The Chevy 383 stroker engine is a highly popular choice among power- and racing enthusiasts. Touted as a rugged, reliable, small-displacement engine, it offers performance gains and overhaul advantages. But there are some drawbacks to be aware of regarding the 383 stroker engine and its components that you should know about before starting or purchasing a rebuild project.
What is Chevy 383 Stroker Engine?
A 383 stroker engine is a motor that has been bored out to accept a larger piston. A 383 stroker motor will have the same bore as a stock Chevy small block V8, but with larger pistons and connecting rods. This makes the engine have more displacement, which gives it more power.
The reason why it is called a “stroker” is because of how many crankshaft revolutions are required to complete one full cycle of the intake/exhaust process.
A stock small block V8 will have a stroke of 3.75″, while a 383 stroker will have a longer stroke of 4.030″. To build a 383 stroker you need to start with an engine block that has been bored out 0.030 oversize (0.030″ in diameter), which results in a 4.030″ bore diameter (the size of the center hole).
The next step is to purchase pistons and connecting rods that fit this new size bore diameter. You also need to consider moving up to a camshaft that can support these larger parts and provide better performance than what is offered by factory equipment
How Much Horsepower does a 383 Stroker Makes?
A 383 Stroker makes anywhere from 330 to 410-pound feet of torque and between 350 and 400 horsepower. The amount of power you get depends on how much work was done to the engine, what parts were used and how much money you spent upgrading the engine with aftermarket parts.
A 383 Stroker is a short block that has been bored out to 4.125 inches and then has had the connecting rods, crankshaft and pistons changed for ones with more length. This process allows for more cubic inches in the engine, which results in more horsepower and torque.
383 Stroker Disadvantages
The 383 Stroker has many advantages over a 350. It has a longer stroke, which means it will make more power at the lower end of the rev range and it will also have more torque.
The downside is that it’s going to cost more than 350 to build. The other downside is that due to the longer stroke, you’re going to lose some top-end power because there isn’t as much piston speed at higher rpm.
But if you’re looking for something that’s going to get up and go from idle all the way up through the mid-range, then this is definitely an option.
The other thing that can happen with a 383 stroker is that it builds more heat than a 350 because you’re running larger pistons in there and they’re moving faster through the cylinder bore as well as having longer strokes.
So sometimes people choose not to run them with hot rod headers because they’ll melt them down quicker than normal headers would melt down on a 350 or 400 engine build.
The main disadvantage of this engine is cost. You will have to invest in machine work. A lot of people don’t have the money or time to do this work, so they buy a 400 block instead.
The 383 stroker is prone to shake at idle because it has a small bore size and big pistons are used in the engine. This makes it overbore by 0.030 inches over stock bore size (4 inch).
This means that you need to use special pistons that can handle such an overbore without breaking under high RPM conditions. If you want a bulletproof engine with plenty of torque and horsepower then go for a 383 stroker build up with 4 inch bore and 3 inch stroke kit combination.
Is a 383 stroker a good engine?
A 383 Stroker is a great engine. It has many advantages over an original 350. The most important advantage to a 383 stroker is combustion chamber efficiency.
The combustion chamber of an original 350 is pretty much a rectangle with a squish band on the top and bottom of the piston, which is not very good at sealing off the intake and exhaust ports from one another. The cylinder head does very little to seal off these areas.
In fact it can actually cause turbulence in the port and really hurts performance at high rpm. The combustion chamber of a 383 stroker is much more efficient at sealing off these areas, allowing for better performance in both low-end and high-end power production.
The other advantage is that there are no restrictions on port size or shape like there are in the stock 350 heads, so you can design them exactly how you want them to be, giving you even more performance potential than what comes stock with an aftermarket short block kit (ie: Dart).
Thomas is a retired Chevy Auto Technician, Father to two incredible daughters. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help you solve and find reliable information on Chevrolet vehicles.