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I have a 1973 el camino custom class with a 350ci 4b carb th350 transmission. Im looking at doing a tune up myself to save some labor money and wanted to know what I should change in doing so. The engine is a recent rebuild 3 years old or so with less then 5k miles since. Im lookin to save some money but definatly want to get the job done correctly. Any information would be greatly apperciated.

Thanks
 

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Plugs, wires if in good shape, reuse, points/condensor if not HEI, dist. cap & rotor button, fuel filter, air filter belts & hoses inspect and replace if needed, set timing and go have fun, oil & filter too,, Matty man
 

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I found some decent kits on summit racing i think ill pick up. Im curious how do i find out if I have HEI or point?
 

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HEI has a large cap with 4 screws holding it down and large coil on top.

Points has smaller cap with a center spark plug type wire going to a seperate coil.

DONT zap yerself, they hurt.
 

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If all is original, you should have a points distributor. As they said above, HEI has coil on top, points has separate coil.

Here's how I would tune up a newly bought car (how I did my elky)

1) Oil and Filter Change. Buy some fresh oil and a filter, I like Purolator filters and Quaker state oil. This is a must on any tune up!

2) Air Filter check/change. Hold a light source up to the outside of the air filter and look through the filter from the other side, if you see light passing through, filter is good, if you cant see much light, buy a new one, only should cost you around $5. Cars gotta breathe.

3) Pop out the fuel filter. One of the most neglected filters on any car, but if a quadrajets (the carb you have) filter clogs up, it could end up in a fire starting under the hood! This small little filter can be accessed by removing the fuel line going into the carb (make sure to use one wrench to loosen line and another to hold fitting right next to line, this keeps the line from twisting). Once fuel line is off, loosen that fitting you held onto and take it off, fuel filter is right behind it. $2 fix saves you a burnt hood and carb rebuild, also keeps fuel flow going.

4) Spark plugs spark plugs spark plugs. These to me are the most important part of the engine and can be a cheap horsepower gain. I prefer a set of AC Delco R45TS plugs on any small block, and they can be purchased for around $16. Gap to .45 and pop them in. If you are satisfied with the plugs still in the block, at least check and regap them if necessary.

5) Plug wires. These may be fine, there's a way to check them
First look at them, do they feel cheap, flimsy, say made in china, small gauge wire, have cracks in outer layer, faded, or have a no name brand on them? If yes to any of that, change it right now. But if you need to check more
Grab your wifes spray bottle for cleaning, and fill with ONLY tap water. set to fine mist and fire up the engine. Open the hood and spray the bottle over the wires, getting them misted. If you see a small electrical lightning storm, change the wires. If you dont see sparks, they should be fine, but anything that sparks should be changed out. Good way to check wiring too (just be careful)
If you replace the wires, remember this, with wires YOU DO GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Big buck wires from a good brand will save you money in the long run by sending a more powerful spark to burn more fuel and waste less gas. However, gold plated -9000 gauge wires are unnecessary. I got a set of wholesale closeout autolites for $14 and I'm satisfied.

6) New rotor and cap. $6 if you shop right. A good spark = more power and economy. Switching these out are only a few screws and small small blots. Takes 10 minutes or less. If you have points, check and adjust, replace if they seem worn. I have HEI so I cant say much here about this subject. Your coil should be fine, if it ran before I wouldn't worry about it.

7) Adjust your timing. You just spent all that time touching up your spark, now make sure its delivered at the right time. Go get a loaner timing light from advanced auto or similar, make a mark with white marker or timing marker on the timing mark on harmonic balancer, and adjust timing via instructions found anywhere on internet. If you feel a little unsure, watch a video or two on youtube and you'll be a pro in 10 minutes. You'll be
surprised how easy it is, and hey, if you loan the light, its a FREEEEE repair! :nanawrench:

8) Change that thermostat. The thermostat controls coolant flow into the radiator from the block. A bad thermostat will lead to overheating, and with their low cost, I dont trust anyone I dont put in. $5 for a new thermostat and $1 for the gasket, and your all set. Follow the upper radiator hose to the fitting that goes into the intake manifold. This fitting is held on by 2 bolts. Unscrew bolts and thermostat is underneath. Swap out for new thermostat, scrap off old gasket and pop on new one, and torque down thermostat housing/attach radiator hose if removed. Then top off your coolant (some may spill out, rags are your friend) and your good to go.

9) top off fluids everywhere else, power steering, brake fluid, and top off your gas tank and go!


Thats about all the tune up you'll need to get going.
Heres a few things to look for

If the oil isnt brown or black, you have issues. White oil usually means blown head gasket. DO NOT RUN ENGINE IF OIL IS WHITE OR ANY NON USUAL COLOR. I MUST STRESS THIS. White oil means water got in it, which usually means blown head gasket. Running the engine any further could cause cracked head or even worse internal engine failure/seizure. You may think your home free with a rebuilt engine, but an improperly replaced gasket or poorly torqued stud could ruin your engine. Take the warning signs as they come. If it doesn't seem right, ask here before going on. We've all been there. I just pulled apart a 4 banger that was ran too long on a blown cylinder head, and lemme tell you, it wasnt pretty nor cheap to fix.

If you hear squeaking whilst engine is running, belts need tightening. Easy fix

hope this helps you!
 

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Tune up

If youve never done a tune up before, do all the non mechanical/ function items first. Air filter,oil change etc. than tackle one item at a time such as new plugs. start vehicle,check for proper operation than move on to plug wires and recheck operation again. 1 thing at a time will save you alot of headaches if you change multiple things and have to undo your work to correct a problem. Good luck!
 

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I highly recommend AC/Delco spark plugs.

Stay away from champion.
 

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If your running points,the HEI swap would be a smart investment.
reman units are available for under $100.
You'll need a coil,cap and rotor,but that's a tune up anyhow.
Another no vote on champion plugs...what a horrible name and a horrible plug.
 

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I HIGHLY SUGGEST #25 autolite plugs yea even in a chevy they work better for me and my combo
:beer:
 
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