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We Test It: The SP383 Crate Engine From Chevrolet Performance

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 4 days ago Hot Rod Network Staff
01_CCR_SP383.JPG We Test It: The SP383 Crate Engine From Chevrolet Performance

If you're considering the purchase of a crate engine for your car, you'd be well served to pay close attention to engines built by the original manufacturer. Who better to buy a Chevrolet crate engine from than Chevrolet? While there are more radical combinations available, you know you can trust the OEs for solid construction and reliability.

We had our engine shipped directly to Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma, California, for a session on its Superflow engine dynamometer to establish a performance baseline before doing any other work to it.© Steve Brulé We had our engine shipped directly to Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma, California, for a session on its Superflow engine dynamometer to establish a performance baseline before doing any other work to it.

The recently introduced Special Performance crate-engine line from Chevrolet Performance is the culmination of more than 50 years of building the small-block. Combining the latest-design Fast Burn cylinder heads with a lightweight valvetrain and LS-style beehive springs, the CT400, SP350, SP383, and ZZ6 are among the most powerful small-block crate engines Chevrolet Performance has made. Consider that they also come with a one-year warranty, and it's obvious there's a lot of performance and reliability to be had in one of these engines. For our tests, we chose the horsepower king of the bunch, the SP383. According to the literature, it makes 435 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque. We were pleasantly surprised to see it make even more than that on the dyno.

Sold complete from intake to oil pan, all you need to add are ignition, exhaust, and a carburetor to get the engine running. Westech's ever-stylish Troy Goldie changed into his Lucas Oil shirt just for this picture. Even though this engine has a hydraulic roller cam, we filled the crankcase with high-zinc 10W-40 motor oil for added protection.© Steve Brulé Sold complete from intake to oil pan, all you need to add are ignition, exhaust, and a carburetor to get the engine running. Westech's ever-stylish Troy Goldie changed into his Lucas Oil shirt just for this picture. Even though this engine has a hydraulic roller cam, we filled the crankcase with high-zinc 10W-40 motor oil for added protection.

On the Dyno

Research

This engine definitely exceeded our expectations—check out the numbers. Advertised to make 435 hp, the SP383 saw those numbers and raised them by another 11 hp. Peak torque was a bit more than advertised, too, as this engine twisted out nearly 450 lb-ft on Westech's dyno. Even better, look how flat the torque curve is. This is a great combination for a hot street machine or muscle truck, and stay tuned as we prove that fact by dropping it into one of our projects.

07_CCR_SP383.JPG© Steve Brulé 07_CCR_SP383.JPG
TQHP
3,000401229.1
3,200394.8240.6
3,400396.8256.9
3,600403.7276.7
3,800413.7299.3
4,000424.7323.5
4,200435.9348.6
4,400446373.7
4,600448.3392.7
4,800447408.5
5,000443.4422.1
5,200437.2432.9
5,400429441.1
5,600418445.7
5,800403445
6,000389.3444.7

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