El Camino 305ci


New Member
Dec 21, 2012
68 el camino
Hi all, im new to this site and am looking for insite to building our car, i've recently picked up a 68 el camino, originaly it came with a 307ci, i believe it has a 305ci engine in it according to the block numbers T0710DWA, i think this is a Towanda july 10th 1979 engine.possibly a oldsmobile?..please correct me if im wrong, but theres the other number below that on the block, 39D493554 im hoping theres someone that can tell me what this means, either way this is what i have and will be working on it as a Father/Son project when my Son returns from his stint in the Marines


Staff member
Oct 7, 2012
1976 Chevy Cheyenne 1500 P/U
I want to personally thank your son for standing up and help defend America!
My heart felt thanks and prayers are with him until he returns safely home!
God bless the sons and daughters that stand and serve to protect the homeland, and God bless America!

Regards this engine in your El Camino;
The first number you list, T0710DWA, is the Engine Assembly Code.
You had the first part right; T = Tonawanda (engine assembly plant), 0710, (date code) July 10, DWA = Engine Suffix Code, this decodes as follows; 1979, 305 cid, 190 HP, Auto/OD (transmission), 4 BBl, 190 HP, G (Body).
The second number, 39D493554, is the Engine Partial VIN Number.
It decodes as follows; 3 = Oldsmobile, 9 = 1979, D = Doraville, GA (vehicle assembly plant), 493554 = vehicle partial vin number.
In 1979, the Doraville, GA plant assembled Oldsmobile Cutlass a G Body car, and Chevy Malibu, also a G Body.

If you boys are determined to build the 305 for the '68 El Camino, I'd suggest you choose all your internal components to produce as much torque as possible!
The '68 El Camino is a heavy vehicle!
My son rebuilt a '70 El Camino he salvaged from a junk yard.
The thing weights close to 4,000 pounds! Takes a lot of torque to get it moving fairly quickly!
The one he got from the junk yard also had a 305 in it.
We got a 350 from the same yard for about 100$, rebuilt it ourselves.
Put domed pistons in it for about 200$, reduced the truck heads (that were on the 350) combustion chambers down from 76cc to 62cc, put the compression ratio at 9.5:1, up from about 8:1.
We put a tall , wide Comp Cam in, with a set of 1.6:1 ratio stamped roller tip rockers.
Then, a bunch of other stuff! :)
When we got everything dialed in, we were running 365 HP, but, the torque was about 415 ft/lbs.
And, the El Camino ran real good! :D
305's can be made to produce a fair amount of HP, but torque is where acceleration is.
I've found, over the years, there's just no replacement for displacement!
An engine will build more HP, but more importantly, more torque, with more CID!
I'm just sayin'. . . . .

Another worthy modification for the '68 El Camino; swap out for disc brakes on the front, get rid of those drums brakes!
Those other G bodies (Cutlass, Monte Carlo, Malibu, etc.) '71 and later have disc brakes.
Should basically bolt right up.
Get the front discs, calipers, master cylinder/vacuum booster, proportioning valve, tubings, etc. (you may have to get the A Frames also, no biggie), from a wrecking yard for pretty cheap (especially if you can pull them yourself) and swap those brakes out!
Once you get your engine built and the El Cam running great, you'll find it can be a little hard to stop, quickly!!
That's what we had!! More GO, then WHOA!! :eek:
I did a complete rebuild on the drum brakes of the '70 El Cam, still was not pleased with the stopping ability!
Then we did the brake swap! After i got the boy out of it! He really wasn't much of boy at that point, about 35 years old.

Another suggestion; when we were removing the engine/transmission, knowing we were going to work on the brakes and front suspension and add some other stuff under the hood, we removed the entire front clip (hood, grill, both front fenders) in one unit.
Took us about 2 hours, really made all the rest of the work much, much easier!!

While you sons away, you can start scrounging parts for the build and getting ideas and such.
Once he gets home, you boys will be ready to take it apart and put it back together so's it'll roar and leap forward!!
Enjoy your build!


New Member
Dec 21, 2012
68 el camino
thank you for the info and the kind words for my Recruit, you confirmed most of what i was thinking. i have already looked into the disc brake conversion and started working on the car by aquiring some of the necessary parts, My Son is in Parris Island now and will be joining the ranks in February, i will put your information to good use and send him some encouraging mail to read as well
Thanks again,

Latest threads