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Need Chevrolet 283 advice-Heads etc,what will work?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rex1927, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. HI,
    I just bought a 1965 283 chevrolet short block .Very good shape,just no heads.I have a few questions.I also have a 1976 350 good engine except starter mount is cracked off block.Here are the questions.
    #1- I noticed the 283 has flat top pistons with 4 valve reliefs in each one.I think the 350 my heads came off of had concave pistons.Will 350 heads fit and run on 283?
    #2-I would also like to run a high lift cam,just under 500 lift.My question is,will the cam work with the 283 with 350 heads??
    #3-I also noticed that it has a weird vibration damper with no pulley.Will the conventional vibration damper off a 350 work?
    #4-Anything else I need to know?
    Please see pictures.thanks

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  2. yes , the 350 heads will bolt and work on the 283,,,but depending on what casting number and what CC they are they may lower you compression ratio

    and yes , the 350 harmonic balancer will go on....expect you do not have the retainer bolt on the end of the 283 crank. anything bigger than what you have would scare me. i would not use the bigger 350 one on the 283 without the bolt
  3. You mean there is no bolt holding on damper? I had not noticed it.That is Weird.Thanks for the info 36 3 window.Guess I will need to start searching for a lower pulley.Anyone got a picture of what I need?thanks
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  4. yes , the 283 crank does not have a retainer bolt, the harmonic balancer is just pressed on. i wouldn't use a bigger one without a retainer bolt. i have drilled an tapped a 283 crank while still in the block with a fixture i made.

    i also see you are talking .500 lift on the cam. while i am not an expert engine builder , it has been my experience that stock 350 heads will not take more than .450 lift before the retainers bottom out on the valve guides and/or coil bind. that needs to be checked
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  5. Any pictures or description of the boring fixture you made ? thanks

  6. sorry , no pictures. i took about a 5" piece if round stock and bored out one end so it would slide over the snout of the crankshaft snugly. the key has to be removed. then i drilled a W size hole in the other end to act as a guide while drilling. W is the tap drill size for 7/16-20 that Chevy uses for a retaining bolt. drilled the hole in the end of the crank , removed the fixture and drilled it out to 7/16" . reinstalled the fixture and used it as a guide to tap 7/16-20

    this was all done in a lathe for accuracy. it ruins the fixture , but it got the job done
  7. My cousin has a very large lathe he uses for repairing and altering marine propeller shafts.If I cannot find a lower pulley that may be what I have to do.thanks
  8. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    Duntov 30-30 is a .485 lift intake and exhaust

  9. that may be true , i have never checked into one..... that is why i suggested checking for coil bind , valve retainer to valve guide clearance. i would also check if the slots in the rocker arms are long enough and they not bottom out on the studs too. just stuff to check for when building a motor
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 21,467


    I had to slip over on Ebay to find a decent photo but here is what the crank pulley should look like if you run the 283 Dampener.

    As 36 threewindow said, you have to watch the combustion chamber volume when swapping the later heads to the 283.

    From what I can see in the photos that you showed I'd think that the engine will need to be bored unless the bores are better than the photos show.

    If you have the crank turned it is pretty much a standard procedure to have the 283 cranks that weren't drilled and tapped drilled and tapped at that time.

    I wouldn't throw the 350 away just yet because that starter mount hole is cracked out. You can run it with a stick setup and a cast iron pickup bellhousing that the starter bolts to the bellhousing on.
  11. heliotropephotos
    Joined: Jan 12, 2009
    Posts: 65

    from Austin, Tx

    283s are great little motors. I did mine in my 57 and went basically a stock bottom end, 10-1 pistons. then shaved the 327 heads, .024 copper head gaskets, .525 cam, vicitor jr manifold and a 2in spacer, 850 holley. I only lost twice with that car. Good luck with the build.
  12. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    S/b also noted that 2.02 valves wont fit inside the bore, ive heard of people knotching the bore to fit them but you'd really need to know what you are doing
  13. Sounds like my good deal is a nightmare.Guess I better start looking for 283 heads.thanks
  14. your local machine shop should be able to get you some GM 305 heads refurbed complete for 300 to 350 bucks.

    If you measure accross the combustion chamber of some heads with 2.02 1.6 valves the width is smaller than the 283 bore. They will fit. I have heard people say the close proximety to the cylinder wall shrouds the valve and doesn't run any better. I have 2.02 valves in some 350 heads on my 283 and it runs like a raped ape.

    14022601...80-86...267/305......1.72"/1.5" or 1.84"/1.5" valves, 53cc chambers

    the small combustion chamber will give you good compression - there are other 60 CC 305 heads if you are scared of compression.

    I just drilled and tapped my 283 crank by hand. It works fine. There is already a hole in the end of the crank - it isn't like you are starting without a guide.

  15. J&JHotrods
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 536


    Mid-'80's trans am or camaro 305 H.O. heads have 58 cc chambers. Those would be ideal for a 283.
  16. DE SOTO
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,834


    I have messed with a few 283's here and there ... Messing with one for a kid now.

    Went to My Machinest cus he has a neet lil chart of Early Chev heads and to me the BEST choices are ::

    The CAMEL HUMP 1.92 heads, A lil hard to find but you will know them by the DOUBLE HUMP casting in the lower corner of the end of the head.

    OR The POWER PACK 1.72 Heads, Denoted by a Rectangle with a Triangle point on top... Same location as the DOUBLE HUMP on last head.

    This head can have 1.92 valves installed easy at time of rebuild.

    These heads are made FOR a 283 and will Yeild in the 10-10.5 to 1 compression.

    I would stay away from all late model heads personally.

    Your deal is NOT a Nightmare, Just run a Stock 283 Dampner.. Thery are everywhere.

    If you need some & wanna pay shipping i have some Power Pack heads & a Damner i would sell.
  17. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    Another option on heads nobody said was vortec, i belive they are small chamber

    The 305 heads on my 283 in my daily work pretty good concidering it's a 3,300lb car and a 2.73 rear
  18. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,796


    #416 casting 305 heads outflow single camel hump(triangle) heads and are inexpensive,1.84 intake valve,58 cc chamber.They are lightweight castings and need to be pressure checked before using.They use traditional valve covers but some may find them a bit too modern looking for an no hood car.
  19. Most camel hump heads are 64 or 62 CC - that is huge on a 283 - check a compression calculator with flat top pistons. I bet you won't see any where near 10 to 1. Not sure what the CC's are on the "power pack" head but I would shoot for 10:1 if I was building it.

    I do agree you don't have a nightmare.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  20. Hotrod Lincoln
    Joined: Apr 8, 2009
    Posts: 55

    Hotrod Lincoln

    The original 283 PowerPac heads were 58 CC, same as the 305 heads. Upsize the 305 heads to 1.6" exhausts, and 1.94" intakes. You'll be able to turn 8,000 RPM with the right cam, valve springs, intake and headers. Just be sure and do a very precise balance job. The crank hub that's on the engine now looks like a marine engine drive hub for an engine that drives the prop shaft from the front of the crank. DO NOT use it on a car application. You need a 283 or early 327 harmonic balancer.
  21. OK,Let me see if I got this straight.The harmonic balancer on it is off of boat,it is actually shaft coupler.I need a correct balancer.I have to get 305 heads,or original 283 heads would be better.Is that right?Any pictures of the right balancer?Please let me know if you have any more information or suggestions.thanks
  22. You just need a balancer for a internal balance sbc. You should tap the end of your crank for a balancer bolt to hold on the balancer. Any heads will work. What compression ratio do you want? What performance do you want? How much do you want to spend? World makes some iron 305 heads that would be awesome. Start with a compression calculator to figure out what cc heads you want.
  23. I want an engine that will run on pump gas ,87 octane.Around 9 to 1 would be about right.Is that correct?Not looking for performance,just good driver.Looking to spend as little as possible.That is why I was hoping the 350 heads would work.I already have a good set.thanks
  24. Do you have the cassting numbers off the heads you have? Look them up on the mortec page and see what cc they are. Then calculate your compression ratio with those heads. 8 to 1 will work it just won't haul butt. 9 is good they will all work. A 283 has a 3 inch stroke and a 3.875 bore.
  25. The 283 has always been an ever-popular hi-rev engine, very basic with low torque. I built a nice one for my 57 truck using the power pack heads a small RV CAM,3 Dueces and topped it off with early Corvette Valve covers. It gives you a great running engine and great simple looks. The early heads should be worked and use screw in studs, especially if you are going with a Duntov solid cam, I'm not sure if they are still grinding the vintage cams since the cam companies seem to be having trouble. The early heads don't have the bolt holes for accesories if you didn't notice. The stock pulleys will probably throw a belt if you wind it up with hi-rpms. You will more than likely bore this to .030 and your crank should be polished, cut, etc. Since a machine shop will be doing it see if they will tap the bolt hole inclusive with the price. I think if you stick to the vintage look you will have more value, however it could depend on what you are dropping this into! Good luck.:)
  26. Did the 283 still have solid lifters in 1965?I had not thought of that.thanks
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  27. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    Nope, probaly couldnt get them in a car 283 after '62 or 63

    But if that is a boat coupler, it could have 'em, because boats like to run solids
  28. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,385


    Find a pair of 601 casting number 305 heads. They have the same valve sizes as your 283, BUT have 53cc combustion chambers. Enough to give a slight bump in you compression ratio. Butch/56sedandelivery.
  29. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    S/b larger valves, 1.84's as opposed to 1.72's

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