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Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?
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Daniel 1959
Posted 2019-12-15 9:39 AM (#591620)
Subject: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Location: Switzerland
Hello

I am new here on the forum and might do some engine tune up for a
1959 Dodge Custom Royal D-500

Ideally i am looking for around 380-400 HP ( stock 320HP)

I intend to keep all stock , even the converter ( anybody knows the stock stall speed ?). Is this possible ?

thought about installing a Comp Cam XE268h or a XE274h.

Do you have any suggestions. Are these cams too agressive ?

I will consider porting the intake and heads or maybe swap the heads for 440 heads to increase flow.

thanks for your ideas.

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dodge59
Posted 2019-12-15 11:35 AM (#591625 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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<p>I'd leave that motor alone and build another to you own specs. unless it is not the stock engine that came with the car when brand new . imo</p><p>Is that the car that just sold a couple months ago on the market?</p>

Edited by dodge59 2019-12-15 12:20 PM
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Daniel 1959
Posted 2019-12-15 1:47 PM (#591633 - in reply to #591625)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Location: Switzerland
dodge59 - 2019-12-15 11:35 AM

I'd leave that motor alone and build another to you own specs. unless it is not the stock engine that came with the car when brand new . imo

Is that the car that just sold a couple months ago on the market?



Hi dodge 59

It is the car, which was not very much advertised, yes. It is bone stock as far as I know , with an older restoration. To my knowledge the engine was never rebuilt. But i will find out when I open it up.

I just want to inspect the heads and rebuild , port them. I thought I could replace the cam and springs in the same process, and optimize the cam curve. Just wanted to know, in case I have to rebuild the whole engine, what a good cam setup would be. To my knowlage the crank on these engines were stamped steel, so a minor HP increase would do no harm. The top Stamp of the block reads ML383 5120

Block Casting is 1851829-3 embossed

Thanks
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1960fury
Posted 2019-12-15 2:37 PM (#591637 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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I guess you mean forged crank, yes, they can cope with 600+++ HP but if the engine is OE and running well, I wouldn't touch it! It already has a HP crank (D500) I wouldn't go bigger. There are lots of ways to improve performance without any drawbacks that come with a bigger cam (rougher idle, less mileage, wear, etc). I once had a low compression/performance 361 in a 61 Desoto, went easily 133+ mph. Do you plan to go faster?
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Daniel 1959
Posted 2019-12-15 3:51 PM (#591640 - in reply to #591637)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Location: Switzerland
1960fury - 2019-12-15 2:37 PM

I guess you mean forged crank, yes, they can cope with 600+++ HP but if the engine is OE and running well, I wouldn't touch it! It already has a HP crank (D500) I wouldn't go bigger. There are lots of ways to improve performance without any drawbacks that come with a bigger cam (rougher idle, less mileage, wear, etc). I once had a low compression/performance 361 in a 61 Desoto, went easily 133+ mph. Do you plan to go faster?


I totally agree with you 1960fury,

as far as it runs fine, don't touch it.

But with all older cars I had till now, after maybe 5k or 10k miles some rebuilt was on the horizon. Older engines tend to brake somehow after long being out of use. Maybe gunk is loosing up and plugging some oil channels or the pressure to some components is lowering and as a result, they will brake. Although I always flush the engine and use new oil and filter check oil pump after a new purchase it happend to me twice.

So that's why I am planning ahead and like to know a good engine cam combo in advance. So I won't have to do researches once it comes into play.

Dani
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wayfarer
Posted 2019-12-15 4:11 PM (#591642 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Being in Zurich it may be a struggle to source another engine but, along with dodge59, I would suggest building another engine and then swap them. Rebuilding the heads and installing a new cam will not help a potentially tired bottom end or rings. At least you would start with everything fresh. Most guys on this forum would help to find a pre-62 core engine.
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1960fury
Posted 2019-12-15 5:18 PM (#591643 - in reply to #591640)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Daniel 1959 - 2019-12-15 3:51 PM



But with all older cars I had till now, after maybe 5k or 10k miles some rebuilt was on the horizon. Older engines tend to brake somehow after long being out of use.


Not my experience. My 383 was full of oil sludge. 1 inch in the oil pan. Cleaned it and switched to synthetic oil. Flushed it twice. That was 1988. Ever since no problems whatsoever. After years of daily driving it still idles glass smooth with perfect oil pressure and no noises. Recently had it to 135+ mph, pedal not floored. Still runs easily an estimated 150+ (speedo only reads to 135 mph) with way over 330K miles on the clock, that is almost half a million Kilometers.

Almost the same story with my 61 Desoto and 60 Adventurer, all very high mileage abused big blocks. They still run perfect with no problems at all. Change the timing chain and sprockets, maybe a bigger oil pump, fix the heat riser adjust it to specs, use quality synthetic oil, don't stress it when cold and it will very likely outlive you.
So please take the advice from 30+ years experience. Do not assume because its old its got to break. They knew how to build engines back in the day. Today, the problems not rarely start with a rebuild.
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Daniel 1959
Posted 2019-12-15 5:58 PM (#591645 - in reply to #591643)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Location: Switzerland
Oh thank you 1969fury,

As I never had such a Mopar 59 383 engine , I am pleased to hear about your experience.

Just had a good friend of mine, purchasing a 1959 Buick Electra 225, experiencing engine breakdown after he drove of the German inspection. He got it licenced and 25km later stood at the road border wit a dead engine. One of the valves had broken and fell into the cylinder. Now he is doing a major rebuild. but maybe Mopar 383's are more durable built as the GM Nailheads of those times.

Thank you for your sharing.

As far as I expierienced, the car runs very smooth and idles without any vibrations. So i will leave it as it is most probably.

What kind of synthtic oil do you use ? Don't they need high ZDDP aditives to operate properly and have enough lube on the crank and valves. In Switzerland we have 98 octane pump gas from BP with no ethanol in it. do I need a octane booster as the stock CR is 10:1? Would I need to add a Led additive too ? As for my other older cars I always do .


Thanks for your help

Dani
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1960fury
Posted 2019-12-15 6:51 PM (#591648 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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Buick.... I said it before and say it again, the Mopar Big Block is one of the best, if not THE best and most reliable and rugged engines in automobile history. Especially the low deck big blocks. These are almost indestructible. Engine pro's choose the low deck for (insane) high horsepower builds. The 383 have what is considered the perfect bore/stroke ratio. The block (Y-block) is very rugged.
I did crazy things with mine when I was younger, rarely a week without some "speed contest" and drove it daily for many years (back then already a very old engine), it never caused any problems and up to this day it runs like new. It turned 60 years old past August, heads never been off!
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dodge59
Posted 2019-12-15 7:14 PM (#591651 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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just run a bottle of zinc in it every oil change and your set for another 100,000 miles. If you wanted a little more power just add electronic ign, coil , curve distributor , better air cleaner system , bigger and better carb , clutch fan and you will see an improvement . No need to rebuild that 383. imo . let's see some pics of that D500 ! LOL beautiful car !
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Daniel 1959
Posted 2019-12-15 7:42 PM (#591654 - in reply to #591651)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



Member

Posts: 36
25
Location: Switzerland
Thanks dodge59,

ok I will add a little zinc to it , planned to get a pointless ignition, and a Holley carb ( 750 cfm or 800 cfm ) DP 4150 or 4160 , ordered already a Nylon lightweight 18 in 6 blade fan, not sure about the air cleaner. Thought about a K&N or Edelbrock system. What stock replacement coil would you suggest ? I want to use the stock brackets, not converting to a remote MSD ignition system. I would like to have the old looks just do minor hidden improvements.

Unfortunately i don't know how to upload pictures yet !

The picture i use in the profile is the actual car


Dani
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dodge59
Posted 2019-12-15 7:49 PM (#591655 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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stick with a carter or edelbrock carb more era correct ,, blaster coil and paint it black . I like the pertronic unit that way you can still use the basic distributor unit . k&n air filter with your stock air cleaner . no need for synthetic oil either .
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60 dart
Posted 2019-12-15 7:51 PM (#591656 - in reply to #591620)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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i like this cam https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chrysler-BB-B-RB-Hydr-FT-Howards-Cam-Lifter... that i recently used in my 69 383 , in my 60 dart . along with higher to the deck pistons . doing the math with the stock down in the hole pistons , was @ 7.8 CPR . with the new higher pistons and a composite/layered head gasket it now is @ 9.4 CPR and with a steel shim head gasket it would have been @9.8 CPR . with the cam above and the new higher pistons this motor just sounds more alive than the old build even though the old cam was bigger at 509 lift . on the road it has way more guts than the old build . also the idle is way lower at @800 RPM v the old cam at @ 1200 and way smoother . the new cams power range starts @ 1600 RPM v 3500 RPM for the old cam . the carb is a new edelbrock design demon 600 CFM that is super good right out of the box . i also have a new 750 demon that will be going on in the future . my machinist engine builder said to me that all mild built 383's should be 750CFM , nothing smaller . the only reason the 600 is still on the motor is i new it was a realy good carb from the old build and it was still on the intake for the new build . my wife said , NOW IT SOUNDS LIKE A REAL MOTOR ---------------------------later
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wayfarer
Posted 2019-12-17 1:55 PM (#591734 - in reply to #591655)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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dodge59 - 2019-12-15 4:49 PM

stick with a carter or edelbrock carb more era correct ,, blaster coil and paint it black . I like the pertronic unit that way you can still use the basic distributor unit . k&n air filter with your stock air cleaner . no need for synthetic oil either .


I would stay away from the Pertronix stuff. Getting replacement parts in the US is hard enough, but Zurich?
The Mopar electronic system has been around since 1970. Changing to a GM module will keep the ECU from spoiling the sleeper look.

The engine is well past the 'break-in' period so additional zddp is not needed. You could use 15-40 diesel oil if you want more than convential oil has.

The original 383-440 hp cam is a good choice for a relatively stock engine. Be sure to use the 'early' lifter for your early engine; HT-812.

Edited by wayfarer 2019-12-17 1:56 PM
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57chizler
Posted 2019-12-18 12:09 PM (#591779 - in reply to #591734)
Subject: Re: Ideal Cam for a 383 Motor in a 1959 CRL ?



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The GM conversion:

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/convert-a-ford-or-chrysler-ignition-...
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