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Ferris Bueller #1461537 Fri Aug 05 2022 11:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 275
W
'Bolter
383 and 400 are not the same kind of engine: a 400 is a torquey engine, originally designed for the heavy cars of the mid '70s, no performance aspect to it; the 383 is a "hot rodder invention" for performance. So, what do you want? A low-end torque engine for cruising? The 400 is great, although they are getting to find and a regular 350 will do the job just fine. If you want to race, burn rubber, and such, build a 383.


'57 Chevy Suburban; '70 Chevy Impala.
Ferris Bueller #1461587 Sat Aug 06 2022 02:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,733
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Since a 383 is just a 350 with a 400 crankshaft, why is there less torque with the same stroke? 13 more cubic inches and 1/8" more bore size doesn't make that much difference in the torque the crankshaft sees, unless a lot of other modifications are done. I can probably build a 383 that will out-torque a 400 by paying some attention to the connecting rod length and cam profile. That's particularly true if a custom crankshaft with internal balancing is used to build the 383.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Ferris Bueller #1461588 Sat Aug 06 2022 03:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,952
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
The TV show Engine Masters uses a Chevy 383 as their primary SBC test mule. Hundreds of pulls with all sorts of aftermarket stuff bolted on and absolutely zero problems. If I was building again and didn’t have an engine lined up I would be saving up for a built 383.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Ferris Bueller #1461598 Sat Aug 06 2022 04:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,733
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Here's a bit of trivia, since this is the HiPo forum where oddball stuff gets discussed at times. When I bought my crankshaft grinder from King's Crankshaft over in North Carolina, he showed me his "cheater" crankshaft- - - - -it's made from a solid billet of steel that weighs around 250 pounds or so and gets whittled out on a CNC mill. The finished product weighs around 38 pounds, instead of the standard 55 pound 350 crank. The first two cylinders at the front have a standard 350 3.48" stroke. The other three cylinder pairs have a 4" stroke. Since the cylinder volume and/or stroke length is usually measured at the #1 cylinder on a tech inspection, most of the time the extra displacement doesn't get discovered without a full engine disassembly. Like Smokey Yunick used to say- - - -"It ain't cheatin' if ya don't get caught!"
LOL!
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Hotrod Lincoln #1461637 Sat Aug 06 2022 11:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,140
B
'Bolter
Originally Posted by Hotrod Lincoln
A small block 400 is a step too far. Even with "steam hole" heads, they had chronic overheating problems and the rod/stroke ratio was way wrong for good torque. Other than a few applications in big station wagons, motorhomes, and trailer towing pickups, it was a solution looking for a problem.
Jerry

Made good money in the early '80 at GM dealer on small block 400. They didn't seem to like being run 1 qrt low on oil under load, wipe out some rod bearings. I think part of the issue is more heat transfer to the oil than other small blocks. Replace many blown up 400 with "Target Master 350" due to they were cheaper than a short block to partial engine 400. Since the 400 is externally balanced, would replace crank damper & knock the balance weight off the flex plate.


BC
1960 Chevy C10 driver 261 T5 3.73 dana 44
1949 GMC 250 project in waiting
1960 C60 pasture art
Retired GM dealer tech. 1980 - 2022
Ferris Bueller #1461645 Sun Aug 07 2022 01:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 87
K
'Bolter
I was originally going to build a 383 for my 51, but after reading about block clearancing required (and maybe some filler around bottom of bores) I decided to go with a 400. It is from a running 87 Monte Carlo, 87K miles, so it should just require a standard rebuild. Some good alum heads, EFI and a RV cam, it should make a good engine for the truck to pull a trailer. Probably going with a 5 speed manual and a 12 bolt or 9 inch rear. I am nowhere near actually getting the truck running though. frown my .02

Last edited by KevinW; Sun Aug 07 2022 01:10 AM.

51 Chevy 3100 Jigsaw puzzle
69 Camaro SS350 convertible
69 Camaro 327 convertible
Ferris Bueller #1461650 Sun Aug 07 2022 02:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,733
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Is weight a factor in your build, for some reason? Aluminum heads will transfer some of the power you're making to the radiator instead of the rear axle, sucking up that thermal energy and blowing it away with the fan instead of using it to shove the pistons down the cylinder bores. Doing race car stuff on a street engine usually doesn't have very good results.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Ferris Bueller #1461692 Sun Aug 07 2022 01:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 87
K
'Bolter
Weight reduction is not a huge factor, I am assuming the availability of new alum heads is better than cast. With an overdrive trans, it will not be pulling high revs, so I want the power band down low. Has to run on 87 octane, so no high compression, hate detonation ( I have that issue with a 10.5 CR 350)

So with low end torque as the goal, what heads would you go with? They cannot be Vortec as I have a vintage alum square bore intake for the EFI. Plus they have to have steam holes. smile


51 Chevy 3100 Jigsaw puzzle
69 Camaro SS350 convertible
69 Camaro 327 convertible
Ferris Bueller #1461694 Sun Aug 07 2022 02:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,952
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
KevinW, since you have hi jacked the thread please start a new thread with your questions about your 400. Thank you.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Ferris Bueller #1461699 Sun Aug 07 2022 02:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 337
F
'Bolter
Did a search strictly on reliability 383 vs 400. While a few people have 400s lasting a long time a vast majority are self destruction at the 80k mark. No warning, no reason, just a rapid overhead and done????


1966 C-10 Step Side. 283, 4spd, 3.73 gear. 60K miles prior to restoration. 507 Paint Code. Currently in 10,000 pieces.
Transmission is done! Rear Suspension is done! Wheels are done! Bed bodywork is done! Soon to order a 383 crate.



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