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Old 02-22-2003, 10:32 AM   #1
weihemuller
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Default Crate motor vs. modify original motor?

Any advice would be appreciated. As some of you may know, I have a '62 327/250hp, powerglide, 3.36 posi car -- a NO HIT body with a perfect frame, all numbers matching car. Anyway, I want to have the 327 professionally rebuilt and dynoed. I also want to install aftermaket heads, cam, intake, carb, etc. (all bolt stuff) to the motor. Is this a mistake? If I keep all the original parts, wouldn't the value of the car stay the same?

OR, should I just pull the motor and install a complete "crate" motor. I also want to install disc brakes (bolt on kit) because I drive the car a lot. Will this hurt the car value? Who makes the best brake kits?

Finally, in some of my other topics (see "weihemuller"), some of you say I should find a "driver type" before I alter such an original. I wanted an original because I like knowing that my car has not been wrecked, straightened or patched together -- as many old cars have. Besides, having an original motor car is really nice bonus. Any advice would be of great help! Thank you.
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Old 02-22-2003, 10:52 AM   #2
Bluestripe67
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

Others on the forum will share there thoughts, here are mine. It sounds as if you are really intent on uping the fun factor. If you up the HP with a crate motor watch out for the amount of torque as your orig. trans may not be capable of handling it. Now you have a new issue to deal with. Other issues may crop up as you change things. I would finess the original car and enjoy it. Or go back to square one, sell the car and look for one that you can work with without sacrificing a nice car. Hope this helps! :cheers:
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Old 02-22-2003, 11:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

The 250 HP engine has prodigious low end torque, which matches well with the Powerglide. If you install a high performance cam, low end torque will be lost, which is going to reduce performance in normal driving. I don't think any reasonble high performance small block is going to stress the Powerglide with too much torque, but with a 1.81:1 first gear (if memory serves that the low ratio), you need good torque bandwidth at the low end.

The medium port, small valve heads are the limiting factor on high end power of the 250 HP engine, so a complete new top end would be called for, but if you currently have a numbers matching correct engine configuration, installing a crate engine will probably reduce the value of the car.

If the car is still original, I think a better alternative would be to sell or trade it for a 300 or 340 HP engined version, or one that has already been hotrodded.

Duke
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Old 02-22-2003, 11:59 AM   #4
jerrybramlett
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

Personally, I wouldn't view the car as having a lower value if you limit yourself to bolt-on changes and save the original parts. It's when you start grinding, drilling, changing colors, and selling original parts that you hurt resale value.

As far as whether this car would be more fun to drive with the changes you have in mind, I dunno. I doubt disc brakes on the front will make much difference in the normal pedal feel. I'd spend the money elsewhere. And with an automatic, you aren't going to feel the high rpm power of a modified motor.

I used to drag race solid axle Corvette in the seventies. Once you got some traction at the starting line, parts began to break. The first thing to go was the rear end. Next were the stock u-joints and aluminum B-W transmission case.

The street driving sensation stayed the same for me regardless of the engine horsepower. I always had that funky steering-wheel-in-my-chest feeling and the handling thrills of a '52 Chevy suspension. Those don't go away when you hop up the engine.
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:11 PM   #5
weihemuller
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (SWCDuke)

Thanks Duke. Maybe you can help me. The REAL reason I want to improve the performance of my '62 327/250hp powerglide car is that I want the sound of a "lumpy" idle. Not just a little noticeable, but a very noticeable idle. More than the 350hp cam. I also know that you're suppose to match your cam to your heads, etc. to make the best power combo. So what do I do? I don't want to sell the car for another one just to modify it. It's way too hard to find a no-hit, nice '62. I bought my car for under $35,000 after Sept 11, 2001 from Corvette Mike in L.A. They originally wanted $42,500 for the car, and then had a sale on it for $39,900. My point is that I can't even find a non-number matching car that's as nice as mine for less money. Keep in mind, I have both tops, owner history, etc. with mine. Any advice would be great.
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:13 PM   #6
weihemuller
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

$34,000.00 to be exact (which included both tops of course). Sorry, I forgot to add to my last post.
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:07 PM   #7
SWCDuke
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

If you really want to modify this original car, your best course of action would be to remove the original engine and Powerglide, and either install a crate engine or buy a seventies vintage core 350 with a new Richmond T-10 or vintage four-speed, if you can find one, and go from there. Sixties vintage cores are probably tougher to come by, but will allow you to retain a more period look in the engine room. You will also be facing some system integration issues such as clutch and shift linkage, fuel system, throttle linkage, exhaust system, wiring, and coolant hoses. Some will be easy, others less so.

Whatever you do, avoid as much as possible having to make permanent modifications.

Personally I think your desire to just have a "big cam" idle is foolish. You could just go ahead and install a big cam with a lumpy idle and suffer the poor performance and driveability, or keep driving the car as it is and enjoy it.

I think most of us are past the need to have an all show and no go lumpy idle and enjoy engines with good response and driveability. Hopefully you can think about this and make the transistion, too.

Duke




[Modified by SWCDuke, 11:14 AM 2/22/2003]
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:20 PM   #8
Vetterodder
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

As already said, doing the mods you suggested shouldn't have a big impact on your car's value as long you stick to things than can be undone and the car reverted to stock. Running a lumpy cam with your Powerglide will be a problem though unless you go to a high stall converter. Something comparable to the 350hp cam is already at the upper limits of what can be used with a standard converter (GM never offered that engine with an auto for that reason) and an even bigger cam could really create problems. It might sound "cool" but you could wind up with less performance and a car that's not any fun to drive. If the only goal is a lumpy sounding idle, you could adjust (mis-adjust) your stock engine and install some Flowmaster mufflers to get the same sound. Keep in mind that the reason an engine with a big cam has a rough idle is because it makes the engine run crappy at low rpm. With an idle mixture adjstment, reduced ignition advance, and a dwell adjustment, a stock engine can be made to run just as crappy :).

I also agree with the others about keeping the drum brakes. If you were road racing or doing a lot of spirited moutain road driving, the discs might be well worth doing but, for normal street driving you probably wouldn't get much benefit by swapping.
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:23 PM   #9
weihemuller
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (SWCDuke)

Thanks again Duke. If I went to a crate motor, what about a 383 or 400 cid? For example, Golen Engines offers a 383 crate with 450hp/450+pounds of torque. If I did this, couldn't I stay with my powerglide and 3.36 posi rear. With all that extra torque, combined with a light car -- it should be ok?

My other thought was to keep the 327 and do performance upgrades to the motor, and install a TH350 tranny. I've been told that a TH350 will literally bolt in where the powerglide was. Is that true?

Keep in mind, I have no intention of racing my car like some kid. However, I would "run it" on occassion just for fun at Vette meets, events, etc.
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Old 02-22-2003, 03:11 PM   #10
62fuelie
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

Unless you go the whole route, modifing the suspension, brakes, steering etc, with something like one of the Paul Newman setups, it is rediculous to put that much horsepower in a C1. You can do it, of course, but you will have a car with much more power and potential speed than the rest of the car can safely handle. You could start with one of the Jim Myers Racing bolt in front ends. You will have to destroy the original steering column (and your VIN tag) to make it work. At least you can add power steering, though you will need to modify the engine mount system to mount a pump. You might be able to use an electric PS pump from a ricer. This will also get you front disc brakes, but you will need to add one of those tacky looking dual MC kits to make them work properly. That will help cover up the area where you have a bunch of shafts and u-joints for your steerning column. The end result would probably be a car that is somewhat more pleasant to drive and that rides and handles better.
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:51 PM   #11
SWCDuke
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (62fuelie)

The more I think about this, the more I believe you bought the wrong car relative you what you want. I just don't think it's possible to do the level of modifications you are talking without hacking up the car.

You've got an unmolested '62. Sell it to someone who appreciates it for what it is and buy a NOM or hot rodded '62 and go from there. Your requirement of a "no hit" body and a lumpy idle for the sake of a lumpy idle makes no sense to me.

Duke
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Old 02-22-2003, 11:58 PM   #12
62fuelie
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (SWCDuke)

Quote:
The more I think about this, the more I believe you bought the wrong car relative you what you want. I just don't think it's possible to do the level of modifications you are talking without hacking up the car.

You've got an unmolested '62. Sell it to someone who appreciates it for what it is and buy a NOM or hot rodded '62 and go from there. Your requirement of a "no hit" body and a lumpy idle for the sake of a lumpy idle makes no sense to me.

Duke
:iagree:

There are plenty of cars around such as Duke describes. The fact that you bought the car for less than the current market doesn't make it any less valuable to a purist today than on 9/12/01. If the car is truely a candidate for "survivor" status, you can probably pass it on for a profit and buy a suitable replacement with cas to spare for engine upgrades.

If you stick with a 327 block, it's pretty easy to keep the "period look" to the engine room, despite substantial internal upgrades.
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Old 02-23-2003, 01:57 AM   #13
mrg
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (62fuelie)


I was guilty too of wanting that "lumpy idle" sound of a big cam. But after reading of experiences and opinions here on the forum about long duration cams, I would rather have good low to mid range engine performance in the 2000-5000 rpm range, mostly, with occasional forays slightly above that. Why cam an engine for an rpm that it's not going to see much of, anyway .. ? ..
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:50 AM   #14
ghostrider20
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (mrg)

Quote
[Is that I want the sound of a "lumpy" idle. Not just a little noticeable, but a very noticeable]

Saw this syndrome myself and all my friends in high school. Big huge cam that complimented nothing in the car. They sounded tough but would have virtually no low-end torque. The cars would never see the kind of rpm needed to use that kind of cam. Coupled with an automatic trans and they would barely idle. I have the stock 327/365 "30-30" cam in my car and I cannot imagine that coupled with an automatic or anything higher then 3:70 rear gears. I had a 67 Chevelle 327 with a roller cam. Around 500 HP. I had 4:88 in the rear. I let the clutch out to race at 7500 RPM. Broke a drive shaft, and went through about a half dozen clutches, due to no low end power and trying to drive it on the street under 3000 RPM. That car would twist, pop the front tires of the ground, etc, no good for a vette. It would foul plugs, start hard, load up. Etc. I had to put a reduction gear on the alternator so I would stop burning them up at 6-7 RPM. Then around town it would not generate proper revs and burn up from the electrical load. It was one thing after another. Then the heating issue, try keeping it cool when it idles at 1700 RPM. Fun for a year or so then it went back to stock and I sold it to go to college.

I think you will destroy the value of your car if you modify it. It is your car and your money and they guys here will help you with any endeavor you choose. A car like yours demands its respect from its present condition. Like a virgin, it has what most do not.

If you want it to sound tough, pull a couple of plug wires and turn the idle up, it will run the same if you put that big cam in there. That big rumpity sound from a large cam is the sound of the engine barely running, and running so inefficiently that it creates that sound we all love. But I enjoy driving my car much more then tuning/working on it to keep it running. And with any vintage corvette you will get plenty of the latter whether you want to or not.

Mark
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:22 PM   #15
hotbrakesracing
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

weihemuller--your money,your car do what you want!! do it tastefully and have fun!!
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Old 02-26-2003, 05:39 PM   #16
tuxedo
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

As you say in your post you have an all original car and like that idea of it being unmolested. If you go the route of big cam, different engine and other changes. Although you may still have the original engine and parts in a box somewhere. The next buyer if there ever is one may be like you and will want an all original unmolested car. He may very well be skeptical of an umolested ccar when all that stuff has been done to it. I think most of us here would agree that once your car is altered it may be viewed as being rodded and molested. Certainly not as original as it is now. And yes we all like hot rods to some degree. But I have found as I have gotten older the rear end gear ratio numbers I like are numerically lower(highway gears like what you have) and a mild lumpy cam is good as long as it is not a hassle to drive and it's got some streetable (functionable) properties. I agree with Duke that I would leave it alone. Or sell it and get the profit out of it. And buy a 62 that is more of what you want. Some of the work you want may well have been done to this new car by the time you get it. Or better yet keep this one and buy another with the beefy stuff you want so you can take on those high school kids on Friday night! Good Luck.
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Old 02-26-2003, 06:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (weihemuller)

Well Here's my $.02 worth.......

Leave the car alone...Keep it the way it is an enjoy it. When you start pulling an original car apart it's one thing after another getting it to what you want it to be.. Ag..Ag..and more ag....

How about finding a nice not correct no match car that needs some work. Drop in your Thumper Cam Motor and beat the poopie out of it. It's always nice to wake up on a Sunny Sunday morrning and say.........Lets see....which vette an I going to drive today.. If I had an original car like yours I would keep it stock and watch the Dollar counter go up instead of worring about having to put the stock parts back to resell it.

But on the other hand....it's your car...and you should do what you want with it and not worry about what some one else has to say. It's nice to have a second vette with another personality that matches the one you get up with in the morrning...............
:cheers:
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (Viet Nam Vett)

Might as well stop posting on this one, gentlemen. I'm pretty sure he's been driven away by some of the less diplomatic posts.
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:20 PM   #19
62fuelie
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (L79vette)

I don't think anyone has been unkind on this thread, just not necessarily told him what he wants to hear. If you ask for an opinion onthis forum, you're gonna get an opinion, and frequently good advice as well. What you may or may not get is validation of your own opinion. :D
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Old 02-27-2003, 05:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: Crate motor vs. modify original motor? (62fuelie)

:iagree: I think both the advice about altering the car, and the technical advice, have been great.
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