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Old 04-25-2011, 11:32 AM
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Heads for a 283

I have a 283 SBC I want to build for my 31' Ford. Nothing exotic, moderate power, mostly reliable, nothing for racing is what I'm after. I have the original heads that I was planning to port for better flow, etc. Without getting into fancy aluminum after market heards, roller rockers, titanium this & that, is there a better SBC head I might consider that will bolt up and work well with the 283? I'm fairly new to engine building but want to give it a go. A lot of my buds tell me the best thing I could do is throw the motor to scrap and get a crate 350 but then I wouldnt get to build a motor myself for my car. Any other other simple ideas for this motor would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:34 PM
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What year is your 283? It could have the power pack heads on it.
Is it a four barrel carb motor? Economically speaking I would just overhaul what you have.Going in a A model a stock 283 with a small four barrel carb will scoot pretty good.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:14 PM
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the "416" casting 305 HO heads and the "059" 305 vortec heads would be huge improvements over the heads you currently have. Both would require a different intake manifold. You could get away with modifying the stock one for the "416" heads, but the "059"s must have a vortec-specific intake. Both heads are designed to run on modern unleaded fuel, where your current heads are not.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:36 PM
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A warm cam would help the 283 especially with a 416 heads or any 58CC 305 H.O. Heads would do a nice job.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:48 PM
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I didnt even think about the modern unleaded fuel issue. The casting number I found on the block say its 1958-1962. I believe, but not certain, they are the original heads with a unknown make shiny four barrel intake put on by the guy who had it previously. My plan was a Performer type intake with a 650 carb I already have and a slightly bumpy cam. I'd like to keep it simple and I'm not really sure what 416 heads are, but if they are better than original can I simply find a set and bolt them up? How do I tell what heads I have, and, if the heads I have are the originals, I been told they can 'harden' seats for modern fuel, is this so? Any response to this will probaly generate several more questions so I thank you in advance for your info and patience with me.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:40 PM
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You can find what heads you have by popping the valve covers and telling us the casting numbers. I too would recommend 416 heads off a 305 chevy. They have small 58cc chambers, 160cc runners and 1.84 intake valves, perfect for a 283. The old school heads that came on these engines have very small 1.72 intake valves, 57cc chambers and 137cc intake runners, they run out of breath by 3000 RPM. Sure they can be rebuilt and have hardended seats for unleaded fuel, but this would cost $$. You can likely get a used set of 416 heads for $100 bolt on and ready to go so there`s no need to investing the money in the old heads. Plus the 416 heads have accessory holes so modern brackets will bolt on.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:16 PM
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58 and early 59 heads had valve cover holes that were not in line with each other.

the later heads have the valve cover holes in line.

Might be something to consider if you plan on using aftermarket covers
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:27 AM
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I checked the heads and found 3774882 on both. I also found A220 / 18 on one, and A270 / 18 on the other. I suppose this means something. I'm sold on the 416 heads you guys speak of. How would I know I'm getting these heads other than word of mouth, and what heads do I have based on the #'s I provided?
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:30 AM
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Oh, and forgot to mention the valve cover holes appear to line up on the heads, and will there be any modern unleaded fuel issues with these 416 305 HO Heads?
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:53 AM
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are you sure that's not 3774682? Those would be pretty run of the mill 283/327 heads. The 416's are "modern" heads, used on the High Output (HO) Camaros and Monte Carlos of the 80s. They will work fine with unleaded fuel. Under the valve cover you'll see the casting number and it will read 14014416.

You will often hear sbc heads referred to by the last three numbers of the casting, which is a simpler way of referencing them.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:58 AM
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The 882 heads are 350 smogger heads with 76 cc chambers = lousy ports and very low compression The 416's will work a ton better and will have no issues with unleaded gas.

If you buy used heads and depending on their visual condition I would invest in some machine shop time, at least have them looked at. A lot easier to have them fixed now that to find out after you install them that they are cracked....have a bad valve (s)....warped....worn guides...worn out springs etc. Also, you real sure it's a 283??
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:02 PM
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I was thinking the same thing at first when I saw "882" at the end, but the 76c smogger casting number is 333882, which leads me to believe this casting number is actually 3774682. Which would put it directly in the family of heads for a 327 or 283 out of a passenger car or truck.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:24 PM
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I double checked and your right, it is 682. I checked the block #3756519 on an internet site a while back and it listed as a 58-62 283. I sure appreciate all the info. One more question, reference the old oil breather tube on the back of the block, is there any advantages to tapping into that for any particular reason or should I just leave it plugged as it is now?
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:58 PM
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Plug it up and use a PCV valve and breather in opposite valve covers.

No advantage to using that draft tube that I can think of----other than restoration.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:40 PM
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There are three version of 305 58CC heads you can choose.
14022601
14102187
14014416
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