Corvette Forum : DigitalCorvettes.com Corvette Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1985 Corvette, which is rated at 230hp (I understand that that there are now family sedans which could smoke me :( ). Since 1985, the hp has gradually increased to where it's over 300hp for the last of the C4's. My question is this - how much additional horsepower would be needed to make a noticeable difference? I guess what I'm thinking is this - if I were to go to a 1988, for instance (I think they have 245 hp), I don't think I'd notice a difference from what I have now. What year would I need to go to if I wanted to feel a difference? I'm asking this because I'm kind of doing some long range planning and I don't know if I should go with something newer (I'd stay with a C4) or not. I realize that there were other improvements besides power; It's just the hp I am looking at right now. Thanks to anyone who ventures an opinion! :D
 

·
DC Crew
Joined
·
53,222 Posts
Swamp Rat said:
I have a 1985 Corvette, which is rated at 230hp (I understand that that there are now family sedans which could smoke me :( ). Since 1985, the hp has gradually increased to where it's over 300hp for the last of the C4's. My question is this - how much additional horsepower would be needed to make a noticeable difference? I guess what I'm thinking is this - if I were to go to a 1988, for instance (I think they have 245 hp), I don't think I'd notice a difference from what I have now. What year would I need to go to if I wanted to feel a difference? I'm asking this because I'm kind of doing some long range planning and I don't know if I should go with something newer (I'd stay with a C4) or not. I realize that there were other improvements besides power; It's just the hp I am looking at right now. Thanks to anyone who ventures an opinion! :D
Welcome to digitalcorvettes!

Your car is a TORQUE MONSTER. Even though your HP is rated lower, I bet you could beat a 300HP LT1 car for the first 100 feet, and stay at his door handles for longer than you think. But, your 1/4 mile times suffer because of the low HP... but you can pull trees out of the ground.

In 1992 the LT1 small block engine came out as a 300 hp motor, and stayed 300HP until 1996 when the last C4 was made.

You most likely will not feel an increase in power off the line, but you'll feel more power in the upper RPMs. Quite a bit more.

I don't think you'll feel much difference with an 88. I'd jump to the LT1. Of course, if you can swing it, get a ZR-1 or LT-4 for a real kick-in-the-pants!

:cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Patrick - thanks for your response! I'm just now in the position of starting to think about what to do with the car. I've had it for almost two years (it's my first Corvette and took me 45 years to get it) and I do like the car. A previous owner had it repainted and redid the interior at some point and it looks like new from 20 feet. Closer than that and the warts become apparent. It's almost paid for and I'm thinking about moving up to a newer one (probably not until next summer) and that's why I put out the question. Like I said, I want to stick with the C4, but I don't know about a ZR-1 (because I've heard that only specialized shops can work on them and repairs are VERY expensive). I don't race the car, but I want to be sure I have enough power just in case I need to prove that American muscle is not to be trifled with! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
There's more to it than H.P. like Patrick said.

I own a bone stock 74 L-48 with 195 hp.
A mechanic at a trans shop took it for a spin. He was ammazed at how much quicker and stronger it was compared to his 75.
75 had 190 hp. Most of the difference is from emissions in this case.

Modern technology is ammazing. Twice the h.p. half the emissions, and twice the M.P.G.

You can always go for a C2 or C3 big block.
 

·
Official Forklift Driver
Joined
·
7,068 Posts
Swamp Rat,

Like Patrick said, you still have a ton of torque. Maybe more than you think. I was kind of shocked to see my 87 dynoed 333ft./lb rear wheel torque when the engine was stock. That's just 12 ft/lb. under what Chevy said it has at the crank.

Most of these cars nowadays have the hp and tq #'s pretty close to each other, like 240hp and 240tq. You have 100 more ft./lb. more than them. All your engine needs is a little breathing help. Swap the intake and get a full exhaust and you'll be close to 300hp and still have over 300tq. Swap out the cam too and you'll be into the 300's for sure.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,520 Posts
you can totally change the way the car runs and feels with bolt on engine parts, you have 245 hp now but the problem is that TPI intake heads and cam cant breath, and the cars gearing and stall keep you in the lower rpm range where you can,t make any power if it could breath,

heres a proven cure (SBC)
add 1 3/4" full length headers and free flow exhaust
add a set of AFR 190cc heads
a custom HOLLEY STEALTH RAM INTAKE
a CRANE 119661 hydrolic roller cam
a 383 11:1 short block
a 3.73 rear gear
a 3000rpm stall converter
a 150hp nitrous system,

(HERES A PROVEN CURE BBC)
buy and install a 540/650 hp big block

http://www.theengineshop.com/engine3.shtml

youll have $12000-$14000 in the swap by the time your done MINIMUM but youll be even faster

then you can go out and kick viper and Z06 butt!!!!
yeah it will cost you in the area of $8000-$14000 MINIMUM but youll easily run low to mid 11s and with suspension work, and slicks, high 10s are not hard and with a roll cage and the correct parts low 10s are easy
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,520 Posts
but if your like most guys you don,t have that kind of money to waste on a toy, heres the more reasonable approch, carefully
port the plenum and runners and base on your TPI intake and install a CRANE 114142 cam and a 175hp nitrous plate on that tpi,intake, set the jets for 125hp, youll run mid to high 12s with just that change and youll be out only about $1000
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
You have the L-98 engine, a torque monster like several people have said. If you are looking for more off-the-line punch, then you have the engine that can give it to you at a reasonable cost.

My first question is...what transmission do you have?

If you have the 4 spd. auto then you could start there. Have a shift kit installed and change out to a higher stall torque converter. That will give you considerable more punch off the line.

Also, if you are running the automatic, then what rear end ratio are you running. If you are running the lower rear end ratio (numberically) then you will benefit greatly from a rear end swap. That will give you a lot better off-the-line punch.

As far as pure horse power numbers, you can get to 300hp and above simply enough. Several guys have already commented on that subject.

Heads and cam will open up the engine, but as long as you restrict the top end rpm you won't see real big hp gains, but you will gain on the torque.

Opening up the intake with a free flowing air-filter, and opening up the runners will allow the L-98 to gain umph!!!

I had an '86. tricked out L-98 engine, Z51, 3.07:1 rear end and automatic that was a monster (for its time) producing about 330 hp and near 400 lb/ft torque.

Later I owned a '94 LT1, automatic with std rear end and std suspension.

The '86 had far more low end grunt than the '94, but ran out of steam above 4800 rpm. The '94 was slower off the line but had a better top end.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from trading up, after all that's what I did (twice - '86 to a '94 to a '00). If you are looking for more grunt then you can get it with the car you now have. The L98 engine has a lot to offer.
 

·
DC Crew
Joined
·
3,723 Posts
I've owned an '86, an '89 ,and now a '94.

Everything the others have written is true. But I'd like to add that although the '89 had just a bit more HP than the '86, I enjoyed the '86 more. GM tweaked the suspension in "88 I believe, making it a bit "softer". The '86 was even one of the early ones, so it had cast iron heads (you do to, f.y.i.). I thought it handled better than the '89.

I love my '94, but simply put, the L-98 is more visceral, and the LT-1 more sophisticated in its performance.

All three were automatics, by the way.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top