Lagunas are now officially cool............

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Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by sportster_restorer on Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:05 pm

I've heard a saying that if you live long enough, you'll see darn near everything.

www.youtube.com/watch?t=280&v=Vzv40VWL5ho

Most of the video is kinda lame, a bit of it it cool, and Dale Jr, in a Laguna is pretty damn cool.

So it looks like everything comes back in style if you wait long enough. This oughta help the value of all of us who drove Lagunas all those years,,,,,like when ACES basically told ya to take a hike.

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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by chevellelaguna on Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:50 pm

ACES LOL! Don't get me started on those.... My Laguna was always cool.
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by pila on Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:06 am

Lagunas have always been cool !! Wished I owned one ! Very Happy

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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:32 am

Every car is cool to somebody (even a Yugo), and that same car sucks to somebody else.

I was watching "Counting Cars" last night. They were working on a 79 Z28. Everyone involved was talking about how cool the Camaro of that era is. If that same car was being worked on another show, they would be running it down and talking about what a POS it is/was.
All that is happening is that a younger group of guys is beginning to become involved in the car hobby. Guys under fifty like the 70's-90s cars. The "Old Guard" (ACES) is stuck in the 60s, just like their predecessors were stuck in the 50s and their predecessors were stuck on street rods.

ACES is dead because of that, and NSRA is coming around. Good Guys are thriving because they embrace almost all cars.


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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by thatfnthing on Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:51 am

sportster_restorer wrote:So it looks like everything comes back in style if you wait long enough.

Which is probably why I'm finding shag carpeting in the stores again. Smile
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by sportster_restorer on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:21 am

Back in 1980, I got to drive a friend's 79 Z. I couldn't believe how lame the car ran.

Danny Koker on Counting Cars is kinda right an kinda wrong. Government emission regs didn't necessarily strangle performance, its just that the Detroit technology available at that time was pretty bad. Emission regs actually got worse in the late 80s and 90s but by then you had tuned port EFI and a waaay better understanding of combustion chamber and port design on squish and tumble.

Some folks want to relive those years, but with the performance (mileage, and reliability) of today. With so many aftermarket heads, everybody and their dog making an EFI setup, decent overdrive trans, you can get the style with today's perf. Or like a lot of folks are doing, just go get a junkyard 5.3, swap a cam and valve springs, and get 400 flywheel hp. And it doesn't cost that much, comparatively.

Another thing (based on my recent inspection and titling saga), is now most shops see a 70s car and the first thing the tech gets is a deer-in-the-headlights look as he doesn't know where the OBD II port is. So maybe outside of Kalifornia, seems like a lot of places don't even know what to check as far as emission stuff anymore. They can't say something is missing when they don't even know what was supposed to be there in the first place. Swap in an LS motor and I think a lot of inspectors just don't even know what to check for anymore.

I know a lot of folks thought the late 70s Corvettes were pretty slow. Drop in an LS or even a 383 and you've now got the performance with the looks.

So just my ramblings..............

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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:34 am

I agree that Koker is right and wrong. I think the biggest and most common misconception out there is that all 60s cars were fast. They weren't. 95% of cars made in those days were heavy and very few really had any HP. You think 68  Camaros and Chevelles were quick, but most of them came with low powered engines.
I get so sick of these "experts" yip-yapping about "smog motors" I could puke.
My little 305 with 145 NET HP was probably as fast or faster than a 68 Malibu with a 307 and 200 GROSS HP.
In the 80s when I had my 74 with a "smog" 350, I remember beating more than a few "muscle cars" (and some early TPI Camaros and TAs) from light to light.
I'll say it again, most of the "experts" are sitting in a lawn chair the shade next to their car, and wouldn't even consider running their high-horse powered beast against my little 305.
The truth is that most 60s "muscle cars" have had after market upgrades or crate motors added to them to give them any power at all, just like a 79 Z28 would need. Unless that "muscle car" came from the factory with a BB, it ain't **** and the BB could still be spanked all to hell and back by a 95 Honda Prelude.


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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by cutlassguy on Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:23 pm

[quote="Roadcaptain S3.
My little 305 with 145 NET HP was probably as fast or faster than a 68 Malibu with a 304 and 250 GROSS HP.
In the 80s when I had my 74 with a "smog" 350, I remember beating more than a few "muscle cars" (and some early TPI Camaros and TAs) from light to light.
I'll say it again, most of the "experts" are sitting in a lawn chair the shade next to their car, and wouldn't even consider running their high-horse powered beast against my little 305.

Holy chit !! Please let me know the secret.

Eric
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:24 pm

What secret?

From Hagerty:
"In 1970, Car & Driver tested a Pontiac Firebird Formula 400, which had a 330 gross hp rating and was equipped with a fairly tall 3.07 axle ratio. They recorded a 14.78-second ET at 98.9 mph. A 1970 Trans Am with the same engine, but with a 4-speed and a 3.55 axle ratio, was tested by Muscle Car Review magazine in 1995. That car burned the quarter-mile in 14.68 sec. at 97.17 mph, quite close to the C&D test 25 years before. Pontiac gave that engine a 255 net hp rating for 1971.

Now, let’s add a later model into the mix. When C&D tested a 1979 4-speed Trans Am with the emissions-controlled W72 400 engine, the one with a 220-hp net rating and the “T/A 6.6” decal on the shaker hood scoop, it ran a 15.3 second ET at 96.6 mph. That car had a 3.23 axle ratio. As a drag racer will tell you, the mph figure is the better indicator of horsepower than ET. So, the 35 net hp deficit from the 1971 engine seems accurate, and not nearly as bad as some might have thought three decades ago"


So the big bad 1970 330 gross HP Pontiac 400 ran 2/3 of a second and 1 mile an hour faster than the 1979 255 net HP Pontiac  "smog motor" 400.


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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by cutlassguy on Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:37 pm

I  figured most smog era 70's cars especially the land cruisers such as mine, came out with a 350 4bbl 170hp with a 2:56 open axle ratio, single exhaust, with a 100lb catalytic covertor  weighing in at approx 3695lbs.
I couldn't imagine taking out  any pre 70 muscle, also no early 80'sTPI stuff.
I'd like to know more about your 74  smog 350 set -up , also a little more on the 305 w/145hp.
Hoping to learn something here really, I know the #8 heads, played a huge part holding back 73-76 olds 350 engines , I'd like to know how the 73-76 305-350 chev engines could get off the line so quick " light - light".  I'm hoping my wife will take a liking to the 74-77 malibu over the monteSS.

To date: My olds received an Edelbrock Performer intake, Edelbrock 600CFM carb, 3:42 rear gear w/eaton posi, Hedmann ceramic coated headers, 2 1/4 stainless welded duals, upgraded electrical ( DUI Dizzy yet to install) Weight loss measures include: Wilwood aluminium calipers, (Wilwood master cylinder yet to install) aluminium water pump, Powermaster mini starter, aluminum rad , grant steering wheel etc.
Without swapping the #8 heads... for early #5,6,7 or 7a heads I will never have the compression to come close to running with the muscle era or the early TPI years

Thanks
Eric
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:18 pm

My 74 had a factory "smog" 350 2v (145 net HP) when I got it. I never said I beat a Shelby Mustang.
I said I beat a lot of 60s "muscle cars" i.e.  Malibus, Novas, Falcons, Mustangs and all of the other non "smog" cars. Maybe those cars were already worn out by then. There were no Camaro SSs or 427 Vettes running around then. They were already sitting in garages by 85.

I blew the 350 and dropped in a 305 from a Monza Spyder. Then added 4 barrell, intake, heads,exhaust etc and ate the "muscle cars" for lunch. This was the set up I had when the early TPI cars appeared and they were weak. (An 86 IROC w/tpi was rated at 165 HP BTW).


My point is, these experts always want to criticize the 70s engines, but the vast majority of 60s cars had no more power than my car unless they had been upgraded. We all know there are a lot of 68 SS Chevelles running around that Chevy never made. The first thing that comes up when someone mentions a later 70s car is "smog" motors. A 1968 Malibu with a 307 had a gross HP rating of 200. Wow. Odd that nobody ever mentions that.

As far as how it got going so quick, I would put the transmission in "D" and push down on the long skinny pedal on the right.
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:29 pm

My first car (77 Pontiac Skybird w/Olds 350) had a 2.73 gear ratio. One of my friends had a similar vintage Camaro with the Chevy 350. Both cars were mechanically stock with the exception of both having the factory single exhaust replaced with true duals. His had a 3.73 rear end ratio and he could always get the jump on me, but once my engine came into its powerband, he stopped pulling away. I couldn't gain much, but the cars were fairly equal once rolling. Getting off the line is all about having the right gear ratio.


As far as any secrets to getting the most out of a 70's era stock engine, it's all about the tune. Ditch the single exhaust and get the ignition timing advanced and curved until you get the best power numbers your engine is capable of. One of the best mechanics in town at the time I had my Firebird showed me how he disabled the EGR valve while retaining a visually legal status. Simply a ball bearing in the vacuum tube. It just looked like the bump at the end of the fitting once installed. I suggest this only because sometimes the older EGR valves would let too much gas through and cause a pinging situation even with a safe (stock) timing curve.

Always set the timing before setting the carburetor. The order of events in tuning a carbureted engine is pretty much the same no matter what generation or power level you're at.

1. Verify good/even compression and that ignition parts are in good working order.
2. Set the timing. (If breaking in a rebuild that has a flat tappet cam, do this after the cam break-in procedure)
3. Tune in the carburetor.

Have fun!
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by cutlassguy on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:33 pm

Put-er-ther Understood. I don't know much about the chevy engines, I do know they can make serious power for alot less coin than the Olds. I kinda assumed by the way your post was set out that the 305-350 chev engines had much better heads.
I remember the Monza Spider's your talking about, awesome car for the times. With a well build SBC you could eat just about anything as long as it would stick.

I'm hoping to build a nice 350 chev for an upcoming project with my wife (TBD)and hope to get some great help from you chevy guys.
Cheers
Eric
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Limey SE on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:58 pm

Eric heres some Inspiration this is the 355 I am dropping back into my Car SOMEDAY I hope before snow flies anyways LMAO

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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by cutlassguy on Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:54 pm

Anthony, That looks very inspiring. I like the custom valve covers, I see a nice Holley topping things off. I will defiantly get my wife to ask some questions herewith regards to your engine.
BTW what are you dropping the engine into?
I myself still have alot to learn.
I think I have my wife sold on the 74-76 malibu years.
My wife and I will be on holidays leaving this Friday until Sept 8 then, I hope to find something this fall and begin the build process. We plan on just leaving the Cutlass as a cruiser for the time being. I/we will be very interested in learning alot from you and others. I think we finally stumbled onto a great forum .
Cheers you guys are awesome to hang with,
Eric
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:55 am

cutlassguy wrote:Put-er-ther Understood. I don't know much about the chevy engines, I do know they can make serious power for alot less coin than the Olds. I kinda assumed by the way your post was set out that the 305-350 chev engines had much better heads.
I remember the Monza Spider's your talking about, awesome car for the times. With a well build SBC you could eat just about anything as long as it would stick.

I'm hoping to build a nice 350 chev for an upcoming project with my wife (TBD)and hope to get some great help from you chevy guys.  
Cheers
Eric

Could be that the Chevy had better heads than the Olds, I dunno. I never had an Olds. I did have a buddy with a 76 or 77 Cutlass and his car seemed fairly quick back then.

The stock 305 in my current 77 seems pretty good now. All I've done so far is pull the original gigantic catalytic converter off of it. That did seem to give it a lot more oomph. My 74 didn't have a cat to begin with.
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by sportster_restorer on Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:28 am

I wonder if Danny Koker has headers on that 79 Z he built, and if he ran those into the original cat converter? Otherwise, he's in violation of a bunch of EPA Clean Air Act rules.

Just ask Jesse James about the EPA and penalties. I understand his was 6 figures.

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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by bigredlaguna on Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:28 pm

Enough with the EPA bs. Jesse got nabbed by the CARB in a money grab.

http://thekneeslider.com/jesse-james-fined-for-non-compliant-motorcycles/

Nobody cares about federal regulations in states that aren't Nazified like CA. There aren't enough of these cars running on the road for anyone to bother enforcing the rules. Unless of course you take it upon yourself to do so and report these things like an HOA board member.
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:24 am

That's probably why he moved his operation to Texas.

I would guess most if these guys use the modern high-flow cats on their builds, if at all. Nevada is likely more flexible on emissions than CA.

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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by knightfan26917 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:03 pm

Limey SE wrote:I hope before snow flies anyways LMAO

Oh, good grief ... someone wrote the "S" word ... LOL. Hopefully it'll be a while before that happens. Wink


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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by ant7377 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:05 pm

Ive driven a few stock 60s muscle cars. I know my 73 Monte with its  "smog" 454 will run right with them and maybe even faster. There were of course some really shining stars in those days but   lot of it is hype and marketing. I read an article in a magazine from back then where a guy brought brand new 73 GTO to Nunzis automotive which was a Pontiac shop in Brooklyn ny. He recurved the dizzy and richened the carb and the car was in the high 13s,about the same as GTOs that came before.
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by ant7377 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:09 pm

cutlassguy wrote:Put-er-ther Understood. I don't know much about the chevy engines, I do know they can make serious power for alot less coin than the Olds. I kinda assumed by the way your post was set out that the 305-350 chev engines had much better heads.
I remember the Monza Spider's your talking about, awesome car for the times. With a well build SBC you could eat just about anything as long as it would stick.

I'm hoping to build a nice 350 chev for an upcoming project with my wife (TBD)and hope to get some great help from you chevy guys.  
Cheers
Eric

Please leave the Olds motor in there. Sure it costs more to build but its unique that way . Please dont take it the wrong way but its great to see the hood open and the right motor in there
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:04 pm

ant7377 wrote:Ive driven a few stock 60s muscle cars. I know my 73 Monte with its  "smog" 454 will run right with them and maybe even faster. There were of course some really shining stars in those days but   lot of it is hype and marketing. I read an article in a magazine from back then where a guy brought brand new 73 GTO to Nunzis automotive which was a Pontiac shop in Brooklyn ny. He recurved the dizzy and richened the carb and the car was in the high 13s,about the same as GTOs that came before.

Exactly. All the old men (ACES etc) yapping about smog motors and bumpers gets annoying. You would think that there wasn't anything on the street in the late 60s except ground pounding factory drag cars. How many really fast cars were there? Not many.
EX:
In 1968, 464,000 Chevelles were produced. Not quite 60,000 were equipped with a 396. The rest were all 6 cyl, 307 or 327 rated at 250 gross HP or less.  

Lagunas, et.al., have always been cool. Just not to doddering old fools that peaked in 1972.
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by Limey SE on Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:47 pm

Well my Car must be Super Cool then for mine Has the Laguna Louvers and spoilers and turbine wheels YES I am tooting my own horn LMAO
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Re: Lagunas are now officially cool............

Post by dynchel on Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:20 pm

This is a interesting read. My experience has been heads make the best bang for the buck on our "smog motors". My setup is pretty basic built off the factory 145 h/p motor (non rebuilt). I have #416 (305 Hi/po) heads, mild cam, headers, edlbrock performer rpm, Holley 4160, & msd ignition. Built trans with stall, and 373 gears with a locker. It moves well. since I have access to a basically stock '76 305 camaro I have a pretty good comparison.
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