Lotta questions about what I want to do to my '77 Delta 88 - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning Talk about modifications, or anything else associated with performance enhancements. Have a new idea for performance/reliability? Post it here. No idea is stupid! (please use Detailing and Appearance for cosmetic ideas)

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Old 08-23-2014, 01:28 AM   #11
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I've often wondered how the LS guys put those computer based engines in old boats like yours. Problem is, your cluster is mechanical/electrical. Your speedometer is mechanical vs a VSS on a 4L60E. Surely it will drop right in with the correct mounts. But "seeing" the speed, RPM, oil pressure, voltage etc is going to be way different.
Gauges aren't really an issue, I'm sure I can rig up something. I'd hate to ditch the stock gauges, but Jegs and Summit have a fairly affordable $300-ish digital drop in panel that should work with that, and mostly fit in my dashboard with few modifications. It'* a little narrower, and a little shorter than the stock cluster, but that makes it easier to fit in. I just wish they came in Cyan 'cause that would look like the 80'* digital dashboards. Heck, mess with me and I might find a way to make one of those crazy airplane style Pontiac gauge clusters work, I know where there is one in the junkyard in a Pontiac 6000. You should've seen the look on my face when I saw that it was a Pontiac 6000, I was thinking it was a Grand Am / Prix / Something along those lines. I never even knew they existed, and this one is nothing special except for its digital gauge package.

Jegs 5 gauge digital dash:

JEGS Performance Products 41620 JEGS New Digital Gauge Panels - Free Shipping on All Orders @ JEGS

Jegs 6 gauge digital dash:

JEGS Performance Products 41625 JEGS New Digital Gauge Panels - Free Shipping on All Orders @ JEGS

Summit has the gauges in several colors now, that'* new to me, here'* a link to 'em in 5 and 6 gauge fashion, I prefer the 6 gauge 'cause it has a tach, digital tach'* are fun.

http://www.summitracing.com/search/b...*?autoview=SKU

I'm thinking the green would be the best fit, 'cause, like I said, retro. Even though I favor the color blue much more.

As for some older cars, like Camaro'*, they make drop in gauge clusters that look factory, but are, in fact, digital / electronic. My car has little aftermarket except what will swap over mechanically from a Caprice and some A / G bodies, which fortunately seems to be a mechanical brake system. I'd love to ditch my booster, it doesn't really do its job that well, and my engine never seems to have enough vacuum. If I stop hard the car stalls. Did that today trying to avoid knocking the crap out of a CRV that took a left in front of me while I was doing 30. Brakes, check, horn, check, foul language out the window aimed at the reckless driver, check, stalled car from braking hard, check, more foul language as I throw the car into park and restart it, check, accidentally pull a one wheel peel while pulling off in anger, check.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
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The problem with those is, for the speedometer, its telling you to remove the mechanical cable and install the included electronic sensor. The PCM that controls the engine AND transmission needs to have that VSS that came with the transmission. UNLESS, the new cluster can work with the VSS already in the transmission. The PCM needs to know how fast the car is going so it knows when to shift.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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you just tee off the speed sensor for speed input, i think they are adjustable and will take whatever you put in. i just use a gps for speed. they also have gps speedometer sensors if you are trying to put something mechanical into some mechanical car. but if you put a newer engine and trans they already have all that you just need to run the obd2 cable in the car when you do the conversion and you can see everything with a phone or tablet or one of those obd2 multigauges.


you try putting a vacuum reserve can in, most of the emissions era cars have one. at least gms
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:37 PM   #14
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You can get tail housing kits that have provisions for a speedo cable.
SHIFTWORKS - Mechanical Speedometer Tail Housing Kits
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:36 PM   #15
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You can get tail housing kits that have provisions for a speedo cable.
SHIFTWORKS - Mechanical Speedometer Tail Housing Kits

That'* pretty cool, did not know about that. I've lined up buying a car that I can get around in while I do work to mine, and maybe fix up after. It'* a 92 Caprice with an L03 and 125k-ish miles. Hey, if I wanted to drive something other than a boat, I would, so why drive anything other than one while my primary battleship is off the road?
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:41 PM   #16
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I like mikes idea better. The vortec head swap to an older 350 chevy engine is a very cheap way to go and you will see amazing results. Im personally planning a head swap this fall to my 86 truck. But if your still wanting to go fuel injection screw the 4.8 and go with the 5.3 or better yet a 6.0 liter. A set of drive gears rated at 3.73 are goin to be your best bet. Ditch the 3 spd you will never get the fuel mileage. Taller tires will also help. And a word of advice the Q-jet carb will get the best mileage of any carb.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:31 PM   #17
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I've changed my approach to this a little bit, fuel economy isn't as big of an issue, I'm gonna be buying a '92 Caprice with an L03 5.0 w/ 126k original miles on it in about a month, so that can be the fuel efficient car. I was planning on getting some runabout I didn't care about, but I found the Caprice, so that works out great. I can still captain a boat around while I fix my other boat.

For the record, this is the same engine as mine, except it'* sold under a GM Performance badge, instead of a Goodwrench badge.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/na...7353/overview/

So, you can see the cam sucks, the compression is very low, the heads are laughable, and it'* basically a mundane stock pre-emission control engine. But it'* 21 years and 150-160k miles old.

So in short, I've decided to keep it simple and rebuild or replace the engine I have, how would y'all go about this? Absolute ceiling would be about 3k in the engine.

Alternatively, with my budget being what it is, would replacing the engine with one of these not be a better buy?

GM Performance 290HP 350:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/na...9529/overview/

blueprint 355CI 310HP engine:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ml...make/chevrolet

And at the top of the budget this slightly modified version of the engine I have, sold by Pace:

PACE Performance -GMP-10067353-1 - PACE 350 Engine Package


So yeah, with the options available, what do y'all think? Rebuild or replace? It'* coming out soon 'cause of the way the transmission is acting, which is another reason I'm getting that Caprice.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:27 PM   #18
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performance parts are expensive. i think it would be cheaper to have your engine and trans rebuilt, higher compression, the th350 is the cheapest to build and that will likely be 1000 plus a converter. you likely need 355 or 342 gears your stock ones are likely in the 270 neighborhood. a holley 750 is probably 400 and an intake. your looking over 4 grand.

a 4.8 or 5.3 is over 300hp, maybe 500-800 for the engine/w sensors and wiring/pcm, 1500 for a rebuilt 4l60, 4-500 for adapters 2-300 for a fuel pump, maybe 200 to have the pcm tuned for retrofit. then you can go with 3.73 gears or 4.10 with an overdrive. seems a bit cheaper.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:17 AM   #19
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performance parts are expensive. i think it would be cheaper to have your engine and trans rebuilt, higher compression, the th350 is the cheapest to build and that will likely be 1000 plus a converter. you likely need 355 or 342 gears your stock ones are likely in the 270 neighborhood. a holley 750 is probably 400 and an intake. your looking over 4 grand.

a 4.8 or 5.3 is over 300hp, maybe 500-800 for the engine/w sensors and wiring/pcm, 1500 for a rebuilt 4l60, 4-500 for adapters 2-300 for a fuel pump, maybe 200 to have the pcm tuned for retrofit. then you can go with 3.73 gears or 4.10 with an overdrive. seems a bit cheaper.
I was never informed of this response, either way, I know it won't be cheap, but I can get an engine from pace performance, a GM Performance 350 that is pretty much ready to drop in for $3,300. On the other hand I could easily update the fuel tank to a 90'* style EFI tank (Even if it means modifying the trunk pan a bit to clear the fuel pump) since the frames are the same under the cars. Either way, I'm going to be in it about 5k between the engine and trans. If I keep the 350, I was thinking of going for a TH400, and if I go for a newer engine, I was thinking of going for a 4L60, although in reality I could use a 4L60 with an older engine.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:45 AM   #20
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the 400 is unnecessary i have found the expensive way. a hopped up 350 is too much for a stock 400 so you have to have a performance trans built and if you already have a th350 its cheaper and will hold fine if built by someone who knows what they are doing. i traded my stock 700 to a guy for the 400 i have and i wish i hadnt, i spent all that time modding my car to use it and i didnt last more than a couple hard launches. had it stock rebuilt and same deal lasted like a month. i wish i had kept the 700 and had it built by the guy i had do my 400 after i had it built by the race shop it lasted fine about 8 yrs of race track abuse. if i had just taken the 700 to him it likely would have lasted as long and i would actually be getting decent mileage and not have the engine doing 3000 at 55

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