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Old 04-28-2002, 03:47 AM
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Cool 383 or 400

hi, me and my buddies are going to biuld a 69 nova (pos) this summer. this car is only going to see weekend driving/racing. currently the 307 in it thru a rod.

i was thinking about running a 383 stroker motor but i like the 400 as well, what should i do? this is a low budget project so iam trying to avoid all the machine work that i can.

my goal-
im trying to get this beater into the mid to high 12's without nos or any other crap. roughly how much HP will it take to achieve my goal?

what do you think would be the cheapest engine to biuld that could achieve my goal?

whats the cheapest (but descent) manual tranny i could get for this car?

how big of a cam do you think i could run without the damn thing dieing on me at stop lights when i hit the brakes/low RPM?

THANKYOU for all your help!

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Old 04-28-2002, 08:13 AM
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I was about to build a 383...had the 350 4 bolt block and a 400 crank that I had bought off ebay. Then I started researching all the machine work that went along with building this motor. First you have to have your block bored .030. If you have a 400 crank, it has to be ground down to 350 journal size. If you buy a crank already ground its gonna cost you a fortune. Then you have to have each rod grinded so that they dont hit your cam. Then you have to have special pistons that are made just for a 383 stroker..they're not as tall as a normal 350 piston and the rings are a little higher on the piston...if you use stock 350 pistons they will be shoved right out the top of the bore because of the longer stroke. There is also machine work that has to be done on the bottom side of the block. This is not a cheap motor to build. I ended up trading my 400 crank for a 1968 medium journal 327 crank which will slide right into a 350 block. Im going to put this crank in my 4 bolt 350 block which will simply make my motor a 327 and I dont have to have any machine work done unless I decide to bore the block. If you have the funds build the 383 stroker, I heard they produce serious horsepower but then I also heard that you can achieve just as much horsepower from a 350 if you set it up right. Good luck, Charles
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Old 04-28-2002, 08:51 AM
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Cool

Low budget--stick with a 350 you can acheive what your looking for.right cam,decent heads,pistons,gears,intake, but if you have a 400 build it they are getting hard to find tho you can get a stroker cast crank for 200 dollars but as charles said more machine work assembly should be balanced more $$ as far as cam size Id stay around 480--510 lift should be able to build a 350 for around 1000 bucks just my opinion

[ April 28, 2002: Message edited by: wrenchturner ]</p>
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Old 04-28-2002, 10:12 AM
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I agree with the boys here, build the 350 and stroke it for the extra cubes. 400 ci Chevy's have weaker rods than the 350 Chevy's (they are shorter) and have the siamesed center bores that tend to lead to higher leak down rates on the center 2 cylinders because of weaker cooling even with the cooling holes drilled in the block and heads.

You could run up to a 305 duration cam on the street without too many drivabilty problems, just don't expect it to idle at 600 rpm. I have run 351W and 351C Fords with 290 duration 1/2"lift cams and get 16-18 inches of vacuum at 900 rpm idle speed with these engines, just remember to run suitable heads to use the extra breathing these camshafts will allow otherwise you just have a rumpy engine that sounds great but can't win a race. The engine is a package and be sure to design it that way so all the components complement each other.

As for trannies I would stick to a Muncie for street/strip use but a well built Saginaw will work for a while too. Any Muncie built properly will handle what your engine could dish out and last, there's no need to look for a M22 (rock crusher) unless you like the whine of the straight cut gears and you want to run 10 sec quarters every weekend.
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:12 PM
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if you're looking to keep costs down, increase drivability and still be able to lauch the crap out of your nova then i would say go with a straight up 350. 383's are expensive and finiky to build and if they aren't done right then they can be less than reliable (so i've heard). 400's are good engines, they can produce good power numbers while remaining very streetable; however, they are harder to find than a 350 and if you do find a good candadate they are generally quite expensive. in various magaizines and what not there are hundreds of 350 build ups ranging from mild 350hp daily drivers to wild 550-600hp pavement pounders. but if you are really only interested in those two engines then i would personally go with the 400, it'll cost less than a 383 with less hassle.
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:32 PM
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thanks guys for all the info!
im really thinking about doing that 383, i will talk to my buddie and see if he wants to put more money into the machining of the block.

do you guys know of any good web sites that can help me out with engine combos? like you guys said an engine is a package deal.

thanks alot
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:36 PM
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so do the rest of you guys think a strait up 350 would be the best for me?
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:51 PM
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Don't forget about a good set of gears for the rear. You can definately hit 12's with a 350. And you know that little whine from an M-22 always did give me a little chubby (if you know what I mean).

[ April 28, 2002: Message edited by: dmorris1200 ]</p>
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Old 04-28-2002, 03:09 PM
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Just an F.Y.I. I have been looking all over the internet for 383 Strokers. I found a good deal on a short block at: www.speedomotive.com. The info is listed below, all tha machine work and assembly is already done.

450 H.P. SBC STREET WARRIOR CHEVY 350 STROKER ENGINE

ASSEMBLED SHORT Block:
$1,395.00

ASSEMBLED SHORT BLOCK INCLUDES: NEW! HIGH NODULAR 3.750 STROKE CRANK
5.565 STAGE 1 GM RODS WITH ARP WAVE-LOC BOLTS
FED. MOGUL CAST FLAT TOP PISTONS
GRANT CAST RING SET
FULLY MACHINED CLEARANCED 350 2 BOLT BLOCK, EXPERT BLUEPRINT ASSEMBLY
BALANCED TO WITHIN 1/2 GRAM WHEN FLYWHEEL & DAMPER ARE ADDED TO ORDER
FREE SHIPPING

Hope this helps.

Joe
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