66 engine/trans combo? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2
66 engine/trans combo?

Hey guys,
Starting on a 66 w/ original 283 and PG. I plan on swapping both for better performance and drivability. Not looking a for a dragster but something fun to drive that doesn't get 5mpg. I am considering a 383 w/ 700r. Was told 383 would give me the torque I need to get the big Chevy moving. Any suggestions or input? Open to all opinions and ideas.


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,381
Welcome to the Team Brad!

Why stop at the four inch thirty over (4.030") bore of the 383 when you can start with the four and an eighth inch bore of the small block Chevy 400. Punch it another thirty over and you get the popular 406. Punch it sixty over with an aftermarket block and you are looking at 409 decals and emblems as it displaces a little over 408 cubes. (I of course would stick 283 decals back on the engine and retain the stock air cleaner with a Holley four barrel under it).

An aluminum Edelbrock RPM Performer intake (not the Air Gap, but the stock looking dual plane intake) painted orange could slide buy. Especially with the intake bored to accept the oil fill tube and retaining the stock valve covers sitting on top of some 195 cc AFR Eliminator fully CNC'd heads, also painted orange. The heads on top of an engine determines the amount of power you can make; so as a general rule half the price of the motor should be in the heads.

Any 200R4 you find will need to be rebuilt with aftermarket hardened or billet steel parts to bring it up to spec in terms of resisting the force of a big block. At over 400 cubes it is as big and powerful as a big block just two hundred pounds lighter. Input shafts and sun shells in stock condition will not survive the torque a 383 or a 406 can generate. The 700R4 isn't any stronger as far as that goes, just cheaper to buy and rebuild, because there were about seventy 700R4's built for every 200R4 made (excluding the 4L60, 4L60e, and 4L65e variants).

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2
Thanks Dave. I like the 283 decal idea 👌 I only chose 383 because they are readily available. I will stop by a few local shops and prices on having a 406 built oppose to ordering the 383. I think the car has 3.08 at the moment, do I need to step up in gear?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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I'm a fan of the 383 and have a crate motor in my '66. I picked it for the torque benefit over the 350cid like you mentioned.

If you do decide to go with a 400 (and assuming it's used and will need an over-bore and a sonic-check)....you will probably want to be sure your cooling system is in good shape. You'll want something better than the stock 283 radiator, it won't cut it.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 11:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ca
Posts: 19
I love my 496" from SpeedoMotive before the new owners ruined it. Now sadly gone.
Tons of H P and torque at any RPM. It exceeded my expectations by a mile. I went with the aluminum GM heads. It has a 400 trans but I would like to go with a M-22-W for the hell of it.
I love this site. Special thanks to Big Dave!
65 SS 496 Blk/Blk
38 Chevy coupe Blown SBC
71 Z/28
48 Ford PU w/blown Desoto hemi, 727.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: denmark
Posts: 8
You will get as many different opinions as answers in this matter, i think you will be happy with a good 383 and a 700r4, its a nice street freindly combo, but as mentioned earlier, you will have to look at your cooling capacity.
IMO a stroker smallblock over 400 cui, is not the best for cruising, unless your going to keep that low rear gear, but it will bring a smile to your face.

I had a 427 small block build for my 69 camaro a couple of years ago, that darn thing was a beast, behind a tko 600 and a 4.10 rear, and if you go that far, its gonna hurt your street freindly capacity, and your tires..

here is link to that 427:
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