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93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/20/12 2:01 p.m.

So I have a 283 laying around that I got for free. I was wondering what kinda of parts would swap on to this as far as cranks and heads that would improve performance and I could get for uber-cheap so I could keep an eye out for them.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy SuperDork
1/20/12 2:11 p.m.

Not much benefit to a 283. External bolt ons are all the same as for any other traditional small block, but the crank has smaller diameter bearings. Find an early small journal 327 block and you can have a 302.

Or, better yet, find someone who has a chubby for a 283 and put your money into a 350, which is bigger....

Aeromoto
Aeromoto Reader
1/20/12 2:12 p.m.

Alot of guys swap 305 HO heads on to 283s for a compression bump. They're cheap and flow enough to support 283 cubic inches just fine.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/20/12 2:21 p.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: Not much benefit to a 283.

Let's just ignore the logic.

I am basically looking for parts that are pretty much throw away parts that can be got for $free to pennies on the dollar.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/20/12 2:22 p.m.
Aeromoto wrote: Alot of guys swap 305 HO heads on to 283s for a compression bump. They're cheap and flow enough to support 283 cubic inches just fine.

What cars have the 305 HO heads?

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku SuperDork
1/20/12 2:33 p.m.

early-mid 80's Monte SS and HO Camaro 4bl. (L69 I think)

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter SuperDork
1/20/12 2:42 p.m.

Would Vortec heads work?

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku SuperDork
1/20/12 2:53 p.m.

I think they would, but a new intake would be required. Plus they cost more than free.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/20/12 4:30 p.m.

What about things like cams and manifolds? I mean unless I get OEM stuff for free it makes more sense to buy used aftermarket but if I can find it for free, is there anything that can help improve the performance?

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
1/20/12 4:34 p.m.

305 vortec heads are probable a better option as far as flow than the HO heads, but there is the whole vortec specific intake deal.

not many OEM cams are worthwhile.

it's the same as any other engine. more air in + more air out = good. better heads, a good 4bbl intake and vacuum secondary 600 (or smaller) carb, headers, and a good cam. the comp XE268H has been one of my favorite street cams for a mild small block for some time now. it's got far more lift than a stock cam without being too much for the "Z28" valve springs.

pres589
pres589 Dork
1/20/12 4:45 p.m.

Budget?

It'd be nice to throw a good modern camshaft at this thing like this one here as just one of easily a thousand other good options;

http://www.compcams.com/Company/CC/cam-specs/Details.aspx?csid=223&sb=2

Then some Vortec heads and a related intake like an RPM Air Gap. Port FI seems to be a weak spot with a Vortec setup, carbs are well covered by the aftermarket.

Then it's just a good OEM HEI ignition and all the other hundred tiny parts to get it into whatever home you have in mind.

There isn't a single OEM camshaft I'd use unless you literally have no money and need this thing to get to work which I doubt is at all the case here.

fasted58
fasted58 SuperDork
1/20/12 4:52 p.m.

In reply to patgizz:

XE268H... great choice, I had one, loved it

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
1/20/12 4:56 p.m.

I just want to say I have very fond/nostalgic feelings for the 283. We put a stock one (2bbl, even) from a '66 chevelle (no pcv, no accessory holes in the heads) into my first car, and '80 el camino. It made all the right sounds, but didn't really have much power. I would have loved more power, but it was still a good old (VERY reliable) engine. I'd love one in a utility vehicle like a pickup or something meant for cruising (thinking '60s or earlier cars/trucks).

Clem

Aeromoto
Aeromoto Reader
1/20/12 7:08 p.m.

The best perimeter bolt 305 heads came on the 1985 and 1986 205 horse TPI engines in the camaro Iroc and trans am. I have the casting # somewhere. I'd say that a set of proper vortec fast burn heads and intake would be a bit much over budget for a thrifty 283 build. Aside from using the vortec heads, any pre 1987 style intake manifold, headers, cams, valve train, valve covers, oil pans, etc will swap on to a 283.

For a nice little street engine, I'd say buy a used set of 305 ho heads, a swap meet or ebay edelbrock torker intake for 50 bucks or so, and buy a good matched cam/lifter/valve spring package of something in the area just under.500 lift, HEI distributor, and a 600cfm Holley or Edelbrock carb.

I'd say this is a good idea if your 283 is in good condition and doesn't need machine work, new pistons, etc. If it does need to be bored out and a complete rebuild, it wouldn't be cost effective IMO. At that point I'd move along to a 350 because you'd be spending the same money if not more to put it together.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/21/12 6:03 p.m.

Budget is LeMons budget. I would rather spend the money on the suspension of whatever I end using then the engine.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/21/12 6:03 p.m.
Aeromoto wrote: I'd say this is a good idea if your 283 is in good condition and doesn't need machine work, new pistons, etc. If it does need to be bored out and a complete rebuild, it wouldn't be cost effective IMO. At that point I'd move along to a 350 because you'd be spending the same money if not more to put it together.

I agree. I will pull it apart at some point and check it.

Moparman
Moparman HalfDork
1/21/12 8:06 p.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy:

He can get a 327 crank and make a 307. That's what Chevy did. That was the most popular V8 in early 70s' Malibus.

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
1/21/12 8:31 p.m.
Moparman wrote: In reply to Streetwiseguy: He can get a 327 crank and make a 307. That's what Chevy did. That was the most *common* V8 in early 70s' Malibus.

FTFY.

Aeromoto
Aeromoto Reader
1/21/12 8:40 p.m.

I don't know how things are where you live, but the best way to score a good running sb chevy around here in Fl is to find a van. Nobody want old vans, especially conversion vans. I can buy a good running late 1980s van with the roller cam 350 for about $600-700 bucks if you look hard enough, and now that scrap is at $12.5, you can get $500 of that back at the scrap yard, and you have a damn near free 350.

wheels777
wheels777 Dork
1/21/12 11:02 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote: So I have a 283 laying around that I got for free. I was wondering what kinda of parts would swap on to this as far as cranks and heads that would improve performance and I could get for uber-cheap so I could keep an eye out for them.

283's are a blast. I had one with a stock bottom end, a 327-350HP cam, ported heads and a well tuned Q-jet that ran 12.80s. Talk about an ancient combo....Wow. That was in a 2700# Nova. Had one with 12.5:1 with a 30-30 cam that went 12.02 in a 50 Studebaker back in the early 80's.

If you have 896 heads swap them. You can make the exhaust work, but not the intake. There are 2 sets of 520 castings. One is great to port...the other is junk. I don't remember the first numbers, but may have it circled in an old book. You can get good flow (for a 283) with port work from the better set (219-227 range without going crazy). I always had better luck with ported 1.72" valved Power Pack over the 1.94" valved Fuellies. Wore out a bunch of tires testing both.

The Vortec heads for the 305 will work, but the 1.86" valves are expensive, and you can't get them .100" longer. We currently are running a set of 263 LT type heads on a 260 that makes good 300 HP. The intake valve length bit us with trying to get the right springs forces. The LT and Vortec have similar ports. The Vortec has the right water passages. The LT heads required some block mods that would make a great tech article...we have pictures.

What year is the engine? The late 66 and 2 bbl 67's have cast cranks. The 61-62 blocks will go .125" over. If it has a raise oil filter pocket it is from an early Duece...sell it to a collector. Real early ones don't have sidemounts and do have rope seals.

I would love to find another one to drop into one of our Stude's. If any of you "it's not a 350 so don't use it" crowd have one, just send it my way.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
1/22/12 11:03 a.m.

In reply to wheels777:

Wow thanks for that info.

What do you mean by raised oil filter pocket? Is that 350HP-327 cam a stock or aftermarket part?

a401cj
a401cj Reader
1/22/12 11:42 a.m.
ClemSparks wrote: I just want to say I have very fond/nostalgic feelings for the 283. We put a stock one (2bbl, even) from a '66 chevelle (no pcv, no accessory holes in the heads) into my first car, and '80 el camino. It made all the right sounds, but didn't really have much power. I would have loved more power, but it was still a good old (VERY reliable) engine. I'd love one in a utility vehicle like a pickup or something meant for cruising (thinking '60s or earlier cars/trucks). Clem

FWIW i don't think that '66 Chevelle came with the 283

Moparman
Moparman HalfDork
1/22/12 5:46 p.m.

In reply to a401cj:

Sure did. The base was the 6, first option was the 283,second was the 327. The 396 was available as part of the unique SS396 package.

The 283 was available through the 1967 model year. It was replaced by the 307 in 1968.

a401cj
a401cj Reader
1/22/12 6:06 p.m.

^^ I will stand corrected then

JFX001
JFX001 SuperDork
1/22/12 6:22 p.m.
Moparman wrote: In reply to a401cj: Sure did. The base was the 6, first option was the 283,second was the 327. The 396 was available as part of the unique SS396 package. The 283 was available through the 1967 model year. It was replaced by the 307 in 1968.

My brother had a sweet bone stock '67 Chevelle with a 283. Beautiful car....Powerglide sapped some of the fun though.

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