.6's on the intake if it'll stand them, optimize the ignition, touch the heads up a little.....things of that nature. Might gain another 15-20 hp......but he'll never feel it.
     

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