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Thread: First Project Car - 383 Stroker Monte Carlo
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Bldman90's Avatar
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    First Project Car - 383 Stroker Monte Carlo

     



    Hey everyone,

    First off, I do not have a lot of experience in building a car, so for my Monte Carlo I am really just having my mechanic build it and I am in the process of figuring out what I want to put in it. I appreciate any advice and help anyone can offer, mechanics are busy people and I would like to bombard the forum with my questions and come to him when I know what is going on.

    For background, I was torn about engine choices, I am in CA and am limited in terms of emissions, but a 350 bored over is something multiple mechanics and an emissions guy (local) said was fine. I found a few engines on ebay from reputable dealers that make around 400 hp for less than 3k which is perfect for my price range. I am looking at a couple TH400 transmissions, maybe posi... so far I have about 12k saved, but I am hesitant to start moving forward until I know I have enough to pay for all the parts and labor costs.

    My first question is what are all the things I need to budget and account for when swapping a 400hp engine into a stock 1983 Monte Carlo? I want to get a list going so I have enough cash set aside, but due to lack of knowledge and experience I only know of some of the more obvious things: brakes, mounts, radiator, etc.

  2. #2
    firebird77clone's Avatar
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    Set a budget for speeding tickets.

    But seriously, open the bay doors and bomb away, we'll give you answers.

    Pozi is fine for coming off the line, but in the 78 firebird I had, I found it isn't so great for a daily driver. They're noisy, you can feel it engage / disengage, and it wears the inside of the tires.

    In my 69 nomad, I swapped the 350 for a 383 and honestly, the difference wasn't astounding.

    Labor is going to be the biggest cost, so do as much yourself as you can.
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  3. #3
    NTFDAY's Avatar
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    My question is: Have you driven a car on the street with anywhere near 400 hp?
    jerry clayton likes this.
    Ken Thomas
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  4. #4
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    OK---------you got a California emissions required 1983 car----you'll need lots of Calif approved parts for that 350 based engine--I would suggest looking at a late model lift out LS engine/trans/ecm or even possibility a GM parts package
    glennsexton and rdobbs like this.

  5. #5
    Bldman90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry clayton View Post
    OK---------you got a California emissions required 1983 car----you'll need lots of Calif approved parts for that 350 based engine--I would suggest looking at a late model lift out LS engine/trans/ecm or even possibility a GM parts package
    Hypothetically speaking, if I put an engine like what I described above, wouldn't it only need to pass smog if said motor looked externally identical to the original 305? I mean, if I am being serious about following emissions laws for a engine swap, hypothetically speaking of course, I might as well scrap the idea entirely, rebuild the original 305 and have nothing close to what I intended to drive, right? I may be wrong, but it would seem like lifting out a LS set up would be just as unlikely to pass a referee inspection since it is not an engine that went with a Monte Carlo, or one of that year for that matter. I would love to do that, it just seems easier to go the 350 route, especiallt since that would be my preferred engine anyway, or am I way off?

  6. #6
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    Since "we" don't live in or under the California laws, the hypothetical questions are obscure. I know what works in MA and it is pretty close to Cali.. but there are differences. And I "think' going to a newer engine with better controls would be a do-able swap. But - you'll need to ask the people in Cali that. To my knowledge also, as long as the components have the CARB number then it should be allowed and pass a smog inspection, a late model take-out should be valid.

    Again, I am on the right coast, and only have limited knowledge of the Cali facts.
    glennsexton likes this.

  7. #7
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    The parts that are California CARB legal won't give you the horsepower /performance your looking for------The parts that you need to make a 350/383? aren't even sold in California--the aftermarket companies won't/can't even ship those parts to California.

    The Montes were good looking cars and it would make a nice cruiser-------but even though I have a machine /race engine shop and do this type builds, for your stated budjet/location/etc-I'd recommend using the engine /trans/ecm out of a late model Camaro with the complete accessory package for alt/ac/etc---why just the accessory drive package and current Freon ac package will cost you around $3000 for your 350------
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  8. #8
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    California realizes that cars eventually need new components(including engines) and has come up with a pretty straight forward policy to address complete engine swaps as an option to a rebuild of the originally installed engine - see:

    https://www.bar.ca.gov/Industry/Engi...uidelines.html

    Key is:
    "Make sure the engine and emission control configuration on exhaust-controlled vehicles are certified to the year of the vehicle or newer, and to the same or a more stringent new vehicle certification standard."

    As such, an LS swap from a newer model California car should be fine in your Monte Carlo if you make it a complete swap with engine, transmission and ALL emissions components. Needs be a similar platform, i.e., newer passenger car like a Camaro, 1/2 ton Suburban, or SS Impala would be fine. A 3/4 ton truck - probably not so good.

    If you want to read the entire California regulation (400 plus page!) on "Automotive Repair Dealers, Smog Check Stations and Technicians, Official Lamp and Brake Adjusting Stations and Adjusters", go to:
    https://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/pdf/Law...g_20140718.pdf

    As much as I despise the "people's republic of Oregon" we're still able to hot rod anything pre-1974 - at least for now.
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  9. #9
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    Years ago and after I got out of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children I was working at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, Ca. A co-worker and I were discussing the smog situation that had encompassed the LA basin. He said "You know as long as there's a smog commission we'll have smog." No truer words were ever spoken and that was about 50 years ago.
    Ken Thomas
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the input guys, I think I will look arpund and see how to close the thread... after talking with another local mechanic who gave his experience with another build, I think I am going to sell the Monte (my dad wanted it so it at least stays in the family) and buy something pre-1975 so I just wont have to worry about smog. CA law exempts cars from smog made before that year so I have some shopping to do. Thanks again though for everyone's advice.

  11. #11
    Bldman90's Avatar
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    For the same price of what I need to do to get half the hp desired in my Monte Carlo, I could literally buy a new car. Just isn't worth it...

  12. #12
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    Check out some of the salvage yard places that sell the totaled out late model cars---CoPart is a national source------
    One near you in Sacromento

  13. #13
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    Getting an older car sounds like a great way to go. Building a "smog legal" hot rod in California just sounds insanely expensive
    53 Chevy5 and randyr like this.
    Steve

  14. #14
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    Sometimes Iowa doesn't seem so bad. We could put a two stroke Lawn Boy engine in a Prius and nobody would care.
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