So you want to make your 83-88 Monte Carlo a little faster?
Most of this information came from posts made to the Monte Carlo mailing list.
So you have a 4th generation Monte Carlo SS and the little HO 305 seems
kinda anemic, huh? (Most of this also applies to 4th gen LS and CL models with 305 motors.)
Well, you're not the only one who has felt that way. Most Monte owners have, at one time
or another, felt like the 97-pound weakling being kicked around on the beach by a bully.
(Maybe a 5.0 Rustang?)
Don't give up. There are a few things you can do to improve your Monte's performance. Probably
the suggestion most often made when this question is asked is, "get a bigger motor." This is a pretty
good idea. But if you're not in the market for a motor swap, or you want to prepare for the swap with
some bolt-on parts, here are some things you can do to pep it up a little.
Since an internal combustion motor is just a big ol' air pump, the idea is to increase power by increasing the
amount of air that goes through it. Let's start looking some ways to do that.
- Replace the catalytic converter with a free-flowing unit. PFP sells these for around $80.
Random Tech's units are a little more.
- Replace the stock exhaust system from the converter to the rear of the car (cat back) with a
larger diameter system and free-flowing mufflers. These are available from Dynomax and Torque Tech among others.
- Get rid of the cast iron exhaust manifolds and use headers (with AIR and O2 sensor capability.) Available from
- Install a more agressive (yet emissions-legal) camshaft.
Crane makes a Compucam series that is EPA certified.
While you're at it, install a new timing set like a dual-row roller from Cloyes.
- You might consider roller rockers like those produced by Harland Sharp. They won't add 100 hp (maybe 10)
but they sure look cool.
- The intake manifold can be replaced by an emissions-legal piece from Edelbrock or Weiand.
- You're kinda stuck with the quadrajet carburetor, since this is part of the emissions system. But
there are a lot of tricks you can use to fine-tune your q-jet. You can find these in a book called "Rochester Caburetors" by Doug Roe,
published by HPBooks. Its ISDN number is 0-89586-301-4 and retails for $16.95 US.
- A free-flowing air filter like those made by K&N can be installed to replace the stock unit.
- The air cleaner unit can be replaced with an open-element type or you might want to use a dual snorkel
assembly. A company called Air Inlet Systems in Canada makes these for about $150 US.
- A high-output coil from Mallory
or Accel can be helpful, especially if you're going to add an igntion box.
- Spark plug wires (spiral-wound) from Taylor or Accel will help get the
voltage to the plugs.
- And you might consider adding a spark box like the MSD6AL or
one from Accel to provide a hotter spark.
If you really want to go nuts, you could add a nitrous kit for that "extra burst of flavor."
Of course nitrous can have side effects, like broken rear ends and transmissions, but "that's racing."
Click here for some info on NOS
Here are a couple of places to get speed parts: