For those of you who have the venerable 4.3 v6, but want more power as well as throttle response this post is for you.
First off, I know how frustrating it is to have to work with all of the limitations built into the Astro engine: the small choked up t.b.i., or the weirdo c.p.i. "spider" intake manifold, mild cams, and weak ignitions, etc. :crying: There isn't one day that goes by that I don't think about how can I make my engine PERFORM better.
I will admit, a v-8 option SHOULD have been offered. As well as a turbo (look at the syclone/typhoon), or at LEAST take the tuned port intake (instead of cpi) and chop two ports off of it and tune it! (Would make an awesome project). But, since I rent an apartment, most projects HAVE to be done within a day or two.
So, most of these tips are Very doable with minimal downtime. 🍌 Also, throwing big money at hipo parts doesn't always pay off. (Not in this day and age, anyways) Only the parts that are reasonably priced will be mentioned.......
1. Ram-air: bringing in COOLER air makes it easier for the engine to make power. (Try driving your van without a/c with the windows up on a 90 degree day, your engine is in the same scenario ) This can be made at home with dryer ducting with an aluminum sheets and some clamps. Cheap Cheap! :dance:
2. K&N filter: (8-10 horsepower). If you are in a dusty area, add a foam filter as a buffer. Paper filters restrict your airflow and most people forget about them and they get progressively dirty.
3. Morosso or Proform Air cleaner base: smooths out the airflow and allows removal of the stock "restricter" ring underneath it. This thing is TERRIBLE for performance.
4. Raise the TBI injector pod: this allows more air to get in past the injectors. Turbo city has some goodies.
View attachment 4
This spacer/gasket raises the injector pod 1/4". I raised mine to 1". :layrubber:
5. Adjustable fuel pressure regulator: Add more air, add more fuel. Raising your fuel pressure on late models is akin to changing jets on a carb.
6. Fuel pressure gauge: for proper fuel pressure tuning. I set mine to 15 psi. these are fairly cheap.
7. Throttle spring modification: Removal of the stock throttle spring, and replacing it with a SOFTER old-style return spring(s) will increase the opening speed and improve overall throttle response.
8. Throttle enhancer: Casper electronics has a piggyback sensor that when the throttle is at 70% open, it tricks the computer into thinking it's at 100% open, increasing throttle response. (This product DOES work very well, I have one on my Fiero as well)
9. Bigger TBI: Stick with the stock one...UNLESS you add an edelbrock aluminum intake with a 7.4 liter TBI with the 2" bores. ( This is just a backburner idea at most)
10.1" Throttlebody spacer : (fits under TBI) will add torque by increasing the intake volume. Swirl-type spacers also help mix the fuel and additional air before it's combusted. Unfortunately, swirl types don't work on CPIs....they're port-injected already. I currently have the helix 1 1" spacer. I thought I remembered seeing a 2" trandapt spacer years ago but, I think they discontinued it. Just a while ago, found out CFM technologies has a spacer that's supposed to allow the engine to pull air/fuel from either tbi bore (if it's a duel-plane), offering a more balanced air/fuel mix resulting in more power. Not sure if ours is a dual or single plane, but it's worth mentioning.
Most of these parts , together as a whole and with tuning, should net 20+ horsepower. :rockon:
This concludes part ONE for now..........stay tuned for more.