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How to build a 301 sbc?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Baumi, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1,252

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hi guys!
    I´m about to buy two old 283 engines, one is from a 64 Impala and the other from 58 Bel Air. I´d like to build a 301 at least from one of them because I´ve heard they are pretty much fun to drive! As I´ve 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 ? I´d like to build it/ them pretty " traditional" ,let´s say just as someone might have built them in the early 60s.

    Please school me!

    Thanks!

    Christoph (Baumi)
     
  2. oldchevyseller
    Joined: May 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,853

    oldchevyseller
    Member
    from mankato mn

    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
     
  3. oldchevyseller
    Joined: May 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,853

    oldchevyseller
    Member
    from mankato mn

    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.
     
  4. McGrath
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 1,415

    McGrath
    Member

    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... [​IMG]
     
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  5. 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.
     
  6. McGrath
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 1,415

    McGrath
    Member

    [ 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.
     
  7. 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!!
     
  8. REBEL
    Joined: Jan 15, 2004
    Posts: 44

    REBEL
    Member

    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 ? [​IMG]
     
  9. I slid my 301 in this 53 ford F-100.
     
  10. Stone
    Joined: Nov 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,281

    Stone
    Member

    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.
     
  11. choprods
    Joined: Jul 11, 2002
    Posts: 8,285

    choprods
    Alliance Vendor

    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.
     
  12. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,522

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    [​IMG]


    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..........

    [​IMG]
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. desoto
    Joined: Mar 23, 2001
    Posts: 591

    desoto
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Early Hemi Tech
    2. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB
    from Ayer, MA

    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.
     
  15. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,522

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    [​IMG]


    I am a PakRat....... [​IMG] [​IMG]

    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...... [​IMG] [​IMG]


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


    .
     
  16. sport
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 51

    sport
    Member

    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.
     
  17. Stone
    Joined: Nov 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,281

    Stone
    Member

    Here in NC small journal 327 blocks are very hard to come by.Sounds like I need to take a trip to South Carolina.
     
  18. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,540

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    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...
     
  19. sport
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 51

    sport
    Member

    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
     
  20. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 4,840

    chopolds
    Member
    1. Kustom Painters
    from howell, nj

    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!
     
  21. After i grenaded the bored 283..I built a 68 327..I should have ran the fuelie heads that were on the 283 but the compression was going to be like 12.75:1 too much for street gas ..I ran a 68 327 with 350 heads with big combustion chambers to lower the compression down to 10.75:1 Crane Sat nite special cam adv dur was like a 306 and 516/525 lift 106 centerline. TM 1 Edelbrock intake AFB 750 headers Mallory ign....didnt rev as high as the 283 but it got the job done with a 12.50 as a best ET in Sonoma,Ca Sears Point..
     

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  22. bobbleed
    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 2,984

    bobbleed
    Member
    from Awesome

    My roadster has a 301 via punched out 283. It rules.
    It winds up pretty good.........
    I love that motor.
     
  23. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1,252

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bob, it was when I saw you drawing circles in the parking lot on the Mad Fabricators DVD that I felt I need to build a 301 [​IMG]!!! Your roadster is my all time favourite!!!
    I just love every single detail on it !

    Yesterday I´ve bought a package of three 283 engines: One completely stock from aircleaner to pan, the second one is a good shortblock and the third another complete engine with a cracked block... I still have several big valve heads (1.96/1.50 and 2.02/1.60). That should be enough for at least one good 301.

    I´ve also been searching for std bore small journal 327s but they seem to be also as rare as hen´s teeth in Germany.

    The heads I´m going to use have a 64cc chamber.Would I rather go with domed pistons( like .125" dome) or flat top ones?

    As someone ´s already stated above , the 301 are supposed to be high revving engines. Am I adding a weak point if I stayed with the stock rods?

    Thank you all guys!! You´re such a great help to me!

    Christoph (Baumi)
     
  24. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1,252

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    BTW, I´ve just been searching for a source of 301/302 pistons. No one seems to have them....for example, summit say " not availible anymore".
    Do you have any ideas where to get them?

    Thanks!

    Christoph ( Baumi)
     
  25. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,522

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    [ QUOTE ]
    BTW, I´ve just been searching for a source of 301/302 pistons. No one seems to have them....for example, summit say " not availible anymore".
    Do you have any ideas where to get them?

    Thanks!

    Christoph ( Baumi)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Baumi............

    I missed the fact that you are in Germany........
    I bet standard bore 327's are very difficult to find over there. [​IMG]

    If I was you..........I would just bore the 283 block of your choice .060 (sixty thousands). Pistons are available from Keith Black .........http://www.beckracing.com/page21.htm

    Thats what I did when I rebuilt the SBC in my 40 Ford. It was a slightly worn standard bore 283. It is .060 over now (292 cubic inches). I do not believe the extra 10 cubic inches are worth the time and money......... [​IMG] to get to 301.

    301/302 Chevrolets have a legendary/mythical reputation but I feel that it is mostly just that..........myth. I had a 68 and a 69 real Z28 with 302's....back in the day. Good stuff but a 350 with the same good stuff is stronger and quicker. I have a 68 Z28 aluminum intake and a 69 Z28 flywheel just sitting on the shelf.....I used other pieces when rebuilding my little 283.

    A 301 is .125 over standard 283 bore, do yourself a favor and save the block at .060 and save MONEY $$$ too.


    Just my 2 cents... Randy aka Deuce Roadster

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,303

    Phil1934
    Member

    Back in the day, .125 over 283 pistons were the ticket for a high compression 300 Ford six. If you check deck heights and figure compression ratio, you might be able to use 300 pistons for a 301. Probably have to bore the rod for Ford pins. There's not much available over 9.7 for 300 (Sterling) but maybe that will give you hope.
     
  27. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 8,096

    AHotRod
    Member

    BAUMI:
    I work for TRW/Speed Pro (Federal Mogul Corp.)in the Performance Racing Divsion.
    We no longer make the Standard Bore 4" 302 Chevy pistons, we currently offer them only in 4.030 & 4.060.
    The compression distance on the 283 is 1.795.
    The compression distance on the 302 is 1.805.
    The compression distance on the 327 is 1.675.
    The compression distance on the 350 is 1.550.
    If you want to have some machine work done, have the decks of the block machined to a crank center measurement of 9.000 inches (stock is 9.030).
    You then can install 327 Chevy piston Speed Pro #L2166NF which is a Forged Piston that is available in a standard 4" bore, and which has a .125 dome. The 327 piston will now be .090 in the hole ( or from the top of the deck) at top-dead-center.
    Without taking the time to do all of the calculations, I would estimate that the resulting compression ratio will come in around 9.5 to 1.
    If you had the cylinder heads milled from 64cc down to 58cc, this would increase the compression ratio to approximatley 10.2 to 1.

    OR

    Chevy 283 PLUS .030 = 287 CID
    Chevy 283 PLUS .040 = 289 CID
    Chevy 283 PLUS .060 = 292 CID

    If it were mine, I'd bore it .060, install TRW/Speed Pro #L2163F-60 Forged flat-top pistons and #E245K-60 ring set, have the heads-of-choice milled to 58CC chambers, deck the block to 9.000 inches, install FelPro gaskets and have a sweet 9.5 to 1 street engine that with the proper valve train will RPM as high as the rods will allow.
    Remember: The factory 283 engines with 64CC heads were 8.26 to 1 compression ratio.

    I hope this has shed some light on the subject for you.
    Glenn
     
  28. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,522

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    KB offers it's piston (pop-up) in .030, .040 and .060

    Part # KB166

    They are OE replacement pistons for the Fuel Injected 283's

    With a
    55cc head = 11 to 1
    58cc head = 10.5 to 1
    62cc head = 10 to 1
    64cc head = 9.7 to 1


    I have them in mine [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  29. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1,252

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    WOW!!!! That´s by far more info than I had expected!!! You guys rule!!
    Thanks so much!

    Glenn,I still have a set of L2166NF std. pistons which I could use, thanks a lot for that hint! I´ve also used them (L2166NF040) in my 327 for my 56 Chevy. She really runs like a song. I´ve only about 700 miles on it yet so I still don´t dare to rev it up above 3500rpm.

    But now I´m wondering if I should stay with an .060 " overbore or punch it out to 4".By now I have 3 blocks and a fourth is on its way, so maybe I´ll try some different bore sizes [​IMG]Seems like no one wants a 283 over here, you mostly get them for free...

    I´ve made some good experience using the speed pro pistons, but as it seems, they are not availible in a domed version for a 283.Are there any differences in quality between KB and speed pro?
     
  30. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 8,096

    AHotRod
    Member

    BAUMI:
    There is a TON of difference between these 2 products.

    1. The Speed Pro piston in this discussion is a Power-Forged product, that is extremely strong do to the forging process, and is made of 4032 silicon alloy. It will take all of the 'Pounding' you want to give it.
    2. The KB branded 'Silvolite' piston, is THEIR version of a Hypereutectic alloy. BEWARE: ALL Hypereutectic Alloys are NOT the same! This alloy is 'Cast' (poured into a mold) which does not have the ductility of forging. Thus the design is prone to fracture with any detonation.
    3. Now, understand, we also manufacture Hypereutectic pistons. We also manufacture all of our Alloys in our plants to acheive the 'mixture' and quality we and GM, Ford, Mopar, Toyota,Briggs & Stratton to name a few, demand.
    4. CAST Pistons are of a "Eutectic Alloy"
    5. Hypereutectic pistons are a higher silicon-content alloy. This reduces 'scuffing' and decreases thermal expansion. Thus the closer piston-to-wall clearances.

    All I'm going to say regaring the Silvolite KB branded Hyper pistons is this: Ask yourself, "Why do they provide specific instructions to Gap the TOP ring SO-WIDE with thier pistons"?
    And Sealed Power / Speed Pro Hyper-Pistons use the same settings as Power-Forged pistons....Hmmmmmm.
    Yes, I know the answer, but this is going to make folks think....mmmmmmmmm.
    Glenn
     

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