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2005 Impala 3400/3500 hybrid Project Help?

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  • 2005 Impala 3400/3500 hybrid Project Help?

    Hello All,

    As this is my first post, I'll give you all some background on me, hopefully make this process a little easier. I've got a good background in mechanics, my father was a big-time chassis guy in the 70's and I've been wrenching with him since I could hold the wrench. I've done a few projects completely on my own and learned my limits the hard way. I've worked on small block chevy's from 283s through LS7s and I've helped a buddy with a twin turbo 3800 F-body pretty recently. I've never actually dug into my 3400 for anything beyond oil changes, a replacement air filter and plugs. I did rip a 2.8L out of an S10 a few years ago but didn't work on it, at all, sold it and dropped in a 302SBC.

    This leads us into my next project. I bought brand new a 2005 impala with a 3400 a few years ago for my daily beater after an accident at the track decided I can't drive stick anymore. I've had it for more than three years now, completely stock, put about 54K miles on it with synthetic oil changes ever 3-4K, a K&N drop in filter at about 45K and E3 plugs at 50K. It drives great, and has more power than I expected from a 3.4L V6, but more is never enough.

    I've been reading on this and other forums for quite some time now and have begun playing with head/cam changes on my dyno simulator and have pretty well settled on doing a 3500 top swap with a ported 3500LIM and a ported 3400UIM, pacesetter headers(there aren't any other drop-ins and I don't want to take the time to fabricate my own) with a single 3" steel core cat(have to have emissions) and a ZZP cat-back w/o resonator, not sure on mufflers yet. I've managed to find stock 3500 flow numbers, thanks to this site, but nothing on either the MMS or WOT ported heads. I'd like to be able to compare the power gains and the efficiency of the designs in my simulator before dropping $2K on the top end.

    Besides those flow numbers I was hoping for some alternative ideas and suggestions. Like I said this will be my first 60* build-up and while I'd like to keep it pretty mild(250-270ft/lbs crank) and I'd prefer to leave the short-block stock, I'm looking forward to a solid daily driver that can get out of it's own way a little better.

    Suspension and chassis mods are already under way, the standard stuff plus a little. Doing custom arms front and rear, KYB AGX struts cut and converted to coil overs all the way around, sway bars, strut tower braces, and some extra tubing the length of the chassis for some front to back stiffness. Spare tire will be sticking around but the carpet has been yanked from the trunk and the battery installed on the passenger side. I want to keep the interior comfortable and failrly quiet as this will remain my daily driver and I have to keep the extra seating in the rear. Can't seem to find much in the way of fiberglass or carbon fiber for the impala bodies so it probably won't loose much weight. Hood and trunk latches and shocks are going the way of the dinosaurs to be replaced with aluminum prop rods and pins. Door handles will be ditched and shaved for light-weight servo's (aka poppers) glass will probably be replaced with lexan. I'm going to trim weight where ever I can without changing the looks or comfort of the car. I live in AZ so the A/C is staying.

    Brakes are another question I have, though probably better for a W-Body forum, I know the camaro calipers work, but I was hoping for some pictures of the install, I'd like to use an F-body bracket to mount a Wilwood Dynalite for the front and I'll fab a bracket for a two piston for the rear. I'll keep the stock rotor diameters, maybe go to 12" in the front and 11" in the back, put some aluminum alloy 18" wheels all the way around to clear the brakes and decrease sidewall a little. I don't want to go bigger as I don't think it looks right and doesn't increase performance but will notably impact ride quality.

    Last edited by ArtosDracon; 11-26-2008, 05:57 AM.

  • #2

    Im still working on the manifolds and other aspects of the site itself but I do have those up. I remove the least amount possible to get the best flow gains, so efficiency is better than stock (which was bad ass as I am sure you have figured out).

    I would go with the S&S 3400 headers before I touched pacesetter. Never heard anything good about that brand but perhaps you have?

    What dyno simulator are you using?


    • #3
      Thanks for that, I'll play with it a little bit this afternoon, you've got my business over MMS. I've got a bit of a delay because of the holidays, but second week of january I should be placing orders.

      I've used some pacesetter products before, including their 3800 W body headers and they didn't have any clearance problems, from what I've heard most people just hate them because they use thin flanges that tend to warp while their being welded, actually just about the whole system warps a bit while it's being welded and they don't compensate for it. A pry bar, a 3lb sledge and some good thick gaskets with locking header bolts and they don't cause any problems once their on, in my experience so far. I did read about the S&S 3400 headers but they don't seem to make a set for the w-body and I am not going to hack into my motor mounts to make them fit, I'll cut a section from the pipe and weld in an S bend before I do that.

      I'm still using Dyno 2003 at home, it's not very full featured, but it's easy to use and it's fairly accurate. What do you use?


      • #4
        I use dynomation to simulate the engines and for my port work/cam specs. It has enabled me to compare velocity vs flow and while I was already focused on velocity based on all the reading I have done, the software backed it up and my results have been very close with the real world feedback I have received so far. Its not cheap software but its amazing once you get all the numbers in there.

        I use flow numbers with manifolds for simulations, which improved the accuracy. Its also made my life more difficult for getting my store setup:P Just a lot of work basically.


        • #5
          Dynomation is actually from the same company I got mine from, I guess it's called desktop dyno 2003 with the pro tools. I also have the drag sim program by them. It looks like they make another program in between the two now called dyno sim, I suppose that could have been confusing. I don't expect it to give me final answers, just clues and directions.


          • #6
            yes, its sorta the same company. The original company that did dyomation took control of it again (they actually do updates). It uses runner lengths and max/min port areas. The wave analysis is great and I use hybrid (mix of wave and empty/fill). DD2k and the like are all empty/fill simulations only, so they are better than nothing but not as complete as with wave. There are other programs available that use different measurements to do the same thing. Engine Analyzer pro is one that comes to mind.


            • #7
              Do your heads come fully assembled? If so what springs? What's the max lift with the comp springs I've been reading about? I've swapped in your head flow numbers and I've lost torque, which makes sense for the extra flow on a NA cam, I've been playing with the heads at .550 lift and I've been playing with custom cam timing and I can either make the same horsepower or the same torque, can't manage both.


              • #8
                Yes, any springs you want. .640 lift is as far as I would go on the 26986 springs. I don't think there is any point in running a .640 lift cam though since the flow tapers off past 500 anyway. .550 would be fine.

                What about tuning?


                • #9
                  So far I'm looking like the velocity of the stock heads will actually benefit me because of the rpm range I'm playing for. Right now with the stock heads I've got a cam of
                  198/224 @ .050
                  .550 lift both
                  111 LSA
                  108 ICL

                  260ft/lbs at 4K
                  244hp at 5.5K
                  242hp at 6K

                  That's with 1.5" primaries to a 3" collector with a muffler, no cat in this program, and 500cfm of total TB flow, which as best I can tell should be easily achievable with a 62-65mm TB. Can you run this for me and see what you come up with? I'd like a baseline for interpreting this program for the 60*, I know It's generally about 10% optimistic with SBC's to 400ci.

                  And for tuning I was going to order a baseline from 3800 performance or w-body store as I know they have PCMs for the 05 impala then tune from there with whatever is recommended, DHP seems to be the way to go for stock PCM tuning.


                  • #10
                    The problem is getting that cam ground. It would take a new master lobe to do a true custom cam grind and that costs a lot of money. I need some seat to seat values to have a shot at it, and primary lengths. 1.5" is tiny and not recommended though, and 3" collectors are huge. 65mm TB flows 440 cfm according to dynomation.

                    Did you lower compression to 9.1:1?


                    • #11
                      Here's the complication, I don't have an option for y-pipe in my program. There aren't actual #s for the pacesetter headers, 1.5" wide primaries is tiny for the 3x00? That's the size I use on SBC's up to 350ci with a 2.5" collector. Just by looking at the pictures of the pacesetter I was guessing on the 1.5, could be 1.625 I suppose, and it looks to use a 2.5" collector per side and a 2.5" crossover to a 3" shorty downpipe. Again those are guesses based on just staring at it, I haven't gotten a reply fro them yet.

                      I've got no qualms with ordering a billet cam, I saw quite a few options from MMS, but again, I'm just in the researching phase so I'll play with the cams that are out there to see what will work best for me, this method just gives me a good baseline to work from in cam selection. Seat to seat isn't available, just IVO, IVC, EVO and EVC numbers based on .050 open. If I plug in cam specs based on seat to seat instead of 050 I can work it from there but, I'll have to set the ramp rate manually so I'll need .050 and seat to seat timing from an available cam then I can work it up or down from there.


                      • #12
                        There are no billet cams. I am not even sure why MMS still lists them but you could find more information from Mike.

               Those are the cams I recommend as well as my master grind list. You can take any lobe, intake or exhaust, and use it for either intake or exhaust. LSA and ICL are also completely variable as well. I also have some dynomation results from version 4 (5 is out now) to compare with and see how they react.

                        Header sizing is based on output. used to have some good info but they seem to be gone from the internet right now. 1 5/8 primaries would be a good start and 2.5" collectors would also be a good start.

                        2.86 is a good ramp up rate to guess with if you must guess. I only use seat to seat and .050 spec so I have the exact rates (or the numbers from cam doctor, which is the measurement at every degree and imported into dynomation). I only have that for stock though.


                        • #13
                          I was digging through your cam list and I'm pretty sure we can make something work with a mixing of lobes off your master list. I may just go ahead and get the dynomation 5, it costs an arm and a leg compared to what I've got now, but gotta do what you gotta do, right?

                          Assuming you have the information on hand, can you run a simulation with 1 5/8 primaries to 2.5 collectors, stock 3500 heads with ported LIM and ported 3400 UIM with 35mm TB and the intake from grind 1498 and the exhaust from grind 1341 on a 111 LSA with 1.7 rockers. I'll get a picture up of what my program is coming up with for that set-up here shortly.


                          • #14


                            • #15
                              Your manifold type isn't correct, but I don't know that you have the right option to choose from anyway. Also, your program doesn't know velocity because it doesn't know any port sizes. My ported heads increase flow without opening up the min port area, creating more velocity above the valve and through the ports. You would need a lot of measurements to use the software to its capabilities so just be aware that there is a lot more time involved in setting up dynomation compared to desktop dyno. Your lift numbers are too high. .473/.512 with 1.7 rockers.

                              253@5500 hp and 273@4000 tq.