The FireChicken’s factory engine was a LG4, which is a 5.0L 305 cubic inch V8 with a 4-BBL throttle-body injection carburetor. It has been completely rebuilt by Tony Marrs at Automotive Machine and Supply in Odessa.
Since the 305s are not known as being the most powerful, several have asked why I didn’t change to the 5.7L 350. The beefier engine would have provided more horsepower, but was advised that I would be looking at potential problems with the computer. Although that wasn’t completely true, I took it as gold and stayed with the 305. The rebuilt engine was installed by Carl at Classic Automotive in Odessa. We also switched from mechanical to electronic ignition and removed a few parts that were hindering both gas mileage and performance. Among the list was… can you believe… the computer. Oh well, onward through the fog.
INTAKE MANIFOLD / CARBURETOR
This is where we added an Edelbrock Performer EPS intake manifold and Holley 570 CFM street performance carburetor. Dyno tests show that the manifold picked up an extra 5 hp over the stock one. One of the first stumbling blocks of this adventure was issues with the carburetor and its affect on the overall performance. TV (throttle valve) cables need to be properly attached to the Holley kickdown bolt. It tends to make communication from the transmission to the carb more efficient. Jim at Automotive Performance Specialists had to add a curve kit, which did seem to help with the absence of the computer. The fuel pump and lines were replaced.
They say an engine performs best when it can exhaust the air as fast as it can take it in. I had shorty Hedman Hedders installed to assist with the task. Aluminized steel hardware was installed from the 2.5 inch collector to the 80 series Flowmaster muffler and out the tail pipes. Mission accomplished on the better air flow and eliminating most of the back pressure off of the engine. The Flowmaster gave the bird a deeper toned sound. My little personal touch is the added smell of Pina Colada. The fuel fragrance is available from Power Plus Lubricants and a four ounce bottle can be mixed in with a full tank of premium unleaded gas. It doesn’t work near as well for those of you that have standard catalytic converters.
In the past, the engine typically ran hot. In the midst of this ‘revising the bird’, it only made sense to replace the radiator, all belts and hoses, and water pump. The radiator fan is wired to come on and stay on when the key is on. It may take a little off of the battery, but I want to make sure overheating doesn’t become an issue.