When David Kauffung, a jeweler by trade, decided to build an engine for the Engine Masters Challenge, he was decidedly pleased with the format allowing any production engine to compete at the factory bore and stroke (plus tolerance). What he had was a limited budget, and a well used 305 that had been lying around for years. The old engine even sat out in the weather, but a thick coating of grease had protected the bores since the mill was pulled from an old Nova. David says: "The heads were off, and I noticed the bores looked pretty good, so I covered them with grease for protection in case I ever wanted to use the old block one day." That day finally came when David was considering what to build for the EMC competition. The old 305 had a couple of things going for it as far as David was concerned. He tells us: "The 305 Chevy has one of the longest stroke-to-cubic-inch ratios of any engine, which is a plus for low-end, and I already had it."

Far from a spare-no-expense effort, the 305 was going to be built on a real budget. David tells us the total outlay, including the engine, was right around $2,500. Since David is not a professional engine builder, the resources going into this buildup were tight (just as it is with many of our readers) and high-end machining was going to be costly. Instead, David looked at the stock engine and decided what was still going to be serviceable. "The stock bores showed almost no wear, like less than a half a thousandth, and the crank looked really good, too. It was surprising, considering the engine had clocked a good 200,000 miles before it was pulled. Actually, even the bearings looked good enough to re-use, though I did use the new ones that came in the rebuild kit," he says. Prep on the bottom end and block was minimal, and since there was no over-boring or crank grinding, the costs were also rock-bottom.

David relates: "I just took some sandpaper wrapped around my hand, and ran it up and down the bores with a twisting action to break the glaze, and that was it." A new set of Federal Mogul hypereutectic pistons replaced the dished stockers in the standard bores. Likewise, the stock rods were going to offer the best dollar effectiveness in connecting the crank to the pistons, so they were simply reconditioned and fitted with ARP bolts for strength. This rod and piston combination relies on OEM press-fit pin retention, as opposed to the floating pins found on most performance or race engines. This was good enough for GM in millions of production small-blocks, and good enough for this economical 305 buildup. The seal was provided by a set of Speed-Pro moly rings. The 5/64-inch compression rings are far thicker than the race-type thin ring sets of many competitors, but again, it was the cost-conscious alternative, considering the other components that made up the parts selection.

Looking to squeeze a little more power out of the stock cast-iron crank, David spent time profiling the counterweights and cleaning up the casting, though the process was definitely not high-tech. Dave told us: "I smoothed the crank and streamlined it using an autobody sander." The objective here was to make the crank less prone to parasitic windage losses that soak up horsepower. From a practical standpoint, cutting down on power losses is just as productive as making more power in the first place, and when using low-tech stock parts there are usually areas where improvements can be found.

Of course, a major part of an engine's power combination is the airflow system, and here Kauffung knew that the stock iron 305 smog heads were not going to offer the required flow. Looking for an alternative, the choice was made to use the GMPP aluminum Fast Burn Vortec heads. These heads are known for a very efficient combustion chamber and quite a flow improvement over factory iron. The heads were treated to detail work, but not an all-out porting, keeping most of the work confined to the bowls and valves. David, having limited specialized cylinder head machinery, improvised with a bit of handy work on some of the operations. As he explains: "I don't have a valve grinding machine, so to do the back-cuts I used a drill press to spin the valves and detail them with a hand file, putting a nice radius in to improve the airflow. I did some similar work around the valve seats, and also worked on the 'guide boss, though I probably could have narrowed it some more." The result of the effort was an improvement in airflow from around 240 to 265 cfm on the intake port.

The complimentary intake manifold is GMPP's high-rise Vortec single-plane. The manifold, like the heads, did not receive extensive porting, but just some cleanup at the top of the runner entrance and removal of some casting flash. One area that did show a decent gain when tested was a custom-built plenum divider. The divider slots into the manifold, and can be easily installed and removed. On the dyno, David indicates there was about 20 lb-ft of torque to be gained with the divider in place. Topping the manifold is a familiar OEM carb-a spreadbore Quadrajet. One of the attractions to this type of carb was of course cost, and when looking at available cfm of flow per dollar, a used stock carb of 800-cfm capacity represents quite a value. A four-hole spacer was added between the carb and the intake to increase torque. Although the OEM carb worked well, David stated that he is not opposed to an aftermarket carb. "A Holley squarebore may have added some more power, and it's something I'd like to try if I was to test this engine again."

As important as the airflow system is, the cam and valvetrain must work in harmony to achieve a good performance engine. Here, Kauffung went with a COMP solid flat-tappet with rather conservative specifications. With an intake duration of 229 degrees (at .050), and 238 degrees on the exhaust, the cam is anything but radical. Combined with a 112-degree lobe-separation angle, the overall result can almost be called mild. The engine had a smooth idle and high manifold vacuum, making the combination a very good setup for street use. Kauffung admits that the cam could have been a little more aggressive, particularly in the lobe separation. "Looking back, I probably should have gone with something a little narrower. Actually, after reading about some testing in Engine Masters magazine, I knew I missed on that," David says. Even with the rather short-duration specs, the lift at the valves was substantial, thanks to the 1.65:1 ratio of the PRW rocker arms, providing .538-/.553-inch lift on the intake and exhaust valves, respectively. COMP beehive springs were also an integral part of the package, offering light weight and excellent control for high-rpm stability.

Overall, the engine built by David Kauffung is not a piece that will pose a serious threat to an all-out drag racing engine, but it illustrates several notable points. It goes to show what can be done with a combination retaining a majority of OEM parts, on an everyday budget-even when the subject is the generally neglected 305 Chevy. With nearly 400 hp and a good street idle, this engine shows the potential few realize in the 305. The fact that these results were achieved with a fairly mild assortment of readily available parts makes it even better.

Bore: 3.736 inches
Stroke: 3.48 inches
CID: 305 ci
Compression ratio: 10.3:1
Camshaft: COMP solid flat-tappet
Cam duration: 229/238 degrees at .050 inch tappet rise
Cam lobe lift: 329/.335 inch
Rocker arms: PRW
Rocker ratio: 1.65:1

Lobe separation: 112 degrees
Installed centerline: 107 degrees
Top ring: Speed-Pro 5/64-inch moly
Top ring gap: .022 inch
Second ring: Speed-Pro taper-face
5/64-inch iron
Second ring gap: .018 inch
Oil ring: Speed-Pro
Piston: Federal Mogul hypereutectic flat-top
Block: production GM
Crankshaft: stock GM 305
Rods: stock GM 305, 5.7 inch
Main bearing clearance: .0025 inch
Rod bearing clearance: .002 inch  
Cylinder heads: GM Fast Burn No. 12464298
Peak intake flow: 265 cfm
Intake valve diameter: 2.00 inch
Exhaust valve diameter: 1.55 inch
Intake manifold: GM Vortec Eliminator
Carburetor: 800-cfm Quadrajet
Header: Hedman
Ignition: MSD
Distributor: Pro Comp
Damper: stock GM 8-inch
Water pump: Jegs

2,600 298 147
2,800 309 165
3,000 316 181
3,200 321 195
3,400 319 207
3,600 317 218
3,800 331 239
4,000 346 263
4,200 354 283
4,400 357 299
4,600 360 315
4,800 363 332
5,000 364 346
5,200 361 358
5,400 356 366
5,600 351 374
5,800 345 381
6,000 340 389
6,200 333 393
6,300 328 394
6,400 312 393

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