Looking for some basic mods?

Mopar Performance Issues

  1. alexk90

    alexk90 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Location:
    Lincoln, Ne
    Local Time:
    10:42 PM
    I just bought my first muscle car. I got a 1969 Plymouth Valiant with the 273 motor. I am using the car as a daily driver at the moment but I am, looking for some basic mods to do to the car.
    Thing is that I am looking for some just basic stuff I can do. I would like to get a little more power of out the car. I am just open to ideas. I am kinda at a loss what I can do.


    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. OldmanRick

    OldmanRick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,958
    Likes Received:
    310
    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Location:
    Ladson, Sc
    Local Time:
    11:42 PM
    Welcome to FABO Alex! That's a great looking car. :thumbrig:

    I'd start with a really good tune-up, as in all fresh parts and pushing the ignition timing up from the "book" numbers. Not sure how deep you want to go at this point, but a nice dual exhaust system would be my first mod. Granted it won't make a huge difference, but it's a good base for further mods.....like a 4bbl intake (Edelbrock Performer) & a 500/600 cfm 4bbl carb.
     
  3. Woods74

    Woods74 Broke Senior

    Messages:
    6,001
    Likes Received:
    243
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Local Time:
    8:42 PM
    Drop a 408 stroker and a 4 speed in there. That's a basic mod.
     
  4. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

    Messages:
    81,603
    Likes Received:
    61280
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    Local Time:
    11:42 PM
    That needs a big block. Blueprint a stock HP383 and a Hemi 727. Put an 8.750 out back with 3.55 gears. DONE.
     
  5. j par

    j par Well-hung Member

    Messages:
    28,835
    Likes Received:
    16743
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    Local Time:
    8:42 PM
    But seriously folks !?? I agree with the tune up. Set the valve lash- it's likely been a while and it may help tremendously, and it's free! Welcome to the forum ! :cheers:
     
  6. OldmanRick

    OldmanRick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,958
    Likes Received:
    310
    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Location:
    Ladson, Sc
    Local Time:
    11:42 PM
    I believe the 69' 273's were hydraulic cams only, but that's a great thought for some of the early 273 owner with low mileage original engines.
     
  7. younggun2.0

    younggun2.0 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,735
    Likes Received:
    1303
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    federal way, wa
    Local Time:
    8:42 PM
    I think a set of headers would be a nice upgrade. You can go ultra cheap and fight low hanging headers and fight with speed bumps or you could spend the cash and get a nice set and never look back. I will give my honest opinion here: the 273 is a wonderful little engine but will likely never make an impressive amount of power without a full blown performance rebuild. I think the best thing here would be to get the 273 running tip top and enjoy it! Then if you decide you want more performance I would recommend a junk yard 5.9 magnum engine with basic bolt on upgrades. Could easily make 350-400 hp for less then $3k. The biggest thing here is to keep it running and driving! Then you won't stall out on the project and loose interest
     
  8. Revhendo

    Revhendo Master ACME Tech

    Messages:
    13,792
    Likes Received:
    19197
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    Local Time:
    8:42 PM
    Upgrade the brakes first. Then pump up the power. That is a sweet little ride.
     
  9. j par

    j par Well-hung Member

    Messages:
    28,835
    Likes Received:
    16743
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    Local Time:
    8:42 PM
    Shows what I know ? Because our 273 has solid lifters I think everyone else should ?! LOL
     
  10. alexk90

    alexk90 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Location:
    Lincoln, Ne
    Local Time:
    10:42 PM
    That is kinda the plan at the moment. I am just loving the driving car and I am really just looking for a little more out of it. For just a bit more fun (lol). I would love down the road to do a engine upgrade on it but as for right now. I am just enjoying the shit out of it.
     
  11. harrisonm

    harrisonm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,854
    Likes Received:
    4345
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Topeka, KS
    Local Time:
    4:42 AM
    Headers, 2.25 inch dual exhaust, new intake, 4 barrel carb and a good tune up would go a long way. That should all be easily doable for under a thousand dollars. I like the idea of looking at the brakes also.
     
  12. krazykuda

    krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

    Messages:
    60,941
    Likes Received:
    27261
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Orland Park, IL
    Local Time:
    10:42 PM

    They started putting hydraulic cam/lifters in 273's in 68 and 69...
     
  13. rumblefish360

    rumblefish360 I have escaped the evil Empire State! FABO Gold Member

    Messages:
    42,310
    Likes Received:
    14492
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    Local Time:
    11:42 PM
    Good news/Bad news

    The bad news first.

    You do not have a muscle car.
    The 273 is the smallest & most difficult to get power or a power return from.
    Your best bet is to get a bigger engine.

    The good news;

    Much is available for the mini motor!
    It will take on almost all the Hi-Po parts from other small block engines.
    Any other small block will interchange with it.

    Basic upgrades that don't kill the bank are;

    Open air cleaner
    4bbl. carb (not larger than 600cfm's.)
    Intake manifold. (I seriously recommend a dual plane here)
    Headers & Exhaust
    A good combination would be the Summit racing headers hooked to what they recommend, Hooker headers. IF they have it in 2-1/4, that's what I would do for the small engine. 2-1/2 I'd better suited for the larger engines making good street power.
    A camshaft change is also reasonable in cost, but, it is a little advanced and I don't know if your up for the challenge or cost.

    My min. Engine size recommendation would be a 318. A 360 would produce a lot more torque for less.
     
  14. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

    Messages:
    81,603
    Likes Received:
    61280
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    Local Time:
    11:42 PM
    big block. lol
     
  15. txstang84

    txstang84 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,510
    Likes Received:
    463
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Local Time:
    6:42 PM
    I can't disagree with the above statement...

    Moving on...

    I can't recall his nick, but there's a fella from Sweden or Finland (I think) with a 273 in a Duster. He freshened up the heads, put on a 4bbl intake, a Comp 282S cam, headers and some other goodies...well more than enough to put a smile on your face. If it's in good running condition, and you want to stick to basic mods right now, I'll follow suit with the above suggestions:

    small 4bbl with accompanying air cleaner
    Weiand action plus or some other low rise dual plane intake
    dual 2 1/4" exhaust; headers would be nice but don't cheap out...
    electronic ignition

    Then...when you feel like getting froggy with it, Rob said it pretty well....

     
  16. Abodybomber

    Abodybomber Breaking street machines , since 1983.....:) Legendary Member

    Messages:
    30,853
    Likes Received:
    10253
    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Location:
    Arroyo grande ca
    Local Time:
    8:42 PM
    This...Name's Trevor, from Sweden.. A 273 works just fine,for the moment. Nice call,TX Stang...
    Check it out....http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=266847&highlight=Sweden+273
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • RedFish

      RedFish FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      25,179
      Likes Received:
      3871
      Joined:
      Sep 5, 2007
      Local Time:
      11:42 PM
      I understand where you're coming from, lack luster throttle response. I got the same from my 67 273
      Some tweeks that will make it a lot more fun to drive are dang near free. I upgraded the charging system, 2 brl intake and carb, and ignition system, all with OEM parts from a 73 318. I don't have the horses to over power my 10 inch brakes, kill my tired old trans and/or 7.25 rear end but... I can leave the red lights with the rest of the traffic, hit passing gear on a entrance ramp and get out there like the rest. Not to mention how much easier it starts, hot or cold. I haven't touched the exhaust.
      I do have a small fortune invested in a complete commando build. A bumper to bumper drive train build that includes dual exhaust, 8.25 rear, etc.., and suspension, and brakes, even wheels and tires.
      Honestly, the only part here that I could really enjoy today is the sway bar to stop the body roll. Second to that is the cruise control.
      Mine is a Barracuda which is closer to what is considered "muscle car" I guess, if body style makes a difference in some minds. Muscle car is defined, horse power and torque versus weight so any body style can be a muscle car with enough money spent.
      You want a muscle car or just more enjoyment from your classic a-body ? That's the question.
       
    • toolmanmike

      toolmanmike Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      63,590
      Likes Received:
      53734
      Joined:
      Jan 18, 2006
      Location:
      Iowa
      Local Time:
      10:42 PM
    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 I have escaped the evil Empire State! FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      42,310
      Likes Received:
      14492
      Joined:
      Jun 21, 2005
      Location:
      Florida
      Local Time:
      11:42 PM
      Good mention tool man Mike. I forgot that simple but very important and responsive part.

      Redfish, while the definition of muscle car above is accurate, it is also lacking only in a sense of what the label was applied to, to begin with. Through the years, it has changed into any car from the mid/early 70's and older with any V8.

      His more door Valiant is a basic people mover Econo box, a disposable car of the era, just like most cars of the era. Duster, Nova, Mavric (sp?) etc...

      Certain models of these basic people mover econo boxes did achieve the status. 340 Duster, some Nova's as well. With power plants well more motivated from the factory than there basic engines.

      A /6 or 318 Duster will never be considered a muscle car. Though it looks just like its brawny brother. I'm not here to or suggest I'm short selling the 273. But I do suggest a bigger engine every time over doing up a 273. Adding bolt on parts and/or a cam is fine. If you want to do the 273, that's fine as well. I am just absolutely sure a bigger engine to start will yells better results in the long run and the right now.

      If anyone decided to champion the 273, if that's what you wanted to do, I'd help and cheer you on. I did a basic bolt on and cam change in a Duster a few years back for no other reason then Just to screw around and show what a basic set of parts can do for the 318.

      I had a few ridicule and roast me (and a few curse filled nasty PM's) because of it. But I didn't care. I was having fun. And to me, that's what it is all about.

      But let us not blur the line on what is and what is not a muscle car.
       
    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 I have escaped the evil Empire State! FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      42,310
      Likes Received:
      14492
      Joined:
      Jun 21, 2005
      Location:
      Florida
      Local Time:
      11:42 PM
      For the OP/thread starter and/or anybody interested in the old '06 thread I did on basic bolt on parts on my old 318 Duster, here it is;

      http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=10508

      I'm sorry I had to let it go.
      It's a basic showing of bolt on parts and a cam change. While it was far from a barn burner, I did improve the cars performance and retained good mileage without spending a bunch of money. I never did get to run the car a lot. I did improve it from its first outing. No slip to show, but I can honestly say the seat of the pants feel was noticed.

      Enjoy the old thread. I hope it gives a few people an idea or two.
       
    • 383Scampman

      383Scampman Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      1,824
      Likes Received:
      1026
      Joined:
      Nov 24, 2013
      Location:
      New Hampshire
      Local Time:
      11:42 PM
      I know, I know, everyone wants you to upgrade to a killer motor and trans. I think in the reverse order. Besides a complete tune-up, change all the fluids. Start where the rubber meets the road. Upgrade the brakes so you can stop the thing. Upgrade the suspension so you can turn the thing. Go on from there. Have fun, stay safe. Nice car by the way.
       
    • jos51700

      jos51700 Green Bearing thread connoisseur

      Messages:
      6,067
      Likes Received:
      2864
      Joined:
      May 24, 2009
      Location:
      Bel-Ray
      Local Time:
      10:42 PM
      Nozz
       
    • Bad Sport

      Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      40,669
      Likes Received:
      24847
      Joined:
      Jun 12, 2010
      Location:
      The Wolverine
      Local Time:
      11:42 PM

      Welcome to the site Alex.

      You're getting some decent advice here, first and foremost, go through the braking system and make sure it's up to snuff. Go through the steering and make sure it's good to go.

      THEN, move on to power mods. As said, a 4v carb and intake, headers and a cam will wake it up a bit, couple with a good tune. With that, then you will want other than stock gearing in the rear.
       
    • funwithfuel

      funwithfuel Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      521
      Likes Received:
      42
      Joined:
      Jun 27, 2011
      Location:
      Wilmington Il
      Local Time:
      10:42 PM
      Make sure the car was born with that engine. I believe there was a year or two where an off the shelf intake won't fit on some 273's . Swapping intakes and carbs also throws off your kick down linkage. Guys on here have what you would need , whitepunkonnitro comes to mind.
      That said , we had a solid lifter 65, 273 2bbl single exhaust barracuda. An absolute blast, I split the brakes for safety and performed a complete tune up as suggested. It was quick, torquey and fun. I miss it lots.
       
    • j par

      j par Well-hung Member

      Messages:
      28,835
      Likes Received:
      16743
      Joined:
      Jul 2, 2014
      Location:
      Portland Oregon
      Local Time:
      8:42 PM
      Here's an idea ? After tune up, maybe an 8 1/4 rearend 355's with trac lock ? Start from the back and work your way forward ? You do know what's going to happen when you ad a four barrel, cam, headers, and a shift kit to the transmission ! That 7 1/4 is going to be making not so funny noises.
      Ask me how I know.....
       
    1. This site uses cookies to help personalize content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
      By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.