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Username Post: Upgrade the HP in a 283        (Topic#150910)
4-door Dave 
Senior Member
Posts: 213

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 08-14-04
02-06-07 04:32 PM - Post#1089360    

Hi
I have a stock 283 2bbl 180 HP. I am removing the engine to paint the 57 chevy bel air and thought while its out I might add a 4bbl and a better cam to get up to 330 hP. Any ideas on cams?
Thanks
New photos of the old gal http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&am p...


 
grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
Posts: 16178
grumpyvette
Age: 66
Loc: FLORIDA USA
Reg: 03-16-01
02-06-07 04:36 PM - Post#1089364    
    In response to 4-door Dave

whats your rear gear ratio,transmission and compression ratio?
are you running headers?, do you need to pass emmission testing?
tell us more
" " IF YOU CAN'T SMOKE THE TIRES FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK !"


 
bigjimzlll 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 2126

Loc: Redding,CA
Reg: 03-30-02
02-06-07 05:32 PM - Post#1089416    
    In response to 4-door Dave

I don't see a 150HP gain from a cam and carb swap. Back in the day it was a lot to get 280HP from a 283, that was with much higher compression, solid cam and fuel injection.

1hp per cube is a pretty lofty goal with a stock bottom end.

A cam and intake and carb swap should gain you a solid 35-40 hp. If your exhaust is up to it.
1967 LWB New 540 BBC 855HP...hope to run 9.60 #9908


 
4-door Dave 
Senior Member
Posts: 213

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 08-14-04
02-06-07 07:05 PM - Post#1089526    
    In response to bigjimzlll

I dont really know the ins and outs of getting more HP - going on a local shop that wanted to install a 4bbl and cam to up the HP to 330. I am running stock all around including rear end and no headers. Am I naieve? Yes. Looking for some good advice from someone not trying to get in my pocket.
Thanks
New photos of the old gal http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&am p...


 
bigjimzlll 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 2126

Loc: Redding,CA
Reg: 03-30-02
02-06-07 07:43 PM - Post#1089566    
    In response to 4-door Dave

anyone can tell you you have 330HP. A 20% gain in HP to 216HP would "feel" like a big jump in power.

I'll go out on a limb and say their claims of 330HP with a cam and carb swap is pure unadultrated BS
1967 LWB New 540 BBC 855HP...hope to run 9.60 #9908


 
Don57 
"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1262
Don57
Age: 64
Loc: Illinois
Reg: 04-28-00
02-06-07 08:30 PM - Post#1089610    
    In response to bigjimzlll

I totally agree it's BS. There is NO WAY you can get anything close to 330 horses from that 283 just by changing the cam and carb. You would have to raise the compression significantly and change the heads. Then you would probably have problems with the lower end. That motor is just not made to make that kind of power.
Don


Happy Birthday to all the 1964 cars and trucks that are 50 years old this year. Get your car a present!


 
MikeB 
Senior Member
Posts: 9475
MikeB
Loc: Plano, TX
Reg: 08-28-03
02-06-07 09:25 PM - Post#1089656    
    In response to 4-door Dave

A 450-500 CFM vacuum secondary 4-bbl and modern low rise dual plane manifold will make a big difference, assuming you at least have dual exhausts. As for a cam, I don't know how much valve lift those heads can handle. I would guess no more than .425", and even that would require new springs. Pick an intake duration around 195-200 @ .050" tappet lift. When you're done, you might have 220hp.

As a kid, I had a stock 1958 283 2-bbl in my 55 Chevy. Adding just a Power Pak 4-bbl manifold and carb made a noticeable difference. However, I think the Power Pak motor also had bigger valves, which would have helped me even more.
Real Hot Rods have a Clutch!

1955 210 2dr: 327, Brodix IK180 heads, Jones cam, M20, Wilwood front brakes

1982 C-10 SWB pickup, 250 six, 3-speed

My car pictures



 
hutchensce 
Senior Member
Posts: 1980

Loc: Laramie, WY
Reg: 11-02-04
02-06-07 11:36 PM - Post#1089720    
    In response to 4-door Dave

If your goal is to get 330HP, honestly, you'd be better off buying a new motor. You could drop in one of the 290HP GMPP engines for just over $2K and be money ahead. Getting that old 283 to put out even 290HP is gonna cost you at least that much.

To get that 283 to 330HP would likely cost you about $3K. If it's got any kind of mileage on it, once you start upping the compression the bottom end is going to start showing its age. So you can bet on having to rebuild the shortblock for sure.
And to get to 330HP, as someone already said, you're gonna need a bigger cam, and those stock heads aren't going to be able to handle the lift required for that, so they'll not only need to be rebuilt, but upgraded, and likely have at least some bowl work done on them (this all assuming they don't have any cracks). Putting any money into those old heads is really kind of a waste if performance is what you're after.

Then you'll need a new intake manifold, carb, and at least a 2 1/4" dual exhaust with rams horns manifolds, if not a set of 1 5/8" headers and a 2 1/2" exhaust.

Long story short...if that's your goal, the old 283 may not be the easiest way to go. And if the guy at that shop thinks he's gonna get 330HP out of an old stock 283 with a cam and carb change...look for a different shop to do the mechanical work because that's just not possible. If you just want a cruiser, I'd say the 290 horse 350 is a good alternative. You'd have some room to grow with that as well. If you're willing to spend a little more, the 330 horse 350 from GMPP has even more potential as it has a better set of heads than the 290 horse motor.
Photos and such


 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-07-07 11:18 AM - Post#1090109    
    In response to 4-door Dave

Harley, the guys here are giving you good advice. If you wish to add a 4bbl and change cams in your 283 2bbl engine without upgrading your heads, be conservative. An excellent cam for your engine would be something similar to the early '60's 300 HP 327 factory grind (PN 3896929). It was a hydraulic lifter cam having 195 degrees (intake) and 202 degrees (exhaust) duration @ 0.050" lift. with 0.390"/.410" lift at the valves ground on 112 degree LSA. Your stock 283 2bbl cam has something like 0.373" lift and about 8 degrees less duration. Keep in mind also that your 2bbl engine has only 8.0:1 compression and the 4bbl versions ranged from 9.5:1 to 10.0:1, which affects cam timing as well.

Even the famous '097' (PN 3736097) original Duntov solid lifter cam was fairly mild by today's standards. If I remember correctly, there were actually (2) mid-'50's versions of the Duntov cam (I am not referring to the more radical Duntov '30-30' cam that came out in the '60's 365 - 375HP 327 'Vette engines). I believe that the first version (1956 265 engine) had a bit higher lift on both intake and exhaust (0.404"/0.413"), but when the 1957 283 engines were introduced, the lift on both intake and exhaust were decreased to 0.399" or thereabouts. Duration @ .050" lift was 221 degrees on both intake and exhaust and it was ground on 110 degree LSA. I am not sure if that change was due to internal engine clearances, but that would be my best guess.

Another popular high performance 'road' cam of the time was Isky's solid lifter '3/4 race' E-4 grind...... 216 degrees duration at 0.050" lift and 0.425" lift at the valves on both intake and exhaust, ground on 108 degree LSA.

Note...... When comparing solid lifter cam specs to hydraulic cam specs, keep in mind that the solid lifter cam will need about 6 - 8 degrees more duration @ 0.050" lift to provide the same overall performance characteristics and manifold vacuum as does a hydraulic lifter cam, but the solid cam will have a definite advantage at higher RPM's and rev easier.

Now you will hear 'old wive's tales' repeated regarding solid lifter cams requiring frequent lash adjustment and that was true for the more radical grinds back then...... But with today's poly locks on a good set of rocker studs having the tops machined perfectly flat, a fairly mild solid lifter flat tappet cam in a street driven car or truck shouldn't require resetting valve lash very often at all, unless there is significant wear, bent pushrod, incorrect rocker arm geometry, etc...... In which case, it would be better to find out what the problem is and take care of it before further engine damage occurs.

One thing that I might mention if you wish to keep your engine appearing 'original'...... Your 1950's heads should have a raised cast symbol at each end down close to where the head bolts to the block. The 2bbl heads such as yours had a symbol that looks like a rectangle laying on its side. The 4bbl 'power pack' heads had the same rectangle, but with a small arrow or 'point' added to the center portion of the rectangle's upper surface and oriented so as to point upward. The '55 - early '59 small block heads had 'staggered' valve cover bolt holes and the later ones had holes equal distances apart on both the upper and lower portions of the valve cover.

Also...... The 327 high performance 'fuelie' heads that came out in the early 1960's had the double (camel) hump symbol cast into the end of each head. Needless to say, we used to perform all sorts of 'undercover work' on these various head castings to disguise the performance mods made to our engines when suckering someone into racing for 'pinks'...... Errr...... I mean...... Discussing a possible 'contest of speed' in which the winner took possession of the loser's car and registration...... Or in which certain wagers might be made, depending upon who crossed the 'finish line' first (more common here in Texas).

One thing that was common back then was to carefully file or grind off the 'point' on power pack heads so that they appeared to be 2bbl heads to a potential competitor. That was easy.

The more creative guys actually were quite good at 'reconfiguring' the 'fuelie' camel hump symbol into either a 2bbl or 4bbl 'power pack' symbol. A buddy went so far as to braze (yellow brass rod), grind, drill and tap his 'fuelie' heads to accept the staggered pre-'59 valve covers.

Actually, the camel hump heads came on many 4bbl engines during the '60's as well as the rare fuel injected 'Vette engines. And the same 461 / 462 castings having the more common 1.94" / 1.50" valves could be more easily found in wrecking yards than could those having the rarer and much more sought after 2.02" / 1.60" valves...... Which commanded 'big bucks'. In those days, you could buy a set of the 461 / 462 castings having the smaller valves quite a bit cheaper than the larger valve versions. And the small valve versions were less likely to have been raced to death, ground on by amateur backyard 'head porters' or to have been subjected to so many 'racing' valve jobs that the valves and seats were 'sunken'. So we would pick up a set of the cheaper small valve 'fuelie' heads and either keep the 1.94" intake valves and replace the 1.50" exhaust valves with new 1.60"ers for 283's with modest overbores...... Or fit the larger 2.02" / 1.60" valves onto 327's (and those few 283's bored 1/8" over to 301) having 4.00" bores. Now the 2.02" / 1.60" heads can be physically fitted to 283's having modest overbores...... But the area of the cylinder bore above the top piston ring adjacent to the valves should be notched (relieved) in similar fashion to the Mopar practice in order to provide adequate clearance and to unshroud the valves to promote better breathing. For even though the big valve heads can be fitted to the smaller bore blocks (some guys used offset head dowels to 'adjust' the big valve heads on 283 blocks so as to gain the necessary valve to cylinder wall clearance without notching the bores)...... Much of the benefit of the larger valves was lost due to 'shrouding' unless the bores were 'notched'.

If you upgrade cams, remember that the rear cam bearing journal on the early engines such as yours must have the full radius groove machined into it (the cam grinder can do this, its no big deal) due to the difference in the early bearings and oiling.

Also, go for screw-in rocker studs. We used to drill and 'pin' the pressed in rocker studs to prevent them from pulling out when installing the stiffer valve springs required for higher reving 'performance' cams. But its much better (and stronger) to pull the old studs, face the tops of the stands and drill / tap them for modern screw-in studs.

If you really want to add some affordable performance, but retain your original 283 block in the future, think in terms of a modest 0.040" - 0.060" overbore, modern hypereutectic flat top pistons, 9.5:1 static compression ratio, iron Vortec heads, and a hydraulic cam similar to the one used in the current 330 HP 350 GMPP Vortec-based crate engines.......

The current 330 HP 350 (L31 Vortec truck based) GMPP crate engines utilize a hydraulic flat tappet cam having 212/222 degree duration @ 0.050" and 0.435"/0.460" lift ground on 112.5 degree LSA. This is the same cam that was used in the earlier (non-Vortec) 300 HP 350 GMPP crate engines (not the same cam as the 300 HP 327 production engines that I mentioned earlier). The extra 30 horses are said to be the difference the better breathing Vortec heads with their efficient 'fast burn' combustion chambers make on a 350 engine. The decreased intake duration is to maintain sufficient cylinder pressure (DCR) in the new lower compression (9.0:1 - 9.5:1) engines.

Add a modern 4bbl intake designed specifically for the Vortec heads' intake bolt pattern and port dimensions, a 500 - 600 cfm vacuum secondary 4bbl carb and upgrade your rams horn exhaust manifolds to the 'Vette high performance versions having larger 2-1/2" outlets and add a complete 2-1/2" dual exhaust system along with those mods and you should be in the honest 275 - 280 HP range with good performance and mileage on today's pump gas. Your original iron points type distributor can have be recurved and set up as either a small body HEI or to work with an MSD capacitive discharge box whilst appearing stock as well.

BTW...... Randy Brzezenski can 'profile' both the iron Vortec heads and the Iron Eagle heads to appear as early model 'fuelie', power pack or 2bbl castings and can set them up for early staggered or '59 and later perimeter style valve covers and early style intake manifold bolt patterns in addition to performance mods if you wish to really make this a 'stealth' upgrade. Not cheap (much work involved), but the resulting performance gains with the Vortec heads are much better than you would achieve spending even more to rework the early heads.

You can also do this with good results on a 350 or 383 short block and store your 283. Remember...... When it comes to making power, the only substitute for cubic inches is cubic money. Dollar for dollar with similar mods, you will find more HP and more importantly for a street car...... More torque...... By beginning with a larger displacement engine. But on the other hand...... A few bucks spent wisely can yield noticeable performance gains with your original 283 short block as well. It all depends on what you want when your car is back on the road again.

Hope this gives you some ideas,

Harry

 
MikeB 
Senior Member
Posts: 9475
MikeB
Loc: Plano, TX
Reg: 08-28-03
02-07-07 12:11 PM - Post#1090154    
    In response to enigma57

Great stuff, Harry. When I was a kid, I actually put that 56 Duntov cam in a 283, because an older, wiser guy (25 or so) said it would work better with my compression and gearing than the 283 Duntov cam. As I recall, I paid $16 for the cam and another $16 for the lifters at the local ‚ÄúChevy house‚ÄĚ. My motor ran well, but I was disappointed because it had very little lope, whereas the 283 Duntov cam had lots of lope. So it may have had less lift, but probably more duration than the 56 cam. Either that or tighter lobe centers.

Also, seems like I read on one of the CT 60s forums that GM used the same hydraulic cam in all 283s and 327s up to 300 hp. Maybe that’s why the 283 2-bbl went from 180 to 195 hp at some point. (?)

Talking about this old stuff is really cool!
Real Hot Rods have a Clutch!

1955 210 2dr: 327, Brodix IK180 heads, Jones cam, M20, Wilwood front brakes

1982 C-10 SWB pickup, 250 six, 3-speed

My car pictures



 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-07-07 02:54 PM - Post#1090298    
    In response to MikeB

Mike, I must admit that I'm not sure on that. Its been 40 some-odd years and I don't have total recall. Perhaps someone has access to the original specs and can post them here.

I believe that there were some minor differences in those factory cams depending upon displacement, compression ratio and carburetion, but that all the ones you mentioned were within 5 or 7 degrees duration @ 0.050" lift and 0.020" lift at the valves...... So very little change would be noted if swapping one for the other in a given engine having no other changes, really.

I do remember this from the summer of 1965...... There was a kid who attended my high school whose folks were fairly well to do. His Dad drove a really nice '38 Ford with an Olds J-2 engine and 4-speed B&M Hydromatic tranny. Nice, smooth running, stock appearing coupe...... But it would MOVE. The Dad bought his son an absolutely beautiful solid black 1957 Chevy Bel Air sport coupe with the 283 power pack engine and 3-speed tranny. They drove it down to San Antonio and had a speed shop modify the engine and install a 'Vette clutch and T-10 4-speed tranny along with a 4.56 posi rear. It was bored out to 301 with 11:1 popup pistons, had an aluminum intake manifold, 327 'fuelie' heads, a big Carter AFB carb, tube headers and a radical sounding Engle solid lifter cam. From the sound of it, I would say something a bit wilder than the '30 - 30' Duntov 327 solid lifter 'fuelie' cam that had 254 degrees duration @ 0.050" lift and 0.485" lift at the valves for both intake and exhaust and was ground on 114 degree LSA. Perhaps too much cam.

I had a buddy who had a '57 2dr sedan in black primer. He ran a factory 365 HP 327 short block which came with the '30-30' Duntov solid lifter cam and he couldn't afford the 'fuelie' heads, so he ran mismatched '59 283 power pack heads, and an iron WCFD 4bbl intake with a junk yard 4bbl carb off a 354 Chrysler hemi and rams horn manifolds with 2" dual exhaust at the time along with the stock 3-speed tranny and Hurst floor shift backed up with a 3.54 'automatic' rear end.

Another buddy's older brother came down from Oklahoma in his '56 2dr sedan and stayed the summer before going into the Army. His '56 was a beautiful copper and ivory 2-tone Bel Air with matching upholstery (all original). It was originally a 265 2bbl car with a 3-speed overdrive tranny and 4.11 non-posi rear end. Still had the column shift. Just before he drove down to Texas, he installed a new 327 2bbl engine. The 327 was a new pull-out engine that he got cheap from a dealer up there in Oklahoma. Seems that a local construction company had bought several new 1965 dump trucks and the 327's weren't delivering the power they wanted, so they had the dealer pull the new 327's and install the new 396 big block engines that were coming out that year. The 327 2bbl dump truck engine in the '56 was absolutely stock and even ran the original restrictive '56 exhaust manifolds (the '55 - '56 log manifolds had very small ports and cross section and didn't flow nearly as well as the '57 and later rams horn manifolds). The '56 did have a new dual exhaust system, though.

Bottom line...... The heavier 'big buck' '57 Bel Air sport coupe with the 'professionally built' souped up (and I suspect overcammed) 283 engine bored to 301, T-10 4-speed and 4.56 posi could easily pull a car and a half lead on both my buddies' cars from a standing start, but both the '56 sedan with the stock 327 2bbl engine and my other buddy's '57 sedan with the 365 HP 327 'Vette short block and mismatched 283 top end parts would catch him within a block and begin pulling away by the time they were topped out in 2nd gear and shifting into high.

How did the 'low buck' cars outrun the 'big buck' car? Both 'low buck' cars were a couple hundred pounds lighter, both had a 27 cubic inch displacement advantage, and neither were 'overcammed'.

The '56 sedan was bone stock as far as suspension and ran fairly skinny garden variety 7.15 X 15'" whitewall tires on the stock 15" rims, but the 4.11 gearing and the 3-speed OD tranny seemed very well matched to the 327 2bbl engine, which had extremely snappy throttle response off idle and pulled like a freight train until it ran out of air around 5-grand and he would upshift just before that.

The '57 sedan ran stiff station wagon springs and shocks on all 4 corners and early '60's 6" wide station wagon rims with sticky 9.00 X 14" Atlas Bucron tires (the widest tread and stickiest soft rubber compound we could find in a street tire back then). No t-bars. He removed the heavy front bumper and carried some lead ingots in the spare tire well hidden beneath the spare tire (right rear). Even though his gearing wasn't optimal for the quarter mile, the lumpy idling Duntov cammed 327 had enough beans to pull like crazy from off the line as he hazed the Bucrons until they grabbed and well past his 6-grand shift points. Catching second gear with a little air visible under the left front wheel and correcting noticeably with the steering wheel to straighten out as the non-posi rear end tried to come around on the right and swap ends.

The heavier '57 sport coupe they beat through the quarter mile ran the sticky 9.00 X 14" Bucrons on 6" chrome reverse rims along with Traction Master t-bars, 50/50 rear shocks and 90/10 front shocks. Although the sport coupe ran tube headers and open exhaust cutouts, the sedans ran through the mufflers and full length duals. My best guess is that the heavier car needed more torque and less gear. He had the traction, it ran straight and he was banging out good shifts with that 4-speed under full throttle somewhere near 6-grand. It just seemed to be harder to get the heavier car moving and then it would take off like a bat outta h*ll until it ran out of steam shortly after the lighter sedans with their 327's and lower (numerical) gearing caught up to him and were pulling strong.

Boy, I hadn't thought about those days in a while, Mike. Were we ever really that young and crazy?

Best regards,

Harry

 
4-door Dave 
Senior Member
Posts: 213

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 08-14-04
02-07-07 02:56 PM - Post#1090302    
    In response to enigma57

Wow - thanks for the great info Harry. I thought those guys were BSing me upping the 283 to 330hp. I am pulling the engine and tranny out this weekend and sending the body off to the painter. I plan to use your info at another garage in town. Many thanks to all for the help!!!!!!!
New photos of the old gal http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&am p...


 
Thadd 
"12th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 11139
Thadd
Age: 75
Loc: Rolling Hills, Ca,
Reg: 12-30-01
02-07-07 04:19 PM - Post#1090371    
    In response to 4-door Dave

Harley...I would bet that the majority of the CT guys would recommend your buying a crate motor from your local smilin' Chevy dealer...

I am sure that Harry and I went to different schools together...
Take his wonderful story and throw in one of my buds who put a new from the dealer 389 pontiac in his 55 150 2door, ran it with a 3.70 Pontiac posi and a 4 speed, and proceeded to whip most comers...That poncho had the 3x2 set up, but the cam was mild enough so there was no lope to scare people off, and he ran pontiac police car mufflers so it was super quiet.
A lot of us Atlanta guys ran 301's, and most ran either a factory 2X4 with wcfbs or a big AFB on an aluminum factory manifold. The factory dual point ignition was under $25 at the dealer , the cam was under $25 at the dealer, and we stuffed shims under the valve sprins so we could easily rev past 7000....a 4.11 was OK, a 4.56 was cool, and a 4.88 was awesome
Mufflers.....We used chevy 6 cylinder truck mufflers mounted backwards and short turn downs. It gave us a sound sorta like FlowMasters, but they really sounded metallic if you were running a big cam.
John Reed was one of the group, and when he started grinding cams, some of us had some really far out concoctions....He even advertised one that would "barely idle"....
Proud member of the BABY BLUE T-SHIRT BROTHERHOOD


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 25750

Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
02-07-07 05:02 PM - Post#1090411    
    In response to Thadd

OK, let's set the war stories aside and think about what it takes to make 330 hp from a 283, and how that relates to more common items.

330 hp from a 283 is 1.16 hp/cubic inch. A 350 that makes 1.16 hp/ci has 408 hp. It is not impossible to build a streetable 408 hp 350, but it takes some work. The 350 needs some aftermarket heads or expertly ported stock castings, a pretty big camshaft and rest of the valvetrain to match, about 10:1 compression ratio, and at least a Performer RPM manifold or equivalent, and a pretty big carb.

So the 283 will need the same. The 283 will need all this stuff too, except it will take a set of pop up pistons to get the 10:1 compression, and you'll have to turn the engine about 500-800 rpm more, so now you're talking about the possibility of some better rods, and better yet valvetrain pieces. Next thing is that this big cam is going to kill the low end, so now you've killed the driveability, where the 350 may be liveable. To counteract this you might want some big gears in the rear - this means the engine is spinning that many more rpm's while cruising, and your gas mileage goes to hell - so along with that you need an overdrive transmission just to get back where you started. So this ends up being a big $ project that still nets you 78 less hp than the hopped up 350, or the same hp as that 330 hp 350 crate engine.

So this is not a practical deal - it's only to say you have a high hp 283 for whatever reasons it strokes you to have a high hp 283.

 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-08-07 04:40 PM - Post#1091261    
    In response to Thadd

  • Thadd Said:
...... I am sure that Harry and I went to different schools together...
Take his wonderful story and throw in one of my buds who put a new from the dealer 389 pontiac in his 55 150 2door, ran it with a 3.70 Pontiac posi and a 4 speed, and proceeded to whip most comers...That poncho had the 3x2 set up, but the cam was mild enough so there was no lope to scare people off, and he ran pontiac police car mufflers so it was super quiet......



Thadd, you're making me miss the 400 Poncho-powered '56 Chevy I built back in '78. If I can find any pics of it and scan them, is there a way that you can post them here? Oldgto and Grumpy asked me about that car a while back and I don't have a webpage nor anyway that I know of to post a photo.

Best regards,

Harry




 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-08-07 04:45 PM - Post#1091276    
    In response to 4-door Dave

  • harley125 Said:
Wow - thanks for the great info Harry. I thought those guys were BSing me upping the 283 to 330hp. I am pulling the engine and tranny out this weekend and sending the body off to the painter. I plan to use your info at another garage in town. Many thanks to all for the help!!!!!!!



You're welcome, Harley! I hope there is some useful info there that you can glean from my ramblings. Didn't mean to go on so long, but I haven't thought about this stuff in many moons and Mike and yourself kinda jogged my memory a bit. Whilst its on my mind, there is a hydraulic cam grind that I believe will work well for you in your 283 whether you step up to Vortec heads at some point or not...... Check out the Isky 256 / 262 hydraulic cam......

http://www.iskycams.com/productdisplay.php?sku=469...

http://www.iskycams.com/timingchart.php?product_nu...

http://www.flatlanderracing.com/iskycamsamc.html

I recall that this cam grind came about in the 1970's. There was a series of magazine articles regarding a 350 Chevy truck engine build that I followed back then. The object was to build a 350 Chevy engine to power a truck that hauled a heavy enclosed trailer with a race car, equipment and several spare engines to replace a more fuel-hungry big block engine. They were experimenting with all sorts of combinations of parts because they wanted maximum torque and good fuel economy following the 2nd Arab oil embargo and gas shortage hoax here Stateside.

Anyway, after the dust settled, this is the cam grind they settled on and the engine didn't utilize any of the then-current voodoo 'econo' (too-lean, too-small) carburettors nor manifolds having too-small runner cross section nor dividers in the runners separating the primary and secondary sides of the carburettor feeding from separate plenums nor any such nonsense and gimmickry that really didn't work very well at all. The engine build was real-world and straight forward...... It had 9.5:1 compression, 1-5/8" long-tube headers with a low restriction exhaust system and an IR (individual runner) intake running (4) Weber carbs tuned for the application with a cam that made maximum torque from off idle to 5-grand. As I said, no voodoo nor hockus-spockus...... Just a solid engine build using proven parts that worked well together in order to produce the desired results.

I have had Isky grind me cams with these specs for several engines over the years, including a 350 Chevy V8, a 4.3 litre Chevy V6 and a 300 cu. in. Ford inline 6-cylinder truck engine that we shoehorned into a '65 Chevy II along with a T-5 Mustang 'world class' 5-speed tranny, some home-built headers and (3) 32/36 Weber progressive 2bbl carbs on one of Jack Clifford's circle track intakes. Work out your static compression to provide 9.5:1 compression ratio (mill your 283 2bbl heads if re-using them with your original pistons...... You need a point and a half more compression), drop this cam into your 283 and I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Now if you decide to go with the better breathing Vortec heads...... Again, set your static compression ratio at 9.5:1, but consider either the Isky 268 Mega (my choice)......

http://www.iskycams.com/productdisplay.php?product...

http://www.iskycams.com/timingchart.php?product_nu...

Or the milder 270HL for street use......

http://www.iskycams.com/productdisplay.php?product...

http://www.iskycams.com/timingchart.php?product_nu...

Be sure to use the recommended lifters and springs / retainers and molybdenum assembly lube and have Isky machine the groove in the rear cam journal that your '57 block requires as well. And use GM EOS oil additive for break-in along with a good oil still having decent zinc content such as Shell Rotella T for heavy duty over the road diesels. You will need this to make your flat tappet cam live, as these additives are now either deleted altogether or present only in trace amounts in most motor oils now sold for passenger car use.

Best regards,

Harry

P.S. >>>> Rick is right. You need more displacement if you are gonna exceed 300 - 320 HP in any sort of streetable engine package for your '57. There is an affordable way to get more power out of your 283 without making it into the sort of overcammed, no-torque, high RPM only, not so fun to drive engine that you would be miserable with in daily driving...... Stroke it for added displacement and keep overbore to a modest 0.030" - 0.040" (or 0.060" max if needed) to clean up the cylinder bores......

Here's what it would take......

Your 283 has a 3.875" bore and a 3.00" stroke. You can easily add nearly a half-inch more stroke and gain an additional 50 - 55 cu. in. displacement by dropping in a 305 or 350 crank with the mains turned down to 283 small journal size......

Locate either a 305 or 350 donor short block with a good crank and rods. Any 305 or 350 crank and rods from a 1985 and earlier engine with the 2-piece rear main seal will have the parts you need. Most of these cranks will be nodular iron and that will be fine for what you are doing...... But if you luck out and find a reasonably priced 350 forged steel crank or the factory high performance 'pink' rods...... Snatch them up.

The 305 and 350 will have 5.7" long rods like your 283...... But the rod journal size is larger and they use a larger diameter rod bolt...... A definite plus, strength-wise. Upgrade these to ARP grade 8 fasteners and you will have a much stronger setup than your stock 283 rod. The 305 and 350 mains are larger than your small journal 283 as well, so have them turned down to small journal size (pretty much the same procedure used to fit a production 400 crank into a 350, except that you won't have to change over to external balanced harmonic balancer and flywheel and you shouldn't have the rod to cam lobe interference issues swapping a 3.48" stroke crank into a 283 block. Just check for internal block to crank and rod clearance and have your machinist take care of any clearancing issues you may find. Even if you must turn down the crankshaft counterweights a bit for clearance, you can use Mallory metal if necessary to balance the crank, as all your reciprocating parts should be rebalanced anyway.

Now you can also have the 305/350 rod journals turned down and re-use your small journal 283 rods and you can even have them offset ground to pick up a little extra stroke over the standard 3.48" 305/350 spec if you wish, but you will lose the benefit of the added strength provided by the larger 305/350 rod bolts and if the crank is offset ground, you will need to have the compression height on your new pistons adjusted to compensate when ordering them.

And you will need to purchase special order flat top pistons because they will be anywhere from 0.060" to 0.090" smaller diameter than are standard bore 350 pistons, depending upon whether you bore your block 0.030". 0.040" or 0.060" over 283 standard bore size...... Which will yield 333.42 cu. in., 335.13 cu. in. or 338.57 cu.in. displacement respectively when used with a 3.48" stroke crank. And as an added bonus...... As your 283 bore is significantly larger than a 305 bore, you won't have valve shrouding issues to the same extent as do the 305's and your heads will breathe better. The Isky 268 Mega grind cam and iron L31 Vortec heads retaining 1.94" intakes, but having larger 1.60" exhaust valves fitted and a little bowl work (leave the ports alone...... They are fine as is) would get you pretty close to where you need to be along with the 2-1/2" ramshorn exhaust manifolds and a #8121 Weiand Vortec spec dual plane intake with a 650 - 700 cfm or thereabouts carb of your choice......

http://www.holley.com/8121.asp

Reference......

265 sm. journ...... 3.750" x 3.00"

283 sm. journ...... 3.875" x 3.00"

Note...... 1957 283 block, hold overbore to a minimum - 1958 thru 1962 283 blocks had thicker cylinder walls and most can be bored to 4.000" if no core shift, but the 1957 283 block had thinner cylinder walls, so don't bore any more than is absolutely necessary......

0.030" overbore = 3.905"

with 3.25" stroke...... 311.39

with 3.48" stroke...... 333.42

with 3.75" stroke...... 359.29

0.040" overbore = 3.915"

with 3.25" stroke...... 312.98

with 3.48" stroke...... 335.13

with 3.75" stroke...... 361.14

0.060" overbore = 3.935"

with 3.25" stroke...... 316.18

with 3.48" stroke...... 338.57

with 3.75" stroke...... 364.83

Reference......

307 large journ...... 3.875" x 3.25"

327 large,small.... 4.000" x 3.25"

302 large, small... 4.000" x 3.00"

400 large journ..... 4.125" x 3.75"

262 large journ.... 3.670" x 3.10"

305 large journ.... 3.740" x 3.48"

350 large journ.... 4.000" x 3.48"

P.P.S. >>>> I didn't cover the installation of a 3.75" stroke crank, as that would require quite a bit of additional internal block clearancing in an early 283 block, a reduced base circle cam in most cases, and either Mallory metal to internally balance...... Or the externally balanced 400 balancer and flywheel (which I dislike). Probably doable, but much more expensive.

And this will retain your original 283 numbers matching block having no sidemounts. You can even re-use your old style harmonic balancer with the crank pulley riveted on if you wish..... But do take advantage of the later crank's threaded snout and install a retaining bolt and washer.

HB


 
RickWI 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 1669

Loc: Madison, WI
Reg: 10-08-01
02-08-07 05:02 PM - Post#1091290    
    In response to enigma57

On my dyno with double hump heads, 230 duration cam .480 lift, Performer RPM style intake, 9.5:1 compression a 283 made 320 HP. That was after A LOT of testing with various carbs, ended up with an Avenger 570, and 1.6 rockers on the intake.

First pull of that engine, after being delivered from another engine builder shop, it made a whopping 270 HP. There was a major issue getting that engine to run with the as delivered 650 DP carb. Way too big of a carb and very poor fueling.

That same engine made 300 HP with a 4412 2 bbl and an adapter.

All those numbers are SAE corrected and without any accesories or exhaust.

Small bore, small cubes, tough to make power.
70 SS Camaro, Dart Aluminum SmBlk 454 CI, 125 MPH (on the motor) in the quarter and 18 MPG on Power Tour


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 25750

Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
02-08-07 05:34 PM - Post#1091327    
    In response to RickWI

Actually 320 hp is pretty good for double hump heads and a 230¬ļ cam. I would have expected a bit less. What kind of rpm for peak hp and torque?

I would argue though that a 650DP carb was not really too much, it was probably flawed. Not to say it would be all that driveable though.



 
RickWI 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 1669

Loc: Madison, WI
Reg: 10-08-01
02-08-07 05:59 PM - Post#1091349    
    In response to Rick_L

I don't recall the the RPM peaks on the HP or torque values.

I suppose you can argue on the carb, no harm there. It is what it is though. Brand new out of the box carb. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary either in the operation of the carb nor what we expected. Simply too big for the application and didn't produce a fuel curve worth a crap.

70 SS Camaro, Dart Aluminum SmBlk 454 CI, 125 MPH (on the motor) in the quarter and 18 MPG on Power Tour


 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-08-07 07:30 PM - Post#1091433    
    In response to enigma57

Hey, Rick L and RickWI...... Let's plan a road trip to Oklahoma and pull Harley's 283 down and help him build something that'll make a believer out of those 'crate engine' fellas!

Happy Motoring,

Harry

 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 25750

Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
02-08-07 08:31 PM - Post#1091499    
    In response to RickWI

"Simply too big for the application and didn't produce a fuel curve worth a crap."

If you got several new Holley carbs of the same part number and put them on the same engine on the dyno - they would all behave a bit differently and likely you'd have one that was far superior to the others and one that was far inferior, and the rest would be different but have a reasonably tight scatter.

I once put four 4779 750DP Holleys on the dyno and on a flow bench. There was about 25 hp between the worst and the best on a roughly 600 hp drag race engine. (That size carb was mandated by the rules.) On the flow bench, we built a fixture that could flow each venturi/throttle bore individually, and also built a fixture to measure the booster draw. The worst carb had one bore that was a real dog flow-wise, and you could see that the booster venturi was not centered. The booster draw was all screwed up on that bore too. The draw did not match the flow at all. The best carb had all 4 bores flowing very close to each other, and the booster draw was similar.

Doing some calculations with booster draw, we re-jetted one of the "medium" carbs to match the draw (bigger jet for less draw), and were able to make that carb almost as good as the best one.

It really woke me up to the differences in carbs, and it makes you see that someone who knows what he's doing with a carb can make an even bigger difference.

Just another reason to go EFI.


 
bigjimzlll 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 2126

Loc: Redding,CA
Reg: 03-30-02
02-08-07 08:34 PM - Post#1091503    
    In response to RickWI

  • RickWI Said:
On my dyno with double hump heads, 230 duration cam .480 lift, Performer RPM style intake, 9.5:1 compression a 283 made 320 HP. That was after A LOT of testing with various carbs, ended up with an Avenger 570, and 1.6 rockers on the intake.

First pull of that engine, after being delivered from another engine builder shop, it made a whopping 270 HP. There was a major issue getting that engine to run with the as delivered 650 DP carb. Way too big of a carb and very poor fueling.

That same engine made 300 HP with a 4412 2 bbl and an adapter.

All those numbers are SAE corrected and without any accesories or exhaust.

Small bore, small cubes, tough to make power.



You must of had some big domes on them tiny pistons to make 9.5-1 CR
1967 LWB New 540 BBC 855HP...hope to run 9.60 #9908


 
RickWI 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 1669

Loc: Madison, WI
Reg: 10-08-01
02-08-07 09:27 PM - Post#1091571    
    In response to bigjimzlll

We did not put the motor together, it was done at another shop. Yes I suspect, assuming the compression they told us was true, the pistons had a bit of a bump on top.
70 SS Camaro, Dart Aluminum SmBlk 454 CI, 125 MPH (on the motor) in the quarter and 18 MPG on Power Tour


 
4-door Dave 
Senior Member
Posts: 213

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 08-14-04
02-09-07 07:21 AM - Post#1091760    
    In response to RickWI

My goodness. Obviously I really had no idea about getting the HP out of a 283. I have been given an old rochester Q Jet and a 57 powerpack intake that I plan to install. What would this group recommend to bump th HP a little and not cost big $?
New photos of the old gal http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&am p...


 
hutchensce 
Senior Member
Posts: 1980

Loc: Laramie, WY
Reg: 11-02-04
02-09-07 09:44 AM - Post#1091876    
    In response to 4-door Dave

The most basic and inexpensive things you can do to that 283 would be an intake, probably a 500cfm carb, and a good dual exhaust with headers. If you don't want the hassle of headers, a set of rams horns manifolds will work as well, but the power will be a little less.

For an intake, I'd take a look at the new Weiand Action +Plus (pn8150 I believe). It's got small runners which will suit your 283 very well. After that, second in line on the intake side would be a plain old Eddy Performer...I'd opt for the Weiand myself.

There's nothing wrong with a q-jet, but be prepared to rebuild it. A little 500cfm Edelbrock would be a good bet as well. Just don't put anything too big on top of that motor or it'll be a dog.

As far as headers go, you need to decide if you want to deal with fitment issues. Take a look at the "Header topic beat to death" thread that's pinned at the top of the 55-57 modified forum. That'll give you a good idea of what you'll be dealing with. There are a lot of variables. For your 283, don't get anything bigger than headers with 1 5/8" primaries and probably 2 1/2" collectors. 3" collectors probably wouldn't kill you, but they're probably not gonna help at all. Add a 2 1/4" exhaust with some good flowing mufflers to round it all out and I'd say that would make a pretty big difference.

Start with the intake and carb. Move your way down to the exhaust. If you don't have all the cash on hand you can do it in stages.

I'm sure the other guys will chime in as well about cam swaps perhaps...but just remember that once you start doing that with those heads, you might as well start rebuilding the motor (or at least, at the very least, checking the heads for wear and tear).

What do you guys think about the possibility of dropping some of the old L98 heads on his 283? They've got really small 58cc chambers and might bump his compression. I know they're not the best heads, but they're cheap, plentiful, and might work really well in this case? Just a thought.
Photos and such


Edited by hutchensce on 02-09-07 09:46 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-09-07 01:16 PM - Post#1092103    
    In response to hutchensce

Might find a deal on L98 head 'pull-offs' from the ZZ4 crate engines at Sallee (now Gilbert) Chevrolet. They used to offer them and the ZZ4 roller cam 'pull-offs' pretty cheap from time to time. They also had ZZ4 and 383 GMPP (crate motor) short blocks available separately.

I agree that the L98's and the Weiand intake would be a great combo for a 283, hutchensce. My first choice would be the L31 iron Vortec heads with a similar Weiand Vortec-specific intake, though. They are inexpensive and will outflow not only the L98's, but most big buck aftermarket aluminum heads in the 'under 0.470" lift' area they were designed to operate in as well. So long as cam specs don't require radical spring rates requiring screw-in rocker arm studs and valve lift is kept below 0.470", no machining is required and beehive springs matched to the cam and made to 'drop on' to the Vortecs can be utilized. And milling them about 0.050" to drop chamber volume to around 56-58cc from the as-cast 62-64cc most spec out at is no big deal.

Best regards,

Harry

 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
02-09-07 01:47 PM - Post#1092134    
    In response to 4-door Dave

  • harley125 Said:
My goodness. Obviously I really had no idea about getting the HP out of a 283. I have been given an old rochester Q Jet and a 57 powerpack intake that I plan to install. What would this group recommend to bump the HP a little and not cost big $?



Harley, either the 283 power pack intake or the Q-jet with its small primary throttle bores would function well on your 283 (the vacuum actuated secondaries on the Q-jet will only open when you need them and only enough to match your engine's airflow requirements when they do, so no problem there). There were also newer Q-jets calibrated for smaller engines such as the 1985 4.3 litre V6 (Astro Van and pickups) that may be pretty close to what your 283 requires as well.

One thing to remember, though...... If you use a Q-jet carb, be sure to use an intake designed for the Q-jet. NEVER use one of those adapter plates having mismatched offset and angled throttle bore holes to bolt a Q-jet onto an intake not designed for it. You will find that the carb/manifold/adapter mismatch will not work nearly as well as the correct intake.

If you use the Q-jet and install an aftermarket aluminum intake, you can get one to fit the 'spreadbore' Q-jet carb. A less expensive choice would be the factory small block Q-jet iron intakes from '67-'70 or so having no EGR (power-robbing smog) passages. These actually flow pretty well and should be fairly cheap at wrecking yards and swap meets. The '67 327 Q-jet carb should work well on your 283 if you get a rebuilt carb.

If you use the 283 'power pack' intake, use a small pattern WCFB or similar carb that will fit the manifold properly and is calibrated for an engine similar to yours. Give Jon (CarbKing) here on the forum a holler. He can set you up with vintage carbs like the WCFB done right.

Hope this helps,

Harry

 
RickWI 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 1669

Loc: Madison, WI
Reg: 10-08-01
02-09-07 02:15 PM - Post#1092153    
    In response to enigma57

Rick, since we build a ton of restricted Late Model motors basically all of our R&D carb time is spent with the 4412. In that application with engines that peak in the 420 to 450 range, at 6 to 7 inch vac restriction, we see maybe 5-10 HP between the best and worst 4412. Best does not always mean Braswells finest either, nor Procks, nor anyone elses whizbang deal of the month. Lots of times the customers stock ol 4412 straight from Holley with a jet change works just as well.

We will, a lot of times, run various carb applications on an engine if it just doesn't seem to be performing as we think it should or the BSFC numbers really look screwy. Absent thoough our Fastest Street Car motors we usually don't get too carried away. Customers just don't want to spend the money.

Although Braswell is expensive when we get a carb from them for a specific application I can say that 99.9 percent of the time it's spot on and has excellent performance on the dyno/track/road. Procks stuff is really good as well.
70 SS Camaro, Dart Aluminum SmBlk 454 CI, 125 MPH (on the motor) in the quarter and 18 MPG on Power Tour


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 25750

Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
02-09-07 02:36 PM - Post#1092167    
    In response to RickWI

RickWI, can't disagree with those comments. My comments were mostly about "out of the box" carbs, with the last bit just stating the potential that the pro carb modifiers have when they know what they're doing. As I'm sure you well know, there's some hackers out there too.

 
RickWI 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 1669

Loc: Madison, WI
Reg: 10-08-01
02-09-07 03:58 PM - Post#1092260    
    In response to Rick_L

Hackers, no sheet! They are out there, and they don't wear numbers.

Agreed as well, forgot to mention, EFI solves all these silly issues with boosters, air bleeds, distribution issues and accel pump circuits.

Customers I have done EFI conversions for have never regretted writing that big ol check after we do the on road tuning.

70 SS Camaro, Dart Aluminum SmBlk 454 CI, 125 MPH (on the motor) in the quarter and 18 MPG on Power Tour


 
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