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Old 01-22-2009, 12:15 AM
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slow camino

hey i have a 1983 elcamino with a 305ho and th350 tranny i was needing some help. my friend and i have a bet going he doesnt think i can up the horsepower in my elcamino with the 305 to compete with his 1986 chevy truck it has a 350 with guesstimated 300 hp. the only reason i think i could compete with the elcamino is the weight difference his truck weighs about twice what my elcamino weighs. we bet that i couldnt spend 300 dollars and be competitive with his truck so here i am looking for the best intake and cam options. i do have an edelbrock 600 cfm carb that needs rebuilt it is curently on the car now i also have the accel super coil and distributor. i also have headers and true duals. one of the biggest problems is the elcamino originaly came with a diesel so it only runs about 2000 rpm doing 70 the rearend is tall. i do already have an intake it is an edelbrock tourqer 2. what i am realy needing to know is what rearend gears should i put in it and what cam and intake thanks for any of your help

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:31 AM
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welcome....Best to ask your questions in the appropriate forums.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983elcamino
hey i have a 1983 elcamino with a 305ho and th350 tranny i was needing some help. my friend and i have a bet going he doesnt think i can up the horsepower in my elcamino with the 305 to compete with his 1986 chevy truck it has a 350 with guesstimated 300 hp. the only reason i think i could compete with the elcamino is the weight difference his truck weighs about twice what my elcamino weighs. we bet that i couldnt spend 300 dollars and be competitive with his truck so here i am looking for the best intake and cam options. i do have an edelbrock 600 cfm carb that needs rebuilt it is curently on the car now i also have the accel super coil and distributor. i also have headers and true duals. one of the biggest problems is the elcamino originaly came with a diesel so it only runs about 2000 rpm doing 70 the rearend is tall. i do already have an intake it is an edelbrock tourqer 2. what i am realy needing to know is what rearend gears should i put in it and what cam and intake thanks for any of your help
Losing bet if you ask me. You're on the right track, but you'll have to add heads to that equation. Heads, intake, cam, carb, rear gears, headers, possibly rear axle to ditch the weak 7.5" before it explodes. I would say that the torker2 is probably the last intake I would choose. They're outdated and the completely incorrect application for your engine. You can't just swap the cam without adding compression and head flow. The stock 305HO heads hit a wall at about 4500 rpm, right about the time that the cam does too. Just swapping cams could cause you to LOSE hp if you don't do the supporting modifications to match.

You'll have to increase your HP by about 50% over what it is, and that won't happen with $300.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:13 AM
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Don't sugar coat it Curtis Too bad everything you said is correct.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:33 PM
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2,000 rpm at 70mph is a 2.20 gear with 26 inch tires!

Change the gears to a 3.08, 3.23, or 3.42 and you will most likely beat him with what you have already. However, 2936 rpm would be the new rpms at 70 with a 3.23 gear.

Then drop in the smallest summit cam and lifter kit to make some more gains.

Should make between 225hp and 240hp with a mild cam and a set of headers on an otherwise stock 305. That coupled with your weight advantage should make for an easy win. Should run mid 15's at 90 mph with a 3500 pound car.

Get the gears first. It will feel like you gained another 100hp. If you are on a budget then find a complete rear assembly from the junk yard for 150.00.

I would use a stock q-jet intake before using the torker II.

A friend of mine has a set of 305 vortec heads that he might be willing to sell for cheap. However, shipping will be high. And then you will need a vortec style intake to use them.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:46 PM
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Key to your challenge is to A) trick him into a 1/8mi race, stay away from a quarter mile, then B) design your car for bottom end torque which is where your engine will shine and his will suck wind. There is no way in the world you can top-end with him but with taller gears (3.42 or even 3.54 - too bad you don't run a 200R4 you could go to 3.7and still cruise the highway), good low/mid range cam, long headers, stock intake, Quadrajet and half the weight you should be able to beat him in a short race.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:25 PM
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get this cam
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...4&autoview=sku

Use a stock q-jet intake from the junk yard (cheap)

Do some research to find out what rear end assembly will bolt into your car/truck. Get something in the low 3's to maintain highway manors.

Go to your local U-Pull-It type junk yard and look at 6 cylinder GM cars for higher numeric gear ratios. Pull the rear covers and read the ratio off the outer edge of the ring gear. For example: If you see 42:13, that is a 3.23 gear (42/13 = 3.23). 42 is the number of teeth on the ring gear and 13 is the number of teeth on the pinion gear.

Your not racing a drag car. And his truck is most likely not making 300hp. And the truck is already much heavier, and "you just need to be competitive". So.......

stock 4 bbl intake, better gears, and a very mild cam will do that. And under 300.00.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983elcamino
hey i have a 1983 elcamino with a 305ho and th350 tranny i was needing some help. my friend and i have a bet going he doesnt think i can up the horsepower in my elcamino with the 305 to compete with his 1986 chevy truck it has a 350 with guesstimated 300 hp. the only reason i think i could compete with the elcamino is the weight difference his truck weighs about twice what my elcamino weighs. we bet that i couldnt spend 300 dollars and be competitive with his truck so here i am looking for the best intake and cam options. i do have an edelbrock 600 cfm carb that needs rebuilt it is curently on the car now i also have the accel super coil and distributor. i also have headers and true duals. one of the biggest problems is the elcamino originaly came with a diesel so it only runs about 2000 rpm doing 70 the rearend is tall. i do already have an intake it is an edelbrock tourqer 2. what i am realy needing to know is what rearend gears should i put in it and what cam and intake thanks for any of your help
A stock 1988 350 in a pick up is rated at 207 horsepower.

You'll be surprised but your El Camino isn't much lighter than a 2 wheel drive 1/2 ton pick up. So you're at more of a disadvantage than you think with the 305.

You're rear gears are most likely 2.73, a pretty sleepy ratio. A set of 3.08's which are pretty easy to find would be an improvement; 3.27 better. You have to pick something that balances road revs against performance.

305/350 smog engines really need more cam and compression and in the case of your Elkay more rear axle ratio. Assuming the transmission is any good? But that aside I think 300 dollars isn't enough to get where you need to go.

The compression really needs to come up, that's hard to do without getting into pistons and that gets pretty expensive. Probably the best thing is the thinnest head gasket you can get away with. Milling the head would be the next cost effective option.

Along with the head milling would come a fist full of camshaft, this is the heart of the matter but it beats better with more compression. More cam is pretty costly especially if you look a a Comp. These high lift rate cams really need matching springs. But the 305 heads are short on port volume and valve size. If the motor has any mileage on it, a valve job would be in order. While apart you could do a pocket port, very effective for about 15 horsepower and have 350 size valves put in, simple OEM replacement valves would be adequate. To hold down costs, a cam like an Elgin would work fine and costs about half of a Comp. It would be better with new lifters but not absolutly necessary unless you lifters are out to lunch. You'll need a timing set and replacing springs would be good insurance to assure the engine can rev to the abilities of the cam. Older design cams like Elgin's and Howards have a lower ratio of lift over duration which keeps the loads on the lobe/lifter interface milder than with more modern designs. This lets you get away with more duration and less lift which is something the 305 head can take advantage of since it runs out of max flow pretty fast, so to increase performance you want the port to flow for more time. The down side is the later closing intake really wants to reverse pump and low engine RPMs, but the combination of your Torquer manifold and the smallish port sizes of the 305 head will get the port velocity high at lower engine speeds and overcome the reverse pumping sooner. Something like the E903 would get the 305 up to about 330 hp with most of that under 5600. This will give excellent performance without having to go to a stall converter.

With the small bore of the 305, you can lean pretty hard on the advance. But this is a place where some smarts comes in handy. The engine will tolerate more advance in first and second than it will in high gear, but boxes that provide this kind of control are way out of range of your budget. A chicken way of cheaping this function out is to put a spring set in the distributor that lets it come up fast. Then leaving the distributor loose enough so that it can be rotated with the force a Bowden cable (like a lawn mower throttle, or automotive manual choke cable) can produce. Set it up so the in the out positon the distributor has the ideal base advance setting. Leave it there in first and second, then shove the handle in on the two-three shift to take a few degrees out to where the engine doesn't ping while pulling hard in third. This requires the hold down bolt be replaced with a stud and a Nyloc nut. The Nyloc is tightened just enough to where the Bowden cable can move the distributor, not so loose that the timing can jump around. You only need to drop 4-6 degrees in third to stay under the detonation limit.

Bogie
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:50 PM
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i wouldn't be surprised if the stock gears in the rear are like 2.27:1 . 2.73s were more common with v6 G bodys
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by va4cqd
i wouldn't be surprised if the stock gears in the rear are like 2.27:1 . 2.73s were more common with v6 G bodys
Even worse! yikes!!!

Bogie
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:19 PM
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May find a whole rear on one of the SSMonte sites like montecarloss.com
The 83-84 SS Monte's came with TH350C & 3.42 gears.
The 85-88 SS Monte's came with TH2004R & 3.73 gears.
They will bolt right in.
Many of the SS owners have replaced their 7.5" rears with 8.5", 9" & 8.8" rears.

Last edited by SSedan64; 01-22-2009 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:02 AM
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based on his 2000 rpm at 70 mph comment, the gears should be around 2.20's with a 26 inch tall tire. Car had a 350 diesel in it before the 305 (all in the first post) so it makes since. 305's cam with 2.47's.

a gear change (3.08 to 3.42) and a little cam will really wake it up. But always change lifters when installing a new cam!!!

300.00 is do able if you shop around a little and do the work your self. start with the gears first.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:33 AM
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je

Gears, headers/exhaust (thrush turbo mufflers are budget friendly yet made in the USA), a mild street oriented cam, and tune the Qjet really well (they are a really good carb, but need a lot of patience. My grandpa used to tune them all the time for guys back in the 1960s-70s).

If the body is good and solid, then it would be well worth putting more money into as finances allow.
-Matt
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:20 PM
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well I spent 1000 dollars on my 305 and have 280 flywheel horsepower with 3.73 gears. That stock 7.5 will work unless your making more than 300 horsepower just get some 3.73 gears. That is what I have and love in my 81 elco. I dont have the 305 anymore. It blew last month and I now am rebuilding a 350 . I know how the budget is I'm 16 and in highshcool. I went with an edelbrock performer manifold, 600cfm carb, 1.6 summit rockerarms headers new exhaust adjusted the timinng and a shift kit. My elco shreded the tires off and ate 5.0s like they were nothing. I was amazed with that little 305. You say your budget is 300. FIRST OFF buy new rear gears that will help you so much and should get the tires spinning get a 3.42 or 3.73 gear. NEXT ebay!! look at performer manifolds best overall manifold you can get it for like 75 bucks on ebay. Does your carb need rebuilt? if not then dont worry with it. Call summit and ask them about summits line of cams tell him what you plan to do with the rear gears your carb size etc etc. Of course your going to need more than 300 bucks for all of this but try ebay and junkyards. If you need help with what parts you need just ask me. I know it sucks being a 305 owner but you gota use what you have.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:39 PM
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I would bet money that all the "guesses" on his stock gears are wrong, I'll bet they are 2.29:1, that's what I took out of my Malibu.

The first thing you want to do is replace those gears with 3.08 or 3.23, depending on your tire size.

The weight difference between those two vehicles is matched more closely than you think, but that's not going to make a difference when yours isn't set up correctly in the first place.

We won't condone street racing here on Hotrodders, but this is more on an "on paper" competition, so we'll leave it like that, do an educated ET in a quarter mile with what you have now, and make sure everything is running reliably as it is, THEN change the gears to either 3.08 or 3.23 (again depending on your tire size) I would go with the 3.08's first, then do another ET for comparison sake.

THEN you will know where to go or what to do from there, but even better would be to swap to a TH-2004R or TH-700R4 and 3.73 gears.

Do it in the RIGHT order, gears, suspension, and either engine or transmission.

Just figure on the following too:
Adding more power to the engine (100hp for example) would make your axle live a much shorter life.

Adding another gear in the transmission utilizes what you already have more effectively.

Adding a better gear ratio to your existing axle also utilizes what you have more effectively.

Stiffen the right rear coil spring by adding coil stabilizers to stiffen that spring and keep that tire planted, especially without a traction device in the axle.

Buy a rear suspension stabilizer bar, adding to what the car lacks without one, it certainly helped on my Malibu.
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