Ok, here's the debate of the century: 383 or 400 chevy!! Cast your vote and reason - Page 2 - 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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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2004, 05:28 AM
TurboS10's Avatar
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I have two 400's.........

If you can find them, the 400 is a better running engine.


Chris
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:37 PM
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? I know it probably makes more power, but a 400 definitely has more issues than a 383. I don't think you can say its a "better" running engine with siamesed cylinders.

K
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:48 PM
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Acually in alot of ways siamesed cylinders are Superior
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:05 PM
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For power, it's hard to beat the bigger bore of the 400"!!

Properly done, with a good cooling system - there shouldn't be any 'cooling issues'!!

If I was going to build a 350 based stroker though, it would be a late model hyd. roller block w/one pc. rear seal. You can build a 383" for similar money as a 350". For a bit more, you can go with a 396" SB.

Personally, I think the factory roller setup with a performance hyd. roller cam is more of a 'selling point' than the bigger bore of the 400". At least, for anything other than an all-out race engine!!

Single biggest 'negative' for the 400" factory blocks, has to be the thin cylinder walls.
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:10 PM
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the heat has to be uneven in a 400 block, causing (probably, just speculation here) uneven wear. There are no roller 400 blocks (not that big of a deal I guess, you could retrofit for some extra $). I guess its always been told to me to stay away from them because they simply have less cooling passages than a 350 block and thinner walls. I've also "heard" that they blow head-gaskets more easily. Anybody have details on this?

K
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2004, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by killerformula
the heat has to be uneven in a 400 block, causing (probably, just speculation here) uneven wear. There are no roller 400 blocks (not that big of a deal I guess, you could retrofit for some extra $). I guess its always been told to me to stay away from them because they simply have less cooling passages than a 350 block and thinner walls. I've also "heard" that they blow head-gaskets more easily. Anybody have details on this?

K
Never seen uneven wear be a problem or heard of it for that matter. The 400's don't have less cooling passages to my knowledge, just no room between the cylinders. I am also not certain that the walls are thinner than all 350s. The cylinders are simesed to allow a decent wall thickness. It would be interesting if anyone out there has sonic tested them to know for sure. The old wives tales are not always real accurate. I have never had any problem keeping my 400 cool on the street. I dont even have a wonderful cooling system. I think that is also a wives tale.

Chris
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Old 02-04-2004, 05:09 PM
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Ya turbo s10 I think you hit the nail on the head there are alot of old wives tails that float about for the 400sb. It is true that the 400's don't have very thick cylinder walls but the same can be said for alot of the later 350 castings and especially the 305 castings. This in its self isn't really to much for a problem unless you are planing a large over bore. As for the head gasket sealing trouble I don't think that would be anything to worry about, even if it was true with modern head head gasket technology. The siamesed cylinder have been used in other engines to very successfully I might mention.
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:54 AM
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You couldn't give me a 400.................. Not to mention finding heads with that damn steam hole............
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Old 02-05-2004, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scott011422
You couldn't give me a 400.................. Not to mention finding heads with that damn steam hole............
Something tells me that is because you have never had one. Oh and "that damn steam hole" you mentioned is actually a pair.

Tell you what if anyone ever trys you can give me a call and I will get the junk off your hands.
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Old 02-05-2004, 08:42 AM
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And you can drill steam holes in heads that dont have them, so finding heads with steam holes isnt a problem......
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:34 AM
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2 Cents

I have to go with the 383.
Bottom end of the 400 has always had problems with weak structure. Out of 10 blown 400's, 8 will be because of problems with the mains and / or crank. Yup, today you can buy a better crank. The variety of parts available for the 400 are very limited. In the last two - three years it has gotten better but not as good a selection as the 383. There is no replacement for displacement, except maybe RPM. 400 balance is a must and 383 balance is desirable. Harder to find blocks? How many do you want? I cheat, I get mine down in Mexico.
Both are good engines but I need to travel between CA & WI. I donut go to the strip anymore. I need the 383. Well hey, that is 2 cents from a guy that only builds 383s from 350 / 4 bolts.

hr41pearl
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:53 PM
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Over heating on a 400 is a wives tale.
If I have to explain it you wouldn't understand.
If the motor is built correctly and the chassis is setup for cooling there is no problem except for the ones that don't take any advise.
What head gasket problem ? Maybe the dummys that reuse head gaskets.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2004, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scott011422
You couldn't give me a 400.................. Not to mention finding heads with that damn steam hole............
I drilled those "damned steam holes" on my Sportsman II heads. It was really easy.

My damned 400 is an extremely streetable torque monster that never even heats up. I'd say it gets over 450 ft./lbs. of torque. Damn! It gets a damned 15 miles to the gallon. That damned 19 in. of vacuum at 700 RPM is killing me too. Those damned 234o of duration are getting eaten up to the point of an almost stock idle.
Now that is a super sleeper.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2004, 08:59 PM
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That's a damn fine reply.....
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Old 02-05-2004, 10:28 PM
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Cubes vs weakened 400 crank,hmmm,let me think about that.

Most of the overheating problems I found in 400s were directly linked to the fact the heads cracked,but so did the 350s of that era.

Drill out better ones,thats what I do and Ive never had a problem with heat.

Last edited by rifraf; 02-05-2004 at 10:24 PM.
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