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Old 03-24-2009, 08:20 PM
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Building a 383 Stroker

I am very new to this and have just purchased a 1984 Camaro. I have the opportunity to purchase a 383 stroker but the individual that has it does not know anything about it. The engine is on a crate and I would like to know if there is a way for me to check to see what components it has. There are no timing gears or timing cover. Would I be able to see numbers on the crank and cam or what should I look for.

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Old 03-25-2009, 07:40 AM
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Sounds fishy. Internal or external balance rotating assembly? 2 bolt or 4 bolt mains? Roller block or not? Does he have the correct balancer & flywheel/flexpate to go with it? Flat top, dome, or dished pistons?

Regardless, w/out paperwork, I would treat this thing as a core. If the cylinder walls have fresh cross hatching & are not pear-shaped shaped then perhaps it is ok. Keep in mind that cross hatching alone does not indicate "true" cylinder walls - you need to measure them. I would still plan on having the block checked and rebalancing the rotating assembly just to be safe. If you make an offer, plan accordingly... If the cylinders wall are worn, then definitely treat this as a core... Yes; I'm pesimistic, but I've been burned a couple times on used engines.

A stroker is bit tricky because you can get to 383 ci several different ways (5.7" rods vs. 6.0" rods for example). You can also get there with a turned-down 400 crank OR an aftermarket, small journal, crank. Besides getting the casting number info off of the crank, try to get a look at the pistons as well. The 383's - especially the ones w/ 6" rods - put the pins higher up in the pistons to compensate for the longer stroke.

The Comp cams that I have seen were stamped with grind numbers on the end of the core. I can't remeber off the top of my head which end mine were stamped on. I would think that most manufacturers stamp their grind #'s on the cams. See if you can get a grind number & research it.

Good luck! Post back with pics & more questions once you have look at it. I'm sure people can give you lots of advice once they see what you're looking at.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:05 AM
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Thanks Big Mouse

I appreciate your information. I will do as you say and take pics to post. The price is really good so even if I have to take it to a builder it may be worth it. I will proceed slowly. The story is the motor was built for a car that was totaled before it could be installed. Again Thanks for your reply!
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:21 PM
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Only way I would buy it is if it was in pieces so I could identify and measure everything. Like Big Mouse, I've been had when I was younger.

You need to know, like Big Mouse said, what crank was used, whether it is a turned down 400 crank or an aftermarket crank, is it internally or externally balanced (external if 400), rod length and manufacturer, piston compression height, type and manufacturer, piston deck height, camshaft type, part number and manufacturer, solid flat tappets, hydraulic flat tappets, solid roller tappets, hydraulic roller tappets, head casting number if OEM, head manufacturer and part number if aftermarket, combustion chamber size, gasket bore and thickness, etc., etc., etc.

It is my attitude not to believe ANYTHING that ANYONE tells me about something he/she is trying to sell me. If their lips are moving, they're lying.
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