383 Upgrade and keep it Stock looking circa 64 - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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383 Upgrade and keep it Stock looking circa 64

Goal- Stock looking engine for my 64 Impala with good drivability and as much performance as can be squeezed inside. The Impala is used as a Sunday driver/special event type car. Nice cruising manners are prefered, with gobs of power when the mood strikes, is what I am trying to maximize here. Since this is a 383, high rpm performance is not what I am aiming for, but rather broad low-mid range power. Car has power brakes, air conditioning and automatic transmission. I had the 383 stroker, built for me by my mechanic 20 years ago. Seems to be in fair shape. I am going to tear it down for cleaning and rebuilding as needed. I intend to dress it up like a 327 from 1964, which I know will involve some work with the PCV system. Keeping things looking stock on the outside will constrain how much can be done here, but I don’t want miss any tricks that I could do.

What I have in there now:

-Engine Block, casting number 3970010 used from 1969-79 for 350 engines.
-Intake 3927184 used in 1969 for 350 engines
-Heads 3947041 used from 1968-79 for 327 and 350 engines. Valve sizes look up as 1.94 / 1.5
-Carburetor QuadraJet
-Cam is unknown, as I recall it was a ‘mild cam’ that was put in.
-Exhaust casting numbers 3797942 and 3846563 correct for 1964 high performance 327. 2.5 inch rams horn with 2.5 inch Schafers stock exhaust system with resonators. 2.5 inch to muffler, 2 inch tail pipes.
-Compression ratio – not sure, but it was built to require premium gas.
-Transmission TH350 with ‘shift kit’ to make shifts fairly snappy. It will chirp the wheel at full throttle 1-2 shift.
-Rear end is stock with a 3.55 ratio, open differential




What I will have:

-Intake 3844459 (got it)
-Carburetor Carter AFB 3783s or 3499s 1964 409/400hp aprox 625 cfm. Externally looks like the Carter AFB used on the 327/300hp engine for 64, and recommended by thecarburetorshop.com. (looking for one)
-Cam????
-Hydraulic Roller lifters??
-Head upgrade???
-Transmission 700R4 built for “up to 450 hp” by very reputable local shop.
-Rear end to be beefed up and add limited slip with a ratio of 3.7ish. That ratio should get me in the 2,200 rpm range at freeway speeds, which seems to be the consensus.


Since I am rather limited on some of items that I can change, because I want this to look like a stock 64 engine, I have a few questions about what is practical.

1) Would porting/polishing the intake and heads be a good investment?

2) Would some aftermarket heads be good (assuming they could, at first glance, pass off as stockers when painted the proper shade of orange) ? I don't seem to need accesory bolt holes and some aftermarket heads have bolt holes for stock style valve covers. But I don't know if the trick valve components stick up higher than the stock cover will allow.

3) Would roller lifters and matching cam be able to get me the most out of this or would I be wasting $500 for the rollers?



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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 05:10 PM
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Best return for $$ would be to go with Vortec heads. Far superior flow to the old heads.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Don't those heads require a Vortec specific intake manifold? Or can they be modified to accept the old intake I am using? Also, don't they use center bolt valve covers?



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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 09:59 PM
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Yes, you need the matching intake. They do use center bolt valve covers, but you can get adapters to run the old style.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcairns View Post
Don't those heads require a Vortec specific intake manifold? Or can they be modified to accept the old intake I am using? Also, don't they use center bolt valve covers?
Vortec heads out flow every other stock cast iron Chevy production head. Sportsman II heads cost about $15 more each than a new reworked Vortec head (both are sold at Summit) the advantages are that the Sportsman II head out flows the Vortec (it is basically an improved copy of the Vortec) and it doesn't require the Vortec specific intake so yours will bolt up, and it reuses the old style perimeter bolt valve cover or center bolt if you want.

After market retrofit hydraukic rollers are a requirement forced upon you by the EPA which removed the zinc and phosphorous metals in motor oil that allowed the flat tappet cams of the late sixties live. If you want to use a flat tappet cam you will have to buy and add to the oil a can of Engine Oil Supplement (EOS) at every oil change (costs about $8-$15 per oil change) to let the lobes survive. Not only is this costly (take several years of daily driving to justify the expense of buying the roller tappets), but another plus in favor of the roller cam is improved performance.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 10:42 PM
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Like Dave said, since you said you want it to look old,...I'd get some iron heads from Dart or RHS, they'll flow as good as the vortec's or better,...they'll just be heavier.

Personally, if I was short on money, I'd do the heads and use the flat-tappet cam. Then, if I could round up another 400-700 bucks, I'd do the retrofit roller cam. Together, you'll get plenty of great torque and horsepower from off-idle up to redline.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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I will check out the Sportsman II heads. Sounds like they have what I need.

I was also interested in roller lifters to eliminate the issues with flat lifters not breaking in correctly due to builder (me) errors.

So, the heads $1000/pr and rollers lifters $500 have me up to $1500. I still need rockers for that. Probably new pushrods... may as well count on a new cam. I have not been adding anything to the oil, but then it has not had that many miles on it in the last 20 years. But I would not be suprised if the cam is worn.



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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:33 PM
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The rocker arms are comparatively cheap at $80. http://www.jegs.com/i/Comp+Cams/249/1412-1/10002/-1

You're right though, you would need new pushrods/cam to use with the roller lifters. It's best to measure during assembly but,.....
Pushrods aren't bad at about $31 - http://www.jegs.com/i/Comp+Cams/249/7809-16/10002/-1

The cam jumps up of course, at around $260 - something like this maybe. http://www.jegs.com/i/Comp-Cams/249/...oductId=763876

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have been reading up on what to do here.

How to Build Big-Inch Chevy Small Blocks – Graham Hansen
Chevy Small Block Cylinder Heads - Graham Hansen

Unfortunately the assumption is that you will be running a trick intake manifold and headers. Neither of which will be true in my case. So I am stuck wondering if spending the bucks on aftermarket heads will be wasted due to the “restrictive” exhaust system and to a lesser extent the intake. At least the stock intakes are geared more towards low-mid range torque rather than high RPM Horsepower.

Also, I have learned from the Cylinder head book, that smaller volume intake ports are better for torque, whereas, most of the commonly recommended heads, like the Sportsman II are classified as large port volume heads.

Anybody have any insight on how a nice aftermarket head, like a Sportsman II would fare with stock exhaust (stock style 2.5 inch duals)? Or should I be looking at something smaller like a AFR 195 Eliminator? I am thinking that the combustion chamber improvements ought to be worth a good chunk of power, but have no way to know for sure.



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcairns View Post
I have been reading up on what to do here.

How to Build Big-Inch Chevy Small Blocks – Graham Hansen
Chevy Small Block Cylinder Heads - Graham Hansen

Unfortunately the assumption is that you will be running a trick intake manifold and headers. Neither of which will be true in my case. So I am stuck wondering if spending the bucks on aftermarket heads will be wasted due to the “restrictive” exhaust system and to a lesser extent the intake. At least the stock intakes are geared more towards low-mid range torque rather than high RPM Horsepower.

Also, I have learned from the Cylinder head book, that smaller volume intake ports are better for torque, whereas, most of the commonly recommended heads, like the Sportsman II are classified as large port volume heads.

Anybody have any insight on how a nice aftermarket head, like a Sportsman II would fare with stock exhaust (stock style 2.5 inch duals)? Or should I be looking at something smaller like a AFR 195 Eliminator? I am thinking that the combustion chamber improvements ought to be worth a good chunk of power, but have no way to know for sure.
personally if your not runnin a aftermarket intake, headers,aftermarket carb, and a real free flow exhaust i think your ****in ya money away on heads?.....you can gasket match 'em..(the ones you have) on all ends intake and exhaust....you can polish the exhaust ports..and your stock exhaust manifolds.....or you can hunt down a set of 525 305 ho heads (iroc camaros w/ tpi) which had a 52cc chamber?..which will bump up the compression cheaply.....it kinda comes down to a breakin point where you"ll be throwin good money in all sorts of directions with little noticeble gain?.........you have to achieve a good balance......otherwise your ****in in the toilet........especially in a daily driver .....ya got good gears in the rear and your overdrive trans......save ya money on creature comforts....paint interior etc just my honest opinion.......but then again its a 383? .........its gonna run well right there.......and if you wanna get real crazy...you can have what ever heads milled on the faces to eliminate the late model bosses...and put pipe plugs/allen bolts filled/welded in in the mounting holes as well and mill them down.........then have them shot peened to get the original castin orange peel effect.......oh the endless possibilitys.....who ya tryin to be ? smokey yunick!?.........lol.......ya gonna have to have some ying an yang here.....or just do it up an dont lift the hood!

MR.CHARLIE
CSF64SS

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Just trying to get the most out of this opportunity (the temporary fiscal insanity of a restoration) to rebuild it for the best of both worlds I am already 'wasting' money trying to make a 383 look like a 327, so as long as I am in the mood, I do not want to pass up an opportunity to put some more ponies in there.


As for 52cc heads, the existing 64cc heads are high enough compression for what passes for premium gas out here in SoCal.





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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 10:32 AM
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The early aluminum 302 had an aluminum Winters factory intake for the Holley that will look right; but it will not out flow an Edelbrock RPM manifold even if you do not buy their air gap version which keeps the intake charge cooler.

As to the log style exhaust; nothing Chevy has cast will make the power that you can with even a set of block hugger headers. Once you get past an 18 inch primary tube length you have gained about all the horsepower you will gain with headers if they are capped up. (unless you are running a long (12 inch or more) large diameter collector (4" to 3-1/2" collectors) with big 3 inch pipes). There are also Sanderson cast iron block hugger headers that are a free flowing alternative to steel tube headers though they cost a lot more. If you are running capped up like it is required on the street the cast iron will not rust out and they are quieter.

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