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Old 12-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default help me build my LT1

new to the forum guys ... looking forward to playing catchup on threads and should have been on here a long time ago.

So heres my situation. As my name says Ive got a 97z28 convt. preformance wise its got a cold air intake, intake elbow, full exhaust with no cats and has headers.. trans is auto and build but with stock converter. Rear end is a stock carrier with 411 gears ( Power programmer used to help with the trans and gears).. And oh yeah i shoot 150hp shot of nitrous. car runs mid 11's on street tires.. if i heat um up.. car has 59K miles. Well i finally blew my headgaskets as i expected the nitrous eventually would.. ide say the stock gaskets held up well to a good 6 yrs of abuse. Ive had the car for about 13 years and havent really sprayed in the last 5 years or so.. So now im tearing the engine down and wanna rebuild a bit above stock.. but dont wanna have to reflash the ECU..(NEW hardware, rods, and lifters are being done regardless) so i was thinking maybe just new springs and rockers in addition? maybe a new intake as well, since itll be off? can i do a cam like an lt4 hotcam without reflashing the ecu.. or if you think ide be better off with a whole other route lemme know.. wanna keep the budget to around $2K.. HELP!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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.......can i do a cam like an lt4 hotcam without reflashing the ecu..... HELP!!
Yes you "can".....but it'll run like crap.

Frankly, most cams that'll give you a noticable power bump will require a bit of work with the PCM.

You will more easily be able to do without a PCM tune if you go with the Crane '227' cam.....although it would also benefit from a bit of tweeking to the PCM. And you'll want valve springs what are good to about .600" with that cam.

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:21 AM   #3
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Why don't you want to mess with the computer? Mail order tunes are cheap and a competent tuner can get you running well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #4
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maybe you dont realize how stupid easy it is to reprogram the ecu on these cars, and that's why you're trying to avoid it?

we're talking a car with a serial port under the dash and flash memory

that said, a mild cam like the lt4 will run "well enough to drive" on the stock ecm until you get it tuned
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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Default lt1 build

I gotta say i am a little intimidated by having to reflash the ECU.. and i know a cam will mean an extra $600ish. given cam/reflash/might change one or two other thinkas as well. but the more i think about it.. if im ever gonna cam my car, now is the time. so that being said.. what would you guys reccommend for a setup.. cam/springs/lifter/rockers? dont wanna go nuts cuz i dont wanna build the lower end, just a descent lumpy idle but still very driveable. also anyone ever put a gear drive in one of these.. in know they are noisy as hell, but if im gonna do this might as well do it the way i want to. also where to go for the reflash? so i just tell um what i did and mail um the ecu? cuz there is no one local in Milwaukee that does this or so ive been told by locals.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
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the cable to flash your car is like $50 or something... if you dont want to send your ecm away, the tuner can just mail you the bin and you can flash it yourself with your laptop, and also have the option to put it back to stock at any time. dont worry, you wont break it..

it's way easier to f#%ck your car with major valvetrain mods gone wrong than to somehow screw up reflashing your ecm, i'd be way more scared of swapping a cam than doing a tune-by-mail thing

you absolutely do not want to do a gear drive conversion on a fuel injected car.. i tried to tune one for someone once.. the harmonics can make knock detection almost impossible to the point of where you almost have to tune out the knock sensor completely.

pick a cam you like (sounds like you want a pretty mild one) then phone the place that makes the cam, to see what springs, rockers, and lifters, and pushrods they'd reccommend. that way you aren't going to run into problems trying to calculate for spring binding, pushrod length, etc.

definitely stay with mild 'low end torque' type cams unless you want to throw a higher stall torque converter in there. unfortunately those kinds of cams are sleepers, you aren't going to get much 'lope'

make sense?
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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97,
Look..talk to pcm for less (Ohio location) and tell them what set up you have. They do about 200 set-ups a year and even sponsor cars. They have what you need and their mail order tunes are damn near dyno type tunes due to their vast knowledge and experience. It will cost you $200 and you will receive your ECM back in say 2 weeks. all done and said you will much happier. This is what I will be doing for my initial tune as they have tuned for my set up before. They honestly told me that its not 100% but it will be damn close if not right on. And that I may just get a few more HP/TQ from dynoing due to more aggressive tuning because they do not have my vehicle on their dyno to get the most out of it. Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #8
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97,
Look..talk to pcm for less (Ohio location) and tell them what set up you have. They do about 200 set-ups a year and even sponsor cars. They have what you need and their mail order tunes are damn near dyno type tunes due to their vast knowledge and experience. It will cost you $200 and you will receive your ECM back in say 2 weeks. all done and said you will much happier. This is what I will be doing for my initial tune as they have tuned for my set up before. They honestly told me that its not 100% but it will be damn close if not right on. And that I may just get a few more HP/TQ from dynoing due to more aggressive tuning because they do not have my vehicle on their dyno to get the most out of it. Good luck!
97, after rereading my post, it read as if I was being rude and that was not my intent and I'm sorry for that. Hope you except the apology!
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Usmc. No need to appologize. Found the post very helpfull. I'll check them out. Now I gotta deceide if I wanna do heads too... Hmmm.. that will make this expensive. But almost seems worth the extra $.. edelbrock sells their lt4 kit for about 3k. Then I dont have to spend $ to get my heads messed with. And a crap load wxtra HP. Can you get any descent HP with just cam and rockers springs.. or just buck up the extra and call it a day... A lot of extra $ though. Other mfg make similar products.. or specialty shops? .. thoughts.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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Usmc. No need to appologize. Found the post very helpfull. I'll check them out. Now I gotta deceide if I wanna do heads too... Hmmm.. that will make this expensive. But almost seems worth the extra $.. edelbrock sells their lt4 kit for about 3k. Then I dont have to spend $ to get my heads messed with. And a crap load wxtra HP. Can you get any descent HP with just cam and rockers springs.. or just buck up the extra and call it a day... A lot of extra $ though. Other mfg make similar products.. or specialty shops? .. thoughts.
For starters I would not buy the Edebrock combo. You could get better performance from a set of afr 195's and edebrock LT4 intake and custom cam. AFR heads are fully assembled and no need to upgrade their springs for just a mild street motor. However, more could be had out of an adequate set up. Meaning good heads, great valve train, great cam GM 847 might be a good one fore you, etc etc. But see now we're talking about doing this the right way and yes money can very easily disappear right out of your account..trust me the crap just disappears with barely a trace. So lets ask the question..what is it that you really are after? With a stock bottom end, well ported stock heads, well ported stock intake, cam, 58mm TB, MSD Opti or new stock, MSD wires, LT headers, hi-flow cats and ecm tune and I think you will be very happy if thats what okay with you. I chose to completely rebuild. Let us know what your really after and I'm sure we can provide a good set up for you.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #11
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All I really want is a car that u can tell has a cam while at idle. I plan on having this car another 20-30 yrs. And given I drive it less than 2-3k a yr I don't wanna go ball into it in the next 5-10 years or regret not doing as Much now. I think your right though. A cam ,tune , rods, springs lifters, rockers.. and maybe tb or intake will make me happy... Want to keep it streetable but I don't take it on long drives anymor.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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......edelbrock sells their lt4 kit for about 3k. ......
What's all in that kit?

I got a set of LT4 heads/intake that will cost you less than what I'm guessing Edelbrock will hit you for.

PM me if interested.

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Old 12-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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advanced inductions and elliott's portworks are the go to guys for good heads/cam setups that are budget friendly. A mail order tune from pcm4less will set you up just fine. Tell us what you are wanting, what you want to spend, and what you are planning on purchasing and we'll have no problem directing you. Nothing wrong with a mild build that has a little chop to it
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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Well after a week in the carribean its time to get back to work. I'm thinking I'm prob gonna go with a gm846 or a cc503.. the lt4 just doesn't seem hardy enough for me. Go big or go home right... Which one u think will work better with My setup... Also all the other goddies what will line up with these cams.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:57 AM   #15
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Well still thinking about a gm846 or similar cam... But after hmming and hawing about heads I deceided a 383 kit is a better use of My funds. Anyone got any suggestions for brands or suggustions on if the cam I'm looking at will not be well suited to a 383, thinking ill use stock heads with the 383 kit.. ... Help... I'm gonna ask the machine shop for help as well but could defff use your guys opinions.. ill be building the 383 myself with friends help.. machine shop will do the blockwork and mill and build the stock heads.
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