327 Dyno Tune

Tuning a small-block '64 coupe for power, economy, and a good time

Steve Dulcich Dec 10, 2004 0 Comment(s)
153_0312_00z 1964_Chevrolet_Corvette_Coupe Front 1/23

00. Rick Stoner's immaculate '64 coupe was the subject of our attention. Built for the road, this Corvette captures the stock appearance, but has been modified with aftermarket components under the hood. The 327/four-speed combination makes for a nice driver, though poor fuel economy and rough running meant the tune was well off its potential. A Jet Performance Products-modified Holley carb and a day at the chassis dyno promised to make it right.

Even for the most diehard do-it-yourselfers, sometimes there's nothing better than just handing it over and saying, "You fix it." Sure, your tool crib may look like a display room for the Craftsman catalog, but chances are that things like a chassis dyno, an exhaust gas analyzer, and boxes of tuning components are not to be found tucked in the corner of your attached two-car garage. A well-equipped dyno shop can work wonders, primping up a soggy power curve and breathing newfound youth into a tired combination.

This was the case with our subject: a 327-equipped '64 coupe. The car did start and drive, and that was a good thing. But bucking, stalling, and an appetite for fuel like a corner drunk's thirst for a jug of Gallo detracted markedly from the driving experience. We remembered the joys of driving a sweet-running, 327-equipped mid-year. The wrinkles in our gray matter hold memories of it being better than this--much better than this. Something needed to be done, a complete physical, if you will, to get to the bottom of this small-block's ailments.

A trip to Westech's chassis dyno was just the therapeutic program to recuperate our ailing coupe. We left the session with the 327 revitalized by 25 more rear-wheel horsepower, a 10 percent gain; but that was only part of the tale. The Corvette's crisper response and more agreeable temperament on the road, not to mention newfound thrift, are harder to quantify, but certainly make the call of the road much more gratifying.

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