Ok, here's the debate of the century: 383 or 400 chevy!! Cast your vote and reason - Page 18 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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View Poll Results: What's the better motor?
400 SBC 214 45.63%
383 SBC 160 34.12%
Bore your 383, get a 388 22 4.69%
They're equally good street motors 73 15.57%
Voters: 469. You may not vote on this poll

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  #256 (permalink)  
Old 03-23-2007, 05:49 PM
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i have no problems with the 383 but i love 400s i have 2 400s and just sold 1 that was a two bolt main with 30,000 original miles from out a 77 chevy van bought and serviced at don yanko cheverlot my other is a 400 over .40 4bolt main

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  #257 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 07:23 PM
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Jimivice

It all depends on what you are looking for and what is in your budget. If you have the bucks, build a 400 plus c.i. motor. The larger bores will take advantage of the aftermarket cyl. heads. The stock block 400 has been a choice for yrs.,before there were Dart blocks or World Products blocks. If you do not go beyond 4.155 bore size and do not put too much juice to them they hold up. I had the opportunity years ago to work on a Sony's 500c.i. small block based on a stock block 400. By today's standards it would be considered rather crude but that was all that was available. In limited performance applications a stock 400 block is still a valid choice, especially in the 2 bolt version. To address the argument 406 vs 383. I would choose the 406, not because "Bigger is Better", but the 400 block can take advantage of the aftermarket heads that are now available.
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  #258 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 08:14 PM
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This old thread again...

The 383 is a great "bang for the buck", but in my opinion the 400 is better. The 383 is a "poor man's" substitute for the torque the 400 produces. Yet, considering the scarcity of 400 blocks the 383 is an excellent choice. I suppose that, once again, application plays a fair amount of decision.

Now, if torque is what you're after its hard to beat a Buick 455...
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  #259 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2007, 01:13 PM
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383/406

I just changed from a 383 to a 408 (400+.040) because the 383 can have issues if not done carefully. Some builders take a 400 crank and turn the journals down to size of 350 to fit block, which,when you think of it,why not just run it in a 400 block w/proper size journals and build from that? 400's really only have overheating issues if not maintained properly.They're not like a 350 where you can run around for weeks with a bad radiator in stop-n-go traffic with the ac on in 95* weather.If you get a 400 too overheated they can fail, but if you just spent big bucks building it up wouldn't you be sure to have a good hi-flow waterpump,180* t-stat,and properly sized fan and radiator? Don't get me wrong-I loved my 383 but I love the idea of the extra cubes and know it (the 408) will stay plenty cool if I take the proper care and precautions. A 383 can be built in more than one way, so be cautious of "cheap" setups. From everything I've read,rod geometry and torsional stresses can be, but not always are, an issue-depending of course on the quality of the build and method used. Do alot of research and homework before you make a final decision, then you know you'll be comfortable with it. I've had the 383, but now I've Graduated to the 406/408 platform-so you know which vote I cast.
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  #260 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2007, 04:43 PM
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i think they are both great engines, saw many 400s,406,383s at the track. we had a 79 gmc jimmy that had a 400 in it and it blew up, we put a 355 in it and it lasted for years! i agree that there is no replacement for displacement, but in todays world gas is 3 dollars a gallon and im not looking to run my nova down any track. got a 327 but im torn between it and a 383.i would do a 400 but blocks are hard to find, and everybody and their brother is running 400s and 383s.a 327 i s a reliable motor and i think the best choice for my liking.not everyone elses.stock wise i think a 400 is a bad engine,had bad exp. with them,but helping a buddy build a 406 and can't wait to ride in it.i say build what makes you happy, cuz thats what it is about anyway..love in christ..adam
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:38 AM
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383 vs 400

Personally, I would base the decision on 2 factors ..... what equipment I had on hand (blockwise) and what I was going to use the engine for (truck, hot rod , street/strip) ..... (400's especially 4 bolt ones tend to crack ) With the advent of excellent aftermarket blocks permitting up to 454 ci from a "small" Chev., you've just got to ask yourself how much do you want to spend to get where you want to go .
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  #262 (permalink)  
Old 08-16-2007, 11:27 AM
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ok

I vote for the 383, especially in a street application. First, mine has way more torque than a good pair of street tires can handle anyway. Second, I always read and heard the 400 blocks didn't cool as well and were prone to cracking when stressed.
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  #263 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:52 AM
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400

Because I have one, plus I think it is more drivable in a street driven car.
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  #264 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2007, 02:02 AM
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400

I just have one question about the 400 heads when you drill the steam holes how far and what size? I am putting a 400 in an '88 Mazda RX-7 convertible, but the 400 block I have has no heads so I'm just going to throw some good AFR's or Brodix heads on it. should be fun.
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  #265 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2007, 05:07 PM
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Either company will drill the holes prior to delivery.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:52 PM
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383/406 argument

I have to say that I just found this thread and I hear people arguing over 383 and 400. I feel the 383 is a better choice for the street, where the 400/406/409 is better suited for the strip, it is not the most friendly engine in the cooling on the street. Both engines depending on how they are built can out perform the other, when you take in account what kind of car you have. I have had numerous 400 blocks and have had "HOT" problems, not overheating just a little warmer than people like on the street. I have actually down sized to a 355 that is built massive, best of everything, AND NO FUNNY GAS (NOS) Turbo 350, in a 64 impala with 28x9" rear tires, which is like lauching a house. It has run consistant mid 10s and I have smoked plenty of big blocks, 383's and 406's so argue if you must. I think its funny when big cube boys see that THERES A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:10 PM
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383

hey everyone new member here. I was just wondering what a 400 block would be worth? because i have a 400 engine, but the heads are bad. And i also have a 350 planed to be a 383.
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  #268 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2008, 02:06 PM
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A 10 second 355 NA Impala???
I want some of what you'r smokin...

Turbo guy, put the turbo on the 400 and you would be even better off.


But you are all wrong, stroke the little 400 to 434, or even 454, put a little cam in it and still walk over everyone.

Heat? no more heat that a smaller engine with the same HP.
My 434 runs just fine crusin the Car Craft show in 95 degree days, and runs 11.90 at the track ( and yes I have timeslips )

Gotta love it
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  #269 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2008, 05:57 PM
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383 the number sounds cooler
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  #270 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2008, 09:32 PM
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Dang!

It's not hard to believe in the 400 once you do a few of them. You can do it any one of these; 348 353 355 356 372 374 377 379 388 393 394 406 408 410 412 414 418 421 422 427 434 -plus others not listed -any one of 'em trouncing the 350/383. Sorry, 400 is King.
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