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Old 10-22-2005, 07:48 AM
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283 Buget Bulid-up for more HP

I have a running stock 66 chev 283 that I'm going to rebuild and want to up the HP but I would like to keep the cost down to around $2,000. After I get the block done I was going get the heads rebuilt and port them, add a performer intake, roller rockers and a 600cfm carb' shorty headders with a 2 1/4" exhaust and a quality ignition system. I'm going to keep the stock cam so it can be a good driving engine, it won't have a rough idle, have good fuel mileage (gas is expensive in Canada) and reliability. This motor is going back into my 66 chev truck and the wife and I will be going on many a long drives with it. Is this a good build? Should I go to a better cam even though I really don't want to? If I do what cam would be the best for this with out having to change the tourque converter on the auto overdrive trans? Any answer to these questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 10-22-2005, 08:50 AM
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283 build up

As for the exhaust, I would recommend going with 2 inch vs 2 1/4 inch and run an H or X pipe between the two exhaust systems. The reason I recommend going with 2 inch exhaust is that the dimunitive size of the 283, running a larger exhaust will kill your bottom end power, and that will be condusive to more fuel usage. If you are planning to put headers on the car, go with 1 1/2 inch primary tubes, for the better low and mid RPM scavenging.
As for a camshaft, contact the various cam grinders, many of them grind cams that are designed for fuel economy, and as a rule will increase your power output at the same time.
While I am a Ford man, engine buildup is basically the same for all of them.
A favorite little swap in cams that Ive done is to install the stock, early 351W cam into 289's and 302's, and have found this to be very pleasing on the gas gauge, boosting power as well as improving the fuel economy. The stock 289/302 cam was 183/188 duration, .361/.388 lift and the stock 351W cam is 199 duration, .419 lift on both sides. This being the case, you might want to play with the idea of installing a carbureted 350 standard performance cam in your 283. It may not help any but it sure couldnt hurt. Going to the larger factory cam, may just be the ticket. Since you are going to overhaul the engine, anyway, you might as well go with a cam thats going to do more than the stock 283 unit.
For intake, I would go with an intake with an operating range of from 0-5500 or so RPM, and a 4 bbl in the 450 to 500 CFM range. The smaller venturis will give you higher fuel air mixture velocity, improving your bottom end power, which is where you want most of it with a heavy car and small engine, and this will still give you plenty of breathing if you want to turn the engine up tight, past 5000 RPM or so.
I wouldnt necessarily spend money on roller rockers, as while they do give some nominal HP increase, (3-5 HP at peak RPM, and 2-3 HP average at all registration points on a dyno test), what you spend on them isnt really worth the cost for gains, on a basically stock engine.
Another trick that will help on fuel economy, even though its generally considered just a hop up tip would be to go to a thermostat controlled electric fan on your radiator. Your stock fan can take as much as 20-25 HP to turn at highway speeds. Less power requirement also equals less fuel usage.
You didnt note the kind of transmission you are running.
Going to an automatic overdrive transmission isnt a bad idea, but you will want to stay with a stock converter, or at leat one that may be tighter than the stock unit. B&M makes whats called a Traveler series, which is a good deal for long distance driving, as the stall speed is a lower.

Last edited by Max Keith; 10-22-2005 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:00 AM
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I highly recommend a Summit K1102 cam & lifters for what you want, it's inexpensive and will give the 283 a little shot in the arm without hurting mileage or idle quality, it's very similar to the Edelbrock Performer cam but has less advertised duration so the ramps are a little more aggressive but it's still a sweet cam for a near stock 283 or 305. Be prepared to jet the 600 down but it will work.

I have an old 1984 Car Craft article I scanned to a PDF file that outlines almost exactly what you have proposed. It's not a real big file. I can e-mail it to you if you'd like, I think you'd find it very interesting
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budthespud
I have a running stock 66 chev 283 that I'm going to rebuild and want to up the HP but I would like to keep the cost down to around $2,000.

Thanks
For less than two thousand........you can buy a NEW 350 GM crate engine....with a warranty. Will have more torque than your 283 and still get good mileage.....

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 10-22-2005, 10:40 AM
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Amen Deuce, and still have $700 left over for the usual hot rod parts.

Cheap headers, cam and lifter kit, intake and carb.

Larry
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:31 PM
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Bud first let me say I agree with deuce about going to a larger engine, but if you have your heart set on a 283, one I built many years ago that would probably work well in your application. I kept the short block stock with the exception of the cam. I used a Comp 268 Hi Energy cam ground with 108 deg of lobe sep instead of the 110 that came std. . The heads were 041 castings with 1.94 and 1.5 valves. The intake was a a Performer and carb was a Q-jet. I used 1 5/8" headers (that was what was available) and 2 1/4" dual exhaust. The trans was a T-350 and the rear gear was a 3.08. The results were 14.6's in the quarter and 24 mpg on the highway in my 71 Camaro. Not the same as your truck, but it can be done. Let me say, I would have run the 1 1/2" headers if I could have found them and if the vehicle were heavier, it would have had 2" exhaust as was said above. I hope this helps.
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Old 10-22-2005, 01:00 PM
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Never Thought Duece

Well after reading all this going to a 350 crate engine would be the best and the easiest for me. The $2,000 is just a figure I would like to keep it at but ya know when you get that itch to just go that bit more!! I'll have to give my local GM dealer a call on a price for an engine. It's just that the 283 is the original motor for the truck and was running like a clock before the disassembly of the truck. Hey it never hurts to have a spare motor in the garage. I'm running a 4 speed overdrive auto trans & converter out of a 84 Grand National with a 3:43 posi rear out of a 96 Firebird that had the 5.7 litre (350) motor. I will most likely replace the converter before I install the trans. I really want to keep it a solid reliable truck. Thanks guys it is greatly appreciated that you responded and I will keep all responses in mind.
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Old 10-22-2005, 01:05 PM
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A set of stock vortec heads will outperform a ported set of stock heads. You can get a set of vortec heads with a performer intake and the parts you will need to install them for $730.00 . You will probably have that much in the port job and rebuild on your stock heads. If you did go this way, you would have to get a vortec intake and valve covers. As far as the cam goes, I would recommend a different one even if it means going wtih the same size. I dont think it is a good idea to reuse hyd flat tappet cams. I think the comp XE250H (206 212 @.050 .432 .444 lift) would work very well, and that cam could bu used with the stock vortec springs.

Vortec heads with intake and parts:
http://www.sdpc2000.com/catalog/2172...mer-Intake.htm

Valve covers:
http://www.sdpc2000.com/catalog/999/products/1121/.htm

Rockers:
http://www.sdpc2000.com/catalog/523/products/648/.htm

I think this is all that you would need, and you would have around $900 in the whole setup.

Adam
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Old 10-22-2005, 04:55 PM
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I would go with Firestone.

I'm concerned about gas prices too, grew up in Canada (and bought my Bel Air there) but now drive in Germany with gas at about US$6/gal. So when it was time to replace the very tired 283 I opted for another rebuilt 283. But this time with little 305 Vortec heads and a tiny Comp Cam 240H. With 1 5/8 headers, Performer intake, dual exhaust makes all the right sounds and is fun to drive but is still good on gas. I've been getting a consistant 21 mpg (US gallon that is, 25mpg Canadian gallon) this past summer on the highway at 70 mph. My car weights nearly 2 tons and is as aerodynamic as a brick so that's pretty good. I'm happy with it, I just think the compression could have been higher considering the high octane fuel available in Europe. So I intend to mill the heads down to raise compression from 9.1:1 to over 10:1.

Put on a mechanical fan. Use a Qjet, not those Edelbrocks. I've used the 600 CFM and 500 CFM Edelbrock models, both were bought new. Always smelled too rich even after leaning them out as much as possible and gas mileage was so-so. About six months ago I got a newly rebuilt Qjet from the States. Tuned it two steps leaner and it ran perfectly and got 3 mpg better mileage than the Edelbrocks ever got, and no more smell. Qjets start much easier too, no pumping the gas and cranking and cranking if the car was sitting for a week or more.

Overdrives may or may not help. I put one in my car and I did not gain ANYTHING mileage-wise. And that with 3.73:1 diff. Go figure... Anyone know why that might happen?

I still tuning and testing for mileage. In 6 months or so I'll post the whole story if I can still get a significant improvement (hope springs eternal).

By the way, my car used to get 10 mpg when I bought it. Its been a lot of small steps, no giant leaps...
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Old 10-22-2005, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berliner Bel Air
I would go with Firestone.

I'm concerned about gas prices too, grew up in Canada (and bought my Bel Air there) but now drive in Germany with gas at about US$6/gal. So when it was time to replace the very tired 283 I opted for another rebuilt 283. But this time with little 305 Vortec heads and a tiny Comp Cam 240H. With 1 5/8 headers, Performer intake, dual exhaust makes all the right sounds and is fun to drive but is still good on gas. I've been getting a consistant 21 mpg (US gallon that is, 25mpg Canadian gallon) this past summer on the highway at 70 mph. My car weights nearly 2 tons and is as aerodynamic as a brick so that's pretty good. I'm happy with it, I just think the compression could have been higher considering the high octane fuel available in Europe. So I intend to mill the heads down to raise compression from 9.1:1 to over 10:1.

Put on a mechanical fan. Use a Qjet, not those Edelbrocks. I've used the 600 CFM and 500 CFM Edelbrock models, both were bought new. Always smelled too rich even after leaning them out as much as possible and gas mileage was so-so. About six months ago I got a newly rebuilt Qjet from the States. Tuned it two steps leaner and it ran perfectly and got 3 mpg better mileage than the Edelbrocks ever got, and no more smell. Qjets start much easier too, no pumping the gas and cranking and cranking if the car was sitting for a week or more.

Overdrives may or may not help. I put one in my car and I did not gain ANYTHING mileage-wise. And that with 3.73:1 diff. Go figure... Anyone know why that might happen?

I still tuning and testing for mileage. In 6 months or so I'll post the whole story if I can still get a significant improvement (hope springs eternal).

By the way, my car used to get 10 mpg when I bought it. Its been a lot of small steps, no giant leaps...
That actually sounds like a really nice combination.

I too have had similar experiences with edelbrock carbs, in my opinion the q-jet is twice carb that the edelbrock is.
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:25 PM
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x2 on the crate engine, you can't go wrong there. If you are concerned about gas mileage you are barking up the wrong tree with a small block chevy to start with. Put the 283 in storage for original swap back later if you wont. but the worst thing you could do is try to hotrod that little motor, 25years ago yea, but a stock 350 with a good intake an exhaust system would be stronger an not have to work as hard at it.
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Old 10-23-2005, 01:41 AM
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Plan ahead. Like you are doing. Decide what you want to do.

Best case scenerio you are going to get 20 at 60 mph with an OD trans.
Regardless what size engine I would suggest SFI. That is 3-4 mpg more than the best carb.
Consult someone like CompCams and design a complete package. They have tested thousands. Don't rely on guessing. You might be wrong. Remember you are designing an engine to operate efficiently at 1800 rpm, so that cam curve needs to be 1500 up. Cam tech has come a long way in 40 years.
A 283 at 6000 rpm only needs a 450 cfm carb.

I have seen many 420 hp engines that only put out 320. I have seen many vehicles that their owners claim get 25 mpg, except when I ride with them they only can get 19 on the interstate. Be realistic. It's your money.

It will take a real good 350 fuelie with OD trans to get 22 mpg on a long trip in that rig.

Remember it only takes 45 hp to drive 60 mph, so feeding big cubes to cruise is not efficient.

check with Steet and Performance in Mena Arkansas.


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Last edited by xntrik; 10-23-2005 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the Respose

I really do appreciate the respose you all have given to me. I got my desk top dyno out and compared the 2 motors and I like what I see in the torque with the 350. I have a 350 motor that was rebuilt by a school and its been stored away for 6 years. I think it was bored .0050" but I'll check for sure. The main reason for using the 283 because it was the original motor. Thing is I forgot I even had this 350 because I have been working on Pontiacs for the past 5 years. Well I know I have some work cut out for me this winter. Thanks again!!
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Old 10-23-2005, 09:33 PM
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I think you got that 0 in the wrong place (.050" as opposed to .0050"). But anyways, I would use a 350 vs a 283. Then again I'm about to try to work over a little 267, but that's beyond the point... Cam wise I would use the smallest Lunati Voodoo. I am getting 20 mpg with a 383 Th 350 and 3.08's in the back with a fairly nasty Voodoo in my El Camino. Keep the rear gear reasonable, like 3.23 or 3.08. with the OD trans that would be a nice cruiser no matter how it works out. Vortec heads are a nice head that really flow some air. If that doesn't work something like the early 70's LT-1 heads are a good open chamber (72 cc chamber I think) with a good intake runner. Keep in mind that a little compression wouldn't hurt either. Any good ignition would help, I have been eyeing the Pertronix Second strike lately because the multiple spark works to 6000+ rpm. Hope some of that info helps.
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Old 10-29-2006, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
For less than two thousand........you can buy a NEW 350 GM crate engine....with a warranty. Will have more torque than your 283 and still get good mileage.....

Just my 2 cents.


OK Where do I find a 350 for under 2K?
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