So, How much is enough power for the street - Chevy Nova Forum
Visit our sponsor, National Nostalgic Nova
 
Steve's Nova Site is an automotive enthusiast website dedicated to the 1962 - 1979 Chevrolet Nova, Chevy II and Acadian automobiles. We work together to preserve, restore, drive, show, race and provide fellowship for these classic cars. This is one of the best places to find information about parts, rebuilding, restoration and racing. This website is not affiliated with GM, General Motors or Chevrolet in any capacity.

Go Back   Chevy Nova Forum > Body, Chassis and Mechanical > Drivetrain & Performance


StevesNovaSite.com is the premier Chevrolet Nova Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
View Poll Results: whats enough for a street car
300-399 ft/lbs at the wheel 102 20.20%
400-499 ft/lbs at the wheel 222 43.96%
500-599 ft lbs at the wheel 82 16.24%
600+ ft lbs at the wheel 99 19.60%
Voters: 505. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12th-August-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
71 Chevy

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (3)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas, Tejas!
Posts: 2,566
So, How much is enough power for the street

Ive spent the last 3 or so weeks specing out turbochargers, even making a spreadsheet to calculate what turbo I need. I started out wanting 1000hp, then I realized that was ridiculous for a street car and turned it down to 750hp.

now, it seems to me( I dont know how long it will last) that even 750 hp is too much for a street car. MUCH TOO MUCH.

we got some good rain in Dallas yesterday, where it wasnt 103degrees in the evening, so I decided to do some tuning on the Nova. fixed the vacuum advance and timing, then around midnight(when the streets were dry) I decided to take it out on the street and REALLY see what this bad boy could do.

keep in mind this is only about a 400hp/500tq engine. I took it to 6000 in first, shifted to 2nd and kept it too about 6000, and shifted into third. i hit a mild rise in the road and this old car with no suspension upgrades felt like it was going to get all out of whack. pulled into a gas station to get gas and saw my hands SHAKING.

I dont know if its because its all new to me, but 500tq feels MORE THAN ENOUGH for a street car. anymore and I dont think it would be fun anymore. kinda like my 1984 nighthawk vs my R1. the nighthawk was a HUGE blast. it was a thrill, so I thought more would be better and bought a 2000 r1. well, it was fast alright, faster than fast, but it was not fun at all. I think its thrilling when you are squeezing all you can out of it and its fast but not dangerously fast. full throttle on the r1 was like 140 mph in the blink of an eye.

anyhow, no more turbo for me.if I get tired of this I'll just use a 100shot of n20( or maybe up the compression and change to a roller cam) but I doubt I'll see that day, not in this rickety nova anyway.

so, what is enough power for you in a pure street (no drag duty) car???
  Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12th-August-2008, 01:22 PM   #2
Paul Wright
 
Paul Wright's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (0)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Psychic Hotline
Posts: 8,407
This is a good observation, though many I'm sure will say you can't ever have too much HP. Most will be dead someday.

I think even 200 hp is too much if it's in a 450 lb motorcycle.

Power to weight, suspension brakes and tires all figure into margin of safety. Old classic are often ill equipped for major increases in HP without an equal re-engineering of the other components.

A modern Z06 has extreme hp but every component is engineered for that level.

In spite of all that, even GM can't control the quality of the "nut holding the steering wheel".
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wright
Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol.
.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
Prostreet513
 
Prostreet513's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (4)
Status: Offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Nova(s): 1970 Pro Street Nova
Posts: 3,181
I think 500 to 599 at the wheels is more than enough and then some for the street. Now if it's a street strip car than I say how ever much you and your car can safely handle. Hp is nice to see big numbers but torque is really where it's at on the street.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 02:08 PM   #4
71 Chevy

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (3)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas, Tejas!
Posts: 2,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wright View Post
I think even 200 hp is too much if it's in a 450 lb motorcycle.

without question. you could not pay me to get on a 450lb bike with 200hp. I wont do it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
Fast Eddie
 
Fast Eddie's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (1)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Temecula, CA
Nova(s): 1966 Nova
Posts: 2,927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wright View Post
This is a good observation, though many I'm sure will say you can't ever have too much HP. Most will be dead someday.

I think even 200 hp is too much if it's in a 450 lb motorcycle.

Power to weight, suspension brakes and tires all figure into margin of safety. Old classic are often ill equipped for major increases in HP without an equal re-engineering of the other components.

A modern Z06 has extreme hp but every component is engineered for that level.

In spite of all that, even GM can't control the quality of the "nut holding the steering wheel".

E.J. Potter - The Michigan Madman never thought twice about power to weight ratios.

Attachment 15156
__________________
Fast Eddie
1966 Nova
408 cu in SBC
Aqua

Last edited by Fast Eddie; 24th-September-2009 at 12:32 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 02:31 PM   #6
Nova_Guy
 
Nova_Guy's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (2)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Beavercreek, Oh
Nova(s): 68 Chevy II SS
Posts: 7,948
Horsepower is like a hammer. You have to use the right size for the job; that is why hammers come in different sizes just like cars make different amounts of horsepower.
You can drive tacks with a 16lbs sledge hammer or a 16 penny nail with a jewlers hammer neither one will do a good job.
__________________

James
My web site
1968 Chevy II National Nostalgic Nova Member
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 03:27 PM   #7
veno
 
veno's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (3)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Splendora,Texas
Nova(s): 72 385, t350, 3.73 4w-dsk
Posts: 13,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie View Post
E.J. Potter - The Michigan Madman never thought twice about power to weight ratios.

Attachment 15156
EJ Potter was a very cool guy.. got to see him @ dragway42 in 1972.. with his injected 327..

First time I ever saw a motorcycle stand with out the need of a kick/center stand....

I think he was using a 9" slick.. but the memory fads as to what was and what is.. reality... sure was a gas watch him run tho
__________________
a nation of free men, shall live forever, or die by suicide
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
veno
 
veno's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (3)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Splendora,Texas
Nova(s): 72 385, t350, 3.73 4w-dsk
Posts: 13,316
Hey Cyan,

Now that the 468 is running satisfactorily ... when is the 496 going to debut?

I mean you have learned all the little things now.... you is now a Bona Fide BBC builder!
__________________
a nation of free men, shall live forever, or die by suicide
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 04:03 PM   #9
71 Chevy

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (3)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas, Tejas!
Posts: 2,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by veno View Post
Hey Cyan,

Now that the 468 is running satisfactorily ... when is the 496 going to debut?

I mean you have learned all the little things now.... you is now a Bona Fide BBC builder!
no 496 for me sir! then I would have to deal with hardcore things like notching the block, modding the oil pan, etc etc.(plus I wont be able to use these shiny new srp forged pistons Ive got sitting in my closet.

the 468 is running good, but Im still leaving power on the table. afr at full throttle last night was 11.3. Im gonna put the stock secondary vacuum spring back in and see if that does anything. If not, I'll probably have to rejet the secondaries.

next engine I build will probably be a rebuild of the old 327 with the $700 twin turbo kit on ebay, capable of 400hp each. that would be a sweet build and Im looking forward to it, and dropping it into an old shoebox chevyII

Last edited by 71 Chevy; 12th-August-2008 at 04:08 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 04:06 PM   #10
Pwrtrip75
 
Pwrtrip75's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (0)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Janesville, WI
Posts: 2,126
Depends on the car/chassis. I wouldnt want 1000hp in a stock chassis stock tire car. And also how gradual the power comes on. A nitrous car is totally different than a turbo car. My ET/MPH/weight on my car calculates out to around 640rwhp, and thats coming off the line at half boost so it might make a little more. On a decent street I can get it to hook and go. Of course I drive around with slicks on all the time and its a 4-link setup to hook like a mo fo.
With street tires its worthless...will instantly blow the tires off at any speed on the highway. I wouldnt say its too much... one just needs to know how to drive with it.
__________________
72 Nova- LS 370 88mm turbo 4 link
99 Transam-LS 370 76mm turbo
71 Chevelle slow 350 building a LS 5.3
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 04:10 PM   #11
Pwrtrip75
 
Pwrtrip75's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (0)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Janesville, WI
Posts: 2,126
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyanJaguar View Post
the 468 is running good, but Im still leaving power on the table. afr at full throttle last night was 11.3. Im gonna put the stock secondary vacuum spring back in and see if that does anything. If not, I'll probably have to rejet the secondaries.
Yikes...thats kinda rich.
__________________
72 Nova- LS 370 88mm turbo 4 link
99 Transam-LS 370 76mm turbo
71 Chevelle slow 350 building a LS 5.3
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 04:51 PM   #12
71 Chevy

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (3)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas, Tejas!
Posts: 2,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwrtrip75 View Post
Yikes...thats kinda rich.
I know. how much power do you estimate I'll pick up when I get it to 12.5
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 06:16 PM   #13
Seattle_Mike
 
Seattle_Mike's Avatar

Title: Moderator
iTrader: (0)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,069
And you are going to use all this power when? where? Anything over 150hp can easily get you a ticket, so it all depends on what you are going to use the car for. After "being there, done that", my focus is now is NOT maximizing a street car hp, it only makes for a miserable car to drive, a total waste of money, and a quick way to get into trouble. You can have plenty of power without going crazy and have "the look" if that's what you are striving for. If I were doing it again, I would not of spent all the time and money on my 66's engine combo. The 468 in the street rod is scary fast, and the 632 in the wife's race car, well...that's another story, it's purpose built engine that only sees the track. I finally learned that no matter what I had, it wasn't fast enough, didn't make enough horsepower, didn't sound tough enough, so am now able to have a little (and I stress little) common sense and am able to accept things with a different perspective. Just one person's perspective after 47 years of hotrodding, motorcycles, etc.
__________________
33 Ford 3 Window 468ci BBC
68 Camaro ProMod 846ci Reher-Morrison Nitrous
www.yvonnelucasracing.com

Last edited by Seattle_Mike; 12th-August-2008 at 06:18 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 10:28 PM   #14
slow3oh
 
slow3oh's Avatar

Title: Nova Guru
iTrader: (1)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morro Bay CA
Nova(s): 71 nova (so far)
Posts: 1,315
you guys are crazy i think 300 + hp and 350- 375 ft lbs is MORE THAN ENOUGH for a street car (im talking every day driver) my sisters 280 hp lt1 camaro is pretty damn peppy to me

so i think 400 at the wheels is insane for a street car!!!

just my opinion though
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th-August-2008, 10:57 PM   #15
Carl 66

Title: Nova Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
Status: Offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Pevely MO.
Nova(s): 1970 SS Orange Crush
Posts: 490
Very well said Mike.

Carl 66
  Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hate to say it, a holley is kickin my butt! 66torchredpro Drivetrain & Performance 50 6th-April-2008 11:39 PM
GM built sheet codes, I think these correct 74sleeper Originality 3 25th-March-2008 07:20 PM
Power Steering or Manual... NOVACA1N Steering, Suspension, and Chassis 13 17th-September-2006 01:15 AM
what to expect with different lobe centers 69NovaSS Best of Drivetrain & Performance 14 1st-December-2005 09:43 AM


Site best viewed set to 1024 x 768.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:56 AM.

Custom Designed for Steve's Nova Site by: vBSkinworks

 
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Lt

Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.