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I am in the middle of replacing the old 305 with a 1996-2001 GM cratemotor 350, 255hp with a roller cam and single piece rear main seal. We are removing most of the computer crap and installing an Edelbrock carb and manifold. We have checked different sources for the right distributor to use. Some say a mellonized drive must be used due to the roller cam. Others say not necessary. Anyone out there have experience with this installation? Thanks, Grant.
 

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IIRC GM requires the use of a mellonized gear with their crate engines for warranty purposes.

https://www.gmperformancemotor.com/parts/10456413.html

Have you bought the engine yet? If so it should be in the installation instructions or warranty documents. If all else fails, email GM Parts Direct and ask them.

As a side note, are you using a GM distributor or MSD? Different size shafts so be sure to buy the right gear.
 

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When I did mine I asked the jeggs guy about the distributor drive and I got a new distributor for it that had the right gear. Also with the 96 to 2000 year motor, I had to use an electric fuel pump. The boss for the manual was there but no hole for the fuel pump rod and I don't think the cam has a lobe for it. If you haven't bought the motor yet, go with the 86 to 89 with vortex heads. I believe that is the right years.
 

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Dude, you're putting an OBD II engine in a OBD I vehicle, and plan to make it a GEN I fit out. You are facing so many issues I don't know where to start. I love the idea of going back to the basic, dependable, and simpler days. I had a '72 Blazer that still used points and a carb, and it purred like a kitten. But, for starters, chances are pretty good that your accessories will not bolt up. And that's just starters. I wish you the best of luck, truly. Keep us posted.
 

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I installed that same motor in mine ( L31 motor). It has Vortec heads, so you will need a Vortec specific intake manifold and vortec intake bolts. The stock distributor will not work, as it is ECM controlled. All of the accessories will fit. If you install a new water pump, be sure it is designed for the proper direction, as the L31 uses serpentine ( reverse flow) water pump. if you put the V-belt accessories on this engine, you will need a standard flow ( SBC) water pump. If your current one is good, you can just swap it in. Your flex Plate will need to be for a 1-piece rear main seal (87 or newer). You will need to plug the crank sensor on the timing cover, and you will need an electric fuel pump. The Spark plugs are different too from your old SBC.

The distributor does need to have a melonized gear, or it will mess up the camshaft. The gear can be swapped onto a distributor, but the shaft diameters do change depending on the style of distributor, so I would go to Summit or Jegs and try and get a recommendation.
 

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..yeah,.. it's no fun going down the road at 65 MPH and all of a sudden, "PoP,brrrrr..POP"..then, no oil pressure..!..Hello Neutral and Brakes..!:shocked2:



.. :cool2::cali:
 

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Wow, Gilby, that cam did a number on that distributor gear. I've never seen a picture/evidence of that mismatch problem before. In some ways, no oil pressure could be a blessing in one form...all of that metal filings didn't get sent throughout the internals. Hopefully, you didn't also end up trashing the motor's con rod and main bearings.
 

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Wow, Gilby, that cam did a number on that distributor gear. I've never seen a picture/evidence of that mismatch problem before. In some ways, no oil pressure could be a blessing in one form...all of that metal filings didn't get sent throughout the internals. Hopefully, you didn't also end up trashing the motor's con rod and main bearings.
..nope,caught it in time,drop the pan,clean it out and new oil and filter, running 5w-20 in it now..and a .010 shim under the dist.no more eating gears.:banana:
 

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HOW,can that much metal not be passed thru the engine, after all it was shaving gear till it stopped turning the shaft ? I I sure hope you come out ok on this. You may want to have a oil sample checked after you get it back on the road, after about 15 minutes of running .This should tell you if you have "unwanted " pieces in the metal .:sad:
 

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.."Novelle" threw me a bone on how much play a dist. shaft has, as I stuck the dist.back in, you can lift the rotor to see how much clearance you have between the oil pump shaft , not enough play will result in that cam wear,so,yea, it's important that the right shims are in the dist. as you assemble it ,myself,I stacked two gaskets,give me the right amount of clearance,and,no leaks..:banana:
 
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