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Old 01-14-2019, 09:22 AM   #1
OL65GMC
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Building my 283

Hey guys, thought I'd see if anyone wants to chime in on a probably over discussed 283 build thread. Lol. Let's see what happens. Currently.. 65 gmc short step, 230 6 with later sincro 3 spd. Factory rear end 30" tires. Picked up a 65 suburban in a trade that's rotten but had a running 283 that I'm going to drop in my step side. The small block had 145 psi compression in all 8 +/- 5 psi. (I know, pretty high, checked with 2 different testers). Pulled the engine out of the truck and tore it down. 20 over pistons, 10 under crank mains and journals. Cam was in pretty bad shape, power pack heads that need love. Block casting #3849852, heads #3785896. 2 bbl manifold.
I'm looking to stay with the power pack heads, only going to bore if needed to make it right. I did pick up a 4 bbl manifold #3919803 and a couple of Quadra gets to build. Also a aluminum holley 4bbl manifold, not sure of make or numbers but has front oil fill.
As you can see I'm looking for a as era correct as I can be, while getting the most I can out of this little motor.
I know a 350 would be cheaper and more hp. I have read about head swaps, ect. I want to stay with the set up I have. I'm not unrealistic, don't need 350hp or 10 sec time slips. I just want a healthy strong little engine. I'm going to drive the truck... A lot. Suggestions on set up would be awsome. Hung up on cam mostly, don't want to have to rev it to 3500 to leave the stop light, but don't want stock either (would like it to sound healthy). Leaning towards L79 cam? Sorry for the novel but just trying to answer questions iv read asked on other threads. Thanks guys!
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
geezer#99
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Re: Building my 283

Cam in bad shape!
Do you mean a couple lobes worn down?

Nothing wrong with a 283. You just gotta let em run at higher rpm. No gearing to cruise at 60 at 2000 rpm.
Built right they can be a screamer. Had one in a 57 bel air that turned 9 grand all the time. My buddy built one that he shifted at 11 grand.
Don’t use the L79 cam. Old technology. Slow ramps. Better choices out there.
Give us some more pics.
And welcome to the jungle!
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: Building my 283

I'd build it stock with a mild Edelbrock Performer type cam.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Building my 283

Which intake is that that you have??? Is it for a Quadrajet, or 4G?

Sealed Power used to make forged pistons for 283's, maybe still do? I am not sure...

I built a 283 back in early 80's, for my 67 Bel Air (original engine...) I went the extra mile on my engine, had everything done, to the best of my knowledge, back then, and nothing, thinking wise has changed...

My biggest word of experience is to be careful with the cam selection. Smaller engines (anything under 350 cubes!!!), can easily be over cammed. The rumpity sound means you are losing some low RPM cylinder pressure, plain and simple. A 283 cannot afford to lose ANY cylinder pressure, especially in a pickup that weighs over 4000 pounds!!!

THere's nothing wrong with building a 283. They don't start making much torque until 3000 RPM's, regardless of how you build it, they are small engines, it's just the way it is...

The stock replacement cam, Sealed Power CS273 is excellent for a 283, and might be one of the cheapest cams available...would be my choice...

I will post more of my 283 experience here, soon
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: Building my 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by geezer#99 View Post
Cam in bad shape!
Do you mean a couple lobes worn down?

Nothing wrong with a 283. You just gotta let em run at higher rpm. No gearing to cruise at 60 at 2000 rpm.
Built right they can be a screamer. Had one in a 57 bel air that turned 9 grand all the time. My buddy built one that he shifted at 11 grand.
Donít use the L79 cam. Old technology. Slow ramps. Better choices out there.
Give us some more pics.
And welcome to the jungle!
Thanks, yes lobes worn badly.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: Building my 283

That means a complete tear down and a hot tank cleaning is in your future.
That fine metal gets everywhere.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:44 PM   #7
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Re: Building my 283

Yup, going through the whole process. Any suggestions on machine shops in the area would be helpful.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:47 PM   #8
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Re: Building my 283

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Originally Posted by 68Gold/white View Post
Which intake is that that you have??? Is it for a Quadrajet, or 4G?

Sealed Power used to make forged pistons for 283's, maybe still do? I am not sure...

I built a 283 back in early 80's, for my 67 Bel Air (original engine...) I went the extra mile on my engine, had everything done, to the best of my knowledge, back then, and nothing, thinking wise has changed...

My biggest word of experience is to be careful with the cam selection. Smaller engines (anything under 350 cubes!!!), can easily be over cammed. The rumpity sound means you are losing some low RPM cylinder pressure, plain and simple. A 283 cannot afford to lose ANY cylinder pressure, especially in a pickup that weighs over 4000 pounds!!!

THere's nothing wrong with building a 283. They don't start making much torque until 3000 RPM's, regardless of how you build it, they are small engines, it's just the way it is...

The stock replacement cam, Sealed Power CS273 is excellent for a 283, and might be one of the cheapest cams available...would be my choice...

I will post more of my 283 experience here, soon
Pretty sure it's Q-jet
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:33 PM   #9
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Re: Building my 283

I built my 283 for my 67 Bel Air (my first car, a 4 door...) The car came with the 283 (only 2 bbl in 67) powerglide, hub caps, and thats about it, nothing power, had 4 wheel drum sucky brakes...

It got about 20 MPG stock, pinged under heavy acceleration, power was non-existent. I thought I could be a smart person and build the 283, maybe get 25 MPG...that never happened...but lots of other good things DID happen.

Engine was bored and honed(.060) with a torque plate, had valve guides replaced, used good valves, however not stainless. Crank train was balanced. I got a set of forged pistons from Sealed power, yes they were the most expensive, but worth every penny, even if this engine was just a driver.

My engine builder friend found a 4 bbl intake that Holley came out with back then. Topped it with a Holley 4 bbl carb (450 cfm) called an economaster (I don't think they make them any more....My cam was essentially the Sealed Power CS273, only in a Crane box. I performed some work on the ports. Not a lot is really need i port work. Taking sharp edges off the valve bowl area does help. The sharp edges in the chambers were knocked down, as were the sharp edges on the piston tops...My heads were the stock heads that came on the 283, I believe 552's, the last variation of the Power Pack heads (I believe...)

My engine builder had a dyno, so I paid the $$$ for testing...His power ratings were net, with nothing fluffed up. My engine made 200 HP. Doesn't sound like much. Most HP numbers tossed around these days are NOT net numbers. He experimented with stock ram horn exh manifolds, 4 tube headers, and a set of try-Y headers. That was interesting. On the small (remember, small) 283 engine the power numbers were all within 4 HP. My engine builder said the airflow through the engine was not enough to take advantage of the headers (yes, I used the manifolds on my car!)

I put about 175,000 miles on this car (obviously my daily driver...). I experimented with several intakes and carbs. The dyno intake and carb got 20 MPG, but a LOT more power and drive-ability, But still nothing overly exciting...

I have read from others here that have used Quadrajets on 283's with great success, I had difficulty tuning them. Part throttle to full throttle transition was always a problem. BUT, this was before the days of www.Cliffshighperformance.com I am sure he could of helped me get a Q-Jet perfected for my 283...

If your intake has 2 small holes and 2 large holes, that is a Quadrajet, intake, USE IT!!!
That stock intake is great for a 283, and really any small block engine, depending on the performance expectations of said engine...

One intake/carb setup that I never tried, but wanted to, was the larger Rochester 2BBL carb and intake that came on 350's and small block 400's, I think it would have made good power and got good MPG also...

Not to sour your thoughts of building an awesome 283, BUT if I had it to do again, I would have built a small block 400. My good friend built one for his 66 C10 at the same time I built my 283. THat 400 was nothing special, but ran AWESOMELY.

PM me if you have any questions....
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:05 PM   #10
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Re: Building my 283

Thanks for all the input and details, still working on the plan for this little motor. Machine shop this week!
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:06 PM   #11
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Re: Building my 283

A modern tiny cam would do wonders for it vs an old performer style or "RV" cam that are all 30+yr old designs with slow ramp rates.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: Building my 283

Did you find a machine shop? I have a buddy that lives there and he works on k5/c10
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:10 PM   #13
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Re: Building my 283

Quote:
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A modern tiny cam would do wonders for it vs an old performer style or "RV" cam that are all 30+yr old designs with slow ramp rates.
As long as the cam does NOT have XE in it's description, I'll agree with you!!!
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:46 PM   #14
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Re: Building my 283

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Did you find a machine shop? I have a buddy that lives there and he works on k5/c10
Think I'm going to use motor machine, but would love suggestions.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:20 PM   #15
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Re: Building my 283

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Originally Posted by OL65GMC View Post
Think I'm going to use motor machine, but would love suggestions.
I'll text him and see what he says
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:56 PM   #16
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Re: Building my 283

A few pics disassembled.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:00 PM   #17
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Re: Building my 283

More...
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:03 PM   #18
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Re: Building my 283

Heads
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:20 PM   #19
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Re: Building my 283

Block
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:52 AM   #20
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Re: Building my 283

Cam is definitely no bueno....
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:00 PM   #21
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Re: Building my 283

Wait... are you saying don't go roller?

Ramp rates are going to still be slow on any flat tappet cam compared to a roller. Maybe I'm thinking XE=roller in comp speak and I'm wrong, but, if there's a roller retrofit for this tiny motor, I'd think that would make the best power due to the superior ramp rates over flat tappet. Unfortunately the cost is enormous!



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As long as the cam does NOT have XE in it's description, I'll agree with you!!!
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:52 PM   #22
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Re: Building my 283

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Wait... are you saying don't go roller?

Ramp rates are going to still be slow on any flat tappet cam compared to a roller. Maybe I'm thinking XE=roller in comp speak and I'm wrong, but, if there's a roller retrofit for this tiny motor, I'd think that would make the best power due to the superior ramp rates over flat tappet. Unfortunately the cost is enormous!
Nothing against going roller...although the price of a roller is too steep for me...yes there's fears of flattening a flat tappet cam...

I would only use a roller where there's a significant potential power gain, and a much larger cube engine...

The Comp XE line of cams is too over rated...they have some uses that work, but not that much....and not in this 283 that will have a comp ratio of over 9:1
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:15 PM   #23
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Re: Building my 283

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Nothing against going roller...although the price of a roller is too steep for me...yes there's fears of flattening a flat tappet cam...

I would only use a roller where there's a significant potential power gain, and a much larger cube engine...

The Comp XE line of cams is too over rated...they have some uses that work, but not that much....and not in this 283 that will have a comp ratio of over 9:1
I won't be going roller, cost isn't justified. Thought about roller top rockers though. Need to study geometry of going 1.6 rockers.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:17 PM   #24
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Re: Building my 283

I've used XE in about every motor ive built, only had one with a whipped lobe, that was my own fault..
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:45 PM   #25
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Re: Building my 283

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I won't be going roller, cost isn't justified. Thought about roller top rockers though. Need to study geometry of going 1.6 rockers.
I wouldn't spend the extra $$$ on roller tip rockers for your build, not really needed. Good stock rockers will do the job...

If I was looking for a more modern cam, I might consider the older Comp High Cam line (NOT the XE stuff) they work VERY well, and don't have the fast ramp technology that the XE line uses. BUT, you'd still need to keep things smallish on the .050 lift duration numbers. THe 252 or maybe the 260 (at the most) would be possible candidates...IMO
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