283 suggestions - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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283 suggestions

i'll be quite honest i dont know much about engines. my 283 is going to need bored. my dad who is an old school self taught gearhead. he wants to put a high performance 350 cam in the bored 283. w/ 4bbl holley and reuse the heddman headers that it had. i trust pops just wanted some opinions from u guys. i'm not really too concerned with having the hottest engine around its more about the car to me. i would like a nice solid engine though. thanks for all your knowledge.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 03:10 PM
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There is not a lot of performance attention paid to the 283. Most folks who want a bit more power just go up the cubic inches ladder to a 327 or 350 or 383 or big blocks...

One of the problems with a 283 is that there is not as much room to grow the cubic inches as you can do with a 327 or 350 (both of which can be bored and stroked to 383).

If you are reasonably happy with the 283, the skip the big cam. If it is a mild cam for a 350, it will be a wild cam for a 283. Regular driving will probably suffer at the expense of top end power, and it sounds like you are not that interested in a big trade off there.



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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 04:11 PM
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Boring won't help much. You can stick a 327 crank in your 283 block with new pistons to build a 307, but seriously your "best" (by best I mean the most bang for the buck) is to buy a complete 350 SBC motor out of a pick-up or SUV and stick that in your car with the 283 air cleaner lid on top of whatever air cleaner you buy to get a late model EFI motor running with a carb. Keep the valve covers if you have to (involves a lot of hidden work to pull off), and it will look stock even if it is a SBC 400 under the air cleaner.

All SBC engines 'rook a rike' so buying another engine is the safest way to preserve the value of your numbers matching 283, and it is cheaper than rebuilding the old 283 by far.

A new EFI 350 will have the wrong valve covers on it (because Chevy finally in 1987 decided to fix the old oil leak with your style of valve covers; they also fixed the oil pan corner leaks as well). You will need a different water pump that the one that is used on a serpentine belt motor found on newer cars (because your V-belt will run the new pump backwards, and V-belts slip and V-belts are getting hard to find so you might consider keeping the better serpentine flat belt). Finally you will need a new distributor and an intake manifold with a carb (because all new motors are EFI, just check to see that your choice in intake manifolds matches the number of bolts that hold down the EFI intake, because Chevy changed the number of intake bolts in 1996). I still suggest converting the 350 EFI you find over to a carb because it is simpler to operate, looks more natural, and even buying the new items suggested is still much cheaper than a rebuild.

Bigger is better. If you can find a stock two barrel SBC 400 in an old Estate Wagon, or an Impala/Caprice or a pick-up truck and it runs; grab it! the difference just bolting in the two barrel 400 over the 283 will amaze you! Rebuilt with all new speed goodies it might even scare you by gaining nearly three hundred horsepower just by bolting in a different rebuilt motor that looks a lot like your old one. Don't forget those FirePower 283 decals on the air cleaner.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 08:26 PM
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If your not interested in blazing the tires and just want a good driving car, fix the 283 and enjoy the car. Update the distributer to a HEI. Also update the charging system to a one wire alternator and your car will last many miles with out common break downs.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 10:31 PM
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Both Larry and Big Dave both have good points. Your path just depends upon how much oomph you need to be content and happy. Personally, I think a 283 and a 2-speed powerglide in an Impala is a real downer. Too much cam could make that worse and take away what little torque it has. lol. I hope your pops doesn't go over 260 duration.

You can pick up a GM crate 350 with good torque numbers, brand new, for 1500.

Whatever you do, do what Larry says and get the HEI and 1 wire alternator - you'll be glad you did.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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thanks guys. im leaning towards the 283 as is bored of course. hei is one thing dad said as well.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 08:09 PM
 
 
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Personally, I am happy with my 283. I am getting older now, and my tire frying days are mostly over (that was back in the '80s with my Plymouth Duster 340 drag car).
My motor has a nostalgic looking Tri-Power carb setup and a Powerglide, and pulls my 67 down the road just fine.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 08:42 PM
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Well I'm looking at nearly seven decades myself. Agreed I have retired my big motor Impala, as it isn't fun to drive any more and if I sold it to anyone else they would kill themselves inside of a week.

It takes roughly seven horsepower to push an American car from the sixties down the road at forty miles an hour. If you go faster than that air resistance increases the power draw exponentially. But it doesn't take much to maintain your speed on a level hard road (the horsepower is required to overcome friction in the tires, bearings and wind resistance).

Now if you are content with requiring ten miles to get up to that forty miles an hour speed then you can put in a ten horsepower Brigs and Stratton one cylinder lawn mower engine. If you want to accelerate at a "reasonable" rate then you will need more power. ("Scotty I need more Power!" to quote a guy who just loved to go fast)

American cars from the sixties are viewed by the rest of the world as being large and crude because rather than using sophisticated high reving small displacement motors with five or more speeds in a transmission, Americans said we can do this with a bigger motor. A bigger motor makes more torque. Torque is what accelerates a car (horsepower doesn't do anything for performance other than maintain speed, faster you want to go the more horsepower you need to push the air out of the way to let your car pass through the fluid that we call our atmosphere).

The SBC started out at 265 cid back in 1955 but quickly grew in two years to a 283. Three years later we have a 327 engine making even more power. But wait there is more! Four years after we were introduced to the 327 Chevy unveiled their new and improved 350, followed within one year by the 400 cubic inch displacement small block. Like I said they all look alike from the outside. The difference in power however between a 283 and a 400 is evident to a blind and deaf man. It doesn't mean you have to drive like a maniac with a SBC 400 under the hood. It just means you won't need a ten mile head start to get your car up to speed.

Today's highway speeds by the way are roughly twice the speed limit average that your car was designed to operate with (which is why your car's brakes are so woefully indicate). Your car wasn't ever intended to operate at 70 to 75 mph. Back then such speeds would have gotten you arrested for Reckless Driving: Willful and Wanton.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 10:33 PM
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The speed limit here in Ohio on the freeways was 75 MPH up until the gas shortages in the 70's. I hear later this year it will jump up to 70 MPH in some areas. 283's are great little engines for performance up grades, as long as you don't over do it and keep things simple.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 11:22 PM
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Has anyone put a 700r4 or 200r4 automatic transmission behind a 283? It seems like it would be a great upgrade, lower first gear to get you going and overdrive for the freeway.



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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 04:23 AM
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Yes several members have used the 200R4 due to the X-frame and two piece drive shaft issue. The 200R4 is the same size as the PowerGlide and it reuses your stock drive shaft (27 spline output yoke, earlier PowerGlides used a 16 spline out put shaft). I am sure they will comment upon the advantages of the switch and the problems they encountered (you have to change the gear selector linkage to find the extra gears).

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 10:36 AM
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Thanks Big Dave, I am one of the ones that have installed one. I have a 700r4 behind my 383 in my 64. But I was interested in how it works with a 283.



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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 03:38 PM
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Works great. It doesn't have the drop in RPM you get with the 700R4 because the spread isn't as great.

............ 200R4 ........ 700R41
Ist gear _ 2.74 ______ 3.06
2nd gear _ 1.57 _____ 1.62
3rd gear _ 1.00 _____ 1.00
OD _____ 0.67 _____ 0.70

So with enough rear gear (4.10 to 4.56) you can make your 283 come alive as the only way they made power was to twist them as high as the cam and springs would let you. (A 30-30 Duntov cam and some Corvette springs and the 283 would easily spin up to 10,000 RPM which is why most cars have a 10K tach). Most 350's are hard pressed to get past 6,500 RPM which is why I always recommend the 8K tach over the 10K tach. Keeps the needle near the middle where you can see it.
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