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283 instead of a 305?

Discussion in 'Engine / Swaps etc.' started by LukeZ, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. LukeZ

    LukeZ Master Mechanic

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    Found this 1963 283 on craigslist in my area for $175

    IMG_6811.JPG

    The dude says it turns freely, and that he's moving up to a 355 so that's why he's getting rid of it. If I were to buy it for my El Camino, would my accessory brackets all go on correctly? Like the power steering and alternator and AC and stuff. Could I use the same starter, spark plugs, distributor, fuel pump and radiator fan etc?

    I don't really know anything about engine swaps, and I've been saving my money to pay for schook recently but I just thought this might be a steal and a fun project to work on during the weekends.

    Also, as far as vehicle inspection goes; would my car be exempt from emissions since the engine is pre 1975? (Fyi it's my daily driver and must be street legal. I just took it through inspection last week and she passed).

    Sorry if any of these are dumb questions
     
  2. 565bbchevy

    565bbchevy Comic Book Super Hero

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    A couple things come to mind with a sbc that old is first I don't think they came with the needed accessory holes on the heads to mount your brackets and I don't think the heads have hardened seats for the valves required for unleaded fuel.
    Other than that they came with short style water pumps and a points distributor but can be changed for long style and HEI and you would also need the oil fill tube for the hole in front of the water neck.
    As far as inspection an older engine would not make you exempt and would most likely be considered an illegal swap.
    If I wasn't going to go through the engine I would want to hear it run first. IMO
     
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  3. LukeZ

    LukeZ Master Mechanic

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    I was thinking it wouldn't work out right haha. Thanks for the info
     
  4. pagrunt

    pagrunt G-Body Guru

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    I'd rebuild it (most CL engines should be) & up date the heads/cam/intake/carb. For emissions put on newer valve covers with PCV/oil fill holes & plug the road draft tube hole. It would be a nice rebuild project. But if you're looking for a quick swap I'd pass on it.
     
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  5. axisg

    axisg Royal Smart Person

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    as far as inspection goes I wouldn't say anything. Visually the 267ci SBC up to a 400ci SBC are all damn near identical. I am doubtful that any inspector is going to pull the code off the block to be sure its period correct.

    I have seen and run a 283 in a gbody. In fact its been under my friends tool bench now for 20+ years and swapped in and out of at least 4 vehicles before it was retired.
    It makes about the same power as a 305 ( 150 - 200 hp ) and leaps better than a 267. If the heads don't have the accessory holes then you need to run the older brackets or swap the heads. Honestly unless it was free and you needed a motor badly I would pass just because of the work involved to make it work. Its a great little motor but better can be had
     
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  6. TURNA

    TURNA Royal Smart Person

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    Boat anchor!!
     
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  7. Texas82GP

    Texas82GP Comic Book Super Hero
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    If you are going to do an engine swap, hold out for a 350.
     
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  8. LukeZ

    LukeZ Master Mechanic

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    If I were to put the heads from my 305 on to the 283, would that solve most of the problems? Because then I would be able to run unleaded fuel without long term damage, and I would have all of the accessory bracket holes.

    I read that my compression may drop a little, but that the engine will still run. Maybe I could get a turbocharger to make up for the compression drop.

    Does that all make sense?
     
  9. axisg

    axisg Royal Smart Person

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    can it and has it been done ?? Sure countless times. I have done some real backwards stuff on Sunday night to be sure I had a car to get me to work on Monday or roadside temp stuff to limp it along until I got some cash to fix it right ( soup can exhaust pipe fix anyone ?? ). I assume there is something wrong with the 305 that's in there now ?

    As far as making sense, not so much. IIRC it took you some time to change an intake and gasket ?

    my best Dad voice here " Unless you are well versed in the hows and whys, have all the proper equipment and space to do it in... blah blah blah"
    It is going to take a full weekend to go thru pulling motor "A", swapping heads and intake on to "unknown" motor "B". Plus the cost of new gaskets, coolant, stuff you will break, ect... ( I always set aside $300-$400 for incidentals + beer + pizza on a straight motor swap )
    So in the end you end up if you end up with a running 283 stabbed in your car you will end up with the same or less power. And its all dependant upon the condition of an unknown engine. Then it does not make sense.

    Don't even consider turbo on an old motor unless you plan on running it until it blows up. Obviously it wont pass an inspection either ( if that's a concern )

    I recommend looking for something in the 90's from a truck/van to replace what you have ( if it needs to be replaced ). It will have the best of the best gen1 tech has to offer and visually appear identical to what you have in the car now if you are worried about inspections. Roller rockers, vortec heads will be 290hp out of the box and a cam swap away from dead reliable 350 hp, on pump gas and regular motor oil.

    Another thought, whilst on the hunt for a replacement motor.
    If you are still running the stock exhaust manifolds they may or may not bolt up to an older head. I recall the 305 manifold on the PS of some cars and trucks used the wider exhaust port on cyl 8. Back when these cars were newer you would use the truck manifolds on the cars as they flowed a little better and used 3 bolts on the flange instead of 2. They were also drilled for both head designs on cyl 8
     
    #9 axisg, Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  10. fleming442

    fleming442 Greasemonkey

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    Just because you can does not mean that you should. I'm wondering about the "can" part, too!
     
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