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Old 10-14-2011, 01:04 AM   #1
deanz406
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Default Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

I want to build a "REALLY CHEAP" old school 383 SBC, with the parts I have laying around, and want any ideas and/or experiences u have had building one. I am sticking with the 5.565 short rod, and have a mint, very low mile stock 400 crank that has been cut to 350 mains. I'm going to try to make it pump gas with the flat top pistons, but do have a set of 13/1 Ross domed pistons as an alternative.
OK-- here are an assortment of parts that I have that can be used in some different combinations. Most are used, but are in near new condition.
Manley Forged flattop pistons- 4.030
Ross Forged dome pistons- 4.030-(appx 13/1)
Stock 400 rods-beams ground, recon'd w/ ARP Waveloc bolts,
shotpeened, and floated.
400 crank, cut for 350 mains,
Edelbrock Perf RPM alum heads-185cc, ported w/ 2.02X1.60-
64CC
Brodix Street head-older, pre IK series- 170 cc, ported w/ 2.02X
1.60- 64CC
GM Bowtie 049 Alum- 180cc, ported w/ 2.02 X 1.60- 55CC
Cams :
Comp Solid-.520/.540- 244*/252*-106*L/C- .014/.014
Comp HYD- .501/.501- 244*/244*-110*L/C
Crane HYD- .516/.516- 246*/246*- 106* L/C
Intakes:
Edel Victor Jr, single plane
Edel Perf RPM Air Gap- dual plane
Holley Street Dominator- Dual plane
Edel Scorpion single plane
That's about the basics as far as major parts- I have everything else, ign, Roller rockers, carbs, good race pan, headers(either 1 5/8 Hooker Comp- or Schoenfeld 1 3/4).

My first selection would be the lower compression one with flat tops, and a hyd cam and dual plane intake- to keep it pump gas friendly-- and I'm probably going to do the 2nd one as a higher compression one, just to see how much punishment it can take, with a solid, and single plane.
I'm an old fart- 68 yrs old, love racing, still build engines for some friends, and am going crazy wanting to do this. What I would like to know is how many of you built a similar combo, how it ran for you, and the durability. I am only going to turn it to around 6000 RPM with the Hyd cammed one, and 6400 with the solid one. Will it live through a racing season, driving it to and from the track, street use, and drag use?? I would love to hear ur suggestions and experiences-- Thanks-- Dean
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:18 AM   #2
trmnatr
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanz406 View Post
I want to build a "REALLY CHEAP" old school 383 SBC, with the parts I have laying around, and want any ideas and/or experiences u have had building one. I am sticking with the 5.565 short rod, and have a mint, very low mile stock 400 crank that has been cut to 350 mains. I'm going to try to make it pump gas with the flat top pistons, but do have a set of 13/1 Ross domed pistons as an alternative.
OK-- here are an assortment of parts that I have that can be used in some different combinations. Most are used, but are in near new condition.
Manley Forged flattop pistons- 4.030
Ross Forged dome pistons- 4.030-(appx 13/1)
Stock 400 rods-beams ground, recon'd w/ ARP Waveloc bolts,
shotpeened, and floated.
400 crank, cut for 350 mains,
Edelbrock Perf RPM alum heads-185cc, ported w/ 2.02X1.60-
64CC
Brodix Street head-older, pre IK series- 170 cc, ported w/ 2.02X
1.60- 64CC
GM Bowtie 049 Alum- 180cc, ported w/ 2.02 X 1.60- 55CC
Cams :
Comp Solid-.520/.540- 244*/252*-106*L/C- .014/.014
Comp HYD- .501/.501- 244*/244*-110*L/C
Crane HYD- .516/.516- 246*/246*- 106* L/C
Intakes:
Edel Victor Jr, single plane
Edel Perf RPM Air Gap- dual plane
Holley Street Dominator- Dual plane
Edel Scorpion single plane
That's about the basics as far as major parts- I have everything else, ign, Roller rockers, carbs, good race pan, headers(either 1 5/8 Hooker Comp- or Schoenfeld 1 3/4).

My first selection would be the lower compression one with flat tops, and a hyd cam and dual plane intake- to keep it pump gas friendly-- and I'm probably going to do the 2nd one as a higher compression one, just to see how much punishment it can take, with a solid, and single plane.
I'm an old fart- 68 yrs old, love racing, still build engines for some friends, and am going crazy wanting to do this. What I would like to know is how many of you built a similar combo, how it ran for you, and the durability. I am only going to turn it to around 6000 RPM with the Hyd cammed one, and 6400 with the solid one. Will it live through a racing season, driving it to and from the track, street use, and drag use?? I would love to hear ur suggestions and experiences-- Thanks-- Dean
I don't like any of the cams you posted, I'm gonna post our 400 small block budget combo we ran and I did a 383 almost identical except less cubes and better heads than what we ran, same camshaft and Dart 200cc Pro 1's, it went 10.70's on pump gas at what ever a 1970 Nova weighs

Here is our combo, very cheap but attention to details and IMO you would be better off with the 6" rods for several reasons.

- GM 4 bolt main block that most people don't want, we used the GM bolts and GM main caps, filled it to the bottom of the water pump holes with Hardblok before machine work was done, modified the main oil feeds to 5/16" and annular groove them, match up all mains, narrow the mains, pressurized thrust face oiling, all returns in heads and block and heads/block as a single unit opened up, rear cap modified and blended
- GM nodular iron crank turned to true it up and make journals round and to spec needed, deep chamfered oil holes
- Scat I Beam Pro Comp Rods with 7/16" ARP 8740 1.400" under head length bolts
- Flat top pistons, 450grams, 1/16" 1/16" 3/16" rings, Moly top rings, Speed-Pro second rings, 16 pound oil rings, 12.3:1 compression
- GM 291 Camel Humps, valve job for 2.02"/1.6" valves so the bowls were ported and exhaust runners ported smooth to be polished, no intake runner work, no chamber work, cut for 1.46" dual Crane valve springs set up at 165 seat and 420+ open pressure with steel retainers
- 1.5 roller rockers and girdle
- Crane Saturday Night Special solid flat tappet 292/300 @.020" 256/264 @.050" 164/172 @.200" .545"/.563" 105 lobe center installed at 102 degree intake center line
- 2975 Victor Jr "as cast"
- 1000 Annular modified by me

Here are the flow numbers on the heads, I'm sure a professional head porter could have done better,,,
2.02"/1.6" valves, no pipe on exhaust, bowl ported, no intake runner work, no chamber work, mild gasket match, flowed at 28"
.100" 60 - 53
.200" 125 - 101
.300" 181 - 138
.400" 216 - 163
.500" 227 - 183
.600" 227 - 190

Went flat above .500" but didnt drop off. Not too bad for some junk heads

The car it was in is a 1980 Camaro. The car's race weight was 2850 pounds and runs a two speed glide with a 1.76 low gear and an ATI converter that is a 5200rpm stall. The rear has 35 spline Moser axles and spool with Richmond .88 gears and Mickey Thompson 32x14 L8 compound slicks

We would stage the car at 4600rpm to 4800rpm on the chip while on the trans brake, but we didn't go up on the rev limiter and sit there, and we had short times of 1.408 to 1.45 depending on the track and weather conditions, 1/8 mile times are 6.40's and 6.50's at 104mph to 106mph. The 1/4 mile times are 10.13 to 10.22 at 131mph to 133mph. No doubt the thing had 10.0's or high 9's in it but the thing didn't leave due to the heads being so small and choking when launched. We shift at 6000rpm and run 6300-6500rpm past the lights.

We then took the 5200rpm stall out and put in a 5500rpm stall, this higher stall needed the shifts to be at 6500rpm and runs 6800rpm through the lights with identical ET's but horrible sixty foot times. We think because the 5500rpm was a soft hit and 5200rpm was a hard hit, that the smaller one made the suspension work a little better.

Here is a cold start video showing the temp and letting it run, battery was low though with no charging system on the car.


In this video, with the camera on the ground you can see how well it idles and how clean the idle is when the carburetor is properly tuned


Here is a good track pic


Here is a video running down the track, showing around 530hp by the ET's/MPH


Here is another pass going down the track


Here is a pic of the short block


When Nate went out on his own, it was fair that he got the engine. He bought a Dragster and this engine ran 8.60's and 8.70's at 1850 race weight.

He ended up putting together a solid roller high compression 406. The short block had already been mocked up and I did all the clearances although it did have to be plate honed after mocking up which he took care of. I did spec the mild solid roller cam below for the 406 which ended up being 13.5 compression, he put a set of Dart 215 Platinum Pro 1's on the engine STOCK with no porting, and Manley valves. This engine at 1850 race weight has been 8.40's in the heat of the summer, however my plans were low 8's and without a doubt if I did the engine it would be running the number. The cam was also spec for shaft mounts with 1.6/1.5 ratio's and 3/8" .145" wall pushrods from Crane or 7/16" pushrods from Manton but he is running Harland Sharp 1.5 stud rockers and 5/16" pushrods so I'm sure its got at least a tenth in it the way he built the engine, cam spec's below

The cam I spec was this,,,
290/306 @.020" tappet lift
260/268 @.050" tappet lift
184/183 @.200" tappet lift
.715"/.625" with 1.6's on the intake and 1.5's on the exhaust
.703"/.607" lift at the valves
106 lobe center installed at 102 degree intake center line
.012"/.018" lash
.960" base circle

He has it with 1.5's, If he was going to run 1.5's this would have been the cam to use below,,,
298/314 @.020" tappet lift
268/276 @.050" tappet lift
191/190 @.200" tappet lift
.670"/.625" lift with 1.5's
.658"/.607" lift at the valves
106 lobe center installed at 103 degree intake center line
.012"/.018" lash
.960" base circle

I spec'd the smaller one as I thought the valve train would be EXCELLENT and be very stable but its not, if I knew this it would have been the larger cam above

By the way the compression of the solid roller engine he built was 13.5:1, the engine I built which ran the 8.60's @1850 race weight and low 10's @2850 race weight was 12.3:1 but due to the top ring location it was close to 12:1
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
deanz406
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

OK trmnatr-- Thankfor ur input, and builds, but maybe ur not getting my point-- NO disrespect intended, but I'm not going to deviate from the parts that I have listed, and want to use. The idea here is to use the combination of parts listed, and see if anyone else did a similar combo, and what their results were. I'm not going to buy any more new parts, cams, heads, pistons etc-- I'm going to use these parts just to see what kind of power they will make, and their longevity with the planned power band I'm going to use. I have the parts to do 2 of them, 1 being a pump gas(10.5/1 or less 6000rpm max), and the 2nd with the Ross (13.5/1- 6400 rpm max). I will eventually test them, and pound on them just to see what they will take.
The test vehicle is a 3200 # 84 Buick Regal, 350 Turbo, 3600 stall TCI conv, 4:10 gears, 28X9 slick. Has anyone done anything similar, as far as this kind of motor?? Thanks, Dean
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

I'd say the RPM heads and intake, with the 292* CC on the flat tops, In that car it should be good for low 11's to mid 10's. Would be a fun little ride. My gues would be around 475 hp? Thing should pull like crazy.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
deanz406
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

KWIK-- Thanks-- I'm kinda leaning towards those parts for the Hyd one, and I must say, ur being very generous with your et predictions-- "I WISH" it would see low 11's , but if it cracks 11'50's I'll be quite surprised-- anything better than that will really get me LIT. I'm going to post a few pics of the parts I have laying around, and some of the build when i start. Many thanks-- Dean
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanz406 View Post
OK trmnatr-- Thankfor ur input, and builds, but maybe ur not getting my point-- NO disrespect intended, but I'm not going to deviate from the parts that I have listed, and want to use. The idea here is to use the combination of parts listed, and see if anyone else did a similar combo, and what their results were. I'm not going to buy any more new parts, cams, heads, pistons etc-- I'm going to use these parts just to see what kind of power they will make, and their longevity with the planned power band I'm going to use. I have the parts to do 2 of them, 1 being a pump gas(10.5/1 or less 6000rpm max), and the 2nd with the Ross (13.5/1- 6400 rpm max). I will eventually test them, and pound on them just to see what they will take.
The test vehicle is a 3200 # 84 Buick Regal, 350 Turbo, 3600 stall TCI conv, 4:10 gears, 28X9 slick. Has anyone done anything similar, as far as this kind of motor?? Thanks, Dean
Its fine, The reason I posted it is so you can compare it to what you have. Everything you have seems a little better, except for the camshaft. If I'm gonna use a 170cc head, I might as well save the money and use a 461 or 291 prepped by me, but I can prep them and most people would have to pay a few hundred to prep them. With that being said, for most people the RPM heads are better

We do have a hair more compression than your lower compression version, but it is also less compression than your high compression pistons you have.

As to the combo, your pretty even with our combo except for the camshaft.

I have said this before, The engine can work great with a dozen different grinds, but not all of them will work with the set up of your car. The .520"/.540" 106 cam is the one to use with the lack of gearing and stall converter

Now if you had 4.56 and 4500-5000rpm stall, you could use the grind we have and make even more power, but its not gonna ACCELERATE YOUR CAR

Either way, depending on how you modify things in the engine, you have a solid 460-500hp IMO
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

Hey Dean, how ya been? Are you planning on running modified next year? No reason a low buck 383 in your car shouldn't dip into the 11's. I love the idea of a 383 and almost what I did before I put the (new this year) 400 together. The Manley flat tops may work well with the small chamber on the GM bowtie. The Comp solid and bowtie head are along the lines of what is in my old 350. I have put new valve springs, bearings and rings in it, but other than that, it keeps going and going. I was able to loan it to JT so he could finish his season.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:14 AM   #8
deanz406
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Default Re: Old School 383 SBC- CHEAP !!!

Hey Tom-- How are ya ??-- I've just been itchin to do one of these, and after scrounging thru all the parts I have laying around, I'm finally going to do one (or maybe 2). I have everything already layed out, and all that's left is to send the rotating assy out to get balanced. I did find a few more cams on the shelf, so I'm going to look at the profiles and do a comparison on the power bands and make a final pick for the low compression one. The higher comp one, will get a solid, although I found a neat little Lunati solid roller-- .600/.600- 256*/256*- 106*- L/C on the shelf that would probably work well in the 2nd one with the Ross 13/1 pistons. I'm definitely going to do both of these, and should have them both ready for spring opening day.

SOOOO-- u gotta 400 in the Nova now-- cool-- I have a bunch of them, and will be building them to sell for next year. I might just keep one for myself, but am going to thin out the inventory over the next year or so. I do hope we would get a cool summer, and as you know, I'm not one to be out in the miserable heat. I would like to do a lot more racing, but I just can't take the heat anymore. I'll look forward to seeing u run in the springtime-- Keep in touch-- good to hear from u-- Dean
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