283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

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Thread: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

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    SMA
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    283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Hello, I hope I'm in the correct spot for this post. I've just posted a video on my website that I think a few people here might be interested in seeing. I'm starting a new build from a 283 out of a 57 Chevy and just finished the teardown. I've compressed the entire engine teardown into a 60 second clip and posted it at: http://streetmuscleaction.com/the-60...rdown/2008/10/

    Thanks

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Nice, I wish I could stay that clean when working on an old motor. Thanks for the post. We could use more gearheads here..
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Hey, thanks darndot. I'm glad you like it.
    I've been lurking on this site for a while and look forward to becoming more active.

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Thanks for posting that.

    It's sad when so many of these original motors get ripped out so a generic 350 SB can get shoved in there. Waste of a car, in my opinion.

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Cool vid!
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    Thanks for posting that.

    It's sad when so many of these original motors get ripped out so a generic 350 SB can get shoved in there. Waste of a car, in my opinion.

    What?

    First of all, a 283 wasn't available until 1958. So this isn't the original engine for this car anyways. It would have been a 265 (if it was a V8).

    Second, I never realized there was such a thing as a generic 350? Considering that a 350 is the exact same thing as a 283. You cannot tell the difference between the two. Bore and stroke are basically the only things that differ. A 283 is basically a weaker, less powerful 350. There is a reason those motors get ripped out.
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Quote Originally Posted by smokyn454 View Post
    What?

    First of all, a 283 wasn't available until 1958. So this isn't the original engine for this car anyways. It would have been a 265 (if it was a V8).

    Second, I never realized there was such a thing as a generic 350? Considering that a 350 is the exact same thing as a 283. You cannot tell the difference between the two. Bore and stroke are basically the only things that differ. A 283 is basically a weaker, less powerful 350. There is a reason those motors get ripped out.

    Smokyn454,

    I think your timeline is a little bit off. The 265 was the father of the first-generation Chevrolet small block, and it appeared in 1955. The 283 was essentially a 265 with the bores knocked out (3.87 inches compared to 3.75), and it first appeared with the 1957 Chevy. I think it was available until 1960 or so.

    You are right that the 283 and the more modern 350 are very much alike. And it would take a sharp eye to spot the difference--the biggest is the 283's smooth sides were are a result no mounting bosses on either side because this engine was attached to the chassis in the front. You can also look for the slotted bolts (versus traditional hex-cap bolts) holding on the valve covers and timing covers. But the same holds virtually true for the 327, the 302, and on down the line. They all look a lot alike because the designs were evolutionary.

    I think the different engine's in Chevrolet's history are important not because one is radically different from another, but because you can see where GM engineers improved on the design from one to the next. The 283 was great technology when it appeared, but thank goodness Chevrolet found a better solution than the Road Draft breather system, or oil-bath air filters. I don't plan to build an engine with either, but I think it's cool knowing about that stuff.

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Quote Originally Posted by smokyn454 View Post
    What?

    First of all, a 283 wasn't available until 1958. So this isn't the original engine for this car anyways. It would have been a 265 (if it was a V8).

    Second, I never realized there was such a thing as a generic 350? Considering that a 350 is the exact same thing as a 283. You cannot tell the difference between the two. Bore and stroke are basically the only things that differ. A 283 is basically a weaker, less powerful 350. There is a reason those motors get ripped out.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMA View Post
    Smokyn454,

    I think your timeline is a little bit off. The 265 was the father of the first-generation Chevrolet small block, and it appeared in 1955. The 283 was essentially a 265 with the bores knocked out (3.87 inches compared to 3.75), and it first appeared with the 1957 Chevy. I think it was available until 1960 or so.

    You are right that the 283 and the more modern 350 are very much alike. And it would take a sharp eye to spot the difference--the biggest is the 283's smooth sides were are a result no mounting bosses on either side because this engine was attached to the chassis in the front. You can also look for the slotted bolts (versus traditional hex-cap bolts) holding on the valve covers and timing covers. But the same holds virtually true for the 327, the 302, and on down the line. They all look a lot alike because the designs were evolutionary.

    I think the different engine's in Chevrolet's history are important not because one is radically different from another, but because you can see where GM engineers improved on the design from one to the next. The 283 was great technology when it appeared, but thank goodness Chevrolet found a better solution than the Road Draft breather system, or oil-bath air filters. I don't plan to build an engine with either, but I think it's cool knowing about that stuff.

    Jeff
    www.streetmuscleaction.com
    SMA/Jeff answered most of it.

    The reason I said generic is because it's so ubiquitous. It's been done to death. The value of having a "weaker" 283 is that that's the engine GM/Chevrolet put in the car when it was new. That means something. It's history. It gives the car a lot of its nuance and personality. It gives you the experience of being in a 1957 Chevrolet as GM intended. A crate 350 robs the car of its heart, and then all your left with is a frankenstein that sort of looks like a '57 Chevy. No thank you.

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Why do I get the feeling that SMA reealy knows his *****?
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    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Uzzy.
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    SMA/Jeff answered most of it.

    The reason I said generic is because it's so ubiquitous. It's been done to death. The value of having a "weaker" 283 is that that's the engine GM/Chevrolet put in the car when it was new. That means something. It's history. It gives the car a lot of its nuance and personality. It gives you the experience of being in a 1957 Chevrolet as GM intended. A crate 350 robs the car of its heart, and then all your left with is a frankenstein that sort of looks like a '57 Chevy. No thank you.
    Yes, I had it wrong. A 283 was available in 57.

    All I was saying was that the engine is just a number. Yes, there are some minor differences throughout the years but they are almost identical. 99.9% of people could not tell you the difference.

    Is is cooler to have a 283 in a car that should have it? Yes absolutely. But to call a car a waste or a frankenstein because it has an almost identical updated engine is going a little overboard. If it had a blown 502 in it I would agree with you.
    Last edited by smokyn454; 11-11-2008 at 03:04 PM.
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Quote Originally Posted by smokyn454 View Post
    Yes, I had it wrong. A 283 was available in 57.

    All I was saying was that the engine is just a number. Yes, there are some minor differences throughout the years but they are almost identical. 99.9% of people could not tell you the difference.

    Is is cooler to have a 283 in a car that should have it? Yes absolutely. But to call a car a waste or a frankenstein because it has an almost identical updated engine is going a little overboard. If it had a blown 502 in it I would agree with you.
    That depends on the 350. If it's standard '60s-esque 350, then there wouldn't be a HUGE difference, however, that's not what happens. People put in seriously modified and hopped up 350s that make double the horsepower that Chevy offered that year. Plus they must change the transmission to either a floor mounted stick or a later GM Hydramatic. Then, of course, the brakes need to be modified. So, too, the exhaust. It turns into a Frankenstein real quickly. I just don't agree with it. It's the adulteration of an icon, no matter how similar the two engines look.

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Quote Originally Posted by Uzzy View Post
    Why do I get the feeling that SMA reealy knows his *****?
    Do you think?
    He stayed clean. I also think you could eat off his work bench. My workbench was an old gas grill, and I looked like I slept with pigs when I am done working on mine.

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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    Darndot and Uzzy,

    Thanks for the compliments. Sometimes, however, I think I may be a bit too anal retentive about keeping my shop clean. It can slow down the progress!
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    I mostly agree with Buick61. Keep it stock if you can. Though my Dad did change a 305 for a 350 in the 1978 Impala my parents had. And he had thought if the 305 in the 1985 Caprice that I now have quit he likely would have did that there too.
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    Re: 283 V8 from a 1957 Chevy

    283s don't get much credit, but they have a great rod to stroke ratio which makes them very good for sustained high-rpm operation.

    283s are small main journal engines and the 3.875" bore doesn't lend itself to large valves or great breathing.

    You should know that the Chevrolet 307 has the same bore as a 283, but uses a medium jounal block with the same stroke as a 327 (3.25").

    So even though the 283 went away for the 327, it came back as the 307.

    The progression of Gen 0/1 small blocks (in chronological order) is 265, 283, 327, 302, 350, 307, 400, 262, 305, 267.

    265/283/early 327s are small crank journal engines.

    late 327/302/350/307/267/305/262 are medium journal engines.

    400s are the only large main journal engines.
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