Go Back   Corvette Forum > C3 Corvettes, 1968 - 1982 > C3 General
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ Vendor Directory
Search
C3 General
General C3 Corvette Discussion not covered in Tech Sponsored by
Corvette America

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C7 Parts & Accessories
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
C4 Parts & Accessories
C3 Parts & Accessories
C2 Parts & Accessories
C1 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-04-2005, 07:31 PM   #1
Maggs
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2005
Default Is the L48 a good engine? Comments please...

I have been looking for a Corvette. I found one in the local papers, it is a 76 Corvette with a 350 L48 engine and 4 speed manual. Guy says everything is stock. He wants $5500.

Here are my 2 questions. A 4 speed sounds like it should not be paired with a 350ci engine. Was this the standard back in the 70's vettes? I can't imagine how a 4 speed could handle a 350.

My second question, I did a search on the web and the only stat I found says the L48 makes 180HP. This sounds like a very low number.

How good is the L48 engine? Should I be looking for something else? I don't want to have some V6 honda beat me on the road, that would be humiliating. I am not looking to race, but I would like to know if I need to drop the hammer, the car will move.

Can the L48 be easily modified to produce extra HP?
Maggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 07:37 PM   #2
bobs77vet
CF Senior Member
 
bobs77vet's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2004
Location: Arlington Va
Default

yes its a good engine, yes a 4spd is fine, and yes its a slow dog with 180 hp, this was the smog laiden years and the cars are very slow by todays standards. the engine is very buildable for more power, the price sounds reasonable if the car is in nice shape. you should drive these old cars because they may not handle and steer as you may think and it may be an un pleasant surprise to you..... and yes in stock form a v6 Honda will eat you alive in every aspect! except coolness
bobs77vet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 07:37 PM   #3
TonySinclair
CF Senior Member
 
TonySinclair's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2005
Default

L48 = good. 190hp is correct for "smog years".
L82 = better.

4spd. can't handle a 350?!? Was your last car a Honda perhaps?

4spd. trannies have been in muscle cars, hot rods and sports cars since the beginning of time...

Last edited by TonySinclair; 10-04-2005 at 07:40 PM.
TonySinclair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 07:39 PM   #4
TonySinclair
CF Senior Member
 
TonySinclair's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2005
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggs
I don't want to have some V6 honda beat me on the road, that would be humiliating.
Many V6's will beat you, but driving a Honda is humiliating.
TonySinclair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 07:52 PM   #5
Maggs
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2005
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySinclair
L48 = good. 190hp is correct for "smog years".
L82 = better.

4spd. can't handle a 350?!? Was your last car a Honda perhaps?

4spd. trannies have been in muscle cars, hot rods and sports cars since the beginning of time...
How much quicker is a L82 than a L48 0-60? Is this a big selling point on 70's corvettes, will a L82 be much more expensive?

The 4 speed just strikes me as strange. At what speed does it redline in 4th gear? When it redlines in 4th, do you have the feeling there should be another gear??
Maggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 07:58 PM   #6
Jay-Dog
CF Senior Member
 
Jay-Dog's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2004
Location: Platteville WI
Default

Somebody stop me if I'm wrong:
L-48 used 2 bolt main caps on the crank journals instead of 4 bolts like an L-82. Intake manifold was cast iron and not aluminum. Valves were smaller 1.98 and not 2.02. rockers had did not have guides. Pistons were not forged steel? Compression was lower.

All that said, lots of potential for cheap and I like the torque. It's been said here many times that a nice L48 is better than a crappy L82. Enjoy.
Jay-Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 07:59 PM   #7
MYBAD79
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '05
 
MYBAD79's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2004
Location: Orlando Florida
Default

It only takes some good aluminum heads, a better cam, intake and headers to make it fly

If you can get this '76 for $5500 and it is in good shape then the extra money for the performance upgrades (roughly $1400-$1800 depending on where you buy) will be well spend money.

A L82 in similar shape will be more expensive, especially with a 4speed.

Keep the original parts for whenever you want to sell the car.
MYBAD79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 08:51 PM   #8
Glass Act
CF Senior Member
 
Glass Act's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2005
Location: 406ci SB, AFR 180 Heads - 490 HP @5,600 RPM 529 lb-ft @ 4,100 RPM
Default

Any Vette can be up-grade with time and money. If you like the car go get it and enjoy it. Just drive it like you stole it . In time if you want, you can take that L-48 and make it run strong. I took my L-82 to 375hp (dyno) it just took money for parts.
__________________
Corvette's are "Gl*** in Motion"
Glass Act is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 09:23 PM   #9
page62
CF Senior Member
 
page62's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2002
Location: Coming home from Luckenbach Texas
Default

The small-block Chevy 350 is the most upgradeable and easily modified engine out there. Don't worry about stock performance...this is the place to come learn about how you can put some fire in that engine.

Have an knowledgeable person look at the car. You should be more worried about rust in certain key areas than the stock engine performance. It's easy to upgrade the engine, hard to fix rust...
page62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 09:26 PM   #10
seaboltm
CF Senior Member
 
seaboltm's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2005
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggs
How much quicker is a L82 than a L48 0-60? Is this a big selling point on 70's corvettes, will a L82 be much more expensive?

The 4 speed just strikes me as strange. At what speed does it redline in 4th gear? When it redlines in 4th, do you have the feeling there should be another gear??
l48 is a very plain engine used in a variety of passenger cars during those years (maybe even trucks). l82 has substantially more power, but is still anemic by comparison to earlier and modern engines.

L82 would probably not be very much more expensive, but harder to find. 4 speeds are not easy to find in 70's vettes at all;

a 4 speed can handle a 427 or 454; it was the preferred transmission for muscle cars.

the l48 can be upgraded to good performance by switching heads, cams, manifold, headers, carb, etc. or you can pull the original l48, save it, and drop in a crate engine that will be more powerful than either the l48 or l82.
seaboltm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 10:13 PM   #11
kdf1986
CF Senior Member
 
kdf1986's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2004
Location: Campbell ca
Default

In the 70s a 180 or 190 hp engine was considered pretty good.
Look at the other HP ratings for cars in the same year.


1976 Camaro Engine code
D = 250ci 105hp,
L = 350ci 165hp,
Q = 305ci 140hp


1976 Ford Mustang HP ratings
2.3L Four-Cylinder 92hp @ 5,000rpm
2.8L V-6 103hp @ 4,400rpm
5.0L V-8 139hp @ 4,000rpm


Now I guess it depends on what year Honda Accord you are talking about. I looked at the 2005 Civic specs and found the following.

Engine output increases to 244 horsepower for the 3.0-liter VTEC V6 and 166 horsepower for the 2.4-liter i-VTEC ...

So a newer Honda could probably give that vette a good run.
Of course if you were to race a 1976 Honda Civic, it would be a different story.

I found that horsepower rating also.
Power 70 bhp @ 5500 rpm
And how did apply at that power???
with a 5 speed of course. (TRANSMISSION 5 Speed )

kdf
kdf1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 10:19 PM   #12
cosmicvette
CF Senior Member
 
cosmicvette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 2003
Location: Sydney
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobs77vet
...........and yes in stock form a v6 Honda will eat you alive in every aspect! except coolness
cosmicvette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 10:25 PM   #13
Glass Act
CF Senior Member
 
Glass Act's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2005
Location: 406ci SB, AFR 180 Heads - 490 HP @5,600 RPM 529 lb-ft @ 4,100 RPM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicvette
I call these kids in Honda's, Tibiron's, Jetta's etc.
"Fruit Flies" there always buzzing around something sweet

Vette's have more torque in their wheel nuts.
__________________
Corvette's are "Gl*** in Motion"
Glass Act is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 10:44 PM   #14
TexasMadMan
CF Senior Member
 
TexasMadMan's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2003
Location: Wichita Falls Tx
Default

Okay, I'll speak in pretty general terms here. L82 4 speed cars are usually rarer and harder to find. Case in point, only about 1 in 9 1976 Vettes came with an L82 engine. Only 1 in 5 came with a 4 speed. Finding a 1976 L82 four speed that hasn't been abused is even rarer.

Yes, the L82 and L48 were pretty much dogs by todays standards, but keep in mind that you can change the rear gears to a lower ratio to give you a little more quickness.

I've owned 4 C4 cars or which 2 were L 48s and 1 was an L82. The other??? An '82 200hp crossfire.
TexasMadMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 11:04 PM   #15
mandm1200
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
mandm1200's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2004
Location: New Cumberland PA
Default

I believe you heard plenty about the L-48 and the above advice is pretty much on the money. One thing that wasn't mentioned is that the corvette is not a light car, somewhere around 3500 lbs. Many aftermarket engines rate their hp at the crank with no accessories with a free flowing exhaust. The L-48 would be rated much higher under these conditions.
The good news is that L-48 still has decent torque, problem is it peters out rather quickly. If all you have is the $5500 for the car, then don't expect it to compete with today's engines in lighter cars. I would figure adding $1500 for some mods if you want to stay up with the honda's. Even that is tough if the ricers are spraying their engine.
The big advantage of the C3 is its looks. You would be hard pressed to find a car with the style of a C3 for that amount of money.
mandm1200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 11:23 PM   #16
rihwoods
CF Senior Member
 
rihwoods's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2005
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggs
How much quicker is a L82 than a L48 0-60? Is this a big selling point on 70's corvettes, will a L82 be much more expensive?

The 4 speed just strikes me as strange. At what speed does it redline in 4th gear? When it redlines in 4th, do you have the feeling there should be another gear??
I have a 78 4 speed L-82 that I have owned 26 years..replaced the original clutch at 112,000 miles...have 122,605 miles on the original motor...HP is about 230 cause of added performance exhaust...other than that,it is bone stock...the L-48 is a very good 2 bolt main engine..The L-82 is stronger with 4 bolt mains,forged crank and pistons, and bigger cam...I raced this car in autocross for three years back in 80-83..it has a 3.70:1 rear end that makes this vette a very good twisty road car...redline is 5600 RPM..only been there once or twice..but rear gears make a big difference on how you want to drive the Vette...good hunting..hope you find what you want...
BTW:I have a Muncie 4 speed (M-22) behind the 502 69....
__________________

Last edited by rihwoods; 10-04-2005 at 11:28 PM.
rihwoods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2005, 11:48 PM   #17
molchaser
CF Member
 
molchaser's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2002
Location: Sapupla OK
Default

I am not sure what 4 spds were available in 76, I was disappointed a few months ago to find my 78 4spd was not a Muncie...but rather a Saginaw. Not sure what this means with mild mods but at some point I was afraid that the Saginaw couldn't get the job done and I Sh*t canned it so I wouldn't have to worry about.

Nothing worse than blowin up when ur tryin to show off
molchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2005, 12:10 AM   #18
rihwoods
CF Senior Member
 
rihwoods's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2005
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by molchaser
I am not sure what 4 spds were available in 76, I was disappointed a few months ago to find my 78 4spd was not a Muncie...but rather a Saginaw. Not sure what this means with mild mods but at some point I was afraid that the Saginaw couldn't get the job done and I Sh*t canned it so I wouldn't have to worry about.

Nothing worse than blowin up when ur tryin to show off
Interesting...mine is a Borg Warner Super T-10 in my 78....thought the Saginaws went in the 79's....
Rich
rihwoods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2005, 12:10 AM   #19
TexasMadMan
CF Senior Member
 
TexasMadMan's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2003
Location: Wichita Falls Tx
Default

To give you an idea how rare the 4 speeds are for 1978, only about 1 in 25 came with the 4 speed.

A '78 L82 4 speed has got to be pretty damn rare. That's why if you find a 78 pace car with this combo, you pay some tall bucks to buy it.
TexasMadMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2005, 09:17 AM   #20
SLVRSHRK
CF Senior Member
 
SLVRSHRK's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2004
Location: Hillsborough NC
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasMadMan
To give you an idea how rare the 4 speeds are for 1978, only about 1 in 25 came with the 4 speed.

A '78 L82 4 speed has got to be pretty damn rare. That's why if you find a 78 pace car with this combo, you pay some tall bucks to buy it.
That's why I jumped at my 78. It's the L-82 with the optional close ratio four speed for, as the 78 brochure puts it, 'Corvette spirited driving.' Close ratio only and option if you already got the L-82. However, there were a significant number of close ratios ordered, which means you have a good shot of finding a close ratio if the car is an L-82.

Seriously, The L-82 has an outstanding bottom end (almost identical to the LT-1, which it replaced), a good cam (same as in the L46 350/350 option of the early 70s), and is hobbled by bad heads, a low compression ratio (9.0:1), and after 74, a catalytic converter and 2-1-2 exhaust system.

If you're gonna tear it up anyway, I wouldn't bother trying to find an L-82, I'd just work the L-48 (a 2-bolt main block will handle 400hp in a street car) or get a block from a yard if you want a 4-bolt. Chevy did make millions of them....

Good luck.
SLVRSHRK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2005, 09:17 AM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > C3 Corvettes, 1968 - 1982 > C3 General
Reload this Page Is the L48 a good engine? Comments please...
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
bolt, camaro, corvette, engine, engines, good, horsepower, l48, l82, mains, motor, nitrous, rare, rating, stock


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Engine Swap for a 1976 L48, Transmission Question Stingray_KingWA C3 Tech/Performance 1 07-26-2014 01:41 PM
How to get 300 HP out of L48 deity4uu C3 Tech/Performance 22 04-06-2013 12:53 PM
The CFI Conspiracy Theory scorpion18z C3 General 7 12-10-2012 02:22 PM
VIN Decodeing Assistance 72Vette78 C3 General 2 08-16-2012 02:32 PM
How do I tell if I have the L48 or L82 350 TravMsns C3 Tech/Performance 4 10-10-2001 04:39 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:39 AM.


Emails & Password Backup