Will a 383 Chevy stroker give me big block power in a small block package?
To put it simply, no. This is a misconception a lot of peopel have and because of so many bogus magazine ads for wanna-be engines out there, you see the statement, "big block power in a small block package", and the truth is, you certainly won't get THAT much more power out of 33 extra cubic inches. Actually, we need to compare apples to apples here. A 383 is a .030" over bore and when comparing this to a "350" cubic inch engine, we need to compare it with a .030" over bore 350 as well, to keep a level playing field, and a .030" over bored 350 is actually 355 cubic inches, so a 383 is actually only 28 cubic inches larger than a typical / compareable 355, and you think 28 cubic inches is going to give you "big block power"? Hardly.
Let's use the standard, 1 HP per cubic inch rule of thumb, just for the ease of math here. So a .030" over 350 is actually a 355 cubic incher, and at 1HP per cubic inch, we would get 355 HP, and the same for a typical 383 using the same rule of thumb, so we are comparing 383 HP to 355 HP, which is 28HP difference. Certainly not going to give you "big block power", and when you are talking big blocks, you are talking "torque" rather than HP, and it's "torque" that you feel in the seat of your pants when driving around. So, if a typical 454 big block, (also at .030" over) makes 461 cubic inches, and at 1HP per cubic inch, we are talking about 461HP, which is quite a jump from 355HP. A heck of a lot more than the 28 extra HP a 383 would typically make in the same comparison. But keep in mind, we are only using the old 1HP per cubic inch rule of thumb. Of course it would be more like 1.2HP or so per cubic inch in reality, and on more radical engines, upwards of 1.3 -1.4HP per cubic inch in really nasty street / strip engines liek what we typically build for most people.
So why choose a 383 in the first place? Because the extra cubes are all by stroke, not by bore. Although a 383 might be making the same 1HP per cubic inch rule as the 355, it will inherrantly make more torque per cubic inch simply becaue of the physics of increased cubic inches via stroke rather than via bore size. Stroke means "leverage" and leverage gets vehicles moving, especially at lower RPM's. So even though you might not get true "big block power" out of a 383, you will certainly feel the added cubes in the seat of your pants compared to an identically prepped 355 because the 383 will make much more torque.
Now, if you really want big block power in a small block package, we can certainly do that for you with one of our 434 small blocks, or one of our monster 454 small block strokers, but as with any serious stroker of this caliber, you are also talking a minimum of a $11,000+ price tag, so the much less expensive 383 is an all around way to go for the guy that wants a little more grunt than what a typical 350 (or 355) can give.