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Old 09-22-2003, 10:12 PM
Holden HG Ute's Avatar
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Question 283 chev engine mods

Hi Guys

I live in Australia and own a 1970 Holden running a 283 chev with mild cam and a Supra 5spd box. Parts for my engine don't seem to be readily available and I am looking to increase performance although I am running on a budget.

Has anyone hotted up a 283 before and what suggestions do you have? I was thinking stroking etc.

Look forward to your input.

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Old 09-22-2003, 10:17 PM
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You could put a 327 crank in it that would give you 307 (you would have to use 307 pistons also) this combo would be cheap.
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Old 09-22-2003, 10:27 PM
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Thanks Bob

Is the bottom end compatible?? I heard the 283 was the last of the sb chevs to come out with a stainless crank. Is this option available with a 327 setup. Also, I notice vibrations at around the 3000-5000 rev range. Is balancing a simple or complex job?

Much appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2003, 04:59 AM
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I do not recall ever hearing that the 283 had a stainless crank in it. As far as I am aware, the 283 cranks were all cast iron. Probably the cheapest mod is to bore the 283 to 292, get a small hydraulic cam of about 280 degrees duration. Aluminum dual plane intake with a small 550-650cfm carb, headers, and a set of relieved power pak heads if you can find them. What is a Holden?

Vince
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:25 AM
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The early 283 cranks were all FORGED steel, not stainless, the 327's were also steel, the factory didn't start using cast stuff till after 1962
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Old 09-24-2003, 05:54 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. A Holden is a GM brand sold in Australia, New Zealand and parts of England and now the US. We are exporting the Holden 'Manaro' to the States as the new Pontiac GTO. In Australia it looks exactly the same except for the front end - I actually think the front end on the Australian version is a little sexier!!

Can anyone give me some info on blancing the 283? Is it internally or externally balanced and what is involved in the balancing process?
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:18 PM
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The 283 is internally balanced.
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Old 09-25-2003, 02:34 PM
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Balancing is done when you replace a crank. It's done in a COMPETENT machine shop and may require drilling/addition of mallory metal on the counterweights. The shop weighs each piston/rod and shaves them down to the lightest found in each set. Then they set up the crank balancing machine for the weights achieved on the piston/rods and have the crank dynamically balanced with bob weights on the journals to simulate the weights of the pistons and rods. A balance job is routine on a performance engine and should be performed on a small cube small block like your 283 or 307 or whatever you make out of it because it will have to rev high to make good power due to it's small size. All small block chevy's from the dark ages were internally balanced with the exception of the 400 which was externally balanced on the flex plate and harmonic balancer.

If memory serves A Holdon Monaro was like a Chevelle, is yours a Monaro. Must be an older one if it's running the 283. 283's had small journal cranks so the donor crank you choose to stroke it would most likely have to be turned down to fit, no big deal if your getting it balanced. An early 327 crank might be the way to go as it's a small journal. All 307 cranks and post 67 327 cranks are large journal.

The heads on that engine probably have tiny intake valves and runners and will not work well to build power. Look for later model heads that are cheap but make good power like 882's with 1.94 intake valves that should still clear the 283's tiny cylinder bores. 2.02's may not work without bore notching.
Allot of smog-era 350 Chevy's have these heads or the equivelant and should be abundant in Australia too.

Tiny small blocks get allot of benefit from a free flowing exhaust system, so think about at least a 2-1/4" dual exhaust with turbo mufflers. If it's in the budget go for quality mufflers like flowmaster instead of turbo style. Headers are great too but you sound like you are on a tight budget so manifolds work fine too.

Don't go any larger than a600 cfm four barrel for that engine or it will be a dog. A dual plane intake will work best like a Weiand 8004 or the equivelant with Holley written on it. Don't block off the heat riser or it will be stumbley in cold weather.

Pick a reasonable cam profile to keep it streetable:
280 advertised duration max, 112 degree lobe centers and around a .450 lift max. A good grind might be a split pattern cam with: .420 lift intake and .443 lift exhaust with 270 duration intake and 280 exhaust. For a 307 or larger that should work great. If you stick with a 283 cube motor a little tamer grind would keep it super streetable and economical.

All of the cams, intakes and exhaust stuff should be readily available in your area. If not start surfing the net and look for businesses that ship to Aussie but I doubt you will have to do that. PAW(Performance Automotive Wholesale) in California is my main source of speed equipment.

After you get done pricing all this stuff you might want to look for a "donor" 350. They make great power compared to a 283 with the same speed equipment.
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:19 PM
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Thanks Goldduster

Your information was very informative. You are correct in your comparison between the Chevelle and the Monaro. Mine is infact the 2nd generation Monaro built in 1970. These cars originally came out with 186 sixes or 327's and in '70-'71 were produced with the 350 Chev. Mine is actually a customized ute made to look like the Bathurst racing model of the day and started life out as a 6 cylinder. The 283 was sitting in a friends garage so it was adopted for my project. I've actually won a few shows since the original build!!!

A 350 was under consideration but I've been told the Supra 5spd may not be able handle big power figures from a warmed up 350. I may need to investigate that one a little further.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:36 PM
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No way would I use a large-chamber 350 head like an 882 on a 283. Your compression ratio would be way too low (~7.4:1 with flat-tops, ~9.2 with domes, but then combustion quality suffers). And if you're thinking of using a 327 crank, be aware that not all 283 blocks will accept a 327 crank due to clearance issues, and also that some 283 blocks can't be ground enough for clearance without hitting the water jacket.
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Old 09-26-2003, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimfulco
No way would I use a large-chamber 350 head like an 882 on a 283. Your compression ratio would be way too low (~7.4:1 with flat-tops, ~9.2 with domes, but then combustion quality suffers). And if you're thinking of using a 327 crank, be aware that not all 283 blocks will accept a 327 crank due to clearance issues, and also that some 283 blocks can't be ground enough for clearance without hitting the water jacket.
Actually it would be more like 7:9 or 8:0 to 1 with .040 thick head gaskets and that's before milling the heads and decking the block. Also, it was routine practice on heavy casted blocks to overbore a 283 by an 1/8" for a total of 4" bore, the same as a 302,327 or 350. The first 302's were actually built by hot rodders not Chevrolet. Open chamber heads on a 3.875" bore will work although the 4" bore would be optimum. 307's which had the same bore as a 283 came from the factory with open chamber heads, they replaced the 327 as the base engine in 1969 and soldiered on into the 70's with open chamber heads. Popular casting numbers for those heads were:3986388, 3998991, 3986339 and 3927185. All of those had 1.71 intake valves and open style chambers. These heads were also mounted on base 327 and 350 engines.

A 333882 (882) head has open chambers and 1:94 valves along with larger intake runners. While it was used from the factory with 350 and 400 engines it still has open chambers like it's smaller base engine brother the 307. So to call it a "350" head in gearhead terms is not entirely accurate as it will bolt on a 307 and create the same compression ratio approximately. Open chamber heads fall into the 72-76cc range.

Anyone who has ever replaced the stock shim style gaskets on a 8:5 to 1 350 with .040 thick (rebuilder style) gaskets has created an 8:0 to 1 motor and they still run fine.

A properly selected camshaft that can work with the flow of the heads selected can build enough cylinder pressure to compensate for a slight compression loss. The larger valves and intake runners would be worth the compromise in my opinion.

Of course you could forget about stroking it and bolt on a pair of 492's with 1.94 valves.
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