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83 Chevy 350 engine HP?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Bigcat99, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Bigcat99

    Bigcat99 Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    My brother has my now deceased father's '83 3/4 ton Chevy sitting in a garage on his farm. Hasn't been driven much in last 8-10 years due to dad's hip and knee replacement surgeries. Just curious if anyone could tell me what HP the typical stock engine would have put out round that time frame? I'm kinda thinking about sticking some mula in it to make a decent plow truck out of it.

    Right now, it's got a 4spd manual tranny, lock outs, and ~ 95K miles. Body is still solid with minimal rust. Dad always used to like to ride the clutch, so he went through about 3 of them over the years. He pulled stock trailers with cattle from about '85-'89, Other wise it's been used sadly as only a "city truck".

    Input welcome!
  2. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239


    about 285-295 hp
  3. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    My 98 350 vortec only makes 255hp I believe. I'd say 290hp might be high.
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I would think maybe 250 in full stock smog control dress. But you could easily get over 300 out if it. Either way, those are great plow trucks and you will have more than enough power. I love plowing in my 81 (it has TBI and an automatic). If you're going to do any serious plowing, I would put in an automatic, TH 350 would be my choice.
  5. russ130

    russ130 Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    More like 185 - 195, being a 3/4 ton maybe 200 hp. That's all they made during those years even the Camaro was only around 210. That's why the Mustang had all the hype with 225 hp. I think it was 93 the Camaro came out with 275 hp motor that walked all over the Mustang.
  6. Onebadbowtie86

    Onebadbowtie86 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    Hate to burst your bubble, but factory horsepower was around the 140 h.p range. I know, sucks eh? The 80's was a bad time for horsepower and gm, along with the other manufacturers had trouble making the pony's and being emissions friendly.
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I thought I had it for you but was wrong........... oops.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Depends on which emissions setup it 's equipped with...either California or 49 states...

    49 states..

    165 HP @ 3800 RPM
    275 ft lbs @ 1600 RPM

    California emissions cuts it back....

    155 HP @ 4000 RPM
    240 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM

    Those pathetic smog years...
  9. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    160-175 hp
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  10. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Yeah everything was low HP. That was just after our last gas crisis. So all the auto makers were in conserve fuel mode. Wasnt the corvette like 220HP in the 84 model and the 81 was like 180hp.
  11. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    Heres your answer!
  12. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    Thank god for computer controlled engines. I will remember these numbers when I ***** about the fuel milage in my HD. I think it makes nearly double the HP and probably gets better milage with less emissions while doing it.

    I think this also shows how long ago detroit was making bad decisions, Emissions were strangling them in the early 80's and yet they held on to carburated technology untill the late 80's. I really wonder if Emissions were not such an issue would we have fuel injected engines today ? or would detroit still be telling us we need carburators or we won't be able to afford new vehicles.
  13. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    computer controlled engines and modern fuel injection systems that give us these high HP motors are almost entirely due to ever tightening emissions controls.

    My old 85 3/4 was a great plow truck...sadly it rusted out from under me and the t-case grenaded on me. I learned to drive on that thing so I had a tear in my eye when it was hauled away. Could have been a good parts truck for someone though...had a recent crate 350 in it, 3 sp THM auto tranny, new tires and an old style underhood 7.5' Fisher. Nobody wanted it though so I donated it to the blind kids.

    At any rate...that 83 ought to be a great truck for you. Good chance you're emissions exempt due to the age so you might be able to do just about anything you want in the name of horsepower. Check your local laws first.
  14. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Yeah the old 350's didnt make any power at all. Although on those engines it was real easy to build some good power numbers without re-financing the house, lol. I had 2 of them 82 & 84. Both engines were in stock form with the AIR system on it. A little work and some goodies inside, I would guarantee at least 300 hp. My 82 took a 70's vette off the line no problem after I put a lil work into the engine. It was stick shift too. I put a high output full distributor, .588/.588 lift cam I like the lopey idle, carb&intake, torque step headers, complete flowmaster dual exhaust. I also put in the noisy timing gears instead of a chain. I had no problem smoking the 33" BFG mud terrains that was on it.

    I would for sure make that truck into a nice plow truck. There is such a plethora of parts and add-ons for those trucks and engines that it isnt even funny
  15. russ130

    russ130 Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    If I'm not mistaken back in 83 weren't all trucks 3/4 ton and up emissions exempt?
  16. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Yes they were, but still had those stupid air tubes on them. I was so glad the day I ripped them off and the manifolds to put the headers on. I think they ran on leaded gas too, 89 octane minimum. At least that is what I remember from reading in my 84's owner manual