How to build a 383 Stroker with 500 HP?

The Chevrolet 383 Stroker is not a factory production engine, it’s an aftermarket upgrade to a classic Chevy 350 engine, and while you now can buy crate engines in 383 configurations, it was never built by Chevy into a production car.

The 383 Stroker engine is designed to sit in classic Chevy chassis including the classic Chevy Nova, and the Chevy Camaro, but will fit into any Chevy chassis if you make the right adjustments, and the bottom line is that a 383 Stroker kit is based on a modified 350 block engine that has a Chevy 400 crankshaft to increase the stroke for greater displacement.

When considering the above, I can assume you either have a 350 you want to pump up to a 383, or you have a 383 Stroker, and you want it to pump out 500 horsepower. Well, that is not a tall order, and this 350 Chevy small block engine can definitely deliver the goods if you know how to squeeze every ounce of juice out of her. Let’s go take a look and see what can be done.

The model I am about to describe pumps out 500 horsepower and 500 pounds per square foot of torque. This is a ZZ4 based model, and it requires a special crank and matching oil pan for its late-style one-piece rear main seal.
So what did I do? I used a stock block with a forged crankshaft, although a cast crankshaft is also good, and matched it with stock 5.7” rods that are upgraded using ARP bolts. I used Speed-Pro forged pistons which are lightweight delivering a 10.0:1 compression and the pistons came with a 0.010” hole. The chambers were 64cc and used standard iron heads.

I added an XR294HR stick with 242/248 degrees of duration set at 0.050, 0.540/0.562-inch lift. This hydraulic roller has 1.52:1 roller rockers, and 110 degrees of lobe sep. The cam cleared the stock rods giving plenty of valve-to-piston clearance using Speed-Pro pistons. This gives you a 950 rpm idle and a vacuum of 9 inches.

This configuration gives me 502 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm and 500-plus horsepower from 5,700-6,200 rpm.

For parts, here is what I used, and you can source all of them online.

3.75-stroke forged crank #SME-3-51-05L057, TCI Rattler balancer #870003, ARP crank bolt #134-2501, ARP main bolts #134-5202, TCI ext.-balance flexplate #399773ARP, flexplate bolts #100-2901, Fel-Pro rear main #2919, Speed Pro pistons #LW2605F-030, Speed Pro file-fit rings #R9771 35, Speed Pro main bearings #139M, Speed Pro rod bearings #8-7100CH, Speed Pro cam bearings #2100M, Speed Pro freeze plugs #3818059, Motown 220 heads #014150-2, ARP head bolts #134-3601, Fel-Pro head gaskets #1003.

For the Valve train I used the following parts:

Comp Cam kit #08-443-8, Pro Magnum rockers #1301-16, ARP cam-bolt kit #134-1001, Comp valve covers #220, Fel-Pro v/c gaskets #1604, Fel-Pro timing set #TCS-45121.

I used the Summit headers #G9001-9 exhaust, and for induction is used Hardcore 850 carb, Plus Series 850, Performer RPM Air Gap #2601 and the Fel-Pro intake gaskets #1205.

The output of this build was extremely well, and here is the RPM to Torque to Horsepower Chart


4,000 491 374
4,100 492 384
4,200 496 397
4,300 497 407
4,400 498 418
4,500 500 428
4,600 501 438
4,700 502 449
4,800 500 457
4,900 496 462
5,000 493 469
5,100 490 475
5,200 486 481
5,300 482 487
5,400 479 492
5,500 474 496
5,600 467 498
5,700 462 501
5,800 457 505
5,900 450 505
6,000 439 501
6,100 431 501
6,200 425 502