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dunnp2 11-15-2012 05:43 PM

To 283 or not to 283?
Hey guys, my brother has an old chevy 283 block, crank, and heads that he's willing to give me to use for a swap. It's from between '58 and '62, casting code 3757519, two bolt mains. Things are a bit rusty so everything would have to be cleaned up before the build.

My question is: is it worth it? I'm looking for 300-350 hp, not afraid of turbos if that's the way to go. The other best option would be a junkyard LS1 which would be lighter and have more power, correct?

I have zero experience with american engines, so forgive me if I don't make sense.

Would it be cheaper to machine the block and buy parts to build the engine, or just buy a complete LS1 and be done?

techinspector1 11-15-2012 05:57 PM

By the time you get just the heads cleaned up, magnafluxed, pin the studs, freshen the guides, cut the exhaust seats for hard inserts to survive unleaded fuel, grind seats and valves, install new springs, retainers, keepers and seals, you'll have way more invested in just the heads than a whole boneyard Gen III motor would cost.

Please be advised that the factory was able to pull 270 hp with two Carter WCFB carbs and 283 hp with Rochester fuel injection, so I don't think you're gonna step up to the plate and hit a home run like 300-350 hp, not with those heads. Put down the Hot Rod magazine and read everything you can on this site. Real people live here and tell real stories of their experiences.

Write down every number you can find on all the parts you have and list them for sale on Hemmings Motor News. There is surely some dude out there who needs them to complete his restoration.

dunnp2 11-15-2012 06:08 PM

Thanks for the response.

What if I keep the block only, or the block and crank? I was considering getting some aluminum heads anyways to lighten it up.

I'm just trying to ask all of the questions. As I said, I don't know much about the small block chevy, but I'm starting a project and I want to learn about them. 11-15-2012 06:19 PM

If you really want to have a 283 that/s fine but as stated it isn't worth it cost wise to try to build hosepower with cubic inches that small, plus not a lot of torque and you have to "drive" them to make them go, not against it, cool for a resto but most are smart and swing the LS way, well worth it power wise ans cost wise, plus a million more things you can do as turbos which will hold up better.

dunnp2 11-15-2012 06:23 PM

Thanks a bunch. This is exactly the info I was looking for. Looks like I'll be in search of an LS!

painted jester 11-15-2012 06:24 PM

The crank is a small journal steel, the block in particular is iffy some had thin walls! that limits boring! heads are limited in flow! But many people are looking for numbers matching parts for restorations and 283s are becoming very hard to find!

Tech is right:thumbup:


vinniekq2 11-15-2012 06:30 PM

283 is a fun engine.dont build one unless you want a 283,a stock 350 is 1/2 the price and plentyful. I would like a 283 for fun and yes 350 hp is not that hard to get,then the first 350 hp 350 you see will drive away from you,,,,,,,,,,,,

painted jester 11-15-2012 07:04 PM

Where are you located? You state you dont know American! Are you Knowledgeable to clean and check parts? 283s can be runners! especially in lite cars like an Opel GT Etc. Your heads if they have screw in studs or pinned studs may have been reworked years ago, It doesn't hurt to clean and measure and tag, everything as you tear it down (its your labor and its free) see what you have, run numbers,You may have a jem! But if you need help and it costs money and your looking for big H. power and torque! Its the wrong choice! But you said you dont know American engines it would be a great one to learn on! And when cleaned painted and assembled should bring a better price then parting it out!

Just a thought, Jester

dunnp2 11-16-2012 06:45 AM

I'm in northern NY. I do have experience from rebuilding a few subaru engines, and I can clean/check, but this stuff is far too rusty to be useful without machining. I suppose the best thing to do is bring it to a shop and ask them what it's worth?

Everything's torn down and all that's left is the crank, block, and heads. How easy would it be to find the right rods and pistons for a proper rebuild?

lg1969 11-16-2012 08:47 AM

The crank is steel, so find a small journal 327 bare block and have it bore 30 over and get 302 30 over pistons and use 327 connecting rods because the 283 rods are weak. Have it balanced.
With a roller cam and good set of 202 64CC aluminum heads. You can make over 400 horsepower. Only problem is getting lots of $$$$$

BigEd36 11-16-2012 08:52 AM

Rods and pistons are easily available. 5.7" small journal rods (2.00" crank journals) from any 283 or 327 SBC up to '67 will work. Scat makes a small journal rod in their Pro Stock series, part #2570020P for a pressed pin rod with 3/8" ARP cap screws, part #2570020 for a bushed pin with 3/8" ARP cap screws. Eagle makes rods in their SIR series, #SIR5700SBLW for bushed pins, #SIR5700SPLW for pressed pins. Both companies also make stronger H beam style rods (for more $$$$ of course).

KB makes 2 hypereutectic pistons for the 283, KB165 is a flat top 2 valve relief piston with a 6cc dome volume, available in .030", .040", and .060" overbore sizes (no stock bore listed). KB166 is a domed piston with -4cc dome volume (available in the same overbore sizes as the KB165). Both have a 1.805" compression height. With a 3" stroke and 5.7" rods these pistons will give a 9.005" stack height, in a stock 9.025" deck height block the pistons will be .020" in the hole.

lg1969 11-16-2012 09:40 AM

The Rods may be the same size, but the early 283 rods would break and the 327 are much beefier and handle the revs. I know a friend that had a 283 in a street rod and one of the connecting rod split in two and the block was trashed.

painted jester 11-16-2012 10:13 AM

There are many posts on here about 302s! A lot are mine! I posted cost to build and a couple of break downs!#1 Use the large journal 4 bolt 327 block with inserts for the small journal crank! or a 350 4 bolt block (small journal block is weeker) But this is an Idea of what your looking at if your interested! and a price Idea! I have a blue print to build a 302 but to hit over 400 hp in a 302 and the rpm ranges! you can do it much cheaper with a 350 and it will be more reliable! I build and run destroked 302 based engines I love em! But They are high maintenance!!


All dimensions in linear inches, except as noted.

Displacement: 306.1 ci
Bore: 4.030
Stroke: 3.00
Block deck height: Milled to 9.021
Piston deck height: 0.016 (below deck)
Piston volume: 17.9cc dome
Head gasket compressed volume: 8.9cc
Compression ratio: 11.75:1
Rod length: 5.7
Piston compression height: 1.805
Piston-to-wall clearance: 0.004
Main-bearing clearance (Nos. 1-4): 0.0029-0.0035
Main-bearing clearance (No. 5): 0.0026-0.0030
Rod-bearing clearance: 0.0026-0.0030
Rod side-clearance: 0.013-0.019
Crankshaft thrust clearance: 0.004
Piston-ring endgap: 0.020/0.018/0.026
Pressed piston pin-to-rod: 0.0008 minimum
Piston-to-head clearance: 0.055

Cylinder Heads
Valve size: 2.08/1.60
Combustion chamber volume: 64 cc
Port volume: 215/85 cc
Flow at 0.500 lift: 265/207 cfm @ 28 in H20
Flow at 0.600 lift: 281/217 cfm @ 28 in H20
Valvespring od/id: 1.509/0.697
Valvespring seat pressure: 135 lb @ 1.850
Valvespring open pressure: 325 lb @ 1.345
Valvespring coil-bind height: 1.100
Spark plugs: Autolite Racing AR3933, gapped at 0.035

Critical Fasteners
ARP head bolts: 60 lb-ft (Teflon sealant on threads, ARP lube under washer)
ARP main and oil-pump studs: Bottom hand-tight, back off 11/44-turn (oil)
ARP main stud nuts: 70 lb-ft (ARP lube)
ARP oil-pump stud nut: 60 lb-ft (oil)
ARP rod-bolt nuts: 40 lb-ft (ARP lube)
Pioneer balancer bolt: 75 lb-ft (oil)
Comp rocker-arm studs: 35 lb-ft (red Loctite)
Grade-8 cam bolt: 25 lb-ft (red Loctite)
ARP intake bolts: 30 lb-ft (RTV silicone)

Piston weight: 451.0 grams
Piston-pin weight: 130.0 grams
Ring weight: 48.0 grams
Rod-bearing weight: 44.0 grams
Bobweight: 1,641 grams

Type: Mechanical flat-tappet
Grind: Comp Cams Magnum 294S
Duration, advertised: 294/294 degrees
Duration, 0.050 tappet lift: 250/250 degrees
Lobe displacement angle: 110 degrees
Installed intake centerline: 105 degrees
Lobe lift: 0.356/0.356
Rocker arm ratio: 1.52:1
Valve lift at zero lash: 0.541/0.541
Valve lift at running lash: 0.519/0.519
Valve lash: 0.022/0.022 hot
Camshaft base circle: 1.150/1.150
Pushrod length: 7.900/7.900
Piston-to-valve clearance: 0.145/0.300

Core 327 small-journal bare block EN-C327BA A&A Midwest $350.00
Core 283 forged-steel crank N/A Castillo's $125.00
Core 2.00-inch journal rods (8 required) N/A Dougan's $80.00
Speed-Pro forged pistons with pins (8 required) L2210AF-30 Summit Racing $411.12
Speed-Pro file-fit piston rings R-9342-035 Summit Racing $96.95
Speed-Pro Competition Series rod bearings 8-7065CH-10 Summit Racing $62.69
Speed-Pro Competition Series main bearings 138M-10 Summit Racing $55.99
Speed-Pro Competition Series cam bearings 2100M Summit Racing $35.69
Pioneer 6.72-inch-od SFI harmonic damper 872022 Summit Racing $149.39
Edelbrock head with valves (2 required) 77579 Summit Racing $1,139.00

Comp Cams 294S Magnum cam and lifter kit CL-12-222-4 Summit Racing $195.95
Comp Cams Pro Magnum 1.52:1 roller rockers 1301-16 Summit Racing $265.69
Comp Cams Magnum double-roller timing set 2100 Summit Racing $32.95
Comp Cams dual valvesprings 925-16 Summit Racing $122.39
Comp Cams valvespring retainers 741-16 Summit Racing $59.99
Comp Cams valve locks 611-16 Summit Racing $24.88
Comp Cams valvespring locators 4771-16 Summit Racing $39.88
Comp Cams 51/416x7.900 Magnum pushrods 7693-16 Summit Racing $105.95
Comp Cams flat guideplates for 51/416 pushrods 4808-8 Summit Racing $21.88
Comp Cams 31/48x71/416 High Energy rocker studs 4500-16 Summit Racing $26.99

Edelbrock Street Tunnel Ram intake, complete 7110 Summit Racing $259.95
Edelbrock Performer 500-cfm carb (2 required) 1404 Summit Racing $449.76
Edelbrock throttle linkage kit 7097 Summit Racing $26.95
Edelbrock calibration kit (2 required) 1486 Summit Racing $47.88

Milodon oil pan, LH dipstick 30900 Summit Racing $139.88
Milodon oil pickup 18314 Summit Racing $34.88
Speed-Pro high-volume oil pump 224-4143 Summit Racing $26.95
Speed-Pro heavy-duty pump shaft 224-6146E Summit Racing $10.99
Silver Seal dipstick and tube TW6505CP Dougan's $7.00
Used stock bypass valve N/A Wrecking yard $10.00
Mr. Gasket spin-on oil-filter adapter 1270 Summit Racing $9.75

Fel-Pro head gasket (2 required) 1010 Summit Racing $73.90
Fel-Pro intake set 1206 Summit Racing $14.88
Fel-Pro RACE set 2702 Summit Racing $18.95
Fel-Pro one-piece oil-pan gasket, LH dipstick 1880 Dougan's $36.00
Fel-Pro Cork-Lam valve-cover set 1604 Summit Racing $27.95

ARP main studs, small-journal, no windage tray 134-5402 Summit Racing $39.75
ARP head bolts, with stainless steel outer row 134-3603 Summit Racing $96.99
ARP Wave-Loc 1132-inch rod bolts 134-6401 Summit Racing $59.88
ARP oil pump mounting stud 230-7004 Summit Racing $6.50
ARP timing-cover bolts 200-1501 Summit Racing $9.95
ARP intake bolts 134-2001 Summit Racing $12.88
ARP valve-cover studs 400-7603 Summit Racing $18.88
Pioneer harmonic-damper bolt 859012 Dougan's $6.00
Pioneer oil-pan bolts 854001 Dougan's $15.00
Moroso distributor holddown clamp 26200 Summit Racing $7.95
Performance Distributors distributor & coil 14720 Performance Dist. $295.00
Performance Distributors Live Wires C9053 Performance Dist. $95.00
Fram Autolite racing spark plugs (8 required) AR3933 Summit Racing $37.52
Lucas 10W30 synthetic engine oil (7 quarts) 10050 Summit Racing $48.65
ACDelco oil filter PF1218 Rock Auto $4.83
Edelbrock Elite tall aluminum valve covers 4249 Summit Racing $71.95
Pioneer freeze plugs PE100BR Summit Racing $10.99
OEM Paints Chevrolet Orange/Red engine paint OE62020 The Paddock $26.95
Pioneer fuel pump block-off 839033 Dougan's $6.00
Used stock timing cover N/A Dougan's (Free)
Silver Seal timing tab 6544R Dougan's $5.00

283 crank: magnetic-particle-inspect, grind
0.010/0.010, heat-treat N/A Castillo's $327.00
Clean and inspect parts, deburr block, install freeze plugs and cam bearings, machine block, fit pistons and pins, resize rods, balance assembly, surface heads, valve job, assemble engine.
N/A Dougan's $2,667.00
TOTAL $8,467.72
*All prices are as of press-time and are subject to change.

3,000 305 174 5,100 354 343
3,100 302 178 5,200 352 349
3,200 301 183 5,300 351 354
3,300 301 189 5,400 351 361
3,400 302 195 5,500 350 367
3,500 306 204 5,600 351 375
3,600 311 213 5,700 350 380
3,700 315 222 5,800 347 383
3,800 318 230 5,900 343 385
3,900 321 238 6,000 339 387
4,000 325 247 6,100 335 390
4,100 328 256 6,200 334 395
4,200 333 266 6,300 332 398
4,300 336 275 6,400 328 400
4,400 340 285 6,500 326 403
4,500 344 295 6,600 322 405
4,600 348 305 6,700 320 408
4,700 351 314 6,800 316 409
4,800 352 322 6,900 310 407
4,900 352 328 7,000 302 403
5,000 353 336 HRM


The Old Reliable:

Old Reliable

(Delmar Win, 6-02) This photo was taken in Victory Lane after "winning" the NHRA Delmar, DE US 13 points race, June 2002.
From left to right, engine builder, Bub Whitiker, Jerry MacNeish, Tim Bishop, and Mark Dickerson.

Old Reliable

Jerry MacNeish and the legendary Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins at the 1994 NHRA Keystone Nationals, Maple Grove, PA.
VIN number 124378N411100
Build Date 04A (first week of April)
Color Corvette Bronze
Interior Code 712, black standard
Car Shipper Shipped on April 11, 1968 to Ammon R. Smith Auto Company, York, PA
Engine Data Cubic Inches, 302
Cylinder heads #3917291, completely stock, no porting allowed!
Stock rocker arms & valve springs
Intake 302 aluminum intake, casting #3917610
Carburetor Holley, #4053, 780 CFM 4bbl
Camshaft Crane, .480 inches lift, 272 degrees duration, valve lash, .016-.016
Pistons GM 302, .030" oversize
Horsepower 456 @7700rpm
Rear Tires 9" x 30.0" Hoosier's
Rear axle & ratio 12-bolt, 5.57 Richmond Pro Gears
Clutch 10 inch, three finger from Advance Clutch Technology
Shift Points 8200 RPM
BEST ET 10.80 @122.30mph

Jerry MacNeish E-Mail: Z28CAMAROMAN@JUNO.COM 410-781-0418

vinniekq2 11-16-2012 10:31 AM

PJs 302 in a mazda miata with a 5 spd would sure make the ferrari boys look silly

painted jester 11-16-2012 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by dunnp2 (Post 1611870)
I'm in northern NY. I do have experience from rebuilding a few subaru engines, and I can clean/check, but this stuff is far too rusty to be useful without machining. I suppose the best thing to do is bring it to a shop and ask them what it's worth?

Everything's torn down and all that's left is the crank, block, and heads. How easy would it be to find the right rods and pistons for a proper rebuild?

LOL :D I thought you were in a 3rd world country!!!!! LOL:D

Its hard to find some parts it depends! example: Pink rods are hard to find but there are many aftermarket rods available! How deep are your pockets? Can you afford to build a screaming 302, or a 283 with good power? To get a 283 to 283 HP costs a lot more then getting a 350 to 283 hp!!!!!!! That's as simple as it can be stated!!!!!!

A 283 crank in a 327 or 350 block is a 302 if you bore it .030 its a 306 and so on! :D If you use a small journal block or the 283 block , Girdle the mains .

What do you want? Don't let some one talk you into something you cant finnish!! or when its done your not satisfied! Tech & vinniekq2 among many on here wont stear you wrong!!!!


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