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Help finding more miles from 305

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bman416, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Bman416
    Joined: Nov 4, 2007
    Posts: 180


    Kind of a rant...kind of need a little advice. I've got a 305 in my '56 chevy 4-door. My friends have been trying to talk me into picking up a GM 350/290 HP crate engine. I can't find a decent used SB anywhere. and if i do people say you can't trust them. I can score a crate engine for $1915. Thats a lot of scratch. Especially with a baby due at the end of April. I've been doing pretty good on side work ('striping) lately but had to get the seat fixed and i have to take it to another friends shop for all new brakes and an alignment. Basically money's a little tight, side work money that just went to the car is starting to help pay a few bills. I never wanted it to get to this. After listening to the car run the other day, i don't think the engine is as bad as i made it out to be.

    So i was looking for some advice, besides a tune up, on what i could do to the engine to get it to run a little better. Its bone stock out of a '78 Camaro, i believe. Lifter noise i haven't gotten to yet. Its a stock 2 BBl and i don't recall it burning oil, although it leaks a little of it. Like a decent 4 BBl intake-if its worth putting on a 305-and a 4BBL to go with it. A friend has an HEI distributior he said he would hook up for me.
    Thanks everyone.

  2. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,919


    You'll be amazed what difference a good tuning can make on an engine. As far as throwing parts at it, maybe it'd be better to wait until the money situation gets better. Once you start swapping parts you'll find that there are more expenses than just the parts you replace, trust me...a carb rebuild leads to an intake swap leads to pulling the heads leads to a new cam leads engine out of the car with no money to put it back. Or the great idea to swap in a motor and trans and finding out that it WILL take some cash to make that "easy" swap work.
  3. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    I have an edelbrock performer, 600 carter afb on a 87 305 roller cam motor. you can use hei if you must, I am running points just because it looks the part. it is working great. picked it up for $100, basic re gasket and inspection, less than $300 and its running smooth. small blocks are easy, and don't be scared of a used 350. People have been using them for 50 years for good reason. put one in an s10, my old monte, several 4x4s, they last longer than the rest of the car.
  4. Rudebaker
    Joined: Sep 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,598

    from Illinois

    Do a compression check, if all 8 cylinders are decent it's worth putting a few bucks into. Lifters rattling sounds like the typical late 70's early 80's GM flat cam saga. A mild RV type cam will make a world of difference in a 305, they respond very well to the Summit 1102, a cast iron 4 Bbl. intake, Q-Jet ( or whatever you prefer ) and dual exhaust. Put a recurve kit in your distributor and you'll have a peppy little cruiser that will still get decent mileage until funds are there for something more powerful and somebody would be happy to have your old motor for a few bucks. 305's do not get the respect they deserve. We've done this to several boneyard 305's and they go for a long time afterward. It's easy to go overboard but if you show some restraint you can get by pretty cheap. I've gotten a couple new cams dirt cheap off Ebay. Not 100% what I was looking for but definitely close enough for the price.

  5. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703


    what he said^^^^^ pretty much on tatrget. overdrive will help but thats another topic

    what the hell is a tatrget?????? target..............
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  6. 42hotrod
    Joined: Nov 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    from S.E. Idaho

    I'll third what rudebaker said, summit cam and lifters for under 80 bucks, small 4 barrell carb and aluminum intake and decent exhaust. Its never going to be a screamer but like it was said, it can run VERY well if it has decent compression to build upon. Compare it to a flat head, a 265 SBC, a Y block ford, and you have more horsepower than most of them.

  7. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    Also put in a new timing chain. It's one of the few things that go over time, especially if it's the plastic coated one.
  8. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    The cam and intake ideas are on the right track. Down the road you can even go back in and raise the compression and up the ante on the cam. I built a 305 a few years ago to the same cam, compression and intake specs as the old 325 hp 327 and it was a screamer. That old cam was a crane piece, but I'm sure a similar grind is available anywhere. It had enough lobe separation to bleed some of the compression so that the 11:1 pistons worked fine with pump gas. It pulled that heavy ass 79 Camaro to low 14 second ETs. No reason you can't tweak that 305 and come back for more later.

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