thanks for the advise ! im not that well inclined in the motor myself but my buddy is a great mechanic and he was the one tryn to talk me into it so i was wondering if it was really a easy as he made it sound. well you sound quite capable of doing motor work, i would like to keep my 350 and still make the horse power i need to be able to play at the strip here and there, so could you give me some good advise as to what i should do with it to get what im looking for????
Welcome Scott, these guys on here are awesome, they will give you great advice.
Hey Scott: What I have found in the past is that anyone who says something as critical as an engine build is EASY,usually dont know what their talking about and can cost you a ton of YOUR Money ! Ask him the questions I asked you as well as how many motors he has actually been in charge of building with his own 2 hands ! 1st off just building a motor isnt just buying the parts and putting them in the block ! A motor is a COMPLETE SYSTEM that should be built to specs to do whatever you have set out to accomplish.You need to set a goal for what you want to do before you buy part ONE.You REALLY need to design the wh*** picture way before you start otherwise the picture you thought you took with your camera of a Hot Chick in a bikini will turn out that your camera was pointed the wrong way and you will get back one of a 300lb gal in a thong --LOL.Graphic enough ? I think that I,m reading you right in that you want the car to be somewhat of a rumpty-rump,gas sipping gentleman around town for daily driving but be a tire schredding screeming b**** at the track--Right? That can be done if you plann everything out from the start .I,m 70yrs old and have been involved in drag racing and some road racing for over 60 of those yrs and yes I do know what I,m talking about--But I am not going to spec out and instruct you just how to totally build your motor.It aint that simple as I have pretty high standards and only do things the right way or not at all ! I look at it as a total build of the car from front to back from the radiator to the rear tire size and everything in between to work together as a complete system.You just cant miss one thing or your back to the hot chick and the 300lb broad in a thong,you aint gonna get what you wanted ! Just how much money do youhave to spend on this project ??? If I know this I can advise you accordingly.Be glad to help you some but I hate to waste my time telling you what to use only to have you do something else because somebody had a better idea,or a special deal on something else.That really p***** me off ! Look at the wh*** picture before you make any decisions on individual parts and pieces and I will COACH YOU THRU IT according to your budget and ability.Sit down and start building thru reasearch with a legal pad and check back with me.I suggest again, you start with a straight short block with 9.5 to one hypertech pistons and we will go from there.Check with eldebrock or maybe a GM ZZ4 block or call jegs or summit and check prices OK ?
If your looking to build it yourself great there is no better satisfaction thn building a motor and it does what you built if for. Building a 383 is not hard but there are a few thing you must consider first is price, HORSEPOWER COST MONEY so be prepared to spend a little.
So lets break it down a 383 as we know it is a 350 block with a 400 crankshaft installed. What makes it a 383 in a 350 block is the longer stroke of the 400 crank (3.75) as opposed to the 350 stroke (3.48). If you already have a 350 then your next step is to find the 400 crank, you can find a junkyard 400 engine tear it down remove the crankshaft but your gonna have to take it to a machine shop to have them machine the crankshaft and the block main journals that cost money.
Your next option could be to purchase a 383 stroke kit, even with a new kit i still suggest that you measure the crankshaft main journals, then measure the engine block main journal bore, you might find that your tolerances are to tight and need to have the crankshaft turned down to get the proper clearences needed for good oil flow, dont let either of the above stop you we, we built two 383's last semester both made good power one was built from a kit purchased from a national parts supplier and we had to do some machine work on the crankshaft. The other engine used a junkyard crankshaft and we had to clearance the engine block to make room for the larger counterweights and we still had t machine the main journals as well.
Ok im trying not to be to technical but i want to hit the highlights. One thing i will add is take your time, think about what your intended use for this engine will be, talk to as many people as you can and dont be afraid to ask what might seem like a dumb question. Engines are expensive and you dont want to build it twice. In closing you can make a lot of power or no power, and engine is a large air pump proper cylinder head, camshaft, and piston selection are more important to me than cubic inches in some cases. I have few race car buddies with 358/360 cubic inch engines making over 500 horsepower in their street cars in the same respect there is one person in my car club with a 383 in his C10 and i dont believe it makes over 370 horse.
I hope i helped and hope i can help you out in the future, good luck and in my opinion build it and drive it like you stole it !
I agree about the short block or crate engine idea. Cheaper and easier as long as you want just a plain Jane 383. Now if you insist on building your own the way you want one built it will get expensive fast. As for the 400 crankshaft in the 350 block it is best to just buy a crankshaft with 350 mains and the 400 (3.75") stroke. I would recommend a Scat 9000 series cast steel crankshaft. These cranks are much stronger than stock crankshafts. Heck you can land one of those for around $200.00 including bearings on Ebay. I was seriously considering building a 383 because that seems like all folks talk about. No matter what you build as a small block it will cost the same! Why not build the cubes? I recommend a 400 GM 2 bolt block and install billet splayed 4 bolt caps and let her rock! Cubes win everytime!
warren s caldwell said:
Hey Scott:Do yourself a big favor unless your a very experienced machinist and engine builder,Just buy an assembled short block 383 for somewhere between 900 and 1800 bucks (depending on parts requested) and you will be 100% sure that it is done 100% correct.Since it does not sound like you very experienced(not a slam)this would be the best course for you since all thats required to actually mic every part and piece to absolute measurement is probably a bit much for you to be sure that it dont blow up or sieze the 1st time you jump on it and waste all you $$$.True its nice to say that you built it from scratch but NOT nice if it blows or burns oil or dont carry good oil pressure--RIGHT? No shame to get a short block and go from there. Best good solid advise I got for ya ! If you know the answers to these questions and how to do them,do it yourself as follows--Cylinder wall taper and egg shape--ring end gap-rod bearing clearance in -thousands--cam end play--rod cap torque specs--crank end play- floting pins or clipped- and the list go,s on and on ?