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Retro Ryan
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am new and am looking for good advice.
I have a 1976 Chevy Nova with a stock 305 2 barrel 308 rear end. Its an old car from High school I have had setting in my shed. I have been in the process of body work. She has 101,000 miles all stock. With two children I am on a budget. I want to get some more HP out of the 305. This car will be used as a toy seeing street use. I know the 305 and 350 have the exact valve springs. The 305 has a intake valve lift of .3727 and the 350 has .39. The exhaust are the same. I don not want to change valve springs. How much cam can I use with stock springs? My first choice is Howards Cam Camshaft, Hydraulic Flat Tappet, Advertised Duration 280/288, Lift .390/.410, Chevy, Small Block Summit part number HRS-112701-12. My second Choice is Summits cam Hydraulic Flat Tappet, Advertised Duration 278/288, Lift .421/.444, Chevy, Small Block, Kit part number SUM-K1102. Can the stock springs take the extra lift with the summit cam? Will The valves clear the piston with the summit cam? My gut tells me to error on the side of caution and use the Howards cam even though it cost more + lifters. I am going to still use the stock converter. Also do most people reuse the old cam bearings? Thanks,
jd801956
 

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Hello,
I am new and am looking for good advice.
I have a 1976 Chevy Nova with a stock 305 2 barrel 308 rear end. Its an old car from High school I have had setting in my shed. I have been in the process of body work. She has 101,000 miles all stock. With two children I am on a budget. I want to get some more HP out of the 305. This car will be used as a toy seeing street use. I know the 305 and 350 have the exact valve springs. The 305 has a intake valve lift of .3727 and the 350 has .39. The exhaust are the same. I don not want to change valve springs. How much cam can I use with stock springs? My first choice is Howards Cam Camshaft, Hydraulic Flat Tappet, Advertised Duration 280/288, Lift .390/.410, Chevy, Small Block Summit part number HRS-112701-12. My second Choice is Summits cam Hydraulic Flat Tappet, Advertised Duration 278/288, Lift .421/.444, Chevy, Small Block, Kit part number SUM-K1102. Can the stock springs take the extra lift with the summit cam? Will The valves clear the piston with the summit cam? My gut tells me to error on the side of caution and use the Howards cam even though it cost more + lifters. I am going to still use the stock converter. Also do most people reuse the old cam bearings? Thanks,
jd801956
Stock converter and 3.08 rear gear????? The car will be SLOWER with either of your choices. The camshaft is not a stand-alone part. It must be coordinated with other parts to be effective. The intake closing point of the cam must be coordinated with the static compression ratio of the motor. Do you even have a clue what the SCR of the motor is????????
 

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More for Less Racer
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Forget the Howards cam choice, sure it is low lift, but duration is way too big for your application, motor will be a slug.

The Summit cam you listed is a pretty decent choice for you, will work with a stock valvetrain...but your intention to not change springs is a very bad idea, as your 100,000 mile worn out springs will just go into valve float at a very low rpm because they have lost tension over all those miles and years...best to replace them, and here is just the ticket to do that at low cost : Chev SB #98214 is perfect for you, and a real good price point.

Want to save even more on cam and lifters, look at Elgin ProStock cams from the same place : Elgin Chev SB Hydraulic Flat Tappet Kits

Look at #'s E860SM, E923M, E1128M, or E1029M.

These are good durable parts at really good prices. I've used them many times, this company does a high volume to the little guy locals type circle track market so they can keep prices down. You won't be disappointed.

This company is tied to Howards cams also, they are in the same building in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and have listings for Howards also if that is what you want, just pick base on more than just lift, get a duration that matches a up to 5000 rpm power range like the Elgins I listed. .450" lift or lower and you will have no clearance problems at all.

You will likely want to get a new timing chain set at the same time you do the cam, but cam bearings should be fine and reusable.
 

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That is a nice first project. A performer cam into a 1976 sbc should work ok, and is a good learning platform. That cam does not have much compression requirement. Use the proper springs.

The stock stall is a dead player. After countless converter installs, it is a necessary piece of the puzzle. To get that muscle car ride, a mild 2500-3000 stall is needed to perform. It does not effect your cruise, and are very street friendly.
 

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Retro Ryan
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I guess I have to change the springs. I didn't want to remove the heads. I guess I will have to decide how far I want to go into the engine. Thanks again.
 

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Yeah as techinspector1 says, lower gears will wake it up. 3.42s are a good combo gear if you do alot of freeway (70mph+) miles. Even 3.73s aren't too bad on the freeway. But, 3.08s are definitely better than what could've come in the car. If you keep the stock converter....definitely get gears before anything. But you might want to consider a mild stall and get gears 2nd though......

........my first car was a '65 Bel Air with a 283 with 3.08s. It was a slug. Replaced the powerglide with a T-350 and Vega torque converter. It stalled around 2,700-2,800 I think. Put 1 5/8" headers, dual 2 1/4" exhaust on it. Stock cam, stock 2bbl intake. That thing ran angry! At least to a 17 year old who didn't expect it to do much, lol. Surprised me and just about everyone who saw it run. It was probably all in the first 100 feet but it stood to attention when I hit it! I heard the Vega converters aren't too tough though, was just giving you an idea of what a little stall can do. Shoot for one that stalls around 2,400-2,600 behind YOUR motor. If you did that before any engine mods, you almost wouldn't believe it.
 

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Retro Ryan
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all your input.
I think now think maybe you are right. I should be starting at the rear of the car. Maybe change the rear end gears to 3.73 an Edelbrock Performer EPS Intake and Holley 650cfm 4150 Carburetor and headers right away. I now think that is a good place to start. Then I can save again to buy heads, cam, and torque converter to buy later. Maybe the Elgin E1029M with World, S/R Cast Iron Chev SB Head, 170cc/58cc?
 

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Thanks for all your input.
I think now think maybe you are right. I should be starting at the rear of the car. Maybe change the rear end gears to 3.73 an Edelbrock Performer EPS Intake and Holley 650cfm 4150 Carburetor and headers right away. I now think that is a good place to start. Then I can save again to buy heads, cam, and torque converter to buy later. Maybe the Elgin E1029M with World, S/R Cast Iron Chev SB Head, 170cc/58cc?
I'd aim at putting a 350 in there and would not spend money on the 305 with the possible exception of external parts that will interchenge from the 305 to the 350. A Goodwrench 350 can be had for under 2000 dollars and has a power output out of the crate that will cost a tidy sum in aftermarket parts to equal out of the 305.

Gears, steepening them gets to be a real irritation on the street unless you're really a gung-ho, hot-rodder willing to live with anything. For a street machine stiffer rear gears takes you in the direction of a 4 speed overdrive automatic which is more cost and complication on you're stretched budget. Not that these aren't good ideas but each leads to something else which gets costly pretty quickly.

My recommendation is for you to think this through carefully it's mighty easy to get the Nova apart never to be run again because the cash isn't there and after a while the desire wanes for the lack of progress and so it sits.

Bogie
 
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