Driveline / Engine & Exhaust / Q&A / Tech

Monday Mailbag: Camaro Questions: 305 or 350? Tranny Swap or Rebuild?

Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—Mondays when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re decoding mysteries of the IROC-Z.

 

J.M. • Lake City, FL
Q: I have a 1988 Chevy Camaro IROC-Z with TPI. It has a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. I want to rebuild the transmission because I like the gearing. However, I am not quite sure what kind of transmission it is. Is it a good idea to rebuild it or should I just get a new one?

Also, how can I tell if my engine is a 305 or a 350? The Camaro has a 120-mile-per-hour speedometer—does that indicate if it’s a 305 or a 350?

 

A: To determine if it’s equipped with a 305 or 350, check the VIN tag. It’s normally located in the door jam or engine compartment. If you read the VIN from left to right, the eighth digit represents the engine code. It will be the letter E if it’s a 305 or the number 8 if it’s a 350. If your Camaro has had an engine swap, then you need to locate the casting number off of the block. The number is located at the top, left rear of the block between the driver side head and the bellhousing.

Based on your vehicle specs, your transmission is a 700R4. The gearing gives you the best of both worlds—a low first gear for big bottom-end power and an overdrive gear for optimal top end performance. If the transmission is still in good shape but showing normal wear and tear, consider rebuilding it. A B&M Transkit (BMM-70233) includes everything you need for an extensive rebuild and won’t break your budget. In no time your transmission will be slamming through the gears like it did back in 1988!

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