I would like to introduce my new project for my 1989 SC 5spd. Currently my car has a perfectly good 4.2 engine with an MPX that makes over 380whp on pump gas. It won its dyno class (M90) at the 2016 shootout. Its running somewhere in the high 12s at the track, trapping ~107mph, and it probably should go mid 12s with a better driver. Its a great car, and I enjoy driving it to work when the weather is nice, which is most of the year down here in NC. I have learned a tremendous amount from these forums and wrenching on this car over the past 5 years. The car is a blast to drive and is pretty clean for its age. However, as is often the case, I have been bitten by the horsepower bug again.

I have been considering my options for a while now. Should I put a bigger supercharger on it? Should I go turbo? Should I swap the engine? If so, which engine? Ill share a little bit about my decision making process and let you guys understand where I am coming from, even if you dont agree with it.

Bigger supercharger: These are somewhat hard to come by and usually cost in the $2-4k ball park from what I have seen over the years. Then there is the cost of fuel system upgrades. The cars that I have seen with the ARs and the Whipples seem to make in the 450-500 whp range. While this is impressive, I dont think this option is for me.

Turbo: I thought a long time about just putting a turbo on the current engine. I really like the idea of a turbo, making more power per PSI. This is a bit more expensive option but Im not really sure how expensive. I would guess in the $6k range. Add another $2k if you want to upgrade the fuel system and convert to corn. Binks has shown that you can make over 700whp with a turbo on E85. Concerns about converting to corn, and the overall stress put on the motor to run at this level are holding me back from this option.

Engine swap: A V8 should be easier to make the kind of power I want. So which engine to swap? The 5.0 is the obvious choice, mainly because it fits. David Dalke going 11.7 on a stock 5.0 with a turbo is pretty awesome. But we all know the stock 5.0 is a time bomb near 500 hp. Looking at Dart blocks to counter act this problem would add at least $2k to the price. And I wouldnt put stock stuff in a Dart block, Id have to build 347, and it would end up being $10k knowing me. And really when you get down to buying Dart Block, you can build a 427 almost as cheap as a 347. So facing that decision, I started considering the production 351w. From what I can tell, the stock 351 block can survive in the 600-800 range. My research tells me it will fit, it will be a pain, but it will fit. Im liking this option.

So what are my goals? Id like to make a 700 whp street car. Id like to build a turbo car. I need a project and I really enjoy wrenching. I have recently added a tig welder to my shop, so I would love to use that to fabricate some of my own stuff. I have always wanted a 408 or a 427 sbf, why? I dont know, I just like big small blocks. Whats the budget? Im going to say ~$10k, but thats over a couple years and this project is likely going to evolve. I kind of have the idea that I would spend about the same as I did when I built the 4.2, but end up with 700whp instead of 400whp. I am going to do a better job on this project to save money where I can, and spend it where required. Required thats kind of funny when you have a perfectly good engine in your car.

How to get there? Here is the loose initial plan. I am going to start with a stock 5.8 from E-150 van, a junkyard motor that made about 210hp and 325ftlbs when new not that different than what a 1989 SC makes. The first phase is to get it in the car and running. Add to that finding an intake/hood combination that will work. The second phase is to add a turbo and get that working on the stock motor (with some big ring gaps). The idea is to run low boost, to figure tuning and what not with the turbo. If this phase works well, then the car might stay this way for a while. The third phase, the engine would receive heads and a cam. By this point I would anticipate that it should be making in ~500 whp range at this point on pump gas. Once all that is figured out, the plan is to build the 351 into a 408 or 427. And somewhere along the way, I will be selling my current motor, MPX , and miscellaneous parts to help offset the cost.

So there you have it. Project GFP Glutton for Punishment. Ill give DD credit on the project name. However, that phrase has been muttered a number of times over the past few years by me and my cousin as weve wrenched on the SC. This isnt going to be easy. Not exactly cheap. But it should be a lot of fun and provide a good long term project for me and the SC.


And here we go....

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