Originally Posted by jlang
Is there any difference between this motor and the high performance ones other than heads and compression? I intend to change intake carb and cam anyways. If I switched to flat top pistons and better heads would this be worth it?
In all honesty, a 283 is not going to give you the kind of performance per dollar spent that a 350 will.
You will be much better off using a later model 5.7L (aka "350") SBC engine as a foundation. The 283 is small, and it is old school (2 piece rear main seal, no factory provisions to use a hydraulic roller cam). If it were a 327 (meaning it had a 4" bore from the start) it could be an OK block to work with, but it's not. The 283 block can be bored to 4" about 1/2 the time, but will fail the other 1/2. And even then the cylinder walls will be paper thin and there's no more rebuilding it. Plus it's a small journal block, meaning there are no factory cranks any larger than 3-1/4" stroke that will fit it- meaning the max you can get is 327 cid w/o using some sort of custom crank.
If you do a search here or elsewhere for a "vortec 350" or similar terms you can read up on the best engine IMO to use as a starting point.