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HT383vsZZ4 custom build*edit one more for the mix*

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by k20, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Ok guys, gettin near time to order an engine. Its come down to two choices for me.
    HT383 or a ZZ4 shortblock and custom build it.

    HT383:
    Pros:
    Complete Package
    Low end torque
    Non-bored block but still 383
    Excellent crank
    Excellent block

    Cons:
    Non roller rockers
    Press in studs
    Single roller timing chain
    Somewhat flat cam
    Small valves in the vortec heads
    Push in studs

    ZZ4 short-block custom build
    Pros:
    Great bottom end
    Probable Edelbrock E-tec heads
    Dual roller timing chain
    Roller everything
    Choice of cam
    Have everything exact and up to date
    Screw in studs

    Cons:
    Take longer to get together
    Wont be a turn key type deal
    Might cost a bit more



    On either of these i will probably put on Edelbrocks EFI system, but here is my main question. Are the non roller rockers, flat cam, push in studs, and single timing chain enough of a handicap to do the custom zz4? This truck is a DD/mud/trail type truck. The two engine will end up near each other in price (within $500). What are yalls opinions as i value them...

    P.S. I swear, once this is done w/ i will be orange. This engine is nickel and diming me to death at the moment.
     
  2. 87sm465np208

    87sm465np208 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    go with what your heart tells you, and let it guide you to your new engine. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  3. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    yeh thanks ian. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  4. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    Better Idea! Buy my ZZ crate engine from me complete from headers to carb. Will provide flexplate and or flywheel for $2250 and put the EFI you want and have a 420hp 350. This engine is the 350/350hp. Has been on Mobile 1 syn. from day one, uses zero oil, no leaks less than 20K miles.I'll even throw in new rad. Steve I've got Over $4k in it
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    I think you left one important element out of the equation. The HT383 comes with a GM warranty. The custom built one doesn't. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif But you can certainly end up with an engine that it custom built for your particular use by going the custom route. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    I'd go with the 383HT. You can always change the cam, timing chain, and anything else you don't like.
     
  7. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    Why not get the new ZZ383 from GM? Its got 425 HP and 46- lb/ft TQ. Its in the 2003 GMPP catalog, the PN for the engine is 12498772
     
  8. Bruiser

    Bruiser 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    One of the mags, I think Chevy High Performance , went thru stages of changing stuff on the HT383. I think they got it well over 450 hp. www.paceperformance.com has it for 3779.83 prolly find it for cheaper.
    ZZ4 Cheaper but is mnore turn-key. more horse, less torque. 4x4 torque is what you want anyways, ZZ4 is more of a high rever, maxes out at 5250 355 hp, 383 almost 1k less at 4500 340 hp. Personally I think 383 would be more drivable in a 4x4 thank the zz4. Just my Opinion though.
     
  9. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    How much are you looking to spend?

    You can build your own 383 using a internally balanced crank and 6" rods for not too much. If I had the money you're thinking about spending I'd go that route. You get a smooth-as-a 350 motor with the torque of a 383. Add 6" rods and it'll rev as well. The only problem with 6" rods is that the piston pin is in a bad spot.

    Junkyard block $100
    Bore with stress plate $180
    Align hone mains $100
    6" h-beam rods $375
    internally balanced 3.75" crank with 2.45 mains/2.1 rods $250-$650 depending on who you get it from and if you choose cast or forged
    pistons $200-$the moon

    That's just the start but since it looks like you're already thinking about the $4000 range not including EFI you might as well build something to scare the new Hemi with.

    And when you start talking big money like that it's hard not to think about building a bigblock.
     
  10. Bruiser

    Bruiser 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    I wasn't paying attention he is already wanting to do alittle assembly getting "short blocks" there is a big difference between zz short block and 383. Need more assembly but can get zz short block for around 1978.00 where the 383 is 3089.97. Would be cheaper to build his own but may not want the hassle of going that route. :P
     
  11. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    Yeah, but it isn't that much more difficult. I just did a 305. Reichert Racing has a 2 week turnover time so I had to have my Dad have it hottanked and bored out (without a stress plate, sorry Mr. 305 but you're not worth that much money). I also bought the pistons and rings from them so they could get it to fit perfectly. I ended up with .060 over. I had them assemble the rods as well. It came to a little bit over $400 to the machine shop. They didn't have time to do the heads so I had a friend do them on his million year old stone-type grinder for $30.

    Advance Auto parts got ~$60 for a water pump, std main bearings, and std rod bearings.

    Summit got ~$250 for ARP main studs, ARP oil pump shaft, Fel-Pro Permatorque gasket set, el-cheapo Summit brand cam and lifters, copper collector gaskets, and Comp Cams valvespring shim kit.

    I mean, that was a budget rebuild and I still got a pretty good motor. You can tell that even though I pocket-ported the heads they're the limiting factor. I could've cut some corners by using cheap gaskets, cheap pistons and rings, re-use the old oil pump shaft, re-use the main bolts instead of going with ARP studs like I always do, and use el-cheapo Fel-Pro gaskets.

    It took me two evenings to put the motor together. It took longer to take the old one out and put the new one in than to put the 305 together.
     
  12. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    yeh i probably shoulda metioned budget in my 1st post, but i dont really wanna spend over 4500, if i go 383 route w/ the efo that i would love to have thats right at $5k, but thats do-able i would guess, but then it leaves no room to improve the 383's shortcomings. Is it just me or does the cam that comes in the 383 seem really small to anyone else? and also the valves. They seem to be small but they are the vortec heads. Is that just so they have high velocity, and make this a torque monster? So from everything yall have said so far it seems to be 383. Its what i was leaning more towards but i had that naggin voice in my head (custom build, custom build, CUSTOM BUILD). Ok guys, any other info before i get started down the long road to engine aquirement? Oh yeh and if i buy the 383 i was buying more or less the complete engine, if i was buying the zz4 it was just a shortblock. If i get the EFI and the 383 anyone need an intake manifold that will fit vortec heads?
     
  13. XJOSHX

    XJOSHX Registered Member

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    Guys correct me if I am wrong but I always thaught that the bigger cams made more horsepower in the top and and the smaller cams made more tq downlow. Thats might be why that motor has the smaller cams and big tq numbers. Personally I would say go with the zz4. What ever you choose good luck!
     
  14. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    well one more for the mix, my dad just called and theres a 89 suburban near where he works in sc, and its got a big block. Dont know anything other than it runs. Might be going to look at it next saturday. That would be awesome, but going from what the rest of the body sounds like it was neglected but we shall see.
     
  15. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    If you decide against the Big Block, think about custom building a 383. Wouldn't be hard to build a torque monster that can compete with the 383HT for less then the price of buying the crate motor. Plus you can go with the parts you want. I think I'd use a set of World Products S/R Torquer's over the Vortec's (For more intake options) and a Comp Cams X-tream 4X4 series camshaft, not to mention a better timming chain.
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    A few of your "cons", really aren't cons IMO.

    Roller rockers: from all accounts I've seen, they don't add enough power to justfy their cost, if thats all you are looking at. If you want max power, roller everything of course. But as I recall, all tests have shown about 10-15HP out of *full* roller rockers.

    Press in studs: GM used (uses?) them for 30+ years, AFAIK even in motors like the Z28 302...obviously not the best, but it works in most applications. If you are going newer heads, that IS $40-80 you can "save" though since thats about what the screw in stud swap seems to run.

    Single roller timing chain: when was the last time your timing chain actually snapped, or got so mych slop that it didn't work correctly? This is kinda like the stock 2 bolt vs 4 bolt block argument to me. *Stock* chains last 100k+ miles, and thats with nylon teeth! Do you really think that without the nylon teeth, other engine components won't fail first? I don't. I've got a nylon toothed timing gear, and I'm having what are apparently timing chain issues, but the aftermarket single chains I've seen don't use nylon, so that won't be an issue. When you build it yourself, double row/roller chains are cheap enough to not even consider single though I guess.

    Flat cam: depends what you want to do. Driveability (economy, idle, low end torque) will all usually suffer as the cam gets larger. Mud trucks will certainly need a larger cam though as I see it, they spend more time at higher RPM's.

    Small valves: Vortec heads apparently were designed with those small valves in conjunction with the port design. They aren't the best flowing heads out there, but low end torque, its hard to beat them. Kinda like the cam, do you want high end power, or low end? Look at their flow numbers with the 1.94/1.5 valves...I have a feeling they are fairly comparable to some aftermarket heads with 2.02/1.6 valves. Again though, that depends on the heads you compare them too, the Vortecs tend to falter as the RPM increases. Once you start dumping money into them, their benefits start to decline substantially.

    I like the ZZ4 idea, but warranty issues, if important, are definitely something to consider. If you want to change heads, cam, etc., it doesn't really make sense to go with a complete engine. Maybe you've got some machine shops locally that can throw a motor together for you that has some kind of warranty?

    My new signature should be: if you are considering a roller cam, ONLY use a factory roller cam block, that will save you around $500 right there over an older block. Plus the benefits of the one piece seal, and centerbolt valve covers if you get matching heads.
     
  17. BlaznRebel

    BlaznRebel 1/2 ton status

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    go with 383 it's a much better engine. IMHO
     
  18. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    I'd still build your own 383.

    I don't know what the warranty states, but I'm willing to bet if you bolt on anything different it's going to void it. What does the warranty say anyway? What exactly does it cover? Does it cover parts only? If so, seems kind of a waste.

    I know I could build a killer 383 for $3000 and have plenty left over for a good EFI system (Edelbrock's kind of impresses me). Say you spring a grand for some AFR aluminum heads that still leaves you $2000 for the rest of the motor.

    I have a hard time paying people labor for something I can do. And when you buy a "off the shelf" engine you're paying more labor than parts.
     
  19. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    see the thing with the gm ht383 is the block is just a standard 350 block. It hasnt been bored at all. Its a special crank that you are buying in it. If the shortblock of it was $3100 if i was even 500 more than the zz4 shortblock, then itd be a no brainer for me. Also the reason for me not buidling a complete motor is that i could swap heads and all but i wouldnt feel comfortable puttin the bottom end together. Thats why im not going that route.
     
  20. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Re: HT383vsZZ4 custom build

    So what is the stroke of the crank?

    All the GM Goodwrench 383s used to be back in the day was a "383 crank" which is a 2.45" mains, 2.1" rods, and 3.75" stroke. It was externally balanced with a combination of balancing done by the flex plate and the harmonic balancer. Nothing special. It was actually a "377" since it had a standard bore of 4". When all this stuff is made up it goes by .030" overbore. 310 (.030 overbore 305), 331 (.030 overbore 327), 355, 377 (destroked 400 to 3.48" and .030 overbore--4.155"), 383 (stroked 350 to 3.75" and .030 overbore), and 406.


    So, is GM using a longer stroke crank now or something? I know you can buy different stroke cranks from other companies like Scat but they cost big money in the end because you have rod, piston, and clearance problems. I doubt GM would pony up that kind of dough.
     

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