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355 to 383

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Joined: 05 Oct 2002
Posts: 25
Location: Topeka Kansas
532.42 points

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject: 355 to 383 Reply with quote

Ok, here is the deal.
My sons Camaro is going in the garage for the winter. Decided this even before they tore up the dash and stuff to break into his car.
He have decided to go to a 383.
We have a very nice late model roller block. Using his L-98 heads that have been ported and polished. Going to go with aftermarket TPI.
Using good forged steel crank, rods and pistons.
Going with aftermarket Ignition.
Already did some checking on having the block work done.
And around here the price for the mechining is scary.
I'm a retired Policeman (medical.. retired early, not an old fart yet) but before that I was a machinist.
I have done some research on the net and in some reference books.
And it seems straight forward and simple.
Have to clearence for the crankshaft throws... may have clearance for the rods...
Make sure the new oil pan is made with depressions so it will clear the crank.
The big expense with doing this at the shop, is they have to repeatedly take it apart and put it together to check their progress. Causing a huge labor bill.

I'm thinking about doing the clearence myself.
So has anyone done their own?
Is there a tech manual anyone know of covering this?
Is there any surprise that usually go along with the machine work?
Does anyone know how much clearence they cut in? 1/16"...1/8"...3/16?

I can use the tools i already have, good air grinders and small electrical grinders for detailed work. Of course I may need to get a few new stones.
Also thought if a gig is needed. I can make one to bolt to the oil pan rail.

So i guess my biggest question is...
An I nuts thinking we can do it?

Our family vehicles, 1971 Mustang Conv. 1966 Mustang Coupe, built 302. 1982 Z-28 Camaro built 350.
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Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Posts: 814
Location: New London Wisconsin
20327.88 points

1996 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can certainly clearance the block yourself though I have not done it just done a little reading about it on LT1s. A carbide burr will make quicker work of the project.
Depending on how much power you want you might rethink those heads but since it sounds like you already have them they will work just that head flow began taking some pretty big leaps shortly after the L98 was built.
On the intake seems to me aftermarket TPI inktake are expensive I know it is a popular upgrade to put an LT1 intake on those motors requires drilling new holes in the intake, drilling a distributo hole and something for the coolant crossover, as the LT1 intake has zero water passages. I know there are companies that offer the conversion work and you might look to a TPI forum for more info. The extra cubes will take care of torque this manifold should be a reasonably priced way to let the engine rev. I know I probably just rasised more questions than provided answers but hopefully something good comes of it. Wink
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Posts: 152
Location: Edmonton,Alberta Canada
3519.10 points

1965 Chevrolet Malibu

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clearancing a block is easily something a person who can run a die grinder can do. Where you need to clearance is at the pan rails and at the bottoms of all the cylinders. You will see this as you run the crank through its stroke.
The only thing you really should be careful of on a stock block is grinding into the oil gallerys and the water jackets.
If you are using a steel connecting rod I would say that .060"-.080" would be alright.
I use a drill bit of the dimension you are trying to achieve as a go/no go guage. If you put the crank in the block and only put the connecting rod on the throw you are working on it cuts down on the time somewhat. You can usually do this without the piston on as well. Just hold the rod small end at the bore centerline
Go very slow and check often. If you grind to far the results could be very bad.(scrapped block)

Hope this helps
Have Fun

CoMax Racing
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points

1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who has ever used a die grinder could do it. I would definately recommend a carbide burr as 96capriceMGR said. I prefer the double cut variety as they are easier to control for someone that hasn't used a die grinder much. The single cut ones do cut faster but tend to grab and jerk if you don't have the feel. Absolutely avoid the wide fluted ones mainly for aluminum. I didn't have to do anything for crankshaft throws, just rod clearance. I used the Scat crank and a Eagle "H" beam copy that has clearance built in for the camshaft. As you have stated the time involved is the killer, having to mock up every cylinder individually and clean up everything every time, but worth it. I ran a factory pan on mine for a while and the only clearance problem I had was at the bottom of the pan at the front. There was a rib stamped in the "tray" that barely hit a rod bolt. I also forgot to trim the oil pan gasket in one area and it took me a while to figure out where the small black flecks were coming from when I adjusted the valves the first time. I ground until I had roughly 0.060 or so clearance because I didn't want to strike water. You don't have to grind a lot except for one area where the oil pan rail angles back in toward the crank. Good luck and happy grinding. Clay
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