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Best way to get power from 403?

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transamfan:
I have a little money saved up and am wanting to do a little work to the 403 in my 79 T/A.  I would like to get her up to around 350hp or more.  What would be the easiest and most cost efficient things change to get there?  I am looking to spend around $1000-1200.  How realistic is this?  Also, will the upgrades to get the power result in more problems down the road?  I plan on having the car for a while, and although I won't be driving it a lot (just cruise around on nice days) I want it to be dependable.  I don't know a whole lot about engine work so any advice will be helpful.  Thanks a lot.

Tin Indians Rule:
Overall what condition is the engine currently? How much wear and tear is there? Have you done a compression check on each cylinder? If you have a great running, non smoking, non oil using, not overheating low milage 403 then you can really crank out some extra ponies with that 1000 bucks.

You didn't mention if that was the original engine for the car or not? You also need to consider the appearance of the engine compartment. If you want to keep it original (pick me, pick me) looking or if you wanna see headers, aluminum intake, etc.

Once you decide if you engine can stand some upgrades decide which route you wanna go for appearance and the post back. I'm sure we'll have a ton of ides on how to spend someone elses money.   :D

transamfan:
The engine is the original engine that came with the car, and it is in pretty good shape overall, with 117K on it.  It hasn't ran right since I got it about year and a half ago.  She runs fine until you get on it and then it bogs down and nearly dies before starting to pull.  The carb was rebuilt in attempts to solve the problem but to no avail.  I replaced the spark plug wires and vacuum hoses and that didn't do it either.  The next thing on the list was distributer but the car went to the paint shop and I haven't gotten it back yet.  The car already had headers on it when I bought it so I replaced them with a new set from Hooker.  I would like to put a different cam in.  I want the car to have a little rock to it when it's idling.   I do plan on entering the car in some car shows for fun so I would like to dress the engine compartment up a little, but at the same time I am just getting into the show stuff and I don't know the first thing about what an engine compartment should look like (original vs. custom).  Ultimately, I just want to add some hp and do it without spending too much money, so the looks are something that I don't have a real preference on.  

Also, I have had some trouble with the oil pressure.  Not sure if it's just the gage or what, but I changed the oil in it one day and I bought some synthetic stuff that Auto Zone was having a special on.  Ever since the oil pressure will drop once the car gets good and heated up.  I replaced the sensor but that wasn't the problem.  Should I assume the oil pump?  

Again, the car is in the paint shop and not being driven at the moment, but when I get it back I plan to do the engine work and adress the mentioned problems when I get it back.

Starsky:
Similar problem turned out to be the gas tank wasnt vented

milly:
Concerning the oil pressure drop: What kind of oil and what viscosity (spelling??) was it?? A thinner oil will really thin out once the engine is warmed up. You may need to run a thicker oil. I am currently using Mobil 1 Synthetic 10W30 in my T/A with no loss of pressure.

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