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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new Z. And have read (here) that a K&N filter is a good starter mod for my Z.will it make a diff. that my Z is otherwise all stock and an AT. Or is it not worth it until i 'beef' up the exhaust and other "stuff". Will copper plugs help?? thanks and sorry if you already replied to this beforei like lots of input for advice....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Not By Itself...

If you want to feel a difference in acceleration, you're going to have to spring for tubular headers, a freer flowing exhaust system, an expanded throttle body, better plugs, 8 mm plug wires and a hotter than stock coil besides the ram air modification.

Now that's a lot of money, I guestimate about $1200
or thereabouts in parts alone. I've made all those modifications, and a few more, to my '82 non-turbo coup and the change really isn't all that drastic. You ought to realize that, I think, before you get started on the project.
New or used, Z-cars can be expensive beasts to tweak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<b>I've got to disagree...</b>

My '82 NA 5sp ran fairly strong when I got it, but just a few tweaks made a MAJOR difference:

1) Got rid of the stock muffler and cat. Both are fairly restrictive designs; neither were plugged or bad, but modern designs produced a nice power boost.

2) Bumped the timing way up. It was set pretty much dead on stock settings when I got the car but I cranked the advance way up until it started to ping a bit in hot weather under a load, then I backed it down until pinging stopped. HUGE difference.

3) Got a K&N and removed the stupid plastic piece that connects the stock airbox to the right headlight casing. Very noticable difference, especially at high RPM (though not "huge).

4) Got a set of AC/Delco RapidFire plugs. I had tried other trick plugs and the Bosch Platinum but never liked the result; sometimes I thought I had a bit more power but the car just didn't run right, or didn't idle well (especially with the Bosch). The RapidFire had none of these problems and provided a very tangible increase, especially in low-end torque. I was pleasantly surprised and have kept them ever since. One caveat: the RapidFire are "pre-gapped" and you're not supposed to change the gap, but the gap they came set with just didn't work well with my Z (bad idle). I had to re-gap them (I don't remember if I made the gap larger or smaller though). The end result has made me very happy.

Now I'm at the point where I'm not sure what to do next. I've heard headers don't really make much of a difference in the ZX without other substantial mods. Any advice for my next investment, preferably bolt-on? :)

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Radical Acceleration is Relative

I measure it by 60's and 70's muscle cars. Friends, they had strong getaways. A buddy of mine would put a $50 bill on the rear view mirror of his '61 Vette and let you have it if you could lean forward and grab the thing while he powered through the quarter mile. As far as I know, no one ever got his money. Unfortunately there's nothing the driveway wrench can do to an L28 mill that's going to achieve those kind of G's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<b>No, but the guy never asked about that --></

His question was about "starter mods" and improving performance, not tangling with '60s muscle cars or getting into the 12's. I'd say there's a pretty big gap there...

Jon
 

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RE: No, but the guy never asked about that -->&

I agree with Jon. Unless you are wanting to race and drive to get a ticket small mods are probably the most worthwhile and cost effective. I would put a K&N replacement filter in your stock air box and do the mods Jon suggests. I am not sure about the header thing - they look and sound cool but unlike the stock cast manifold have a limited lifespan. Also I am concerned about the additional heat in the engine compartment contributing to vapor lock. I tend to go the middle ground with higher reliability as my goal. If you want to go fast get a motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<b>thanx for the input...1 more question</b>

thanx jon and roger. My goal is reliabilty. I however would like to check into some mods. Nothing too wild. This is a really mint Z but is an automatic. I hope that small mods will help boost some power until I can get the cash to insert better exhaust and convert to 5 speed...i think 5- speed will help>>plus more fun to drive.. meanwhile i'll check into the plugs. With the K&N filter, i have seen posts that talk about making your own or something like that with 3" pipe and stuff. Do you make this "mod" Or do you but it or both. I am a novice with cars. I am getting a shop manual in near future. Should I wait for this or is that not nec?? I am excited about tweaking with my Z. Gotta get going on this to impress buddies z-28 and Nova....thanks all....mks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RE: Here's what I did

I think it looks ok. Some of the guys prefer to use 90d 3" mandrel bent exhaust pipe, but with mine I have better placement of the filter.

<a href=http://www.newtier.com/graber/z-car/Air-Intake-Project/index.html> This is a simple design for a k&n intake system</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RE: I've heard that $50 story from 50 drunks!

They all tell you that right before they tell you the one about the little old lady who put an add in the paper selling a two door chevy. the guy goes to the house, she points to the barn and inside is a CORVETTE! With only 5000 miles. It belonged to her son who was killed in the war. YEA! RIGHT!
To increase power (musclecar or not) you have to increase air intake to the car, add more fuel, work the head and unrestrict the exhaust. This could cost you 1200 dollars. But nothing I saw above would cost 1200 unless you have to have Hooker Pro headers, MSD top of the line ignition, stainless mandrel bent pipes, etc. I've been in some Butt-kicking cars and none of them ever kept me from reaching up to the windshield. Perhaps because they don't pull enough G's to prevent this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<b>Automatic vs stick and K&Ns --></b>

The K&N setup you're describing is to ditch the stock airbox and replace it with a K&N cone filter setup; this can be done with a home-made or purchased setup. It will robably breathe a bit better than the drop-in K&N replacement but from what I've heard may not be worth the difference - having never run the cone in my Z I can't really say. I can say that going to the drop-in K&N along with removing the plastic piece connecting the airbox to the passenger-side headlight gave me a nice little boost and well worth the $38 I paid for it.

About the 5sp vs automatic thing, I definitely have to agree; automatic Zs seem SO much slower and just an abomination IMHO anyway. :) With the stick it'll be a totally different car.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<b>Yeah, tou're right, we're all liars --></b>

Believe what you want. There are MANY small mods and bolt-ons you can do (especially for older cars) that will free up some power. I've done everything I recommended and it made a huge difference for me. I've had many cars, I've worked on all of them myself, and I know what I'm talking about.

What you fail to realize is that it's not always about making fundamental changes, it's also about counteracting cheap decisions by car manufacturers that restrict performance and taking advantage of newer technology and the experiences people have had with any given car.

What are you saying, that you have to spend $1200 to make any difference to a car? That's ridiculous. There are massive numbers of cheap, great upgrades for every car. Of course at some point to go any further you have to get more serious, but it only makes sense to do that after you've taken care of the "low hanging fruit".

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RE: Radical Acceleration

The point I always make to people about the $50 (or $20 or $100) thing, is that if the car REALLY pulled that many G's, you wouldn't be able to reach the shifter again if you took your hand off it.
I've had people tell me that, and I've told them that I'll match their money if I can't reach it. Never had anyone take me up on it yet. It'd be worth it to ride in a car that fast. Guess they don't want to take advantage of me. Yeah, right.
 

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Glad 2 see some common sense

Keep the stock air box and put in the K&N replacement filter. The cone set up looks cool but is more prone to contamination and unless you have a high revving tricked out motor won't be any better. If you doubt this advice call K&N - I did.
 
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