Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Building a 383 Stroker Small Block for a Corvette C3

If you are rebuilding a Gen 1 large journal small block and you need to do any crank work at all, you might as well look at upgrading to a 383 stroker because it is basically free cubic inches.  The 383 stroker rotating assemblies on the market is the same price as standard assemblies and there is very little machining needed for these kits.  In our case, we have a Chevrolet 350 L48 out of a 1971 Corvette that was rated at 270 hp.  Compared to today’s corvettes, this one compares more to the speed of a Chevette.  We decided to start over completely and build a nice 450 hp 383 stroker that would fit under the hood of our Corvette and also be very reliable.

What Parts Do You Need?

Everyones build will be a bit different because of parts that can be used, chosen or rebuilt.  You have many options for upgrades including roller rockers, roller lifters, forged pistons and even forced induction.  We opted for a naturally aspirated roller motor since this car would not be a daily driver and cold starts would be easier on a fairly aggressive cam with the roller valvetrain.

Below are links to all the parts we purchased to build our Corvette L48 350 into a nice 383 stroker.  This includes all new hardware and all we are using is the block.

Note that a few of the parts are specific to a C3 Corvette, like the water pump, very low intake manifold, Jet Carburetor and many of the distributor parts due to the mechanical RPM gauge.  Our goal was a 10.0 to 10.5:1 compression motor.  As it sits we are at about 10.1:1 and we might shave the heads down slightly.  A C3 Corvette needs vacuum to run the headlamps since they lift, the wiper cover and many, many more items so a good camshaft that will produce power and vacuum were important.  There are also dome dress-up parts in there such as valve covers and pulleys.  This just makes sense to do now rather than try to refurbish some of the 40 plus-year-old items that are the incorrect size for a higher revving motor.

We enjoy working with Summit Racing because of their service.  We can call and talk to a real person and get sound advice on our specific build.  We used that service many times on this project and on our Monte Carlo SS Transmission fix.




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