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  • First start after the 383 build. Late model SBC stroker, 383 ci with 062 Vortec Heads modified for Comp Cams xtreme energy X288 roller cam, one piece rear main seal, and Holley sniper EFI with Holley computer controlled timing through complete Hyperspark setup. We figure it is running about 10.5:1 and will run it on 93 Octane though E-85 is a possibility.


    • About three years ago I had a cam lobe go flat, filled the motor with metal. i pulled it to have a local shop go through and refresh it. They built the long block complete. We got home and while putting it together, two of the bolt holes in the heads for the intake just crumbled. I pulled the heads and went back to the shop. I was pretty pissed they did not catch the deterioration. They went through and fixed the holes. Turns out these were chinese heads and the castings were literally turning back to sand. I put the heads on and could only manage to finger tight several of the intake bolts and lost a couple of threads on the exhaust manifold. Still, like a dumbass, I went ahead and put her together. The shortblock was solid and had good internals. I drove it for two years. Tuning was a nightmare and it would not consistently stay in tune. A close friend gave me a set of 062 casting Vortec heads. Instead of bolting them directly on, I took them to a machine shop to work on the guides and the spring seats thinking to put a bigger cam in with the heads. It took nearly a year to get the work done but a large part of it was the guy at the machine shop showed me how to set up the machines and do it. We set them up for flat tappet cam with a 550 or better lift. The heads came out nicely. I decided to change the heads and Charles Ready at Ready Motorsports offered to help me. We were going to do it in his shop and I was going to go up and help. Meanwhile I decided it I was going that far on the engine I just as well put a roller cam in and bought a Comp Extreme Energy X288 roller cam conversion kit. The motor was a mess, used a lot of oil and fouled the plugs quite a bit. That was when Charles learned he screwed up. He recommended a Holley Sniper EFI. Neither you guys nor Charles knew I was the guy that started with headers on a GTO and wound up with nearly 1500 whp. So we assembled the parts and heads and Charles pulled the old heads. It was ugly, Compression was good but a couple of cylinders had bad scratches. I could look down the intake runners of the old heads and see the wet oil running through. The seals were good, it was the metal around the guides on the head side criumbling that let oil flow directly into the intake runner. I was already pretty heavily into the heads, cam kit, and Sniper so I figured the short block needed to be redone. I was looking for a 010 casting block but we figured with the roller cam and Vortec heads, why not just go to a later model SBC block with a one piece rear main seal. By then we had upgraded the valve springs on the heads and I got thinking, stroker..... So we had Midwest Engines in Tulsa do the longblock. They had done a build for Hot Rod Magazine a few years ago. so that's a pretty common gearhead version of how I went from a free head swap to a acompletely built 383 stroker with roller cam and EFI. Sorry for the rant, it is amazing to look at how I got there though. Essentially, yes the old motor was not well enough to risk using with the new stuff. I should have followed my gut instinct and replaced the heads when I first found the problem. Still, I put a lot of miles on those cheap heads, and had a lot of fun. Can't wait to try out the stroker


      • Sounds like a typical case of "while I'm at it......". We've all been there.



        • Chinese parts.... when I built my 427, the reason I took the heads completely apart then re-did them was I have solid reasons not to trust them. I'm glad I did, the head bolts snapped at 40 lbs, and the springs are probably a hyundai now (yes, brand new springs - I threw them away because none of them had the same pressure at .050 or at 1.000). That said, my general rule is it can be built in China but must be guaranteed by an American supplier....
          Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; July 22, 2020, 07:31 AM.
          Doing it all wrong since 1966


          • The 383 Stroker is turning out to be a really enjoyable upgrade. With a late model 1-piece rear main seal, roller cam, forged and balanced internals, Vortec Heads and a decent cam we also added the Holley Sniper. We were leary of the Sniper but the guys that helped me had a lot of experience with the Holley Sniper and did an excellent install job. The net result was no typical grounding issues on the install that plagues so many with the Sniper. The car caught on and the learning system kicked in immediately after we finished the install and has improved steadily ever since. One issue that had plagued us on the previous engine was heat build up. With the heads literally crumbling, there can be no doubt looking back that the coolant passageways were partially blocked or obstructed. The 1200 CFM fan just wasn't keeping up and the car was almost impossible to get in tune and keep in tune (Isuppose that is mostly on me). We ensured Midwestern in Tulsa carefully checked and cleaned the coolant passages and oil gallies as they built the short block. We added the roller cam and a 3000 CFM fan. I also had arranged for Don Ross of Don Ross Fabrication to build me a pair of engine compartment panels with louvers. The new motor pulls like a freight train and runs steadily between 185 and 195 degrees, even with it at 105+ ambient running in the sun. I could not have wished for more. The timing controlled by the computer makes the car a joy to drive with good economy and power for what it is. Yesterday Don finished the louvered engine compartment panels. We installed them and drove home. They seem to have help 3-4 degrees though they really add a nice old school touch to the car as the most significant benefit. We have to complete the job by finishing them and painteng them but I am very happy with the results.

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            Last edited by wrp; September 17, 2020, 04:57 AM.


            • Back Country Road fun. You would be amazed at how hard it was to get that fly to hold still while I glued his feet to the windshield.

              Last edited by wrp; September 18, 2020, 07:53 PM.


              • Dennis Cruz of Drone's Point of View did a layout on the Hot Rod the other day. There was a combination of drone video and high resolution photgraphs. Here are some of the results.


                • Here are some of the still shots from the session

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