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Need several pieces of information, like:

* What are you running now? (Engine, heads, cam, carb/intake, exhaust - also transmission, rear axle, power brakes? a/c?)

* How much of an increase are you looking for?

* How does the car get used? (street, highway, race, show, mixture)

* Is it "original" now and how important is it to you to maintain that?

* (Last but not least) Ball park budget?

To give you a "general" answer, an engine is basically just an air pump. Getting more power out involves making it pump more air. There are many different approaches as to how. Give it bigger lungs (more displacement - bore and stroke), make it breathe "more quickly" (cam to make it efficient at higher rpm, [but at the expense of lower rpm efficiency]), make it breathe more efficiently (better heads, better exhaust, better carb/intake), "force feed" air to it (supercharger, turbocharger), or a combination of two or more approaches. That all have their advantages, disadvantages, costs, impact on reliability/drivability, etc.


Bear
 

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If you are a little more specific as to how much money you want to invest and how deep you want to go into modifying I'm sure a bunch of people here could make some good suggestions.
As a basic rule of thumb with any car the first thing to always go after is give the engine the ability to take in more outside cooler air and the ability to expell the exhaust in the shortest and least restrictive manor.
An engine is nothing but a big air pump. The more air you can get in at the coolest tempature possible will allow you to add more fuel. Then you need to get ride of what you have taken in as quick as possible.
This is a very over simplified point of view but is the basic principal.
I always preach never just improve and engines ability to take in more air and fuel unless you are going to improve its ability to expell that now used air if you want the best results for your efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok wow um here goes so my car has the stock 442, V-8 in it but it has a MSD Ignition blaster, edelbrock valve covers and air filter with the quad jet carb right now. everything else is stock on this car, I know it will be expensive but i'm not trying to do it all at once. I was researching and the engine it currently has only puts out like 230 HP i believe and I want uproots of 400 if possible without changing the engine all together. I am really looking at putting a blower on it right now. it is not for the track this will be a hot rod that can also double as a everyday driver, I'm just looking for idea's. I won't lie I'm not good with car's but I'm going to do what I have to make this one where I want it "I learn best that way". So bare with me if I say something stupid that's my bad lol.
 

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Whoa there dude....sorry but you sound like a total muscle car noob. No offense but you need to do a little research and I would start at the basics or you could ruin your car and bank account. First and foremost, 442 is an Oldsmobile model, you have (I presume) a Pontiac GTO which shares the same chassis with the Olds but little else.

Not being sure of the condition of your car and it's drivetrain if I were in your shoes I would start by just giving your car a good tune and an engine health assessment starting with a compression test. Are you sure your car has the original engine?

As others have said, you should have clear goals, plans, and a budget. An engine build from scratch can cost anywhere from $4K to 10K without a blower.

If you really plan on supercharging a Pontiac I would plan on spending 15K or more. Superchargers put extreme stress on an engine and drivetrain and everything must be fortified accordingly. Transmission and rear axle must also be built to withstand the stress and you'll need a dedicated fuel system, ignition system etc.

Honestly a Pontiac can be built to make 400 HP and 500 tq and that is enough HP for most and will yield neck snapping performance. Many members on here have done it and all of us are willing to share experience and knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A few post's up you will see that I already said I don't know a lot about car's I'm a motorcycle guy. Anyways yes its the original engine this I know for a fact it runs strong seeing how I drove it from LA to San Diego I know that the 442 is in the old's but what is mine then it's a 400 4 barrel 2 exhaust........ain't that a 442? It has all the original paper work and i'm the 3 owner it's just sat along time. I know it's going to be pricey and again this is why I said I'm not looking to do it all at once but I wanna make it a sick ass car. I know what my goal's are lol I just started this thread because I would like to know what can be done to enhance HP lol I am adding header's here in a little while and im going to change the pipes that's on it now I was also thinking of adding a power chip. I'm going to see if I can add a photo on here though my mobile device then ya'll can just see the engine lol
 

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Again, not trying to be insulting calling you a noob lol. Just recomending that you do some serious research before you dive into your project.

73 GTO's don't have "chips" though lol.

All 73 GTO's had 4 barrel and dual exhaust. Some had 400 cu inches, some had 455's.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I didnt' think there was a chip but not sure so thanks for letting me know. Yea its got the 400 in it, I cant get photos to post on here but if you go into my "profile" there are 2 photos in the album that I made. So seeing that it has the 400 ci is it a 442? Is that right or no?
 

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The 442 was a nickname for the olds cutlass ( actually, a model of the cutlass) sporting a 400 cid, 4 speed trans, dual (2) exhaust...hence, 442.

Any car can be called that, if it has those requirements, i guess, however the name was coined by Oldsmobile (trademarked??)

A GTO with a 400, 4 speed, dual exhaust is still a GOAT!! lol If you call your Goat anything else (like 442) you will be ridiculed by muscle car nuts....sorry!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok i know it's a GOAT lol I was just calling the engine a 442 anyways we got that outta the way now here's another good question what are some pipes that up performance BUT also have a deep throaty sound?
 

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I have ceramic coated Hooker Headers with Flowmaster mufflers....sounds awesome!! I also installed electric cut outs so I can run open or closed headers with the touch of a switch! Sounds great open for cruise nights, or racing, and great on the road too!
 

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first you need to know what your starting with....
Wallace Racing-Drag Racing Pontiac powered Firebirds,Trans Ams and Dragsters
this sight will show you where to find the casting numbers and tell you exactly what block and heads you have.

You are correct that the base would be 230 HP as emissions had kicked in and drastically decreased HP since 71'. Good news is all (but the rarest) pontiac blocks are relatively the same, that same block should be able to go up to 450HP+ without a problem with the right internal parts.

Heres your dilemma, if you start just throwing ancillary parts on without pulling it you can probably squeeze another 100 HP out of it if it's not worn out yet. But adding the HP to a motor thats well worn will probably finish it off quicker and you will be starting from scratch anyways.

if you find another motor you can have it built correctly and still drive your car til its done. Headers, carb, heads, brackets, pumps will all match up so all you will need is a shortblock (just block and rotating assembly). Once the dream motor is done take the old one out detail the engine bay and drop the new one in, that easy.....LOL. Be prepared though, HP=$'s 5K+. Then you will have the original as a backup.

Very neat car, not the most desired of the GTO line, but they are pretty rare to see. Does it have the NasCar style hood scoops? That car sporting 450HP and poverty rims and caps would be such a sleeper. Buddy had a 73' CanAm, (one's with the TA shaker scoops) lots of good times in that car in my youth.

heres some more stats on it
http://ultimategto.com/cgi-bin/statsexplorer.cgi?year=1973&f1=style+popgto+clrpaint+dtmatrix+vinmatrix+dataplate+price
 

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I have to agree with ALKY. You need to do some SERIOUS research before doing anything to your car. I was in the same boat 3 years ago, cool new car but not much knowledge.

Spend weeks looking stuff up, it takes a long time to learn how cars work (and how to make them go faster).

That being said, headers and a free-flowing exhaust is the best bang for the buck, for starters.
 

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Hey Airdale... it's great that you're interested in classic muscle. Congrats on stepping up to where the 'real men' live :cheers

You do have a lot to learn, but that's ok because it is all learnable (and enjoyable along the way). If you're wanting to get serious about improving your ride, one thing that's important is that you start thinking of the whole car as a system and not just a few components on the engine. That's because everything you change, has an effect on (and is affected by) everything else.

Fer' example:
Horsepower is actually a calculated number - it can't be directly measured. Horsepower is computed by multiplying torque (twisting force - which CAN be directly measured) by RPM and then dividing that result by 5252. So if you change the cam in an engine to change its "breathing pattern" so that maximum torque now occurs at a higher rpm than it did before, then you've increased horsepower (from the formula) even though the amount of torque is still the same as it was before. Cool huh? But there's also a down side. By making the engine more efficient at higher rpm, it will be less efficient at lower rpm (there's no such thing as a free lunch). If your car has an automatic transmission, it's now going to be harder for the engine to reach that higher rpm because it now has less torque available at low rpm to overcome the resistance of the torque converter in the transmission. So how you have to start thinking about changing the torque converter to "loosen" it up a little so the engine can rev easier. If you do that though, it's going to make the transmission tend to run hotter because of the increased slippage, so now you've got to think about adding an extra oil cooler to the transmission. That's an example of what I mean when I say you have to think about the whole car as a system - everything is connected.

Bear
 
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