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Deep Philosophical Question about 450 Rear Wheel Horsepower

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 350350, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    I've tried to post this three times and it always turns into a novel. So I'm leaving the (long) story out and just jumping to the question... /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif

    Back in the mid '80's, I drove a 406/700R4 '78 Malibu that would stomp any Showroom Sports/Muscle Car you could buy. I drove it daily, and if (IF) driven lightly it would get 18mpg. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    I still have that Malibu, but it sits in storage awaiting restoration hopefully one day when my Son or Daughter shows interest in it. New technology and horsepower wars has left it a bit obsolete, and my Wife scattered the 406 about a year ago, so for now it's a priceless heirloom tucked safely away for the next generation to enjoy. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Now I drive a mostly stock '95 LT1/M6 Z28, nearly mint, about 90K on the clock. Loaded. But with the aforementioned horsepower wars, my meager 300hp is not going to stomp everything coming off the showroom floors these days. In spite of amazing financial hurdles in the past year, I now have the means to turn it into a 450 rear wheel horsepower monster while retaining acceptable daily driveability and reasonable mpg. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    Here's where the philosophy comes in... I'm old now. I have two young children, and not nearly the time to put into a project like this. (Did I mention it's 450 hp at the GROUND???) /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif I should be spending the time with the kids, although... /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    In steps my health. It's been plummeting for about 3 years now. Long story short, not a clue as to what's the real cause of the decline, but it continues... I continue to undergo countless medical tests and guesswork, but mostly in vain. On one hand, building an LT1 monstrousity that I would enjoy driving every day would certainly raise my spirits and help take my mind off the whole medical mess... On the other hand, while there is no medical proof that this next statement could be true, I could very well live to be 100 or I may not wake up tomorrow morning. I seem to be some sort of medical mystery. I have nearly all the signs of a textbook brain tumor, yet MRI after MRI after Brain Scan after etc. after etc., and after me absolutely refusing "Exploratory Brain Surgery", /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif no proof of anything abnormal inside my skull, except my abnormal behavior, cunning wit, and charming personality... /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif (Disclaimer: Some may experience blackouts, lost time, mild strokes, debilitating pain, pananoia, speech loss, temporary inability to walk, loss of feeling to extremities, etc. Your results may vary. Batteries not included. Medical purchases are non refundable. No gurarantees implied, written, or given a sht about.) /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    I've always had medical problems, but in my younger years they were never this severe. I have always taken my mind off them by working on something in the garage, whether it was a car, a truck, a motorcycle, a lawnmower with a Kawasaki Motorcycle engine on it, etc... It's been a long time since I've been able to spend time taking my mind off things that way, and the past few years have been the time that I've needed it the most. Having young'ens has been my primary function and I don't regret it a bit. Just the timing of things hasn't worked out the best with my health I guess, and thus my struggle with whether or not to dedicate the time to this project. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    So I could be wasting my last month in the garage building a motor instead of playing with the kids, or I could live to be 100 and always regret not building that killer LT1. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif

    In any case, the kids are taken care of regardless of how long I live or what motors I build in the next few months. Unfortunately my Son isn't old enough to really enjoy a good garage project with me yet, and Baby girl is just starting to crawl, so I can't quite call it a Family Project either.

    What to do... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif What to do... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  2. bigburban383

    bigburban383 1/2 ton status

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    I don't have children so this may be biased. I would do what makes me happy. If working on cars makes you happy do it. I'm sure you can find time to everyday to spend with your kids, cant you?
     
  3. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, very sorry to hear about your medical concerns. How extremely frustrating not knowing what is going on. Since you are concerned that this may be a life ending condition for the short term I would spend as much time with your wife, children and other family as you can. My wife passed away in 1999 and let me tell you, my business, race car, horses, etc, etc, etc didnt mean a thing to me at the time and "things" dont have the same appeal as they used to. The memories are priceless and precious. Besides if/WHEN ya kick this thing spending more time with your lovely family will always be a positive experience. Your car will patiently wait for your return. Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
     
  4. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Do 'em both with a main focus on the family. I have been told by several doctors "you could be paralyzed at any moment" sice I was 22. I am now 32 and still walking. I KNOW that I could do something to tweak my back just the right way, and BOOM I'm in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif I also have 2 kids (girl 12, and boy 10) that I spend every moment I can with. The flip side is that I LOVE trucks, hot rods, custom cars, basically anything the could shred yer head in an instant! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif I balance my wants so that if something does happen, I don't regret not doing one or the other. Granted, my /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif is taking what seems to be FOREVER to build, but you only get 1 shot at your kids, so that is where my focus is. If you screw up your family...NOTHING elase matters...NOTHING.. Just my $0.02
     
  5. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    build the Lt1 now, make you happy, and when son gets old enough and shows interest in a garage project, drag out the malibu, build a killer engine for it, and he'll have a helluva car for high school.
     
  6. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Amen!
     
  7. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Granted, my is taking what seems to be FOREVER to build, but you only get 1 shot at your kids, so that is where my focus is. If you screw up your family...NOTHING elase matters...NOTHING.. Just my $0.02

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well said. I agree completely.
     
  8. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't have children so this may be biased. I would do what makes me happy. If working on cars makes you happy do it. I'm sure you can find time to everyday to spend with your kids, cant you?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah, I didn't want to give the impression that I'd just ignore the kids until the LT1 was done... I'd be in the garage after the kids are in bed and during their naps on weekends and stuff. Sure some time would be done while they are playing by themselves but the kids will still take priority.

    I took a job that was a 30% pay cut and a 3 year backstep careerwise so that I can be home every night at 5pm to see the kids because of all of this.

    My Son is 3.5 years old and he Loves the Camaro. IT has T-Tops and sometimes we go 'Cruising for Chicks' in it with the tops out. He calls it a "Take apart Car" because some of his toy cars have parts that come off and he can put them back together, like the T-Tops on the Camaro.

    Anyways, in any case the kids will get the lion's share of the time but I would have to set some garage time aside if I would hope to get the LT1 on the street by summer.

    Paul 'X'
     
  9. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    if i was you i would do them both spend most of the time with the family and work on the project when you get time /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. bigburban383

    bigburban383 1/2 ton status

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    Dude, 450 hp Camaro....Hmmmmm....Drool.... /forums/images/graemlins/bow.gif
     
  11. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    IMO, you only live once so you might as well built yourself a helliva car. Especially since you said you can still play around wif da kids. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Then, again I don't have a family so maybe my views are worthless...
     
  12. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    You're only as healthy as you feel

    Just don't get a mohawk.....
     
  13. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You're only as healthy as you feel

    Just don't get a mohawk.....

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That first part couldn't be more true... This is the perfect day to respond to it. I just spent 14 hours in bed because of the pain that generally comes and goes. It gets bad enough at times that I can't focus to read and even at times I can't balance well enough to walk. So there are times I wouldn't even be able to work on the damn car. It could become a permanently unfinished project... When I get like this I just keep taking sleeping pills and hoping that it's better when I wake up. After 10 years of all types of medications, nothing helps the pain anymore. I still force myself to get out and do things though because I'll be damned if I'll spend my last days drugged up in bed.

    And yet I'll have days, weeks, where I feel completely normal and get all kinds of crazy ideas like building a 450hp daily driver LT1 Camaro... Keeps me thinking about the future.

    Anyways, I think I need to do this project. I can juggle family time with project time and get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, if I do end up having a brain annurism or tumor that ends up driving me insane, think of the amazing freakin' police chase I can go on!!! Hell, I can outrun the helicopteres, possibly even the radios!!! Can't think of a grander way to go. Don't want my family to sit and wait for the flat line in the hospital with all sorts of tubes and [darn] hanging from me like I did my StepFather... Not noble whatsoever.

    I'll keep you posted. I'm still making and rewriting my list of parts. It's not as expensive as you might think either. The basics, cam, heads, headers... And then everything around it to make it all work together like programming and such. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  14. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Dude, 450 hp Camaro....Hmmmmm....Drool.... /forums/images/graemlins/bow.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah, and that's dyno proven at the rear wheels, what actually hits the ground!!! That's a NET rating of well over 500hp!!! Since I'm doing it for mostly fun, and not to win any drag racing championships, I'm not planning to set the car up for the dragstrip, so it'll retain fairly stock size tires and wheels, and therefore it will be an incredibly tire frying machine, but hopefully I shouldn't have to upgrade transmission or rear end... Once I get it up over 60mph or so I should be able to hit it hard without spinning the tires. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif I can only imagine what kind of top end it will have...
     
  15. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Dude, 450 hp Camaro....Hmmmmm....Drool.... /forums/images/graemlins/bow.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Bring on the C6 Corvettes, the new Cobra Mustangs, whatever you want at any price... What's Ferrari got to offer these days??? I ain't Skeer'd... I'll have about $15,000 total in my Z28 including its purchase price. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  16. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Hey, very sorry to hear about your medical concerns. How extremely frustrating not knowing what is going on. Since you are concerned that this may be a life ending condition for the short term I would spend as much time with your wife, children and other family as you can. My wife passed away in 1999 and let me tell you, my business, race car, horses, etc, etc, etc didnt mean a thing to me at the time and "things" dont have the same appeal as they used to. The memories are priceless and precious. Besides if/WHEN ya kick this thing spending more time with your lovely family will always be a positive experience. Your car will patiently wait for your return. Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry about your Wife... I can't imagine it. About 3 years ago, my older Sister was visiting me with my 6 year old Nephew and my 4 year old Niece. Her husband had stayed home to try to get some home improvement projects done. He was an awesome Dad and a great guy in general... Always thinking of his Family first and took great care of my Sister. We were playing at the park down the street from my house and a city cop came by and called out my name. My gut sunk, I could tell by the sound of his voice something was awfully wrong. He told me that Dave had been killed in an accident. He was about 4 hours away, and I was the lucky man that got to break the news. Let me tell you, there is no easy way to tell your Sister that her husband is dead, or your Niece and Nephew that they'll never see their Father again.

    Over the following years I've seen how it's affected all of them, and it still breaks my heart. Nothing will ever fill that void. They'll move on and live healthy lives, but they'll never be the same. My Sister is half-nuts now... She had family and friends and church support beyond what you could imagine in Illinois, including myself, and she just suddenly called one day and told us all she was moving to California. Within days she had an auction, sold her house and everything she owned, and I haven't seen her since. I've talked to her a few times on the phone, but she's obviously either permanently a bit nuts over the whole deal, or just not nearly able to cope with it yet.

    Anyway, I was originally responding to your comment about nothing but family mattering... I totally agree. I spent 5 hours in the ER last night. My head got so bad that I couldn't focus or walk in a straight line. I hadn't been that bad in over 6 months, and the only thing that I can do at that point is let them pump me full of morphine. Even that I can only do about 2 or 3 times per year, or else I build up a tolerance to that and even that doesn't help.

    So anyway, the whole family went... Wife, Son 3.5 years, and Baby Girl 6 months. My Son can see it in my face when I'm in a lot of pain, and he gets very worried. He asks me what's wrong, and he'll cling to me and hold my hand. Last night he laid on the hospital bed with me. After I got my first shot, the Wife took the kids to get something to eat at the Cafeteria. The Boy didn't want to leave me and asked several times if I'd be OK if he left me alone. I feel bad that my Son is only 3.5 years old and he already has such heavy things weighing on his conscience. But more to the point, I'm very lucky to have a family that understands and supports me when I'm as down as I can possibly get, and to be honest it's days like yesterday that I find it difficult to think of a reason to get out of bed and/or keep going.

    So yesterday I wouldn't have even considered the garage, let alone the very little I was able to play with the kids. My playtime yesterday consisted of letting the Boy run Hot Wheels up and down me on the hospital bed.

    So now I'm thinking of, and God forgive me for this as I've never had anyone do my car work for me in my entire life, having the shop do a turn-key installation for me. The shop I'm looking at does complete head/cam/valvetrain and tuning and they're only about 4 hours away. Their installation is about 20% of part cost. But they're reputable, they do these swaps day in and day out, and they dyno tune it until it's getting every ounce of power it can make. Plus you have your own dyno sheets to show and stuff. I've always been of the "Built, not Bought" mentality, but [darn] happens in life and I guess there may be times that I'll have to bend my own rules given the circumstances.

    I'll look into a few options. I always wanted to do a centrifigul supercharger too, but it probably won't get me the HorsePower I'm after... Much easier and better driveability, also very cool, but I'll have to see about the power ratings...

    For today, I'm still getting by on the morphine from last night, but time will tell whether I feel better or worse when it wears off. Could go either way. In any case, I was sure glad my family was with me last night. Nothing more depressing than laying in a hospital bed by yourself for hours waiting for shot after shot of morphine to 'maybe' help...
     
  17. bigburban383

    bigburban383 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Dude, 450 hp Camaro....Hmmmmm....Drool.... /forums/images/graemlins/bow.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Bring on the C6 Corvettes, the new Cobra Mustangs, whatever you want at any price... What's Ferrari got to offer these days??? I ain't Skeer'd... I'll have about $15,000 total in my Z28 including its purchase price. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Right on, I have the same ideas, a car I build for way less than half your yuppie factory racer and I can whoop yo ass /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  18. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Seems like you've experienced quite a bit of life. Ive also had to break "the news" before and it isnt easy. But the older I get and as I gain more life experience the more I understand life isnt easy and it isnt about being comfortable. When life really becomes difficult priorities change. You seem to have a keen understanding of this and are handling it very well. Your kids are far better off experiencing most of it with you rather than the grown ups pretending everything is alright around them, they know better anyway and arent as fearful when they know (on their level) what the family is up against. Your kids are learning to care and to be sensitive of others around them. If this brings your family closer and closer then its not all bad. Your car ideas rule, Ive wanted a newer built Camaro SS with NOS for several years.....you know something that would melt the street tires and I could bring to the drag strip if I felt like it. Forget about the "rules" and "built not bought" mentality. Every single one of us on here wants whats best for you and your family. If you build your car with your own hands we will want photos, timeslips and updates, if you decide to have it built we will still want photos, timeslips and updates. You are entitled to live your life and if you decide to have it built and someone doesnt like it then who cares? Do whats best for you. My prayers are with you. Keep up the good fight, you are an inspiration to us all!
     
  19. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Seems like you've experienced quite a bit of life. Ive also had to break "the news" before and it isnt easy. But the older I get and as I gain more life experience the more I understand life isnt easy and it isnt about being comfortable. When life really becomes difficult priorities change. You seem to have a keen understanding of this and are handling it very well. Your kids are far better off experiencing most of it with you rather than the grown ups pretending everything is alright around them, they know better anyway and arent as fearful when they know (on their level) what the family is up against. Your kids are learning to care and to be sensitive of others around them. If this brings your family closer and closer then its not all bad. Your car ideas rule, Ive wanted a newer built Camaro SS with NOS for several years.....you know something that would melt the street tires and I could bring to the drag strip if I felt like it. Forget about the "rules" and "built not bought" mentality. Every single one of us on here wants whats best for you and your family. If you build your car with your own hands we will want photos, timeslips and updates, if you decide to have it built we will still want photos, timeslips and updates. You are entitled to live your life and if you decide to have it built and someone doesnt like it then who cares? Do whats best for you. My prayers are with you. Keep up the good fight, you are an inspiration to us all!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah, Man, I've had more than my fair share of 'Life Experiences...' I've always been the strong one in my family and held it all together and been the supporter and provider for my 'First' family (Mother and Sisters)...

    Now with my health going downhill it's really difficult for me to depend on others when I've always been the one that everyone else leaned on. I've lived more in 33 years than most people do in 3 lifetimes, pretty much seen it all and done it all, and I'm not at all scared of the big dirt nap... What terrifies me is the though of my kids growing up without me. I see how hard it is for my Niece and Nephew and My Son and I are so close. That's what keeps me kicking. On days like last Saturday I would have absolutely no will or desire whatsoever to continue going through this mess, as the good days are far outweighed by the bad days now, but every time I play with the kids or even just sit and watch some cartoons or a movie with them I muster up some more strength...

    But anyway, next week I may feel perfectly normal and go nuts with the parts purchases and tear into the car like I don't have a care in the world. This post got really long-winded on my personal problems but it just happened that I posted it right before a really bad few days...

    Today was pretty good and I finished my parts list and by tomorrow I'll have all the quotes in for a grand total.

    I looked into Vortec superchargers today but it's a LOT more expensive and doesn't deliver the power I'm after. It's more efficient and driveable, but I'm not really in it for a smooth ride.

    Basically I'm getting a Ported and Polished head package with 2"/1.6" valves and full roller valvetrain with a radical hydraulic roller cam. It takes about 2 months to get the heads back once you send them. They're STOCK LT1 heads!

    While I'm waiting for them, I'll put on the SLP headers and cat-back, not decided on which clutch I'm going with yet, Granatelli MAF, BBK 58mm Throttle Body, and then when it's all said and done they'll give me a base program based on what I've got and how I plan to drive the car, and they'll email programs back and forth until we get it just right... Isn't technology freakin' amazing???

    Will keep you all posted... I'll be putting down cash by Wednesday if I'm going to get in on the special pricing on the head kit... /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    Paul 'X'
     
  20. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry to hear you are still in a funk, hope soon you begin to feel better again. Car ideas sound cool, what pistons/compression ratio will you run? What about NOS?
     

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