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86 454 Smog engine, UPGRADE

 
tyhoppy
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 18
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 04/30/10 08:53 AM

I'm posting this because my friend and I are wondering what the best way to make his engine run better.  Here's the rundown:

It's an 86 1-ton Dump truck, 4 speed, 4:10 gears.
Looking for more power, it seems gutless, as well as fuel mileage.

Budget is $500 - $800.

All ideas are welcome!  Thanks.  

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 5119
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/30/10 09:13 AM

Some headers and an aluminum intake manifold is a good start. Then tune the carb and dist to match. That should fit the budget. Smile  
idrivejunk

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tyhoppy
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 18
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 04/30/10 09:32 AM

Would a head swap or a cam help as well?  

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
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Posted: 04/30/10 09:49 AM

Certainly, but you don't have that much money. A cam kit could be in the budget but makes little sense unless the items I mentioned are already in place. Does it have dual exhaust already, or is it a single pipe with a catalytic converter?  
idrivejunk

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tyhoppy
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 18
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 04/30/10 09:53 AM

Dual exhaust, no cats.  

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
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Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/30/10 10:16 AM

Yeah I'd go with headers, intake, and re-tuning then. Be patient and wait for an engine guy to pass through. He doesn't even come close to having head money. You might also consider just doing headers, no intake, and cam swap. Thats a lot more work and a lot more that can go wrong, and still won't get you much. If he ain't scared of the work, have the heads and intake milled and use thin head gaskets (check piston to valve clearance) then change cams and put headers on (and re-tune the carb and dist).

Does your friend just want to say his truck "has a cam", or what? Its a friggin dump truck and the factory cam is made for max torque, which is what he needs. Laugh  
idrivejunk

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tyhoppy
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 18
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 04/30/10 10:34 AM

Neither of us are scared of the work.  He just want's more power.  (It has no balls)  I wasn't sure if there was a cam that would be better for that setup or not.  What do you recommend for an intake and headers?  Is the an intake designed for lower to mid RPM?  I was thinking if I could find a set of factory heads that flow better on the cheap we could swap them out.  I know those smog heads suck.  I'm a SBC guy myself, I don't know which casting numbers, runner leng, or combustion chamber size is best for the Big block, especially when you need lower to mid range power.  

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 5119
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/30/10 11:48 AM

Theres a good many BBC fans on here, "the rat pack" LOL. I have only had a couple of stockers, a 402 and 454. Give it awhile until the gang passes thru, someone will have some other suggestions.

They are gonna want your head casting numbers though, so call your friend. Laugh  
idrivejunk

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Skylark
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
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Posted: 04/30/10 11:55 AM

find a good cheap eddy duel plane intake,if it has the q-jet carb, build it.good used set of headers (for full size P.U. I assume).Leave the heads alone if the truck is for work leave the cam alone as well.wether or not you change the cam go ahead and change to a new timing chain and rebuild the distrebuterplugs and wires.thats about 400-500 bucks there.intake 100 headers 100 carb build 75 dist build 100 timing chain 45 plugs and wires 75.you will notice this differance and fuel milage should improve  

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Pontiacman2
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Joined: 09/08
Posted: 04/30/10 02:40 PM

+1  
Pontiacman2
Pontiacman2

Professional Hi-performance engine builder

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tuffnuff
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Posts: 7841
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/30/10 02:58 PM

+2
No point going with heads unless you're going to seal off the rings,,, can't rering unless you rebearing.
Taper in the cylinders means a bore and new pistons.
SO,,, as pointed out above,,, The Junkman and The Lark set you on the straight and narrow,,, for $800.
Do it and you'll notice a big difference in performance and economy.
Don't ignore the distributor,,, or it's almost all,,, a waste of time.
Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
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Posted: 04/30/10 03:36 PM

+me  Cool  
idrivejunk

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Dave632
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
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Joined: 07/08
Posted: 04/30/10 06:10 PM

I was just wondering if the truck has the peanut port heads on it. Those things make good boat anchors. You may be able to find some good used regular oval port heads. I used to just about give them away when I aquired a set as they are not much good for real high performance. You would still need the proper intake for those heads.  
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chevelle83
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2280
Joined: 11/09
Posted: 04/30/10 06:54 PM

I simply added a edelbrock performer intake, full length headers.  a brand new quadrajet carb, accel race wires, and bumped the timing up a tad. This made my 1985 one ton 454 truck run a whole lot better.  
 
 Keep in mind these engines had about 8.5 or lower compression so DO NOT OVER CAM IT!!  

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ethelkilledfred-#001
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1371
Joined: 03/10
Posted: 05/01/10 03:27 AM

Icon Quotetyhoppy:
I'm posting this because my friend and I are wondering what the best way to make his engine run better.  Here's the rundown:

It's an 86 1-ton Dump truck, 4 speed, 4:10 gears.
Looking for more power, it seems gutless, as well as fuel mileage.

Budget is $500 - $800.

All ideas are welcome!  Thanks.


I had an 80's dually with a 454. It ran 22's in the quarter. I bracket raced a couple of times when the race car broke and we were at the track were not about to go home with out racing. I put the basics, A K&N air filter, Moroso open air cleaner, recurved the dist, added an MSD 5 and had the Quad carb reworked by Val Hedworth. The motor still ran everything else stock including the heads and exhust. It went 19's and got better mileage, not great mileage, but better.  
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