283 Chevy [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: 283 Chevy

Aug 18th, 04, 12:46 PM
I own a 66 chevelle four door sports sedan with a 283 engine. However, I looked at the specs for this engine and max horsepower to run at 4800 rpm. I thought 283 were known for high revs, but mine seems to only hit the 4500 mark. I put dual exhaust, headers, four barrel carb and intake on it...does anyone have any suggestions how to make my little 283 give up a little more hp/rpms? I know that its got little valves too. I figured the 283 would rev well over 5000, but someone set me straight.



Aug 18th, 04, 1:40 PM
Cayhoy66; Sounds like your are experiencing Valve Float.... :( If still using original valve springs with peanut valves to boot, that is a bad combo. Also check compression if low you will never make power............... :mad:


Aug 18th, 04, 1:43 PM
A lot depends on how the car is geared. The rear ratio needs to be low enough to let the motor wind up. High performance 283's rev'd high, but stockers used the same low rpm cams that other small blocks shared.

Bob Johnson
Aug 18th, 04, 2:03 PM
Ryan, In 1963 when the 327 came out it got the performance parts, Not the 283's. Look to the pre 63 283's or better yet 67 327's.

Aug 18th, 04, 2:16 PM
different heads??? different cam setup? Can I make this 283 shut all the guys that make fun of me for my 283? hehe... :mad:

Aug 18th, 04, 3:07 PM
Give us the lowdown on its current condition.
Is it the original engine from the car, and has it ever been rebuilt?
What kind of transmission are you running?
What kind of rear gears do you have?

In short, yes, you can make it faster. It all depends on how much you want to spend, and it's generally easier to go with more cubes. If you're limited to the 283, though, there are ways to make it faster.

Give us the updates and we'll go from there.

Aug 18th, 04, 5:09 PM
Here you go!!

No more then a 600 cfm 1850 Holley four barrel on a 300-36 Holley true high-rise, a set of cleaned up, 305HO, -601 heads, a little Duntov -097 solid cam and Z-28 springs and a set of four tube long headers AND the little 283 will really talk to you!!

Try to use the .015" rubber coated Fel-pro #1094 shims to get the CR up as close to 10 to 1 as you can get her AND still use flat-top stock pistons...

BUT as mentioned, the little 283 likes lower gears b/c she will be weak-kneed b/c it is still a little motor even though she can wrap to the MOON!! Figure on 3000 rpm and up past 7,000 rpm as being in it's running range big-time!!

I'm putting one together now but I'm going fairly radical on the solid cam b/c I figure I can't get all that much grunt out of it anyway, so why not wrap her as tight as she will go!! The little motor is just too small to get both grunt AND rpm out of it so I'm going rpm!!

AND I looked and worried a lot about my cam choice!!!

I'm looking for the high side of 8,000 rpms cammed like I am going to be!!


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wes migletz
Aug 18th, 04, 8:11 PM
A lot can be done with a 283 if you're willing to spend the time and money. I built a 377 engine out of my 283, by using a 4.00" bore and a 3.75" stroke. If I were to do it over, I would have gone with a .030 or .060" overbore and ordered a custom piston, rather than boring it to 4.00". My stock heads were completely re-worked, with larger 1.88 Intake and 1.60 Exhaust valves. My heads now have peak flow numbers of 232cfm Intake and 193 Ex.

A swap to a larger engine would be simpler, and you could bolt you 283's accessories to it. If that isn't possible, a swap to a sep of 305 HO heads (as previously stated) would be a step in the right direction... with a mild pocket port, they will provide a nice boost in power. Another good head choice is the late model corvette or ZZ3/ZZ4 aluminum heads. The later aluminum heads have strong exhaust flow numbers which would allow you to run a single pattern cam (which would boost low end torque over a comparable dual pattern cam). The combustion chambers on the later vette heads are only 58CC and won't affect your compression.

Pics of my ported heads are now posted at www.picturetrail.com/wesmigletz (http://www.picturetrail.com/wesmigletz)

Aug 18th, 04, 10:58 PM
Wind it up!! I used to shift my 283 at 6000rpm. It was bored .030 over with a Edelbrock 600 carb and 355 rearend gear, with the Powerglide. One night when I was still in High School, I raced my girlfriends dad in his big block camaro and beat him. He then changed his rearend gear and beat me the next weekend. I have always heard "There is no replacement for displacement". 350 4 bolts are easy to come by fairly cheap, you could build a good 355 and it would get you down the track faster, than the 283. Good luck!!

Aug 19th, 04, 9:27 AM
With a 'glide and a tall 3.55 gear, 6000 rpm in 1st probably had you shifting above the legal speed limit! LOL

Aug 19th, 04, 11:14 AM
thanks guys....as i said, everything in my 66 malibu is bone stock, besides the headers, 2.5 dual exhaust, performer dual plane intake and edelbrock 600 cfm carb...not sure what the rear end has in it(10 bolt), but have the glide. I have a th350 trans with a shift kit to replace the glide...
Are you telling me if I upgrade the cam and springs, I can make this little 283 scream? Do I have to build up the internals in order to accomplish 6500 rpm? or will stock rods, crank, pistons, handle this?
If i do set up with the th350 trans, what rearend ratio to you recommend?

Sorry for all the questions guys, hehe...but I'm limited to the 283 for now, dad doesn't see the point if something runs fine and gets from A to B.

Aug 19th, 04, 11:36 AM
also, the engine has about 12,000 miles on rebuild....just reringed, but everything else was taken care of...new cam that probably has same grind as original. Same heads, valves, springs, but reground seats and valves. Umm....the basics. Did know if I got a hold of a set of 305 heads what I would be looking for either....didn't know if that would bring my compressiong down/or valves hit piston.

wes migletz
Aug 19th, 04, 1:24 PM
It sounds like you have a good start with the headers, dual exhaust, Performer, etc. The TH350 will also provide a nice off-the-line boost.

If the headers, Performer, etc were added during the engine rebuild, it's not unlikely that the cam may have been upgraded at that time as well. I would be looking towards a head swap, and at the same time, I would confirm what cam the engine has, and if necessary, upgrade it. I think the '86 up vette/ZZ4 aluminum heads would be a nice match for your combo, and they can be found reasonably priced.

Aug 19th, 04, 7:37 PM
My -601 heads cc'ed around 55 cc's so did help bring the little motor's compression up!! Pleasantly supprised the heck outta me.....

You really need to get a set of heads AND cc them and then run all the numbers through, say, the ROSS Racing Pistons compression ratio calculator if you want to know for sure what she will end up at without coming right out and measuring everything..


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Aug 19th, 04, 7:58 PM
My Uncle had a bone stock '65 195/283 that he ran factory stock in 1969 or so. Engine was in a '64 Impala that was a factory 425/409 car (he sold the '09 as it was getting tired, and he needed econmical daily transportation. The car used a M20 or M21 and 3.70 gears. He said it was consistant mid-16's in that big car. I guess he set some local NHRA j/factory stock (Maybe not j, but some lower class) track records at the local track (PID) back in those days.