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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hunting for a used 383 shortblock on craigslist.... I've got about a year before I want the car on the road so I'm exercising some restraint in an attempt to get a good deal.

Every motor I find, I send them some questions... and nobody seems to know the answers.

Anybody have any luck buying a motor off craigslist? I can always go down and look at it but I probably couldn't get all the info without tearing it apart.


Here is my list of questions... seems reasonable to know what the heck is in your motor if you are asking 1-3k for it. Does this sound out of line to you?

1) What block are you using? Casting #?
2) Is this a 5.7 or 6 inch stroke?
3) What crankshaft is in it?
4) What connecting rods are in it?
5) What pistons are in it?
6) What brand of fasteners were used?
7) Was the rotating assembly balanced?
8) Was it internally or externally balanced?
9) What heads are on the engine?
10) What is intake manifold is on the engine?
11) What camshaft is in the engine?
12) Who built the engine?
 

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All valid questions.
Be patient. If they don't know, move on.
Even if they know nothing, they can look at the block casting number.


BTW, for #2, I think you are asking rod length, not stroke length.
 

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All good questions but getting the real answer will be the hard part! About the 5.7 or 6 inch stroke you are referring to connecting rod lengths. 383 is 3.75 stroke. I would only buy a used shortblock assuming I would tear it down anyway. Good luck in your search:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Doh... I meant rod length!

I figure just about any motor I buy will be torn down, measured and re-assembled. So all I'm really buying is a collection of parts. And if I know what all the parts are I can compare that to what they'd cost me to buy individually.

That's my thinking anyway...
 

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why not buy something new, then you will have all your answers
I bought a new 383 500+ HP engine from the chrome air filter to oil in the pan for around 7 grand that was guaranteed for 3 years or 100,00 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm just trying to piece something together so I can get out on the road and start having some fun with it.

My plan is to build the shortblock I want (383 that can support ~450 hp/torque) and get everything else as cheaply as I can. Then I can fool around with it over the next 10 years as my kids are growing up... heads, cam, intake, exhaust, interior, suspension, etc...

That's my plan anyway.
 

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I'm just trying to piece something together so I can get out on the road and start having some fun with it.

My plan is to build the shortblock I want (383 that can support ~450 hp/torque) and get everything else as cheaply as I can. Then I can fool around with it over the next 10 years as my kids are growing up... heads, cam, intake, exhaust, interior, suspension, etc...

That's my plan anyway.
If the idea is to get the car on the road, I'd find a decent 350, throw it in there and drive the car. SBC stuff is just going to get cheaper as more and more LSx stuff penetrates the market.

With my first '68 I bought a nothing special rebuilt 350 short block for $400, threw a Comp Cams XE-268 cam in it and some mildly worked Vortec heads I bought for another $400 and really had fun with it. I had so little in the motor that I didn't stress when I drove it hard.
 
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