drive train upgrades
I just purchased a '63 Impala convertible with the following drive train:
327 cu in 275 hp motor, appears to be stock '66 with brand new 2" dual exhaust. I have verified by the casting and suffix that this motor was a '66 275 hp motor when built. It definitely appears to have been rebuilt but there is no documentation available to define what was done.
4 speed Saginaw transmission. I do not know the gear ratios and do not know how to tell.
3.36 open rear differential.
I test drove the car for quite awhile and it runs very smoothly without any issues I could perceive. I intend to leave it this way though this summer, get used to everything, and see what she's really like to drive before making any decisions.
I intend to use the car for 'pleasure' driving which will include some highway speed driving (70 mph + a little) and some 'full throttle' fun excursions.
I was not 'disappointed' in the car's acceleration during the test drive but more low end torque would be desirable. I will know more after driving the car all summer. To achieve 'more low end torque', I would like to identify what changes I would need to make to the car so I can make informed decisions on configuration and develop a budget.
I am thinking a new/rebuilt 383 is likely my best option because where I want to end up is somewhere around 350 + hp, and 400 + lbs ft torque. I am not seeking to go much above 400 hp or 430 lbs ft torque but if those types of numbers are 'free' I'm ok going there. I am not against a 350. It simply appears that there is not much of a cost difference and the 383 gives added flexibility should I choose to go even higher hp and torque in the future. I would be seeking a 'turn key' motor because I can not do this type of work myself and do not wish to have my car laid up any longer than necessary.
I am not looking to go cheap. I seeking excellent quality products. I do not have a budget number in mind because I would rather achieve my goals rather than short cut anything. If that means I wait and save a little longer, so be it.
I already know the Saginaw won't cut it at my hp and torque goals. I am thinking of going to Muncie M20 if that would work. Autotrans is not an option for me.
Also, at least at first, and because my goals seem on the low side of a 383, I wish to keep the existing exhaust. I am not interested in headers but I could be talked into 2.5" rams head manifolds and pipe to the muffler, but only as a 'future next step' to everything else.
First question; I am new to all this motor replacement stuff and do my thoughts and goals make sense to those experienced in this stuff?
Second question; if I replace the 327 with a 383, other than the known Saginaw issue, what else would I need to replace? Everything on the car is stock as best I can tell. Please remember I am only trying to build a budget at this time. Things I am seeking advise on are radiator, flywheel, clutch, mounts, starter, etc.
Third question; will you please provide some vendors who provide the top quality merchandise I am seeking? I've done some internet searches and there are many alternatives.
Thanks for any and all replies!!