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Old 04-21-2008, 09:46 AM   #1
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Top 5 L98 mods

Hey guys I thought Id give a review on which BOLT ON parts yeild the best performance gains for the L98 motor. If you want to make a top 5 list as well that would probably help memebers who are looking to improve the performance of their L98.

1. 3.45 Gears- Most L98s came with highway gears such as 2.77's or 3.27's. IMO 3.45's are the best gear for TPI because it keeps the car right in its powerband. I gained .5 just from this gear swap. With the 2.77's I could spin pretty good, but with the 3.45's I can spin the tires off the car if I wanted to lol. The only let down is you will have a decrease in fuel economy but our cars are not exactly made to get good gas milage. Also if you have a 9 bolt the parts will be much harder to come by.

2. Headers- A close contender for the number one spot. TES headers gave me the biggest horsepower gain out of any other mod. If you are going to stick with your TPI setup go with shorty style headers since TPI is not designed for high rpm performance. Expect a gain of 20 horse power, and a much louder car!

3. Cat-Back exhaust system- The stock exhaust on the L98 is crap. A 3.5 inch catback either flowmaster, borla, or mufflex, will add around 15-20 horsepower when installed with a higher flowing cat, along with a much meaner sounding car.

4. Runners- A good set of aftermarket runners should net around 15 horsepower. A few good choices are TPIS,Edelbrock, or SLP. For even better gains you can have them ported as well.

5. Intake manifold- The stock Intake on the l98 is very restrictive. An upgrade to an after market manifold should free up around 20 horses. I actually noticed a deeper sound to my car after I installed an Edelbrock performer.


How does my top 5 look???
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:41 AM   #2
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

currently in the process of changing everything mentioned
I would agree with this list!
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

If you're going with TES headers I wouldn't bother. There's lots better headers for the same money.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

ill be saving this. good list for the new GTA i just bought
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #5
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

If you guys need any input on other bolt ons my car has pretty much full bolt ons. So I can give you a review.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

great list, I think those are great for the top 5 mods list - in any order.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:45 PM   #7
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

not even for the l98's...this is good for all TPI cars..good list bro
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:13 PM   #8
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

5. LS1/6
4. LS2
3. LS3
2. LS7
1. LS9

L98 lack of performance problem solved.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:55 PM   #9
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

i agree with all but #4
bigger runners only for aftermarket heads
those stock runners will outflow stock heads
i would swap it with a shift kit or stall converter
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:34 PM   #10
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

I would also have to agree and I don't even have an L98.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:34 PM   #11
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Yes you would get better results from an LSX swap. However that will be a bit more expensive. A 2800 stall would also be another great mod. I have seen claims of .1-.3 reduction in ET. Could be #4 or #5. My list is only my opinion, and I still have the stock converter so I cant speak from experience.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

This may be a given... but a good tune-up and replace any old sensors would only boost the above mods. To put it into perspective most of the parts on our cars have been in regular duty since Ronald Reagan was president. Just took my original EGR off a week ago and it was atleast 30-40% clogged with carbon build-up.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:55 PM   #13
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

hmm
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:59 PM   #14
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

focusing on money...

1. Nitrous Oxide (turbo if you can d.i.y, harder but you won't need #4)
2. Gears (with somesort of posi)
3. 2400 to 3200 lockup stall or a good clutch
4. full length headers (unless slammed, SLPs) cat-back are a must unless you still are running the 20yr old factory stuff...
5. Heads/cam

6>>>because you will need these, after all that (Slicks, D.O.T.'s, or Drag Radials)


but if you do this list there won't be any worry about our LSx buddies...

if they do this I am sure they will be more powerful, but with a whole lot more money...

if you think about this, for a sec.... that is all that is needed on every GM... (except maybe the LS9 mentioned)
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:21 AM   #15
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by fun Pain View Post
focusing on money...

1. Nitrous Oxide (turbo if you can d.i.y, harder but you won't need #4)
2. Gears (with somesort of posi)
3. 2400 to 3200 lockup stall or a good clutch
4. full length headers (unless slammed, SLPs) cat-back are a must unless you still are running the 20yr old factory stuff...
5. Heads/cam

6>>>because you will need these, after all that (Slicks, D.O.T.'s, or Drag Radials)


but if you do this list there won't be any worry about our LSx buddies...

if they do this I am sure they will be more powerful, but with a whole lot more money...

if you think about this, for a sec.... that is all that is needed on every GM... (except maybe the LS9 mentioned)
Thats a good list but I wanted to keep it to bolt ons only. Meaning no power adders, or internals.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:56 AM   #16
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

I have your top three, but went from the 2:77 gear to a 3:27. And I'd suggest a pair of K&N filters with an airfoil in the throttle body. My next plan is a set of 1.6 rockers to bump the lift up a bit. But those first three mods will really wake up the car. Feels like 100 more horsepower.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:17 AM   #17
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom3 View Post
I have your top three, but went from the 2:77 gear to a 3:27. And I'd suggest a pair of K&N filters with an airfoil in the throttle body. My next plan is a set of 1.6 rockers to bump the lift up a bit. But those first three mods will really wake up the car. Feels like 100 more horsepower.

I also have K&N's and an air foil. They are pretty basic mods that would make the list if it were a top 10.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #18
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

I've been looking into getting headers for my '85 and summit has those TES headers listed for between $400-$500. Is that a bit much or what would be a better alternative company for a little less cost? I wish i had more money
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:31 AM   #19
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

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I've been looking into getting headers for my '85 and summit has those TES headers listed for between $400-$500. Is that a bit much or what would be a better alternative company for a little less cost? I wish i had more money
IMO Edelbrock and Hooker are the best headers. I hear decent things about Hedmen headers. Just stay about from brands like black jack that are dirt cheap.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:54 PM   #20
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

People like to put the ZZ4 cam in the L98's. I put one in my car but I haven't gone WOT yet because I'm still breaking in the engine. So I'm yet to see what it has given me.

Is a cam swap a bolt on??? cams have no bolts...

I like my hooker headers and my hooker cat back. However I dont like the look of tail pipes on these cars, to bad I cant get my tail pipes off...

The only bad thing I have herd about headmen headers is their y-pipe's are smaller or not made as well as others I forget where I heard that from... maybe its the opposite maybe the headers are not so good but the y-pipe is better... I forget but its something like that.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:33 PM   #21
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

[quote=Cambridge205;3727812]People like to put the ZZ4 cam in the L98's. I put one in my car but I haven't gone WOT yet because I'm still breaking in the engine. So I'm yet to see what it has given me.

Is a cam swap a bolt on??? cams have no bolts...

No its an internal mod. I thought more people were using the ZZ9 cam? Interesting.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:00 PM   #22
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

I would add the adjustable fuel pressure regulator. You can get them from tpis for around 50 bux now and its billet alluminum. I just got mine and gonna tune it in on the dyno in about a mont. I'll let you know how much of a difference it makes. Tpis lists up to a 31 HP increase and 54 LB FT on a stock l98. Mine isn't stock so im curious to how much of a difference it will make on mine. Stock pressure varries from 38-42PSI and they recommend bringing it up to 47PSI for the advertised increase. Keep you guys posted.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:54 PM   #23
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

AFPR is NOT going to add 31 horses. Maybe 5-10.
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:02 PM   #24
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Actually everyone I have ever seen done has netted atleast 15-20 and tpis has been around a long time. I wouldn't think they would lie about it. We'll see. When I go to the dyno I will run a baseline at the stock pressure and go from there. I'll post it here for you guys to see. I guess though that it might not be a peak power increase and be a noticed increase at any rpm. It is possible only to get 10-15 hp peak increase but increase the power in other parts of the power band more.
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:12 PM   #25
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

The ZZ9 cam is a little bigger but the ZZ4 cam is cheaper if you get it off ebay.

If we wernt just talking about bolt ons I would say cam is 4 because its no good if you just have the stock exhaust on.

Is your 13.3 1/4 mile with the stock cam??

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:23 PM   #26
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

What are the specs on those cams? I put a pbm roller cam in my 355 when I built it. I rather like it. The specs are- 214IN 224EX Duration/ .470IN .490EX. I don't remember off the top of my head what the LSA is but this cam works great in my motor. My tpi 305 would burn the tires from a dead start all day and fall on it's face over 4500rpms. The 355 lost just enough bottom end to get off the line with out sending the tires up in smoke and really comes in around 2000-2500Rpms and pulls pretty good to 5500 on stock tpi intake. I don't know exact HP numbers or Quarter mile times since havn't had it to the drag strip or dyno yet. But it beats LT1's all day long and there isn't a Mustang GT around here that can touch it either. I can run close to an LS1 but havn't actually beat one yet but I"m within a car of them.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:59 PM   #27
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Quote:
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The ZZ9 cam is a little bigger but the ZZ4 cam is cheaper if you get it off ebay.

If we wernt just talking about bolt ons I would say cam is 4 because its no good if you just have the stock exhaust on.

Is your 13.3 1/4 mile with the stock cam??

Yeah stock cam. My setup is listed on my car domain.

PS- If you get 30 hp from that afpr i will be amazed.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:21 PM   #28
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

My best bang for the buck mod has got to be a 2800 rpm Vigilante torque converter. $700, 4 hours and a .6 second reduction in 0-60 time! Not quarter mile but 0-60. I went from a 5.2 to a 4.6 on street tires. It would take all 5 of those other mods to drop that much time off the line. My car isn't stock (see my sig) but .5 seconds seems like a common improvment on stock LT1 cars with this mod. Also it is virtually undetecatble in daily driving. A good TC might not be as sexy as a exhaust system but it nets results!
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:40 PM   #29
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Most people would over look the TC and forget all about it. Do you have a before and after 1/4 mile time with a new TC?

However I went around the whole automatic thing and swapped to a T-5 now it all depends on how good of a driver I am.

ZZ9 cam specs 212/226 int/exh Dur, .483/.520 int/exh lift, 112 LSA
ZZ4 cam specs 208/221 int/exh Dur, .474/.510 int/exh lift, 112 LSA
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:00 PM   #30
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Before vigilante torque converter best 1/4 ET of 13.43 after TC best of 12.87

Engine combo is a 9.6:1 CR 350 with etec-170 heads, SDPC vortec intake plate, accel runners and 58mm TB and LT-4 Hot Cam. Heddman headers and flowmaster exhaust, no emmisions, all the free mods and probally a couple things Im forgeting. This is with a 700R4, posi 3.27 and BFG 275/40-17 KDWS tires.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:06 PM   #31
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

I am getting an edge 2800 stall. Hoping to pick up around .2. Then Im doing 1.6 rockers and looking to hit a 12.9 at around 102. Then its time for a cam.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:34 PM   #32
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Seems like the edge units have a preety decent reputation. I went for the vigilante because I tuthfully couldnt find any bad reviews, it was all positive, gotta say thats unusual! (maybe I didnt look hard enough) Also versus the cheap (but still not inexpensive) brands like B&M they use quality billet parts versus reworked stock stuff. Check out http://www.converter.com/competition.htm for a compare.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:36 PM   #33
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Thanks cambridge205 for those specs. I appreciate it very much. Pretty good specs too. Kinda wish I went with one of those cams instead. But mines not to bad.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:27 AM   #34
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Just thought id add that I was running 14.8 at 94 bone stock with 2.77 gears. Kind of gives an idea of what full bolt ons will do.

Stock HP-230
Stock Torque- 330
Stock 1/4 14.8 at 94

Full bolt on HP- 300 Fly
Torque- 400 Fly
1/4- 13.3 at 100
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:07 PM   #35
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Car: 84 firebird, 85 transam
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by 89IrocZ350TPI View Post
Just thought id add that I was running 14.8 at 94 bone stock with 2.77 gears. Kind of gives an idea of what full bolt ons will do.

Stock HP-230
Stock Torque- 330
Stock 1/4 14.8 at 94

Full bolt on HP- 300 Fly
Torque- 400 Fly
1/4- 13.3 at 100
Blower is a bolt on. LOL. Most bang for the Buck till you melt a cast piston or split the case on a t5. But it bolts right on oh and go carbureted
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:14 PM   #36
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

Good list! I've got a few of those covered, so here's my input:

1) Exhaust- The stock set-up is pretty bad, even on the dual-cat cars. I went Hooker all the way back with a high-flow cat.

2) Tires- Getting 340+ ft.lbs. to the ground is hard enough on 8 inch wide wheels without exacerbating the issue using crappy rubber. Buy some good tires, or enjoy the smoke-show...

3) Tune- Either learn how to burn chips, or find somebody that is capable/talented (I won't lie, I chose the latter). A good tune made a huge difference on all my performance cars...including both L98s.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:19 PM   #37
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

This is off subject but you guys seem to know your stuff. I have a 187 corvette with a tpi l98 stock and I have it out of the carI'd like to put headers and a cam. So which cam would you put in the zz9,zz4, or lt4 hotcam. Also do you have to get the car tuned. thanks
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:36 AM   #38
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Re: Top 5 L98 mods

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Originally Posted by BAMNCO View Post
This is off subject but you guys seem to know your stuff. I have a 187 corvette with a tpi l98 stock and I have it out of the carI'd like to put headers and a cam. So which cam would you put in the zz9,zz4, or lt4 hotcam. Also do you have to get the car tuned. thanks
I would start a thread asking that question...both here and the C4 section of CorvetteForum. There are a lot of variables involved...
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:36 AM
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