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First engine build, suggestions happily welcomed!

Discussion in 'New to the H.A.M.B.? Introduce yourself here!' started by Ryan Dyck, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Ryan Dyck
    Joined: Jul 29, 2021
    Posts: 3

    Ryan Dyck

    So I am very new to old American engines and am about to start my first; my dad is letting me have the 283 out of his chevelle and I would like to build it, I am going to pick up a set of 305 heads and 4 barrel intake and carb, crank and a bunch of other parts for quite cheap, just wondering what everyone’s suggestions were for the cam and exactly what kind of work I should do to the heads or any information that might be useful, thank you in advance to anyone that comments, it’s much appreciated!
    P.S
    I know there is options that make more power that are cheap but I’m getting this engine for free and there’s some sentimental value with it coming from my dads chevelle
     
  2. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 759

    55blacktie

    If you intend to send the 305 heads to a machine shop for rebuild, first get a quote, and then compare to the cost of new heads that are fully assembled. Whatever you use, I would keep the combustion chambers at/below 58cc. Piston choices will be limited. I prefer flat-tops and small combustion chambers, hypereutectics if available-better than cast and cheaper than forged. If primarily driven on the street, I would keep cam duration @ .050 at/below 220 and valve lift at/below .500. Headers/w 1 1/2-1 5/8 primaries and 2-2 1/4 diameter exhaust pipes. Look online for a dynamic-compression calculator. Shoot for keeping dynamic as close to 8:1 as possible for pump gas. The bigger the cam, the lower your dynamic compression will be. You will need cam specs to calculate dynamic. Not all cam manufacturers provided needed information in the description, so it may be necessary to contact the manufacturer for additional info., like the cam card. Make sure you follow cam manufacturer's break-in procedure if installing a flat-tappet cam. You might look into cam buttons and cast timing covers as well. Get advice on degreeing the cam and using a timing set with multiple key ways. Some cams have 2-4 degrees advance ground into the cam; otherwise, you will probably want to install 2-4 degrees advanced. If you intend to have power brakes, select a cam with at least 112 lobe separation angle. 110 LSA would be a good choice for no power brakes.
     
  3. Ryan Dyck
    Joined: Jul 29, 2021
    Posts: 3

    Ryan Dyck


    Thank you so very much for all the info, Im sure i will keep coming back to this post as I go through the build, and maybe ask some more questions along the way and try to stay posted! Very much appreciated, feel free to comment anything if you feel like you might have forgotten lol. Thanks again
     
  4. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 759

    55blacktie

    Machine work, alone, can be expensive. Make sure you have a good block, etc., to start with. After the block has been magnifluxed and sonic tested, consider having it zero-decked. 305 H.O. heads might be your most cost-effective route. Considering the displacement and bore diameter of the 283, I would not go bigger than 1.94 intake valves.

    Consider the weight of the vehicle the engine will be going into, transmission, and rear-axle ratio. If using an automatic, don't select a torque-converter stall speed that is higher than your highway cruise rpm. The cruise rpm should be closer to the lower end of your camshaft rpm range.

    The Edelbrock Performer seems to be the go-to intake manifold; don't use a single-plane manifold. Use a vacuum-advance carburetor no larger than 600 cfm.

    Keep in mind that my recommendations have been for an engine that will be primarily used on the street. If you want to build a high-reving engine that won't make power below 4500 rpm, you'll need a different recipe. Such an engine will be hard to live with in a daily driver.

    Years ago, I was going to build a 283 to go into a 53 Corvette kit car. I had a Gen. II LT1 intake manifold modified to use on the 283, as well as Gen. II aluminum LT1 heads. I also intended to use the factory Corvette Gen. II LT1 roller cam and 60-degree V6 roller lifters. When I inherited my father's 1955 Tbird, I donated all of the 283 parts to our high school auto shop.
     

  5. Ryan Dyck
    Joined: Jul 29, 2021
    Posts: 3

    Ryan Dyck



    Thanks so much for all the info, you really have been the most helpful to me out of anyone, I really appreciate it. But I’m just wondering (excuse my ignorance) if I might be able to get away with doing heads and intake carb and a cam without pulling apart the whole block as it was running well in my dads Chevelle a month ago, I just don’t have the biggest budget, but if that’s not possible it’s all good, just wondering what all my options are.

    thanks again for all the info man, really is much appreciated!
     
  6. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 759

    55blacktie

    Yes.
    Make sure your valve springs will work with your cam. Usually, but not always, the cam and valve springs will come from the same manufacturer. Talk to machinist about drilling and tapping heads for screw-in rocker-arm studs. If you have a 1/4-in-drive die grinder, use your intake and exhaust gaskets to port-match intake and exhaust ports to to manifolds. Don't go too deep into the ports. Clean up any rough areas/casting flash. Take your time. You can use machinist dye and a scribe to outline gaskets on heads and manifolds. Both should be available at most hardware stores. If you plan to install oversize valves, let the machinist take care of the rest. 1-piece valves, which are usually stainless steel, recommended. I would avoid buying parts on Amazon and ebay, unless you know the sellers' reputation. I thought I was buying American-made lifters from a specific manufacturer, as were advertised. When they arrived, they were in a plain, white box/w "Made in Taiwan" label. The seller said they were out of stock of the lifters I ordered, so an employee substituted the Taiwan lifters. I returned them (at seller's expense), received a full refund, and bought lifters elsewhere.
     
  7. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,537

    George
    Member

    Just swapping heads isn't really a "build". A build is doing the whole thing. If running well why mess with it. Most people who want to up the performance only replace the cam/lifters, or cam/lifters & intake/carb. On cams keep in mind that most are ground for the 350 & will run a lot "bigger" in a 283 than in a 350. Some companies describe performance for various size SBCs.
     
  8. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,537

    George
    Member

    According to my refs 58cc would give a 283 9.4, 69cc would give 8.2.
     
  9. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 759

    55blacktie

    George, that's in the ballpark, if not a bit high, for static compression for a stock 3.875 bore 283. I got a rough calculation of 9.62 static, but some of the numbers I used were guesstimates. the static compression ratio, based on Comp Cams XE262H events, would be 7.2, a bit low but would do fine with 87 octane. 8:1 would be better but would require 92 premium.
     
  10. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 759

    55blacktie

    I also used 53cc combustion chambers in my calculations.
     
  11. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,537

    George
    Member

    I'd think you can use regular with 8:1.
     
    Chiefcrewdog likes this.
  12. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 759

    55blacktie

    George, Static compression is not the same as Dynamic compression. You can have 11:1 static compression/w a dynamic compression of less than 8:1. It's the dynamic compression that determines what octane rating is required. Yes, with a static compression of 8:1, you can run 87. The dynamic compression ratio of an engine with 8:1 static will be much lower than 8:1.
     
  13. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,537

    George
    Member

    Overlooked "Static"...
     

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