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Old 06-11-2010, 09:48 PM
Mertz's Avatar
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283 Power Pack Heads

Are power pack heads any good for building a 283? They are 3795896 out of a 65 283. I am thinking about putting it in my 1940 Plymouth pickup.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:17 PM
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They are okay for a daily driver on a small cubic inch 283. Why is because they have small 1.71 intake valves which makes for high velocity at low RPM.
They also have very small 137cc intake runners which also makes for high velocity. when these are teamed up with a 2 barrel or a Quadrajet, it makes for super sensitive low end throttle response and great off idle torque. The down side is, it falls flat on it`s face at 3500 RPM. I don`t recommend the power pack heads, and why is because they don`t have accessory holes which makes mounting accesories easier, they also don`t have hardened exhaust valve seats and without lead in the fuels to protect them they erode away. I recommend using a pair of 416 casting 305 heads. They have a slightly bigger exhaust valve of 1.84, the combustion chamber is 57cc`s just like the power packs, the intake runner is larger at the standard 160cc`s, They have accessory holes and hardened exhaust valve seats. The last time I picked up a pair of these at the junk yard it cost me $50 bucks, and they didn`t even need new guides, all I did was work them and run`em. The small valves will give your 283 great torque and the larger runners will give it better upper RPM response.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:43 PM
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DV, I think you meant 1.84" intake valves.

I agree the '416 heads would be a better bang for the buck as they are less likely to have the guides worn and they have hardened seats for unleaded but I have to disagree with DV a little bit here. No disrespect DV, we're usually singing from the same hymn book, but the Power Pak heads can work very well on a 283 or mild 327 street engine. The Power Pak heads are a good match for a 283 based build and will handle a lot more RPM than you'd think. I have an old test article from the early 80's where CC reworked a pair for a 287cid '66 Chevelle with a 4 speed and 3.31's that had been equipped with a pair of '461 Double Hump heads and the results were pretty surprisng. All else being equal the Chevelle ran quicker in the 1/4 with the Power Paks and got better mileage to boot. There were still a lot of 283's running around 25 years ago so the article was relevant for the time.

A friend has a pair on a std. bore 327 with the Summit 1103 cam, they have been matched to the original cast iron small 4 bbl. manifold and have had a few of the sharp edges smoothed but no real "porting". They also still have the stock 1.72 intakes with a 3 angle valve job. He's running the original 4GC carb with jets from a larger Buick version and 2" Ram Horns in a '64 Impala SS with a 200-4R and 3.73 gears. It will smoke the tires at will and pulls hard to 5500. That's not to say it wouldn't run even better with better heads but I
I sure wouldn't say it runs "bad".

If cost isn't an issue and you want to keep the Power Paks for the nostalgic or original appearance have them cut for the 1.84" intake valves from a 305 HO, do some port work and they will serve you well. If cost is an issue and appearance doesn't matter go with the '416 heads or even a pair of L30 305 Vortec heads. I'm putting together a 305 "mule" for an old pickup with the L30 heads and I'm anticipating pretty decent performance.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:07 PM
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Thanks for the correction Hippie. Not a problem on disagreeing with me. I`m aware yes they`ll work, but I recommended 416`s as they have accessory holes which make life a little bit easier for those that are going that route. For small cubic inchers small runners and valves work pretty well, but they sure don`t on larger cubic inchers as reasons being. No need to apologize or ever worry about it bothering me any, This is automotive and nobody`s right all the time, dispite what some believe.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:04 PM
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As others said, there's better options (namely the 416 and 059 castings) if you're looking to make the most out of the 283. The power pack heads are still good heads, though and look authentic. We had a 2 barrel 283 with 461's that had no problem yanking around a C60 with a dump bed that weighed a lot more than any fullsize you can imagine .

Personally, I think there's enough interesting Mopar mills out there to consider before going down the path of sbc but it's your build.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
T Not a problem on disagreeing with me. ....I recommended 416`s as they have accessory holes which make life a little bit easier for those that are going that route. ........ No need to apologize or ever worry about it bothering me any, This is automotive and nobody`s right all the time, dispite what some believe.
Toatlly agree on 416's being a good choice, I have a good bare set on the shelf "just in case".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie5.7
Personally, I think there's enough interesting Mopar mills out there to consider before going down the path of sbc but it's your build.
Totally missed the "Plymouth" part. Yeah, as much as I like SBC's if I was doing a Mopar I'd probably be looking at a SB Mopar. I built a 318 a couple years ago for my kid and ended up with the truck it went in last Fall. For what it is and being in a heavy truck with 2.94 gears I'd have to say it doesn't run too bad.
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:57 PM
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Back in the early days chevy sold the big trucks like bucket trucks and etc. I got the chance to look under the hood of one of them one day. It had the power packs, a 2 barrel carb with real small runner intake in order to make the throttle response super sensitive and so torque came on quickly.
The valve covers said "High Torque 283" I`ve seen many a early 327 with the same heads in early 60`s Impala`s and most of them were 2 barrels. One day I got a surprise and one had a early Rochester 4 jet on it.
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:30 AM
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Please allow me to show my age here:
1. DV said: "The down side is, it falls flat on it`s face at 3500 RPM."
I bought a new Malibu SS in '64 with a 220Hp 283 (4BBL). I immeduiatly put in a Duntov 30-30 cam and installed Hedman Tri-Y headers. I didn't own a dwell meter, so when I changed points I would set them with a feeler guage, and test them by spinning it to 7000RPM in 1st gear. (No miss = good..)
2. DV: If memory serves me(and that's debatable) the 327 was introduced in '62 and, except for Corvettes, was only available in 2 versions: 250HP & 300HP. The only difference I know of were the carbs & heads.(Maybe intakes). 250HP used Power pack heads, and 300HP used 461 heads Both were 4BBL. in 65 they went to 461 heads on ALL 327's. I don't remember a 2 BBL 327 before about 67 or 68.
I now have an unbored 64 283 that I'm looking for a lightweight body to put it in. I'm glad to get the info on the 305 heads.
Thanks, JA
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:53 AM
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Yeah the 327 came out in 1962. I have no idea what year the trucks were I looked at, I didn`t bother to check, but being they ended 283`s production in 1967 and by the look of the truck I`d say it was mid 60`s. I should have been more specific about the 283`s with power pack heads. The base line 2 barrel engines with there short cams were pretty much out of breath at 3500 rpm. My neighbor had a chevelle that was early to mid 60`s, I was a teen then so I don`t recall, It was a 4 door and that was the only reason why I didn`t buy it, anyway, I remember when I opened the hood and seen the air cleaner decal "283 turbo fire 195 horsepower" I thought it was cool, even so it used a really small 2 barrel. I test drove it and it ran good but power fell off at 3500, but it could of been a number of things that caused it. They used the power packs on a variety of different HP applications in those days, but the power numbers were all inflated somewhat. Friend of mine had a 1960 GMC short wheel base step side pickup that had came with a 305 V6 and a power glide, wishes he still had it today as it was rare find with the PG. Someone had transplanted a 327 with power pack heads and a 4 barrel, only the valve covers said 327, it didn`t say the power rating. It seemed to run strong with the low rear gear and PG, but it wasn`t real strong in the upper RPM ranges but old as it was that could have been due to tired valve springs.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:31 AM
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Actually I was looking for low end torque. I understand that these rev pretty high but must loose power in the upper rpms. I had a transplanted 292 in my 64 GTO when I was in college and it ran great and got 18 mph on the highway. Balanced and blueprinted with a nice cam and qjet.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
I should have been more specific about the 283`s with power pack heads. The base line 2 barrel engines with there short cams were pretty much out of breath at 3500 rpm. My neighbor had a chevelle that was early to mid 60`s, I was a teen then so I don`t recall, It was a 4 door and that was the only reason why I didn`t buy it, anyway, I remember when I opened the hood and seen the air cleaner decal "283 turbo fire 195 horsepower" I thought it was cool, even so it used a really small 2 barrel. I test drove it and it ran good but power fell off at 3500, but it could of been a number of things that caused it. They used the power packs on a variety of different HP applications in those days, but the power numbers were all inflated somewhat. Friend of mine had a 1960 GMC short wheel base step side pickup that had came with a 305 V6 and a power glide, wishes he still had it today as it was rare find with the PG. Someone had transplanted a 327 with power pack heads and a 4 barrel, only the valve covers said 327, it didn`t say the power rating. It seemed to run strong with the low rear gear and PG, but it wasn`t real strong in the upper RPM ranges but old as it was that could have been due to tired valve springs.

The pre-'63 283 2 bbls. didn't get the Power Pak heads and the 327's with Power Pak heads were the '62-'64 250HP. A cam change did wonders for both engines, the cams were all done around 4,000 to 4,500. Not unlike the base model 350's and the 305's of later years. Logical since they all used very similar cams. The 327/250 HP and 283/220HP used a 450cfm carb on a small runner intake, either a Carter WCFB or Rochester 4GC.

My friend's 250HP is basically stock except for the Summit 1103 cam and a little tweaking and has surprised a lot of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnya
Please allow me to show my age here:

..............................

2. DV: If memory serves me(and that's debatable) the 327 was introduced in '62 and, except for Corvettes, was only available in 2 versions: 250HP & 300HP. The only difference I know of were the carbs & heads.(Maybe intakes). 250HP used Power pack heads, and 300HP used 461 heads Both were 4BBL. in 65 they went to 461 heads on ALL 327's. I don't remember a 2 BBL 327 before about 67 or 68.

Thanks, JA
Memory serves you very well, except no 2 Bbl. on 327 passenger car engines until 1969, last year for the 327. If memory serves ME correctly that is. Truck 327's got 2 bbls. before that and they were lower compression as well.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mertz
Actually I was looking for low end torque. I understand that these rev pretty high but must loose power in the upper rpms. I had a transplanted 292 in my 64 GTO when I was in college and it ran great and got 18 mph on the highway. Balanced and blueprinted with a nice cam and qjet.
283's aren't really a "low end TQ" engine but with the right setup, an OD trans and some 3.73 gears would probably serve you well. If it were me I'd freshen it up with some mild port work on the Power Pak heads and add the 1.84 intake valves, use a Summit 1102 cam, a cast iron Q-Jet manifold with Q-Jet carb, HEI and a pair of 1-1/2" Tri-Y headers with a 200-4R and the aforementioned 3.73 gears.

I'm currently doing a roller cam 305 with L30 305 Vortec heads, '395 marine roller cam, cast iron Q-Jet intake and 1-1/2" 4 tube headers with an NV3500 5 speed and 3.73 gears for a '66 Chevy 1/2 ton.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:51 AM
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I have both a cast iron and an aluminum EGR quadrajet intake for a 350. The cast iron intake is off my 72 pickup and the aluminum intake is supposed to be off a Corvette. Will these fit on the 283? Would the 2bbl be better for torque and mileage?
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:15 AM
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If there is anybody in the AZ area that needs a 283 I am about to pick a freshly rebuilt one out of my 66 caprice next month. It is the original engine that came in the car. It has a little over 400 miles on it since being rebuilt. Cylinders were honed...rebuilt to stock specs. I would like to find a good home for it.

11 DAYS AND A WAKE UP!
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:56 PM
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You can use either cast iron or the Aluminum intake. A Q-jet works great as the small primary`s will give you all the low end response you need.
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