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Old 10-26-2012, 08:24 AM
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Wanting more power.......but not quite sure what I have to start with

I have a 88 Chevy stepside, carbed sbc. I've owned the truck for almost a yr and spent that time working out a bunch of quirks. The truck is pretty strong down low (burns the tires up), but falls off quickly. The previous owner said its a 383 stroker. I'm not sure. Today I will try to find a casting number on the back of the block. Based on the numbers from the heads and intake, I think it's a gm performance crate motor.

Is there a way to tell what size cam, cylinder bore, pistons, stroke, etc without pulling the motor and disassembling? Can I do it from the house or best to take it to a shop?

Once I figure that out I want to figure out the overall condition and go from there.

I will be asking for more advice soon, but I think this is a good place to start.

Quick video can be seen here........

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Last edited by jjack010; 10-26-2012 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:55 AM
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No simple way to tell what cam and bore size are. you can put a degree wheel on the crank and try to measure up the cam but its not an easy thing to do.

Best to look outside the block at this point maybe some bolt ons could help.

Exhuast and intake can make an engine fall off if they are too small. do you have manifolds or headers. also do you have carb or fuel infection.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:31 AM
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Yeah, thats my issue. I don't know anything about the bottom end or cam. Heads are casting # 83417369. Research i found was gm crate motor heads, 1.94, 1.60 valves, 76 cc. I'm running edelbrock headers and 750 carb.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:54 AM
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take off the valve covers,borrow a dial indicator if you do not have one. Mount so that you can measure valve lift at the rocker.It sounds like a mild performance street cam. Some of the 383 crate motors were very high in torque and moderate in horse power. Better heads and cam will likely net 75 plus horse power,though its hard to say without knowing exactly what you have.
rolling off on the top end might be not enough fuel for that engine at max RPMs,borrow a fuel pressure guage and run it through the gears and see if pressure drops near the top of the gears
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:30 PM
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Ok, i have both tools in the garage. Ill do a search and see if i can figure out how to take the measurements.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:20 PM
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It does not matter if its a 350 or 383. The heads and cam have to go.

if this motor (that is probabily a 350) has a dished piston you want a 58 to 64cc head. Small 58cc is prefered to get the compression ratio up.
Install that new cylinder head with a thin .015" head gasket felpro 1094 to max the engine compression ratio.

Now you can cam it. A big cam will need a high stall converter and higher rear gears.
So if you are not going to change that, don't go nuts on the camshaft.

you can get a good idea of the cam by measureing the cam lobe lift off the pushrod, using a dial indicator.
(its probabily a stock cam)
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:27 PM
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heads are a big choke, when you pull them off you can tell some of the rest of the specs (bore, stroke, and piston) you can also pull the timing cover while you're there and see what cam you have and/or replace it.

A decent mild cam kit and some decent heads can be had for less than a grand- or you can get some really nice stuff and spend over 3 grand for that stuff.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:27 PM
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I'm on the hunt for some good 64cc heads now without paying a fortune. I'd like to get rid of the 882's I have sitting in the garage first. I don't believe the cam in it now is stock because of the idle and performance down low.

I have a minor starting issue right now. After I fix that I plan on seeing what my stall speed is.

I've got 4 days off next weekend. Maybe I'll dig in to that top end?? I've got some good roller rockers and a pete jackson gear drive just sitting here.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:40 PM
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Getting rid of the 882 heads is easy. Just carry them out to the curb on trash day.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:44 PM
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Trucks are very heavy. They need a lot lot of power and torque to get good "performance"
You should consider supercharging that motor. It already has blower friendly low compression ratio.

The low cr stock crate motor heads can be improved with hand porting. DIY, not worth paying for porting these.

Even tho these are lame stock heads they are a better start point then the 882 head. (better end result after DIY porting)

that + a blower + a moderate blower friendly cam =s a fast street truck.

Very effective on trucks. 400++HP and lots of truck torque with a 142cid blower.
Sell the gear drive (and the 882's) to someone you don't like

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Old 10-27-2012, 04:43 PM
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I have the heads and gear drive listed for sale locally. There is a pair of 186's for sale local but i think he wants tk much for them. I don't really want to spend the money on a super charger, yet. I am interested in experimented with some novice porting though.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:50 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjack010 View Post
I have the heads and gear drive listed for sale locally. There is a pair of 186's for sale local but i think he wants tk much for them. I don't really want to spend the money on a super charger, yet. I am interested in experimented with some novice porting though.
unless you find a poor sucker those arts are only worth the price of scrap iron (heads) or the cost of a roller timing chain (as it works better than the gear drive).

List it cheap and hope for a sucker.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:56 PM
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I do have them listed cheap. I don't prefer them but someone will want them. I think i have a starter issue so on to a new thread for the time being.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:08 PM
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Gave a shot at determining stall tonight. Brakes would hold til 1800rpm. I know that's not a real accurate way to measure since I'm not sure if that was the true stall speed or if the brakes just give at that point. I tried to get flash stall speed but it was damn hard by myself. I did record it and looked like 2200 but the tires were spinning. I'll try a few more runs tomorrow.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:17 PM
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your numbers sounds realistic.Why are you worried about stall?get the engine dialed first.dont change rear gears to match any cam,the gears are for the cars purpose,same with engine and trans.change one item at a time.
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