Welcome to Club Hot Rod!  The premier site for everything to do with Hot Rod, Customs, Low Riders, Rat Rods, and more. 

  •  » Members from all over the US and the world!
  •  » Help from all over the world for your questions
  •  » Build logs for you and all members
  •  » Blogs
  •  » Image Gallery
  •  » Many thousands of members and hundreds of thousands of posts! 

YES! I want to register an account for free right now!  p.s.: For registered members this ad will NOT show

 
Like Tree34Likes

Thread: looking for help with 283 build ideas
          
   
   

Reply To Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    66 Camino's Avatar
    66 Camino is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Location
    Lynnwood
    Posts
    7

    looking for help with 283 build ideas

     



    Hi all. let me introduce myself. I've got a '66 El Camino that is all stock matching numbers. My grandfather bought it new and I grew up coveting it since I was about 10 years old. With that said, I have spent the last 25 years that I've had it keeping it bone stock. Well, about a month ago It started popping through the carb under acceleration.
    I think I've diagnosed it to be a flattened #1 exhaust cam lobe. It is a 283 2bbl with a powerglide. Manual brakes and steering, no AC, so it isn't a highly sought after set up. I have decided to build the 283 up a little bit, but I want to keep it "sort of stock". I'm looking for some advice on a good streetable setup, but with a little more power than the 195 hp it came stock with.
    I'm thinking of a mild cam, possibly larger valves, either re-jetting the 2bbl a little bigger or finding another Rochester 2bbl that is a little bigger than mine, and running sidepipes instead of the single exhaust off the factory manifolds. Possibly porting and polishing the intake and heads. Possibly putting in forged pistons and rods. Possibly boring it out .030.
    Does any one have a combination that makes good power for the street (ie. low end torque). I'm not going to be racing it so I probably won't be getting into the 6000 RPMs that I've seen some builds that people have done with the 283s.
    It has the factory Power Pack heads already, but the small valves I'm pretty sure.
    I think I'll be having the Powerglide rebuilt at the same time with heavier clutch packs and a small shift kit to help take more power
    All in all I would be happy with 250 to 300 hp.

  2. #2
    Hotrod46's Avatar
    Hotrod46 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Vidalia
    Car Year, Make, Model: 1946 Ford Coupe, 1962 Austin Healey 3000
    Posts
    1,393

    Can't really help you with the 283, but I will say that if you are going to go into a SBC as far as boring and reworking heads, you are much better off with a 350. 283 internal parts will cost as much or more than 350 parts. So, there is no savings. Reworking heads will cost almost as much or more as budget replacement aluminum or cast irons head do new. Machine shop work is not cheap.

    I'm not sure what they go for now, but the GM replacement crate 350's were less than $2000 not long ago. Even a stock 350 will give you more low end torque than you will probably ever get out of a 283.

    Also, the 350 will fit with little to no mods to the car. All small blocks share motor mount locations and all external accessories will interchange, including water pumps. The only issue you might run into is your current exhaust manifolds may be a little under size for a 350. Slap the 283 valve covers on and no one but you ( and someone pretty knowledgeable) will know that it's a 350. Depending on what 350 you get, your Powerglide will fit either straight up with the 283 parts or might need a new flexplate.

    283's are nostalgic, but not worth the effort unless you are dead set on keeping the car as it left the factory.

    Edit: Apparently the engine I was talking about is no longer available. Looks like most replacement engines are now in the $3000 range. I still stand by building 350 will be much better than the 283 statement, though. You really need to visit a machine shop and price out the work you outlined. I think you will be shocked at how much it will cost.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 06-18-2022 at 08:02 PM.
    Mike P, NTFDAY and glennsexton like this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  3. #3
    34_40's Avatar
    34_40 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Bedford
    Car Year, Make, Model: 34 Ford 3W Coupe Replica
    Posts
    14,402

    I'll agree, Put the 283 to the side and find a good used or already overhauled 350. It's faster and will give you everything you're asking for. Then later on, you can turn your attention to the 283 if you want to. Last 302 I did cost me 1900 in machine shop fees. And I still had to provide all the parts. The "inexpensive days" are gone!
    Mike P, NTFDAY and glennsexton like this.

  4. #4
    Mike P's Avatar
    Mike P is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SW Arizona
    Car Year, Make, Model: 57 Plymouth, 37 Dodge PU, 83 El Camino
    Posts
    3,610

    What can I say it's a Hot Rod site and the comments above about going with a 350 are true. I can understand wanting to keep the original 283 and retain it's stock appearance however and in the end it all depends on what you want to do and have the truck turn in to.

    Because of displacement limitations the little 283 will never be a torque monster but you can help it a bit.

    For what you want I would concentrate on building a good solid and reliable short block and then concentrate on the heads, intake, cam, ignition and exhaust.

    Chances are you will need to bore the engine just due to wear. The engine likely has a steel crank already but chances are it will also likely need to be turned. Forged pistons and rods at the performance level you’re building is way over-kill so save the money.

    Use a set of cast replacement pistons, have the stock rods resized and throw in new rod bolts and call it good. I personally prefer to use a stock pressure, high volume oil pump on small block Chevys but that’s me.

    I used a Summit (SUM-1102) .421/.444 278/288 cam on my last 283 build and am pretty happy with the choice for a street motor.

    I did upgrade the heads on my 283 as follows:

    1965 Power Pack Heads (62cc)
    Milled .015
    New guides
    Hardened exhaust seats
    New 1.94 intake valves (upgraded from stock 1.74)
    Intake valves deshrouded
    New 1.50 Exhaust valves
    New Corvette spec valve springs
    New Valve keepers
    New Rocker Arms (1.5 ratio)
    3 angle valve job

    Just a side note........as Mike said above this was not cheap so you might want to price it out before you commit to it.

    At the level of performance you’re talking about porting/polishing heads and intake is a waste of time, my setup easily turns to 6000+ rpm without it.

    I don’t know if there still available, but Dorman offered reproduction Corvette rams horn cast iron exhaust manifolds with 2 ½” outlet that would be a very worthwhile addition and not take away from the originality look.

    As far as side pipes, some of the cheaper ones can be pretty restrictive which could be an issue. At a minimum you would want a 2 ¼” to 2 ½” dual exhaust.


    At this point I would definitely upgrade the intake. The small base Rochester 2G carb you have probably won’t flow enough to take advantage of what you’ve built. To keep the stock appearance you could change over to the large base Rochester 2G, but because of the difference mounting flange you will need a different intake. To keep the stock appearance an intake from a 327 or 350 2 BBL will work. Your stock Air Cleaner will not fit the large base Rochester so you will need to put that on your parts list too.

    Personally I would try to find a factory cast iron AFB intake or go with an aftermarket square flange aftermarket intake (if you go aftermarket make sure it has provisions for the oil fill so you don’t have to change valve covers). At a glance an aftermarket intake painted engine color won’t look out of place.

    For ignition the factory single point distributor will work fine but I would have it checked for bushing wear. Personally I would convert it to Pertronix to eliminate the changing points hassle and retain a stock look but again that’s me.

    If you’re interested here’s the build thread I did on a 283 I built.

    283 Build


    The original plan was to put it in early 50’s Chevy but that fell thru so it got a single 4 BBL and ended up in an 87 Ram 50 instead. That truck is closing in on 40,000 miles now and I’m still happy with it.

    87 Ram 50 Engine Swap


    .
    Last edited by Mike P; 06-19-2022 at 06:22 AM.
    NTFDAY, glennsexton and 34_40 like this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  5. #5
    NTFDAY's Avatar
    NTFDAY is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Springfield
    Car Year, Make, Model: '66 Mustang, 76 Corvette
    Posts
    5,207

    I agree with everything that's been said as you can build a mild 350 for less money than the 283. I would add that if it were mine the slip and slide would have to go as IMHO, it will compromise everything you do. I would run at least a turbo 350, but would prob ably opt for an automatic with overdrive. I'm no tranny guru so I'll leave that up to them that are, but the powerglide would have to go.
    Mike P and glennsexton like this.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  6. #6
    66 Camino's Avatar
    66 Camino is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Location
    Lynnwood
    Posts
    7

    MikeP, thanks for the tips. I do understand that a 350 swap would be the simple and more cost-effective way to go. I have so much of my history tied to this car and the "stockness" of it over the years that I don't want to go that route. I'm willing to spend more to retain the factory block and basic appearance in the engine bay. I was wondering if the forged pistons and rods would be more than needed, I've seen other posts about building the 283 that used them but they were building more of a drag strip car.
    I would like to use the Rams horn manifolds, but it seems like they drop out right on top of the frame in this car, is that not the case? I might be talked into a set of short headers , but I also think I would have to re-think clearance issues with steering so I may be settling with the stock manifolds just to keep it more simple. The only set of sidepipes I've been able to find besides straight lake pipes are the "corvette style" ones in the longest size from Patriot Exhaust. I like that look and the fact that they have a glass pack style muffler to dampen some of the overall sound. Again, I want it more streetable so I don't want straight unmuffled pipes.
    Thanks for the heads up on the larger 2bbl needing a different intake manifold and air cleaner. My hope was to use the factory air cleaner for the appearance because that is the first thing I see when I pop the hood. If I have to change intake and carb and aircleaner, that may just send me the way of upgrading to a Quadrajet set up. Something I was trying to stay away from for appearances sake, but maybe that's the way to go.
    I had already read through your engine build thread and appreciate all the time you took to document it for us.
    I was wondering if the 1.94 valves would be larger than needed and sacrifice low end performance. Does the exhaust valve need to be enlarged to match the larger intake valve?

  7. #7
    Hotrod46's Avatar
    Hotrod46 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Vidalia
    Car Year, Make, Model: 1946 Ford Coupe, 1962 Austin Healey 3000
    Posts
    1,393

    OK, if you are determined to keep the 283, here is some info that might help.

    I briefly considered a 283 for my current project, but went in another direction. In the mid 80's, GM offered a high output 305 in some pickups. The heads on that motor were 58 cc chambers and had larger ports than the 283 heads you most likely have now. These heads would boost your compression (or not kill it like a large chamber). They also have hardened valve seats that you probably don't have now. I believe they also had 1.94 valves, but may be wrong. Somewhere in my shop I have a set of these and will try to get the casting number. If you could locate a set, it might save a little money if they just need freshening up.

    Or, you could buy a set of aluminum aftermarket heads with small chambers. The aluminum heads would allow you run 10 to 1 or so compression which will help build power everywhere. If you could find a used set of Chevy ZZ4 aluminum heads, they had 58 cc chambers, too. Not considered a real high performance head, they will surely be an improvement over the old Powerpacks and have the old intake bolt pattern.

    Don't go crazy with the cam. The small engine will loose torque quick down low. I was going to use something along the lines of the old Chevy 300 HP 327 cam. Pretty mild by today's standard, but has been known to work well in a 283. They were 194 at .050 if I remember correctly. I would seriously think about a retrofit roller cam. Less potential trouble with a flat tappet losing a lobe or two. Howard's had the least expensive roller cams that I found and you can use a regular distributor gear with most of their SBC street cams.

    Forged pistons should not be required for a street motor if you keep it out of detonation.

    I drove a 283 64 Chevy for many years. You will never get any real RPM out of the small 2-barrel. Get a regular Performer RPM manifold (high rise) and top it with a small 500 CFM or less 4 barrel.

    Have the trans guy install the maximum number of clutches and steels in the clutch packs of the Powerglide. Some lower performance versions were shipped without full clutch packs since GM didn't feel they were needed for the application. GM put that trans behind bigger engines than yours and they are regularly used for drag racing (severely modified of course) so they can be made to survive. Look for an old 6 or 4 cylinder Powerglide (if you can be sure it's correct) and rob the governor out of it. Install that in your car and it will hold low gear longer, getting you into a higher torque part of your power band.

    Run as good of a free flowing exhaust as you can stand looks wise. I would go 2 1/4 minimum. Don't let anyone tell you that you need backpressure. Ain't so. Don't bother with shorty headers, you won't get enough out of them to justify the work. If you don't run long tube headers stay with manifolds. If you do run long tubes, look for some with 1 1/2 tubes. They should help with low end torque on the small engine.

    Oh, get an aftermarket distributor that can be easily tuned for advance curve. Makes a difference on any engine.

    This is all the 283 specific info I have. Hope it helps.

    Good luck. Still think you need a disguised 350, though.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 06-19-2022 at 02:08 PM.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  8. #8
    NTFDAY's Avatar
    NTFDAY is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Springfield
    Car Year, Make, Model: '66 Mustang, 76 Corvette
    Posts
    5,207

    No matter which way you go everything will be compromised by the powerglide, been there done that.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  9. #9
    Hotrod46's Avatar
    Hotrod46 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Vidalia
    Car Year, Make, Model: 1946 Ford Coupe, 1962 Austin Healey 3000
    Posts
    1,393

    Quote Originally Posted by NTFDAY View Post
    No matter which way you go everything will be compromised by the powerglide, been there done that.
    Yeah, I agree with you, but the op seems dead set on keeping the car original. Personally, if I was keeping the 283, I would go with a 700R4 and run at least a 3.73 rear gear, 4.10's would be even better. The 3.00 first gear in the 700 would really help the little engine off the line and the rear gears will help with get up and go everywhere.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 06-20-2022 at 02:23 AM.
    NTFDAY and glennsexton like this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  10. #10
    Mike P's Avatar
    Mike P is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SW Arizona
    Car Year, Make, Model: 57 Plymouth, 37 Dodge PU, 83 El Camino
    Posts
    3,610

    “…….. I have so much of my history tied to this car and the "stockness" of it over the years that I don't want to go that route. I'm willing to spend more to retain the factory block and basic appearance in the engine bay……”


    I can understand that. When I was building my 283 the goal was to build a truly 60s era correct 283 hotrod motor as part of a 49-53 chevy coupe project I had planned. I got way down into the minutia to include generator, canister oil filter, correct Phillips head screws for the valve and timing covers, original wire looms to run the plug wires under the exhaust manifolds etc etc all in order to get the “right look”. Could I have done all this to a 350 and had the same look……sure, but then in my mind it wouldn’t have been really era correct.

    As far as the exhaust I had been under the impression your El Camino came with rams horn exhaust but it appears that I was incorrect and it would have likely had the under the plugs log manifolds. The only way to find out if the rams horns will work would be to pull the originals off and set a rams horn manifold in place to see. For testing a stock rams horn will work (if it fits the corvette units should also fit). If all else fails a set of headers would not really look out of place.

    I would still go with a 4 barrel intake and carb, preferably one of the factory cast iron square flange units with a small AFB. I see someone is reproducing a factory style 4 barrel air cleaner that will fit well with the stock appearance you want.

    Mike and Ken's comments about compromise and overdrive transmissions are right on the money. That being said, you can you can still retain the Power Glide but you will really want to be selective on your drivetrain component selections. That starts with a realistic look at how the truck will be used. With just 2 gears and a small displacement engine you can make it a really fun around town car but it will probably be miserable at highway speeds, or a nice highway cruiser that’s kind of a dog from stop light to stop light.

    Using my 283/T5/3.90 Ram 50 as an example; with the low gears in the transmission and rear end the truck is fun around town (as mentioned it’s capable of easily pulling to 6000 rpm). With the cam, heads, exhaust etc the sweet spot for power and mileage is between 2500-2900 RPM on the highway (20 MPG at 75 MPH with the AC on). With the OD transmission I’m capable of doing both.

    With a glide and a 283 I would have to concentrate on one end or the other.

    If my driving was mostly around town and SHORT highway trips I would likely go with a low ratio gear set in the glide and a 3.50-3.75 rear end gear ratio.

    If long highway trips were planned I would likely still go with a lower 1st gear set in the glide due to the vehicle weight, (but probably not as deep as I would for an in town car). I would then look at a rear end ratio that would give me around a 2800 cruise RPM at 75 MPH probably around a 3.0 ratio depending on the tire size.

    Anyway just an old mans opinion.


    .
    Last edited by Mike P; 06-20-2022 at 07:35 AM.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  11. #11
    Hotrod46's Avatar
    Hotrod46 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Vidalia
    Car Year, Make, Model: 1946 Ford Coupe, 1962 Austin Healey 3000
    Posts
    1,393

    GM made Ram's Horn manifolds that have a bend in them to clear motor mounts. They can be hard to come by now and are not repopped as far as I know. The other thing is that they are 2" openings. At least the ones I have and others I have seen all are.

    I see them at swap meets from time to time, but they are usually high priced (to me anyway). Must be an old age thing!
    NTFDAY, glennsexton and 34_40 like this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  12. #12
    66 Camino's Avatar
    66 Camino is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Location
    Lynnwood
    Posts
    7

    Thank you all for the advice and ideas. I am taking it all in, even the ones I would rather not do. I appreciate your patience with me asking all these questions. I've played with a number of Chevys over the years but they all have been basically stock, all the prior ones due to economics ( not enough money to spend on modifying) and this El Camino due to my own history with it.

    I've recently gotten a '64.5 mustang out of a 42 year slumber in an old man's garage for my wife. She wanted a more modern drive feel so I upgraded the suspension, steering, and brakes. Completely re-wired it and replaced the interior (including heating the stock seats). The engine and tranny were rebuilt stock except for a mild cam.

    That gave me the bug to upgrade the El Camino since I have to pull the motor and go through it anyway. I just can't bring myself to switch the block, or as much as I can help it, the look of a '60s engine bay. With all of your help I am narrowing down the specifics of what I am going to do to it.

    MikeP, to answer you question, this has always been an "around town car" and not so much a freeway car. Living in the Seattle area, I don't have to drive long distances to get places like some of you do in other parts of the country. I'll focus on the low end performance more than the freeway speeds. It may be that after I get it done I will decide to upgrade the transmission like several of you have suggested. I had already been thinking of changing out the rear gears from 3.08 to maybe a 3.55 or so.

    Hotrod46, I'll start looking for the rams horns with the bend in the outlets. All I have seen in my searches have been the straight ones.

    Again, Thanks for all of your ideas and cautions about the little 283 and it's limitations. I'm going to be taking it to a machine shop to have the machining done and I would like to have an idea of what I'm looking to have done so I don't get the Machine shop guy's favorite build instead if what I want done.
    Mike P and NTFDAY like this.

  13. #13
    NTFDAY's Avatar
    NTFDAY is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Springfield
    Car Year, Make, Model: '66 Mustang, 76 Corvette
    Posts
    5,207

    I wouldn't go more than 30 over and then find an early 327 crank a set of double hump heads and the cam from a 63 350 hp Corvette along with a small Holley on a good dual plane manifold. And if you keep the slip and slide address the torque converter.
    Personally I think the hardened valve seats are unnecessary. In my back yard is a 66 Mustang with early 302 heads that I built in 1979 with over 100 grand on the clock and without hardened valve seats.
    wrp likes this.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  14. #14
    34_40's Avatar
    34_40 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Bedford
    Car Year, Make, Model: 34 Ford 3W Coupe Replica
    Posts
    14,402

    Quote, "Again, Thanks for all of your ideas and cautions about the little 283 and it's limitations. I'm going to be taking it to a machine shop to have the machining done and I would like to have an idea of what I'm looking to have done so I don't get the Machine shop guy's favorite build instead if what I want done."

    At the machine shop, ask them to first measure the block so you can both review where the wear is, main bearing alignment, of course cylinder wear and taper, also is the deck square to the crank, it may need a slight cut to clean and square the deck. Since your doing a "more stock" rebuild, as long as the mains are in tolerance, you can skip align boring, cylinder taper and wear will most certainly need addressing. I'd only go over bore sized to clean up the cylinders, no need to max out the diameter, plus it costs money to continue cutting. The cylinder heads should follow the same procedure. Ask them to measure and evaluate so you can both review what the process will be to rebuild them. Guides are probably worn, and probably the valve stems... the seats? If they are damaged you'll have to make some decisions! They'll probably need to have a cut to flatten them again.. As long as you tell the machine shop what it is you're after, they'll try and work with you I'm sure, plus they can help guide you to what will be most cost effective. Just be honest with them and tell'em what you're after I'm sure they'll be glad to help.

  15. #15
    Hotrod46's Avatar
    Hotrod46 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Vidalia
    Car Year, Make, Model: 1946 Ford Coupe, 1962 Austin Healey 3000
    Posts
    1,393

    Looks they are being repopped.

    https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Rams-...caAig5EALw_wcB

    These don't appear to have any accessory mounts. I don't know if you need them on your engine. I can't guaranty that they will fit your car, but you could give Speedway a call. Their tech department may have experience fitting them to something similar to yours.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 06-21-2022 at 08:35 AM.
    34_40 likes this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

Reply To Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Links monetized by VigLink