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Old 09-01-2012, 11:12 AM
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383 mystery

hi all, I'm a new one here but this seemed like the logical place to maybe get some help.383 stroker engine. P/O supposedly built it but he could not provide enough info on it to really make me believe he did anything. He couldn't even tell me what kind of cam it was....I know it has cast vortec heads on it, edelbrock performer intake, edelbrock carb (was say it was a 650-700)anyways my problem is this. the truck ran great, had a little hesitation when going w.o.t. like it was stumbling on itself but only for a split second, then it would set you back in the seat, and slight valve train noise. one day i went out to crank it and it started popping at idle out of the tail pipes and didn't seem like it hardly had any power at all. truck ran great the day before, no issues at all. on top of the popping it wants to puff some whitish smoke from the tail pipe, right bank only. it has true duals, only the right side does the smoke thing.i have cleared up most of the valve noise. retarded the timing just a little and that seemed to help with the popping at idle but when i bring rpm's up around 1500+ range it starts wanting to do it again.the white smoke doesn't smell like antifreeze, the exhaust has more of a fuel smell to it, so i'm thinking the carb may also be out of adjustment a little.and on a timing note, for some d**n reason the chrome aftermarket timing cover doesn't have any marks for timing, so trying to use a timing light on this thing is a waste of time unless there is some trick i don't know (very possible)long story short, i'm about to pull my hair out at this popping noise and smoke/strong fuel smell, any ideas? thanks in advance to those that contribute

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Old 09-01-2012, 02:52 PM
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Welcome to the board. Is it running rough as well? Checked compression and for vacuum leaks? Sticking valve? What do the plugs look like? Try pulling the plug wires one at a time to see if popping goes away, use something insulated.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:52 PM
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have gave the valve train a visual check with engine running and not running. As far as running rough, no not really. At idle she counts off perfectly, no dead miss or even slight miss. Only time the trouble rears its head is when she is wound up to around 1500+ rpm. Have inspected all vaccume lines, all looks good there. At 1500+ its starts wanting to pop in tailpipe and feels like a slight miss coming on. Haven't compression checked anything yet or leak down tested.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. I tried posting on Chevy forum and got almost 200 views but not even a hello
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:22 PM
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have you removed the valve cover to inspect rockers and springs?compression test,check plugs? If you have an inductive timing light,check all the wires at idle and 1500 rpm
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:40 PM
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yes I have removed the covers and checked the springs and rockers. There is an issue on using a timing light, there is no timing tab on the cover. Trying to use a light on this thing is a waste of time.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:00 PM
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" If you have an inductive timing light,check all the wires at idle and 1500 rpm"
it was to find a weak or fouled plug,,, I should have been more clear.just use the timing light as an indicator that the plug is fact firing,not for when just that it is. move the pick up 1 by 1 to each and every wire.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:32 PM
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IMO the first thing you have to do is get the timing set before you fiddle with the carb. If you can't use the timing tab to locate true TDC, then you'll need to buy a piston stop to screw into the #1 spark plug hole far enough to stop the piston on its upward travel in the bore(both forward and reverse rotation) say 20 degrees before TDC. You should back-off the valve adjusting nuts enough to leave enough slack so that the valves on #1 don't open much, so they don't hit the piston stop and get bent.
You can do what I did and make a pointer out of say a heavy close hanger wire, and attach it to a un-used bolt hole on the opposite side of the stock timing tab(see pic), and bend it so that its close to the balancer say 1/8" and dosen't move when crank is rotated. Turn the crank slowly with a wrench until piston just hits the stop, and scribe mark the balancer at the end of the pointer, turn the crank in the opposite direction and mark the balancer at the end of the pointer again. Halfway between marks should be TDC(zero degrees timing reference). Turn the crank so that you can use a tape measure or something similar to measure the distance between marks and divde by 2 and mark balancer at mid point between marks.
Buy a timing tape thats the correct size for the diameter of your balancer, and install it so the 0 degrees is on the mark at the mid point. Make sure the wire pointer can be seen right next to the tape. Don't bend the wire or you'll have to do it all over again.
After your done and remove piston stop, re-adjust valves on #1.
I don't know if my explanation is easy enough to understand. I believe there is a wiki on finding TDC and installing a timing tape thats alot better than my post.
Its easier to see marks from other side IMO. Anyway I do know that you should get the timing set before anything other tuning is done. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:01 PM
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Wow. Thanks for all the suggestions. Neat tip on the timing light, I never thought of that. Definatly gonna remember that. Looks like I've got some things to try over the next couple of days.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:04 PM
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I'd make sure that the plug wires are well separated and not burnt or otherwise damaged. It kind of sounds like you may have a crossfire problem. Beyond that you need to check the compression or better yet check it with a leak down tester. It could be a stuck or burnt exhaust valve but I'd bet that it's an ignition problem.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:06 PM
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hey all. sorry it has taken so long to get back on here. ended up pulling the motor and rebuilding her top to bottom. they boy i got it from lied to me to start with. it was not a 383, it was just a 350 with several internal issues. all the bearings from mains to cam looked like you had thrown sand in them. they were badly chewed. after lots of cursing and blood and sweat. it's back together and running like a champ.

here's a basic rundown after rebuild

350 bored .40 over
decked
line bored
aluminum flat top pistons
eagle crank
hastings racing gapless file to fit rings
king main and cam bearings
vortec heads (shaved, umbrella seals installed, 3 angle valve job, stiffer springs, comp cams full roller rockers, dart stud girdles)
edelbrock performer rpm intake
edelbrock 600 carb (needs holley )

thanks to all that tried to help initially. couldn't ever get the thing to just run right, so just went ahead and solved all problems lol.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:16 PM
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hope you enjoy a lot of wheel time,,,
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