Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Re: 383 Stroker-Beginner here
The 383 is essentially a 350 bored .030" over with a 400 smallblock 3.75" stroke crank. 400 small blocks were 'externally balanced', meaning they used a flywheel/flexplate with weights added to it and also a specific weighted harmonic balancer. You cannot use a 350/327/305 flexplate/flywheel or balancer with a external balance 400 (or 383 with 400 crank).
This is no big deal for relatively stock applications where the stock balancer and flexplate are ok, although you cannot re-use your balancer and flywheel from your 350, you will need a balancer & flywheel from a 400 if you have an external balanced crank. So with this, you can see there are additional budgetary implications that you may want to look at.
For high performance & racing applications, you may want a trick balancer like a fluidamper or something else, and possibly a lightened flywheel. You may have greater selection of parts if you have an 'internally balanced' roatating assembly and therefore do not need the special weighted parts. With internally balanced assemblies, you can use the damper and flywheel from a 350, and you don't need to worry about it. However, internally balanced assemblies are usually more expensive, so this is obviously a trade-off.
In any event, if this is a 'race engine', and you plan on winding it to high revs, you should have a competent machinist balance all the rotating parts together, including damper and flywheel, even if you buy the 'internally balanced' assembly, have your machinist check it and re-balance it. You really do not know who balanced this or to what standards or tolerances it was balanced to. A proper precision balance job in a high performance or competition engine is very important.
I urge you to first shop for a machinist, before buying any parts at all!! Then work closely with your machinist to determine what your goals are and the best way you and he can work together to meet those goals within whatever you budget is.
Another question on my mind is, why not just build a 400 small block? I can understand wanting to stay small block for the luxury of having cheap speed parts, but you're talking about racing a chevelle, which is considerably heavier than a camaro, so you will definitely need all the help you can to go fast (more cubes to get heavy metal moving). Other than the initial cost of the block, everything else will be the same price, but you will end up making 20 more HP and ft-lbs all through the power band than a 383 thanks to the increased displacement of the 400. If you are racing, then why are you leaving 20+ cubic inches on the table by limiting yourself to a 350 block with only a 4" bore? People say the 400 SBC is scarce and becoming hard to find, but I still see them all the time on craigslist. I own three of them!
The important thing here is that you ask me what kind of car I've got. "I've got a BITCHIN' CAMARO"
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'68 350 4 speed
Last edited by kookykrispy; May 26th, 15 at 09:30 PM.