As you said, you had a story of a crate with a simple camshaft swap and manifold. We’d go with an Edelbrock Performer EGR manifold (PN 3701), and the matching camshaft (PN 3702). This camshaft shaft specs out at 194/214 duration at 0.050-inch tappet lift, 0.396/0.442-inch max lift, and is ground on 112 centers. You will notice that this is a very short camshaft. It was originally developed back in 1985 to work in the LG4 305s, which were computer controlled. Oh yeah, that’s the engine that’s in your ’Elco. This camshaft will work in concert with your factory computer calibration and pass emissions in the state of California. The short nature of this camshaft will produce great throttle response and make outstanding slow-speed torque. The engine will make strong power to 5,000 rpm and produce about 250 hp through the stock exhaust manifolds and cat.
If you wish to step up to headers, you could also add the Edelbrock TES system, which is emissions legal in California and will boost your peak horsepower on this package by around 20 hp. The TES system for your LG4 305-equipped El Camino is PN 68783. This kit will bolt right in to your El Camino’s factory 21/4-inch catalytic converter. If you wish to step up the exhaust to the high-flow Corvette four-bolt–style converter, go with PN 68793. This, in conjunction with a nice after-cat exhaust, will round out your emissions-legal engine swap nicely.
We know this engine won’t turn the world with its sheer power, but it will give you a great daily driver that will get decent gas mileage and produce over 100 hp more than the stock 305! This will make a big difference in the fun factory with your ’Elco. Good luck! CHP
Sources: edelbrock.com, elwaydealers.com