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305 roller motors/performance

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by CyberSniper, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I can probably pick up a running 305 TBI roller motor (L03) out of a 1991 Caprice for cheap. Rumor is that I can port the snot out of the heads (much like I did with my truck's 305 heads) and run a used L98 cam to get 300ftlbs and 215hp. All I'd have to do is get a chip burned and I'd have a dirt cheap motor for my wheeling rig.

    Is it worth my time to pull the motor or is my time better spent elsewhere?
     
  2. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    Waste of time and money IMO... the chip getting burned will run you at least 300 unless you know somebody that can do it... Not only will it cost you money but unless you do it on a dyno be prepared to spend large amounts of time finding the "right" curve for your motor.

    You could find a stock tbi a 350 for less money and not need to change the cam out. Not to mention the 350 already has the power the 305 will have, stock. All you'd have to do is pull the harness and ecm out.
     
  3. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    odd, why cant he just use a prominator? seems to be the solution for your TBI issues, but yet it wont work for his.

    i'd agree though. a 305 is a waste of time for anything except a stock milage oriented vehicle.
     
  4. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    The guy at tbichips.com can probably burn me a chip for cheap. I can probably get a L98 cam cheap. The roller 305 would cost me no more than $100... complete with harness and accessories. So, let's say it costs me $250 all said and done after gaskets. I'm not going to find a running TBI 350, let alone a roller TBI 350, for that much money.

    I'm not anticipating needing more than 200hp/300ftlbs in my wheeling rig. Most of my friends have less than that, are carbureted, and do just fine. Heck, my 7 cylinder non-roller TBI 305 is actually adequate.

    Ideally, I'd get a roller TBI 4.3L. It'd be enough motor with a cam and porting... and more importantly light. However, no one has told me exactly what I can find one in.
     
  5. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    The whole thing with chips is it takes more than one try to get em "right". It might work out for you on the first try or it might not. Best way to go is to use a dyno and get it right the first time.

    Yeah i couldn't tell you either... i do know that a 4.3l would be a better choice tho... better mpg, lighter, and same power. My bro has a tbi 4.3 and it got my respect. That thing is a little beast. Lot of people are hot rodding em too.

    185 hp 250 ft lbs stock. since its a 350 missing 2 cylinders its real easy to upgrade the tbi for more power.
     
  6. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    bryan, there is a guy in your parents neck of the woods (Elsie) that will burn a chip for $95. he's a vendor here also and you get a CK5 discount to boot.

    that said, if you can get the motor cheap, why not. if you don't like it, you could always sell it.
     
  7. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I'm no fan of the 305, but for a total investment of under $300.00 for a TBI Rollor motor and chip and cam, I think it'd be a good deal. Personally I'd start with atleast a 350, but all that for under three bills is hard too pass on, heck, it'd be hard too pass on for five bills..
     
  8. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I have a L98 cam coming for a grand total of $15. I figure I'll at least have it even if I don't use it. Putting a L98 cam in a roller 305 motor is actually quite common from what I've been reading. It's a "budget upgrade" for a lot of the F-bodies and Caprices/Roadmasters. I'm thinking since it's a pretty common thing to do someone can burn me a "generic" chip. Chances are, a chip that wasn't spot on would still make more power and torque than I could get out of a 4.3L anyway. I get 17mpg out of my 7 cylinder 305 as it is... I imagine it'd only be better with a roller motor with more torque.

    I'd really like to have a 4.3L... but it'd have to be roller and 87-92. It is real difficult to get any more power out of them because the heads are the worst ever made. The 305 heads that come stock in our trucks flow more than a liberally ported 4.3L head. That makes them real aenemic at high RPM. Since they have two fewer cylinders low RPM torque is less and also less smooth. But, I think it can be done, and more importantly they only weigh like 440lbs. It's really just a stopgap until I can afford a LS1.

    TJ, who is the guy that does chip burning? I didn't even know we had anyone on the forums from my old stomping grounds. Elsie is only like 10 minutes away. I take it he's one of the people that participates in the Carland Road stuff?
     
  9. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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  10. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    Vortecs would be the only answer and i doubt you want to spend that kind of money.

    my bro's is a 91 s-15 4 door jimmy.... not sure if its roller or not...

    give me a couple hours...

    *EDIT*



    1987-1991 Passenger cars and trucks, 87-89 astro/safari vans, 1987-1991 s-10 and s-15 blazers are all roller 4.3's.
     
  11. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    not sure if you know but all 87 and up blocks have provisions for a roller cam. (i think any block with a one piece seal will have it included including some 86's) if you did find a non roller engine, all you would need would be the cam set up i.e the the cam, lifters, pushrods, anti-rotation bars and spider, and the thrust plate. also the factory roller cams require a specific timing chain (i think the thrust plate interferes with the regular timing chain).

    ryan
     
  12. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    While this is true, trucks and vans didn't get roller lifters until 96... and just about all 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton vans I've found got a 305 anyway. Most cars would've gotten the LT1 when it came into existence if it had a 350. The probability of a TBI 350 having roller lifters is miniscule. Buying the parts to convert a non-roller TBI motor would be cost prohibitive. Unless by some weird twist of fate I could find a TBI 350 for an affordable price then put a roller 305's parts in it I'd do it. I've never found a TBI 350 that didn't need major engine work for under $300. I forgot all about the timing set problem, thanks for reminding me. Yet another hidden cost.

    The idea is to stay cheap so I can save for an aluminum motor. After driving around on my barebones rig with big tires... I have an appreciation for lightweight fool-injected vehicles. Maybe those Toylet guys aren't so silly after all. :whistle:
     
  13. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    That is some really good information right there. Did the 90-91 Astro/Safari vans have something wrong with them or something? I know in 92 the 4.3L got that pesky balance shaft.

    Do you know how swappable the crankshafts are?
     
  14. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    i talked to gm several times about the balance shafts and cranks on the 4.3's. all 4.3 newer 4.3s use the same crank. and you can just leave the little timing gear off the balance shaft if you like. (actually i was trying to get rid of a random misfire in a 03 safari) there was no difference in the way the engine ran with the balance shaft not turning.

    well, i've said this before on the roller cam stuff...but the best place to get one cheap is to buddy up with a marine engine rebuilder. alot of the small blocks come with rollers, and they take the cams and such out and put flat tappet cams back in. i just happen to get my roller set up out of a 99 vortec, but that engine spun a rod so im hesitant about using the lifters. i am getting a set of lifters for $20.

    ryan
     
  15. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    the 90-91 safari/astro van 4.3's aren't rollers...

    don't know why.
     

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