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Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Old 12-15-2018, 10:21 AM
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Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

I'm looking for a complete engine kit to replace my tired 305 TBI, I want a kit that includes a blueprinted block and good forged crank and all other matching parts that I can assemble myself + good Vortec type aluminum heads, there are so many places to buy stuff from these days I don't know the current best, any suggestions? Looking to spend 4 to 6K on a block and heads. I will also be replacing the stock T-5 transmission, any suggestions on a good new 5 or 6 speed to survive behind a 383?
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:34 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

It depends what you are going to be doing with the vehicle. If you are only going to drive it on public roads then I wouldn't spend the money on forged parts and any name-brand component kit will be fine. If you'll be going to a drag strip numerous times per year or participating in illegal street racing then it is my opinion that if you are going to stay with the SBC in today's world of LS swaps easily making 400 wheep hp than you need to follow the mantra of "Go big or go home." I would be looking for 427 SBC. 500 wheel horsepower from a streetable 427 isn't a hefty goal and will keep almost any NA LS swap at bay and should still keep up with single turbos. Look into the eBay vendors that sell all the components as a kit that you build. I wouldn't pay to have a block machined, instead I'd look for one already done that a shop is trying to sell. If that doesn't pan out here is a good deal from Summit: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-150100-30

As far as transmissions go, T56 trannys are great if you can find one at a good price. People are switching to LS so the price and availability seem to be leveling out again. Otherwise a TKO 500 or 600 is a good bet.
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:35 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Thanks, but didn't really answer the ? Looking for a complete forged kit from a reliable source, not looking for LS stuff, and it's just for street use and the occasional drag strip use, I'm old school and just want to build and assemble a REAL SBC and forged is worth the premium over cast even if it's not needed. So I guess the real question should be what engine building company's are trustworthy and do good work and wont overcharge?
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:25 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Originally Posted by DartByU View Post
just want to build and assemble a REAL SBC .... what engine building company's are trustworthy and do good work and wont overcharge?
Are you wanting to build the engine yourself or are you wanting someone else to build the engine for you?
I pointed you in a general direction for kits ande linked to a block, are you just wanting a member to find exactly what you are looking for and post the link up?
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:20 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Find a local machine shop that has a good reputation. Chances are they can get you parts for less than some retail stores
then have them do the balancing machining and checking of parts and your block
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:56 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

I'm running a TKO600 behind my 383, but I think the T56 is by FAR the most common. Out of the box it's strong, but can be made bullet proof.
I'm running a locally machined block with a forged Scat kit. ...but forged is definitely not necessary. I bought it from a good buddy of mine that at one time, had BIG power/turbo aspirations. Then ultimately went LS.

I looked into building it all from scratch, and I don't know of an all in one kit with everything. Ideally since you HAVE to have machine work done anyway, I'd discuss it with the machine shop of your choice, and source parts from them, or at least their recommendations.
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:26 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

X2 on find a good machinist. But please dont build the motor being a novice, have a problem, and blame it on the machinist.

I recommend scat, or Molnar. Molnar is way better than scat and you will pay more however I dont believe molnar offers a kit. Regardless you will have to have it balanced even if it says it comes balanced.

You need to find out what you want, and buy accordingly. Or buy a complete engine that is built. Building a engine requires a lot of knowledge and special tools. Vtg, ptv, ptw, spring pressures, installed heights, ability to measure bearing clearances and I'm not talking plasti gauge, ring gaps, are just a few things that need to be checked when building a engine regardless if it's a complete kit or not. Never heard of a engine kit that says all you need to do is assemble.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:54 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Originally Posted by -=Z28=- View Post
X2 on find a good machinist. But please dont build the motor being a novice, have a problem, and blame it on the machinist.
That's what I can't do around here, I'm a Machinist myself but my shop doesn't do automotive type work, last time I built a engine I had the "best shop" around here bore a block, balance it, choose pistons to get me 9.5 to 1 CR, and when I took all the parts back to the shop where I work I discovered after I put the pistons in that they were sitting .235 down in the bore at TDC, netting a whopping 6.5 to 1 CR, needless to say I had to take it back apart and have them re-balance it with proper pistons. Anyway I think I'm just going to buy a GM ZZ350 short block, take it all apart and check for proper clearance and torque specs, put in a good roller cam and some AFR heads on it and call it a day.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:09 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

I've been shopping around for a 383 shortblock myself although I'm inclined to have something delivered complete and ready to go rather than the hassle of checking all of the clearances and then trucking the rotating assembly and block to a machine shop for the final fitments. There are aftermarket options out there but you have to decide what level of parts you want to consider.
GM's HT383 has a 4340 forged crank but PM rods and hypereutectic pistons. I figure I can make that work for the drag racing goals I have however road racing is a different matter. Your ZZ350 I think has the same rods and piston type as this 383.
Beyond that there are a couple of mail order choices.
Blueprint (all forged): https://blueprintengines.com/product...tblock-bp38319
ATK (nodular iron crank): https://www.high-performance-engines...ine-p/sp52.htm
There are lot of other outfits that will build and ship whatever you want too. Shipping is a killer though.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:26 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Just checked. Yes. Same PM rods and piston in the ZZ350 as in the HT383. Crank in the 350 is 1053 steel as compared to the 4340 in the 383.
I'm liking the HT383 over the ZZ350 at this point.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:21 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

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Old 01-14-2019, 12:50 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Originally Posted by IROCZman15 View Post
Thanks for that link. There are some interesting shortblocks for sure.
I think Competition Products has a decent selection too. At one time Howards had a deal on an all forged 383 but its since been discontinued.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:16 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

I built my 383 with the budget Eagle kit (cast crank, forged I beam rods) and I snapped a rod after a few thousand miles doing a 6700 RPM burnout. My advice is to overbuild it with a forged crank and H beam rods.
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:46 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

PM ArticWhiteZ and see if he is still selling the 427 forged shortblock.

Whoops, I didn't see that this was an older thread. But I will leave it. Someone must benefit from that 427. I would buy it if I didn't have a few engines sitting around collecting dust.

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Old 02-16-2019, 10:21 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Originally Posted by 89******bird View Post
I built my 383 with the budget Eagle kit (cast crank, forged I beam rods) and I snapped a rod after a few thousand miles doing a 6700 RPM burnout. My advice is to overbuild it with a forged crank and H beam rods.
Exactly why I'm contemplating not buying Eagle. Forged or otherwise.
I think at a minimum, for the cheapest I'd consider budget-wise would be Scat's entry level forged 4340 crank:

https://www.summitracing.com/int/par...5056/overview/

For slightly more, I think there's a step up from Scat to Callies Compstar forging.

https://www.summitracing.com/int/par...3-cs/overview/

It was suggested by my machine shop (somewhat presumptuously) that for what I'm doing (and there's the presumption) that Scats 9000 series cast steel crank would be sufficient. I'd rather not but there is considerable savings if I were to reduce my racing aspirations.

https://www.summitracing.com/int/par...5056/overview/

For a stroker applications Scats Pro Comp rods are clearanced which is a big plus. 4340 forgings with 7/16ths bolts

https://www.summitracing.com/int/par...0716/overview/

As for pistons, I haven't decided. None of the balanced assemblies available give me exactly what I want so it'll probably be a mix and match deal and then a forced balancing job.

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
PM ArticWhiteZ and see if he is still selling the 427 forged shortblock.
I did a google search on Wheeler Power Products Florida...

Last edited by skinny z; 02-16-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:25 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

If I was to build another SBC I'd go with Callies Compstar rods, they are very popular on 1000HP LS builds, I'm using them on my LS motor.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:41 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

I've considered those as well. Haven't checked to see if they clearanced for the longer stroke or not. That's of value to me as I don't care to: rework the rods or grind the block or use a reduced base circle cam. I know the Scat rods fit with no modification. That said, I'd rather have Callies than Scat but that's just the perception on my part.
My machine shop features Scat and Callies so the discounts would probably be about the same.
Still planning and shopping.

Last edited by skinny z; 02-16-2019 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:43 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Ah yes good point. I forgot how tight it gets in there!
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:22 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Avoid Eagle. Scat quality much better.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:17 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Seems to be a real trick in finding a made in the USA crankshaft. It's said that Ohio Crankshaft and Howard's Cams are forged in the states but I've yet to find proof that they are. Most, as in Scat and Compstar are Chinese blanks and the machine work done in the US.
But as in a lot of situations, an offshore option is about the only practical way to go.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:12 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

As long as the forging is good, then what really matters is the machining, right?
The sad part about all of this is that a manufacturer can have the parts made offshore (including finishing and assembly), and as long as the main company is headquartered in the US, they can claim "Made In USA".
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:15 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
As long as the forging is good, then what really matters is the machining, right?
The sad part about all of this is that a manufacturer can have the parts made offshore (including finishing and assembly), and as long as the main company is headquartered in the US, they can claim "Made In USA".
The operative phrase there is "As long as the forging is good". Whose to say? Reading about 4340 alloys, it seems that they are not all created equally. Different amounts of chrome or carbon (as examples) change the ultimate result even though they're all called 4340.
At least the folks at Callies admit that their Compstar forging blanks are made in China. This from a Callies rep on Yellow Bullet:
" ... Yes. Compstar is our off-shore product, but they are not produced in the same facilities as Scat and Eagle. Compstar's are engineered here, made on our forgings, that we supply to the over-seas operation, and we finish them in house."
-Adam @ Callies

Ohio Crank looks to be offshore. Howards say made in the USA but as you pointed out, what does that mean really? Unless I see advertising like Brodix or Edelbrock where it's stated that the entire process is made on American soil, then it's all a crap shoot.

Last edited by skinny z; 02-18-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:34 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

As a follow up to the original question, I see that Competition Products has the Howards Cams Maximum Effort shortblocks available again. At one time they were out of stock and I see they are no longer listed on HRC's website so I don't know what's up with that. But it looks to be about the best value for the dollars spent.


Last edited by skinny z; 02-18-2019 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:48 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Hmm. It seems that Competition Products is Howard's Cams.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:21 AM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

Look up astro transmissions. They make a rebuild kit that strengthens the stock t5 to a level to be able to support that 383. The option of using the g force case will up the potential even more. Benefits of using stock t5 case is weight and rotating weight compared to the 6 speed. Ultimately sticky tires and weight will find the weakest link. And if you keep a stock t5 I can bet it will be the first thing to grenade more or less right before or right after the stock 10 bolt if you run full slicks at the track.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:43 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

SP383 Deluxe GM Crate? Forged crank, in your budget.
https://www.summitracing.com/int/par...5722/overview/

Last edited by SbFormula; 03-19-2019 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:19 PM
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Re: Complete 383 forged engine kit suggestions

It seems the OP has disappeared from posting here.
As for me, I've been looking at what's available and I've come across the SP383 before. I'd prefer a shortblock rather than something as complete as the SP. I've heads to use and just about anything else to bolt on however some of what I have only crosses over to a 2-piece RMS. Oil pan and flexplate (for sure) and the balancer (I think) are unique to the 1 pc RMS blocks and I've a 2 pc RMS block.
Still looking. Still shopping.
Truth is, I may take the low road and refresh my existing shortblock as best I can, which I think would be going to an .040" overbore at a minimum and new bearings. There's been some metal passed through this engine and I would be hoping the decent GM forged crank isn't FUBARed.
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