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Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
of the Month

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Hey guys i just picked up a bone stock 86' Parisienne with the 305. I'm looking for some advice on putting a little pep in it's step! Just to be totally clear, the last thing i am trying to do is convert the car into a muscle car. I love the fact that its a quiet cruiser, but kinda want that sleeper too. I'm not a car guy and am in no way mechanical, so i'm hoping for some good tips from you guys. The only things i know i'll do for sure, is put in dual exhaust and a K&N air filter. I want the car stealth quiet though, no rumbling Flowmasters! Can anyone recommend super quiet mufflers? Anyways, if you guys can recommend some moderate upgrades to increase horsepower or modern parts to optimize performance that'd be awesome!



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Simple things for the 305 is to ensure that the plugs are good and gapped properly.  Ensure that the carb has been cleaned and check the vacuum lines for cracking.  Replace them and this will help with the basics.  Make sure that your fuel filter is clean and new.  I changed out mine in my old S10 and it felt like I had 40 extra HP.  If you can swing it either replace or get the tank cleaned out as sludge will be on the bottom.


A stronger ignition coil (accel or msd) to give a better spark and better spark plug wires.  These might not allow for a huge performance gain but it will make the engine come to life a bit.  


If you want quiet then Flowmasters are out.  Walker makes a quiet flow stainless muffler that is not bad but any increase in flow will sacrifice in sound.  Dual exhaust with an H pipe will help with the HP but again it will increase the sound.  Free flow converters will help out with the exhaust. 


Good luck with the Parisenne.  We are all picture whores just remember that.

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Forget the exhaust ... with the possible exception of the cat. It's already oversized for that engine and putting on duals will reduce your back pressure and actually cost you power. Just unbolt the exhaust behind the cat and you'll see what I mean. The Canuck 305s came with the manual carbs and not the CCC ones. Beware of that if you try to buy online kits. Check the exhaust butterfly (down by the starter) and make sure it's operating properly. If it isn't opening properly, half your exhaust is trying to stuff itself through the crossover in the intake.

The 200c transmission is designed for lightness and rides happily behind the 140hp of the 305. You can't put any more power in front of it. The 305 won't give you much more either. A head swap or any other change to give you more would be whipping a dead horse.  That said ... I quite like the 305/200c in mine. No, it doesn't tear away from a stoplight ... but when you get it out on the highway and lean on that skinny pedal ... she pulls. A relentless, ocean liner type of pull. She doesn't change as you near 100mph .. just keeps pulling and pulling.  The best, cheapest improvement for this car is a 350/th350 swap. Or, a 200-4r and a smaller ratio in the diff. That would give you the grunt you want off the line, while the overdrive would keep you happy at highway speeds.

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Thanks so much!

I contacted the folks at Be Cool Radiators and they recommended a module kit #82308. He says it's a 2 row 1" tube radiator,dual electric fans, dual fan wiring harness, billet recovery can and Be Cool rad cap.

Says i'll have to upgrade to a hi flow water pump. He recommended Edelbrock.

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A few other things, depending on you mechanical attitude and depth of your wallet would be a new RV cam and perhaps replace the carb with an aftermarket EFI setup.

The RV cam will slightly change the intake and exhaust profile to bring power in at a slightly different RPM range. The RV term is generic, it means guys switch cams to get more torque for towing but it doesn't dramatically change the profile like a race cam would. 

An EFI adapts to your car improves starting and can add a couple of HP. 

However both are time consuming and not uber cheap.

Edited by Frosty

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