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Old 05-11-2004, 01:11 AM   #1
TA79Kid
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need help with 79 Trans am upgrades for most Horsepower

Hey guys

I drive a 79 trans am 301c.i. 4.9L 100% stock

What are some of the things you guys would recommend that i could put into my car that could boost my hp a lot. Right now my car is all stock and i read that my engine is only pushing like 150horsepower. Also what type of Engines would be able to fit in my car w/o to many problems(if i can scrape up some money to buy one) Or if it would just be better to put hedders and new exhaust and take off the muffler and try to make other improvements to the engine

So if you guys could help me out here that would be great!

also if you would like to Instant Message me my name is TA79Kid and my emails is TA79Kid@hotmail.com
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:11 AM   #2
cinqyg
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well if you have the money then a new engine would be better, there should be loads of room in there, they fitted a 440 big block in the same engine bay so i dont see why something like a LT1 or something along those lines wouldnt help, the other advantage, is that tuning parts for that engine are so pleantiful and really cheap. For ~300 horses you could pull one out of a smahed up camero or vette.

Doubled your power with a trip to the scrappy.

Its posible to get alot out of these engines, just becareful if you want to drive it on the road that you end up with a driveable power curve.

with NO2 ported heads, chiped and maped you could get ~550-600bhp cost about $5k if you get some body to do all the work for you probibly get it down to $3k if you did the work yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TA79Kid
Hey guys

I drive a 79 trans am 301c.i. 4.9L 100% stock

What are some of the things you guys would recommend that i could put into my car that could boost my hp a lot. Right now my car is all stock and i read that my engine is only pushing like 150horsepower. Also what type of Engines would be able to fit in my car w/o to many problems(if i can scrape up some money to buy one) Or if it would just be better to put hedders and new exhaust and take off the muffler and try to make other improvements to the engine

So if you guys could help me out here that would be great!

also if you would like to Instant Message me my name is TA79Kid and my emails is TA79Kid@hotmail.com
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinqyg
well if you have the money then a new engine would be better, there should be loads of room in there, they fitted a 440 big block in the same engine bay so i dont see why something like a LT1 or something along those lines wouldnt help, the other advantage, is that tuning parts for that engine are so pleantiful and really cheap. For ~300 horses you could pull one out of a smahed up camero or vette.

Doubled your power with a trip to the scrappy.

Its posible to get alot out of these engines, just becareful if you want to drive it on the road that you end up with a driveable power curve.

with NO2 ported heads, chiped and maped you could get ~550-600bhp cost about $5k if you get some body to do all the work for you probibly get it down to $3k if you did the work yourself.
He said what can he put in his engine, not engine bay


Please disregard everything this guy told you. If you want better performance, upgrade your FI, ignition system, exhaust system. If you want more power maybe you could fit a turbo charger on, and a cooler. If you want more power(which you said you did), then your going to have to do the performance upgrades to see the real difference.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:29 PM   #4
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First of all, the 301 was and always will be a dog. It suffers from low compression, bad heads, thin cylinder walls and a very weak bottom end. The Turbo was good for around 210 hp. Decent torque though at around 340 lb ft. That being said lets assess your situation. If you current engine is getting tired anyway then get a Chevy 350. They put them in some T/As and they are cheap and plentiful. Performance upgrades are readily available. As far as the 440. Pontiac got in enough trouble putting in Olds and Chevy engines in Firebird, I don’t think they would have stole from Mopar. If you go with a big block you have to start worrying about suspension and cooling issues. Also, with a big HP boost you will need to get a better tranny than the factory Turbo 250 that came in the non turbo birds. I’m not sure about the rear end strength. If your engine is in good shape you can go the intake/ exhaust route but I would stay away from the turbo. The factory turbo engines were different than the non turbo. They had beefed up parts to handle the boost.
Just my thoughts
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Old 05-11-2004, 05:04 PM   #5
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The 350 is a good choice as you can get the mounts from that engine in a camaro, and it'll be a bolt in. The 400 that was available in the Trans Am is a bit pricey and hard to locate, and costs to build up. The 403 Olds engine that most 6.6 liter Trans Ams had in '78-79 is actually pretty cheap to make fast, though while they are cheap to buy, actually finding one might be hard. It's also no heavier than the 350 Chevy or 301 Pontiac engine, so it won't hurt handling, espeically if you have the WS6 handling package already.

The 301 is going to always be a dog. The factory turbo versions are better, and can be easily made to make a lot of power (a small set of vice grips on the mechanical wastegate lever, turned 90 degrees, ups the boost and power rather easily)
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:11 PM   #6
cinqyg
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I dont think that the point of the question was how to upgrade the engine, more pitched at how do i get more power, seems to me that people agree that its a nasty engine, so why dont we go for a chevy small block?


[quote=my67falcon] First of all, the 301 was and always will be a dog. It suffers from low compression, bad heads, thin cylinder walls and a very weak bottom end. The Turbo was good for around 210 hp. Decent torque though at around 340 lb ft.


seems to make sence to every one else. you dont like it cuz its not MOPAR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DodgeRida67
He said what can he put in his engine, not engine bay


Please disregard everything this guy told you. If you want better performance, upgrade your FI, ignition system, exhaust system. If you want more power maybe you could fit a turbo charger on, and a cooler. If you want more power(which you said you did), then your going to have to do the performance upgrades to see the real difference.
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:37 PM   #7
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Well now i know i have to drop the 301c.i. it sucks for power and seems like it wasnt biult worth anything so ill try to find a new engine and put some new mods on

Thier is a guy selling a 1972 Grand Prix with a 403 in it for about $1,000 Do you think it would be a good idea for me to just buy that car and strip it for the engine and then put my 301c.i. in that car and sell it off or is thier any more parts in that car i could use or would it be better just to buy a complete new engine and not have to worry about the other engine having problems

also since my car is all stock do you think it would be a good idea if i were to buy H-pipes or X-pipes? also should i just cut off the muffler or go with flow masters? and where could i get some nice headers for a good price?

Also by the way my car is an Auto transmission (sucks i know) and it has 77,000 miles on it.
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Old 05-12-2004, 01:17 AM   #8
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I dont like auto's but they are easier to handle on every day drives which large touques and HP as you not having to operate the clutch which can really get you down in traffic, becuase its either longer than your grannys legs or so hevy it feels like your helping the druids put stone hendge together. probibly not the right one for the job though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TA79Kid
Well now i know i have to drop the 301c.i. it sucks for power and seems like it wasnt biult worth anything so ill try to find a new engine and put some new mods on

Thier is a guy selling a 1972 Grand Prix with a 403 in it for about $1,000 Do you think it would be a good idea for me to just buy that car and strip it for the engine and then put my 301c.i. in that car and sell it off or is thier any more parts in that car i could use or would it be better just to buy a complete new engine and not have to worry about the other engine having problems

also since my car is all stock do you think it would be a good idea if i were to buy H-pipes or X-pipes? also should i just cut off the muffler or go with flow masters? and where could i get some nice headers for a good price?

Also by the way my car is an Auto transmission (sucks i know) and it has 77,000 miles on it.
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Old 05-12-2004, 01:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinqyg
I dont like auto's but they are easier to handle on every day drives which large touques and HP as you not having to operate the clutch which can really get you down in traffic, becuase its either longer than your grannys legs or so hevy it feels like your helping the druids put stone hendge together. probibly not the right one for the job though.
You make it sound like your holding in the clutch for more than 1 second.
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Old 05-12-2004, 01:39 AM   #10
cinqyg
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jams here m8e are often rolling ones but between 0-5mph so you cant avoid the holding the clutch. Cliffy will back me up, traveling from guildford to rickmansworth your left leg/knee, will feel like its just run a maration, especially if your driving something tempremental that requires double declutching, or a high torque yank tank.
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You make it sound like your holding in the clutch for more than 1 second.
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Old 05-12-2004, 03:26 PM   #11
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It’s a lot easier to go with another auto when swapping. I’ve owned a “77 T/A with auto and a 400 / “80 T/A with auto and 4.9 (when I lost a race against an old guy and his grandson in a station wagon it had to go) and a “77 Formula with a 350 and 4 spd. I’d have to admit that the 4 spd Formula was much more fun to drive. If the 403 is a good engine and the tranny is good it may work out for you. I’m not a GM expert, but I was under the assumption that the 403 was made from 1977 to 1979. Am I wrong? Could the engine be a 400 or a 455? Also, the original post asked what he could do to boost power and what type of engines he could swap in. I believe the “upgrade the engine” came into play when he said “Or if it would just be better to put headers and new exhaust and take off the muffler and try to make other improvements to the engine” That’s why we mentioned the weakness’ of the 301.
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Old 05-12-2004, 06:59 PM   #12
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The '73 shouldn't be a 403 in stock form. In fact, those years it wasn't sharing Olds engines, so it woud have had a 400 or 45 in stock form, which are different than the Olds engines. Regardless, the factory parts are available to bolt whatever engine it is into the Trans Am, as the F body had Olds, Pontiac and Chevy engines in it from 6 cyls up to 455s at one point or another.

While you should match the engine and trans together, the BOP bolt pattern should be the same so the trans from one should bolt to the engine of another. Chevy bolt patterns are differnt, so you can only use them with chevy engines, and vice versa (yo'd have to get a differnt trans than you have to use a Chevy engine).

The automatic will be fine. Install a B&M shift improver kit in it and you'll have firm, fast shifts that you control, while still having automatic operation for use in traffic.

My 403 powered Trans Am was a '78, but most of th einfo applies, as I built mine like the pair of '79s that were also in my sports car club. Headers and true dual exhaust (but an H pipe is ok), a rejet kit for the Quadrajet 4 bbl, and a distributor recurve kit. Dial all those in and with no other changes you can make a 16 second car be a low 14 second car even with the stock 2.43 rear end gears. With 3.0s or 3.23s, that same combo runs low 13s. All for just those three engine mods to a 403. Add a small shot of nitrous, and you can dip into the 12s for very little money.

I didn't believe it at first, but since it worked on both those other Trans Ams, then on mine, I'm sold.
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Old 05-12-2004, 07:16 PM   #13
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Well the person i was going to buy that grand prix from happens to have just left for about 1 1/2 months down to Arizona so im not even going to try and wait for him to get back to buy the car and thats assuming i could get it for that price so im just going to try and find a decent engine and a new transmision and then try to get more performance out of it becouse i dont see the use of adding mods to my 301 if eventually im going to get rid of it. So if any one knows if it would be a good idea if i should just drop a chevy 350 in and get a new transmission or would my transmission still work for the new engine? and if you guys know about how much this all might cost me so i have some idea how much i might have to spend/save up that would be awesome

thank you very much so far for all of your help
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Old 05-12-2004, 09:48 PM   #14
cinqyg
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You could mostlikely get a bell housing which would fit the 350 to your existing tranny, but its up to you, in the main mechanicals on a car are the easy bit to fix as most people can get them right with a limited amount of skill and alot of persitance, body work is another kettle of fish. I would think that you should be able to find a rot box with a nice 350 in, think about how many 350 units have been produced, in one form or another its been running for 35-40 years


the guys in the states would be much better qualifed to where you would source one from, but i am sure that ifyou look around the net then you will be able to find lots of places.


have look at this its a good read even if your not into rods http://www.hotrodscustomstuff.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by TA79Kid
Well the person i was going to buy that grand prix from happens to have just left for about 1 1/2 months down to Arizona so im not even going to try and wait for him to get back to buy the car and thats assuming i could get it for that price so im just going to try and find a decent engine and a new transmision and then try to get more performance out of it becouse i dont see the use of adding mods to my 301 if eventually im going to get rid of it. So if any one knows if it would be a good idea if i should just drop a chevy 350 in and get a new transmission or would my transmission still work for the new engine? and if you guys know about how much this all might cost me so i have some idea how much i might have to spend/save up that would be awesome

thank you very much so far for all of your help
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Old 05-12-2004, 10:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TA79Kid
Well the person i was going to buy that grand prix from happens to have just left for about 1 1/2 months down to Arizona so im not even going to try and wait for him to get back to buy the car and thats assuming i could get it for that price so im just going to try and find a decent engine and a new transmision and then try to get more performance out of it becouse i dont see the use of adding mods to my 301 if eventually im going to get rid of it. So if any one knows if it would be a good idea if i should just drop a chevy 350 in and get a new transmission or would my transmission still work for the new engine? and if you guys know about how much this all might cost me so i have some idea how much i might have to spend/save up that would be awesome

thank you very much so far for all of your help

As I said, you can get factory mounts for the 350 in that chassis, as it's very much a Camaro. And since the 350 is going to most likely be a Chevy motor, you need a Chevy trans to go with. It's pretty easy to get an engine/trans combo as a unit out of a parts car or as a unit from a private party.

Look in your local convenience store that carries Auto Traders. there shoudl be a magazine on the same rack called Buy&Sell, or Want Ad Weekly, or something like that. In there will be all sorts of good deals on automotive parts. Look in not just the auto parts, but in the parting out sections, truck sections, etc. Often you can find complete running engines for under $400, and good used transmissions for under $100.
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