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Motor - Buy or Build

H

Hijinx

Guest
Hey, all, guess I will start thinking seriously now (since the suspension is in good shape) on motor planning. My basic question will be, do I buy or build? Let me give you some background first. I just did a top end job on my original engine and its running fine (just not very fast). So I am in no hurry to throw something in.

My plan is for a 383 stroker with roughly 400hp. I like lots of torque, and do not plan to race for top end. If anything, I would prefer it to go quick from 0-60. I currently have at my disposal;
- 4 bolt main (still crated) bare block
- 400 crank

Scoggin-Dickey has a 400 HP, 383 stroker kit that uses reall top notch parts for $499. I would only need to add rods to their kit.

I will have someone put the bottom end together for me, as I do not have the tools needed.

OK, so my thoughts are this: I figure I can put together a pretty decent 400HP 383 for around $3000. However, I can buy a Fast Burn 385 for $4000 or less and get a GM warranty.

What are you thoughts on this?
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Well..here's the deal

The GM motor is the better deal, you can't buy parts that cheap, you don't own a machine shop and you will not warranty your own work.

However I'm building my 327 ( and it's going to cost me MORE than the 383 I wanted) but I'm now in hobby mode!

I do it for the love of the hobby. I enjoy the peace of mind that I did it myself and checked it. I'm having the machine shop do things under my direction so I know what the hell's going on in there.

This will take more weeks than nessesary but it will be 100%.

Not to say the GM won't be that way... but you don't know how it is assembled EXACTLY and you might not care, which is OK!

Mike
 
Z

ZR100060

Guest
Buy the GM without question. You have a nationwide warranty and you know the engine is half right to begin with.
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
Hijinx:
I'm building a 388 from my 71's existing 350; it started as a simple rebuild but a damaged crank turned it into a mild stroker project. It's a lotta trouble for relatively small ci increase. If I were to purposely begin an sbc stroker build, I'd start with the larger-bore 400 BLOCK ... at 30-over a 400'll yield 406ci for same money & trouble that a 383/388 takes.

If I were to buy a GM Crate I'd seriously consider the HT 383 Truck motor pn 12497317. Runs 87 octane with tons of torque right outa the box ... plus I've seen buildup data that shows it has startling potential.

IMHO, a properly prepped 2-bolt is just as good as a 4-bolt for most street apps. If you go to NOS or forced induction ... or to a Non-daily-driver compression ratio ... then a 4-bolt may be needed.

Same as others ... I too like the warranty idea.
JACK:gap
 
S

SARGE81

Guest
Crate engine

Hijinkx,
My vote goes to a new GM crate engine. I'm very happy mine. From idle up to 6000 rpm's, and already a few thousand miles on it. No problems. Plus having the warranty was nice, cause if anything was to go wrong with the engine due to manufacturing defect, it was covered. And usually if a engine is not done right, something will fail shortly down the road. (within 12mos./12,000miles) Sarge
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
I remember reading the same thing on the truck block, as Jack mentioned earlier. Whether it was in Hot Rod or Car Craft is something I need to check out. You might be able to save some greenbacks, though. The fact that I mix up my swimsuit and Perfect 10 mags with the rest, means that it might take me awhile to find.

If you're thinking of engine kits, you might want to search through PAW's selection. I'll dig up my book to see what they have, so you can get an idea.

--Bullitt
 
T

Tim73454

Guest
Hijinx, I 'm awaiting shipment on my new 454/435. If you are not in a hurry and want to take a look at it when I get it in I'm just down the road a few miles. I bouhgt this one off the internet from Cresco Motor sports in NC. Here is there web site if you want to look at it. Mine was 2850.00 with shipping. I'm spending another 800-900 on BSD Dist and Holley avenger carb. I'm also thinking about headers. I hope I got a good deal but I guess you never know...

www.carolina.rr.com
 
T

Tim73454

Guest
Sorry wrong website. Let me see if I can find it


Tim73454
 
H

Hijinx

Guest
Tim, yea, I would like to take a look at it and no, I'm in no hurry. Let me know when it gets there. THanks
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,304
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Jack said:
.

If I were to buy a GM Crate I'd seriously consider the HT 383 Truck motor pn 12497317. Runs 87 octane with tons of torque right outa the box ... plus I've seen buildup data that shows it has startling potential.

IMHO, a properly prepped 2-bolt is just as good as a 4-bolt for most street apps. If you go to NOS or forced induction ... or to a Non-daily-driver compression ratio ... then a 4-bolt may be needed.

Same as others ... I too like the warranty idea.
JACK:gap

Hijinx,

Jack hit the nail right on the head. Check out the March '02 issue of Hot Rod. They took the HT383 Crate Motor to 463.1 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 502.9 lbs/ft of torque @4.200rpm in "5 easy steps". Once you read the article you will be amazed at how easy it was to accomplish. If I were doing a 383 stroker I would get the HT383 and copy the Hot Rod article to the letter. Imagine 502 pounds of torque at 4.200. Talk about a stump puller.

Tom
 
S

SARGE81

Guest
Crate Engine

Hijinx,
As you asked me earlier today........
I bought the GM 350 HO. 330HP/380LB.FT engine. (Long Block) PART #12486041. And added my own intake, carb, etc.

I'm still kicking myself in the a$$, cause back then I was going to buy the HT 383 Truck engine. But the friendly sales guy at the local GMPP Dealer told me not to bother because the engine turned low rev's and that in turn would not utilize the full range of my tranny. (4 Spd). And now they have a "build up" for the HT383 to make it more of a "hot rod" engine. Oh well. Next time I will go with my gut instinct. Good Luck Sarge
 
H

Hijinx

Guest
Naw, Chris, I'm a small block man. Got too many items for small blocks layin around and no big block stuff. Anyhow, way too much weight up front. I like that in women, but not in cars.
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
You can try BRE http://WWW.BECKRACINGENGINES.COM, for crate motors. They have the mild 350cu. in. 330hp/376 ft/lbs at $3500 long block to the absolutely wild 383cu in. 708hp/ 668 ft/lbs. at $7800 long block. Plus, everything in between. Their prices seem a bit high, but at least you can use them for comparison.

I went through my PAW book and they too, have many options. They have a supercharged 383 at $3400 and a 350 Blown at $3100. They have a 388 Stroker at $2000 in long block with 9:1, 10:1 or 11:1 compression, your choice. There's the 350/ 4bolt punched to 388 for $1500 and a 400/4 bolt 383in. at $1800. There's plenty of stroker kits, as well. whether it's a 377, 383, 385 or a 388 starting at $660 (10:1), $850 (9.2:1) or $840 (10.6:1). Those have a 400 crank and TRW forged pistons. The higher end kit with Arias pistons is $1184. Balancing adds another $120 for the kits. PAW doesn't list power figures, so you might wnat to contact them before hand at 818-678-3000.

There's Speed-O-Motive in California that advertises a complete crate engine 383/400hp for $3425, $3075 long and $1700 short block. Phone # 626-869-0270. They've got plenty of stroker kits, too.

I'll try to find more with all the mags I have. There's plenty of build-ups that have been done over the years, so I'm bound to find something.

--Bullitt
 
H

Hijinx

Guest
Man, so many options. I think I will end up buying. Now if I can find an easy way to sell this 4 bolt block I have in my garage. Any takers?
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
According to MorTec site, GM Performance Parts also offers the HT 383 Truck motor as a Short Block under PN 12498332. Same 4-bolt block with Forged Crank and cam-clearanced rods.
JACK:gap
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
Get the GM crate engine. You know that you are getting a tried and true balanced and blueprinted engine, not to mention a warranty backed by the factory, not an aftermarket shop (not there's anything wrong with that...). I have the ZZ4 in my car. Had it shipped right in from GM Detroit.

At any time, I can pretty much beef it up to the ZZ430 engine by doing a head swap and minor other things.

I recall reading an article in one of the chevy mags. They compared the heads of the ZZ4, the iron heads from their truck engine, and the fast burn heads from the ZZ430. The cast iron truck heads actually gave better performance than the aluminum ZZ4 heads. I believe it was because of the larger combustion chambers, but it's been a while, so don't quote me.
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
Is short block HT383 REALLY available?

Thank you for visiting the GM Goodwrench Service Plus website. The block part number we list with the 383 motor (12497317) is part number 88959106. This block is
not sold separately, it is only sold as an assembly with the engine package. We suggest contacting
your local Dealership for further assistance.

Thank you for your inquiry.
Regards,
Goodwrench Internet Response Team
That was GM's response to my question: "Looking at HT 383 motor PN 12497317. I heard somewhere that a short block
version of the HT 383 is available as PN 12498332 but I cannot find any info when searching site with that number. Is HT 383 available as a short block? If so, what is PN and basic details of what comes with it?"

HMMM ... does this mean GM does not offer the HT 383 as a short block (as MorTec site suggests)?
JACK:gap
 

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