383 Stroker Top End Build - Mighty Mouse
Finishing The Top End Of Our 383 Stroker
From the January, 2011 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Sean Haggai
Photography by Sean Haggai
Need more power from your mill?
That's easy enough; just open up the bores and increase its reach. Or, just add more air and fuel-voilà! Building a potent powerplant is nothing more than adding some ingredients and stirring the pot. It isn't rocket science!
When we decided to piece together a real-world stroker mill, we chose the 383 foundation because of its simplicity, proven potential on the dyno, and overall affordability. The brunt of our labor so far has involved the machine work for our Engine Quest small-block core. The rest of our time was spent putting it all together.
Last time, we finished putting together the short-block ("Setting the Groundwork," Nov. '10). Fortifying the bottom-end is an Eagle ESP Armored forged rotating assembly that included the crankshaft, rods and pistons, along with the rings and bearings.
This month, we are finishing up the build by completing the top-end assembly. This build is far from a high-end race motor. Instead, we plan to put this gem on the street. That said, driveability needed to be key with this particular combination. To achieve this, we finished our build with a set of heavy-breathing Edelbrock E-210 aluminum cylinder heads. Our set was equipped for a hydraulic roller camshaft and came complete with oversized valves (2.08-/1.60-inch intake/exhaust). We then matched it with an RPM Air-Gap manifold to maximize low- and mid-range torque. Of course, The Air-Gap has also proven itself to carry the horsepower through the upper powerband, making it ideal for our needs.
To see how we did, we headed over to Westech Performance Center and hooked up our mill to their Superflow 902 engine dyno. We knew it wasn't going to be record breaker, but we were still impressed by the final numbers. You'll have to read on to get the complete breakdown of what it made and how we built it.
What We Did
Installed a fresh set of 23-degree Edelbrock E-210 cylinder heads, RPM Air-Gap manifold, and a complete Moroso oiling system
A Sherman tank for the streets
When we last left off, the...
When we last left off, the short-block had been completed. Inside the block sat a complete forged 4340 rotating assembly from Eagle Specialty Products. Better yet, the crankshaft and rods were finished in Eagle's ESP Armor, which not only provides extra strength but protects against heat and corrosion as well.
Jumping right in, we pulled...
Jumping right in, we pulled out our PN 1003 Fel-Pro head gaskets. Fel-Pro makes it a cinch too with easy to read "UP" imprints on each gasket. All we had to do was press each gasket over our block dowels. Also, each water jacket port on the gasket is pre-sealed and if we were to ever add nitrous, these gaskets can take the punishment.
Many engine building mistakes...
Many engine building mistakes are realized after the fact. Here, to prevent an oily mess on the dyno or in the engine bay we installed the 1/8-inch oil gallery plug to the top of the deck. We applied ARP thread sealer before it was installed.
For our particular build,...
For our particular build, before each ARP head bolt was installed we applied some thread sealer to the threads to prevent coolant leaking into the cylinder heads. Then, we applied a small amount of ARP moly-lube to the shoulder of each bolt before the washer was applied.
For the most part, our Edelbrock...
For the most part, our Edelbrock E-210 cylinder heads were ready to be installed since they came complete. After we threaded in each bolt, they were all torqued down to 65 ft-lb in the standard, clockwise pattern beginning from the center and working outwards.
From the factory, our Edelbrock...
From the factory, our Edelbrock heads were supplied with 7/16-inch rocker studs. However, our Comp Cams rockers would only fit 3/8-inch studs. Luckily for us, ARP had the studs (PN 134-7101) needed to convert our 7/16-inch studs to the smaller 3/8-inch to fit the rockers. Using an 11/16-inch socket we removed the original studs. For the ARP studs, which penetrate the intake ports, we used thread sealer while the others we used some ARP moly-lube. We torqued the studs to 55 ft-lb with an 11/16-inch socket.
Durability is the major factor...
Durability is the major factor when deciding between aluminum or steel rockers. With every cycle an aluminum rocker arm endures it moves one step closer to failure. The "magic of steel" is that as long as it cycles at less than its maximum failure point, it can cycle for virtually a lifetime without any issues. Steel rocker arms also maintain the ability to remain rigid and not flex with increased rpm. Chrome-moly steel is used to produce these new steel rockers, which is 300 percent stronger than extruded 7075-T6 aluminum; the strongest of aluminum materials. Plus, these arms feature a fully rebuildable design and a lifetime warranty against breakage.
Rather than using the factory...
Rather than using the factory roller lifters, we went with Comp's retro-fit lifters that are significantly stronger and can accept a much more aggressive camshaft. These are perfect performance replacement lifters for blocks that originally came equipped with flat-tappet cams. Moreover, it will also fit both standard blocks and tall lifter bore aftermarket blocks. When compared to flat-tappet lifters, these lifters will decrease friction and increase longevity.
For the oil pan we first applied...
For the oil pan we first applied Right Stuff silicone to the oil pan rail and then along the bottom of the timing cover. Next, using our Fel-Pro 1821 oil pan gasket we set that in place with the adhesive side down. Again, we applied additional silicone to the gasket surface. From there, it was only a matter of laying the deep-sump Moroso pan and threading in the bolts.
The MSD ignition was a no-brainer...
The MSD ignition was a no-brainer for this build. This particular 383 will see a lot of street time so we decided to use a billet distributor and wire set with a black cap. To install it into the motor, we attached the distributor gasket to the collar and dropped it in through the top of the manifold.
Holley's Avenger carburetor...
Holley's Avenger carburetor features an ultra-light aluminum construction for less weight with billet metering blocks and baseplates for extra strength versus cast pieces. With glass fuel level windows in the bowls, clear sight plugs, vacuum secondaries, and precise fuel metering, these Ultra Street Avenger carburetors offer you ultra-easy, no-trouble adjustments. These units look the part too with a shiny tumble-polished finish, along with anodized metering blocks, baseplates, and hardware. We chose the black finished carburetor to match our Comp wrinkle-finish valve covers.