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Old 05-30-2008, 08:19 PM
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newbie

Hey all.

I was browsing stuff online and came across your forum. It seems like a wealth of information, so i registered as im sure i will have some questions.

I know almost nothing worth knowing about cars, aside from changing starters and oil, but im a quick study. I have done 2 engine swaps in an s10 with a buddy, and thats about the extent of my knowledge.

Currently im looking to sink 3 or 4 thousand bucks into an 83 scottsdale, to make it worth 1500 Probably a terrible idea for a project, but i love the body style, and i have the cash and will to do it.
Its rusted, and banged up, but i got a buddy with about the same model that i can take his box and doors, and im a damn good painter, so im not worried about any of that.

I basically need somewhere to start for my research. I am very interested in the 383 stroker. I am not looking for a hot rod racing car. I just want torque. As much as i can get for the most bang for my buck. I want it to be able to tow anything, and have nice light to light power. I am more than willing to sacrifice a bit of power for quality. It would be a vehicle i would actually drive alot, and i dont want to get tons of torque only to blow it up cause i bought cheap parts.

Ideally id like decent quality parts to get 400+ lbs of torque. I still want to be able to use cheaper gas and maybe get 15 mpg highway, though it gets 10 now, so if thats a pipedream, then oh well.

If anyone has a guide for this, or maybe a link to decent parts that i will need, or just somewhere to start, i would greatly appreciate it.

basically, i have no idea what the difference is between this one that is from a store in my town
http://www.sehrpower.com/chevysr.htm
, and this that i found online
http://www.proformanceunlimited.com/...3_450drop.html


i know all the parts are different, but i have no idea what any of it means.

Where should i mainly be focusing my money on for power, and where should i put in money so i dont break it?

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if i am asking too much in the introduction page i apologize, and ill continue to browse when i get back.

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Old 05-30-2008, 08:30 PM
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welcome...moving this to the engine forum........you will get answers there.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:07 PM
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So you want to spend 3-4000 dollars on a fifteen hundred dollar truck, well Bunky, you've come to the right place. Hang around here long enough and you'll begin to think that raising the Titanic is a great restoration project.

Humm, how big is that engine? you mean it might fit into my neighborhood? Yeah, I've got couple buddies with pick-up trucks. Would that carry it home?

Yeah, I'd like to buy a million gallons of two pac epoxy, please. Uhh, yeah make that ahhh 1/3 black, 1/3 white, and-da 1/3 red. Oh, I almost forgot, you guys got some brass polish?

There's lots of good books out there today on project building. They're worth their weight in coin of the realm when it comes to keeping budget constrained guys from wandering off the deep end with their Visa card.

These should get your started and will point you to other good reading:

"How To Build Big -Inch Chevy Small Blocks"
by Graham Hansen, SA Design ? 2003, ISBN: 1884089860

"How to Build Max Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget"
By David Vizard

"Small-Block Chevy Engine Buildups: How to Build Horsepower for Maximum Street and Racing Performance" by the publishers of Chevy High Performance Magazine

Bogie
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:20 PM
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Sorry, i cant tell if you are making fun of me, or if you have a sense of humor i just dont understand. But, you have given me somewhere to look, and i thank you, so im guessing it was the latter.


edit: Are these types of books usually at a library, or is it better to just buy them?

Last edited by kiranos; 05-30-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranos
Sorry, i cant tell if you are making fun of me, or if you have a sense of humor i just dont understand. But, you have given me somewhere to look, and i thank you, so im guessing it was the latter.


edit: Are these types of books usually at a library, or is it better to just buy them?
Best to do a websearch for those books to find the best price. I doubt any are in the library. If you've never built an engine the 383 may not be the best 1 to start with if you plan on doing all the clearancing modifications yourself. Do some reading 1st.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:03 AM
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Definately humor,I think his point kinda was their are a lot of us who will gladly sink thousands into a project worth hundreds, it ain't the money it's the enjoyment.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranos
Sorry, i cant tell if you are making fun of me, or if you have a sense of humor i just dont understand. But, you have given me somewhere to look, and i thank you, so im guessing it was the latter.


edit: Are these types of books usually at a library, or is it better to just buy them?
Heavens no , I never make fun of people, so I will apologize for having written something that could cause you to be offended.

Hot rodding yes, its the way we think compounded with the fact that I'm at work 14-16 hours a day 6 days and often 7 days a week so the more tired I become the funnier things seem to me, and much of how hot rodders think is actually funny if you view it from the outside. BIG for example; So we start with a 350, not big enough, how about a 383, maybe my budget will let me go to 406, hey, I just heard about a kit that'll stretch a 350 SBC to 454. Sound familiar? This is the way we all think, including me, I'm just stepping back and saying well if that isn't enough maybe an in line 3 cylinder engine that's 50 feet tall will work.

The books are probably at the library, but I really would recommend purchase, they're not too expensive. Having them in your own collection lets you go back and actually study them rather than just read them. You'll find, especially, as you get into books like "How to Build & Modify Chevrolet Small-Block V-8 Cylinder Heads" and "How to Build Horsepower" volumes 1 and 2 (these are by David Vizard) but are typical of more advanced reading in which some of the concepts are either complicated or subtle and careful study provides one with a better understanding than can be obtained by a single reading.

There are many great books out there and the back cover references will lead you into other related subjects. Hot rodding is well documented these days and there is a wealth of information that will help guide you and keep you from getting into trouble.

I'd also recommend some of these as a basis to build fundamental knowledge of what's going on inside the engine and how to build/assemble to avoid common problems. These are in the order I recommend for starting at the basics of why the engine does what it does and moving into actually building the motor.

Auto Math Handbook HP by John Lawlor

Engine Blueprinting: Practical Methods for Racing and Rebuilding (S-A Design) by Rick Voegelin

MA-10 Engine Blueprinting Manual - Newly Revised by Goodson

Engine Builder's Handbook by Tom Monroe

Pro Engine Blueprinting (Motorbooks Workshop) by Ben Watson

Don't forget to read up on other manufacturer's engines, the physics and math is the same and other engineering solutions to a common problem provide you with alternate solutions besides GMs.

Bogie
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:38 PM
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Is there some reason to start with a small block? I mean, do you already have a garage full of small block parts that you can use on the project? The reason I ask is that if I were considering a high torque motor, I might also look into using a mild-mannered big block. Iron heads, short cam, 9:1, etc.

I was looking through craigslist the other evening for one of the other fellows. We were talking about how much a big block motor should cost. I found several complete 454's for $1000 or less. Pitch in another grand to freshen it up and you'd easily have 450-500 ft/lbs of torque on cat piss pump gas.

Just something to think about before you pull the trigger on a small block project.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:25 PM
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@bogie: Yeah, im too used to the flaming of video game forums, and had a long day finished off with a couple brews so i wasnt sure which way to take you. No offense was taken.
I bought the "How to build max performance small blocks on a budget" by David Vizard, and while it is a wealth of info, its way outta my league. I was rather excited when i first started reading, but then when he started talking about grinding parts down, and getting it ready for the machine shop, it just doesnt sound realistic for my situation.

Either way it has a ton of useful information, and I will finish reading it, but im looking at this project more like building a computer.
I would like to find good quality parts that i can follow a diagram and know everything will be compatible, while just bolting stuff together.

My buddy is rather good with engines, but itd be asking way too much of him to go with the stripping down and complete rebuilds, so i gotta do something on my own i could have him inspect as i get it done.
Im not looking for a 2 year complete rebuild, just more or less the easy stuff to learn a bit, then do the swap.


as for this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
Is there some reason to start with a small block? I mean, do you already have a garage full of small block parts that you can use on the project? The reason I ask is that if I were considering a high torque motor, I might also look into using a mild-mannered big block. Iron heads, short cam, 9:1, etc.

I was looking through craigslist the other evening for one of the other fellows. We were talking about how much a big block motor should cost. I found several complete 454's for $1000 or less. Pitch in another grand to freshen it up and you'd easily have 450-500 ft/lbs of torque on cat piss pump gas.

Just something to think about before you pull the trigger on a small block project.
Thats a good point, and maybe where i should start looking. I guess i was just under the impression that big blocks would probably be out of my price range.
If i go that route does it all bolt up the same? Once the engine was complete could i just drop it in, or would i need to change anything else?

At this point im just in the research stage. I have no parts yet, but got some money burning a hole in my pocket. Id like to get the ball rolling, but dont wanna start until i have a blueprint of all the parts i need.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
a mild-mannered big block
Even a peanut port motor is fine and will make plenty of grunt. People shy away from these bbc headed motors because they aren't R ports, or street Ovals, or 'rovals'. I'm a big fan of the sbc, and it will make enough grunt to do what you want. No doubt the big block could do the deed without a huff, but then, it's a big block and it's supposed to do that. Now, the small block, like your idea, is a good place to start. Guys want to go from their tricycle to a Hog, from high school to being General of the Army. Start with the small block. By the time you have done all there is to do with one, you will have learned a whole heckuvalot.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroke
Even a peanut port motor is fine and will make plenty of grunt. People shy away from these bbc headed motors because they aren't R ports, or street Ovals, or 'rovals'. I'm a big fan of the sbc, and it will make enough grunt to do what you want. No doubt the big block could do the deed without a huff, but then, it's a big block and it's supposed to do that. Now, the small block, like your idea, is a good place to start. Guys want to go from their tricycle to a Hog, from high school to being General of the Army. Start with the small block. By the time you have done all there is to do with one, you will have learned a whole heckuvalot.
excellent.

Done with the vizard book. Time to get another for more detail on the head work. I am pretty certain im gonna model a 383 after his 4th engine spec, as its pretty basic for the bottom end and i am pretty sure i can pull it off.

As soon as i get a blueprint of sorts, or "built" on paper ill link the parts, and hopefully can get some people to dissect it and let me know of incompatible parts (or stuff i am just completely missing) before i start ordering the wrong stuff

Thank you all so far for the insight, much appreciated and saved a bunch of time.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranos
excellent.

Done with the vizard book. Time to get another for more detail on the head work. I am pretty certain im gonna model a 383 after his 4th engine spec, as its pretty basic for the bottom end and i am pretty sure i can pull it off.

As soon as i get a blueprint of sorts, or "built" on paper ill link the parts, and hopefully can get some people to dissect it and let me know of incompatible parts (or stuff i am just completely missing) before i start ordering the wrong stuff

Thank you all so far for the insight, much appreciated and saved a bunch of time.
Good plan. I like what your doing by laying it out on a sheet of paper first. This really helps keep the project focused, especially when you're not suffering from unlimited funding. Still you'll have surprises along the way. Lay your hands on one of the engine building/blueprinting books as well. They help guide you in what machine operations are needed, what you'll need to do and measure at assembly, and provides a process blueprint to getting the engine together. If you read these pages very much, you'll see that many guys just start screwing parts together. When they get to the end, the engine has problems like rods hitting cam lobes, bearings so tight you can't rotate the engine with a wrench, valves and pistons that hit, or it won't start or won't develop any power if it does start and they haven't any idea whether the cam is installed correctly, where the distributor timing is, it has little or no oil pressure. Zillions of problems like this that are containable if you keep track of what's, what when it's going together. That means you may have to put some or all of it together and take it apart as you're going thru it 2 or 3 times. This makes the difference between and engine builder and an assembler.

Save a few dollars to get some precision measuring tools. In the good old days these were very expensive, for the hobby engine builder the cost could hardly be justified for 2-3 engines over several years. Today you can get decent measuring tools from places like Harbor Freight pretty inexpensively and they're good enough for the occasional user. So pick up a set micrometers, a digital caliper, a set of inside telescoping gauges for both small and large bore holes, a dial indicator and stand. Don't be afraid to use Plasti-gauge, crank bearings have an amount of crush you can't as many try, to measure the block's bearing bore then journal diameter and bearing shell thickness then and subtract those from the from the bore and get a clearance. You have to measure from the assembled parts. Plastigauge is kind of your last verification. Purchase a high quality 24 inch machinist's square ruler this is useful for checking the flatness and straightness of surfaces. All these things help insure that the dimensions are good. Get yourself a degree wheel and a positive stop. The degree wheel doesn't need to be some huge expensive thing that you can turn the crank with something like this is plenty good http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku. I have an Isky wheel, I've used for 40 years, works just fine.

Bogie
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:46 PM
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Thank you for the advice.

If i might impose on your experience a little further, i have a couple questions.

First, the building/blueprinting book sounds like a huge time saver. Any recommendations for this particular project?

And, secondly, a block to start with.
Are there any i could order online with the required quality machine work done for a competitive price, or would a salvage yard block cleaned up a bit then taken in for crack testing, then machine work be a better route?

Lastly if a salvage motor is the route to go, is there a particular model that has more luck starting with? To clarify, if i found a small block in an old nova, wouldnt the odds be that its been punched out once or twice already? Is there some crappy station wagon or grandmas car that may have possibly used a small block that would have better odds of being in good condition? I just dont wanna spend hours cleaning it up to take it in and find out its cracked or punched out too far and have to take it back and start over.
Or, maybe these answers are in the tools you are recommending

In any case, i dont have a garage for a month so ill just be focusing on the research and tools in the meantime.

Oh, one more thing. Should i buy a grinder and a good book on head work? Ive got a steady hand but no knowledge as to what to do, but if there is detailed instructions with photos, would the performance upgrades offset the price?

Im leaning toward the world sr torquers.

Thanks again for taking the time to help.




edit: I just reread the thread and saw all these that you linked earlier. Any one in particular be more geared toward a 383?

Engine Blueprinting: Practical Methods for Racing and Rebuilding (S-A Design) by Rick Voegelin

MA-10 Engine Blueprinting Manual - Newly Revised by Goodson

Engine Builder's Handbook by Tom Monroe

Pro Engine Blueprinting (Motorbooks Workshop) by Ben Watson

Also, i rather like this Vizard fellow. I think ill go buy a couple more of his books. Its broken down to understand quite easily.

Last edited by kiranos; 06-02-2008 at 01:55 PM.
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