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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

First off, I'm not the mechanic. I'm the computer geek of the family that found the website. The mechanic and his helper (my Hubby) are currently frustrated beyond belief and not quite to the point of focusing on a solution. They're more intent on blowing steam and kicking dirt. So.....if I sound a bit green, this is why.

We are in the process of fixing our boat (aka Break Out Another Thousand). Earlier this month, we found out to our dismay the block was cracked on this monster we'd just purchased last year and had on the lake 2 times. Ran it very gently, so I have a feeling the problem was there when we purchased this thing.

At any rate, we ordered a reman'd engine from Auto Zone. The original is said to be an '80 305. What we got from the AZ wherehouse simply states it's an '80 to '85 5 liter, which I'm told is really a 305. Well, we're finding out there are differences. The oil pan needed to be changed out, the dipstick is on the opposite side, and a few other items. Tonight, it's almost back together. They find top dead center on cylinder 1 and are trying to set the distributor. No matter what we try, this distributor shaft appears to 'lock' into place internally, however the shaft still has a good 1/2" sticking up. They can't get it to fit properly. AZ claims there is no difference in the shaft lengths on these distributors and came up with the prognosis that the oil pump may be different?? (clueless here on that one except that would be really curious as I'm of the understanding that the oil pump came with this new engine!) I'm hoping that's not the likely explanation as it would require jerking the engine again. :angry:

Any thoughts out there???
 

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As a fellow 305 owner, WHY IN GODS NAME DID YOU GET ANOTHER 305!! And why from all places, auto zone... You could have got a stronger, better, and cheaper 350. Just a thought.
Yes, the 305 is 5.0 liters. Not to be confused with the Ford 5.0 that is 302 cubic inches or the Chevy 5.0 302 cubic inches made from 67-69.

There could possibly be a difference with the size of the dizzy cap. They have several caps from coil-in-cap HEI, or a seperate coil from the distributor. Make sure that the gears are meshing with the cam gear.
If its set in, and the gears are meshed well, then you should be able to turn the engine, and you can see the rotor spin as you turn the engine by hand. If the rotor isnt spinning, the cam and dizzy gear arent meshing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Big Al! LOL, well getting another 305 was due to worries about everything (water jackets, etc.) bolting back together without headaches and fitting where it should in the boat compartment. Being novices at this stuff, well.......

The AZ choice was a price consideration. Everyone else wanted $200-500 more. Thanks for the ray of hope. We hadn't tried turning the engine to see if the gears meshed, as I think they were concerned about keeping it at TDC. What the heck, they can turn it back around again. We'll try testing that.

Thanks!!
 

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You wouldn't of had to worry about a 350 fitting in and bolting up to anything. They'd fit in and bolt up to everything just like the 350 came stock. That's besides the point though.

First off, I think you should have made sure Auto Zone ordered you the exact replacement engine for your particular vehicle. So it should have been whatever came with the car for whatever model year it is. Since you are having all of these problems, Auto Zone needs to correct this because they obviously sold you an engine that isn't your original replacement.

Simply put, I would ask them to cover the cost of all extraordinary expenses that have occured since the beginning of the engine swap. It seems that the differences between the two 305's are a result of the neglegence on Auto Zone's behalf. If you talk to the right person at Auto Zone, they will accomodate your needs.

I've been in the stupid auto parts business for over 2 years now, and although that's not a lot, I know how the Auto Zones, Advanced, Napa, Pep Boys, etc work.
 

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I want to make sure I fully understand you. Are you saying that the distributor will not seat all the way down because the shaft that drives the oil pump is too long? If so, then like BigAl said, make sure everything is meshing. That includes the distributor to cam gear and the oil pump drive shaft to distrubutor and oil pump. Based on my general engine experience (not 305 specific), that's likely the problem.

If you guys already figured out the problem let us know what happened.
 

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One thing you should be aware of when you do get it back together, is that the engines that stern drive mfg's use are based on passenger car/truck engines, but they are heavily beefed up versions to deal with the stress of marine use. Car engines don't need to be made to withstand continuous operation above 4000 rpms under load like boat engines do. Even most truck engines aren't subjected to as much stress.

Your engine will probably do fine, but I wouldn't expect it to last as long as a proper marine version of the engine would. I've got a 305 in my boat, and works well without (quite) breaking the bank fuel-wise.

A cracked block in a boat sounds like improper winterization, if you live in a cold climate and it's got an open cooling system (no heat exchanger). They didn't get antifreeze circulated throughout the engine when they put it away for the winter. Just a guess, but make sure it's done properly at the end of this season.
 

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Holy cow i'm slow. I thought when she said it was a boat, I was thinking like a Caprice being that it's like a big boat! I didn't know it was actually a boat :lol:
 

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BTW, Caterina, "Break Out Another Thousand" is a great name for a boat!

We unofficially name our first boat (which we only had for 2 1/2 months) the Blue Nightmare.
 

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EDIT: Sorry, I'm new. I just realized this thread is over a month old. I HOPE you fixed this by now :)

Since one of the folks working on this thing is a 'mechanic', i assume he knows theres basicly 2 'all the way in' feelings on a chevy distributor? The first feeling of the dist falling is the the distributor gear meshing with the cam gear. the second is the harder one. theres a small rod in the bottom of the distributor that has to fit into a groove down there. if the rod doesnt slide in, you'll have a distributor sticking about an extra 1/2" above the intake. just my $.02
 
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