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A friend is going to give me a 283. Question is will it be enough to push my panel wagon around? My 305 does fine, plenty of power (for me), but the price is right. I wouldn't get crazy with a rebuild, but would take it apart and replace what's needed. This is a feed store/hunting/camping/take kids to school rig.
What do ya'll think?
trapperjack
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nothing, really. It has about 70,000 miles on it (the 305), and could use gaskets. I was just thinking down the road. My buddy needs to get the 283 moved and said I could have it if I wanted it. Thought I could get it on a stand and start tinkering with it and get it ready for when the 305 went south on me. IF it's enough engine. If I don't want to use it, we're going to put it in the goat shed out of the way until he figures out what to do.
 

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283 is a great motor and should do fine.
Lots of those panels got around fine with a 250 straight 6 ;)
 

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OK, what you are saying is you have a friend who wants to give you a free engine. Well then, if you have a place to put it where it will not deteriorate, take it and put it there. The 283 was used in cars, trucks throughout the production life of the engine (1957-68 or so). Like all small blocks they are dependable, almost indestructable, and get most anything down the road slow or fast as you choose.
 

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If you are happy with the 305 then a 283 will do just fine. I doubt you will feel any difference. If you feel anything, maybe a little more low rpm torque with the 305, but more high rpm power with the 283.

Yes, it is nice to have an engine ready to go before pulling the old engine out. I like to do the same thing but take that to another step by starting the engine on the stand to break in the cam, so the engine is 100% tested and ready to go.
 

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Only thing that I would be concerned about would be the non hardened seats in the older 283 heads.,.......not made for unleaded fuel. But, that again isnt really a problem....will take many miles before the valves give out.
 

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Another problem might be the accessory brackets. You have a later model engine (305) in there now which uses different accessory brackets than the older model engines. The old style heads do not have accessory holes dilled in them.
 

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so basically build the 283 short block, and when you swap engines, have the 305 heads rebuilt and swap them on.
 

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i got a 65 283 laying in my backyard right now just rusting away, too many other engines with more power out there, with that said i have one in my 61 thats runs strong still
 

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Discussion Starter #13
pasadenahotrod said:
I'm curious, is your "panel wagon" a van or a suburban without windows??
Sub. w/no windows or back doors, except the barn doors.
I wondered about brackets, too. Has power steering and had a/c underdash, but Unc removed it in 91. It will have it again. Will the 305 heads bolt on?
Thanks for the replies.
 

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I have a set of 305 vortec heads in my garage. They belong to a friend of mine and I'm pretty sure he wants to sell them. Vortec heads will make more power, however, they will require a vortec intake manifold. They are in San Antonio if you are interested.
 

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The heads are one of these casting numbers.

From Mortec.com

12552520...97-up...305..........Vortec, truck
12558059...97......305..........Vortec, truck, 1.84"/1.5" valves
 

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Got a pic of the combustion chambers? Or a vivid description of the shape?

Reason is, I heard (from a not necessarily reliable source) that the 305 Vortec chambers don't have the same shape as the L-31 350 Vortecs.
 

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I'm not sure either. But it does seem the vortec version on the 350 and 454 make more power than the non-vortec version, so I would assume the 305 vortec would be better also.??? I will try to get a shot of the heads this weekend.
 
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