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Time to improve my L98


Vette for Thomas

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Vette for Thomas

So the job is a 87 L98. The task is to give this thing some new life. Yes I love my car but I would bet that I would love it even more with say another 100HP or so. I have looked at several dif options and I believe for my pocket book and wants some new heads and few few other simple bolt ons may give me what I am looking for. So now for the question, what parts should I get to get the best bang for my buck? What mods should I do? I have about 3K and will be doing the labor myself (no one touches my car). Any ideas?? Oh and also I already bought a polished TPI and everything else you can polish under the hood. But that for looks only.

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Vette for Thomas

I did some reading and this is what I found (on another forum) I think this is what I am looking for as far as a performance boost.... What do you think?? :popcorn: High flow exhaust LT headers Big mouth base High flow runners Ported plenun 1.6 rockers Ported 113 heads or 180cc aftermarket heads Cam (no larger than a LPE219, aim for .500-.550 lift) Wider rear wheels and sticky tires to handle all the torque

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We have a couple people that have been doing some heavy C4 mods, I'm sure they'll chime in soon

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Have you considered getting an early C5? They have 100 hp over an L98. Plus, a stocker C5 may be more reliable than something modded.

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F22trainer

OK - I'll go first...

you haven't said how many miles are on the engine. That's going to make a huge difference on what you should do. If you're going to bolt on another 100 hp, and if you do it to an engine that has more than 100K on the clock - you're only going to discover the engine needs to be replaced sooner. Is this your daily driver or do you have a 2nd set of wheels...a "real" vette owner needs to have a second ride.

I'm not a "real" vette owner - I sold my little truck and haven't replaced it with anything. So some of the predicaments I have found myself in, required some very hurried repairs / mods' - such as an intake R & R and front end suspension rebuild, which I got tons of help with from other members but still required a few bummed rides or rental cars.

Alas, I digress...unless you've got less than 50K on the odometer - I'd stick with mod's like headers, a true performance exhaust and some goodies to upgrade the cooling system. That will prolong the life of the engine you've got. I've got 180K on mine and I know of another member who has 250+ and his is still running strong but neither his or mine is heavily modded...just headers and exhaust.

Now - that being said, you could start building another engine for it now and buy new parts as you can, starting with a short block. Then you can just bolt on the remaining upgrades you've made to your present engine when you are finished building the new engine. . . a 383 stroker will put a definite tingle in your "happy sac" when you mash the loud pedal on that

A word of warning - these cars can be a PITA to get through emissions if they get modded, hell even if they aren't it can be a PITA. The L-98's have some weaknesses, namely at the intake and the valley underneath can develop hairline cracks in the block. The stock cooling system is barely adequate and if something is not quite right - you'll find out real soon when you have the a/c on in traffic.

keep an eye on 1FASTC4...now there's some serious ponies goin down under the hood of that beast!

I'm on my third summer with no a/c...guess that makes up for not having a 2nd ride when it comes to being a "real" vette owner.

Personally - I'd start building that stroker motor and enjoy the car as she is with a tuned exhaust set up - mine came in at about $3K when all was said and done...ceramic coated headers, Corsa exhaust and install.

Next mod you might consider is the rear trailing arms - takes out the "hula-hop" when you go over expansion joints in the freeway, man-hole covers, etc. All that speed and power is no fun when it tries to leave the road uncommanded.

Also, your front suspension may need bushings and ball joints. That's a fun job but you don't want to be trying to do it in one day like I did...but I'd be willing to help do another one!!!

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Vette for Thomas

Thanks! That is one pretty L98 there… I believe that experience is a priceless asset that I will not ignore. To answer your question my motor has 118K and is my play car (I also have a 08 Charger for daily needs). As you suggested I will do the headers and exhaust, rear trailing arms, and new bushings up front. What do you think about doing a little porting? I will also begin the replacement motor. The motor I have been looking at for the past 2 weeks is the ZZ383 but am weary of its high price tag for $5K. I think I could find a complete 383 for around $3 or $4K.

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Vette for Thomas

Thinking about going this route....

http://www.vbandp.com/detail.aspx?ID=572

Name: Sport System, 1985-87

ID: 42840

Category: C4 Corvettes 1984-96

Manufacturer: Vette Brakes & Products, Inc.

Desc: This system is designed for the sport or advanced street C-4 driver. Our Sport Suspension System greatly increases responsiveness and maintains optimum tire geometry without compromising ride.

Price: $1,479.99

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Final Effort

I second what F22trainer said. Start to build a second motor, 383 or what ever you can swing $$ wise. I wouldn't touch he motor in the car too many miles. As for the exhaust I would do that along with the engine swap at the same time. What transmission do you have? If it's an auto better plan doing something with that also. Save your $$ and put together a long tern goal and then buy everything to meet your goal. Enjoy the Vette for now, and when you have everything on your list ready. Pull it in the garage and give a shout out on the form. I'll bet you will get plenty of help and in a week or two you'll have a new beast to drive.

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Bromley's Corvettes

I would do full leanth headers and 3in X-pipe exhaust first then you will be ready for a bigger better engine when the time comes. It makes the best bang for the buck and at least your vette will sound fast for now and you will get more power and m.p.g. I would not wast time and money modding the stock engine with 118,000 on it by the time you change cam and lifters and heads and timing chain and oil pump and rollor rockers and hardened push rods and intake and gaskets and lots of other little things your better off just getting a new engine and swaping it out. A 383 with nice alum heads can be had for around $5000,00 and make 450 + h.p and TQ. You could sell it and buy a C-5 and end up having less into it then what it will take to mod your C-4 to get the same power and its still a C-4. I have customers that have spent $15,000 to $20,000 to make there C-4 run and drive like a C-5 and you can buy a nice C-5 for around $15,000 Just my 2cents :)

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Vette for Thomas

Good advice! Its good to have some one remind that if you are going to spend the extra money you might as well just upgrade the car. I some times over do it since I have that "I want this and this and this and also a supercharger" attitude. LOL. I think I will do the headers and exhaust. Then I will focus on the suspension a little. I will also most likely redo the interior. Keep it for about a year (or less) and then time for a C5 or if I can a C6. Thanks for your help every one and I will post some pics as I get parts! The search is on!

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I'm trying to remember, but isn't the gear ratio in those things like a 2.73 or something? Depends on where you want the power, but how about a lower end gear ratio for better off the line performance? You'll give it up at top speed though.

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F22trainer
:thumbs With the hot weather rapidly approaching, I would add a DeWitts or similar cooling system mod to your list. With the stock system you can expect coolant temps to hit 235 on a regular basis if you use the A/C. It holds about twice the coolant and has double row - for real peace of mind throw on the B4P optional front side fan or one of DeWitts SPAL dual fan set up. Mine stays at 190 - 220...with a/c on - during freeway trips. It will usually stay under 230 in traffic. Before the swap 235 was not unusual on the freeway. And, if you do add headers, expect to burn up a starter within the year. I made a custom heat sink / shield that has worked out real well and I haven't had any trouble since. The starter shields they sell on the market just trap the heat, rather than dissapate it with an increased surface area...I kept the template to make more of them if interested. It's a lot cheaper than a mini gear / reduction starter and easier to install! You'll have a blast with this car and it is pretty easy to work on - just watch your head on the hood...P51tj has more input on that!
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Vette for Thomas

Thanks! I might be interested in the heat shield. I also might be thinking of wrapping the headers to reduce the heat problems (What do you think?). Also as you mentioned I will put in a new cooling system most likely first.

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Wow what a smoken deal and man I wish I had some extra cash to throw around that is a great find for sure.

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Guest 1FASTC4

If you're going to build a second motor, don't spend a penny on your existing motor other than stuff that can transfer over, IMHO.

If you want 100 horse, you could easily put a 100 shot on, headers, exhaust and injectors with money left over. Your old motor would probably handle 100 shot, but not much more.

The stuff from VBP looks nice but a C4 already handles better than most cars on the road.. spend the money on go fast parts first.( I would anyway) :)

If you want to stay away from power adders to get your HP, you are going to have to address the intake...

The ZZ383 doesn't have forged guts AFAIK and, knowng how modders are, one should buy a motor with forged rotating assembly, IMHO. There may be a procharger or a Big shot of NOS in your future.

We have some excellent vendors on our forum. Look to Bromley's for the exhaust work at least.. if the guy had a specialty, exhaust would be it, he really does nice work.

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I had some work done at Classic Gold... very satisfied and Joe is good to work with.

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Vette for Thomas

So I have been looking around and found this crate engine I can get installed for $3295 INSTALLED. Its not the meanest motor I have been looking at but I cant beat the price or warranty. What do you think? These engines are built with the 4-bolt heavy-duty Chevrolet small block. This unleaded fuel-compatible engine comes completely assembled, with valve covers, timing chain cover, oil pan, harmonic balancer, flex plate and throttle body fuel injection intake manifold. The engine is totally remanufactured in our state-of-the-art machine shop by professionals from start to finish. This performance combination was developed from our proven race-winning experience. ________________________________________ New parts include: Sealed Power hypereutectic pistons and rings Scat Performance stroker crank Competition Cams performance computer camshaft Fel-Pro gaskets Clevite 77 rod, main and cam bearings Melling high-volume oil pump, pickup screen and driveshaft Valve guides Pioneer harmonic balancer, flexplate, performance valve springs, brass freeze plugs and bolts Melling push rods Double-roller timing set EDELBROCK Performer aluminum TBI intake manifold Chrome timing cover, valve covers, oil pan, dipstick/tube and breather GM valve locks/retainers ________________________________________ professional machine work on engine includes: Engine block, cylinder heads and crankshaft thermally cleaned, shot-blasted, and Magnafluxed All crankshafts new, oil holes chamfered, and micro-polished Thorough cleaning including all oil galleys, engines are absolutely clean inside and out All blocks are bored and honed using torque plates New cam custom fitted Connecting rods fitted with new bolts and resized Rotating assembly Sunnen computer balanced (balance sheet included) Cylinders heads completely remanufactured, including new guides, new seals, and performance 3-angle valve job. Every engine custom-built (no assembly line) by professionals Engine painted with high-gloss engine enamel Engine comes with a one year, unlimited mileage written warranty.

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Vette for Thomas

Sorry forgot this part CHEVROLET 383/350 HP 4 BOLT HIGH PERFORMANCE BALANCED TBI CRATE ENGINE

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Bromley's Corvettes

That sounds like a good deal its easy to spend a lot more real fast.

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