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UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 76GMCJimmyinAZ, Jul 21, 2000.

  1. 76GMCJimmyinAZ

    76GMCJimmyinAZ Registered Member

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    I tell you what! I try and play it smart and get a little advice, shop around, ask the experts. You know, make an INFORMED decision? Now I'm more confused than when I started. Didn't think I wanted headers, but one guy talked me into it. Biggest power gain (torque and low- to mid- range if you get the right ones) for the buck. Now I've been told DON'T do the MSD ignition, DON'T do the cam, blah blah blah. Funny thing about opinions- EVERYBODY'S GOT ONE! Anyway, I'm through listening to the guys at the shops- they don't live with the vehicles they modify for customers. They just cash the checks and haul! Let me hear from some of you who have DONE these things to your trucks, ok? Here's where I'm at:
    76 Jimmy
    2 year-old crate 350 w/ Quadra-jet and Edelbrock Performer intake
    Dual exh with Dynomax's and crossover (stock exhaust manifolds)

    NOW, I want more low and mid-range torque, AND I would like better driveability on the hwy, so here's what I've been considering:
    ENGINE- MSD-6A ignition with blaster coil
    Headers (what kind to buy??)
    POSSIBLY a cam (looking @ comp cams 260H)
    K&N filter
    DRIVETRAIN- 700R4 coupled to my 203 or 205 x-fer case (w/ adapter- I think they're available, I'm waiting for confirmation e-mail from advance adapters) or a 208 if I have to buy one.

    I run 33's and a T350 right now. I'm convinced the tranny is what I want, but don't know for sure how far to go with the motor. I would like to keep the investment in the engine down to 500-600, so headers and exhaust are probably first, in that order.

    Anyway, is there any method to my madness???

    LET'S HEAR SOME MORE OPINIONS!!!!! (preferably experience speaking, ok??)
    Thanks guys...



    GUZZLES GAS BUT IT'S FREE AND CLEAR!!!
     
  2. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    I type fast and you asked for it!........

    Yes, headers and a cam will pep your engine up to something repectable. Unless you go with good quality headers (gonna be $300ish) you will be cussing out that constant ticking sound coming from your newly installed collector gaskets (leaks!). Trust me, BTDT. AND, if you get www.thorleyheaders.com, you will get the tri-y design, which will help torque. Run some good mufflers such as flowmasters. Or if your dynomax's are in good shape, keep em!

    Camshaft, I would get a compcams xtreme energy model XE260. It is a good dual-pattern cam that will work with a stock converter. If you step up the stall speed with a new converter, go with an XE268 for a little more over 4000rpm.

    Stick with the q-jet if it is in good shape, you will only hurt performance on your truck if you switch to something else.

    The MSD will be wasted money on a motor such as yours. 500 HP, it would be of use, but a good HEI ignition on your engine would be AOK.

    I wouldn't get a 700(R4) simply because of the cost. That OD isn't going to make up $1000 worth of gas in 5 years. Instead, spend $500 to add an ORD doubler (makes good use of common 203-th350 parts). Then you can keep 3.08 or 3.73 gears for the hiway and switch to god-mode when off-roading (engage doubler Scotty!).

    You'll gain the most offroad with gears and lockers (you've got 33s, which is a decent size tire). You already have the king of off-road carbs installed!

    Just my $0.0199 (priced like gas) worth

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  3. riz

    riz 3/4 ton status

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    Hey man,

    Here's what I would do.....

    Buy A K&N air filter. They increase horsepower and are reusable. More air = More power.

    Buy the MSD6A ignition with the Blaster 2 coil. Much better spark and better gas mileage to boot. No matter what, it's far better than stock crap.

    Headers are great but you must spend a little extra to get a good pair. Hooker makes some good stuff. Be sure the flange is think or it may warp on you. Don't buy cheap headers !

    I'm not too sure if you need a cam yet. It would void the warranty on your crate motor, so wait till your warranty has expired. Then do your homework on a new one. Crane makes nice cams.

    Also, you may want to invest in a nice set of plugs and wires. If you have old ones they aren't helping you any either.

    I hope this helps you out in some way. Remember, every time you ask a question to a group of people you're going to get many different answers due to so many options and parts available. These are things I've done because freinds have passed their experience with these products to me. It's the old Ford versus Chevy thing.... Some people prefer certain brands over others mainly because it is all they've dealt with...and you're right opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one but some stink more than others. Who knows maybe mine stinks ??

    L8r,

    .Riz.
     
  4. 76GMCJimmyinAZ

    76GMCJimmyinAZ Registered Member

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    Squash-
    A few questions on your post.

    Cam- Will my stock valve train suffice, or do I need a whole cam kit?

    My Q-jet is a couple year-old reman- truck starts EASY, and breezes through emissions here in AZ

    Think I'll hold off on the ignition for now. Too many conflicting reports coming in. I have an HEI, and, as I said, the truck fires right up. Any coil or plug/wire upgrades that would help?

    What's an ORD doubler? After reading www.bowtieoverdrives.com, and seeing the rear-wheel torque difference (due to the lower R4 1st and 2nd gear) the R4 seems to be a good idea...

    GUZZLES GAS BUT IT'S FREE AND CLEAR!!!
     
  5. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    I say go for the headers and the msd ignition (or at least some kind of upgrade for the stock HEI). Not to say that the stock setup is bad, just that there's always room for upgrades. I personally will be buying a 6A sometime soon.

    I have Hooker headers on my Jimmy, they're ok, I'll probably get something different next time. And as far as the ignition goes: My best friend had a 72 with a freshly swapped in 350, he changed the factory setup for a MSD billet distributor, 6A, and new plugs and wires. He said it made a big difference over stock.

    I recently did a swap from a 208 to a 205 t-case on my 700r4. I got a short shaft from Advance Adapters for the swap. Go for the 205 if you can find one. It's much stronger than the 208, and if you want a doubler, it's no big deal to add later. I drive my Jimmy every day and I don't care what anyone says, overdrive DOES make a big difference. My 700r4 has been pretty much trouble free. You just have to keep em cool, I run a big cooler from B&M. I had the tranny rebuilt while it was out (it had over 165,000 miles on it) but it had to be torn apart anyway to put the short shaft in. As long as you find a good one (87 or older) you shouldn't have any problems out of it.

    As far as the other stuff, I'm not a motorhead (not yet anyway :) so I can't help with the cam stuff.

    BIGJ
     
  6. Tommy

    Tommy 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with forgetting about msd. I have raced cars for 15 years, the msd will help a healthy motor(500+), but the HEI is hard to beat, maybe ad a supercoil to it, good cap and wires.
    The cam swap would be your greatest gain, and the headers will help it even more, they kinda work with each other. I have the 268 in my 327 in my blazer, good power and torque. You would need to put a cam kit. I like the Blue racer series from wolverine, used two different ones and good luck both times. Good luck.
     
  7. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Probably your most noticible increase you could do for on and off road is re-gearing. If you have stock 3.08s with 33s you are probably shy of low end torque because of that. I would say if you did a comparo between adding a set of headers or doing a 4.56 gear install, the gears would be noticible and the headers would not be. Now lets talk off road performance. What little horsepower gain you would get from headers (I know, I have a dyno program) you would not notice in a rock crawling or creeping around situation. Headers gain you horsepower and some torque, but do you no good when you cannot use it properly. The gears would make better use of the power you already have. Either take your $600 and get a set of gears and maybe a locker or buy doubler kit for your transfer case. Headers leak, and in my opinion have no use in an off road vehicle that does rock crawling and light off roading. If you race in the mud bogs and require high RPM horsepower, by all means get some headers. As far as exhaust goes, I am all for free flowing exhaust. I would go to a 2.5" exhaust with flowmaster mufflers. That should do the trick. I will say, my 200,000 mile 400 smallblock does not even have close to the 180 HP it had from the factory and I still have broken read difs and numerous u-joints. Do I need to spend money on more horsepower? NO, I can assure my money goes into the drivetrain.

    As far as recommendations go, how can anyone claim to know the exact cam, intake, header, carb combination without even asking your motor specs? Send me your specs and I will check the engine dyno and help select a cam. I can give you real time proof to what engine parts will work. Email neilmarietta@toast.net

    [​IMG]
    Mudzer 1978/91 K5
     
  8. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    76jimmy, with an XE262 or XE268 (or a similar cam from just about anyone) you can run the stock valve springs if they don't have too much time on them (I'd say less than 25,000 miles). You will obviously get new lifters with the cam. How many miles does yer engine have? If you change the cam, put a new timing chain on at the same time sinse you've got it off already for the cam swap! The best thing would be to get the whole kit, less pushrods (stockers will do).

    ORD=Off-Road Design. Check out my website for a little info and some pix. Also check out www.offroaddesign.com. You might be suprised at your options... TH350, doubler and NP205=crawl up walls, TH700 with NP205=goes fast on interstate, TH700+NP205+5.13 gears+lockers=get farther than with doubler, etc. There are many combos! In my current setup I could run with 3.42 gears and get away with it because I have a doubler and an SM465 (and a 468). But I run 4.10s. So do'nt just run out and do the first thing that comes to mind is all i'm saying.

    As someone else said, it's hard to give perfect advice w/o knowing what your performance goals are... do you only do mudding? Do you only do rock crawls? Do you only drive to work? Off-road, optimum gearing and lockers will help you waaaaay more than any of these engine upgrades.

    Everyone has their opinion on headers. Mine is now shaped after many, many different trucks/headers. If you don't spend about $300 you might as well use your cast iron manifolds! If you do'nt change the cam, keep the manifolds anyways!

    So what is your goal? Hopefully off-roading prowess :-)

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  9. DBLAZER

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with realquash, everything he said makes good sense, I will say this about the 700r4 however. Consider what gears and tires you are going to run when making the decision about the trans. With my 5:13's i couldnt get on the highway without my OD. Just a thought.

    89 w/DANA 60-Corp 14 w/5:13s n Detroit's. 4"lift 2" body. NEW AtlassII being installed
     

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