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Username Post: Good mpg engine tips        (Topic#280345)
Jacob D 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 2

Reg: 04-28-12
04-28-12 10:27 PM - Post#2220119    

I'm new to posting so I'm very sorry if this is in the wrong area. I'm planning on buying an old impala in a few months to fix up as a project car, hopefully a '65 or '66, and I'm wondering what kind of set up I should have for the engine so it can be fairly quick and have a mileage that won't cost an arm and a leg. I know a fair amount about cars but my dad knows quite a bit so I'm hoping it can be a project we can work on together. Also, I'm still in high school and don't have the best job so I'm on a fairly tight budget. Thank you, any help would be greatly appreciated.


"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 748
Reg: 06-05-08
04-29-12 08:49 AM - Post#2220210    
    In response to Jacob D

If you go stock, you don't have many choices but go for smallish v8 and a tallish rear end.

If you do some rebuilding/replacement you have more choices
1. used small block LS with electronic fuel injection set up. There are plenty available at reasonable prices as well as kits to install them.
2. o/d transmission, either auto or manual.
3. tallish rear end.


Life is an optimization problem; make the most of it!

'64 Impala Convertible, Blueprint 383, Tremec TKO 5sp, 4-wheel disc brakes.

Jacob D 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 2

Reg: 04-28-12
04-29-12 10:04 AM - Post#2220231    
    In response to 64cv

Thank you for the help, the one I've been looking at is mostly stripped without an engine or transmission so I've got plenty of choices. They want $1,000 for it so I figured it'd be a pretty good project to work on during the summer. Thanks again.

Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24323
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
04-29-12 05:13 PM - Post#2220366    
    In response to Jacob D

You can carb an LS engine. 4-2010_10...
Finding one is no longer a problem. There are plenty of wrecked trucks and vans now. Add a 700R4 for milage.

'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles

C10 Sleeper 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3426
C10 Sleeper
Loc: Redding Ca
Reg: 03-17-09
04-29-12 06:01 PM - Post#2220395    
    In response to gchemist

There is local wrecking yard in my area that is selling 5.3 liter motors with all the wiring and electronics for about $700. The LQ4 starts at around $1200. I think the 5.3 would be a good balance between power and economy with room for future upgrades as you can afford it. Im actually thinking about one for my next project.

Posts: 205
Reg: 08-07-05
04-30-12 05:26 PM - Post#2220831    
    In response to C10 Sleeper

I picked up a 6.0 LQ4 complete with computer shipped for 1200.00. Feels pretty good stock, but I do have a turbo on it. With my 6 spd and 3.90 rear, preliminary MPG's are in the 22-23 range!

The 502 @ 600hp was about 14-15 mpg

TKO 600/3.90

Posts: 567
Loc: Randy's House.
Reg: 01-18-12
05-01-12 04:47 AM - Post#2221017    
    In response to Jacob D

This is how I went from 17 mpg to 24.5 on the highway, and performance that was better than a stock SS 427. LT1/4L60E, can be done for less than a full stock rebuild.

Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10058
Loc: Plano, TX
Reg: 08-28-03
05-02-12 05:53 PM - Post#2221699    
    In response to Jacob D

Even you go with a Gen I engine, you should be able to get around 20 mpg on the highway with the right parts. QuadraJet carbs are known for boosting gas mileage. And stay with a very conservative cam. A low back-pressure dual exhaust system will help, as will a properly setup distributor. Of course, an OD trans, manual or auto, is very important.

1982 C10 SWB pickup: Unmolested base truck, original paint. Originally had 250 six and 3-on-the-tree
Now has 355 with Vortec heads, RamJet roller cam, LS6 beehive springs, TH350
Retired, but working part-time on 50s-70s cars & trucks.

Posts: 11178
Age: 78
Loc: Rolling Hills, Ca,
Reg: 12-30-01
05-05-12 11:05 AM - Post#2222742    
    In response to MikeB

If $$$ is a big problem, then I would opt for a wrecking yard LT1. Much cheaper than an LS, no conversion difficulties of any importance, and with fuel injection and a reasonanle rear gear, it should pull down over 20, probably low-mid 20's, and a high 20's is not unreasonable.
I have seen LT-1 engines with a 4l60E trans with computer for around $5-600 in nice shape, and under $1000 will buy them all day long.
I currently have a big block, but as time goes by, I will do at least an LT-1 but more likeli an LS series will find its way in there.



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