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Old 03-12-2011, 07:18 PM
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Short rod SBC 383

Okay you engine guru's, who is running a 5,56 short rod 383 CID SBC and how is reliable is it. Also looking for mild street cam advise for this engine. Thinking about a comp cams 270 flat tappet solid. I have flat top Mahle pistons and 882 (76 cc) casting heads. Yes, I know the 882's suck, but I already have them! What do you think!


Last edited by Studebaker; 03-12-2011 at 07:20 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:26 PM
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That would work fine. THe mail reason for longer rods is too lighten the piston and skirt clearance.. While there are several other reasons pertaining to racing and rod angularity and side loading and blah...blah...blah, in a street engine, you will likely never even know what the rod length is if you didn't choose then your self.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:34 PM
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got a buddy who ran a short rod 383 strictly raced it for 4 years before it came apart. went lots of rounds pretty impressive i thought, ran 10.90's in 3000 lb camaro with driver, by lots of rounds i mean they run the piss out of it.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:18 PM
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Same experiences as the two reply's above^^^^. Ran one to 7000RPM for 4 years with short rods, back before anybody was really using the 5.7" or longer rods, and when pistons to go with them weren't common.

Had good ARP rod bolts in it, forged TRW pistons, stock crank and 400 rods, Dart 200cc Sportsman II heads, Solid Lifter cam. It ran 11.90's in a 3500 lb car.

My step-brother has a 17 year old short-rod 383, also built back when that was the norm. Same stuff as the 400 I listed above except he uses Bowtie Phase 6 aluminum heads on it, solid lifter cam, has probably 65,000 miles on it and 200 1/4 mile strip passes. It is still together, just got new rings, bearings, gaskets and valveseals 2 years ago. Intake gaskets dried out and it started pulling oil from the lifter valley, he thought it was a cylinder problem and pulled the motor and it turned out to just be the intake gaskets leaking. Freshened it up anyway simply because it was out.

I did several other short-rod 383's back in the early 90's that lasted several years in drag/street cars.

The longer 5.7" and longer rods get more importance put on them that they really deserve. Nice to have a long rod as it makes the piston lighter, but it certainly isn't mandatory, especially below 6800 rpm.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:03 PM
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We ran a 400 with the short rods in a 1979 GMC High Sierra 4X4.
We did a rebuild on it in the mid 90`s and was used as a daily driver off and on for a few years. Then we got wind of a mud racing track that had opened.
So Right away we bolted the buck shot mudders on, installed a locker in the rear, instaled a 3500 Stall converter, loaded it on a trailor and lit out.
We raced it for the rest of the season every weekend and have many 1st place trophy`s to show the effort. The 400 had a summit cam with .244 duration @ .050, ported camel back 461 heads, stock 400 rods with stock rod bolts. TRW Forged dish top pistons, a set of headers, a Weiand Stealth intake and a hotter HEI. It got revved to 6500 several times and it held together fine. We pulled it in 2002 and let it sit on the engine stand until last year and we tore it down. The only problem we found was the 1st main cap had been pounded to death, you could install the bearing and it would fall right back out so it`s gonna need a line hone job before it can be run again.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:24 AM
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My first 383 was built with short rods and cast pistons. Yeah, I know but this was 1982, we didn't have all the options available today. I had Auto Ron's in Davenport, IA. do the machine work and they said it was the first "street" 383 they had done at that time. All the others had been for dirt track racers. ARP rod bolts weren't available for the 400 rods so they cut down a set of ARP's for a 350.

I ran it for a year and then sold the engine to a friend. he dropped it in a '71 Monte carlo with a 125HP nitrous kit which he used frequently for about 2 years. He sold the car and the new owner finally melted the cast pistons a year later. AFAIK the rods held right up to the very end.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:06 AM
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How do u guys think a short rod 383 would hold up in a ump modified? I turned my 355s 7200 but im assuming ill have to back down for this motor. Just a scat cast crank, stock 400 rods, flat top pistons. All balanced. Got it on trade and thinking about running it. I run on 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 miles.
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