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Old 10-29-2008, 10:48 PM   #1
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Question How'* money best spent?

Alright, it'* been a while since I've last posted here because I've been preoccupied with a 2nd car I bought.

Here'* the situation. I've had my 2000 Bonneville Se for what is going on 2 years now in January. I can't remember if my warranty is for two or three years at the moment, but I had the itch for a performance project and I knew I was in warranty on the Bonne so I bought a 1985 Firebird with a 2.8 V6 to a 5.0L LG4 305 V8 swap done by another owner. I bought the Firebird in I think April or May and this car has been a pain cuz I don't know if the guy who did the swap knew what he was doing. Today I just parked the Firebird for the winter.

Keep in mind that I didn't spend much money on the Firebird but the body is low mileage and in pretty good shape inside and out for an '85. But, I have the cash I wanted to save up for doing performance mods and I'm torn between doing them to the Bonne and the Bird. I bought the Firebird partially because the parts for those cars and small block V8'* are usually cheaper than 3800 L36 engines and because I didn't want to void my warranty on my Bonne because it'* my daily driver to work which is not close.

I've heard some really nice 3800'* but I don't know where my money will go the furthest here. I know my Bonne is an L36 and the Firebird is a slow LG4 "boat anchor" 305. I've seen some nice power increases from both though.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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I guess it really depends on how much you want to spend. You can install headers, but that will run you over $700 for a good set. You can install rockers, that will run you $400 or so, but I know of a few for sale around $200. You can do a intense PCM update for about $100. Changing your air intake would be a good idea, price varies depending on how you do it. Without a supercharger your some what limited on what you can do, but you can still get a fair amount of kick.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:45 PM   #4
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I have a few grand to mess around with but I guess I'm more interested in bang for the buck. I will not be supercharging the car because I don't want to get into swapping a HD tranny like the ssei'* have as I've heard suggested.

I absolutely don't want to spend over $500 on something to see around 5hp gain.

I work with a guy who did a corsa exhaust cat back on his grand prix, not sure if something like that does much or not? Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe that the exhaust is really that restrictive on the Bonneville'* from my understanding.

Some things I've thought of doing were either gutting the airbox or installing a cone filter, however not a cold air intake because my friend'* flodded his engine with water in storm we had. PCM mods are a possibility, headers might be if I'd see that great of a gain, possibly a less restrictive muffler. Rockers might be in too, I have no idea how to install those though. I'm not against learning how to install new things, I just can't have the Bonne off the road for periods of time.

I mean my Firebird'* 305 is only rated at around 140hp but the torque is not as bad and it seems like it might be easier to free up HP and Torque with the 305 because most of the loss is just due to emissions junk.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:12 AM   #5
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Gutting the air box is a good start. A cam would give you a nice kick, but the price on that is a bit high, the cam, springs, rockers, chain, and gaskets will be about a grand. But installing it is a lot of work. The exhaust on a Bonneville is nice and open. It'* a 2.5" exhaust. The manifolds are restrictive and installing a powerlog on the front may be your best bang for a buck on the exhaust work.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danthurs View Post
Gutting the air box is a good start. A cam would give you a nice kick, but the price on that is a bit high, the cam, springs, rockers, chain, and gaskets will be about a grand. But installing it is a lot of work. The exhaust on a Bonneville is nice and open. It'* a 2.5" exhaust. The manifolds are restrictive and installing a powerlog on the front may be your best bang for a buck on the exhaust work.

I'd love to cam the car. I've heard some nice clips on 3800'* camed on youtube but nobody wants to do that kind of work here. I talked with a shop the other day about caming my 305 and they didn't want the job. Doing the springs, rockers, and gaskets....is there any heads I could buy that are already a good combo for performance?
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:29 AM   #7
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You can change your springs and rockers with the heads still on the car. That'* how I did mine. Takes between 4 and 6 hours depending on your skill level.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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get your PCM reflashed....that will free up some HP, as well its not expensive, throttle response will sharpen as will the higher shift points, clearly best bang for the buck...then do the airbox....cat back is fairly inexpensive...after that things become more expensvie depending on your plans
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:09 PM   #9
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #10
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will those headers in the link work on bonnevilles? Also, mine isn't supercharged and the link says it'* for supercharged applications.

Last edited by Nashville Cowboy; 11-13-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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