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My buddy just finished a frame off restoration of a 57 bel air convertible and has a ton of parts left. I am looking to build a new engine for my street truck with one of the 3- 1957 283 blocks he has. He had them sonic tested and cleaned and has cranks for them as well. My questions are: how big of a cam can you run in a short stroke engine like that, what is the deal with the oiling groove on the 55-57s, and would I have to get 302 4" pistons to run in that, or any old 4" pistons from a 327 or 350 would work?

The most important thing is to get it to a 4 inch bore so I can run 2.02 heads. I run 1.94 heads now on my 327 and would like to run a bigger set. Thanks
 

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My buddy just finished a frame off restoration of a 57 bel air convertible and has a ton of parts left. I am looking to build a new engine for my street truck with one of the 3- 1957 283 blocks he has. He had them sonic tested and cleaned and has cranks for them as well. My questions are: how big of a cam can you run in a short stroke engine like that, what is the deal with the oiling groove on the 55-57s, and would I have to get 302 4" pistons to run in that, or any old 4" pistons from a 327 or 350 would work?

The most important thing is to get it to a 4 inch bore so I can run 2.02 heads. I run 1.94 heads now on my 327 and would like to run a bigger set. Thanks
DO NOT GO TO LARGER VALVES UNLESS YOU HAVE OVER 190cc PORTS!!!

Also, 1.94" valves will easily support 450hp, are you really making more than that?

Valve sizing is often misunderstood and I didn't get it either for a long time, but there ARE advantages of smaller valves.

If you rune a 3" stroke with a 6.25" rod and a piston meant for a 6" rod 350 you'll be fine.
 

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A set of Small port Vortec heads on a 301 will do the job. as far as the cam, you can cam it as big as you want...the problem is the head/intake flow.... if you use a cam with .650 lift and the heads are done by .500 then I think you see my point...if your using early style heads they are done by .480 lift.. thats why so many people used the comp cams 280 hdy flat tappet.. and the 290 with modified heads IE: porting etc... the comp cams magnum 280 is all the cam id go with if your using the old style heads, if your using aftermarket go with the XE 274 comp cam and be sure to use a Decent intake... the Magnum 280 would love the weiand stealth and a good 750 DP holley if you go bigger than that with the cam go with a single plane....



My buddy just finished a frame off restoration of a 57 bel air convertible and has a ton of parts left. I am looking to build a new engine for my street truck with one of the 3- 1957 283 blocks he has. He had them sonic tested and cleaned and has cranks for them as well. My questions are: how big of a cam can you run in a short stroke engine like that, what is the deal with the oiling groove on the 55-57s, and would I have to get 302 4" pistons to run in that, or any old 4" pistons from a 327 or 350 would work?

The most important thing is to get it to a 4 inch bore so I can run 2.02 heads. I run 1.94 heads now on my 327 and would like to run a bigger set. Thanks
 

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The 327 made to a 301 is a nice engine. 2.02's will work fine with the 4" bore, but not with a 283, even bored .060" to a 292. don't try to make one of those 283's into a old 301. Boring the block that far will create overheating issues, even if the block has no core shift, it will still be to thin on the walls.
 

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1.94 or 2.02 valve?

depends on the heads? A 292/301 is not a very torquey engine.What do you want your truck to do? How heavey is it etc. A 350 HP 302 is east to build and fun to drive. They rev 7k easy.With out gears and a transmission to match they are just smooth running low torque engines.

Vortec heads are the best buy for a street motor,most likely. I would use AFR 180s that are cnc ported and try and find a free solid roller ( or cheap) from a competitive shoe box super stock racer.

wouldnt want that for a daily driver though.
Again,what do you want the truck to do?
 
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