1987 El Camino stock build

Bronze coupe!

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Feb 20, 2018
16
1
3
I’ve got a 1987 el Camino that has been gutted some years back engine and transmission pulled by original owner for some reason they cut the engine harness out with the motor so the person I bought it from put in a motor from his 85-86 el Camino trying to figure what is different between those years to make the 87 as close to factory as possible so far only differences I’ve found is the distributors are different both have electronic advance but the 85-86 has 2 harnesses coming out of the distributor and the 87 looks like it has the two plugs molded onto the cap itself and than the smog pumps are different according to rock auto do I need a 87 harness and distributor ?
 

Bronze coupe!

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Feb 20, 2018
16
1
3
B4CED9F2-DDE4-41E4-99C5-F7073A0F572A.jpeg

This is the distributor that was in the 85-86 engine
 

86LK

Royal Smart Person
Jul 23, 2018
1,714
1,744
113
Any elco guys out there know what changed from 86 to 87
electrically? nothing I can think of. mechanically? center bolt valve covers,rollertip rockers. 86 iirc was the first year for 1pc rear main
 

78Delta88

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
May 23, 2022
1,040
1
741
113
SW Arizona
What you have is two completely different systems.

The first Dist you show is C3 (CCC) Q-Jet Carb.

The second Dist you show is TBI (Throttle Body Injection).

What are you wanting to do (End Result) and hopefully we can point you in the right direction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

78Delta88

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
May 23, 2022
1,040
1
741
113
SW Arizona
The first one you show is the 7 pin module (ICM) unit, yet if you look at Rock Auto they show the picture of the older 4 pin unit. When you read the description it mentions ... Without vacuum advance, even thought the picture shows its presence. So you have to be careful about just going to auto parts source to try to decide what you have.

The early CCC system was a very simple setup. The ECU read air fuel by the O2 sensor and tried to adjust fuel metering accordingly. The EST (Electronic Spark Timing) would adjust timing advance by reading the Knock Sensor. As spark knock was detected the ECU would retard timing by the EST. The ECU could also reduce spark knock by enriching mixture, but mainly first by reduction of spark timing.

This is why you can not put a non electronic carb on this setup and likewise you can not use a electric carburetor hooked up and use a Non-EST distributor and expect it to run correctly.

With your truck missing the harness, you will have to get a proper harness, ECU, Carb or TPI or TBI and Distributor and all the other sensors for that year. All of it will have to work for your engine and transmission combination.

Depending on where you live, you might be able to go stand alone (Non-ECU) Carb and Distributor. OR maybe not...

Back in the late 90's and early 2000's there were several conversion of TBI and TPI 305 and 350's being put into all kinds of things. Plus your 87 would have come with a truck (K) 700R4 which was highly sought after. This could be why it was gutted and harness removed. Quite possible there is a 72 Nova with a 305 TBI/700R4 in it and it wouldn't be much of a surprise to see that or similar.

So anyhow..., check with local laws and from there decide what to do. The gutted 87 is an easy swap for 305/350 with a TH350 or TH400 or 700R or 2004R. Or LS Swap with a 4L60E/4L80E...
 
Last edited:

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck Consoles Dixie Restoration Depot UMI Performance

Contact [email protected] for info on becoming a sponsor