Souping up the 500
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500, 472, 425, 368 Discussion, Souping up the 500 in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Well, I am now at the point where I am hell bent on souping up the 500 ci engine in ...
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    terrible one's Avatar
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    Souping up the 500

    Well, I am now at the point where I am hell bent on souping up the 500 ci engine in my '76 El Dorado. I don't have much money, but I am a real do it myself kind of guy, and also DO have a job, and am keen on saving my money towards this car.

    Firstly, I plainly want to open up the engine. I know that it is a beast at heart, but just feels so restricted, and from what I have read, is. It's bone stock, besides being rebuild 12 or 13 years ago.

    I read about draining the beads out of the cat converter on the 425, etc. Is this the same for the 500? IS it much of an improvement?

    Also, another thing about exhaust. I need to know about straight pipes. I always hear about putting straight pipes on it, and besides knowing the obvious, I really am clueless in performance increases, etc. Are they much louder? How much would it cost ot equip my vehicle with such? I don't want to cut the exhaust all the way back to the cat or anything like that. It still needs to sound nice and not crappy and loud.

    Next, as some may know, I am working on getting and fitting an Edelbrock chrome 14" air cleaner with 3" element. I know that this is only an increase in the amount of airflow, so how about fuel? Would rebuilding the carb and putting in bigger jets help any? Is it geared towards being lean stock?

    Last, are their any improvements that can be made by just cleaning certain parts, etc. (Where none to just a little money is needed, and most of the outcome is gained by labor)

    I'm really looking into making this thing run like a champ, and I know having a 500 in there is a great start, but I know it isn't running to full potential.

    Thanks guys.

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Straight pipes have no mufflers so of course they're gonna be loud. I'd go with a dual exhaust with maybe around 2.25" pipes (If that's even possible in your FWD Eldo,) should run a couple hundred bucks, maybe $300. If you don't get dual exhaust, either drain the beads out of the cat or replace it with a piece of pipe - it does make a big differance.

    Another thing you might try is the stock intake manifold modification. http://www.cadillacowners.com , click on manifold on the left side nav bar.

    Only rebuild the carb if it needs it. If the car is running OK then it probably doesn't need it. For the small mods discussed in this thread you probably won't have to re-jet the carb either.

    And of course make sure you have good plugs, wires, distributor cap, and rotor.

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Could I simply have a local shop put in a dual exhaust? Would it be better than draining the cat, or about the same?

    What else would be a good idea?

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Dual exhaust would be completely custom made, yes local exhaust shops are the place to get it done. If the shop will do the exhaust without cats you're set (unless you have to pass emissions) otherwise you can use new high flow cats - they won't be as good for performance as no cats but they'd be a lot better than the original cat.

    Leaving the stock exhaust isn't near as good as getting duals, but if you have to keep the stock exhaust (IE if you can't find a shop who will do duals for some reason) then drain the cat or replace it with a pipe.

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Alright, don't have to pass emissions. So I guess that means I'll have a local shop (There are two that I know of that will probably do it for me) make me a custom dual exhaust without any cats.

    So will that offer a pretty big performance increase?

    Also, the open element air filter will help it along as well I guess, right? Should open up the front door if I'm going to open up the back, eh?

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    I like the fact that the stock intake brings in cold air. Some say an open element makes up for intaking hot air by being less restrictive. I've never seen a chassis dyno test of a well warmed up 500 between stock and open element air cleaners, so I don't know for sure.

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    So, in your opinion, I should stick with the stock cleaner? I must admit that part of wanting that open element is for looks. I'm really working on cleaning up the engine as a whole and making it looks real nice. I guess it would be possible to set up some kind of ram air slot that, at higher speeds, would force cool air to and around the OE air cleaner...

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    In my opinion... I'd stick with stock. If you want it to look a bit better you could repaint it or even have it chromed. Another option might be if you could get one of the dual snorkel ones to bring in cold air from both sides that would be great.

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Any ideas on places to pick up a dual snorkel one? I really don't think that this thing would look good chromed. Perhaps I should paint it blue like the valve covers...or maybe that would be a bit too much...

    I guess sticking with the stock won't be too bad, as long as you don't think that it is very restrictive. Would it still be pulling in enough air when I get that dual exhaust w/o cats job done?

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Again I'm not sure on how much the stock air cleaner flows. If you really want to know the only thing you can do is a couple timed 0-60 runs with the stock one, then repeat the test in the same exact conditions with an open element. Sell whichever is worse on ebay or something. I think there's a thread around here about a dual snorkel cleaner you might try looking there.

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    Re: Souping up the 500

    Quote Originally Posted by davesdeville
    In my opinion... I'd stick with stock. If you want it to look a bit better you could repaint it or even have it chromed. Another option might be if you could get one of the dual snorkel ones to bring in cold air from both sides that would be great.
    http://abcdefg.dajoob.com/cadillac/MVC-802F.JPG

    I dont know about the rest of you people, but If I were to have a hot rodded 500 cid under my hood, I would want it to look just like that in the picture. Old, dirty, and 50lbs of non-chrome junk hooked to it.

    People associate chrome and lack of emmissions devices with performace. All show, no go.

    When I pulled into my school and popped the hood, nobody knew what that big beasty thing was or how powerfull it is. If it were chromed out, people would think "dang, he must have a powefull motor in there".

    You might have some luck getting large aircleaner housings off older cars. My friends Chrystler has one thats 14"x4", bigger than my toyotas car tire.

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