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Cheap Street Chevelle

Your Low-Buck, Step-By-Step Guide To A Street Machine Buildup

Manifold Swap
1. Obviously our stock street machine needed a little help in the performance department. We scoured newspaper ads and local swap meets and came up with an Edelbrock Performer aluminum intake manifold that not only sheds weight, but also outperforms the stock cast-iron intake. With a little Rust-Oleum Pure Strength cleaner and some scrubbing, you can have used parts looking good in no time.

2. After removing the stock points-type distributor, Quadrajet carb, and various hoses, unbolt and remove the stock cast-iron intake. Be careful not to let any of the gunk on the manifold or nearby areas drop down into the lifter valley. One easy trick is to lay some paper towels in the lifter valley to keep dirt and debris out.

3. After we positioned the new set of Ultra Seal intake gaskets, we carefully set the new manifold in place and tightened it down. Be sure to bolt on all of the original brackets (such as the air conditioning bracket), torque the bolts to spec (30 lb-ft) in the correct sequence, then reinstall the distributor and hook up the vacuum lines.

4. Whenever you change an intake manifold, always change the thermostat. Doing so is cheap insurance against overheating, and you'll save yourself the hassle of doing it later. We also put a new upper radiator hose on because the old one was in terrible condition.

5. With the new Edelbrock intake manifold in place, a quickie de-gunk of the carb, and a new PAW open-element air cleaner, we were back on the track. While the car still wasn't a rocketship, we did make a notable one-tenth improvement on our quarter-mile time. Next month should be interesting as we do a few key street machine hop-ups that are sure to lop off more time. Will the Chevelle run in the 15s? We'll see.

Parts List

Tune-Up Parts
AC-Delco OEM tune-up kit: Distributor cap
(PN D308 R-8), rotor, points,
and condenser (PN 101-2)
AC-Delco replacement spark plug wires (PN 6316-D)
AC-Delco spark plugs (PN R445)
AC-Delco fuel filter (PN GF-4)
AC-Delco oil filter (PN PF25)
Pennzoil 10W30 motor oil (5 quarts)
Pennzoil Dexron II ATF fluid (3 quarts)
5/32-inch vacuum line (6 feet length)
3/8-inch fuel line (6 feet length)

Chemicals Used
VHT Carb and Choke Cleaner
Fel-Pro Red RTV Sealant
Rust-Oleum Pure Strength Cleaner
Super 104+ Octane Boost

Manifold Swap Parts
Edelbrock Performer (PN 2101)
Ultra Seal manifold gasket set (PN 5820)
Fel-Pro carburetor gasket (PN 60111)
Stant 180-degree thermostat
Gates upper radiator hose
PAW open-element air cleaner (PN 19500)

Auto Trader magazine
Champion 700 battery
Ultra Seal valve cover gaskets (PN 5860)
Small box of ladies' hair clips (for headliner)
Smog inspection

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