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Small Block Chevy Engines - Stroker Soup

On The Menu Today: Seven Different Big-Inch Small-Block Power Recipes.

By Richard Holdener, Photography by Richard Holdener, Illustration by George Trosley

We obviously love building and testing small-block strokers here at Super Chevy, but no matter how successful our build up, there is always a problem. Not a problem with the engine itself, but a problem with the readers. Invariably someone will ask the ever-popular "What if?" question, as in, what if we ran a different cam, or heads, or intake manifold on our particular combination?

While we always welcome questions and comments here at Super Chevy, it is obviously impossible to run every possible combination. Since one is not enough, and there is no way we can run them all, we decided to do the next best thing by offering up a little Stroker Soup. Included in this gourmet dish are no less than seven different small-block stroker combinations, ranging in power from 400HP all the way up to a 1,000HP, twin-turbo 383. Nestled in between these extremes are high-winding normally aspirated combos, nitrous motors and a pair of supercharged strokers (both Roots- and centrifugal-style).

We have provided all the necessary ingredients that went into each combination along with complete dyno graphs. This information should allow readers to easily duplicate the combinations, and whether you are looking for a 400hp crate motor or a 1,000-plus horsepower screamer, there is something on the menu.

Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair, because lunch is served! Bon appetit.

400HP 383 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke 4.03x3.75
Compression 10.1:1
Cam: ProComp Hyd Roller
Lift 0.552/0.552
Duration 231/236
Lobe Sep: 110
Heads: Pro Comp 190cc aluminum (as cast)
In/Ex Port Vol: 190cc/72cc
In/Ex Flow: 245/190 CFM @ 0.600
Valve Sizes: 2.02/1.6
Chamber: 68cc
Intake Manifold: Pro Comp Dual-Plane Qualifier Plus
Carburetor: Holley 750HP
Header: Hooker 1 3/4
Oiling System: Stock

Building a 383 that will produce 400HP is pretty basic. There are literally thousands of combinations that will easily surpass the 400HP mark, especially when the base engine displaces 383ci. What is nice is that the displacement hike over a typical 350 will offer a sizable chunk of additional torque lower in the rev range. This combination was basically a 383 crate motor currently offered by ProComp, with a few minor exceptions. Instead of the single-plane intake, we chose to top the 383 with a dual-plane Qualifier Plus. The combination also featured a dished piston from Probe Racing that produced a static compression of around 10.0:1 (the ProComp crate motors feature a flat-top slug). Run with the ProComp as-cast aluminum heads (190cc) and a healthy hydraulic roller cam, the 383 produced 444HP at 6,100 RPM and 439 lb-ft at 4,800 RPM. Though it is possible to configure a 400HP 383 with milder cam timing, we chose this one for its sound quality. Even with the healthy bump stick, torque production from the 383 exceeded 400 lb-ft from 4,000 RPM to 5,800 RPM.

500HP 383 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke 4.03x3.75
Compression 10.5:1
Cam: Comp Cams XR294HR Hyd Roller
Lift 0.540/0.562
Duration 242/248
Lobe Sep: 110
Heads: Patriot Performance 225cc aluminum
In/Ex Port Vol: 225cc/65cc
In/Ex Flow: 293 CFM/211 CFM @ 0.700
Valve Sizes: 2.08/1.6
Chamber: 64cc
Intake Manifold: Pro Comp Single-Plane Shoot Out Plus
Carburetor: Holley 950HP
Header: Hooker 1 3/4
Oiling System: Stock

Building a 500HP 383 means producing just over 1.30HP per cubic inch. This is easily accomplished using good heads, a healthy hydraulic roller cam and performance intake manifold. The short-block should feature a 10.0:1 compression ratio, something that will run on pump gas with aluminum heads and a reasonable timing curve.

Patriot Performance supplied more than enough cylinder head for our 500HP combination, as its 225 CNC-ported Super Street heads flowed 293 CFM on the intake side. Given the flow rates, we suspect the Patriot Performance heads might support 600HP on the right combination, but combining them with the Comp XR294HR hydraulic roller cam and a ProComp single plane intake resulted in peak power numbers of 538HP and 506 lb-ft of torque.

Despite the use of the single-plane intake, torque production exceeded 475 lb-ft from 4,100 RPM to 5,900 RPM, and never dipped below 450 lb-ft. This would make a killer street motor and offer more than enough power for occasional trips to the strip. For the adventurous few, the forged internals from ProComp would also withstand a healthy dose of nitrous.

600HP 400 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke: 4.125x3.75
Compression: 11.5:1
Cam: Bullet Custom Roller
Lift: 0.671/0.661
Duration: 264/270
Lobe Sep: 110
Heads: Trick Flow Super 23 230
In/Ex Port Vol: 230cc/78cc
In/Ex Flow: 325/238 CFM @ 0.600
Valve Sizes: 2.08/1.6
Chamber: 64cc (milled)
Intake Manifold: Dart Single-Plane
Carburetor: Holley 1,000HP
Headers: Hooker 1 7/8
Oiling System: Moroso

Stepping up from the 500HP range to exceeding 600 takes attention to detail. In this case, attention to detail meant adding wilder cam timing and even more cylinder head flow than the 500HP combination. The head flow came from a set of Super 23 230 heads from Trick Flow Specialties. As the name implies, the Super 23 230 heads retained the conventional 23-degree valve angle, but offered sizable 230cc intake ports to maximize flow. According to Trick Flow, the Super 23 230 heads flowed a whopping 325 CFM on the intake-more than enough to support our 600HP 400. Though it was possible to reach the 600hp mark with a hydraulic roller cam, we stepped up to the extra power and RPM offered by a solid roller from Bullet. When combined with a static compression ratio of 11.5:1 and a Dart single-plane intake, the result was 620HP and 529 lb-ft of torque. The wicked small block exceeded 500 lb-ft from 4,500 RPM to 6,400 RPM. From this point on, increasing the power output of a small-block will start to get seriously expensive and it might be wise to look into forced induction or nitrous.

700HP 400 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke: 4.125x3.75
Compression: 10.8:1
Cam: Comp Cams XR300HR
Lift 0.562/0.580
Duration: 248/254
Lobe Sep: 110
Heads: Brodix 15-Degree Aluminum
In/Ex Port Vol: 229cc Oval/cc
In/Ex Flow: 325/236 CFM @ 0.700
Valve Sizes: 2.125/1.6
Chamber: 68cc
Intake Manifold: Pro Comp Single-Plane Shoot-Out Plus
Carburetor: Holley 950HP
Headers: Hooker 1 3/4
Power Adder: NOS Dual Shot Cheater
N2O Jetting: 175HP
Oiling System: Moroso

Much like forced induction, the key to a healthy nitrous motor is to start out with a healthy normally aspirated combination. In this case, we wanted to build a stroker combination that produced over 700HP using a quick and easy nitrous system. We turned to NOS for our nitrous needs, and it supplied one of it Dual Shot Cheater systems, which is adjustable from 150HP to 250HP. We ran jetting to supply 175HP to our already healthy normally aspirated combination. The 400-inch small-block featured a ProComp block, crank and rods along with forged slugs from Probe Racing. This same basic short-block was employed on all of the combinations producing over 600HP. The top end included Brodix Head Hunter (oval-port) heads, a Comp XR300 hydraulic roller cam and matching Brodix single-plane intake manifold. Adding the Holley 950 and 1 3/4-inch long-tube headers resulted in peak power numbers of 551HP and 520 lb-ft of torque. Adding the 175HP shot pushed the power numbers to 732HP and 729 lbs-ft of torque. That is one serious chunk of small-block horsepower.

800HP 400 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke: 4.125x3.75
Compression: 11.0:1
Cam: Comp XR294HR
Lift: 0.540/0.562
Duration: 242/248
Lobe Sep: 110
Heads: Dart Pro 1 227
In/Ex Port Vol: 227cc/85cc
In/Ex Flow: 309/226 CFM @ 0.700
Valve Sizes: 2.08/1.6
Chamber: 66cc
Intake Manifold: Dart Single-Plane-NA/Weiand Blower-SC
Carburetor: Holley 950HP (NA)/Dual Holley 950HPs (SC)
Headers: Hooker 1 3/4
Power Adder: Weiand 8-71 supercharger
Boost: 11.7 PSI
Oiling System: Moroso

The one common mistake often made with supercharged motors is that more power is always available with more boost. This is especially problematic with positive displacement superchargers, as more boost can often be problematic. As with our nitrous motor, the real key to a successful supercharged combination is to start with a powerful normally aspirated one. This will allow you to reach your given power goal using less boost pressure. Less boost means fewer tuning headaches, reduced charge temperatures and a decrease in the likelihood of harmful detonation. Starting with our 400-inch short-block, we installed a set of Dart Pro 1 227 aluminum heads, a Comp XR294HR cam and (before adding the blower) ran the normally aspirated combination with a Dart single-plane intake manifold. In normally aspirated trim, the 400 produced 575HP and 549 lb-ft of torque. After adding the 8-71 Roots-type blower from Weiand and a pair of Holley 950 carburetors, the peak numbers shot up to 819HP and 667 lb-ft of torque at 11.7 PSI. The power curve was still climbing rapidly at our shut-off point of 6,800 RPM. Sure, you have to cut a hole in your hood, but what better reason for a hole or a hood scoop than a massive 8-71 blower? Mad Max would be proud!

900HP 400 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke: 4.125 x 3.75
Compression: 11.0:1
Cam: Comp Cams Blower 300BR-14
Lift: 0.575/0.575
Duration: 255/262
Lobe Sep: 114
Heads: Dr. J's Profiler
In/Ex Port Vol: 242cc/84cc
In/Ex Flow: 335/242 CFM @ 0.700
Valve Sizes: 2.08/1.6
Chamber: 68cc
Intake Manifold: Dr. J's ported Edelbrock Super Victor
Carburetor: CSU-Modified Holley 1,000HP Headers: Hooker 1 3/4
Power Adder: Supercharger
Supercharger: Vortech YSI
Boost: 13.5 PSI
Oiling System: Moroso

All superchargers are not created equal. Actually it would be more accurate to state that all superchargers do not produce the same boost or power curves. The Roots blower used on our 800HP combination offered immediate boost response. This compares to the linear boost curve that increases with engine speed provided by a centrifugal supercharger. Basically the Roots blower offers better low-speed response, while the centrifugal offers superior top-end power. The Vortech was applied to our ProComp 400-inch short block. Since we were looking for 900 hp, the SBC was configured with a solid roller (blower grind) cam and a set of Profiler heads from Dr. J's. The Profiler heads featured full CNC porting that produced 242cc intake ports and peak flow numbers of 328 CFM on the intake and 242 CFM on the exhaust. For dyno use, we installed a pulley combination that produced a peak boost reading of 13.3 PSI at 6,600 RPM. In normally aspirated trim, the 400 produced a little over 600HP and 530 lb-ft of torque. Run with the Vortech YSI (producing a peak boost reading of 13.3 PSI), the supercharged small-block pumped out 1,005HP at 6,600 RPM and 820 lb-ft of torque at 5,900 RPM.

1,000HP 383 Engine Specs

Bore x Stroke: 4.03x3.75
Compression: 9.5:1
Cam: Comp Cams Custom Roller
Lift 0.682/0.688
Duration 248/254
Lobe Sep: 113
Heads: Trick Flow Specialties Super 23 Aluminum
In/Ex Port Vol: 230cc/78cc
In/Ex Flow: 325/235 CFM @ 0.700
Valve Sizes: 2.08/1.6
Chamber: 68cc
Intake Manifold: Fast Single Plane EFI
Carburetor: NA
EFI: FAST XFI
Injectors: 160 lbs/hr
Headers: Custom Turbo
Power Adder: Twin Turbos
Turbos: Comp Turbo 74mm
Intercooler: Air to Water (Ice Water)
Boost: 10+ PSI
Oiling System: Milodon

The final power recipes was this 1,000HP example. Actually, this 383 produced more than 1,600HP with the boost cranked up, but run at just 10.7 PSI, this impressive small-block thumped out 1,073HP and 865 lb-ft of torque. The 383 featured a full Lunati forged rotating stroker assembly, Trick Flow Specialties Super 23 230 heads and a custom solid roller cam from Comp Cams. Comp Turbo supplied a pair of 74mm turbos (capable of supporting 950HP each). The trick turbos featured billet aluminum center sections set up to accept water cooling. The turbos fed a custom air-to-water intercooler run with ice water. Unlike all of our carbureted combinations, this one featured a FAST XFI management system. FAST also supplied the intake, fuel rails and 160-pound injectors. Note the relatively flat torque curve from 4,900-6,500 RPM. The turbos were sized to allow this small block to exceed 1,600HP and as such, were a tad on the large size for this lower power level. Smaller turbos would equal the power output while offering much better low-speed response, but they were needed once the boost was crank up.

SOURCES
Trick Flow Specialties
1248 Southeast Avenue
Tallmadge
OH  44278
330-630-1555
www.trickflow.com
Carburetor Solutions Unlimited
17367 Reed Street
Fontana
CA  92336
909-851-6955
www.camresearch.com
Comp Cams/Fast
3406 Democrat Road
Memphis
TN  38118
800-999-0853
www.compcams.com
Bullet Cams
8785 Old Craft Road
Olive Branch
MS  38654
662-893-5670
www.bulletcams.com
Demon Engines
Sante Fe Springs
CA
562-694-2559
www.demonengines.com
Dr. J's Performance
436 S Montgomery Street
Orange
CA  92868
714-808-9780
www.j-performance.com
Vortech Engineering
1650 Pacific Avenue
Oxnard
CA  93033
805-247-0226
www.vortechsuperchargers.com
Procomp Electronics
605 S. Milliken Avenue
Unit A
Ontario
CA  91761
909-605-1123
www.procompelectronics.com
L&R Automotive
13731 Bora Drive
Sante Fe Springs
CA  90670
562-802-0443
www.lnrengine.com
Turbo Smart
11650 Mission Park Drive
Suite 103
Rancho Cucamonga
CA  91730
909-476-2570
www.turbosmartonline.com
Probe Racing
2555 West 237th Street
Torrance
CA  90505
310-784-2977
www.probeindustries.com
Holley/Hooker/Weiand/NOS
1801 Russellville Road
Bowling Green
KY  42101
270-782-2900
www.holley.com
Comp Turbo
221 West Allen Avenue
San Dimas
CA  91773
909-599-5757
http://www.compturbo.com
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By Richard Holdener
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