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I am fresh out of high school, and in the process of purchasing a 1969 El Camino with a 307. Instead of just selling it, I would like to build it (even if it isn't the most desireable car, I still love it). Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero experience with working on cars. The car currently runs, but I would like to rebuild the engine. I know the 307 isn't a particularly great engine, but rebuilding it would be a great way to learn. Before I dive into the project and spend my money on books, tools, etc, I would like to get as much advice as possible.

My main question right now i what is the best book/guide for rebuilding a 307? I have found the following books:
David Vizard Book
Larry Atherton Book
Do you have a better recommendation? Will these books be enough to guide me? Is there another resource I should look for?

I'm eager to get started, but I'd rather get some input from others before investing in the project. Any recommendations and general advice are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I would suggest picking up a 350 to rebuild WHILE you are driving the car. The engines are the same externally so the 350 will bolt right in when you pull the 307. The 350 is a better engine to have, powerwise, but the biggest reason I am saying this is so you can drive the car while doing the work.
350's are a dime a dozen and rebuild kits are cheap also. I don't know how much coin you have to throw at the rebuild.
I would also suggest talking to a couple of local shops that do engine work. Maybe offer to do some work for the help and expertise they could offer to you.
Mark
 

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Welcome Grasshopper!!
If you've got a running motor and you're a total virgin on anything automotive, what makes you think you need to rebuild it.
You need to learn how to tune it first. And then how to maybe rebuild your carb or modify your distributor.
How to set your timing or adjust your carb.
All kinds of things besides rebuilding your motor.
But absolutely first is to find out exactly what you have.
Your 307 could be anything from a 265 to a 400 for all you know.

Take some pics for us.
Motor of course. The car maybe too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would suggest picking up a 350 to rebuild WHILE you are driving the car. The engines are the same externally so the 350 will bolt right in when you pull the 307. The 350 is a better engine to have, powerwise, but the biggest reason I am saying this is so you can drive the car while doing the work.
350's are a dime a dozen and rebuild kits are cheap also. I don't know how much coin you have to throw at the rebuild.
I would also suggest talking to a couple of local shops that do engine work. Maybe offer to do some work for the help and expertise they could offer to you.
Mark
If I can scrape together enough money, that would be a great idea. However, since I don't have any tools or books, I'm not sure I would have enough money to buy a 350 and all of the supplies I would need to rebuild it. I'm trying to be careful about spending on this project, but I think that's a great idea.
 

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If I can scrape together enough money, that would be a great idea. However, since I don't have any tools or books, I'm not sure I would have enough money to buy a 350 and all of the supplies I would need to rebuild it. I'm trying to be careful about spending on this project, but I think that's a great idea.
With no money, no tools and no experience you need to focus on keeping the car running. Like rwenuts said, tune it up, get it running good, build your tool inventory and keep on learning.
Take my initial post to heart though. Getting another motor is the best way to go. This way you can take your time building it and not lock your car up in new engine jail. Drive it while building the new motor. It is an excellant parts chaser. :)
And just so you know, I was in your same shoes 42 years ago, been there done that. I am sixty now and this is the way I do things now.
Mark
 
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I'm building a 307 now. In your case, I'd also look for a late 350. The rebuild kits are often cheaper for a 350 than a 307. A later 350 would also give you a roller cam engine and that is a good thing. It would also have heads that are compatible with today's fuel. Your on the right track and seem to be getting good advice so far. Good luck withe the El Camino!
 

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A later model roller block 350 would be a better option, but, if your heart is set on building the 307, the very 1st thing that needs to be done is replacing the heads.Even tho your 69 is 1 of the better years for the 307 before GM lowered compression, all 307 heads were junk.
Replacing the heads with something like the L30/305 heads, or, even #416, or,#601 305 heads will make a big improvement with proper cam selection.You can fairly easily & cheaply build the 307 up to the 300 HP range & still have a nice dependable engine for the street.The L30 heads would be the better option, but, it will require a vortec specific intake.If your 307 still has it's original 2 bbl carb/intake, you will need a new 1 anyway.
 

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building a 307

books for rebuilding sbc are all over the place. maybe go to the local auto parts and see what they carry.. BUT as suggested for the time being stay with the running 307 in the car.. look around for a 350 to put in the garage to play with and build while driving the one u have.. if that is your ONLY transportation then tune it up and leave it alone.
tools ?? basic stuff, ratchet's, sockets, wrench set, torque wrench. doing the engine u need an engine stand and engine hoist and a fairly clean place to do it..
when it's time to do a build u can go on ebay and get a rebuild kit alot cheaper then parting it out.. it don't cost nut'n now to look at pricing and writing down project cost then u know what budget u'll need.. u have come to the right place for there are a ton of folks here that have done what u want to do.. in there sleep.. DO NOT think u have a dumb question.. the dumb question is the one u DON'T ask..
 

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I was in pretty near the same situation you are in except for experience and age. I have a 1970 truck that had the original 307 and I wanted to rebuild it. I found that I could buy a L31-R from Summit ($2050.00) for less than a good rebuild.
Drive the 307 and save your money until can buy the L31-R and I guarantee you that you will be happy.
I almost forgot you will need a vortec intake I used the Summit brand for about a $150 and it works great.
 

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A later model roller block 350 would be a better option, but, if your heart is set on building the 307, the very 1st thing that needs to be done is replacing the heads.Even tho your 69 is 1 of the better years for the 307 before GM lowered compression, all 307 heads were junk.
Replacing the heads with something like the L30/305 heads, or, even #416, or,#601 305 heads will make a big improvement with proper cam selection.You can fairly easily & cheaply build the 307 up to the 300 HP range & still have a nice dependable engine for the street.The L30 heads would be the better option, but, it will require a vortec specific intake.If your 307 still has it's original 2 bbl carb/intake, you will need a new 1 anyway.
The 305 heads would be an upgrade since they do have the hardened valve seats for unleaded gas most '69 and earlier heads do not unless a previous owner had some valve work. Around the late 60's there were some issues with flat lobe camshafts on the 307's that were covered under warranty if the customer brought them back. It used to be a lot of High Schools had shop classes sadly many these days do not because you could learn a lot there. One thing that would help us to help you is knowing how much you can spend on this project.
 

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Tools. Go to a few pawn shops to find tools. Don't pay what is marked on there price tag. They expect you to bargain with them so knock 50% off the price there asking. I have a lot of pawn shop tools.
 

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Total of 2 posts, no intro, zero profile.

NO experience working on cars.

NO tools to use.

NO money to spend.

However you are a HS grad and must have SOME skills, otherwise the taxpayers wasted money forcing you to attend school. :)

My response.

Do NOt take that 307 apart.

If it is running SELL IT.

join the service, YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU. You will gain a WORLD of experience and SKILLS. AND they will pay you, send you to exotic places you never dreamed of, FEED you and CLOTH you.

They have all kinds of job descriptions including auto skills. Most bases have an auto hobby workshop with all the tools you need and lifts and experienced mechanics there to help you. and they have usually storage lots adjecent to keep your baby while improving it.
On top of that you will make life long friends that will have your back forever.:welcome:

I should be a recruiter.

PS, stay away from steady women.
 

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You never say why you want to rebuild your engine!
Unless it is completely shot (massive black smoke, rod knock, coolant in oil...), leave it alone and enjoy the car.
If it does run but not perfectly, getting it tuned up properly could do wonders for you. Driving this cool car to car shows, cruises..., you will meet people, maybe get into a club, and learn as you drive, from the people you meet.
And as said earlier, if you want to learn how to rebuild an engine, work on another one while you drive your car.
The 1 thing you need to avoid at all cost is getting bored with the car, loosing interest in it, and it happens very easily when a car is apart... Even if the car absolutely needs a new engine, get a good running junkyard 350, but make sure the car does not stay apart any length of time!
 
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