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Old 01-17-2019, 09:04 PM   #26
mattfranklin
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Re: Building my 283

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Think I'm going to use motor machine, but would love suggestions.
I like Morgan's Machine and Marine in Walnut Creek. But I know that's a bit of a drive for you. He does super high quality work, but does cost a little more. He can be cantankerous, but I like him. He has a passion for the work. Hates the internet. Real old school and a good guy. He prefers to do the whole thing, but will work with you on doing parts of of it if he thinks you're capable of assembling things. I'm pretty familiar with assembly but he really wanted to do the stem seals for me to make sure I wouldn't screw it up.

He used to race top fuel and hydroplane. Racers seek him out. He does a lot of exotic stuff for restorers and car dealers. He is more expensive and you get what you pay for. If you try to deal him down on price, he'll probably kick you out of the shop. But he's my first choice for high quality work.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:00 PM   #27
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Re: Building my 283

I can only tell you my about my 283 and it has been very good to me. It's bored out to 292 cu.in. with ported and polished 416 H.O heads from a 305. They have bigger valves than the power packs and are unleaded fuel friendly. My intake is a Performer EPS with a 500 cfm Eddy carb (leaned out 2 stages in the cruise mode.) The cam is a Melling MTC-1. It's basically the Performer grind with a lower price tag. The same basic grind gets even more economical when you buy it as a Summit 1102. I did use roller rockers, people say the don't add much power over stock, but my old ones were worn anyhow so i just bought 'em. I also bought a new high performance distributor which has a bit lighter springs and a bit hotter coil. It also has an adjustable vacum advance. My timing chain is a cloyes double roller and I run a clutch fan to help reduce drag. (Engine masters had an eye opening episode about how much h.p your cooling fan can steal from the motor.).
I currently use a Saginaw 4 speed with a 3.5 first gear. Its mated to a 2.76 rear diff. They work well together providing a decent launch ratio of 9.6 but the gear spread is a bit awkward. 1st and 2nd are a bit too close, 3rd is a bigger drop and 4th is like overdrive with the 2.76 rear.
I feel gearing plays an equal role to engine mods for the little 283. Obviously the launch ratio is important and I wouldn't want that to be below the low 9's, but I'm also starting to realize that a more evenly spaced drop between gears ceartinly would help keep the motor in the sweet spot under acceleration. Soon I plan a swap to a 3.08 and a muncie m22z.
Sorry for the novel but y'know, my 2 cents worth turned into a nickel I guess.

Last edited by AcampoDave; 01-18-2019 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:25 AM   #28
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Re: Building my 283

I am surprised with all the great responses and info I'm getting here. Awsome.
Quick update, dropped of engine at machine shop today. Should hear from then middle of next week on what shape everything is in and how far I have to go ($$) with the machining process.
Will definitely put the 1102 cam on the list along with the lunati 06103, and maybe the l79 grind. Read in a few threads about Northern auto kits and selecting the cam closest to what your looking for off the upgrade list. Anyone have any opinions on kits from them?
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:15 AM   #29
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Re: Building my 283

I'm going much smaller on cam in my 307 than what you may use it seems.
I'm going to use the smallest Voodoo and worried it may be too much. I have 4.10 gears and a TH400, and should end up around 10.5-1 compression too.

I will use 1.6 rockers at least on the intake side, you need that with all small cams. The slightly more modern heads from a 305 are great, I'm told, for a 283 or 307, and I do have some to use too. They can get the compression up when used correctly and mine will get milled (likely angle milled) to reach approx 52cc for this project.

I'm shooting for all the torque the little thang can make @ lower rpm, and best mileage when driven easily. I'd do the same with a 283 but probably use a smaller cam too !
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:06 AM   #30
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Re: Building my 283

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I'm going much smaller on cam in my 307 than what you may use it seems.
I'm going to use the smallest Voodoo and worried it may be too much. I have 4.10 gears and a TH400, and should end up around 10.5-1 compression too.

I will use 1.6 rockers at least on the intake side, you need that with all small cams. The slightly more modern heads from a 305 are great, I'm told, for a 283 or 307, and I do have some to use too. They can get the compression up when used correctly and mine will get milled (likely angle milled) to reach approx 52cc for this project.

I'm shooting for all the torque the little thang can make @ lower rpm, and best mileage when driven easily. I'd do the same with a 283 but probably use a smaller cam too !
Does the extra weight and required power to operate a turbo 400 vs. a lighter duty trans concern you?
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:12 PM   #31
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Re: Building my 283

Only slightly, but that's the original trans in this C20.
If it was a C/K 10 I'd use a 700R4.
The truck is being painted,(I hope - hasn't been in my driveway for a mth), and needs a new trans.
My neighbor has a rebuilt TH400 and wants my'59 283 that's in the trk now, and I have a 307 that my buddy left here years ago and it's in fine shape (shortblock now). This is a kind of experiment.
I'll be using swirl port 305 heads (preferred) unless mine are too bad - if so I'll buy 305 vortecs or use my HO heads. High compression and attention to detail and tricks should make it a runner, and the 4.10 gears will help in the only way they can.

If I don't like the tiny-tot engine then someone will buy it and I'll install either a 350 or 400 (have both). But it won't be driven much, at least at for awhile, and will be mostly empty about 75% of the time.
Thinking of a few yrs down the road and I may want an inexpensive,easy to maintain, and efficient truck in my semi-retirement.

Sorry for the thread interruption !
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:50 AM   #32
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Re: Building my 283

Udpade on my engine rebuild progress... Machine shop tanked and magnafluxed block and heads and checked everything out. That's as far as he got in 3 weeks. Couldn't get him to give me numbers on what it would cost or what he recommended for work. Guess he's too busy with 500in. Blower motors. I went and got it and took it to another shop. The second shop owner looked over the block and heads with me when I showed up and then called me the next morning with the results of his inspection with the micrometer. If I can rant for just a second... I'm a heavy equipment/big truck mechanic by trade, I deal with service shops and dealerships everyday. The most frustrating issue I have is with shops that tear down your parts then move on to the next bigger money or better customers project, holding your project hostage putting it on the back burner because he knows its such a pain in the ass to come and take your already started project away from them. I might be an asshole but that's not acceptable to me. Im not going to bad talk the shop publicly but I did embarrass him in front of his employees and customers when I want and got my parts from him. Moral of the story is if your paying money for the work, holding the shop to their word on time frame and reasonable customer service is not out of line. Ok sorry about that soapbox speech.
Back to the engine..
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:44 AM   #33
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Re: Building my 283

I agree. Hope you will have a smoother path now.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:38 AM   #34
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Re: Building my 283

Treatment like that is certainly a driving factor for the popularity of crate engines. Potential machine shop customers who continually hear these stories decide that it simply isn't worth the hassle. As a small buisness, it's nearly impossible to compete with the mega retailers on price. Therefore, all that's left to attract new customers is service, reputation and providing a unique product. Too many bad apples in a trade eventually stereotypes the entire industry. I see it frequently in my own profession.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:04 PM   #35
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Re: Building my 283

Well I hope you get things straightened out. A good machine shop/engine builder (s) that you can trust, is a VERY difficult thing to find...

My engine builder sorta retired...he builds serious racing stuff, only. He had a change of life situation, involving many things.

Makes me feel good to see someone building a classic engine, and not just going the LS deal. I have no problems with an LS, though

PM me if you feel the need!!!
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:57 AM   #36
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Re: Building my 283

Ok, how about a progress report...

Finaly got all the parts for 283 collected and dropped off to the machine shop. I went with Northern Auto for a master kit, including new valves and valve train, cam and springs. Cam is their CS179R 327 350 hp grind, .447 lift and .222 duration, z28 springs. Decided to have the engine balanced and he asked for the flywheel and balancer, cleaned up the flywheel that turned out to be in great shape, installed a new ring gear he's going to reface it as well. Balancer was junk. Looked like it had been on and off 4 times with a BFH, plus it was already sleeved. Looked all over for an original diameter but upgraded quality dampner and finally found one from Speedway Motors. Guaranteed 0 balanced, 6" diam. And good for 10,000 rpm. Machine shop should be done by the end of the week. Then the fun starts.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:00 AM   #37
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Re: Building my 283

Big box of parts.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:27 PM   #38
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Re: Building my 283

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Cam is their CS179R 327 350 hp grind, .447 lift and .222 duration,
Ewww, wasted power and efficiancy. Should have left that cam in 1970.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:55 PM   #39
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Re: Building my 283

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Ewww, wasted power and efficiancy. Should have left that cam in 1970.
What would be your expert suggestion of a camshaft on this engine.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:25 AM   #40
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Re: Building my 283

Ha, might as well just apply that logic to the entire hobby and go buy a new Siverado.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #41
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Re: Building my 283

That's funny... Thats what I thought when I read that.
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Old 03-02-2019, 12:35 PM   #42
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Re: Building my 283

I must still live in the 70’s, I like the cam choice
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #43
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Re: Building my 283

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What would be your expert suggestion of a camshaft on this engine.
I never knock anyone for their efforts in what they do. It's sooo cool to see an old vehicle back on the road. Seems like I seldom see a 70's vehicle any more, much less from the 60's!!!

That cam is huge for a 283. I built a 350, long time ago. Had the incredible good fortune of having a friend that built engines, and had just acquired a new Super Flow Dyno. That cam in a 9:1 350 wouldn't pull the hat off your head. Engine builder had a High Energy 268H on hand, swapped it in, made an incredible difference, even though THAT cam was a fuzz large, but having a manual trans, it didn't hurt drive-abilty that bed. Over camming a larger engine (350-plus cubes) isn't a good thing, but can really be a negative on a smaller engine like a 283....
Engine builder said the the 350 HP, 327 cam would be OK in a 10:1 engine (or more)...........much like the 1970 and earlier higher compression engines...
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:36 PM   #44
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Re: Building my 283

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I never knock anyone for their efforts in what they do. It's sooo cool to see an old vehicle back on the road. Seems like I seldom see a 70's vehicle any more, much less from the 60's!!!

That cam is huge for a 283. I built a 350, long time ago. Had the incredible good fortune of having a friend that built engines, and had just acquired a new Super Flow Dyno. That cam in a 9:1 350 wouldn't pull the hat off your head. Engine builder had a High Energy 268H on hand, swapped it in, made an incredible difference, even though THAT cam was a fuzz large, but having a manual trans, it didn't hurt drive-abilty that bed. Over camming a larger engine (350-plus cubes) isn't a good thing, but can really be a negative on a smaller engine like a 283....
Engine builder said the the 350 HP, 327 cam would be OK in a 10:1 engine (or more)...........much like the 1970 and earlier higher compression engines...

I was asking TOM the question. Not sure on your comment of knocking someone’s efforts. I already know what camshaft I would run just wondering what Tom would suggest !!!!
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:35 PM   #45
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Re: Building my 283

Lol, always funny the comments on these threads. Might as well add an update... Machine shop called me today their boring machine is down but part is on the way so I'm delayed a few more days. Told them to put seats and guides in the exhaust valves and guides in the intakes. Engine is balanced so I should be picking it up end of the week or beginning of next.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:52 AM   #46
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Re: Building my 283

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I was asking TOM the question. Not sure on your comment of knocking someone’s efforts. I already know what camshaft I would run just wondering what Tom would suggest !!!!
LOL, my answer/comment was likely similar to Tom's...Tom???

Looking forward to this in the pickup and running!!!

Pup, what is your specific cam choice????
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:45 PM   #47
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Re: Building my 283

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LOL, my answer/comment was likely similar to Tom's...Tom???

Looking forward to this in the pickup and running!!!

Pup, what is your specific cam choice????
I dont think I need to start a debate on camshaft choices, whatever the dude who is building this engine and how he is going to use it, works for me... I only replied to this thread because Tom didnt like the cam choice, I was only trying to see why..... but it really doesnt matter at this point.

I most likely would never rebuild a 283 only if it was numbers matching to a vehicle....
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:47 AM   #48
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Re: Building my 283

Ok guys, I'm back. Machine shop had a machine go down that delayed me a week or so then life got busy but everything slowed back down to normal so I'm back on the project. Brought everything back to the shop and did a check on the work done by the machine shop. Bores came out very uniform and consistent across all 8. Checked the bearing clearances for rods and mains wit plastiguage and was actually impressed with how well the crank and block were machined. He did excellent work. Took a die grinder to the exterior of the clock to get rid of some casting flashing then I chased all the threaded holes in the block. Spent a couple of hours cleaning the block inside and out. Next the expansion and pipe plugs were installed. Same treatment for the crank, bearings and seal installed dropped the crank in the block and torqued down the caps. I then checked ring gap and found that the top ring and the oil rings were in spec but the 2nd or middle rings were all too tight. Then yesterday, after gapping all those to spec I installed the rings on the pistons and installed bearings on the rods and caps. My Dad was around so we installed the pistons and torqued the caps. That's where I'm at as of this morning. Having a great time with this build so far, and having my old man around most the time is a bonus, My 20 year old boy has come around a bit to check things out.. He'd like to be more involved but college, work, and the skirt he's running around with keep him busy. Lol.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #49
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Re: Building my 283

All sounds awesome!!!
Job well done!!!
more pictures!!!
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:55 AM   #50
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Re: Building my 283

Ok, made a bit of progress lately. Installed crank, rods and pistons few days ago. Just a few things that stood out. 1. My machine shop did a great job on the bore and hone. When I was gapping the rings i checked all the bores and all were very consistent. 2. Top rings were in spec and consistent and bottom oil rings were too but the 2 nd or middle rings were not. All were way too tight, like would have bound up tight, and had to be filed. Lesson here don't take for granted something is good out of the box.
Installed the crank gear, cam, cam gear and timing chain. All with no issues. Lastly I installed the oil pump. Had to stop with assembly there because I need to paint parts. Oil pan, timing cover, valve covers ect. I had the machine shop clean those parts up so prep will be minimal. Weather for the next few days will be awsome so that's the plan.
Since I had to wait for weather to paint, I moved my attention to the heads. I checked intake port openings with the gasket for ****s and giggles and decided right then to at least gasket match the ports. I'll post a few pics later. Machine shop assembled the heads so I disassembled them, marked the ports and got to work. Before any silly comments... I know that these power pack heads are less than ideal to start with, and matching the ports is probably an exercise with little gain but there was just too much material there to put it together like that. I'm only opening up the faces of the ports to match the gaskets and blending in an inch or so to make a smooth transition. Like I said I'll post some before and after pics later.
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