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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello, needing input on my stock 383 that im installing in my 69 dart, i recieved the motor as a gift, clean, spins freely, never heard it run, was told its just fine, opened it up, took off the heads, inspected, very clean, pistons are carboned up[thats about it], pulled 1 main cap off, its like new,,but,, i dont have a clue on the mileage, id like some power without mortaging my house, i have a 413 also, would throwing these heads on the 383 with a new cam/lifter/chain kit, and a manifold,carb/headers do the trick, looking to pour in no more than 5 grand, canadian ,lol. thx, ANY INPUT IS APPRECIATED.
 

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I'll happily give you my two cents.

run the 383 as is.

if everything appears to look good in your inspection and its pretty well new already, run what you have as a starting point. a 383 in a Dart is no slouch, even if you run the powerplant factory stock. a BBD comes with bragging rights already installed. (y)

a nice purple shaft style cam and all the related goodies would surely wake it up a bit and sure couldn't hurt, but even then it's just gravy on an already solid (factory proven) combo.

save the coin for now, make it run and drive and use the funds to make it more your own. (exhaust, cooling, air fuel stuff, rims, tires, paint...etc) and later on, once you know the car better, start thinking about improvements to it.

my humble opinion.


CJ
 

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Hi,
If you have the urge to spend some money, the Edelbrook heads might be something to consider. A mild cam with some new lifters. Get a new harmonic balancer. The old balancer's can start to slip and give a bad timing reading. These things shouldn't break your budget. Good Luck
 

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I just went through something similar I bought a complete 383 on the cheap. I pulled the heads and caps and everything looked good. Now what I did do while I had it out was install a cam, rockers, intake,and headers. I also shaved the head to get the compression to about 9.5:1 and did a little bowl clean up (template). It goes11.30/117 in a 3400 lb Duster. These little motors respond very well to just cam, intake and headers. Take a look over at Moparts in the archives section for a 383 build up that Dwayne Porter did (383 Dyno final results)-Lots of good info there. I had him spec my cam. Again, it is pretty easy to get yourself in a 450 HP range with a cam, intake and headers on a factory head. I would use the RPM intake and just a good old Holley 750 DP (4779) with as much spacer as will fit.
Then again, it depends on what you want to do with the car. I was looking to go 11.00 on the cheap using pump gas. So for less than $1000 in parts I was able to bump it almost 100 HP. At a $10 cost per HP that is pretty cheap (yes I am an accountant).
 

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If the engine still has its original factory pistons you will be ok. However, 383's have a relatively small bore and short stroke but used the same heads as the 440 (except 1968). The overly large combustion chambers required negative deck height pistons to achieve descent compression ratios. Proper 383 pistons are not commonly found and many if not most ordinary rebuilds have the wrong compression height pistons in them. Bring a piston to TDC, the top of the piston should extend above the deck about 0.100". If the piston is at deck height or below your compression ratio will be very low, power will be low, and the engine will not run efficiently and build a lot of carbon. If this condition exists it can be remedied by buying closed chamber cylinder heads with small combustion chambers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just went through something similar I bought a complete 383 on the cheap. I pulled the heads and caps and everything looked good. Now what I did do while I had it out was install a cam, rockers, intake,and headers. I also shaved the head to get the compression to about 9.5:1 and did a little bowl clean up (template). It goes11.30/117 in a 3400 lb Duster. These little motors respond very well to just cam, intake and headers. Take a look over at Moparts in the archives section for a 383 build up that Dwayne Porter did (383 Dyno final results)-Lots of good info there. I had him spec my cam. Again, it is pretty easy to get yourself in a 450 HP range with a cam, intake and headers on a factory head. I would use the RPM intake and just a good old Holley 750 DP (4779) with as much spacer as will fit.
Then again, it depends on what you want to do with the car. I was looking to go 11.00 on the cheap using pump gas. So for less than $1000 in parts I was able to bump it almost 100 HP. At a $10 cost per HP that is pretty cheap (yes I am an accountant).
wow, thats too cool, and quick if i may add,, so heres where i stand, i took a leap, i bought a purple shaft from mopar[w/springs/seals/locks], duration 280/280,lift 474/474[gotta get lifters and pushrods yet, i have a set of closed chambers off a 413 which are going in for clean up, sized for the 174 exh/new guides/3 angle/ported, got a torker manifold carb will be 650 or 750, high volume oil pump/8 qt, i have hp manifolds but gotta get headers,rotating assy will be bearingd and ringed, polished the crank, motor was in vg condition, block and crank and heads jet washed,, the motor is 68' circa.thx for the response, i hope i get over 400 hundred horses
 

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Sounds like a plan. I would encourage you to do some math with your info to determine your dynamic compression to ensure it will be pump gas friendly. It may also reveal that you can bump up your static compression (I.e. shaving your heads or using a steel shim gasket). As said above, the piston will likely be sitting in the hole, mine were down .030, so you increase your chance for denotation because your quench will likely be above .040, which also will factor in to your ability to run pump gas. If I were going to spend the money at the machine shop, I would deck it to get to +.010 and use a standard felpro .041 gasket to get my quench to .031 and set the head cc to get me to 10:1 on an iron head. Again as long as my cam would still allow me to get to an acceptable dynamic ratio.
These are the little things that either make a combo work well or not, nothing trick just planned out. I have a guy at the track with 383 dart that has what would appear to be all nice parts that won’t break 13 seconds. Attention to detail usually pays a decent dividend. Again I’m an accountant so I like the math, it is not the end all of engine building but can be helpful. There is still more math when you get timing, rocker arms and carb setup but that is for another day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sounds like a plan. I would encourage you to do some math with your info to determine your dynamic compression to ensure it will be pump gas friendly. It may also reveal that you can bump up your static compression (I.e. shaving your heads or using a steel shim gasket). As said above, the piston will likely be sitting in the hole, mine were down .030, so you increase your chance for denotation because your quench will likely be above .040, which also will factor in to your ability to run pump gas. If I were going to spend the money at the machine shop, I would deck it to get to +.010 and use a standard felpro .041 gasket to get my quench to .031 and set the head cc to get me to 10:1 on an iron head. Again as long as my cam would still allow me to get to an acceptable dynamic ratio.
These are the little things that either make a combo work well or not, nothing trick just planned out. I have a guy at the track with 383 dart that has what would appear to be all nice parts that won’t break 13 seconds. Attention to detail usually pays a decent dividend. Again I’m an accountant so I like the math, it is not the end all of engine building but can be helpful. There is still more math when you get timing, rocker arms and carb setup but that is for another day.
so, are my 413 closed chamber heads a "not so good" idea?
 

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Not necessarily, just measure them to know what you have so you can do the math. I wouldn’t trust the info on the internet for cc’s I would measure every chamber. You can make up something fairly easy to cc the heads.
As a general rule I would prefer a closed chamber (because you can have quench) but in most cases with an OEM head the open chambers flow a little better and respond a little better to porting. At one point I had a set of 516 heads done Gerald Gary who was a premier mopar head porter, when I flowed it against a home ported 906, the 906 had better flow everywhere every except at .600 and above. I sold the 516 and ran the 906s with a full point lower compression.
 
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