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-What's Your Problem?

Little EnginesI've decided what I would like to do to my 283. I would like to start by using a 327 crank. I have read that some 283 blocks are not compatible with 327 cranks. Is there any truth to this? And if so, how can I go about determining if I have the right 283 block?Josh ShanksWillard, MO

What you're talking about building, Josh, is a 307. From 1968 through 1973, Chevy placed 3.25-inch stroke crankshafts (the same stroke as a 327) in a 283 block to create, in essence, a "stroker" 283 since the original stroke on a 283 is 3.00 inches. You are also correct that there are two different types of 327 crankshafts. All early small-blocks used small journal crankshafts employing a 2.30-inch main journal and 2.00-inch rod journals. Beginning in 1968, Chevy increased the journal diameters to 2.45 for the mains and 2.100 for the rods. The cheapest way to go is to find an early, small journal 327 crank for your 283 block. All 327 cranks were forged steel. All 307 cranks are large journal-that won't work unless you're willing to pay to have the mains cut down, which is expensive.

To answer your question of whether you have the right 283 block, the real point is that if you use an early, small-journal 327 crank, it will drop right in. Be aware that you will have to also use 307-style pistons because the added 0.250-inch stroke (3.25 vs. 3.00 for the 283) will require a 307-style compression height piston while still using a 283-style bore. This might be a little more expensive since 307 engines are not nearly as popular as the 327 or the 283. It would be wise to price it all out first.

For best power, the ideal combination is the 302, which is a larger 4.00-inch bore 327 block with a short 3.00-inch stroke 283 crank. This offers a larger bore for better cylinder head breathing and virtually the same displacement.

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