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Old 11-19-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
mynorac
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Default 283 Rebuild - More Power or Leave Alone

I have a 57 Chevy with a complete original drive train. At least that is what I was told when I purchased it. All of my research indicates that it is true and I would like to keep this car as original as possible. The engine seems to be running OK but is burning oil and smoking a little. I have decided to have the engine rebuilt next Spring. I am also at a point in my life where I don't have to pinch pennies but I still want the most bang for my buck. I would not mind having a little more horsepower but I want to stay with the 283 that came with the car. I do not want to drop a 350 in place of the 283. My main goal is to keep the car as original as possible with matching numbers. Having said that, is there anything I can do during the rebuild to gain another 50+ HP? My engine is a power pack and I will want to keep the same WCFB Carter carburetor. I will have this professionally done and my biggest concern is that by modifying the internals of the engine that I might devalue the collectability of the car. Of course I do not want to do anything that would shorten the life of the rebuilt engine. I had one mechanic tell me that he could turn my 283 into a 383 stroker and with a roller cam I could expect around 290 HP. Is this a reasonable? Would there be any down side other than cost? It seems to me that going from 283 to 383 would require more cooling. Thanks
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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I've considered the thought of getting a bit more power out of the 283. Do definitely do not need to stroke the engine to get 290hp. This can be done relatviley easily, remember the 283 was the first engine to get 1hp/ci, and that was back in 1957. These days it is possible quite easily.

I don't have the exact advice about the rebuild to achieve your goal, but I know others on here should be able to point you in the right direction. I'm sure a cam and head work will help a lot, and other than that is to make the bottom end can keep up.

Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
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There are heaps of things you could to to increase power quite easily, i dont think you need to stroke it to achieve what you you want. Just remember if you increase power too much you will have to pull it up, so brakes could be one thing you look at upgrading if you increase too much.

In saying this i will be paying close attention to this thread to see what other peoples opinion and advice is as i am in a similar boat of looking at rebuilding my 283 at some stage, but still wanting to keep original and keeping my drums all round.

GooD luck with it.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:06 PM   #4
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IMO ,I would rebuild it to factory specs... you say you want more power ,,is what you really want is the car to be quicker??? on a stock 283 ,open road ,put the pedal down and you will go 90mph ,do you need more then that ,,maybe not as quick as you want ,,but still it will do 90 ,,you might put more stress on the trans ,rear ,brakes and such and lead to other problems...anyway good luck and keep us posted ,,,
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #5
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IMHO, Its will be difficult to get another 50 HP from your 283, without multiple carbs, a cam swap, and some head work.....I'm afraid there is just no substitute for cubic inches....Personally, I'd rebuild it to factory specs or get a 327 and make it look like a 283.....However, that's just me.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #6
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I rebulit my 283 a few months ago and it has plenty of power for me. Here is the thread:

http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106479

If you use the power pack heads make SURE you have the machine shop install hardend seats and better seals.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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Install a small journal 327 crank in it and use factory 5.7 rods with 307 pistons. You get a 307 on the inside. Bore it .030 and you'll have a 310 311 cubic inch motor on the inside. Bump the cam to a newer computer designed cam that has more area under the duration curve and retains a similar idle quality. Heads are the long pole in the tent. You can spend lotsa bucks in them and still have better ones right off the shelf, But if you want original appearance you'll be limited in total output you'll be told, but be aware everyone you'll likely talk to will be speaking 350. you will be running 50 or more, less cubes. Huge ports, big carbs and cams are not well suited for the smaller engines. If you keep it at 283 cubes then you can only add so much, before it makes no difference or worse kills power. If I went to a 307 310 it will ad some power or mostly torque. I ran a 400 with a l-79 cam for years. it had mostly stock heads and a offy "dual port" (differs from dual plane) and it had gobs of neck snapping torque and hauled @$$ and it would fall on its face at 5000 rpm. However really how much did I need that over 5000 rpm power....NEVER..... It was a street car. not a race car. Lastly it might actually require a 307 block to do. MAYBE.... a 283 block may not be relieved enough for 307 counterweights. Grind the side mounts off and needle gun the spots, paint and who'll know. You cant go much bigger with 283 heads intake and carb. JMHO

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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I rebuilt the 283 in my 57 back in the 70's for the same reason's. Being 16 I used a ? solid lifter Crane cam, 340hp 327 aluminum intake, Holley 600, 186 350 heads, and a distributor advance kit. It had a nice lopey idle, great throttle response, and pulled to 6K rpms pretty quickly. I could not have been a more proud 16 year old...............until a friend blew my doors off with a $200 66 Olds 4 dr with rags hanging out of the quarters. The moral to that story......there is always someone faster.

My crank was badly scored and I tried to use a 66 283 crank. Not even close, so I doubt you can make a 311, let alone a 383 and keep your block.

I'd just rebuild it, maybe balance it, and have fun!
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynorac View Post
I have a 57 Chevy with a complete original drive train. At least that is what I was told when I purchased it. All of my research indicates that it is true and I would like to keep this car as original as possible. The engine seems to be running OK but is burning oil and smoking a little. I have decided to have the engine rebuilt next Spring. I am also at a point in my life where I don't have to pinch pennies but I still want the most bang for my buck. I would not mind having a little more horsepower but I want to stay with the 283 that came with the car. I do not want to drop a 350 in place of the 283. My main goal is to keep the car as original as possible with matching numbers. Having said that, is there anything I can do during the rebuild to gain another 50+ HP? My engine is a power pack and I will want to keep the same WCFB Carter carburetor. I will have this professionally done and my biggest concern is that by modifying the internals of the engine that I might devalue the collectability of the car. Of course I do not want to do anything that would shorten the life of the rebuilt engine. I had one mechanic tell me that he could turn my 283 into a 383 stroker and with a roller cam I could expect around 290 HP. Is this a reasonable? Would there be any down side other than cost? It seems to me that going from 283 to 383 would require more cooling. Thanks
"Back in the day" after we had thrashed the engine to death, we did one of two things. 1/ Bored the 283 .125 os to make it a 301 & installed an Isky 505 cam. 2/ Swapped in a 327. In either case the abuse continued until we could unload it on some unsuspecting soul for a few hundred dollars (just another old, worn out car) and move on. A couple of years ago I did the latter in my '57. Swapped-in a 327, rebuilt it and installed a CompCams "factory 300hp" cam w/Edelbrock Performer intake & Edelbrock 500cfm carb. Result was a great car for the street. All depends on what your goals - rasty, stop lite to stop lite car or cruise down to the MiniMarket for a six pack.
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