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Car Preformance

My car is a 1980 Citation, ik ik bring on the hate about how bad a car is ik lol, but fact is its my car and i wanna make it run well so, it has a V6 2.8L engine with 86,000 miles. Id liek to increase the overall preformance and power of the car, not drastically and anything to expensive but simple things. Anyone got any ideas?

Ah? You don’t want to do anything to that engine that’ll put it under more stress. You’re lucky you’ve got this many miles out of it without the head gaskets failing under normal operating conditions.


Agree, this is not the kind of car you want to soup up. My brother had a V8 Olds Omega (same family), which lasted all of 1 1/2 years before numerous thing went kaput! Having said that, the V6 has enough power for all normal driving situations.

The best thing to do with this car is to nurse it carefully, and if you live in a dry part of the country you’ll be able to enjoy it for a few more years.

The best ‘performance boost’ for a car this old is a very careful tune-up, which might need to include rebuilding the carb. How long since it’s had plugs, wires, cap, and rotor, at least?

Also-there were not many performance parts for this when it was new, next to nothing now, unless you want to drop thousands on an engine swap with a newer V6…if one would fit (I think the later 3.1 or 3.4 might have a similar block.

There is no cheap way of getting very noticeable power gains out of it. This car is one of those “de-tuned” vehicles from this era.
Fresh tune-up, maybe advance the ignition timing a couple of degrees is about it.

Keep in mind that old saying about the weakest link in the chain. Even if you did build the engine up to produce noticeable HP odds are the next thing to fail would be the stock transaxle; probably the failure-prone bushings for the halfshafts.

And you might look at this parts place, they list stuff for Citations, along with just about everything else (courtesy of Tester):

Well i guess i worded my quetion wrong, yes i did say hp but i mainly want it to last me a while i dont wanna throw it out a year from now. It runs good, matter of fact havent had a problem with it yet but is there anyhting i can do to just make it run better, and i mean besides basics like oil, trans fluid, battery, etc.

OK - you need to go over it, check everything. Something this old could need suspension parts, exhaust, brakes (ESPECIALLY brakes, they were a weak spot, and a safety issue), rust issues, everything. Make sure you know what you have.

I just posted this in your other thread, but here it is again in this more popular one:

Hey ya’. So there were two options way back when, the 2.5L inline 4 and the 2.8L V6. Neither were terribly powerful. In 1981, they added a second V6 for the X11 model, and this was the “Z-code” engine (when ordering parts for 1981+ Citations, you’ll often be asked if you have Vin X or Vin Z, and that’s why.)

The Z-code engines had different cams and heads (larger valves) and a high-volume oil pump (early 60-degree V6s have a bit of a problem with main bearing oiling that is largely fixed with a high-volume pump). They also had two true exhaust manifolds, rather than the wrap-around front-in-to-rear manifold that the other V6s had. AND they had a fiberglass hood with a functional air intake.

Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to find good-condition X11 Citations around, but if you keep your eyes open in wrecking yards, you’ll maybe get lucky. Finding an X11 and robbing parts off of it is your best bet at a cheap, easy means of making your Citation a little sportier.

Here is a website that thoroughly explains what the X11 package was:

And here is a Yahoo group that I’m on called ChevyCitationsForever:

The Yahoo group is a fantastic resource, join up and look at other peoples’ projects. There have been engine swaps ranging from mild fuel injected 3.1s to supercharged Gen II 3.8s to Cadillac 4.9 V8s. Come check it out!

(I just sold my '81 Citation X-11 and miss it. :frowning: )