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Two Different Engines, Two Builders, Same Price.... Which to Choose?

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Old 09-24-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default Two Different Engines, Two Builders, Same Price.... Which to Choose?

Im close to pulling the trigger on a motor for my ~3800lb chevelle. the plan is a pro-touring car with some autocross and an occasional trip to the road course. most (90%+) will be street driving. i was originally going to go with a mast 416 black label, but ive since been somewhat talked out of it. that has left me with two other builders that will ship me a motor for the same price. one is hyped strongly here on the forum and the other has been building race/nascar motors for a long time. id rather not mention the names to keep that part from swaying opinions.

common specs;
416 w/ new ls3 block
compstar rods and crank
je or wiesco pistons and ring package
comparable bearings
custom cams
champ or mast road race pan w/ in radiator oil cooler
holly hp ecu and harnesses

heres where they differ;

build #1
ls3 cnc'd heads
stock gm intake
stock gm rails, injectors, tb
custom cnc'd logo on valve covers
remote mount coil harness
base tune and dyno

build #2
afr 245cc heads
fast 102 intake
fast rails, injectors and tb
no dyno, no tune, no custom valve covers and no remote coil mounts included

my thought is that the added power down low from #2 will benefit the chevelle, but the question is whether that will be useable power or if it will just blow the tires off. id rather have the added value in parts vs the tune since most say the holley hp is really easy, but a dyno and base tune is a really nice start.

ive also thought about just using the gm ecu since i can then run the dbw, save some money and clean things up a little more, but builder #1 loves the holley. plus the cost of hp tuners and possibly a tuner himself add to the cost.

what do you guys think?
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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Engine 2's parts costs outweigh the tune/dyno cost on Engine 1, in theory making it a better buy. I suspect #2 will make more power but this really will come down to who ported #1's heads and cam choice.

For your Chevelle, have you considered a carb style intake? The GM and FAST intakes were designed for low hood clearance, not always the best choice if you have clearance. A carb style intake with remote mounted coils would look great in your G body - something important in the Pro Touring game.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:57 PM   #3
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#2. Makes more sense to me. Better parts overall, gm pcms run some of the most powerful ls motors to date.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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Still at it Tim? Haha...(Ron in Socal here)

It's almost a no lose propostion, but with the limited info you psoted I'd go #2. You can always port the heads later if you wanted to, and it gets you to DBW and the GM ECU plus the Fast goodies. Of course, reputation fo the builder would weigh in my decision as well. Good luck Bro!
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Still at it Tim? Haha...(Ron in Socal here)
always at it!!! my problem is im building a whole car and i can never learn enough about body work, wiring, suspension design etc.... every time i focus my energy in one spot i start to lose information i learned about another.

Quote:
For your Chevelle, have you considered a carb style intake?
i did along with a precison metalcraft or marcella sheetmetal intake. both will add about 2k to the cost of the setup. no easy pill to swallow, but my reading has led me to believe that runner length will kill my bottom end. if i had the same or more power across the board it might be a pill worth taking.
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Last edited by 430 hp 70; 09-24-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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afr heads are ~2400 complete from the builder. is there another set of heads for a 416 that are as good or better for roughly the same cost? the tfs and new prc ls7 small bore come to mind, i just dont know their potential.

the gm ecu is a good cost effective solution, i just worry about the tuning. builder #1 said they have cut fuel drastically to a motor with the holley hp and it re-learns and corrects in seconds. this obviously looks good. but i cant find that it does anything else that the gm cant. i was hoping i could control the fuel pump with the pwm output, but that looks like a no go.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:46 PM   #7
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The question of "How much power do you want to make" has not been asked. So...let me be the first.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:04 AM   #8
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#2 with GM/HPT.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 430 hp 70 View Post
always at it!!! my problem is im building a whole car and i can never learn enough about body work, wiring, suspension design etc.... every time i focus my energy in one spot i start to lose information i learned about another.



i did along with a precison metalcraft or marcella sheetmetal intake. both will add about 2k to the cost of the setup. no easy pill to swallow, but my reading has led me to believe that runner length will kill my bottom end. if i had the same or more power across the board it might be a pill worth taking.
Not all carb manifolds kill lower end power. Take a look at Edelbrock Performer RPM for LS1 - dual plane intake set up for a carb and includes MSD electronics to run ignition. Kind of a compromise but you likely have an existing carb and fuel system. May not be as expensive as you think.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
The question of "How much power do you want to make" has not been asked. So...let me be the first.
500+ to the wheels would be nice. not looking for anything outrageous, just something real nice all around.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COPO9560 View Post
Engine 2's parts costs outweigh the tune/dyno cost on Engine 1, in theory making it a better buy. I suspect #2 will make more power but this really will come down to who ported #1's heads and cam choice.

For your Chevelle, have you considered a carb style intake? The GM and FAST intakes were designed for low hood clearance, not always the best choice if you have clearance. A carb style intake with remote mounted coils would look great in your G body - something important in the Pro Touring game.
I think you mean A body. I dont pretend to know much, but Im pretty sure on that one.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
A carb style intake with remote mounted coils would look great in your G body - something important in the Pro Touring game.
Quote:
I think you mean A body.
nice catch. carb intake is not ruled out, but i like the modern appearance of the composite intakes. although, id really love a marcella. just havent called him or seen any dynos to see how much one of those would lose down low.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:42 PM   #13
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what about using the new prc ls7 small bore heads and the factory ls7 manifold on the ls3 block? the ls7 manifold #12610435 is ~$800 and supplies about 2k worth of fast products.

btw, builder #2 is hke
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:58 AM   #14
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You can get a used LS7 production intake on corvetteforum.com for under $200 all day long BTW
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:42 PM   #15
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im going to give hke a call and see what else we can come up with for options. im also thinking that at this price level, 1500 more for a erl block really isnt all that bad. if i can save some money on the manifold and port a stock one i think it would be a pretty good swap.
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