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  1. #1

    Default Advice for initial performance engine upgrades?

    I have a 1985 GMC Suburban that I'd like to upgrade a bit for more power and better mileage.

    I'm thinking:
    1. Headers/dual exhaust
    2. Better carb - Edelbrock 1405?
    3. Better intake - Edelbrock Performer 2701?

    I don't want a race car. It's a daily driver. I just want to enjoy driving it and get better mileage and a bit more pep on hills. It would be nice to get a small charge from the looks when I check the oil, too.

    What do you guys think of my order of upgrades and my parts for what I'm trying to do? I'm new to this, so I'd be happy to hear any commentary.

    The Edelbrock parts seem easily obtainable around here used.

  2. #2

    Default

    I dont know v8's just yet BUT, from everything i've heard and read depending on how much you want to spend and your mechanic skills.. why not just put in a bigger motor ? It should bolt right up and from what i know V8's are cheap plentiful and get better as time progresses. Considering what Intake,exhaust, headers cost and the cost of install, you should be pretty close to a new motor.

    I have looked at getting a V8 for one of my BMW's and I found LS1's for 3,000. It should also give you a better base to add more power as well.

    Of course generally speaking IHE* is a great way to start.

    * Intake, Headers, Exhaust
    1998 BMW M3 - Alot of Euro Parts
    1986 BMW 535 - Not so many euro parts
    1994 Burban - Need to Mod it.

  3. #3

    Default

    What engine do you have in your Suburban now? Headers/ exhaust, intake, carb, and cam will get you some considerable performance gains.
    04 ECSB Custom silver & grey, Soft 8's, BFG KO's, ReadyLift Leveling Kit, Hellwig front sway bar, K&N filter, DeeZee EZ-Down, Rhino liner, Alpine CDE103BT, Rockford 6.5's, 12" V.A.T. Hammer Pro in a Subthump box, Alpine PowerPack amp, Hifonics amp, BackRack w/ 55w 5000k HID KC Daylighters, KC light bar with 4 KC Slimlites, UWS toolbox, Shaved Antenna mod, Black Bowtie, LED backup, license plate, dome lights & 3rd brake light


  4. #4

    Default

    Telorvehc, it's a 350 that I'm told has been rebuilt at some time in the past. It's got a Rochester Qjet on it that's not really adjustable. Cast iron heads. Looks like a pretty vanilla engine. It gets about 10-13 depending on conditions and its mood. It's just not as peppy as would be most enjoyable.

    Neel, I have a guy who's pretty sharp and quite affordable. I'm thinking of doing it a part at a time as I can afford it. Used parts seem available and affordable around here. If I save up $3,000 for an engine, the wife will take it for a house project. But car maintenance...

    That's why I'm looking for some advice on order of improvements and parts from more experienced people than I.

  5. #5

    Default

    A new carb and a decent set of heads will really wake that engine up.

  6. #6

    Default

    Bolt on a low boost supercharger set up.

  7. #7
    Sr. Engineer ahm1127's Avatar
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    Default

    A supercharger would do wonders, remove heads & bring to a motor shop to check them out & see what they recomend (bigger valves). An intake that matches motor to supercharger. I like building a motor for torque instead of HP & usually helps with mileage. I also recommend a single exhaust system.
    Everyday I wake up is a great day! ;-)
    05' Chevy Suburban, 11' Ford Fiesta

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ahm1127 View Post
    A supercharger would do wonders, remove heads & bring to a motor shop to check them out & see what they recomend (bigger valves). An intake that matches motor to supercharger. I like building a motor for torque instead of HP & usually helps with mileage. I also recommend a single exhaust system.
    You don't need to do any head work on a regular bolt on kit. Heck, I have a motorcycle I put a turbo kit on and it does not need any head work and makes huge power. I think if this person is trying to stay on a budget, just research a decent bolt on kit for a good price and go for it. No need to run too much boost on it anyway, it will bike up a good amount with just this.

  9. #9
    Sr. Engineer ahm1127's Avatar
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    Default

    Didnt say you needed to, but I would recommend cleaning up the existing heads. Not much cost involved & worth it down the road. Not much more work once exhaust maniford/headers are off. Its also not a new motor! I also would want an upgrade to intake manifold. Just giving a heads up.
    Good luck

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