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Old 09-01-2007, 12:51 PM
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350 or 283?

OK, I'm just looking for opinion and perspective. I'm going to be building up a '50 Chevy 1/2 ton for looks and for work. It'll be a mild build, with a cushy front end (for cruisin'), a new rear end for driving on the hiway and lots of nice paint to go with the stylin' interior. The question for today, though, is should I put my money in a 283 or 350 engine? The 283 is already in there, nonrunning and it is looking pretty sad. The 350 4-bolt main is a block, crank and 1 head over at the machine shop. Both need the complete rebuild, plus a little boost in the cam, heads, carb and exhaust. So here is my quandry: the 283 is a little more period correct, it is a classic of sorts and it will probably meet my needs for driving around town, down the freeway or pulling a trailer. No tire spinning, please. But the 350 is overall cheaper and more practical/versatile. I'm torn: my buddy who is into stock restoration votes for the 283 ("Every knucklehead has a 350!"), my wife likes the practical nature of the 350. I'm collecting opinions, now, so let's here it from the crowd out there. And yes, I'll keep in mind that I'll get what I pay for...

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Old 09-01-2007, 01:05 PM
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They are pretty much the same block when it comes to exterior, so no one knows what's inside.

I would suggest building the 350 since it might be cheaper and obviously more powerful, then using external bits like the valve covers, intake, a 2bbl carb, and the old air cleaner.

Many people overestimate the necessity for flashy 4-bbl carbs and big air cleaners, but if you're building a mild-cam 350, there is no reason why a 350-450 cfm 2-bbl carb won't fill the bill.

Basically make it look like the 283 outside, but conceal 350 cubes inside. More useable torque, and you can choose to let them think its a 283 OR inform onlookers that its actually a 350. Best of both
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:09 PM
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Since you`ve already listed the advantages to the 350, and you know the pro`s and con`s of both, there`s not much point in me giving a opinion when the overall is left up to you but I`ll give it any how. Your truck, you`ll have the final say. The 283 is a small journal engine, and the rods in these engines weren`t great but will survive fine in a daily driver. the only other issue is the 283 lacks torque somewhat compared to a 350, and even so the 283 is the smaller mouse, you would think it would be better on gas, but I think a 350 with the right combo would get the same thing due to the 350`s longer stroke. Since you want to use this for work, I would use the 350, it makes more torque, and the torque you`ll need for a heavy pickup of those years, parts are cheaper, and it`s dead reliable when built correctly. If you go 350, make sure the rebuild kit you order doesn`t have "rebuilder" or "destroked" pistons in the kit, these pistons have .020 off the compression height which kills compression, power, and quench. From the factory, the correct compression height of a 350 piston is 1.560, the destroked pistons have 1.540. if the kit doesn`t mention the compression height or give a part number to look up the pistons information, don`t buy that kit, find one that does.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:16 PM
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Logic from this statement
Quote:
my buddy who is into stock restoration votes for the 283 ("Every knucklehead has a 350!"), my wife likes the practical nature of the 350.
should dictate your choice. Unless you aren't getting along that well with your wife. She also probably has a bit more control over the checkbook than your buddy.


In a while, Chet.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:35 PM
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That's the first thing that flashed through my mind too, Chet.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:58 PM
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Unless you want to sleep with your buddy ... I suggest a 350
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:00 PM
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Woulda, shoulda, coulda

I have a 65 Chevy Fleetside, that I just removed an inline 6 cly, and dropped in a 1962 283. I then replaced the older Turbo 350 with a 700R4 trans.
Last night about 11pm I discovered there is no good place to mount the starter. I decided to go in the house eat icecream and watch porn!
The guys at the parts store just do a blank stare when I say 283.
I am also wondering about having to use lead additive for the gas?
I love the fact that it's a simple clean engine........not many hoses...I love simplicity...........but I kinda wish I'd looked another few days and gone with a 350.
Actually......what I'll probably end up doing is either buying a nice clean remanufacured 350 so I can begin at the beginning with paint, nice intake, some chrome goodies. Inside I'll just keep it stock.
Also.....those guys are right about your Wife. The best way to deal with the Wife/Hot Rod issues is to "get her involved" Let her have some input, let her be invested in the ride too.........it'll become something you can share. When she starts saying "our truck" in place of "his damned truck" you've got it licked!
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:46 PM
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Go with the 350- its cheaper all around. You can use the 283 2bbl to save gas. I would also suggest a Lunati 256Voodoo cam, small diameter long tube headers, and HEI. It will really pull in that truck and still give pretty good milage- not to mention its a relatively cheap build with stock heads and a cast bottom end.
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:30 PM
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You DID say you want gas mileage right??! ...then go 283! You already have the engine, it would be a matter of just rebuilding it's (pretty much like a 350 cost wise). The key here is the block and crank need to be usable. The only "trick" thing you need to do is to the heads (IF the cast number is older then 76), you put hardened seats under the exhaust valves so they don't "pound out" ...then you won't have to worry about "additives"! AND by default you'll have an "interesting" 283 Chevy as apposed to the "run of the mill" 350 ...and it'll look just like the 350 so you can keep the wife happy to ...and not end up sleeping in the dog house! *G* My $0.02 anyway, Good Luck!
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:40 PM
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350 all the way.Like somebody said you can dress it as a 283. We all start out wanting a good daily driver till we have to pull a heavy load or the wrong person pulls up beside you at a stoplight then we all wish we had used the 350.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC50Chev
OK, I'm just looking for opinion and perspective. I'm going to be building up a '50 Chevy 1/2 ton for looks and for work. It'll be a mild build, with a cushy front end (for cruisin'), a new rear end for driving on the hiway and lots of nice paint to go with the stylin' interior. The question for today, though, is should I put my money in a 283 or 350 engine? The 283 is already in there, nonrunning and it is looking pretty sad. The 350 4-bolt main is a block, crank and 1 head over at the machine shop. Both need the complete rebuild, plus a little boost in the cam, heads, carb and exhaust. So here is my quandry: the 283 is a little more period correct, it is a classic of sorts and it will probably meet my needs for driving around town, down the freeway or pulling a trailer. No tire spinning, please. But the 350 is overall cheaper and more practical/versatile. I'm torn: my buddy who is into stock restoration votes for the 283 ("Every knucklehead has a 350!"), my wife likes the practical nature of the 350. I'm collecting opinions, now, so let's here it from the crowd out there. And yes, I'll keep in mind that I'll get what I pay for...
Last I remember, SBCs were still 5 years in the future from 1950, so why is a 283 more period correct for a 50 pickup than a 350. Besides from the outside you really need to know your SBCs to tell the difference.

Bogie
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
Unless you want to sleep with your buddy ... I suggest a 350
That ain't right

Vince
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:30 PM
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...Remember the 283 is a short stroke engine, it may not be faster then the 350, but going across and intersection it'll be quicker ...FYI!
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:21 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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it will not be quicker either- they have less torque and HP... saying a equally built 283 is quicker makes no sense.

a 283 may not save you much if any gas at all- remember people are running caddilac 500's and getting 23 MPG's- it all has to do with engine load and efficentcy.

The only reason to build a 283 is if you want to rev it to the moon... something I doubt is needed in a cruisin truck.
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:53 PM
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283

Whats with the starter thing? It seems to me that only on the very first small blocks (265) did the starter not bolt to the block. By 1962 it should bolt up like any other s/b. Keep the 283 because it is the older engine and where would all the flat head Fords be if everyone dumped them for the more modern engine?
Ps. I am always being told to run a 454 instead of my "little396" Clint
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