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Old 06-05-2004, 04:04 PM   #1
Baumi
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Default How to build a 301 sbc?

Hi guys!
Im about to buy two old 283 engines, one is from a 64 Impala and the other from 58 Bel Air. Id like to build a 301 at least from one of them because Ive heard they are pretty much fun to drive! As Ive heard not all of the 283 may be bored to 4". How can I tell?
Which pistons , cam and heads may I want to use ? Id like to build it/ them pretty " traditional" ,lets say just as someone might have built them in the early 60s.

Please school me!

Thanks!

Christoph (Baumi)
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Old 06-05-2004, 04:34 PM   #2
oldchevyseller
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

you ca nbore out a 283 to 4 inches no problem it is just if you want to build one ,same amount of money you could do a big cube small block and have something that would pull at low end and makes greater horse power, i understand your want t oexpierence the old motor charactors of a 301 or 302 or other displacements,you would need to figure your rear end ratio as well.alot of cars at the time didnt have all the ratios and tranny choices we have now,, i have been there , and to wind a motor down the high way at 4000,rpm gets old real fasti like the correct speed equipment on a nice old small block more than the displacement,the value in the right look is important to me and funner toknow you had to hunt down all the unique items to do a period car,just my 2 cents
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Old 06-05-2004, 04:50 PM   #3
oldchevyseller
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

the best bet is to check that the cam hole is well centered in the boss, or get it sonic checked, in the old days the jr. stocker guys used to say a 292 (283+.060) made more power the 301-302 is a real revver and makes good power with the right heads and intake.
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Old 06-05-2004, 07:25 PM   #4
McGrath
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

The few that I have run across are 327 blocks with 283 Cranks. Seems certain years of the 283 had larger main Journals that worked with the 327 block, or I think you can also get Bearing spacers to use the small journal 283 Crank.

I don't think you are going to have much torque to work with, but in a lightweight car those engines are definately screamers. A SBC at 7000rpm is a pretty sweet sound.

I used to have a set of 7 domed, forged, and balanced pistons out of an original 302 Camaro. An old friend of mine made a Mailbox post out of the Crank and Cam from the same motor. Wonder if that stuff was worth anything...
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Old 06-05-2004, 09:34 PM   #5
Rocky
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

Bftwcs, I want those pistons if you arent' gonna use 'em. I got a fine 283 block to build a 301 with and have been looking for some TRW forgings.
The 58 block is not the one to bore to 4". The later block is fine to use as chevrolet used the same casting for both 283 and 327 engines from '62 up. I've built a 301 using a 67 283, and had my machinist punch it to 4". I used the hi performance, small journal "cloverleaf" rods from the 327's. PAW usta sell sets of them already shotpeened, resized and fitted with ARP 180,000psi rod bolts. They cost less than $100 at the time but I believe they required an exchange rod.... a cloverleaf high performance unit.
Many of the cranks were steel but not all of 'em.
I had my machinist mill off part of the stock piston dome to bring compression from 12 to 1 down to a more realistic 10 to 1.
I used 194/150 heads with a little port work and good valve springs. I also had my machinist balance the rotating assembly including the flexplate and the dampener. Yeah, I ran a 350 turbo and always regretted it. I don't know how much RPM a 350 turbo will take but I was spooked to go over 6 grand. With the Victor Jr and big cam, it really needed a 4 speed...oh well!
Use the later block.
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:11 PM   #6
McGrath
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

[ QUOTE ]
Bftwcs, I want those pistons if you arent' gonna use 'em.

[/ QUOTE ]


I don't even know what happened to them, I haven't seen them for years. I'll look around over at Dads and see if they are still there.

The 7 pistons/rods that I had had been balanced and at the time (mid 80's), the expense of finding a matching piston/rod and getting it balanced to match the others was more than I wanted to pay for. The TRW catalog back then did list the piston, I don't know if they still do though.

By the way, I have had my t350 spun up to 6500rpm several times with no apparent damage.
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:40 PM   #7
Cadillacin Marcus
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

When I bought my old 57 chevy it had a 292 in her and boy did that mill scream!!! It finally let go on me while taching 7500 RPM.the motor was over 25 years old and was raced on a frequent basis.Most definitelt the poked and stroked 283 made for some screaming mills ...and again its all about the combo.My 57 ran a Muncie M22 4 speed and a 9" 4.56 Locked rear axle..It worked beautifully..what a blast to drive!!
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:57 PM   #8
REBEL
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

I ran a balanced 301 in this car and was happy with it (twisted one drive shaft off) till 5 and 7 where one hole. I can't remember the cast# but it was a 283 truck block. The parts are still sitting up stairs as I run a small 400 now ... but someday ?
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:21 AM   #9
Rocky
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

I slid my 301 in this 53 ford F-100.
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

I have a small journal 283 from a 63 impala.I have thought of boring it out .125 for the 4inch bore and having the 301/302 of myth and legend.I thought about just sticking it in my little S10 pickup as to I don't have a custom at this time.Rocky that is a nice truck.
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Old 06-06-2004, 03:35 AM   #11
choprods
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

Think the 63-66 Truck block is the heavy casting[says "Hi Tourque 283"] on each valve cover.....usually factory painted gray] had steel crank and hardened "stellite" valve seats/HD valves etc.........NO good with an automatic at all as a 301/ but with a stick and a 2900 or less lb car it will SCREAM....those motors will make approx 350 hosepower easily.
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Old 06-06-2004, 07:32 AM   #12
Deuce Roadster
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?




The BEST WAY to have a homebuilt 301 is to start with a mid 60's 327 block. It is a 4 inch bore to start with. Then use your 283 crankshaft, rod and rotating pieces.

Early 327 blocks are cheap to buy.....at least around here..........

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Old 06-06-2004, 08:37 AM   #13
Rocky
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

True enough except for one fly in the ointment...it's tough to find overbore 302 chevy pistons and it's gonna be tough to find a cherry bore in a standard 327 block. After almost 40 years, most 327s are ready for a rebore and there goes you 4 inch hole.
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Old 06-06-2004, 09:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

Yea, that's the way I remember the Chevy boys doin' it in the sixties.

Rocky's right, though. Good blocks are getting a bit scarce.
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Old 06-06-2004, 01:11 PM   #15
Deuce Roadster
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?




I am a PakRat.......

Have a good supply of 4 inch bore early blocks.....
Here in the SouthLand..........stuff lays around more.......until just recently.......steel scrap is at a all time high and people have gone STUPID.

Old yards that have been there for 30 - 40 -50 years are mashing all the old steel......


It's a bitch too.......


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Old 06-06-2004, 03:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

I built my homebrew 302 using a small journal 327 block and a 283 crank and rods.I had used Eagle rods,forged 12-1 piston,462 castings ported and polished to death,202 intake 160 exhaust under cut stems,full roller setup,I reved it up to 7500 rpm with no problems,I had it in a 63 chevy II 4 speed,The motor is still alive and strong the,guy who owns it now has a ball with it.I sure do miss that little car.
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Old 06-06-2004, 04:14 PM   #17
Stone
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

Here in NC small journal 327 blocks are very hard to come by.Sounds like I need to take a trip to South Carolina.
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Old 06-06-2004, 05:21 PM   #18
zman
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

Here in NC small journal 327's aren't hard to find, you just have to know where to look. NOw trying to find a large journal 327 could cause you some grief. Just use a 307 truck crank in a 350 block...
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Old 06-06-2004, 05:25 PM   #19
sport
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

Large journal 327's are the same block as a 350.4'' bore.307 has a bore the same as 283 and the crank of the 327,If you want to make a large journal 327 take a 307 crank and dump it into a 350 block
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Old 06-06-2004, 07:03 PM   #20
chopolds
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Default Re: How to build a 301 sbc?

301 is a great little motor. I had one in a 57 Chevy, too. 327 block, 283 crank version. The way to get them running strong in a heavier car is gearing. Lighter cars don't need gearing as much. I had a narrowed 12 bolt with 4.88's in it, to get the car going. 4 speed helps, too. While I had the car (it was stolen out of Raceway Park in 80) it was the fastest street car in town. And a FUN car!
You also need to get the right cam, and valve gear to withstand the higher RPM's that this engine wants to run at. I used a 'short track' circle track roller cam, which was the only available "streetable" roller at the time. Solid roller lifters, roller rockers, high quality valves, retainers, keepers. Single 750 Holley double pumper on a Victor intake, again, going for making power in the higher RPM's.
At this point, your heads are really the key to making good power. You really need good flow to keep the power up at those revs. I was lucky enough to score a set of angle plug heads, that had been ported and polished, from a guy who was parting out his dragster project. It was a perfect choice for the engine! Choose your heads carefully!
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