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Discussion Starter #1
A buddy an I are building a lemons/champ car s10 and are looking for cheap power upgrades.

The truck is a 1996 2wd manual. The rear end is getting swapped in for a 94 Mazda RX7 IRS, so the handling should be greatly improved.

We would like to stick with EFI, and here is what we are thinking.

1. Intake, duh
2. Exhaust - going to do a true dual, and dump in front of passenger rear wheel. 2.5 pipe, keep the 02 sensors before the CAT. will have some glasspacks on it.
3. Efans, or fan delete

What else should we be looking at? I have seen PCM swaps? Marine intake? Would like to do a cam if the budget allows? would like to be 225-250 hp to go with a final weight of roughly 2700-2800 pounds

And, yes, i have been searching here as well, thats where I have gotten the ideas, lol

Any help appreciated!
 

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if you are staying with EFI,then why are you changing the intake when you can ditch the poppets and change to the real injectors with what you have for a tad over $200?...Unless you are going to custom build a tubular intake with external fuel rails...but would it be worth it? larger throttle body maybe? I'm not sure but I'm thinking maybe someone over in the "blowers and bottles" section of this forum might have more ideas for you on that. They are rated @ [email protected] [email protected] iirc from the factory with the sequential injection so you should be able to squeeze out a bit more Good luck edit-maybe pick up a late 02-05 4,3
 

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IMO, your main pitfall is going to be fuel economy, not power. You'd be better off with a 4-cylinder! Best bang for your buck is a brake upgrade. You get way more acceleration from brakes than engine. 1998+ Blazers had dual-piston calipers. You can get a ZR2 8.5" rear end to bolt in which will give you a G80 locker (for the rain - NOT for burnouts) and rear disks. Replace the exhaust with 2.5 or 3". Best bang for your ultra-limited buck on the engine is a cam. If you have an automatic, then rebuild the 4L60E regardless of whether it's running okay or not. A complete overhaul kit with bushings will run you under $200. Always come to a complete stop before switching between drive and reverse. Look around the you-pull yards for a zr2 and snag the Bilstein shocks off it. At that point, I think you're out of money.
 

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IMO, your main pitfall is going to be fuel economy, not power. You'd be better off with a 4-cylinder! Best bang for your buck is a brake upgrade. You get way more acceleration from brakes than engine. 1998+ Blazers had dual-piston calipers. You can get a ZR2 8.5" rear end to bolt in which will give you a G80 locker (for the rain - NOT for burnouts) and rear disks. Replace the exhaust with 2.5 or 3". Best bang for your ultra-limited buck on the engine is a cam. If you have an automatic, then rebuild the 4L60E regardless of whether it's running okay or not. A complete overhaul kit with bushings will run you under $200. Always come to a complete stop before switching between drive and reverse. Look around the you-pull yards for a zr2 and snag the Bilstein shocks off it. At that point, I think you're out of money.
Forgot to specify, we already have purchased the hubs and brackets for a c5 swap. Found a set of front and rear calipers locally for 140 for all 4 corners!! Front steering is getting all new components, from jeep steering shaft, ZQ8 box, to new components. Tubular a arms, zq8 springs, belltech shocks, and taller upper and lower ball joints are here as well.

There are required fuel stops and driver changes every 2 hours, fuel milage shouldnt be an issue

What cams do you recommend? I know I came across a big engine face sheet by year that gives specs, good things, and pitfalls for each year, but I cant find it. Like some years certain engines had factory roller assemblies?
 

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if you are staying with EFI,then why are you changing the intake when you can ditch the poppets and change to the real injectors with what you have for a tad over $200?...Unless you are going to custom build a tubular intake with external fuel rails...but would it be worth it? larger throttle body maybe? I'm not sure but I'm thinking maybe someone over in the "blowers and bottles" section of this forum might have more ideas for you on that. They are rated @ [email protected] [email protected] iirc from the factory with the sequential injection so you should be able to squeeze out a bit more Good luck edit-maybe pick up a late 02-05 4,3
What is better about the 02-05 engines? couple sitting at the local pull apart now.
 

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intake and heads changed somewhere in that area, i forget exactly what year. early to mid 02 went to real injectors, but they can be retrofit back to 96 iirc. just steer clear of the 95 ish obd 1.5 if you want to make your life easier on the electronics There are good write ups about the evolution of the 4.3 on here and elsewhere...and a lot of discussion by those with more expertise on intake/head preference. I just threw out my 2cents to get you moving in the right direction. I'm surprised others havent chimed in by now...if for no reason than to tell me how wrong I am- LOL
 

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intake and heads changed somewhere in that area, i forget exactly what year. early to mid 02 went to real injectors, but they can be retrofit back to 96 iirc. just steer clear of the 95 ish obd 1.5 if you want to make your life easier on the electronics There are good write ups about the evolution of the 4.3 on here and elsewhere...and a lot of discussion by those with more expertise on intake/head preference. I just threw out my 2cents to get you moving in the right direction. I'm surprised others havent chimed in by now...if for no reason than to tell me how wrong I am- LOL
We have a spare engine from 2000 (I think, or maybe its 2002 id have to check the VIN)

Im surprised nobody else has chimed in yet either. When it comes to Cams, and heads, springs, clearances, ect im lost.
 

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The factory throttle body is already about 72mm, which is decent for this engine. You can remove the baffle from the throttle blade, but unless you add a significant source of air (boost) the benefit is debatable. In my street driven truck the revving became smoother, but the throttle pedal is more touchy.

You can add ram air to feed the engine. With ECU tuning this will make a difference. I cut a hole in the wheel well below the air filter box and ran 3" ducting from the stock filter box to a Y behind the bumper, then cut 2 openings in the air dam to feed it. The downside to this is the low orientation allows more debris into the filter, and on hot days the heat off the asphalt can affect IAT's. I would guess feeding through the hood would solve that.

The best modification to my exhaust has been a 2" Y pipe, and a Magnaflow high flow catalytic converter. Though discontinued, SLP used to offer a 2.25" Y.

Those are the basic bolt-ons that I think made the most difference. The ram air along with a free flowing muffler and a simple plug-in tune (Hypertech power program III) improved my 1/4 mile time from 16.4 (stock V6/5 speed with K&N air filter) to 15.9. The Y pipe and cat modifications are a noticeable difference, but I've not tested them yet. A more focused dyno tune would be beneficial to what you are trying to accomplish than the Hypertech.
 

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The factory throttle body is already about 72mm, which is decent for this engine. You can remove the baffle from the throttle blade, but unless you add a significant source of air (boost) the benefit is debatable. In my street driven truck the revving became smoother, but the throttle pedal is more touchy.

You can add ram air to feed the engine. With ECU tuning this will make a difference. I cut a hole in the wheel well below the air filter box and ran 3" ducting from the stock filter box to a Y behind the bumper, then cut 2 openings in the air dam to feed it. The downside to this is the low orientation allows more debris into the filter, and on hot days the heat off the asphalt can affect IAT's. I would guess feeding through the hood would solve that.

The best modification to my exhaust has been a 2" Y pipe, and a Magnaflow high flow catalytic converter. Though discontinued, SLP used to offer a 2.25" Y.

Those are the basic bolt-ons that I think made the most difference. The ram air along with a free flowing muffler and a simple plug-in tune (Hypertech power program III) improved my 1/4 mile time from 16.4 (stock V6/5 speed with K&N air filter) to 15.9. The Y pipe and cat modifications are a noticeable difference, but I've not tested them yet. A more focused dyno tune would be beneficial to what you are trying to accomplish than the Hypertech.

The plan for exhaust is already set in motion for true duals off the manifold, or a nice y pipe fabbed locally.

When it comes to ram Air maybe a possibility. Shaker hood? lol that would be a pretty big fab up, and running no filter road racing could be dicey?
 

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Agreed, don't ditch the air filter. I was thinking more along the lines of similar to a Porsche 924 Turbo with the offset hood scoop. The openings in the air dam could then be used for ducting air to cool the brakes.

This is my setup. The 2 pipes go into a Y, then go to the factory filter box. My truck has the ZQ8 suspension and the 255-50-16 tires clear the pipe. I used to run a cone filter, but it would draw in too much under hood air when at a stop so I went back to the factory air box. FYI, the negative to running the ducting direct to the air box in a street vehicle is water. I got stuck in a flash flood back in 2005 and it sucked up enough water to lock up the motor. I suspect water up to the door sill is rare on a race track ;)

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You definitely want to keep an air cleaner. I'd definitely cut the restrictor plate off the throttle butterfly. You can also round off the lead edge of the butterfly and knife-edge the trailing edge for better air flow. Port the heads. The 1999-2002 LSx 4.8L engine uses a flat pack air filter that's larger than the one on the 4.3L. If I were you and going for some ram-air, I'd fabricate an intake at the front of the hood into a really large hood-mounted airbox with the filter and then run it over the rad support and to the stock top-hat. You'll need to slip the MAF sensor in there of course. I'd set that up so that the top-hat lifted up with the hood. Obviously, you'd need to undo the tophat holddown before lifting the hood up.

113 heads featured roller rockers for a little less friction. I think they started those in 2000 but definitely by 2002.

You could deck the head a bit to increase compression but you'll need to check the valve clearances to the pistons to make sure you've got enough room. For reliability (and cost), you don't want a wild cam. I'd pick a truck cam with about 0.5 lift and 270° duration. Any more lift than that and you're going to want springs, and that all adds to cost.

Replace the rod bearings before every race weekend. I'm not even joking! They're about $10/set, so expense is no issue.

If you're running a 2WD truck, get the oil pan and oil pump from a 4x4 as they're deeper and well baffled. That'll stick the oil pickup way down in the oil with no chance of starvation.

You probably want to switch to an electric fan setup as well and ditch the mechanical fan. Leave the heater core in the car! It'll give you auxilliary cooling if you need it on a hot weekend.

The Blazers had a steering fluid cooler that you could add in. The ZR2 blazers have a steering damper, so you might want to pick up that centerlink and fab up a mounting point for the damper. Stock rads include a trans cooler, but you'd probably be better off adding a bigger one for racing.

But really, you're not going to get a ton of performance out of a 4.3L mods without turbocharging it, and then it'll promptly explode in sustained use during racing, so don't do that!

The best thing you can do for your performance is take the finished truck and your race drivers to a bunch of track days and practice going around corners with it. Use terrible tires so you can get used to how it handles when it doesn't want to stick to the track. Driving when it's not sliding all over the place is a lot easier, so practice the hard stuff.
 

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You could always put a type of drain in the bottom of the air box that would allow water out but very little air in. Our Mack garbage trucks have a rubber piece in the bottom of the air cleaner for that reason. They are constantly taking water from rain when driving or just sitting because of the design of the intake. Reminds me of the tip on the elmers glue bottles. If you are going through water that deep, then expect the worse anyways.
 
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