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a paean to the small block Chevy

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  • a paean to the small block Chevy

    It's a nice article, for those who love this engine:

    https://nyti.ms/2FrHv5P
    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • #2
    I used to work with a guy who used a small block to make a road legal car based on an English Ford Popular. It was good enough to run 9.75 seconds 1/4 mile at Santa Pod drag strip.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by old mart View Post
      I used to work with a guy who used a small block to make a road legal car based on an English Ford Popular. It was good enough to run 9.75 seconds 1/4 mile at Santa Pod drag strip.
      Wow, nice! I grew up with them -- the were and still are a great design. Eventually I moved on to the Big Blocks and gained a whole new definition of torque (and flagrant fuel consumption...)

      My last true GM V8 would hit 130 MPH going *uphill* with an automatic, in a 4,000 lb 4-door full size, and you could literally watch the fuel gauge drop. I used to win a lot of stolight races with that one, nobody expects a huge rusty boat to eat their lunch.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by old mart View Post
        I used to work with a guy who used a small block to make a road legal car based on an English Ford Popular. It was good enough to run 9.75 seconds 1/4 mile at Santa Pod drag strip.
        That would have been the most amazing transformation. I don't recall the Popular, but it was not much different than the Prefect. Here is a 1950s Prefect I photographed on the Wellington NZ docks in 1972.


        Attached Files
        Last edited by aostling; 09-11-2020, 04:22 PM.
        Allan Ostling

        Phoenix, Arizona

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        • #5
          I had to look up Wikipedia to find out which Ford Popular it was. It was the second in the series from the early 60's, about 69mph flat out, not small block power.

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          • #6
            I know a guy who put a 283 in a Hillman. That car originally had an 8 hp engine. The engine went in the middle, and the frame basically was something between the replacement rear axle and the engine mounts. I seem to recall him saying something about the body having to be offset to the drivers side so the driver could fit between the door and the engine.

            Another friend of mine had an old coupe- I don't remember exactly what- that he had shoehorned a 383 hemi into. According to him, the first time he put his foot into it he twisted the frame. Said he had to put it in reverse and stomp on it again to take the twist out. Those were the days, hot rods and sleepers, tweaked out big sixes, and bikes. I remember the day when the hot rod clubhouse burned to the ground with all their cars inside. My friend said he's never seen so many grown men standing around crying.

            The 283 was a nice engine. Many of the guys who used one had it tweaked to around 200 horse- that's just carbs and adjustments, no blowers or turbos then. Instead of hood scoops, it was usually just a big hole in the hood so the hood could close and let the big air cleaner breathe.

            My big thing with cars was keeping the 35 hp 4 banger just running. I remember the day we poured atf through the carb, racing the engine to keep it running. That was a smoke show.
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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            • #7
              Originally posted by darryl View Post
              The 283 was a nice engine. Many of the guys who used one had it tweaked to around 200 horse- that's just carbs and adjustments, no blowers or turbos then.
              I like the 283 also. Probably my fav.

              My uncle took the straight six out of his 78 toy FJ40 and put a 283 in it. Super simple to work on.

              We used to take it to a place called pismo beach and run that landcruiser up devils slide, do a u-turn at the top and do it all over again. JR

              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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              • #8
                My fave was probably the early 327. Back when the oil fill/breather was in the front of the block. You could get a decent 4-barrel on it and let it breathe, t would wrap right up like a chain saw with the right gearing out back... Powerglide 2-speed at the time.

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                • #9
                  At one time I did consider yanking the oldsmobile six out of my FJ and mounting a 283. There was an adapter plate available at the time. It would have been a great swap- the 283 would have happily run at the higher rpms to get decent highway speeds out of the 'cruiser. Who knows- I might have still been driving it today.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    I have been offered a marine engine 5.7L free if I pull it out of the boat and leave the rest of boat intact. He wants to hang outboards on it.
                    I want it, but, it is a older TBI injection thing and I cannot find any troubleshooting info on that TBI.
                    It wouldn't bother me to mount Holley carb on it, except that I would still have to do something with the distributor.
                    Iy looks really clean and low hours otherwise

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ringo View Post
                      I have been offered a marine engine 5.7L free if I pull it out of the boat and leave the rest of boat intact. He wants to hang outboards on it.
                      I want it, but, it is a older TBI injection thing and I cannot find any troubleshooting info on that TBI.
                      It wouldn't bother me to mount Holley carb on it, except that I would still have to do something with the distributor.
                      Iy looks really clean and low hours otherwise
                      dammit I used to have the manual for that around here somewhere, too. Only thing I remember is that the fuel pressure should be ~7PSI, and they're pretty easy to rebuild. Way easier to work on than the modern ones. I know a lot of industrial fork trucks had the same TBI system on the 4.3 V6

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                      • #12
                        In the mid '80's I installed a 283 into my 1979 Toyota 4X4 pickup. With 4.37 gears it was quick but by the time you got near 100 mph the fenders and hood began to flex making me uneasy so I would back off of it. Surprised a lot of guys stoplight to stoplight around town though! :-)

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, I want it, but, I am so far not able to verify whether it is a true Vortec engine.
                          When I say Vortec, I mean the good flowing heads + factory roller cam + full marine dress
                          I cannot read the serial number plate for ID
                          the serial numbers are in fact imbedded in the TBI software
                          I cannot read the onboard computer
                          If it is true Vortec, I'll take it, TBI computer be damned

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ringo View Post
                            Yeah, I want it, but, I am so far not able to verify whether it is a true Vortec engine.
                            When I say Vortec, I mean the good flowing heads + factory roller cam + full marine dress
                            I cannot read the serial number plate for ID
                            the serial numbers are in fact imbedded in the TBI software
                            I cannot read the onboard computer
                            If it is true Vortec, I'll take it, TBI computer be damned
                            will he let you pop the intake and take a look?
                            BTW the forklift engines had the marine cam too, according to the mechanic at work... that's why it took them a month to find a reman when the carpenters ran it out of oil

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                            • #15
                              GM 2bbl TBI injection systems were stone reliable and ran perfect all the time.
                              Came out in 1988 or so. I love carburetors, but this injection system is very good.

                              -Doozer
                              DZER

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