1973 el camino luck of power

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1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:41 pm

Hello,
I just dropped 1980 corvette 350 motor that I purchased in my 1973 el camino. The reason for that was the fact that el camino had original 350 motor rated at 145 hp.
Well I got the car running and driving but doesn't seem that it gained any power. I mean I run the numbers before I purchasedit aand it rated at 200-255hp, and I know timing will need some adjustments as well as eldebrock carb..
Any one can point me in the right direction or have any suggestions I would really appreciate.
Thanks
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by pila on Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:06 am

The ignition timing has an effect on the power you feel alright. Condition of the vacuum and mechanical advance in the distributor might be something to check, to see if they are moving OK & not stuck, rusted etc. Is it an HEI distributor ? Your '73 was originally a points type of course.

If the power is there, even a 2-barrel carb will show it.

What is the overall condition of the engine ? Mileage ? Maybe a compression test would help validate it's condition etc.
Let us know a bit more about it, and maybe we can help......

Bill

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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by 77mali on Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:49 am

A compression test is a good idea. A poor running carb and the timing being off will also affect how it feels on the throttle, like mentioned. Check for any tell tale signs of wear & tear on the valve train as well.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:55 am

Yes it is HEI distributor . The motor supousely had 70,000 miles and I did hear it run before I bought it, it is in pretty good shape over all.. It original came with Holley carb but my original motor had eldebrock and I also bought eldebrock performer rpm intake.. Maybe I should put Holley carb back on it? I let you know what I find out.. Thx for help
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by dynchel on Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:04 am

If I'm understanding this right the motor (corvette) is stock?  1980 corvette was not known to be a really strong performer when new.  If your car has crappy gears (2:73 or something similar) it will just add to the slowness . Idk what your budget is but some small CC heads and a cam would help.  If you are wanting to do some performance work, post up in the performance section.  Bracketchev would be the man to get you moving. Beer
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by 77mali on Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:56 am

Unlike most our our cars there is a wealth of info for 'vettes on the web for you to verify what you have, provided your engine pad still has the factory codes. The L-82 is a great motor- reliable and built well. I hope you got one.

"1980 Corvette engines have the last six digits of the VIN stamped on the block after the engine number. The date code the engine was manufactured was also cast into the block. The engine serial number includes a production sequence number starting with 0001001 and one of the suffixes below.

Code Engine        Horsepower Compression Transmission Fuel
ZCA  LG4 305-cid 180-hp V-8 8.5:1        Automatic    Four-Barrel  

ZAM  L48 350-cid 190-hp V-8 8.2:1        Manual    Four-Barrel  

ZAK  L48 350-cid 190-hp V-8 8.2:1        Automatic    Four-Barrel

ZBC  L82 350-cid 230-hp V-8 9.0:1        Automatic    Four-Barrel"

http://vettefacts.com/c3/1980.aspx
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:54 pm

Its got ZAK stamped on from of the motor
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:36 pm

Ok I think I found the reason car got no power. I don't know if this is correct term but timing skips, its at 14 degrees when is set on first cylinder where it should be at 8 . I'm replacing timing gears and chain tomorrow. Hopefully that solves the issue.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by ant7377 on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:26 am

A bad timing chain would give you a miss. If you back off timing that much its going to feel even more sluggish. I bet your distributor is the original from the vette. It dosent make much advance quickly. Id get rid of that first.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:52 pm

I agree. The l-48 engine was not really a performance engine. It could be more from the corvettes exhaust and accessories. It may have a slightly larger cam but nothing noticeable but the difference in ratings would hardly be noticeable. And retarding the timing 6 degrees will make feel sluggish.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by chevellelaguna on Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:27 pm

I'd pull the distributor and check for any excessive slop in the shaft, that'd make the timing skip all over the place as well.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by 77mali on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:48 pm

rogal_tx wrote:Its got ZAK stamped on from of the motor

Good motor- similar to the 190 hp version of the GM "Goodwrench" crate and they still sell lots of them. At least it's not the 1975 Vette LQ-4. That's the dog motor to beat all in a Corvette- except maybe the 82 "cross-fire injected" 350. All you'd really need is slight cam upgrade to give it more horses.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:16 am

I will post updates when I replace the timing chain and gears. Hopefully that will solve the problem with luck of power. Any suggestions on what cam I could upgrade to?
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by 77mali on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:53 am

I would get a recommendation from Comp Cams or one of the other reputable companies.  If it's a bone stock motor- you should be able to find the specs on the cylinder heads.  If you just want to do the cam- they should be able to give you some choices that will work w/ your current heads & rocker set up. You should get new push rods & lifters w/ a new cam- Comp sells kits that can include all those components.

I have an 88 block which I had bored to 355 and installed a Comp XE 262 with new pistons.  I had 305 swirl polished heads on a 350 block so, I upgraded to vortec heads & manifold.  Motor is spec'd out to 350 hp & 415 ft lbs.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:03 am

You have a low compression engine to start with, so I suggest looking for a cam with adv duration of 258 degrees or less on the intake. The best selling cam for comp is in the 250-252 range last time I looked so that should give you an idea what most people are happy with.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:29 pm

I will get the timing fixed and see how it runs. My budget got low since I spend more than I was planning already. I really appreciate all comments and suggestions from everyone. Will post the update probably tomorrow when I get it running again.
Thx
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:17 pm

Got an update some what good.. Replaced timing chain with gears and still car had no power. Had to move the distributor couple teeth and adjust it. Also moved vacoom line to port on the right (eldebrock carb) for constant vacuum. Than plated with timing and vacuum Gauge to adjust the carb. The car screams and takes off without hesitation. Its not perfect still needs more adjusting but its a good start.. Does anyone knows what rear end gears came with 73 el camino? Thatis might be next think to look at.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by dynchel on Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:25 pm

rogal_tx wrote:Got an update some what good.. Replaced timing chain with gears and still car had no power. Had to move the distributor couple teeth and adjust it. Also moved vacoom line to port on the right (eldebrock carb) for constant vacuum. Than plated with timing and vacuum Gauge to adjust the carb. The car screams and takes off without hesitation. Its not perfect still needs more adjusting but its a good start.. Does anyone knows what rear end gears came with 73 el camino? Thatis might be next think to look at.
I'm pretty sure that there is no guarantee on gears (based on vehicle) it could be anything from 2:73's to 3:42's.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by pila on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:37 pm

X2 on a low duration cam. As an example, I've had good luck with the Comp Cams HE252 cam. I even out one in a friend's boat, which had a Mercruiser 305 Chevy in it. He couldn't get a skier up off of the water until I changed the cam to the 252, so it DOES work.

How is your HEI wired ? The ignition power from the switch on your years has a resistor built into the wire going to the distributor, and provides only 9 volts to the distributor, 12 volts on the "start" position of the ign switch. Has that been changed ? ....to provide the full 12 volts ? If not, you need to rewire it with a good wire, like a 16 gauge, to get good amperege to the distributor, to a tab on the fuse block that is marked IGN, which will supply the full 12 volts when the ign (key) is on....

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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:53 pm

I'm looking for 12 bolt posi track rear end. What gears should I be looking for? To put some more power to the ground? Or can could I keep existing 10 bolt and replace gears? Mayb full spool? Will that help? (I'm not sure how spool affects the driving)
I have wire going from fuse box marked ign to distributor already.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by pila on Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:05 am

A 10-bolt rear end will likely take all the power you will have, even with mods to your 350.......

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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by rogal_tx on Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:24 am

I found corporate 10 bolt 8 1/2 spooled with 4.88 richmond racing gears for 300. Is it worth it?
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by chevellelaguna on Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:56 am

Just the spool and the gears are worth that. Not sure you'd want to be running a spool on a lot of street driving. 4.88 gear will get you outta the hole much quicker though. Wil kill your top end! It would be fun to drive though! I have a 3.42 posi, always wanted to put in a crazy 4.56-4.88 gear in mine.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:58 am

No you don't want that. A spool is not good for the street. Race gears are softer than street gears and wear fast. And 4.88 is a ratio way out of range for what you need. You need a limited slip differential like an eaton or even an auburn. And a 3.42-3.73 gear is all you would need.
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

Post by 77mali on Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:15 am

You can check the casting #'s on the axle shaft.  They should be on the passenger side facing forward.  If your under the car on your back with you head facing the front of the car- look to the left of where the drive shaft meets the diff. housing.  You might need some grease remover and a flashlight.  There are codes on the site that should tell you.  You might also have a tag on the diff somewhere.

http://www.g3gm.com/Chevrolet-Rear-End-Codes-h25.htm
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Re: 1973 el camino luck of power

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