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Discussion Starter #1
I am beginning the process of building the engine for my 74. I have an OEM Iron block LQ4 pull-out as my starting point. I’ll be installing a 4” stroke rotating assembly in the bottom after machine work is done. I have a goal of 500hp/500tq, NA, carb. Low compression of about 9.7:1 for pump gas manners. I have been researching and selecting components for a few weeks now. I think I have a good selection of components worked out for a nice street power plant. I’ve been focusing more on the torque and less on max hp. Not looking to build a high rpm/peak HP motor. I’d like to be able to drive my car daily without having to worry about fuel or tune. Here what I have chosen for heads, valve train, induction and ignition.

1. Trick Flow GenX 220 (as cast) cathedral heads with Ti retainers.
2. Lunati link-bar hyd. roller lifters.
3. Comp ultra gold roller rockers.
4. Cam Motion Torquey Stroker cam
5. Edelbrock performer RPM dual-plane intake.
6. Holley ultra xp 850 carb.
7. MSD-60143 ignition.

This is where I’m at right now. Suggestions, comments welcome. Have not ordered the parts yet but I’m about ready to. Sold off some stuff recently to get this part of my build moving.


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cam swap and headers and an LS will make 500.
 

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I do like Cam Motion.
 
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Wow, they charge $30 to recommend one of their cams. You might get in touch with Jones Cams, I just bought a custom cam designed by him for my 383 build. From all my reading he seems to really know his stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You can make 500 hp with LS3 heads and a good cam. Factory rockers and lifters work well even in racing applications. I would use the factory parts, then with the money saved upgrade your suspension to handle the 500 hp.

The TFS heads are $100 more than the LS3 heads (more if you factor in the new springs), accept higher lift, and have titanium retainers. I've got to buy heads one way or the other. The TFS heads do require the full roller rockers but I was set on the comp gold anyways. I'm not crazy about the stock plastic lifter retainers. Valvetrain is not an area I want to "value engineer". Most of Holdner's videos along with much of what I've read, suggest the cathedral port heads make better mid-range torque. One thing I do question is the dual-plane intake and how it will work with the heads and cam. It seems like all the dyno videos I watch have the mid-rise single plane intakes. Suspension is pretty well hashed out, or so I think anyways.
 

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Wow, they charge $30 to recommend one of their cams. You might get in touch with Jones Cams, I just bought a custom cam designed by him for my 383 build. From all my reading he seems to really know his stuff.
Yeah, It stings a little but they discount it off the purchase, if you buy one of their cams. It make sense to me for them to charge a fee. I imagine they would get swamped with requests otherwise.
 

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I've heard Holdner refer to that cam but I have not been able to figure out precisely which one it is. He always shows the Comp part #'s and I assume it the one he uses most of the time. Comp Stage 2 maybe?
 

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I like everything BUT the low compression. I would try for at least 11.0-1....I'd like 11.5 better with that combo. What's the rest of the combo? Exhaust, trans,gears, converter?
 

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I like everything BUT the low compression. I would try for at least 11.0-1....I'd like 11.5 better with that combo. What's the rest of the combo? Exhaust, trans,gears, converter?
Well, I might like to add forced induction down the road a bit. If I can get respectable performance at 9.5:1, It will be better for the long term plan. Car will have Hooker LS swap headers. I’m pretty sure they have 1-7/8” primaries. Have the Tremec T56 close ratio trans already. Rear is 3:73.


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Your post said NA.

Seems like you have everything figured out and just wanted to share what you are thinking but not really open to input.
 

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I too like the Sloppy/Elgin Stage II cam and intend to run that in my LQ4. Trick Flow also has that same cam in their packaging.. I’m pretty sure Elgin is the supplier for all.. I’m probably going to try some 706 heads and see how it goes.. I will most likely be EFI and non turbo.. I’ve been putting things in my Summit shopping cart as I go. Right now I have the cam and valve springs in the cart.

Still will need to figure out headers and much much more.
 

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Your post said NA.

Seems like you have everything figured out and just wanted to share what you are thinking but not really open to input.
I’m open to input. Been responding to most posts with what/why. Your posts on the other hand are increasingly annoying.


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I too like the Sloppy/Elgin Stage II cam and intend to run that in my LQ4. Trick Flow also has that same cam in their packaging.. I’m pretty sure Elgin is the supplier for all.. I’m probably going to try some 706 heads and see how it goes.. I will most likely be EFI and non turbo.. I’ve been putting things in my Summit shopping cart as I go. Right now I have the cam and valve springs in the cart.

Still will need to figure out headers and much much more.
Same here on the summit wish list. Been adding and removing parts for 2 weeks.


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I like everything BUT the low compression. I would try for at least 11.0-1....I'd like 11.5 better with that combo. What's the rest of the combo? Exhaust, trans,gears, converter?
In one of Richards latest videos he stated compression works with any cam the way all cams are turbo cams. I just bought an aluminum block 5.3 and I plan to run around 9.5 for the same reasons as the OP. I'm shooting for around 425-450HP NA but at some point a turbo may get installed. I bought a GT45 for $120.00 off Ebay recently just for the price. So far it's been sitting on my desk and makes for a great conversation starter.......
 

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Richard makes great videos, but dynoing a engine doesn't make a car fast or say it's gonna have good drive ability. Remember he's only testing at one throttle position. Low compression and large overlap with a carb usually mean crappy driving experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Richard makes great videos, but dynoing a engine doesn't make a car fast or say it's gonna have good drive ability. Remember he's only testing at one throttle position. Low compression and large overlap with a carb usually mean crappy driving experience.
That is something I certainly do not want...crappy driving experience. I do appreciate his videos immensely though because at least it’s some data to evaluate. I did fail to mention the possible future power adder in my original post. I’m always a little reluctant to say “I’m going to do this in x years” because I’ve changed my mind so many times through this build already. When I started this car, 10 years ago, I was planning on using my 327 block with twin turbos mated to a Munci 4-speed. Now that the time has come, I’ve got an LS mated to a T56. If I wait a few more years, it’ll probably be an electric motor and batteries!

The chassis is built quite “stiff”. The suspension is pretty “solid”. Full cage, 4-link, coil overs, panhard, even an anti-sway which has generated differing opinions. 335x35x17 Michelin Pilot rear street tires. This car was built around the rear tires btw. The entire rear suspension was hand built.

So now I have a car that’s shaping up to be something that looks like it could handle 800 HP. Overbuilt really for what I intend to do with it, which is drive it on the street as much as I possibly can.

I’m not an expert engine builder. I research as much as I can find before making a decision. I’m also cheap as hell but won’t hesitate to spend the $, if I can find it, on good quality parts. I’m not wealthy and I hate making mistakes.

It was either go all in on NA and make max hp/tq with the engine and live with it or start low compression and leave the door open for forced induction down the road. Down the road being after I get the car on the road and can save enough $ to do it. 500hp/500tq is respectable as hell where I come from anyways. But I do hear you, it’s not as easy to get there with 9.5:1 as it is at 11:1. Also, I’m trying very hard not to build a finicky, problem child of an engine. It must run on pump gas. I have zero interest in chasing race fuel. The same goes for if/when the power adder arrives.

Since the primary application is street, low end grunt/throttle response is important to me. I don’t plan to drive around winding this thing up all the time.


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I feel like you're worrying too much about having 11:1 in an LS for a street engine. There are 11:1 LS engines that came from the factory that run on pump gas (LS2's, LFA's, etc.), even more with 10.5:1 or better. Given the modern combustion chamber design and superior characteristics with an LS, 11:1 is totally doable on the street, especially with 93 octane. Additionally, take into account what your dynamic compression ratio will be- going to a bigger cam with more duration and a tighter LSA is going to bleed off compression, too. This isn't an iron-headed dinosaur with bathtub chamber design that requires a 106 LSA cam to alleviate squeeze.

Are you 100% sure you want to stick with a carb? While expensive, an EFI setup (either factory style ECU or a Holley Terminator X) could solve most of your livability issues, provide you with something that runs no matter the weather, adds a safety net for knock, and provides superior mileage.

FWIW, I'm sorting out doing an LS at some point in my car, but just at the "parts gathering" stage. Based on what I know and what I've experienced, there's no way that I'm removing EFI from any engine I buy to put on a carb.
 
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