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kane583 03-09-2005 02:26 PM

Replacement for displacement is $ in my pocket.
I have an 88 chevy 1/2 ton with over 300k on the stock 305 and just purchased a wrecked 89 3/4 ton and have started swapping out suspension to beef up my rust bucket. Working with a budget of 2k I want to do an engine replacement in the 88. I use this pickup for towing to the track, hauling lumber and hunting. Now my dilemna is do I rebuild the existing 305 roller, take the 350 from the 89 and rebuild it or do I pick up a 350 crate. I just cant decide. Im running 3.73 gears and a turbo 400 in the truck and it pulls just fine with a 3200# car on trailer, as a matter of fact it out pulls most of my buddies newer 350 pickups. The 305 is still strong but burns oil (1qt/500miles). The 350 I have no info on and it other then it ran before the wreck and has about 130k on it. the 350 crate Im looking at is $1995 and is all new parts including block. I know, I replacement for displacement, why even consider the 305 you are saying, I can hear everyone screaming it across the internet as I type this :spank: Cost, thats why. By the time im done rebuilding either a 305 or 350 I'll have 1500 in to either. If I go with the 350 then I have to consider a new chip and injectors at the very least. By the time Im done I could have closer to 3k into this vehicle and I just cant seem to justify putting that much into it with the body in the shape its in. I guess Im just looking for a good reason to spend the $ it would require to go 350 I cant seem to convince myself that the theory holds true for every application. :confused:

Siggy_Freud 03-09-2005 02:35 PM

Why cant you rebuild the 350 and swap in the computer and TB from the 89? I assume they are both TBI?

kane583 03-09-2005 02:45 PM

A couple reasons actually.
The engine in the 89 does not run due to the accident it was in so I have no idea at this point of what (if any) damage was done to the electrical system.
To me putting a used chip and injectors on a rebuilt motor would be equivelent to putting a used oil pump in a rebuilt engine. Although the chip and injectors arent nearly as critical as oil delivery I figure why even mess with the used stuff. Also the 89 has a manual trans and different gearing then my 88. Im not even sure that has anything to do with the chip but again I have the thought of why even chance it that it may or may not work correctly with my setup.

Yes they are both TBI.


Siggy_Freud 03-09-2005 03:41 PM

Having worked extensively with FI, I can tell you that there is no reason other than if the injector or chip is visibly broke that I wouldn't use it again. There is a big difference between and oil pump and a ECM chip or Injector. For one, if the injector or chip isn't functioning, you are going to know pretty quickly, and two, they are easily accessible.

If you are looking for someone to tell you that rebuidling the 305 is the best option, then that will have to come from someone else. With a little work and research, you can have a fresh TBI 350 in your 88.

If you just want a decent running engine in your 88 without much concern for higher HP potential, then run the 305 and dont even hassle with the 89's engine.

For the most part, the chip between your two TBI's is the same. Other than a different fuel map and spark curve they contain mainly the same pre-programming. Your 350 would even run off the 305's chip, though it might run a little lean.

You said it yourself, no replacement for displacement. It just depends on what you want out of this.

Ghetto Jet 03-13-2005 07:55 PM

you say the truck is a rust bucket and the 305 burns 1 quart every 500 miles? I would keep driving it, don't rebuild anything and save the money.

But if you insist on a rebuild I would say rebuild the 305. Why? Well it's the easiest and cheapest route to take. Besides you're happy with the power your 305 makes, the engine has been good to you for 300k, and the existing computer stuff is for your 305. Sure a 350 will make more power but who cares, it's not always about that.

11secmudtrk 03-13-2005 09:14 PM

since your running a th400 there is no difference in the ecms between yours and the 89. I'd rebuild the 350 since parts for that will be cheaper.

lluciano77 03-13-2005 09:34 PM

350 parts are so cheap now I think the 350 would be the way to go.

I spent months researching my 400 build. I went online and read everyday. If you are going to spend the cash at least do enough research to get rough cost estimates of both builds. Why not? Unless you like making huge mistakes and wasting money.

305s are okay, but 350 are better overall. They are a good compromise between mileage, power, and torque.

kane583 03-13-2005 09:55 PM

Im not set on the 305.
Just weighing all the variables before I make a decision on anything.
First thing first tho, I will be tearing down the 350 next weekend to see what shape it is in before I make my decision.
Body wise I really dont care what the vehicle looks like. Im only interested in reliability is why Im looking into a rebuild. And should I ever decide to scrap the truck Ill have a motor and trans I could use in a hotrod application...hmm just thought of more reason to go with the 350 :mwink:

lluciano77 03-13-2005 11:02 PM

Is the 350 a roller cammed engine with a fuel pump boss. If so you could use it in anything. Keep the fuel injection would be better, but you'd have the option of going carbed.

kane583 03-14-2005 07:16 AM

I'll have to wait til I cut the fender and front clip away to know that because they are pushed up against the motor. The 305 is a roller cam but doesnt have the boss. Either way I could just use a low pressure fuel pump right?
Im guessing I would need to change heads and intake if I carbed either?

Siggy_Freud 03-14-2005 10:27 AM

You could leave the heads. You could also get an adapter for the intake or simply get a new one. But if your looking for $$$ in your pocket I suggest keeping the FI.

ChevelleSS_LS6 03-14-2005 01:12 PM

compare the rebuild cost of the 350 and the 305, if computer swaps concern you, stick witht he 305. Perhaps you could stick a 350 crank in it and come out with a 325ci or so "oddball" engine.

Ghetto Jet 03-14-2005 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by kane583
And should I ever decide to scrap the truck Ill have a motor and trans I could use in a hotrod application...hmm just thought of more reason to go with the 350 :mwink:

If that thought is crossing your mind go with the 350.

redlightning 03-14-2005 09:18 PM

If you want to go the least expensive route.Have you called to price out a used 305 at a salvage yard?Since most hotrodders get rid of them you might get a deal.

USA1 03-15-2005 12:59 PM

If the 350 is not physically hurt by the crash, 130k is not all that many miles. I would put the 350 in as-is and use your cash for other purposes, like buying me a beer for coming up with this idea. :thumbup:

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