More motor, more transmission, more wrenching
You were maybe wondering about the ongoing saga of Project SuperBurb? Allow us to bring you up to date. A few months back we installed a Superlift 6-inch lift, along with a set of 35-inch Pro Comp Xterrain tires. So, why the delay? Well, ever heard of time or money? We have heard of both, but don't have much of either. So Project SuperBurb has been on hold.
But now it's finally time to replace the tired old 350 V-8 found under the hood of our '71 Chevy Suburban. While we considered this prospect, thoughts of a big-block with tons of power danced through our heads. Then of course getting 9 miles per gallon also came to mind, and since this rig could become a daily driver, we decided against a ton of cubic inches.
But we still wanted plenty of torque to help the big Burb out on the trail and while towing. That is when we came across the HT 383 crate engine from GM Performance Parts. It's perfect for the SuperBurb. Built to produce torque down low, the HT 383 produces 435 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. Even better is the fact that it makes more than 400 lb-ft of torque from 2,500 to 4,000 rpm. On top of this it also makes 340 hp at 4,500 rpm. Other workhorse features include a hydraulic roller cam and a four-bolt main block. We also liked its 9:1 compression ratio--that means that we can run it on 87-octane gas and still harvest all that power and torque. Best of all, it's a brand-new long-block ready to be dropped in and fired up. So we think we've chosen the perfect truck engine.
Next, we had to find a transmission for the SuperBurb, one with an overdrive, since we are running 4.88 gears. Here the choice of a NV4500 five-speed manual from Advance Adapters to replace our SM465 four-speed manual was simple. First off, these are brand-new transmissions, are plenty stout, and combine a 5.62:1 first-gear ratio with a 0.70:1 fifth gear. The folks at Advance Adapters have the necessary pieces to mate the NV4500 to our NP205. So what follows is a summary of our weekend wrench sessions as we slammed the HT 383 and NV4500 in the 'Burb--but minus all the cussing and busted knuckles.