Life is like a board game; forward progress is determined by small amounts of skill and large amounts of luck. Whether it's a roll of the dice or a spin of the wheel, your fate is left to chance. Some say your actions dictate your future, while others believe life is what you make it. No matter which way you view life, Lady Luck plays a large part. All we can do is enjoy ourselves, live within our means, and wait for those occasional streaks of good luck to come along
For motorheads, things are slightly different. We may try to live within our means, follow a budget, and save whatever extra cash Lady Luck may bring our way, but our addiction often conflicts. "What addiction?" you may ask. No matter the situation (good, bad or indifferent) all will be shoved to the side in order to keep our hot rods in tip-top-shape. "So what if the mortgage is due-I have a race this weekend!" Sound familiar?
In last month's issue of (Sept. '07) we introduced Part 1 of our Performance Pack Picks. These picks were based on a $1,500 budget, and many options were displayed. In Part 2, we're upping the ante to $5,000. We're offering this information to help assist in getting the most for your dollar. Hopefully these examples will help keep you within your budget, along with keeping your significant other off your tail. As always, research all items before making the final purchase.
So you want to step into the 21st century, but can't stand to be bothered with fuel injection. GM Performance Parts has provided you with the best of both worlds.
GMPP's LS 364/440 crate engine (part number 17802134) can provide you with today's technology in horsepower and efficiency, while bolting on your trusty old four-barrel carburetor. Additional items are necessary to retrofit this 364-cid animal into your ride, such as an aftermarket spark controller, or an LS Front Drive Distributor Kit.
Coming in at an approximate price of $4,980, this would make a great start to any project.
* 440 horsepower
* 10.9:1 compression
* 6-bolts mains
* LS6-style cylinder heads
* 500/.500-inch lift camshaft
* Powdered-metal rods
* Nodular iron crankshaft
GM Performance Parts
Phone: (800) GM-USE-US
Ever consider swapping out that automatic transmission or Muncie 4-speed for a fun to drive 5-speed? Classic Chevy 5-Speed has the answer to your craving. A complete kit can be had for just about any Classic Chevy out there. When we say complete, we mean it. No unexpected trips to the parts store.
Pictured here is the popular Elite Tremec TKO-600 street kit for 1967-1981 Camaros. Kits are available in many options, whether it's a complete swap, or a simple upgrade. This particular unit is capable of handling up to 600 lb-ft of torque. That's pretty stout for a street kit. This complete kit checks in at $3,595 minus the offset shifter, which will run you an additional $295. The optional offset shifter will allow you to retain the stock shifter location. Additional upgrades include a McLeod Strip Comp clutch at $435, a McLeod SFI scattershield (steel bellhousing) for an additional $195-and, if you're converting from an automatic, a complete clutch/brake pedal and linkage kit for $350. That brings our total to around $4,870. Not bad for some virtually bulletproof fun.
Classic Chevy 5-Speed
Maybe old school Chevy big-block power is what you're after. You ponder as to what to do with that tired old 454. After weighing the costs of rebuilding and upgrading your current powerplant, you could've already had a race-ready 572-inch short-block on its way from World Products.
World can build you a 468- to 632-inch big-block, using its virtually indestructible Merlin block as the foundation. Most short-blocks come with a high- or low-compression option, depending on your needs. With a price tag of $4,899, be sure to weigh all options before rebuilding that tired-old short-block.
* High-density cast iron
* 10.2-inch deck height
* Priority main oiling
* Nodular, splayed 4-bolt mains
* Manley forged pistons
* Eagle 4340-forged crank
* Eagle H-beam rods
* Race shop assembly
So, you've been running big-block power for a few years now, and the excitement just isn't there anymore. Maybe some forced induction is what you need to refuel the fire. Weiand can help.
We chose Weiand's 8-71 Pro-Street supercharger kit (part number 7186P). This Roots-style blower is available in a satin or polished finish. The 8-71 is built using all new cases, end plates, manifold and snout. The rotors are reconditioned GM 3-lobe pieces, re-engineered to handle high-rpm conditions-producing 5-7 pounds on big-block engines out of the box. Kits are also available for small-block Chevys. Different size pulleys can be installed for additional boost. Approximate pricing checks in at $3,049 for the polished kit.
To complement our new blower, a set of Holley 750-cfm carburetors was chosen (part# 0-80576S). These particular units are specifically designed for use on Roots-style blown engines. These carburetors offer a shiny finish for the show crowd, along with an easy-to-tune, four-corner idle system and replaceable air bleeds for the race oriented. These blower-specific units check in at around $725.95 each.
In order to feed the dual-quads we chose Weiand's 2x4 air scoop (part number 7221). Not only does the polished unit look great, it also increases air intake to feed the needs of your Rat. Estimated cost is $245.95.
We've additionally chosen a carburetor linkage kit, which will also be necessary. Weiand offers two options, depending on the configuration of your atomizers (inline or side-by-side). Estimated cost starts around $175.95, bringing our total package to around $4,922.80. Whether it's show or go, Weiand may be your answer to supercharged supremacy.
(Note: Due to a wide variety of installation possibilities, additional modifications may be necessary. Contact Weiand for assistance before purchase.)
As you sit and stare, trying to decide what you're going to do with that cruddy old subframe in your '67-69 Camaro, many thoughts come to mind. We say: Throw it out!
Heidt's Hot Rod Shop recently announced its new bolt-on Camaro/Nova subframe with Pro-G suspension.
This subframe was designed to bolt directly in place with no floor modifications. With true race car geometry in mind, this unit was designed for absolute handling and performance. Components included with the subframe are: upper and lower tubular control arms, Heidt's billet adjustable coilovers, 11-inch brakes, tall dropped spindles, and rack-and-pinion.
Pricing for the base kit checks in at $3,695. Additional options available include, but are not limited to: polished stainless control arms for an additional $649, power rack-and-pinion for an additional $150, adjustable transmission crossmember for $149, urethane body mount kit for $89, steering hook-up kit for $199, and a 1 1/4-inch performance sway bar kit for $249. Depending on your needs, this would be a great addition to your ride, while keeping within budget. Contact Heidt's for further options.
Heidt's Hot Rod Shop
Tired of that old worn-out leaf spring suspension? Has traction been a hard commodity to come by? Detroit Speed and Engineering has just what the doctor ordered.
DSE sells a complete Quadra Link Kit. This kit includes all that is needed to convert to a 4-link suspension. Whether you like to carve the corners, or feed the need for straight-line speed, this kit can accommodate. The complete Quadra Link kit is $2,195.
In order to complement the new Quadra Link Kit, we chose DSE's complete 9-inch rear, which is completely TIG-welded and comes with Quadra Link brackets pre-welded to the housing. This rear comes complete with a Truetrac differential, 1350 yoke, 31-spline axles, 1/2-inch studs, and can be narrowed to any width desired. Although many options can be had (including a GM 12-bolt rear), the complete unit listed checks in at $2,470.
Recently DSE announced its new deep tubs. The deep tubs are designed to replace your old rear wheelwells, with a wider unit capable of accommodating a 335mm (13.19-inch) wide tire. The deep tub is designed for a perfect fit while retaining a stock appearance. Stamped from 18-gauge steel, the mini-tubs alone check in at $399 a pair, thus bringing our total package price to $5,064, a tad over our budget (and there is some cutting and welding required). But we just got a lot of honey for our money.
Quadra Link Features:
* DSE's exclusive "Swivel-Link" technology
* High durometer bushings
* Better pinion angle control
* Anti-squat geometry
* Panhard bar for lateral control
* Coilover shocks/springs for tuneability
Detroit Speed & Engineering
For you forced-induction junkies, there is Vortech's V-2 SQ S-Trim High Output supercharger system. Vortech has GM applications extending from carbureted big-blocks all the way to your daily driven Suburban (try talking your wife into that one).
Pictured here is Vortech's LT1 system with optional MaxFlow Power Cooler. This particular kit comes complete with all necessary fuel management hardware and can easily increase horsepower levels from 275 to 385 and torque from 330 lb-ft to 395 lb-ft. Not bad for a weekend project.
The LT1 kit checks in at around $4,500 (minus the Power Cooler). If your budget allows, Vortech carries a wide array of systems for LS powered engines. No matter which route you take, the possibilities are endless.
V-2 SQ S-Trim Features:
* Near-silent operation
* Highly efficient impeller design
* Bracketry for "factory-like" installation
* 50-state smog legal
* 3-year warranty on most street systems
* 100 percent complete kits
Vortech Engineering, LLC