Building any engine from scratch requires a significant investment of both time and money. For anyone who has ever been down this road that should come as no surprise but each and every time we build something here at GMHTP, we're certainly reminded of the effort involved. From the original planning stages to completion, engine building is all about setting concise goals and sticking to a plan. You can't jump into a fresh build without a clear vision and it's important to stick to your plan once everything is underway, even if that means taking a little more time to get everything right.
If you've been following our TPI engine build, you should remember us putting together a stout 383 shortblock a couple of months ago using a low-mileage four-bolt main block and a serious rotating assembly from Lunati. With the 383 shorty complete, it was time to assemble the top half of the engine, but we didn't want to compromise power and performance for time. So, we waited a little bit for all of our parts to arrive and spent the idle time porting our TPI upper plenum for maximum performance. Finally, the UPS man arrived and our goodies showed up, and boy was it worth the wait!
Up top, we selected a pair of Air Flow Research 195cc Eliminator cylinder heads for our 383, which flow upwards of 280 cfm on the intake side at .550-inches of lift thanks to a set of 2.050-inch valves, a killer 100-percent CNC ported runner, and a competition five-way valve job. The 195cc Eliminators also feature a 3/4 deck for maximum strength, raised exhaust ports, 23-degree valve angles, and L98 style plugs for plug-and-play performance. These heads were designed by AFR to work on 350 to 400 cubic-inch engines from 2000-6500rpm, which is exactly what our 383 was built to do on the street and strip.
To make those 195cc heads work, we teamed up with Comp Cams, who sent us a set of Ultra Pro Magnum rocker arms, hardened .080-inch chrome moly pushrods, and a hydraulic roller camshaft, which we installed in Part 1 of this series. For a little late-model retrofit fun, we also ordered up a set of Gen III LS style lifter guide buckets, which will allow for quick and easy camshaft swaps in the future, should the need arise… and you know the need may arise!
All the way up top, above those AFR heads, we chose to bolt up a complete Edelbrock High-Flo TPI intake runner system, which will maximize flow to the cylinder heads and create power and torque throughout our 383's power band. The High-Flo baseplate, which can work with stock or aftermarket TPI runners, was optimized by Edelbrock to improve flow throughout the engine operating range and, combined with Edelbrock's TPI runners, is worth over 20hp in stock form. On a heavy breathing 383, we're betting the High-Flo intake will be worth even more…
Of course, in all of the hustle and bustle, we did manage to forget an oil pump, a set of raised valve covers, and the correct oil pan, but we'll drop those on when we go to install the 383 in Lethal Weapon. For now, follow along as Greg Lovell makes quick work of our 383 top end build and tune in next time to see the TPI mill drop into Steve's Firebird.