upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

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upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby jack lowe » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:06 pm

I have a 1990 Chevy Scottsdale long wheel base 2wd it has a 350 v8 its a 5 speed. first off my truck is pretty fast but I want it faster I have no clue how to do that, and second of all it sucks in the mud what can I do to fix that ? get bigger tires with aggressive tread maybe ? bottom line I want it faster and to do better off road any suggestions would help and im a senior in high school so im on a tight budget.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby whisperin' duck » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:24 am

jack lowe wrote:I have a 1990 Chevy Scottsdale long wheel base 2wd it has a 350 v8 its a 5 speed. first off my truck is pretty fast but I want it faster I have no clue how to do that, and second of all it sucks in the mud what can I do to fix that ? get bigger tires with aggressive tread maybe ? bottom line I want it faster and to do better off road any suggestions would help and im a senior in high school so im on a tight budget.


IMO, don't waste your money on that truck. IF you want something to be fast and do well off road you need to save and buy a 4x4. If you put a lot of money into that truck what do you have? You have a 1990 Chevy Scottsdale LWB 2wd.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby California Sprig » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:46 pm

Great, a teenage high school student with a fast vehicle who wants to go faster. Why don't you tell your parents about your need for more speed, I am sure they will give you some help with that. Lots of luck with that one
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby wetgoldenretriever » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:42 pm

Sell it and buy a 4x4.


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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby 2500hdon37s » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:11 pm

#1 some form of forced induction (supercharger/turbo) will pick up some HP pretty quick. or a cam and supporting parts, long tube headers. not a whole lot else you can do without really digging in.

#2 gonna have to buy a 4wd if you want to do well off road, but a good set of tires helps a lot on a 2wd, along with some weight over the rear axle.

personally I would save your money you'd throw at parts and such and save for something nicer, newer, and 4wd. I'm starting to save for newer and nicer. Often adding go fast parts starts reducing reliability.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby Rhock19 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:14 pm

buy a diesel 4x4
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby 2500hdon37s » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:21 pm

Rhock19 wrote:buy a diesel 4x4

Just what this world needs... another kid with a hopped up diesel truck he has no use for and just uses it to "roll coal"
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby Rhock19 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:20 am

lol good point. scratch my post.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby mudpack » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:45 pm

jack lowe wrote: im a senior in high school so im on a tight budget.

Then you'll most likely have to wait until you have a good, full-time job to get what you want.
I've been in high-performance cars/trucks for 50 years and can tell you that speed does not come cheap nor easy.
In today's dollars, real/genuine/honest horsepower....not advertising claims....will cost you about $50 per horsepower. You want another 30 hp (about the minimum you will be able to actually feel, seat-of-the-pants)? Save up about $1500.

Cheapest power is nitrous oxide, but it's also the easiest to grenade parts with....not recommended unless a qualified expert is doing the work....and that expert probably won't be working for a six-pack of Bud Light.

One other thing: modifications that make for a fast street truck often reduce that same truck's off-road capabilities. The opposite is also true. Sorry, son, but there really is no free lunch.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby macdaddy » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:47 pm

mudpack wrote:
jack lowe wrote: im a senior in high school so im on a tight budget.

Then you'll most likely have to wait until you have a good, full-time job to get what you want.
I've been in high-performance cars/trucks for 50 years and can tell you that speed does not come cheap nor easy.
In today's dollars, real/genuine/honest horsepower....not advertising claims....will cost you about $50 per horsepower. You want another 30 hp (about the minimum you will be able to actually feel, seat-of-the-pants)? Save up about $1500.

Cheapest power is nitrous oxide, but it's also the easiest to grenade parts with....not recommended unless a qualified expert is doing the work....and that expert probably won't be working for a six-pack of Bud Light.

One other thing: modifications that make for a fast street truck often reduce that same truck's off-road capabilities. The opposite is also true. Sorry, son, but there really is no free lunch.


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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby mudpack » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:39 am

All that said, I have a few budget-type tips for you:

Best way to make a truck more capable is to start with non-horsepower items. First thing I'd do is make sure you have good shocks bolted on properly (10-year old Monroes are not "good shocks"). Makes sure your ball joints and tie-rod ends are in good shape. Have the alignment set. Good U-joints? All fluids up and clean? Radiator in good shape?
Put in a new air filter element; about $15. Set your timing with about 2 degrees advance of factory setting. Are your spark plugs decent? (New, trick plugs will not give you any additional power, but will allow the engine to produce all it's capable of.) See where I'm going here....you must have a solid baseline to start with.
Now, put on a thick-rimmed, small diameter steering wheel. An inexpensive Grant should cost about $150 total and will make your truck feel like a serious piece of machinery. It will also give you better control.
Tires are next. Aggressive mud tires in a size NO LARGER THAN one size larger than stock will run you from $100 to $400 per tire, mounted and balanced. Get four, since the fronts have a job to do, to.
How are the brakes? Check 'em. Clutch in good shape?
You probably have an open differential in the rear axle....not good off-road at all and a liability on-road. Have a lunchbox locker put in the diff; about $500 parts and labor if your mechanic works cheap. This, with the tires, will do more for mud performance than anything else.
I know; this adds up to a lot of money for you...and you haven't added one ft/lb of torque to the engine. Not very glamorous when your buddys are talking about the 50hp upgrades they've made to their rides. Let me tell you, those cold air intakes they just spent $150 on might have added 1 horsepower. MIght. Same with the chips they plugged in and the Flowmaster they welded on.
Your stock 350 has more than enough power to get you anywhere you need to go. Lack of power isn't your problem; getting that power to the ground is the problem. Always is. Learn to put your wheels on the ground with the most traction and you'll do better than the guy with nothing more than 400hp and a lead foot. Your driving skill is worth more than any amount of additional power.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby wetgoldenretriever » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:08 pm

mudpack wrote:
jack lowe wrote: im a senior in high school so im on a tight budget.

Then you'll most likely have to wait until you have a good, full-time job to get what you want.
I've been in high-performance cars/trucks for 50 years and can tell you that speed does not come cheap nor easy.
In today's dollars, real/genuine/honest horsepower....not advertising claims....will cost you about $50 per horsepower. You want another 30 hp (about the minimum you will be able to actually feel, seat-of-the-pants)? Save up about $1500.

Cheapest power is nitrous oxide, but it's also the easiest to grenade parts with....not recommended unless a qualified expert is doing the work....and that expert probably won't be working for a six-pack of Bud Light.

One other thing: modifications that make for a fast street truck often reduce that same truck's off-road capabilities. The opposite is also true. Sorry, son, but there really is no free lunch.

I'm gonna call bull on the $50 per horsepower. We have built a couple 4 bolt main 383 strokers for Each around $1500 as winter projects. One was about 430 on the dyno.


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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby 2500hdon37s » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:30 pm

what he said^ HP costs a good bit. depending on what kind of mods you do HP can cost $20/HP to how ever much you want to spend. but MOST is around $50/HP depending on what you do and what the motor already has done.
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby ajmorell » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:19 pm

As an average value I think $50/hp is probably pretty close. Yes there are certain engines/modifications you can get more hp/$ but in general you have to pay to play
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby jack lowe » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:42 pm

thanks for everything guys
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Re: upgrades to a 1990 scottsdale

Postby mudpack » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:34 am

wetgoldenretriever wrote:I'm gonna call bull on the $50 per horsepower. We have built a couple 4 bolt main 383 strokers for Each around $1500 as winter projects. One was about 430 on the dyno.

You can also buy a junkyard engine that makes 200hp for about $200 dollars. Neither of those are proof that I'm wrong. Compare apples to apples. Both I and the OP were talking about modifications to his vehicle.
How much would it cost you to increase that 430hp to 460....and have it live? That's my point, not how much it costs to build an engine from used and already-owned parts using donated labor.
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