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Cam/Head/Intake/Rearend upgrade....which to do first?

This is a discussion on Cam/Head/Intake/Rearend upgrade....which to do first? within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I am looking at doing some engine upgrades over the next 6 months. I have already done suspension and exhaust ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member mboodrx's Avatar
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    Cam/Head/Intake/Rearend upgrade....which to do first?

    I am looking at doing some engine upgrades over the next 6 months. I have already done suspension and exhaust listed in my sig and am looking at upgrading Heads/Cam(to include valve springs, timing oil pump etc), intake manifold as well as putting a 12 bolt moser for the rear end with probably a 4.11 gear. I will then obviously have to get a new tune either by frost or dyno if I can find one close by. Question is, should I save up and try to do it all at the same time or can it be done piecemeal? If done one or a few at a time, what is the best order to do these in order to maximize time, effort and money? Any advise is greatly appreciated.
    2001 TA M6. LCAs, SFCs, adj PHB, Pacesetter Headers, off-road y-pipe, Magnaflow catback, Ram-air, predator tune, F18X9.5 275/35, R18X10.5 295/35.

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    What are your plans for the car if you get heads and can? Dragstrip? If so do the rear first. If you are going to just cruise around with it I would do heads and cam at the same time then do rear later. I would also look into upgrading the clutch, and use a tick master cylinder with their bleeding line.

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    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    I would upgrade the rear first. Even on the street, they can break. Ask me how I know. After that, I personally would do the h/c/i together, as you'll have everything apart at the same time then. As stated, look into upgrading the clutch and hydraulics. Also, if you are still using the stock torque arm, look into either relocating off the tailshaft of the tranny, or an aftermarket one that mounts to the crossmember or a tunnel mount.

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    Old Member, New Username BrownsMillsAntz's Avatar
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    Are you doing your own work? Id do it all at the same time, thats a lot of doe though either way.

    Heads/Cam/Intake/Stall.
    404 Rwhp uncorrected @ 6400

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    Member cowstandmoto's Avatar
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    Yep. Anthony is right. That will cost a lot of money either way. But, that's what I did. I just did the whole thing. It cost me about a gillion dollars!! But oh well. It's only money!!!

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    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    I did the rear and clutch before going into the motor.

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    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
    I did the rear and clutch before going into the motor.
    This would be the safest way to go, do these first!

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I did SFC/LCA's/Rear end with relocation brackets & PST drive shaft/TA/Clutch/Shifter/Built T56/PHB/Shocks & Springs/Drag Radials...in that order...then added power.

    Having a bunch of power is fun and cool...when your car actually hooks and nothing breaks.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Having a bunch of power is fun and cool...when your car actually hooks and nothing breaks.
    Agreed
    A good foundation is the best start, then you can tear into the motor

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else....rear first. You don't want to be in the running for the fastest car on jackstands like a lot of other people end up.

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    Junior Member mboodrx's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I think this is what Im going to do. Rear-end with new torque arm and clutch first and then roll into intake/heads and cam afterwards. I'm planning on doing it all myself and will probably break it up into two separate projects.

    The car is a daily driver but I do take her out to have some real fun from time to time, so I don't want to go too long without her while doing these upgrades. I'm hoping I'm not biting off more than I can chew, but I think breaking it up and taking my time with it should help.

  12. #12
    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    Im still on the stock rear here with 4-5k launches at the track, (not sure why it still works and doesnt make noise) however if it were me i would do the cam and heads at the same time and first but thats just me, just make sure you have everything that you need to do the swap ready to go. your going to be spending the same amount of money either way unless you do the heads cam and intake at different times but would be best to do it all at once while you are already in there
    2000 ss camaro, forged lq9 370 short block, stage 3 PRC 243 heads, fast 102 w, big mouth throttle body, MS3 cam, 1.7 roller rockers, stage 3 t-56, monster stage 3, pro 5.0, 4.10's with moser axles, bmr tq arm, lca's, phb. SOLD (thankfully)!!!

    New project: 1968 step-side, partial restore, ls/th400 swap. hopefully boosted pics and more info to come!!!


    Having a small cam is like having a small dick, everytime you go to use it you wish it was bigger

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WICKEDLS1 View Post
    Im still on the stock rear here with 4-5k launches at the track, (not sure why it still works and doesnt make noise) however if it were me i would do the cam and heads at the same time and first but thats just me, just make sure you have everything that you need to do the swap ready to go. your going to be spending the same amount of money either way unless you do the heads cam and intake at different times but would be best to do it all at once while you are already in there
    there are exceptions to the rule but many many people have made that stock 10 bolt puke it's guts out on even stock power levels.

  14. #14
    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    there are exceptions to the rule but many many people have made that stock 10 bolt puke it's guts out on even stock power levels.
    yeah i have seen many cases lol idk why im one of the lucky ones

  15. #15
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WICKEDLS1:2772578
    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    there are exceptions to the rule but many many people have made that stock 10 bolt puke it's guts out on even stock power levels.
    yeah i have seen many cases lol idk why im one of the lucky ones
    You're not lucky, you're on borrowed time.
    It's on jackstands.

  16. #16
    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    You're not lucky, you're on borrowed time.
    ill stick with the term lucky

  17. #17
    Old Member, New Username BrownsMillsAntz's Avatar
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    I chose to do the intake before i got my first tune a few years back. Ill be doing the heads and cam in a few weeks, I dont drag race and really dont beat the shit outta her so the 10 bolt should hold a few mths til I get the 12 bolt or 9.

  18. #18
    Member BrntWS6's Avatar
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    Most will recommend doing the rear and clutch first which is good advice. I can definately recommend doing the clutch first, mine let go on the dyno after my H/C. But I wanted instant gradification so I just dove into the H/C/I. I think it really depends on how you drive the car too, I've got about 450rwhp on 315 dr's for a year now and my 10 bolt is still holding. But I never go to the track, it's not a DD and I don't beat the hell out of it. I still have fun but I'm cautious at the same time. Rears are just expensive, a MWC 9" is gonna cost more than my entire build.

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