come ONE come ALL! SBC debate: 327, 350, 383 or 400. which do you like best and why? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:25 PM
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Post come ONE come ALL! SBC debate: 327, 350, 383 or 400. which do you like best and why?

i was planning on a 400 sbc for my street/strip(mostly strip) s10 blazer conversion project. but i see the most popular choice for SBC on this board is the 383. i was just wondering why it is such a popular choice.

i have searched the last 10 pages for a thread like this, with no luck. so if anyone has a link to an old message please post it, i am very interested to learn as much as i can about the different small block applications.
Thanks.

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Old 01-28-2003, 06:00 PM
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It's easier to build a 383 than it is to find a 400 in good shape. If given the choice I would go with the extra cubes.
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:14 PM
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What a good idea, we haven't done this before...
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:42 PM
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there is a first time for everything i quess. Yes If I had the money or the choice I would go for more cubes.Go for the 400,be the "different" one in the crowd.
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:49 PM
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i guess it would realy depend on what you want from it
im building a 327 becouse of all the old tales and stories i hear from my father, it was his first engine in a camaro, i got a camaro, i want a 327 aswell

other than that the short stoke of the 237 does cost it over all power but alows it to get spinning quicker

just my 2 cents
Camaro76
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:55 PM
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I love my 327 malibu, but there's no sub for cubic inches is true. I have a elcamino that I am building for max torque it will be a 434 sbc.
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Old 01-28-2003, 07:44 PM
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My first reply was sarcastic...but as long as yall are going to go on with this... Neil, you said you want the 400 to be the different one in the crowd, I would choose the 283 for the same reason, they are often overlooked due to relatively small displacement, however, this gives them the ability to rev much higher much more safely than the other SBCs. But when it comes down to it I would take a stude 289 over any SBC any day.
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Old 01-28-2003, 09:24 PM
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To build a 400 or a 383. I asked that question once of a guy who built a LOT of chevy small block engines. His answer: basically, when you build a 383, you are trying to build a 350 into a 400. When you are done the ONLY difference is the 400 has more cubes, so it makes sense to go 400 instead. BUT: you get a big "torque" engine which is fine if you have the whole family in your station wagon when you burn out off the line. If you NEED to haul a lot of weight around, because you have a hot rod 1 ton truck or Chevy Caprice, well OK then. Most likely you do not. So why not consider taking that 400 block and going for slightly less torque but MORE horsepower? You go the other way, and shorten the stroke and end up with something around 372 cubic inches that runs almost like an Indy car engine!
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:50 AM
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One probable reason the 383 is more popular than the 400 is that 400 OEM blocks don't have enough meat is the web main area. Even with splayed main caps, if the motor is producing over 500hp, it is a time bomb waiting to explode. IMHO, for a street motor, 3.48 stroke is plenty, given the hp potential/cost ratio. If you must have a 400 with a reasonable amount of hp, get a Bowtie or Dart Little M block, and save some $ in the long run.
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:40 AM
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Hey Tony! Here's a little different spin for ya'. How about an unconventional 355 ? Start with a 400 block, find a large journal 327 crank (you'll have to use spacer bearings) get a set of 5.94" p.m. rods and use pistons designed for a 400 with 5.7" rods. With a .030 overbore this combination comes out just under 355"! I have friends who run this engine in roundy round cars and really scream! You'll have plenty of torque to move that little S-10 blazer plus the r.p.m. potential of a 302!Also, the shorter stroke helps the heating problems that sometimes go along with the 400 block.SSSmokin'!!!!

[ January 29, 2003: Message edited by: OddRodder ]</p>
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Old 01-29-2003, 12:25 PM
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I think a 383 built from a late model 86-and up is the best choice as it is easy and cheap to go with a roller cam and use stock lifters which can be very expesive to do with other blocks(can cost as much as $700)just for this option?
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Old 01-29-2003, 02:30 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by drgnwgn289:
<strong>What a good idea, we haven't done this before... </strong><hr></blockquote>

why do people post with the sole intent of being a *****? i stated i looked through the last 10 pages, and then went on to say if it has been done then can someone please post the link so i can check it out.

i got alot of great opinions, and i thank everyone who replied. im still leaning toward the 400. i relize i will have to do alot of work to keep the rear wheels planted, but that is a whole different topic.

anyone else have something to add?
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:14 PM
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if the post is displayed on the bulletin board sometimes people will post to the question in the subject line and not read the rest. as for which is the best engine. if you have a 350 and no money, a 350 is the best engine; if you have a 350 and losta money, a 383 is the best engine; if you are like me and have a 400 sitting in your garage that came outta some pile of crap you just towed to the wreckin yard, then a 400 is the best engine; you on the same page, bra?
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:23 PM
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The engine Oddrodder describes was featured in hot rod magazine as the 350 chevy should have built, allthough the rods used was Ford 300I6 rods, they are 6.207 long and cost 19 bucks each reconditioned from PAW. I can send anyone a copy of the article in .pdf format, just drop me a line at: jakob@regeur.dk
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:16 PM
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About 400s being weak in the webbing area etc... you can fix anything now... OEM blocks are just fine for fairly high hp with some modifying.. For some reason I have heard millions of stories about 400s being crap and how they don't rev high enough and that their rods are too short and even that they overheat... Although there is some truth to the fact that stock 400s rev less than a 350, the rods are not at the premium ratios and the engines do heat up different and will overheat if you don't cool them with a big radiator... WOW big deal I have read that these engines are great... they are hard to find for a reason, 1 not a giant number were produced like 350s, 2 they are good engines if you put the money into them...

Now if you go the 400 route as these guys will all tell you the stock heads are crap...

Trying to make the 350 into a 383 is usually done because there are tons of 350 blocks in comparison to a 400..

ANyhow... ALl these engines are very good depending on your application (you left out the 305, it's a good little engine for milage but sucks for power)

YOu need to look at what you are wanting to do... if you want something cheap and you know where you can get a 350 block cheap do either a 350 or 383, if you want something that is a tourque monster then 400s are easy to get alot of tourque out of.. if you want something that revs very high destroke something...

And finally no matter what you plan on using the engine for there will be several possible engines that can do the job... in the end your choice is probably going to come down to the mighty dollar..
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