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Best bang/buck moderate power upgrade? by OpFlash
Started on: 11-19-2007 02:21 PM
Replies: 20
Last post by: FormulaGT on 11-21-2007 11:10 AM
OpFlash
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Report this Post11-19-2007 02:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for OpFlashClick Here to Email OpFlashSend a Private Message to OpFlashDirect Link to This Post
I don't need hundreds of horsepower, and I'm not much of a mechanic or even have a garage right now. I do however want a car that I can bust the rear tires loose from a standing start, with an lsd. Is it possible to do that with the stock setup? I don't own one yet but I am about to buy one. I only drove it once and the owner was in the car so I didn't want to abuse it. Its a 5-speed manual of course, or I wouldn't be asking.

So what is the best option for adding just enough horsepower to do that to a V6 Fiero? I'm used to muscle cars and I lke my low end torque. I just love to powerslide on occasion What about just rebuilding the stock motor with some better flow? A bolt on blower? Keep in mind I'm going to have to pay for the work and I'm not rich!

Thanks!
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Old Lar
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Report this Post11-19-2007 04:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarDirect Link to This Post
Horsepower and Torque cost money. How much buck do you have for the bang. The stock 2.8L isn't the best engine to build up. Mechanics cost $40-75/ hr. Then there is parts cost. Since you'll be paying someone else to do the work, upgrades will get pricey. I'd have a few grand stashed away to figure out what you want.

[This message has been edited by Old Lar (edited 11-19-2007).]

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Erik
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Report this Post11-19-2007 04:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ErikClick Here to Email ErikSend a Private Message to ErikDirect Link to This Post
get a wet shot nitrous system. Its most likely the most cost effective easiest way to add power. Just as long as your engine is in good condition you should be able to safely add 50 to 75hp which should allow you to burn off your tires and win some races
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Francis T
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Report this Post11-19-2007 04:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Francis TClick Here to visit Francis T's HomePageClick Here to Email Francis TSend a Private Message to Francis TDirect Link to This Post
Change the intake (trueleo hi-flo) and get more HP, TQ, and lot wider powerband. lol, yes I'm biaise, but it is a fact and it's just a bolt on.

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James Bond 007
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Report this Post11-19-2007 04:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for James Bond 007Send a Private Message to James Bond 007Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Old Lar:

Horsepower and Torque cost money. How much buck do you have for the bang. The stock 2.8L isn't the best engine to build up. Mechanics cost $40-75/ hr. Then there is parts cost. Since you'll be paying someone else to do the work, upgrades will get pricey. I'd have a few grand stashed away to figure out what you want.


I agree with Old Lar.Cost,Cost,Cost..The 2.8 can onley handle so much and considering it's age,who knows what will happen.Your best bag for the buck would be an engine swap.You can probubley get an engine at the wrecking yard for $600, or even less, if they have a half off day like they do here in California.

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darkhorizon
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Report this Post11-19-2007 04:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for darkhorizonSend a Private Message to darkhorizonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Erik:

get a wet shot nitrous system. Its most likely the most cost effective easiest way to add power. Just as long as your engine is in good condition you should be able to safely add 50 to 75hp which should allow you to burn off your tires and win some races


nitrous is very fun and quite safe if you do it without skipping safety steps.

My friend walked all over my stock stock GTP with his nitrous 2.8.

I do think that a cheaply done 3800 swap offers a bit more "bang for buck" but it is SIGNIFICANTLY harder to do haha.
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BigB
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Report this Post11-19-2007 05:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BigBClick Here to Email BigBSend a Private Message to BigBDirect Link to This Post
OpFlash, you may be surprised as to what the 2.8 WILL DO. The 5-speed is geared pretty low and although the stock 2.8 is not going to go head-to-head everytime with a stang, it'll hold its own. I think once you get your car and start to understand what it likes to do, you may get more out of it than what it appears to have on paper. Both my GT's will light up from a standing start if that's you thing ...
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Report this Post11-19-2007 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroseverywhereClick Here to Email FieroseverywhereSend a Private Message to FieroseverywhereDirect Link to This Post
I'm a little biased too. I would say the 4.9 is still the best bang for the buck. If you do it yourself you can have a low mileage one in the car for under 1000. It will give you the low end grunt you are looking for without adding much if any weight to the car. Rated at 200hp and 275tq from the factory and it will break the tires loose without any problem at all. It bolts to your tranny, gets decent gas mileage in a fiero (~28 mpg with a getrag), fit the engine bay with little to no mods ,and is very reliable. Best of all you get that nice V8 sound.

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Report this Post11-19-2007 09:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Nate16Send a Private Message to Nate16Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by BigB:

OpFlash, you may be surprised as to what the 2.8 WILL DO. The 5-speed is geared pretty low and although the stock 2.8 is not going to go head-to-head everytime with a stang, it'll hold its own. I think once you get your car and start to understand what it likes to do, you may get more out of it than what it appears to have on paper. Both my GT's will light up from a standing start if that's you thing ...



I agree. The 2.8 may be a little on the weak side but it can be built pretty niceley if you would like that. I am doing a turbo setup on my 2.8 here in a couple of months after I am done with my sports season at school. It just all depends on what you want: a v6? v8? SD4?
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pswayne
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Report this Post11-19-2007 10:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pswayneClick Here to Email pswayneSend a Private Message to pswayneDirect Link to This Post
Port the exhaust manifolds on your 2.8, and you'll gain about 10 hp. But no low end torque gain, which is what you need to burn rubber. And the Truleo, mentioned previously, won't give you more low end torque either.
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Report this Post11-19-2007 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blackramsClick Here to Email blackramsSend a Private Message to blackramsDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fieroseverywhere:
I'm a little biased too. I would say the 4.9 is still the best bang for the buck. If you do it yourself you can have a low mileage one in the car for under 1000. It will give you the low end grunt you are looking for without adding much if any weight to the car. Rated at 200hp and 275tq from the factory and it will break the tires loose without any problem at all. It bolts to your tranny, gets decent gas mileage in a fiero (~28 mpg with a getrag), fit the engine bay with little to no mods ,and is very reliable. Best of all you get that nice V8 sound.


Though my 3800SC is faster, I still put more miles on the 4.9 and it was one hell of a lot less investment. So yes, if you want bang for your buck, the 4.9 is IMO, the best way to go. My next one will be another 4.9 but this time it'll be coupled to a Getrag.

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Francis T
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Report this Post11-19-2007 10:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Francis TClick Here to visit Francis T's HomePageClick Here to Email Francis TSend a Private Message to Francis TDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pswayne:

Port the exhaust manifolds on your 2.8, and you'll gain about 10 hp. But no low end torque gain, which is what you need to burn rubber. And the Truleo, mentioned previously, won't give you more low end torque either.


Wrong, it does provide a liltte more TQ, though not enough to notice but considering that it will raise youre HP and take it beyound 6K (stock intake peeks around 4.5K) that's win-win, whereas a lot of mods give you power at one end and lose it at the other. If you look at the dyno data it's about a 20% increase over stock with it tapping into power in RPMs where it wasent before.

BTW and this is not simply because we make intakes; a $600 (doubt that you can do 3800 for that price all told) swap takes a lot of work and you never really know just how good that $600 engine really is, especially if you dont get to see the car it came out of. The 2.8 with a better intake, ours or a 4bbl carb intake will surprise the heck out you, not like V8, but it will really wake that engine up.

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Fieroseverywhere
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Report this Post11-19-2007 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroseverywhereClick Here to Email FieroseverywhereSend a Private Message to FieroseverywhereDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


Though my 3800SC is faster, I still put more miles on the 4.9 and it was one hell of a lot less investment. So yes, if you want bang for your buck, the 4.9 is IMO, the best way to go. My next one will be another 4.9 but this time it'll be coupled to a Getrag.



And I'm going with a 3800SC next. Until then I'll have the 4.9 to play with.

Actually I bought a junkyard 4.9 for 200. Replaced bearings, seals, rings, and upgraded the cam (port work was free in my case ~575), with the rest of the parts for the install, I still have less then 1000 in the swap. I have done 2.8 rebuilds that cost more and can promise I will never do another, except for maybe my first fiero, that will always be a 2.8.

If you really want a 2.8 to move....

Port heads and upper/lower intake
bigger cam
Balance the rotating assembly
Blueprint the block
Truleo intake and exhaust
Tune, tune, tune

They can move very well with the right amount of work and will always be the best suited for the car. Pontiac got 300HP out of them when they were being raced, naturally asperated. Just needs to be done right and it still wont get you what you can get out of a newer motor. If it were me I would say upgrade the motor then worry about the performance upgrades, or maintain and save/invest til you can get exactly what you want. Gotta love all the options that fieros provide.

[This message has been edited by Fieroseverywhere (edited 11-20-2007).]

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OpFlash
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Report this Post11-20-2007 12:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for OpFlashClick Here to Email OpFlashSend a Private Message to OpFlashDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for all the great input!

I like the suggestion to get the car first and then decide after driving it awhile. If it will truly light the tires I may already be there. I'm looking for torque more than HP. I'm not worried about winning straightline acceleration contests.

It sounds like the 4.9 Cadillac motor is the easiest/cheapest swap? How many hours would you estimate? Sorry for the noob questions!

[This message has been edited by OpFlash (edited 11-20-2007).]

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Report this Post11-20-2007 01:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for uhlanstanClick Here to Email uhlanstanSend a Private Message to uhlanstanDirect Link to This Post
the easiest swap is the 3.4..Swaps are a lot of work and expense,if you take your time and get the best price on the engine ,it will still cost a lot of time and money ,, the fiero is a rear engine, rear wheel drive. the parts came out of a front wheel drive car so spinning the tires is O K,, many do this but not to "often",, Stock will do to burn rubber.. ,Just make sure the stock engine is in top operating..If the tires are worn purchase narrower cheapo tires,you will not loose much braking ability..The best boost from 2.8? port the exhaust & the intake replace muffler with thrush or cherry bomb..This will net you 13 to 18 horsepower...This is a lot of work and often the exhaust bolts break off..porting the exhaust is a win win situation,mo power, mo M P G.. but the joy is shortlived if one of the exhaust bolts snap..Enjoy the car and plan your descent..If you survive an exhaust port job you are fiero material,the fiero maniacs are looking for a few good men!!

[This message has been edited by uhlanstan (edited 11-20-2007).]

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Report this Post11-20-2007 07:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroseverywhereClick Here to Email FieroseverywhereSend a Private Message to FieroseverywhereDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by OpFlash:

Thanks for all the great input!

I like the suggestion to get the car first and then decide after driving it awhile. If it will truly light the tires I may already be there. I'm looking for torque more than HP. I'm not worried about winning straightline acceleration contests.

It sounds like the 4.9 Cadillac motor is the easiest/cheapest swap? How many hours would you estimate? Sorry for the noob questions!



It has been done in a weekend before though I would not suggest trying that your first time out. I would say an average of ~40 hours if you have all the parts. 3.4 is easier and usually cheaper but you won't get as much for your money and they are getting hard to find. 93-95 camaro/firebird is the engine to go with for that.
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Report this Post11-20-2007 10:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pswayneClick Here to Email pswayneSend a Private Message to pswayneDirect Link to This Post
I bet one of these would help your 2.8:

Not my car, but I can probably get you in touch with the owner if you'd like to.
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Chris Hodson
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Report this Post11-21-2007 03:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chris HodsonSend a Private Message to Chris HodsonDirect Link to This Post
That dual throttle body looks like a work of art.
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Report this Post11-21-2007 04:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FierobsessedClick Here to Email FierobsessedSend a Private Message to FierobsessedDirect Link to This Post
I admire the use of the quad 4 IDI cover for the centerpiece, looks LS1ish. real cool.
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Report this Post11-21-2007 08:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by OpFlash:

Thanks for all the great input!

I like the suggestion to get the car first and then decide after driving it awhile. If it will truly light the tires I may already be there. I'm looking for torque more than HP. I'm not worried about winning straightline acceleration contests.

It sounds like the 4.9 Cadillac motor is the easiest/cheapest swap? How many hours would you estimate? Sorry for the noob questions!




The 4.9 is the easiest however, swapping engines takes a place to do it and a hoist or cherry picker. You need to salvage a wiring harness for the 4.9 if you use the fuelly system on it. There are guys on the forum who do up the wiring at a fair price. If you want something that is RELATIVELY simple, the 4.9 is a good swap. If you are a muscle car guy, you may want a carb. You can get the distributor from an older Caddy and fabricate a conversion plate for the intake manifold. I think there is a guy out there making conversion plates for about $30. Then a 500 cfm Holley 2 barrel will wake the ol' girl up just fine.

Arn

Oh yeah, the Caddy takes some custom exhaust plumbing whereas the 3.4 doesn't

[This message has been edited by Arns85GT (edited 11-21-2007).]

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Report this Post11-21-2007 11:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FormulaGTClick Here to Email FormulaGTSend a Private Message to FormulaGTDirect Link to This Post
Think about how much your willing to spend first and start pricing your project. Whichever upgrade you choose and labor costs to have somebody do it will add up a lot quicker than you may be aware of. Good luck with your future project.
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