Hot Rod Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the 305 that was in my El Camino when I bought it went out on me about a year ago. So I am now planning to buy a 355 crate engine from jegs.

614836


614837


I have never bought a crate engine or done an engine swap so I will probably have quite a few questions more than I do right now but is there anything not included in that kit that I will need. Also are there any upgrades that I could and should do to it before I would put it in the car? I am open to any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Camshaft Specs:

  • Camshaft: Hydraulic flat tappet
  • Cam Duration @ .050": Intake 224 / Exhaust 224
  • Cam Lift: Intake .466" / Exhaust .466"
  • Lobe Separation Angle: 114
  • Timing Chain: Single roller
Cylinder Head Information:

  • Cylinder Heads: Pre-1986 cast iron
  • Combustion Chamber: 76cc
  • Valve Size: 1.94" Intake / 1.50" Exhaust
  • Rocker Arms: Stamped steel 1.5
 

·
More for Less Racer
Joined
·
20,929 Posts
You will need a different flexplate. The original 1985 engine has a 2-piece rear main seal style block and crank, the crate engine uses the newer(better)1-piece rear main seal style block and crank. Crank-to-flexplate bolt pattern is different. Flexplate-to-torque converter bolt pattern will be the same.

You need a flexplate for a 1-piece rear main seal SBC, with the correct diameter to match your old one. It will either be 14.1"/168 teeth or 12.75"/153 teeth.
Diameter has to match the old if you want it to also fit the current starter that is on the old engine. Starter nose cone has to be matched to the flexplate/flywheel diameter.

Near as I can tell, everything else is either in the kit or you can transfer it from the old engine.

Hope your old transmission is up for the job. If not fairly fresh, I would at least put new front and rear seals in it, and change the filter and fluid.
If your Elky has the Th-200, don't expect it to live long and don't even bother rebuilding it, swap in something stronger.
I don't think they used the light duty 200 trans behind the 305 though, but I could be wrong.
Note I said Th-200....not the overdrive 200-4R used starting in late 1983. IIRC the last TH-200 was 1982-83.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You will need a different flexplate. The original 1985 engine has a 2-piece rear main seal style block and crank, the crate engine uses the newer(better)1-piece rear main seal style block and crank. Crank-to-flexplate bolt pattern is different. Flexplate-to-torque converter bolt pattern will be the same.

You need a flexplate for a 1-piece rear main seal SBC, with the correct diameter to match your old one. It will either be 14.1"/168 teeth or 12.75"/153 teeth.
Diameter has to match the old if you want it to also fit the current starter that is on the old engine. Starter nose cone has to be matched to the flexplate/flywheel diameter.

Near as I can tell, everything else is either in the kit or you can transfer it from the old engine.

Hope your old transmission is up for the job. If not fairly fresh, I would at least put new front and rear seals in it, and change the filter and fluid.
If your Elky has the Th-200, don't expect it to live long and don't even bother rebuilding it, swap in something stronger.
I don't think they used the light duty 200 trans behind the 305 though, but I could be wrong.
Note I said Th-200....not the overdrive 200-4R used starting in late 1983.
Thank you for the detail! I have the Th-350. I don’t believe it’s the stock transmission but I definitely plan to change the seals!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,298 Posts
I would not buy this engine, it has a big cam and low compression heads. This makes for a very fuel hungry motor for the power it puts out. This is essentially a rebuilders idea of duplicating the GM 290 horse crate engine. If you need to just get the thing back on the road this is good enough, if your looking for a hot rod engine, this is a big cam with the wrong pistons and heads and in a 2 bolt block. The GM version new uses a 4 bolt block with essentially the same internals.

Add to this a TH350 with a stock stall converter will not be a happy camper with the cam in this motor. With that, auto transmissions wear at almost the same rate as the engine, so when a fresh motor gets connected to them they have a bad habit of failing in the not to distant future, so this is another expense you need to consider.

Generally in the past I’ve found the best crate deal is to buy the GMPP 265 horse version of the 290 engine, throwaway the heads put on aftermarket Vortec copies with a conventional manifold bolt pattern and upgrade the cam and your money ahead with more power than the 290///sometimes claimed 310 hp, getting better fuel mileage out of it as well. Actually on the 265 HP short block with the cam that comes with it and vortecish type heads you end up with a 300 horse engine with way better street manners than that 222 to 224 degree cam gives. The 265 horse uses the old 929 cam which depending on the heads and intake with stock exhaust manifolds delivered from 180 to 300 horses out of 350‘s. Better heads like 64cc dual quench chamber sometimes referred as Camel Humps and a Q-Jet were rated at 300, with 76cc open chamber heads and a 2bbl from 180 to 250. With aftermarket style Vortec chambered heads your staring at an easy 300 to 330 horse motor depending on the details.

Your call obviously but if I wasn’t over a barrel I rethink this a bit.

Bogie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would not buy this engine, it has a big cam and low compression heads. This makes for a very fuel hungry motor for the power it puts out. This is essentially a rebuilders idea of duplicating the GM 290 horse crate engine. If you need to just get the thing back on the road this is good enough, if your looking for a hot rod engine, this is a big cam with the wrong pistons and heads and in a 2 bolt block. The GM version new uses a 4 bolt block with essentially the same internals.

Add to this a TH350 with a stock stall converter will not be a happy camper with the cam in this motor. With that, auto transmissions wear at almost the same rate as the engine, so when a fresh motor gets connected to them they have a bad habit of failing in the not to distant future, so this is another expense you need to consider.

Generally in the past I’ve found the best crate deal is to buy the GMPP 265 horse version of the 290 engine, throwaway the heads put on aftermarket Vortec copies with a conventional manifold bolt pattern and upgrade the cam and your money ahead with more power than the 290///sometimes claimed 310 hp, getting better fuel mileage out of it as well. Actually on the 265 HP short block with the cam that comes with it and vortecish type heads you end up with a 300 horse engine with way better street manners than that 222 to 224 degree cam gives. The 265 horse uses the old 929 cam which depending on the heads and intake with stock exhaust manifolds delivered from 180 to 300 horses out of 350‘s. Better heads like 64cc dual quench chamber sometimes referred as Camel Humps and a Q-Jet were rated at 300, with 76cc open chamber heads and a 2bbl from 180 to 250. With aftermarket style Vortec chambered heads your staring at an easy 300 to 330 horse motor depending on the details.

Your call obviously but if I wasn’t over a barrel I rethink this a bit.

Bogie
I would not buy this engine, it has a big cam and low compression heads. This makes for a very fuel hungry motor for the power it puts out. This is essentially a rebuilders idea of duplicating the GM 290 horse crate engine. If you need to just get the thing back on the road this is good enough, if your looking for a hot rod engine, this is a big cam with the wrong pistons and heads and in a 2 bolt block. The GM version new uses a 4 bolt block with essentially the same internals.

Add to this a TH350 with a stock stall converter will not be a happy camper with the cam in this motor. With that, auto transmissions wear at almost the same rate as the engine, so when a fresh motor gets connected to them they have a bad habit of failing in the not to distant future, so this is another expense you need to consider.

Generally in the past I’ve found the best crate deal is to buy the GMPP 265 horse version of the 290 engine, throwaway the heads put on aftermarket Vortec copies with a conventional manifold bolt pattern and upgrade the cam and your money ahead with more power than the 290///sometimes claimed 310 hp, getting better fuel mileage out of it as well. Actually on the 265 HP short block with the cam that comes with it and vortecish type heads you end up with a 300 horse engine with way better street manners than that 222 to 224 degree cam gives. The 265 horse uses the old 929 cam which depending on the heads and intake with stock exhaust manifolds delivered from 180 to 300 horses out of 350‘s. Better heads like 64cc dual quench chamber sometimes referred as Camel Humps and a Q-Jet were rated at 300, with 76cc open chamber heads and a 2bbl from 180 to 250. With aftermarket style Vortec chambered heads your staring at an easy 300 to 330 horse motor depending on the details.

Your call obviously but if I wasn’t over a barrel I rethink this a bit.

Bogie
Well, I’m not too concerned with fuel economy cause this is not going to be my daily driver. I am always open to any input. What if I put better heads that would match that cam? Or should I look for a different crate entirely. I’d like to keep my budget under $4,000 if I can get away with it. Like I said in the original post I have zero knowledge on what to buy for an engine swap. I have tore down and put together several motors so I can do the work I just have no clue what to buy. Thanks again
 

·
******* Professional
Joined
·
1,428 Posts
Well, I’m not too concerned with fuel economy cause this is not going to be my daily driver. I am always open to any input. What if I put better heads that would match that cam? Or should I look for a different crate entirely. I’d like to keep my budget under $4,000 if I can get away with it. Like I said in the original post I have zero knowledge on what to buy for an engine swap. I have tore down and put together several motors so I can do the work I just have no clue what to buy. Thanks again
A reasonable budget.
Brand new, not rebuilt. 4-bolt mains. Vortec heads. Warranty
350 HO Base 330HP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,298 Posts
The problem with poor fuel economy in the case of this firestone case engine choice is that the engine is inefficient as in poor burn quality. The problem is I suppose less one of paying for unburnt fuel that is mostly just run through the exhaust, but rather the unburnt fuel hat washes the top end lube off the top ring and upper cylinder wall increases the wear rate on these items which shortens their life.

The Vortec headed engine that Blazer recommended is a short cut to where I was pointing to. The high efficiency of the Vortec head not only presents itself in better power and improved fuel mileage (assuming the mixture tune is at best) it also presents extended cylinder wall, ring and piston life. Just on this form many people report opening high mileage L31 Vortecs and finding no cylinder ridge and original hone hash marks intact. If you’re into the engine for the long haul this is money well spent. You will need a Vortec head specific intake as the bolt pattern is substantially changed. The L31 head also has no exhaust heat for a manifold plenum hot spot, so you need a manual or electric choke if running a carb.

Bogie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Not saying to buy because its too expensive,,,but
Shafiroff offers a 400 hp 350 based on a new GM short block, better heads and different hydraulic roller cam. Find someone to do this for you if you cannot source the parts or assemble them
 

·
******* Professional
Joined
·
1,428 Posts
One of my first cars was a 68 ElCamino. 307 3speed rubber floor mat am radio no other options AFAIK. My Mom helped me buy it when I was 15 and I drove on a school permit (everywhere) Took me a few years to pay her back. It was only 3 years old when I got it. Had it for just a couple of years.

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
If the car is something you will be tinkering with and not a daily and performance oriented its likely best to get the shortblock/heads seperate. A decent 350 and budget performance head like Profiler or Rhs is obtainable far less than 4k and then you have a platform for 450+ hp depending on where you go with cam/intake. But not having much garage time and wanting it on the road quick.. One of the blueprint vortec head based engines would be tough to beat
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top