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Old 01-14-2003, 06:31 PM
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Post 383 on very tight budget

I have a small block chevy 350 with a high nickle content block. I just took it apart for rebuilding of just new rings and bearings. But i just noticed that my crankshaft is bad. So instead of buying a stock 3.48 stroke crank. Why not go for the 400 crank. I figured getting the engine bored .03 over and new pistons matched would be about 180 bucks. I already have a new stock cam for it a new S.P.2.P intake. I want this engine to run strong in the low RPM range. I need a new crank anyway, what would it cost for a machine shop to do all the grinding to get that 3.75 stroke crank to fit. I also have freshly rebuilt 64 cc' heads for it. Would that be 2 much compression with the extra cubes and a stock cam. This is not going to be a race engine, so i dont need any expensive stuff for it. I would be using stock rods and stock size bearing and prob a $130 crank . I am just wondering what you think this would cost?? Block bored .03 over new 383 pistons matched to it, and all the grinding work to get the crank to fit?? Also would i need any specail balencing stuff even though i neva intend to make this engine go past 4,500 RPM, and seldom even up to 3,500, so i want a low end tourqe motor out of this what you think.....

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Old 01-14-2003, 06:46 PM
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the problem with grinding down the 400 mains is the cost of the labor, it takes a long time, a grinder can do three or four regular cranks in the time it takes to do one 383 crank from a 400 core and you have to pay for that time, in this area its over $150.00, so you are better buying a new 383 crank on e-bay for $130. and pay $30.00 shipping. you have to have either one balanced and that is another $150.00, how big is your budget?
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:51 PM
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No i intend to buy the 130 dollar crank from ebay. It is just that wouldnt the crank hit the camshaft journals?? What would that cost to be ground down. My budget is small, very small, I got like 200 saved and i make 45 a week. Im 16 so i dont work that much and I have nothing else to buy. So i can get some money up but i cant afford an $700 build up
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:54 PM
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the crank isn't what hits the cam and sides its the rods, you have to grind the head of the rod bolt to clear, and the lower part of the cylinders to clear the rods.
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:56 PM
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beleive me, with a $700.00 budget you would be better off with the 350, put your money into a good sturdy shortblock, then add parts later as you can afford them.
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Old 01-14-2003, 07:01 PM
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Wouldnt the new pistons come with that lower part of the pistons already cut off?? Also if i find a used 400 dampener what can this really cost me?? 3 4 hundred??
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Old 01-14-2003, 07:15 PM
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the pistons are clearanced for the crank, a used 400 balancer is going for over $35.00 on e-bay+shipping, also you will need a 400 flywheel new if possible $65.00 then you have to change your starter because the 400 is larger, then you have the cost of a good rebuild kit, it all adds up rather quickly.
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Old 01-15-2003, 02:36 AM
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Im using an auto=matic transmision and i cant go with a big fly-wheele or the starter would hit the header pipe's i already got a new fly-wheele for it whats the difference beetween a 450 flywheele and a 383 flywheele????
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Old 01-15-2003, 02:37 AM
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I ment 400** flywheele
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Old 01-15-2003, 04:56 AM
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the 400 is externally ballanced and requires a special flywheel and ballancer. in my oppinion you are much better off staying with the 350. i would contact PAW, http://www.pawinc.com/ they have cheap good matched parts.
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:12 AM
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I have a 383 and it was a little more than $3000 to build. I don't have price part for part because I just told the guy at the machine shop to add all that I did not have. A good crank can be gotten at a junk yard for $100 or less but you will need to be aware of the mileage that it has and the added cost of a good machine job, $200. You can get a rebuild kit from Summit racing for $350 and it includes pistons and rings, freeze plugs and barings but no rods. at this point in the build you have just about reached your $700 budget. In my opinion the only way to build a 383 with that money is to put it in the bank and add to it with intrest and deposits. Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:31 AM
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Yes, these guys are right on, at least in my experience, and I've built quite a few 383s. 3000$ is about what I normally spend, but that's just parts, I do the machine work myself (except for the balancing, which is a MUST on 383s). Yes, the rod bolts do indeed need to be clearanced slightly, and the cylinder walls at the bottom of the cylinder need to be clearanced. I've also had to grind reliefs at the base of the block on the oil pan rail before, but it varies with each individual engine. You can buy a decent balanced assembly new for 500 to 700 bucks, (Ebay is scary!)but the machine work and balancing will cost you at least that, and probably more. Turning the crank down, and re balancing it will run you almost 300 bucks alone here. I think these guys are right, realistically speaking you're better off with a built 350.
Good Luck.
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Old 01-15-2003, 10:50 AM
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Stereodude,

I am currently building a 383 stroker. I bought the Crankshaft and rods on E-Bay. I also bought pistons which are made for a 383 on E-Bay. Normal 350 pistons have the wrong pin height. I will have about $850 in the short block. It will produce more low end torque than a 350.

Joe
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Old 01-15-2003, 02:33 PM
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Thank you everyone for your replies,

I am having second thoughts now, on what to do. Also depending on what my parents would let me do. They may not think someone's fitst car should be a 383 in a 1969 firebird. They are very restictive on my cam choice, head choice, and intake choice. But i think if the 383 is duable they would let me do it.
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