'67 Wagon - 383 transplant - Impala Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 10
 
Garage
'67 Wagon - 383 transplant

Hey guys, I'm getting to work on my build and would like to get some feedback on my ideas as to where I'm going with my engine. I want some advice from anyone that might have some experience with Vortec heads on older SBC motors. I'm building a strictly street car, just want something that will idle nicely, but with a little attitude. I want to be able to drive this thing, and be comfortable doing it, but also light them up a little bit at the red lights, or when one of those god forsaken fart boxes are next to me.

Story on the car/current power: I picked up the car back in October, containing a god awful 250 inline 6 that put more oil out the tail pipes than in the pan, but with 396 badges on the side.......... I checked vin and found that I have what used to be a 396 car, with a Turbo 400 behind it. The Trans will go back in the car, but the 250 is beyond its last day, and thus the car is now minus front clip and ready to get that turd outa there. Don't get me wrong, the 250 had its application, but it didn't belong in an Impala, maybe a Vega? (Had one of them too )

Story on this motor goes like this... I found a screamin deal on a complete (minus carb) 350 motor on Craigslist, paid less than $100 for it. It's a '72 4 bolt block, 010 casting, with same era heads (don't remember casting number on the head). The previous owner said he had it in his '68 Camaro up until about 5 years ago when he did an LS1 swap. The motor has been sitting since. He said that it used about a half quart to quart of oil per 3k oil change. I figured I'd be able to throw some new rings, bearings, and gaskets in and have a decent running streeter until I can stomach the $$ for an LS swap. Well things change...

Got her stripped down a few days ago and found grooves around several of the crank journals. Bearings were all in place, so nothing spun, but the grooves on 2 of the journals were noticeable from 10 feet away, and easily caught the fingernail. So now I'm looking at either a return on the crank, or a new crank altogether. You see where I'm going with this now????? I figured it'd be at least $100-150 for GOOD machine work on the crank, or I can buy a Scat 383 crank for $200-250.

So now I'm thinking a 383 sounds like a good idea. Lets take this one step further, I have a buddy that has a set of 062 casting Vortec heads that he wants to get rid of, and he happens to want the truck heads and intake that I have. SO, since I can get the heads for a decent price, I'm considering going this route. This is where things get interesting. There isn't a TON of info on doing a Vortec 383 SBC, and I'm wondering if maybe thats for good reason.

With a 350 block, and the 64cc Vortec heads, you can expect to get 20-30 hp pretty easily out of the swap from a stock head, but will that small of a chamber choke out the longer stroked 383? I know that the Vortec heads flow faster than other heads, so maybe that would help SOME, but most 383 builds I see are using an 80-90+ cc head. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Also, this smaller chamber, combined with longer stroke, SHOULD give me A LOT more compression. I'm no pro, and I don't pretend to be, but based on the calculator I used, with a 4.03 bore, 3.75 stroke, 64cc chamber, .039 gasket and a flat top piston I'd be around 11.5-12.0:1... Did I mention that I like pump gas? My question here is, first does that sound somewhat accurate, second, has anyone done a swap like this that might know approximate CR, and third would dished pistons drop it enough to get me in that 10-ish range?

Basically, I just want some opinions on whether I'm just trying something new that others haven't really thought of or wanted to try (Vortec 383), or is it because the Vortec heads just don't work well with the 383 setup?

NOTICE - I'm doing this on a budget, so I don't want the answers like "just go spend the $1200 for built Dart heads and be done with it" I'm not building a strip car, and the thought of building a junkyard freak show sounds pretty damn cool to me. Sorry for the novel, just wanted all the info out there.


AAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDD GO!!!!
WAGS is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 08:19 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 132
 
Garage
sounds like your on the right path. High torque engine for a fairly heavy car. Here is a good read for you. http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/vem...troker-engine/
I know its not exactly what your looking for but this is what GM is building.
6366 is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 11:46 AM
BA.
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
Posts: 3,169
Blog Entries: 15
 
I bought my 383 as a crate motor and I don't know diddly about the Vortec stuff.


can't go wrong with the 383cid though! Good luck!

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
BA. is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 02:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: virginia
Posts: 354
 
Don't know what your current 350 has but the Vortex's may use a different intake manifold and may not accommodate your current exhaust manifolds. The only point I am trying to make is make an informed decision. Find out ALL the mods needed.
japete92 is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 10
 
Garage
Thanks for the reply guys. Japete, copy on the manifold. I've already done my research as far as a 350 vortec swap. Just getting thrown off when I try to add the extra displacement.

If this project moves forward as stated above, I'll be using an Edelbrock RPM Air Gap manifold with vortec head pattern. Since the current power plant is a straight 6, I'm going to be purchasing headers anyway, so whether vortec or standard SBC doesn't matter there.

Thanks for the link 6366, read through that and unfortunately I think it reinforces my concerns. 64cc, even with faster moving "vortec" air, is going to starve above 4500 rpm. It would be a torque MONSTER, but lacking in top end hp without some head porting and bowl work. That kind of head work on a vortec head isn't going to be cheap, probably not even close to worth it.

So after I posted this last night, and still hung up on my love of the vortec, I started scouring the web for a better option. I came across the "bowtie" vortec heads, which have either a 70 or 75cc chamber and bigger valves. Talk about a needle in a haystack though. One things for sure, if I can ever make this come together, I'll be safe to say I'm probably the only one in my zip code that's got one, and that's kinda got a nice ring to it.
WAGS is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 04:36 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,488
 
Sorry I was half way through this post when my wife said it is time for church, and lunch and shopping for four hours......

You are correct. A longer stroke builds compression faster. That is why you use either a 74 cc chamber like I did with my 406 build and forged flat tops (zero decked the block and final honed the bores with ARP head studs in place to use a 0.041 thickness Fel-Pro head gasket), or dished pistons. I had more control of the final combustion volume after porting and polishing the head by milling the deck on the block and angle milling the head that you get by just using a set of dished pistons.

With the 58 cc chamber of a Vortec you are going to have to let something go to run pump gas. I would like to point out that prior to Vortec heads Bill Mithchel's World Products Sportsaman II (earlier edition you can find used) heads where the most bang for the buck. They will maintain the same flow as the Vortec heads up to 0.450" of valve lift, but they are not limited to 0.420 inches of valve lift the way a Vortec head is. Additionally they will easily support up to 0.700 inches if you feel frisky in the cam department. They also use the old fourteen bolt intakes and perimeter valve covers, instead of the new ribbed center bolt valve covers. Price wise they are similar in cost if you include the machine work price for the Vortec heads and buy the Sportsman II heads used.

The Vortec heads will make more power below 0.420 inch valve lift because the Vortec head has the heart shaped "fast Burn" combustion chamber and the patented swirl hump by the spark plug that a lot of folks grind down that causes the Vortec to form in the combustion chamber to mix the air and fuel before combustion. The Vortec also has smaller 170 cc intake ports that keeps the air speed up but can be restrictive on a bigger motor (consider the passenger or stock 396 has 230 cc oval intake ports compared to the high horse 320 cc rectangular ports used on the race only motor). Obviously there are better heads than either the old Sportsman II or the Vortec, but I am comparing HP per dollar. With a hydraulic stump puller RV style cam (short duration High lift long LSA angle) designed to move a motor home or wrecker and a 650 to 700 cfm carb you can limit your RPM band to 4,800 RPM and have a ball with Vortec heads. The older Sortsman II heads were 190 cc, (newer ones are 210 to 230 cc in size) will allow you to twist it higher for more peak power but it will be a wash in my opinion.

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 10
 
Garage
Thanks for the info Dave.

I also have a set of heads, casting 3973487. seller said they were LT1 heads that he pulled off of his Camaro. I haven't checked valves yet, but the casting checks out as POSSIBLY '71 LT1 with either 1.94/1.5 or 2.02/1.6 valves and 76cc chambers. Rebuilding these for a 383 might be a better option at this point.

I have to keep telling myself that this motor is just a fun "cheap" project to buy time until I'm ready for EFI and an LS.
WAGS is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 01:36 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,488
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WAGS View Post
Thanks for the info Dave.

I also have a set of heads, casting 3973487. seller said they were LT1 heads that he pulled off of his Camaro. I haven't checked valves yet, but the casting checks out as POSSIBLY '71 LT1 with either 1.94/1.5 or 2.02/1.6 valves and 76cc chambers. Rebuilding these for a 383 might be a better option at this point.

I have to keep telling myself that this motor is just a fun "cheap" project to buy time until I'm ready for EFI and an LS.
If they are off of a 370 horse 1971 350 they will be 2.02 valves. Same head (same complete engine actually) was rated at 350 horse in the '71 Z/28. But Chevy says the 'vette engine was rated at a higher number because of the freer flowing exhaust on the Corvette; even though the engines are dyno tested without any drive accessories except a water pump and are not using a closed exhaust system at the time they were tested. The marketing department just didn't want anything diminishing the shinny star that was GM's flagship sports car.

So with 11.0:1 pistons, an LT-1 flat tappet hydraulic cam, a Winters high rise intake manifold and a Holley 4160 780 cfm carb you to could have a 370 horse motor if you could just find 104 octane pump gas like 1971 Sunoco 260 to run it on.

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 10
 
Garage
It's been ENTIRELY too long since I have posted on here, and for that I am incredibly sorry. I wish I had documented everything I've gone through in the last year and a half working on this long roof, but instead I'll just resurrect my ancient post and fill you all in.

I started off with the plan that I would do a "budget" 383 build, maintain the powerglide transmission, and take her out and run her for a while and have some fun with it. As I tore into my mild 350 and really break down a solid parts list, it started to dawn on me that if I am just buying time to be able to afford an LS swap, then why not just do a "freshen up" on the 350 that was just burning some oil and go run it? So that's what I did... I had it the STD bore honed, used the same pistons, put new rings, bearings, freeze plugs, high volume oil pump and pickup, and all new gaskets in her and put it back together. I picked up an edelbrock 2101 intake, MSD distributor and controller and even got the engine mocked up in the car. I had decided midway through my engine build that I really didn't want to mess with the glide anymore, and started looking for a cheap TH350 to put behind my nice fresh 350. Then I got thrown a MAJOR curveball, and somehow scored a pair of 5.3 LM7 complete engines for $150. Yes, 2 complete engines for $150 TOTAL.

So my mind started working again... Well, I've seen a couple 60's Impala's that were LS swapped, never seen one in a wagon though. Even more uncommon would be a 4 speed LS 67 wagon, and what do yuh know, I find an M20 for $300. You see where I'm going with this? I decided I will be boring the 5.3 out to a 5.7 liter, essentially giving me an iron block LS1. The cylinders had some rust from sitting outside for a month by previous owner, so why not just bore to 5.7 giving me the ability to buy someones stock LS1 pistons when they upgrade to forged or something else? I'm going to have a little bit of new school flavor while maintaining the old school attitude of this car.

Obviously, there aren't A TON of LS/4 speed swaps being done. Even more uncommon going into our B-Bodies. I'd love to pick the brain of someone that's done it. I have read, and read, and read, and read, and read some more on this topic, and I've got a pretty good feel of how it SHOULD work, but being able to talk to someone that's actually done it would be a HUGE help.

I will post some pics of how she started and what she looks like now. Front is disassembled all the way down to frame rails. I did new tie rods, ball joints, control arm bushings. I have ordered but not yet received a front disc conversion kit. Stripped the frame and repainted it back to the firewall, and fixed a few previous crappy rust repairs on the firewall itself. Will update again soon, I promise.
WAGS is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 10
 
Garage
Pic of the day she came home.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	impala resized.JPG
Views:	40
Size:	57.2 KB
ID:	17489  
WAGS is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 01:56 PM
BA.
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
Posts: 3,169
Blog Entries: 15
 
She's Big!

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
BA. is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Impala Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome