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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Looking for tips on anything else I can do to squeeze some more power out of my engine without going to a turbo or super charger yet. I've got a pretty heavily modified 04 LeSabre. I've seen some mentions of the HV3 insert adding like 30hp but it's practically impossible to get a hold of. I reached out to ZZP, and they said they're working on redesigning it, so it won't be rereleased for a while.

Here's the list of what I've done so far.

ZZP Custom pushrods 7.00 / 5/16 inch
ZZP Comp cams valve springs 105lb
ZZP GT1 Camshaft
ZZP steel valve spring retainers
ZZP Rollmaster double chain timing set
ZZP LS7 Hydraulic roller lifters
ZZP extra thick front cover gasket
ZZP Machined oil pump cover
ZZP H-body downpipe (400 cell cat)
Dyno tuned PCM
Magnaflow turbo XL muffler
180 degree thermostat
Resonator delete
K&N drop in air filter
ZZP High Flow Fuel Filter

Any ideas on what else I can do? Might eventually add turbo or supercharger but want to see what else I can do while keeping it N/A.

Thanks!!!
 

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That's basically all the N/A engine can do without expensive overhauls (raising compression with pistons/headwork/etc.). These aren't very reactive to N/A mods, but have great increases from boost, with the strength in the old iron to hold it well. See Richard Holdener's recent 3800 dyno results on YouTube to see the difference. There's a reason people don't go too far trying to do N/A work on these, because it's a fruitless endeavor with 25+yrs of proof/attempts.
 

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You might come across the HV3 and some other things if you follow the 3800marketplace on facebook. That seems to be the best place for finding things now for our cars. The 30hp gain is like over 5,000rpm, but it does add a little more oomph from 2,000rpm and above. Other than that ZZP's powerlogs, ported heads & a ported LIM. Thats about it other than having pride in being one of the few serious n/a builds still out there :cool:

I wouldn't say modding the L36 is fruitless, your just going to be dumping more money for smaller gains plus being in the heavier H-body over the W-body the gains won't be felt as much by the a$$ in seat dyno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You might come across the HV3 and some other things if you follow the 3800marketplace on facebook. That seems to be the best place for finding things now for our cars. The 30hp gain is like over 5,000rpm, but it does add a little more oomph from 2,000rpm and above. Other than that ZZP's powerlogs, ported heads & a ported LIM. Thats about it other than having pride in being one of the few serious n/a builds still out there :cool:

I wouldn't say modding the L36 is fruitless, your just going to be dumping more money for smaller gains plus being in the heavier H-body over the W-body the gains won't be felt as much by the a$$ in seat dyno.
That's basically all the N/A engine can do without expensive overhauls (raising compression with pistons/headwork/etc.). These aren't very reactive to N/A mods, but have great increases from boost, with the strength in the old iron to hold it well. See Richard Holdener's recent 3800 dyno results on YouTube to see the difference. There's a reason people don't go too far trying to do N/A work on these, because it's a fruitless endeavor with 25+yrs of proof/attempts.

Hmm, I will see if I can come across an HV3 insert on fb marketplace. That would be next logical step I suppose.

Part of the reason I'm doing this is because of the challenge and because I just enjoy seeing what can be done on an engine that normally not much is done with (aside from boost).

I guess my game plan after that would be front power log - Stainless Power Log – ZZPerformance. I would get that alongside the rear power log - ZZPerformance Rear Power Log for 3800 W-Body Only issue is the rear power log is for the W-body only. Do either of you know of one that exists for the H-body? I would opt for the header package ZZP Stainless Header Package – ZZPerformance but it's been out of stock forever and also, I don't think it's very necessary if I'm not adding boost considering how much more it costs.

And then as a final step I could get some pistons with higher compression. Stock is 9.4:1 and I could get these JE 3800 Forged Pistons – ZZPerformance with 9.9:1 compression.

After that if I really wanted to go all out but keep it N/A I suppose just weight reduction, maybe mess around with E85, and transmission stuff? Unless there's anything else that comes to mind? Most of the other stuff out there though doesn't seem too great unless I do opt for a turbo/supercharger.

I did also miraculously manage to get a hold of a 33 drive / 37 driven sprocket set which will increase my final drive ratio just as a way to help out the 0-60. Will be installing it soon!


Let me know what you think! And I know this is a lot of money for not the hugest gains, but I've been spreading all of this out over quite a long time period and just kind of want to keep adding to it over time.
 

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I'm going to highly suggest you realize that going from ~200 hp to max ~250 hp (at the crank, ~200 to the wheels) by spending 2-3x the value of the car, with much more reasonable/affordable options out there... is almost the same thing as saying you don't want to take your hand off a hot stove for 30sec because you think a higher degree of burn somehow makes the experience more valuable than the guy who only felt it for 1sec.

If you have the money to burn like that, even over time, tangible benefits can be had rather than extending a list of things that provide merely a false feeling of superiority from spending the money and slapping marginally effective parts on your car.

I've seen it all, including an N/A GT2 build with all of the above hitting ~200-205whp on the dyno with thousands in work, while my broke college self was just hitting ~285 with just cam/headers on a freshly top-swapped L36 (turned into 330+ with refining).

Can you go buy all those parts? Sure, but are you doing it to just spend time cussing in the garage, or so you can actually get benefit from the hundreds, and eventually thousands, you'll be giving away to donate the blood/sweat/tears during installs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to highly suggest you realize that going from ~200 hp to max ~250 hp (at the crank, ~200 to the wheels) by spending 2-3x the value of the car, with much more reasonable/affordable options out there... is almost the same thing as saying you don't want to take your hand off a hot stove for 30sec because you think a higher degree of burn somehow makes the experience more valuable than the guy who only felt it for 1sec.

If you have the money to burn like that, even over time, tangible benefits can be had rather than extending a list of things that provide merely a false feeling of superiority from spending the money and slapping marginally effective parts on your car.

I've seen it all, including an N/A GT2 build with all of the above hitting ~200-205whp on the dyno with thousands in work, while my broke college self was just hitting ~285 with just cam/headers on a freshly top-swapped L36 (turned into 330+ with refining).

Can you go buy all those parts? Sure, but are you doing it to just spend time cussing in the garage, or so you can actually get benefit from the hundreds, and eventually thousands, you'll be giving away to donate the blood/sweat/tears during installs?
Fair enough. Maybe not the most sensible thing to spend that much for such small gains. I honestly think the sprocket set I got once I install it will make more of a difference than any of the engine mods just because it's changing the final ratio so much. So I guess after the sprocket set if I wanted to do anything else just go for boost and then maybe the Hv3 insert if I can find it but nothing else?
 

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The HV4 should be out within 6-12mo, based on how often it's brought up in their podcast chats on ZZP's YouTube videos. That's about how long the Equalizer downpipe took to get released.

Tighter gear ratios are a pretty direct change in feel, and may make a minor acceleration change, but also cut MPG's a bit, too. This is also why most drivers of compact cars will feel like they're zipping so quickly (Donut Media did a video on this, I think). It's more of an illusion to your butt dyno when not being coupled with a significant upgrade of power to get the most benefit from the changes.

An N/A car can still be enjoyable, and has the benefit of not wanting to snap transmission parts on demand like an upgraded s/c or turbo build. Jist take it as the benefit of not "having" to do more upgrades like most boosted guys get drawn into (raises hand), because this platform is certainly limited in many ways, especially by the chassis's we are sitting in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The HV4 should be out within 6-12mo, based on how often it's brought up in their podcast chats on ZZP's YouTube videos. That's about how long the Equalizer downpipe took to get released.

Tighter gear ratios are a pretty direct change in feel, and may make a minor acceleration change, but also cut MPG's a bit, too. This is also why most drivers of compact cars will feel like they're zipping so quickly (Donut Media did a video on this, I think). It's more of an illusion to your butt dyno when not being coupled with a significant upgrade of power to get the most benefit from the changes.

An N/A car can still be enjoyable, and has the benefit of not wanting to snap transmission parts on demand like an upgraded s/c or turbo build. Jist take it as the benefit of not "having" to do more upgrades like most boosted guys get drawn into (raises hand), because this platform is certainly limited in many ways, especially by the chassis's we are sitting in.
Appreciate your input!! In that case I may as well wait for the HV4. And yeah I know the sprocket set doesn't actually make a huge difference but I'll be happy if my butt dyno feels a difference.
I've been doing more research when I have breaks throughout work today haha. I think for now I'm just gonna install the sprocket set I've got and see how that feels, then chill out and wait for the HV4. I'll have the get the engine retuned after installing the sprocket set as well because I'm sure all the shift points will be screwed up.
 

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Ya, changing gear ratios is a fairly involved process, both hardware and tune-wise, but experienced folks can knock it out. My Regal has 3.29's for the chain upgrade, instead of 2.93's that were original, and I'd say that causes ~2mpg drop out of the 5+ caused by the rest of the major engine upgrades (sad, because the car got 34+ before we started going nuts with it years ago, but it's at least fun to drive).

3.69's always felt annoying to me, in the 2 cars I rode in with them years ago. First gear was basically useless, at least with a s/c, and highway cruising went to almost 3k rpm for normal speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmm interesting. I think for my car with the 37/33 set my final drive ratio would be 3.42 since my stock diff is 3.05? (37/33) x 3.05 = 3.42. So maybe not quite as bad on the HW and since I don't have a super charger 1st gear should be decent. And yeah it's a pretty big job so i think I'd get a bit of help with it. I'm mechanically inclined so I can do the basic stuff but something this in depth I'll leave to experts.
 
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