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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Questions (Random)

I actually have a couple more questions. The more I clean and tinker with the more I love this car. Something about the design and engineering that went into it. Anyway, my questions are as follows:

1. Headers, I know it is said it is not worth it, but from a sound and looks perspective is there a brand that fits particularly well? I realize my 283 will not make monster power I am just asking if you had to buy a header which one fits the best.

2. The engine was rebuilt with a cam and sounds great. It has a Edlebrock 650 carb and idles well. Is there a manifold and carb recommended? I know Edlebrock has a nice 600 performer carb and intake.

3. I want to do a disk brake conversion in the future. I have power brakes now but drums. For those who have done the conversion what kit did you buy and why? I am only looking to do front.

4. I have seen on a few cars like mine a tack mounted to the steering column in a chrome cup. Looked just be a little over 2 inches. Anyone know anything about that?

5. If you were going to change the rear gears, what ratio and why? 3.55, 3.73 (Car has a TH350 tranny)
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 01:30 AM
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1. These cars are big and pretty forgiving generally speaking. lots of room. I would choose long tube headers as they are better for mid RPM to high RPM ranges and the only places our short stroke 283 engines can make power is mid range up. Not that it may make much of a difference for our street engines, but according to theory long tube is better for the RPM range 283 drag motor would run at.

2. Save your money till you can get a set of aluminum heads and then they can match an intake to those and your cam specifications if you have them. That 650 can deliver all the fuel if not more than you currently need. You should be able to re-use it and save some money. Carbs are not cheap.

3. I've found the disk brake kit you get depends on the wheels you want to use. Are the calipers going to be highly visible or not and do you want them to be the center of attention. Also money comes into this equation. You can get a mechanically sound kit for under $500.00 or you blow the roof out or the proverbial house and go with cross drilled and slotted rotors and 4 piston calipers and pay a couple of grand. I'm not a big fan of showing off my brake calipers and such as I tend to be heavy on the gas which means I'm also heavy on the brake and make all kinds of brake dust that I don't want to have to clean up all the time to show my car.

4. Look up Sun Tachometers as I believe that is what you are talking about. Just make sure you get something that works with your ignition source. If your still running points a points style tack will not work directly with an HEI style distributor.


5. Right now I am thinking 3.23 as I have no intention of doing burnouts or taking passes down the quarter mile in my 63 impala Convertible. Besides I'm not installing seat belts, so no track will let me make a pass down their strip. I also plan to put an M22 Muncie 4-speed or Richmond 5-speed in it. Plus I want a nice 409 sitting under the hood. The 409 is kinda a dream right now and I may have to settle for a nicely built 327 unless I come into some extra money some how. If I do end up with the 327 I may decide on a 3.55 rear as the 327 likes to make power at a higher RPM than the 409.

Hopefully some of that helped.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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5. I do not plant to race it, I just want it to pull a little harder from light to light.

4. It has a Mallory HEI Ignition.

3. I plan to stay with 15" rims. I am just looking for a simpler way to make brake changes.

2. What heads and intake would you recommend.

1. Headers, long tubes sound good. Is there a particular brand? I am thinking the sound and ease of access to the plugs.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 12:19 PM
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You will never be satisfied with a 283. It only offers better gas mileage than any other engine Chevy made. Back when I was running a '55 they were OK but once the 327 came out you couldn't give one away. Guess what the 350 did the same thing to the 327. There is no substitution for displacement. The small block was inflated in size to 400 cubes found in full size cars and light trucks from 1970 through 1978.

The advantage of a bigger engine is it looks just like your 283 on the outside so no one knows what you have. Everyone looks at the decal on your valve cover or air cleaner and all decals cost the same. I had a 406 with a 305 decal on it in my '89 Caprice that I dressed up to look just like my '85 with front and rear end replacement parts. Only difference between the two cars was the '85 had gauges on top of the dash and big slicks.

I used to run a 582 cubic inch BBC but it had a 402 decal on it. It idled like a stock 402 but made twice as much power. Looked just like a stock motor and was well muffled to sound like one to provide lots of fun. Surprised a lot of people. I used the 406 to troll for a race and then go home to get my slicks.

Big Dave

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I am just looking to maximize what is there. Then after I paint it, fix all chrome, fix all other little things then I may look at an engine. I am just trying to get ideas to plan with.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 04:20 PM
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Fifty horse shot of nitrousoxide hidden inside the air cleaner.

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Edelb...BoCkA4QAvD_BwE

You can as a general rule install no more than half of your normally aspirated horse power. With a 190 horse base I would predict that you would be safe with a fifty horse shot.

I used to run two stage NOS system with a one hundred horse off the line topped by a two hundred fifty horse shot once I was in third gear. Great thrill with the only down side being an empty bottle. That is why my next motor will be blown. That way I never run out of added oxygen to burn more fuel.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 05:18 PM
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In all honesty, by the time you invest in a good pair of ceramic long tube headers and the required exhaust modification (unless you know how to weld exhaust pipes) you'll have a nice chunk of change that could have went towards a standard 290 HP truck 350 CID crate engine. You can't bolt enough on to that 283 to make an extra 100 HP without going major overhaul. Due to the sheer size of these cars 10-20 HP gains will just not be that noticeable in street acceleration. Spending your money on good headers and a carburetor that is probably too big for the engine is kinda like taking a placebo. It makes you think and feel like your car is faster, but the reality is it isn't.

My plan is to keep my stock little 283 with a 2 barrel in the car to drive while I take my time and slowly build the engine I want in it hopefully with my own two hands. Nothing beats the feeling of the rumble of an engine you built with your own two hands. Also the more money and time I spend on lost causes means the less money I have to spend on worth while investments.

For your purposes, you could probably pick up a 350 4 bolt main truck block from a salvage yard for a couple hundred and have it machined and tested for a couple hundred more. You can either by the parts used to stroke it out or buy a kit. Build a short block for around $1500 that will handle 400+ HP. At this point you can either transfer the top end from your 283 or just wait and get new heads and intake combo with a matching cam.

Or you could probably get a running 350 Truck engine for less than $500. Clean it up and paint it. Drop it in and now you got a little more torque and that is what you will feel on the street. They didn't call the Pontiac and Buick 455's street beasts for no reason. They were torque monsters at the time and that one block drag race between stop lights in town was all about the torque. Granted if these engines hit a quarter mile and where getting up over 5500 RPM they tended to spin bearings and all sorts of other nasty stuff.
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