Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350! - Camaro Forums - Chevy Camaro Enthusiast Forum


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Old 12-23-2008, 11:14 PM
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Default Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

Bad news for me. My 305 has a blown head gasket and repairs are too costly for me to justify fixing that engine. Good news for me. On January 1st, there is a junkyard near me that is selling everything 50% off which means I can snag any complete engine for $100 and transmission for $60. What I need to know is how to easily tell the difference between a 305 and a 350 (I want to come home with a 350). I have heard I can check the casting numbers or pull a head and measure the bore width. Since pulling a head can be time consuming, especially since there are a bunch-o-'maros to check, I assume casting numbers are my best bet. If I am checking the casting numbers, does that mean I have to check it with some database or is there some number sequence that tells me, or is there some magical way I can tell the difference?

ALSO, what should I look for when pulling an engine to make sure I am grabbing one of good rebuild quality?

Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:22 PM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

One way to tell is the valve covers. The 305 has 4 bolts one on each corner... and the 350 has ribbed covers with 4 bolts going through the top of the cover.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:29 PM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

Kudos! But not all 305s have the 4 bolts on the corners. My 305 actually has 4 across the middle ... then again I should check my casting numbers to see if maybe I have been lied to and have been slipped a 350 instead. Not likely, but possible ... Any other tips guys? And how would I tell by the casting numbers?
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:35 PM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

87 and up 305's have center bolt covers as well. There could be either a 5.0 or a 5.7 casting on the block. Look near the bellhousing.
Also, print this out and take it with you:
Block Casting Codes
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

I'll take a look for the 5.0/5.7 casting some time when there is sunlight out again. I was pretty sure they changed the bolt position too (Wikipedia told me). And thanks a lot for that guide. I knew you were good for something
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:05 AM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

lol, kyle, we only wish it would be that easy to tell the difference between the 350 and 305. My 87 has Centre top valve cover bolts aswell.
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:58 AM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

What about the VIN number? Unless the engine's been swapped, the 8th digit should indicate the engine type:
S = 173 CID, V-6, 2BBL, MFI
H = 305 CID, V-8, 4BBL F = 305 CID, V-8, TPI
8 = 350 CID, V-8, TPI

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Old 12-24-2008, 06:59 AM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

My 350 v-covers has bolts in the 4 corners so you cant go with that. sometimes there is a casting number on the underside of the block under the exhaust manifold. If it is clean you can read it and it will actually have 305 or 350 embossed into the block. There is a casting number on the back of the block that is a serial number. It is located on the drivers side behind the valve covers.

If you want to increase your odds of finding a good engine you should look for a car that is completely trashed like it went through a heller wreck. they are more likely to be put there with a working engine rather than one that looks nice. If a nice car is sittting in the junkyard it is more likely the engine is trashed.

If you are carbed you can go with many other 350's , you dont have to limit yourself to camaros. one thing you want to know is if any of them are a four bolt main. The junkyard should be used to dealing with this kind of stuff and have a list of compatible ones.

A helpful hint I have is to pull the spark plugs and put the tranny in nuetral, (you may not need to put in nuetral but jic it may have a bad torque converter) and take off the belts. Then put a socket and ratchet on the harmonic balancer bolt and see if it will turn the engine clockwise. if so then the engine isnt seized.

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Old 12-24-2008, 07:30 AM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

here ya go dude. the easiest way to tell is go to www.mortec.com and print out the casting numbers for the small block endines. 350's and 305's after 86 or so both had center bolts on the valve covers before 86 or so they all had 4 bolts around the paramiter edge
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: Train my eyes to differentiate between a 305 and 350!

An easy way to tell is the harmonic balancer. 305 balancers are thicker than 350 balancers. However, like the casting numbers, that isnt a sure fire way to tell. If I were you, I wouldnt be looking at Camaros. Look for old conversion vans or trucks. Pull the oil pan and see if it is a 2 or 4 bolt main, you will want a 4 bolt main to begin with.
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1991, 305, 350, balancer, block, camaro, difference, differents, engine, harmonic, iroc, munbers, serial, small, visual, z28

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