Prayin' to the Stroker Gods

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by Crawdaddy, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Well, I have my new rebuilt tranny ordered and on its way (hopefully). My uncle made a very good point, since I am pretty much replacing or otherwise reconditioning the rest of the drive train, I might as well rebuild the motor while I'm at it. The motor has never been opened in 200K miles...d**n good in my opinion. However, I am of the opinion of "if I pull it out, Im dropping it back in better". Therefore, in search of my ultimate goal of more torque, but not necessarily horsepower, I have decided to move up to a 383 stroker. So, I'm on the hunt for a good stroker kit that will serve a few different requirements:
    1.Provide more torque than the stock 350
    2.Build it so it's happy running on 87 octane fuel for the most part, 40 gallons of 93 is EXPENSIVE
    3.Keep good/decent gas mileage
    4.Relatively cheap
    5.Stick with the TBI (not imperative, but then I'd have to figure out how to make the OBD I computer happy without the sensors and stuff.....)

    I've helped my uncle rebuild his 454 motor, and I feel that I can probably assemble the motor well once I purchase the parts. I am thinking I want to recondition the exsiting iron heads, give them a three angle valve job, replace parts on them as necessary to work with the rest of the short block. I also want to keep the existing block, since the numbers on it match, and I already have it (less $$ out of the pocket). I bought a book from AutoZone on how to build big-inch small blocks, and while the info in it is very informative, it still has not helped me any in choosing which components I should get to achieve my goal, and which will work together with the other parts. I want to use as much of the original hard parts as possible, however, I can accept that this isn't possible all the time. So, I'm hoping that the gods of GM **cough** tbplus and collin **cough** can guide me in the right direction to successfully achieve this endeavor. Thanks everyone!

    Chevy Engine
  2. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    no love here? :( I'm still not sure what path I'm going to stick with this, especially since I can't seem to sort out exactly what determines what octane you need to run in the motor...
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    The compression ratio will be the biggest determining factor, ignition timing also factors in on octane required.
    Two of your requirements may not be possible with a stroker motor.
    Running 87 octane, a stroker increases the piston stroke and compression, how much will be determined by the crank, rods, and pistons you use.
    Good/decent fuel mileage, strokers just dont get good fuel consumption, they drink fuel a little faster than most engines.
    Keeping TBI is possible, you'll need to rework your TBI to increase the fuel and air flow, strokers have a tendency to run lean and burn pistons if they arent kept happy with fuel and oxygen.
    Keeping the block and heads may not be the least expensive route, matching #'s wont matter unless you expect this to be a collector car. Check local machine shop prices and prices on short and long block's.
    If I were going the route your taking I'd probably buy a short block with the stroker kit in it (some shops sell them ready built at a slight discount over the machining required to recondition a block), then have the heads reconditioned with a 3 angle valve job, stainless valves, slightly stiffer springs, and if time, money, or patience permits maybe a little port matching. .
  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    For my lack of experience in engine building, I have come to the conclusion that I'm just going to do a straight rebuild, since the 350 already has plenty of get up and go, and just simple bolt-on type of improvements. So, on this new front, I'm thinking of adding a windage tray to try to keep the oil in the sump to improve fuel mileage. Maybe switch to a HEI ignition system if ya'll think it'll help anything... I'm just looking for things that can gain me a little bit of mileage or power here and there that isn't going to break the bank. Ideas?
  5. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Goodwrench TBI 5.7 for $2200 delivered

    You probably already know that you can buy a new-not rebuilt-GM Goodwrench- TBI 5.7 for about $2200 delivered.If yours was a 96-99 with the other FI it is $2500.From a pure dollars and cents-hours labor it is really hard to beat those prices.
    Of course,you can probably buy a rebuild kit for $500,and maybe pay another $400 for machine work-so you save $1300 by DIY+ more importantly,you learn to do something useful you are interested in.
    My 5.7 1998 Suburban is also high mile-197700-and it also seems really good.It hasn't used any 5W30 Mobil I(fairly thin oil for a high mile motor) in 2200 miles-a big surprise-I expected 1 qt per 1500 miles or so).It also gets good mpg considering the weight and city driving(more or less like you across the lake in Slidell-heck your traffic is worse than ours in Jeff parish-since Katrina).
    When I get better off financially-maybe 1 year-I plan to put a new motor in.I should stich with a dead stock 5.7($2500 delivered), but the HT383E is really tempting at about $4500 delivered.
    Let us know how it comes out.
  6. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    A good choice, stroker motors can take a lot of tinkering to keep running correctly, they take more tuning than a regular engine.

    A windage tray is an inexspensive way to gain some horsepower by getting rid of some parasitic drag.
    Rebuild the heads with stainless valves and factory springs, (roller rockers might not be as cheap as you want but thier reliable and will return a few hp).
    Underdrive pulleys for the accessories will gain some hp.
    The factory ignition would probably serve best at this point provided its in good shape, tune it up with new plugs, wires, cap etc. I'd use bigger spark plug wires.
    Replace or rebuild the TBI while the engines down, this will probably give you a big improvement in horsepower and mileage.
    A good set of headers with dual exhaust will help.
    This would be a good time to replace or rework your radiator also, gotta keep that freshly rebuilt engine cool.
  7. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    phoebisis, I love the whole idea of a brand new crate, but I can't justify it when I'm just rebuilding the motor because it's the only thing in the drivetrain that won't be new. The radiator is less than 2 years of, give or take, so I don't think I'll need to pull it and rework it (I hope). I'm more interested in torque than hp (obviously), but I'll take HP too when I can get it. :) All those suggestions some like great inexspensive ways to revitalize this good 'ol motor that I can't seem to kill...
  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Forgot to add a mild grind RV cam, port the heads (intake and exhaust), and index the plugs.

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