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Registered
1988 project, 03Z
Joined
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good morning!
A couple years ago I bought an 88 that's, well, it's been well used. Made it 200 miles home and promptly commenced puking tranny fluid on the garage floor. No biggie. I paid 3k for what is to be a long term project...
Frame off, strengthen, reinforce, repaint, etc etc.
I've looked at dozens of engines and half a dozen transmissions, there are just so many options. Do I rebuild, replace, plug and play....
Thought I'd join this site and start asking questions while I'm in the planning stage.
It's an automatic, and I'm looking to up the power to over 400hp, but I'd really like the ability to cruise at low rpm. Not gonna see the drag strip. Just want to be able to get up and go when I feel like it off a stop light... And go faster than my currently bone stock 03z.
The possibilities are endless... But the budget isn't.
So....
Let the entertaining comments and suggestions begin!
 

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DC PIT CREW BOSS
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39,477 Posts
There are a lot of crate engines that will make the HP you want. I'd look into them before I thought about a rebuild unless you are going to do it yourself and know which parts to get. There are several sources for crate engines, GM & Jasper come to mind. A big advantge to crate is they have a warranty. After that you will need a tranny that will handle it. If you are shooting for about 400HP look for a tranny that will handle 500 HP at least. That way if you decide to go after more HP the tranny will handle it
 

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Registered
1988 project, 03Z
Joined
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Appreciate it.
I've been eyeing some of the blueprint engines 383 and 396 offerings. Kinda prefer the lower end to keep things streetable. Their prices are pretty reasonable when compared to a rebuild and going for decent heads and intake and forged crank/rotating assembly etc.
Of course there's always the option of going LS. GM has the plug and play engine and transmission options. Wouldn't mind a 6L80 transmission. I've seen rumors the 6L80 will fit the tunnel because most of its increased size is on the lower half. New drive shaft obviously.
One of my biggest concerns is how to get low rpms at highway speed...I want to be around 1700 at 70, but I'm not seeing too many ways to get there. Much bigger tires have wheel well issues, and built rear ends usually have gear ratios that are too high. Considering a gear vendors overdrive at the back of a 4 speed slush box.
Also wondering if it's wiser to have my 36 built hd, or to bite the bullet and change to a 44.
One of my biggest concerns is electrics. My dash already is going out and needs repair. Not sure how to mate the existing computer up with a new PCM that comes with a plug and play LS and tranny. Wondering if anyone has retrofit the guts of a C5 or C6 dashboard into a C4--gauges, speedo etc, and maybe the steering wheel. Would a HUD even reflect on our windshield or does it need a coating?
Yeah, it's a long term project and I want to know where I'm headed BEFORE I start buying random parts...
 
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