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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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bearing spacers?

im going to be taking my 327 block to the machine shop to see if it is useable or not.. but i have a question

this is a small journal block, i never see then being sold, so basically i will have to buy a used block.. which doesnt do me any good, since im trying to stick with the stock bore

i know they make bearing spacers for a large journal 350 and a 400 block.. but do they make them for the small/large journal blocks also?

im afraid that i will have to get the block bored and get new pistons, which i really really dont want to do.. so what are my options?
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 08:36 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

I am not really understanding your question but I would bet the machine shop will have answers for you when you take it in.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: bearing spacers?

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Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post
I am not really understanding your question but I would bet the machine shop will have answers for you when you take it in.
i want bearing spacers so i can put a small journal 283 crank in a large journal 350 block
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 08:59 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

I would think you would be better off with the proper crank for your block than trying to adapt it, even if possible. You would end up with a more reliable motor, imho.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 09:41 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

They do make them to do what you're asking. With that being said though I personally would never even consider using them. Bearing clearances are one of the most critical parts of assembling an engine you're most likely going to put your foot into now & then and if you do that just so you can use the small journal 283 crank you're also limiting yourself to using the weaker small journal rods. It appears you're wanting to build a low budget 302 which will be a great engine IF you plan on running it at high RPMs most of the time but for the street you'd be way better off with a different choice. If you still want to do it I'd reccomend finding a large journal 302 crank. Originals are scarce and expensive but there are new ones available through the aftermarket.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 09:43 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

Yes they do make them. However there is only one brand that is worth using. King bearing spacers are made in Israel and are the only quality option for a main bearing spacer. I looked at a lot of them, all brand names including Comp Cams and they all are simply soft babbit main bearings that still retain the bearing grooves in them with and are machined to be used as spacers. King uses hard steel inserts that are machined to fit between the main saddle and bearing and have no groove in them because you don't want a groove in the spacer anymore than you'd want a groove in the block main saddle. The groove is in the bearing where it belongs.

TRW and others make a thick main bearing that is one piece and seems like it would be a good option, but I've talked to some who didn't like them for one reason or another. My brother used them without any issues on a 302 he built using a 283 crank years ago. That engine was bumping 9000 rpm on a regular basis with 12.5:! comp, 4.88 gears, tunnel ram and twin predator carbs. The blocks always gave out first for him.

With the spacer make sure it's absolutely clean when installing it. I had concerns about using them myself, but on my destroked 400 I'm using Bowtie rods which are fairly heavy and the bob weight is such that even an aftermarket crankshaft like Eagle or Scat would need heavy mallory metal added to them, an expensive task to do. My current 1182 crank already had the metal in it to balance the assembly so with my lighter pistons I am using on this build I may have to remove some, but won't have to add any. I've seen the spacers listed on ebay for the small journal crank in a medium journal 350 block. Do a search for King bearing spacers. Don't waste you money on anything that Summit or Jegs is selling they are simply reworked 350 bearings, not true hardened spacers.

I agree with Mark on the rods. There are no worse rods than the 283 rods, very thin beam profile and small bolts. These are not suitable for high rpm use. Do yourself a favor and buy a good set of aftermarket connecting rods with the best bolts you can get. If you can't do that then a set of the factory small journal 327 rods from 65-67 would be the best of the small journal rods. They have more meat on the big end then the 283 rods, which don't have much. They also have a beefier beam, but the bolts are still tiny. You'll need ARP PRO-series wave loc bolts for these, not just the standard ARP wave locs. They still aren't the greatest, but they are the best of the small journal rods that GM produced.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: bearing spacers?

thanks for the tips.. just thought of something though, do they make an oversize bearing? like they do if you get an align bore?
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 10:31 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

There are oversized bearings but they are usually in thousands of an inch under/over.

Ed

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 10:36 AM
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Talking Re: bearing spacers?

No offense, but you are thinking too much ! Just tell us what you want to do, and we will tell you how to do it. If you are going to change the crankshaft, you must change the pistons, so having it bored is no big deal. I have the same as you, a small journal 327. If you want to change it to a 383, they do make a small journal crankshaft. I think this is the way to go. I don't think you will be happy, by building a 302 (301). Also you can get a 350 block for cheap, and then you will have the larger journal size. OR, if you still want a 301 with a 283 crank... the 283 crank is a small journal. Again, keep it a 327 or make it a 383.

69 Camaro -originally a LM1 car. 327, Edelbrock E-streets, hooker, DUI performance distributors, ultradyne cam, stewart, TRW etc. Vintage Air, AGR steering, Corbeau GTSII seats, 700R4 transmission, 12-bolt w/Eaton 4.11:1
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 10:36 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

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Originally Posted by victimizati0n View Post
thanks for the tips.. just thought of something though, do they make an oversize bearing? like they do if you get an align bore?
If I'm understanding the question correctly Dave already answered that when he mentioned the extra thick bearings made by TRW & others for using a small journal crank in a large journal block. The only time I have ever used bearing spacers was when I was building engines for a particular class of circle track racing that had a 355 cubic inch limit. We were racing on short tracks 1/4 & 3/8 mile and having a short stroke & a large bore was the key to getting the RPMs up quick coming out of the turns. The "intention" of the rulebook was to allow 350 Chevys with up to a .030 overbore but that's not how it was written.. We used spacer bearings to put a large journal 327 crank in a 400 block which figures out to roughly 348 cubic inches (353 if bored .030). Back then it was still possible to find 68-69 Corvette large journal 327 forged steel cranks. They are as rare as hens teeth these days. It's also not a simple bolt in swap to build this type of engine. Special order pistons are needed (expensive) We also used the fairly rare 400 blocks that only have 2 freezeplugs per side so it was harder to spot our "secret weapon" The other guys never did figure out why we were so much quicker off the corners than they were.....

Last edited by NHBandit; Dec 20th, 08 at 10:49 AM.
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 10:44 AM
 
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Re: bearing spacers?

Right by Dave here b/c we have hashed this out more than once!

I want to add that I have looked very hard through the years at making a 306 by using 6.25" SJ rods and 6" rod, .030" overbore, 350, flat-top forged pistons and 50 cc chambered heads. I'm almost positive that my round bottom 283 block will bore to .155" over!

Either my good reworked by then, 305HO, -601's or the cheap 50 cc chamber cast-iron suckers Powerhouse sells.

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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 11:02 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq67 View Post
Right by Dave here b/c we have hashed this out more than once!

I want to add that I have looked very hard through the years at making a 306 by using 6.25" SJ rods and 6" rod, .030" overbore, 350, flat-top forged pistons and 50 cc chambered heads. I'm almost positive that my round bottom 283 block will bore to .155" over!

Either my good reworked by then, 305HO, -601's or the cheap 50 cc chamber cast-iron suckers Powerhouse sells.

pdq67
pssst.. pdq those 305HO engines usually come with VERY good heavy duty rods too. Either X or O rods typically. Those engines that were yanked and thrown away & replaced with 350s in so many Monte SS & Camaros are good organ donors. 350s out of old GMC school busses commonly have forged steel cranks as well.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: bearing spacers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBandit View Post
If I'm understanding the question correctly Dave already answered that when he mentioned the extra thick bearings made by TRW & others for using a small journal crank in a large journal block. The only time I have ever used bearing spacers was when I was building engines for a particular class of circle track racing that had a 355 cubic inch limit. We were racing on short tracks 1/4 & 3/8 mile and having a short stroke & a large bore was the key to getting the RPMs up quick coming out of the turns. The "intention" of the rulebook was to allow 350 Chevys with up to a .030 overbore but that's not how it was written.. We used spacer bearings to put a large journal 327 crank in a 400 block which figures out to roughly 348 cubic inches (353 if bored .030). Back then it was still possible to find 68-69 Corvette large journal 327 forged steel cranks. They are as rare as hens teeth these days. It's also not a simple bolt in swap to build this type of engine. Special order pistons are needed (expensive) We also used the fairly rare 400 blocks that only have 2 freezeplugs per side so it was harder to spot our "secret weapon" The other guys never did figure out why we were so much quicker off the corners than they were.....
i thought he was talking about bearing spacers? then i realized that they also make oversize bearings


Quote:
Originally Posted by TJS69 View Post
No offense, but you are thinking too much ! Just tell us what you want to do, and we will tell you how to do it. If you are going to change the crankshaft, you must change the pistons, so having it bored is no big deal. I have the same as you, a small journal 327. If you want to change it to a 383, they do make a small journal crankshaft. I think this is the way to go. I don't think you will be happy, by building a 302 (301). Also you can get a 350 block for cheap, and then you will have the larger journal size. OR, if you still want a 301 with a 283 crank... the 283 crank is a small journal. Again, keep it a 327 or make it a 383.
i have a 327 block with a 283 crank, i took it apart and want to rebuild it, if i have to get it bored out, im junking the block.

i NEVER see small journal blocks for sale, like at sdpc, jegs, summit, etc. its always just a 350 or 400 block

if i have to junk that block then im either going to have to find a used small journal block that doesnt have to be machined (good luck) or i will need to buy a 350 and adapt the crank to the engine
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 11:18 AM
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Re: bearing spacers?

The reason you don't see them for sale is because they are outdated and the weakest of the smallblock blocks and haven't been made in 40 years. Places like you mentioned make parts that ALOT of people want and there's no demand for small journal stuff anymore. Or you can find a 283 block and have it bored .125 oversize. Alot of them are thick enough to do that. Is the issue here that you're on a VERY low budget and trying not to have to buy pistons ? It sounds like you're going to alot of trouble to keep the bore standard and use the crank you have. You don't give your location but I have a 283 block I'd part with cheap if you end up needing it and you're near NH.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 08, 11:35 AM
 
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Re: bearing spacers?

My junk301 had cheap W/JCW, cast, 1/8" over, 1/8" tall, half round domed steel strutted 283 pistons that I put in my FREE worn out SJ STOCK/USED 4" bore 327 block and I swear that I could stick a .015" feeler gauge down the sides of my pistons!

And my Machinist told me that he turned them backwards to change the pin offset so that it would rev better, but that it would be noisier when cold and he was RIGHT!!

Sucker used some oil and knocked and carried on, but it ran like a "scalded-dog"!!!

I want to buy another set of those old cheap Badger or Simplex/Triplex, whatever(???) pistons now and I can't find them!

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