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Old 03-19-2010, 05:44 AM
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Flywheel and clutch advice for 383 stroker

I'm in the process of building a 500hp 383 Chevy and need to get a flywheel ordered so my machine shop can balance the rotating assembly.

I've been given conflicting advice re. steel or cast flywheel. Cast flywheels are a lot cheaper, but some have said they can be dangerous (can explode) in non-stock applications. Others have said that, if it's a street car (which it is), a cast flywheel is absolutely fine. Well, the car will be used 99% on the street and won't see more than 6,500rpm... most of the time, it will be driven around sedately at much lower rpm levels. So, cast or steel?

I've seen this SFI-spec steel flywheel cheap on eBay...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SBC-C...item335b3b972b

I don't quite understand the seller's statement about it not working with spring-style clutches? Would a Centerforce Dual Friction or a McLeod Kevlar clutch work with this flywheel? I've asked the seller the same question, but wanted to canvass on here too. Also, why is this flywheel so light (18lbs)??? I've looked at a McLeod steel flywheel and that was a LOT heavier.

Thanks!

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:38 AM
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The flywheel in your link is light because it is thinner than a standard weight flywheel, making the relief in the center shallower. Since it is thinner, a clutch disc with a multiple coil sprung cushioned center hub will not fit, it will hit the heads of the bolts holding the flywheel to the crank. It requires you to run a thinner non cushioned racing clutch disc, which will lead to chatter in street use.

The Dual Friction won't work because the disc has a sprung hub. I don't know about the McLeod Kevlar, what kind of disc does it have??

I would think with a 383 you would want a bigger diameter flywheel than the small 11" 153 tooth to get enough holding power, or are you going to use a twin disc or race clutch on the small flywheel.

The 14" 168 tooth 400 external is usually the only size available for 400/383, unless you found someone who is selling the 11" with external balance??

I would not have a problem using a cast flywheel in your application, but racetracks will want you to have a safety bellhousing regardless of what you have inside. Steel would add a lot of safety if you aren't using a good bell.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the info. My bellhousing is cast aluminum, so I think I'll stump-up the extra for a steel flywheel and peace of mind.

My local supplier has the following flywheels listed...

BY460236* 400 cu in externally balanced 168T
Also used on 383 conversion.
* Clutch patterns: 10" / 10" / 10.95" / 11"/ 12" B&B and Diaph. and
11" long 5/16" holes.

BY460361 1986 and on, 305 & 350 w/CB, 153T
Clutch patterns: 10" / 10-1/2" / 10.95" B & B and Diaphragm.

BY460261 1986 and on, 305 & 350 w/CB, 168T
Clutch patterns: 10" / 10" / 10.95" / 11"/ 12" B&B and Diaph. and
11" long 5/16" holes.

I have a 1986 1-piece rear main seal block and my 383 rotating assembly is externally balanced. Do I need the last flywheel in the above list (BY460261)? I believe my bellhousing has bolt holes to accommodate both 153 and 168 tooth flywheels.

Should I also be looking at a 12" clutch disc?

Thanks.

Last edited by v8hed; 03-19-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:01 PM
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I would think it would be the 86-up 168 tooth if it will fit in the bellhousing, but you are saying the crank is external balance and I am not totally familiar with what this means on the 1-piece seal blocks, as all flywheels for these are external balance. Does and external balance 383 1-piece seal need more balance weight than the regular weight that is on one?? Best to call the crank manufacturer and find out what wheel you need.

11" should be a big enough clutch, but you could go to 12" if you wanted to.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:09 PM
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My machinist tells me I need an external balance flywheel. When I asked him if my assembly was external or internal balance, he said it was somewhere in between, which had me confused. He said with a factory 400, there is a specific amount of weight needed and that makes it externally balanced. With my assy, where the rods and pistons have all been weight-matched, I think material is ground away or added to both crank and external damper/flywheel until everything balances. All this stuff do to with bob weights and what not. I'm not sure, but he knows what he's doing as he builds race engines.
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