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Old 06-11-2017, 03:35 PM   #1
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New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Hi everyone! I just purchased a 1995 Z28 A4 LT1 Convertible. Im wanting to achieve somewhere in the 400-450hp range but not sure what is my best options to achieve my goal. Im not very car/mechanic savy, im a contractor by trade but am willing to put in wrench time and learn as i go to help save some costs. I know you'll need some info on the car to help so here goes.
Car has 136k miles on it*
Engine was rebuilt @ 133k (i have paperwork to support)*
I was told the previous owner had a cam installed during build but i can't find that on the build sheet.*
Also told there was a bigger converter installed as well. There again, no idea how to be sure.*
New Opti*
Flowmaster muffler but stock pipes*
Aftermarket cone air filter but on stock intake piping*


Any advice/help on where to go to gain the hp would be appreciated! TIA
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Welcome to CamaroZ28.com ! ! !

Are you looking for 400-450 HP at the flywheel, or at the rear wheels? That's typically about a 17-18% difference through the 4L60E auto trans. The factory 275 HP rating is at the flywheel. Stock engine with auto trans will generally net 230-240 HP at the rear wheels.

Achievable either way with ported factory heads, and a matching cam, specific to your application. Typically need a cold air intake, 52mm throttle body, larger injectors, headers, full 3" catback, PCM tune, depending on whether it's flywheel HP or rear wheel HP.

Will require drivetrain and suspension mods to utilize that amount of power effectively, again depending on how you plan to use it - straight-line drag racing, auto-x/road racing, or just a fun "driver".
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Just looking for a fun driver with the occasional straight line run. This car is a 2nd ride so it might see weekends only. As far as rwhp or flywheel.. doesn't matter. Id like to have it at the wheels but as long as its pretty stout compared to how it is now, im satisfied.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Worth noting that a heads/cam LT1 car at that power level is not to everyone's taste. You could also get there with a supercharger kit, and you'd do so while maintaining a higher level of drivability. It'll probably cost more though.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:30 PM   #5
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Checked into the supercharger route, don't think i want to spend that much on it just yet. Id like to stay under the 4k mark if possible.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Good source of head porting and cam:

http://elliottsportworks.com/

Look over the descriptions of the three levels of head porting, then click on the cam tab to see the cam choices.

Other items, ballpark cost:

1.6X full roller rockers - $250-450
Lifters, pushrods - $125-200
CAI - $150-250
52mm throttle body - $250-350
Larger injectors - $150-350
If fuel pump needed (e.g 450 HP at rear wheels) - $150
PCM tune - $250
Long tube headers/Y-pipe - $400-1,200
3" mandrel bent catback - $350-850

Depending on what stall your current "bigger" converter is, you may need an even higher stall with the higher HP cams, and you may want to consider a set of 3.73:1 rear gears. At 450 rwHP you are probably looking at a 4L60E trans performance rebuild.

Then there are suspension items like tubular rear lower control arms (LCA), LCA relocation brackets, tubular panhard rod, tubular/adjustable torque arm, subframe connectors, upgraded shocks, etc.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:41 PM   #7
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Well, i have an issue. My intake manifold seems to be leaking oil out of the back side next to egr. My question is this, is there a performance upgrade thats worth doing while im going to be doing this fix? To save the hassle of having to tear this intake off again later for any reason?
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:00 PM   #8
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

The intake has to come off to do a cam install.

4th Gen LT1 F-body Cam Removal

4th Gen LT1 F-body Cam Install

..... and to swap heads.

Are you sure the oil isn't leaking from the oil pressure sensor?

http://shbox.com/1/op_sensor.jpg

The intake leak is very common...... but check the sensor first.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:05 PM   #9
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

I originally thought it was a rear main, the oil was found coming out of a weep hole in converter cover. Took cover off and rear main was dry..noticed with a mirror that when car is running i get seepage from back corner of intake where sealant would be. I understand that they only have gaskets on sides and sealant front and rear. Will check pressure valve also but i didnt see any leaks from it. With this motor being rebuilt, i wonder if maybe they started engine too soon and sealant just didn't have enough time cure.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

The typical intake manifold leak can be found by taking a paper towel, reaching behind the intake manifold from the passenger side and wiping the block below the manifold. Typically not near the EGR valve. That's why I suggested you check the oil pressure SENSOR.

Yes, the leak can be caused by failing to wait for the RTV to cure. Also, improper torquing of the manifold, not using dowels in the bolt holes to guide the manifold into place, incorrect RTV, etc.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:56 AM   #11
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

So this morning ive been thoroughly checking back of intake and oil sensor area. I cant find any fresh oil at all. Ran car for about 5 minutes still no leaks seen or felt behind intake. Thats the good news. Bad news is, i pulled out the dipstick to check the oil level and low and behold my dipstick was broken off about 2 inches from the end. Its still down in tube. How in the world can this be fixed without taking oil pan off? And will it hurt to run/drive the car ?
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Broken off 2" from WHICH end? Hopefully you mean the top/handle.

If so, pull the tube. One bolt holding it to the block. I've done it with engine in car, doing a header install. Put a strong magnet on the tube so the blade of the stick will not somehow slide into the oil pan.

If it's the bottom end, it's probably no longer in the tube.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:15 AM   #13
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Re: New Toy, looking for advice on upgrades

Unfortunately it was the bottom end of the dipstick and im afraid its right at the end of tube if not already in oil pan. I went and bought a cherry picker (engine hoist) to lift motor to give clearance to get pan out. It looks to be a bit of a task so im not thrilled to start on it just yet lol. I thought about trying to pull tube to see uf im lucky enough to find dipstick end but if u break it, im prepared to pull pan also
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