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  1. #1
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    Default Expensive Horsepower On TV!!!

    I watched part of a re-run of HorsePower TV this morning. Chuck and Joe took Chuck's 69 SS 396 Chevelle convertble, added Hedman headers and an American Thunder Flowmaster exhaust system. They previously had added a new aluminum intake and 850 Holley carb on a previous show that added 14 horsepower but did not give a cost of upgrade.

    They base lined the car with the carb/intake with the car making 246 rear wheel HP. They then added the header/exhaust system and went back to the dyno for a result of 259 rear wheel HP. An addition of 13 HP. They then quoted all this for $700!

    $700 for 13 rear wheel HP with exhaust and probably $500-$700 for 14 HP with the intake/carb. End result is ONLY 259 rear wheel HP with a 396 BB Chevy? So much for old school engines and HP!

    For a cost of $1200-$1500 you ONLY received 27 extra rear wheel HP AND only ended up with ONLY 259 TOTAL rear wheel HP! $1500 buys 1/2 of a good used LS1 engine and transmission that will make a lot more rear wheel HP than 259 HP's and be a MUCH more driveable engine on the street.

    No wonder the LS and LX family of Chevy engines are so popular for swaps into older muscle cars. We have not even discussed the difference in engine weight reduction you receive with the LS/LX engines.

    Is it me or was this a VERY POOR expenditure of dollars for a very low HP return?

    Mike

    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    www.musclecardeals.com


  2. #2
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    from that view it doesn't look like a great bang for the buck mod. But we can't swap LSX's into everything either, as much as I love them. This coming from the guy who sold the old school twin turbo out of Malitude for a 402 twin turbo LS2!

    Jody

  3. #3
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    Rupp said it best, "Go LSX or go home".
    Tony Rapin - 1968 Pro-Touring Camaro LS1

    Project: Next Year
    - Start date; June '01
    - Completion; Sometime next year or the year after.....

  4. #4
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    LSX... blah... I gotta say there was something seriously wrong with that 396... I built a mopar 383... used shortblock, new rings and bearings, stock 906 heads, stock manifolds, stock camshaft, edelbrock dual plane intake and a out of the box edelbrock carb... made 293 rwhp... I had LESS THAN $1100 into the whole package... so with less cubes and ALOT less $$$ I was making more power... oh well...

    I agree modern engines are nice and all but in my opinion putting in a LSX or a new Gen Hemi into something you loose something from a musclecar... not power or performance... just... the overall feeling... I've driven many modern driveline musclecars... and i gotta say not one of them EVER felt like a REAL experience...

    just my opinion and not meant to offend anyone.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2005
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    Well, I pulled the fairly new carbed 383 this winter for a LS7 that will be delivered tomorrow. Crammin it into the 69 camaro vert. Wanted reliability, consistancy of performance, and longevity. Not to mention it is an aluminum block, FI, over 610hp. This still amazes me- all that from a NA SBC. The old iron power plant just didn't have the pop that I want. I sure hope it feels REAL!

  6. #6
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    So you can swap a LSX engine in a car for ony $1500 huh?? Not everyone can plop down the $$ for a swap like that..........
    76 Duster

    92 Lexus SC400 250K mi. and going strong!!!

    92 Lexus SC300

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    Man I wish it was 1500 bills! I would have done it a long time hence. No a swap is costly, no ways about it. Thats why I hope it feels real, and puts my pants in the seat! lol
    Last edited by ss dave; 03-04-2007 at 02:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    as i said - i understand reliability, performance, and all that jazz... theres a reason im putting EFI on my big block... but i mean with a vette or similar car there is no violence.. it just doesnt FEEL like a Musclecar....

  9. #9
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    Restomod,

    Read my post! I did NOT say you could swap a LS/LX in for $1500. I DID say that $1500 would pay for 1/2 the cost of a used LS engine/transmission combination.

    Sure, that would be the start of a conversion but by no means complete. The point of my post is I think they spent a LOT OF MONEY for VERY LITTLE RESULTS. $1500 spent on parts for a modern engine or a modern Chevy engine in general would produce MUCH greater increase in rear wheel HP for the dollars spent.

    By the way, are you paying Ron Bramlett of Mustangs Plus in California a royalty for your use of the word Restomod? Believe it or not he created the word "Restomod" and he own's the registered trademark on the word "Restomod" for use in the automotive world. Just thought you might like to know a little history about your handle.

    Have a great day!
    Mike

    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    www.musclecardeals.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintageracer
    By the way, are you paying Ron Bramlett of Mustangs Plus in California a royalty for your use of the word Restomod? Believe it or not he created the word "Restomod" and he own's the registered trademark on the word "Restomod" for use in the automotive world. Just thought you might like to know a little history about your handle.
    Are you leveling us?

    Or are you refering to Ron's "Restomod Corner" in the Feb 2007 issue of Mustang Monthly where he lets both barrels go at FoMoCo for the same thing?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by trapin
    Rupp said it best, "Go LSX or go home".


    My old 2000 SS made 317 rwhp BONE STOCK

    Oh, and it got 28 mpg on the freeway.. lol
    "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."

    See Bad Penny run the cones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GUPPIX-92U

    2000 SS, 1969 LS1, and 1968 LS2 Camaros
    Oh, and a 1970 Fairlane just to show I could...

    See my cars here: www.fquick.com/steve1968ls2

  12. #12
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    Hey Mike!!! Well goes like this wait 20 minutes for the BBC to warm up or throw the key in it start it and drive away,

    that Thursday you Bill and I were together, bill and I took the Mali for a ride, just to burn a couple up 441, and it coughed, spudered acouple of times but if it was say a LS6, we may have done a full run up 441, maybe not it was late, but yes modern is good, Steve
    Steve68- 1968 Camaro SS LS1 T56, 12bolt 3:90's, C5/LS1 brakes IROC box, 18" Fikse Profil 13s, Deep Fathom Green,Spearcos,


    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=475228 some pics

    70 Nova SS street/drag 454, T400, 3:55, ugly!

  13. #13
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    As an owner of a 402(396 .030)You may have to figure that the 396 was mostlikely a 325 hp base engine and not a top of the crop 375 hp. So they added a aluminum intake and dropped probably 30 or 40 lbs(I still have a cast iron one on my 402 too. Swapped out a carb that have more adjustability.
    The headers and exhaust will make it more efficient and if it had iron manifolds it probably lost at least another 25 lbs.
    So if we figure it breathes better, maybe the mileage will go up, we can pretty much guarantee the torque numbers came up (I dont car about HP give a broad,flat torque curve and Ill be happy).
    Also lossing some weight will make it faster and they gained more in little bits rather than dropping 5k on an engine swap.
    Another thing to remeber I dont think they have done anything to the heads which are most likely small valve jobs and a not so large cam.
    also you really expect a carb/intake to make big number jumps at the rear wheels, sorry not gonna happen.
    And you have to figue they list the MSRP prices for most parts listed on the show, this way if you find one at a lower price you think you are getting a great deal.
    I rarely buy everything new anymore nor have I had the actual cash to do it.
    I would bet the flywheel increase was in the 50 hp range total, and could probably be had for half the price with a NOS kit but you would still need the exhaust andthe intake carb would get it to make more too.
    Also, if I remeber correctly the engine is stock for that car so why trash the value of the car by swapping in an LS engine?
    And for the most part from what I have read you need about $850 to use just the MSD igniton setup to run the COP ignition, and special intake and an electric fuel pump and a carb to just drop one in it and few more bucks for the exhaust So for the tidy sume of roughly $5k you can swap an LS style engine in, or slowly up grade the current engine and eventually that engine will be running stronger.
    I still think I would prefer the BBC over the LS swap as everyone is jumpind on that one.
    I know my big block never made big hp numbers(still small valved) but the way I set it up it made nearly 500 lb ft of torque, made a reasonable 14-16 mpg with a 3 speed trans and 355 gears and a heavy foot. If i had used an over drive i could probably got nearly 20 mpg but it took several months of tuning to get it where I was happy.
    BUT nearly 500 lb ft of torque made a lot of people wonder how.
    OH and I never have had more than 1500 in the complete engine and it was built from scratch.
    Now I am looking for a body to put it in.
    Good luck
    Lee

  14. #14
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    Oh and I NEVER waited to drive mine for 20 minutes.
    Around 2 minutes at most unless it was super subzero temps.
    As for winter I never had a choke and never had any problems and I usually had some heat inthe first mile and a half from my house to the end of the road from my house.
    My grand father told me that if I was prepared to drive in bad weather I should dress for it, and I did. also my grand father also gave me soem good advise of why lrt a car idle for a long period of time, give it time to get some heat in the plugs and heads and take off.
    Yes it would be a little sluggish but I never really had any problems even with out a choke.
    Lee

  15. #15
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    I agree the episode was low on the bang for the buck scale, but there some costly lsx mods that don't usually gain much. ls6 intake = 14-20 hp for $400. don't get the wrong idea I love lsx motors I've had three. with any engine combo there are some mods that just aren't cost effective. they could have spent the $1500 on a good nitrous kit and ended up with a ton more power. I believe a lot of shows like that are plugging their advertisers not necissarily researching the best bang for the buck mods.

  16. #16
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    Its not as bad as the so called lowbuck cars that end up in magazines who just happen to have a t56 sitting in the corner of the garage collecting dust or the 540 big block that was just given to them. Even better the fully polished blower that they found at the swap meet for $300...
    Nothing says "I built this" better than tool marks and dykem blue..

    Follow my 3 link build. http://www.pro-touring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61592

  17. #17
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    SO SORRY!! I was correct ,I think you cant do it for $1500 and I think you cant do it for $3000!! I think Monzaracer nailed it,the 396 were not the top of the heap when it came to big HP #'s! Yep I pay Ron....I pay him no mind! He has his hands full with Ford and the use of the word Mustang.
    76 Duster

    92 Lexus SC400 250K mi. and going strong!!!

    92 Lexus SC300

  18. #18
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    Hey Lee, send me a address and I'll send you a video of a watch and a Autometer temp guage!

    but in summer it sits at 181,
    Steve68- 1968 Camaro SS LS1 T56, 12bolt 3:90's, C5/LS1 brakes IROC box, 18" Fikse Profil 13s, Deep Fathom Green,Spearcos,


    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=475228 some pics

    70 Nova SS street/drag 454, T400, 3:55, ugly!

  19. #19
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    CraigMBA,

    Although Ron Bramlett does own the trademark for "restomod", he has done virutually nothing to protect his trademark and would therefore have a difficult if not impossible position to defend in a trademark infringement court case.

    I did not see the article to which you refer. I have known that Ron has held the trademark for years. I am surprised that he has never defended his rights to the trademark given the fact that he has built his Mustang business around the "restomod" theme of modifying Mustangs. I did see an article about the continued use of the term at Barrett Jackson in 2006. He said he was pleased that the term had become mainstream in the old car vocabulary.

    Overall I still think the Horsepower TV showed a poor HP improvement for the dollars spent. Yes, I am also aware that Flowmaster, Hedman, Holley etc are advertisers. It is still "All About the Money" in the TV business!
    Mike

    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    www.musclecardeals.com

  20. #20
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    What did they install? Dual plane intake? As you know, Mike, that the cam at the top of the catalog page (little) is usually the same price as the cam on the bottom of the page (big), but the two part numbers offer different power potential. Same holds true for other parts such as intake manifolds and heads.

    Of course, the secret to making power is not money--it is skill. And no one ever said that those guys know how to make power. That show implies that if you open the parts boxes and stand back, the parts will hop out of the box and install themselves in less than one half hour plu commercials. And if things get hairy, they giggle a little as if to save us from being traumatized.

    So the source is less than credible.
    _____________________
    Steve Chryssos
    Twist Machine

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