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Discussion Starter #1
Am considering having my 305 changed to a 350. Have oil leaks and a lifter making noise. Figure it would be better to change than repair. Need suggestions as to where to get a good crate engine, what type, LS or carb? Will I also have to have the transmission changed? Obviously, I'm not a mechanic, so need recommendations before I begin. Thanks.
 

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A 350 is an easy drop in if everything else is working good. An LS with a carb is probably the next step up with the price going up accordingly. The trans can stay either way, but a spacer is required for the LS swap. Fuel injection LS is costly but IMO worth it in the end, however, mine took me 3 years to complete. Honestly I could have done it in a month or two but would still be paying off credit cards! All I can say is get all the input you can and go with what feels the most comfortable as far as price and output is concerned. Not knowing what trans you have and the condition it is in is also a factor. If it is working well and you are happy with it's performance I would factor that in and consider the crate 350 or some other form of small block that would drop in with ease. Good luck and glad to hear from you and that you are well, I missed you at the 60th and hope to catch you at another show in the future.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Elly Girl
Possibly Ralph (HotRodElCo) can provide an update on the BluePrint crate engine he installed into an El Camino in 2014. If it is still local, he may have heard comments on reliability, performance and if any warranty work was needed.

https://www.elcaminocentral.com/showthread.php?t=95969
He will probably be doing the work for me. Just trying to get a bit better informed before I talk to him.
 

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hey Deanna
X2 on talking to Hotrod
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are you still running the Computer now?? are you keeping it??
what transmission is in there now??
what rear-end gear-ratio is in there now??
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are you happy with the power level now??
how many horse-powers do you think you'll need??
are you going drag racin or long hiway trips or local grocery getter with a little attitude ??
.
:texas:
 

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It'll bolt right in.
 

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All very good advice.

Get the answers to JJ's questions firmed up and then go talk to Ralph.

Maybe take the car to him and let him take her for a good drive to better evaluate it.
 

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Unless you are going for a lot of HP, it's hard to beat one of the GM crate engines. Jegs usually has good prices, and free shipping. Should be an easy direct bolt in using all of your stock parts, and even the Computer can stay if you are still using it.
 

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I have the 195hp 350 from Jegs. Arrived in 3 days free shipping.
It works well for me.
JP
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the good advice. Not looking for speed, just dependability. Hope to keep my auto trans, but have been told it's leaking also. Time for new seals. Would love to get rid of the carb. Feel I can trust Ralph to lead me in the right direction. Don't really want to buy an $18,000 engine. LOL
 

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Dependability, can't go wrong with a new crate motor with warranty! While your at it, have the trans front pump seal, rear seal and a new filter and pan gasket replaced and you should be good to go for quite a while! One other thing, a crate 350 will be so much improvement over the 305 you'll wonder why you waited so long!

Joe
 

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Deanna

Think of the power train of your El Camino as a system. Each part of that system not only contributes to the overall performance, yet it influences the other parts of the system. This is not just on performance, it is true on reliability too.

Changing one part, like engine from 160 HP to 400HP could affect the reliability of the current trans. Changing the trans to include overdrive may require a change to the rear end ratio.

I am glad to hear that you will be looking to work with HotRodElCo or similar individual to help guide you.

However, the best place to start is with the 6 questions from JJLT1.
I might suggest answering his questions 4,5,& 6 first, then questions 1,2,& 3.

Let use know if we can help answer questions about what you currently have installed. I will also PM you with how to add your car to your "GARAGE" feature. It is really easy and we can help there too. I know you have some nice images to add to your "GARAGE".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Going to visit with Ralph tomorrow and will follow his advice. Will let you all know what we decide. Not interested in a lot of power, not going to be drag racing at my age. LOL But, do want something that looks impressive when I pop the hood.
 

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I would get a low compression 454 with a th400 if I was going to go through all that.. All that torque would make your car a blast to drive and all on 87 octane. I have a 78 truck 454 in my 69 elco and love it! I'm always happy to see those big valve covers when I look under the hood of a car..
In any case I would stay with a carb and points/HEI ignition on a mostly stockish motor.. Drag motors on the street are anything but fun..
 

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hey Deanna
X2 on talking to Hotrod
.
are you still running the Computer now?? are you keeping it??
what transmission is in there now??
what rear-end gear-ratio is in there now??
.
are you happy with the power level now??
how many horse-powers do you think you'll need??
are you going drag racin or long hiway trips or local grocery getter with a little attitude ??
.
:texas:




X3 on talking to Hotrod :whaasup:​
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Talked to Ralph today. He knows what I want and will be able to start sometime next year, as he is busy right now. Decided to go ahead and do several things that will make it perform, show and sound better. Am sure I will be very pleased when it's done. Most of the things he suggested were greek to me, but I trust him.
 

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Talked to Ralph today. He knows what I want and will be able to start sometime next year, as he is busy right now. Decided to go ahead and do several things that will make it perform, show and sound better. Am sure I will be very pleased when it's done. Most of the things he suggested were greek to me, but I trust him.
Thank You Deanna, I appreciate your trust with that beauty, and can't wait to make it the driver you want.:texas:
 
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