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Old 09-16-2010, 02:15 PM
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350 vs 383?

My name is Brad Perkins. I am building a 1959 Chevy "Suburban" and I am getting rid of the Olds 307 that is currently in it. In debating between a crate SB 350 and a 383, I am wondering if the cost is that much different and what the gas mileage hit might be. It is a 4000 lb. vehicle. and the torque factor may be an issue. It is not planned to be a racer, but I do want to be able to get it off the line at a stoplight. Any idea of costs?

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Old 09-16-2010, 02:42 PM
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Cost for a 383 is about 400 more on average; mileage is about the same for either engine.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:48 PM
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Well the more cubic inches and bigger stroke the more torque you will have in a lower rpm range which is a plus. But on the flip side its not just so simple as getting the crank putting it in and all is well. There are many clearances that have to be checked such as the rod bolts hitting the cam lobes, the block and others.

I personally like my 350 andI can get the right parts and put it all together and don't have to worry about all that. Yes some horsepower and torque is left on the table but if your not all out racing etc why to you really have go squeeze every ounce of power you can get?

I once had a 383 motor and went back to a 350 only because of various personal reasons. In my opinion a 350 can be made with good flowing heads and a mild cam can be more then enough for a heavy vehicle for towing purposes and more then enough torque. You can go milder on cam in a 383 and get good torque with it with out having to go a little bigger then you would on a 350.

I guess you will have to way the pros and con's between the two. If you want the most torque you can get then that is the way you should go. Main thing with a 383 is the correct clearances and making sure you get the right piston for compression wise so you not making too much for pump gas.

I am happy with both of my 350 motors and would never really go to a 383 ever again. This is my opinion but others or most will not agree with me but that is why there is so many different engine combos so what the person likes then can make it to what they want.
Eric
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:02 PM
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Also forgot the factor of cost. Mine that I had 7 years ago was really not that much more then the last two 350 engines I did. About the main cost factor for me was that the after market balancers that are external for a 400 sbc crank always cost more on average.

When I got mine I got a rotating assembly using the shorter 5.565 connecting rods so I was able to use a normal 350 piston and not have to worry about the rod bolts hitting the cam lobes.

When I came time to rebuild the engine to make it a full roller motor I learned about the 383 piston having the rings moved up more towards the top of the piston and having to have special type after market connecting rods to clear the rod bolts from hitting the cam lobes.

I personally don't like the idea of grinding on any of the rod bolt heads or the rods them selves depending of they are through bolt or cap screw type just to make them work. It's not normal but I have heard of the bolts being grounded down too much and the bolt was ripped clear through the rod itself cause of too much material taken off.

That is why I went back with a 350 combo. Mine are not raced anyways just driven for fun nothing more.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:05 PM
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If your going to buy a crank then go with a 383. As for money spent the cranks will be the same price no matter the stroke, the rods will be the same price, pistons may or may not be the same price, but should be pretty close to each other. Other than that it is a small block chevy......

Also you said something about crate engines, GM makes a Crate engine 383, might be something to look into.

As for gas milage, that kind of depends on how you drive.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:36 PM
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i agree with the above post, if you are going to buy a crank then buy a crank for a 383. you will like it a ton better in that big ol burb.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:05 PM
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For a '59 'Burb I'd go with the 383. They are relatively heavy and push a LOT of air, the 383 won't have to work as hard and for that reason may actually get a little better mileage, certainly no worse if tuned properly.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:17 PM
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Didn't that 59 suburban come with a a little 283 when it was new? That means it more than likely has a pretty low geared rear end(numerically higher). Putting a 350 or a 383 in there without changing gears in the dif will likely burn more gas than the 307 did. If you can change gearing in the differential then a 383 or 350 might maybe get a little bit better gas mileage if they were tuned well but it just takes a certain amount of fuel to make a certain amount of power. The bigger motor can make a similar amount of power at a lower rpm that a smaller motor can make at a higher rpm and will burn a similar amount of fuel doing it.
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