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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 6286
Experience:  30 Years Experience repairing, customizing, and building chevys.
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Need HELP ASAP tuning my 383 Stroker!!! My dad and I just got

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Need HELP ASAP tuning my 383 Stroker!!! My dad and I just got the car back..The entire car is basically overhauled. We have been driving her for about 3 weeks now and lately she has not been running well... after 500 miles we had her on the dyno, just to test and see what our builder delivered for us, at the time of the test she was running a bit off and we did 342 hp to the rear wheels at 5,800rpm. She definitely has more potential.. Basically it seems like she is running a bit rough, backfiring while driving, there is a strong gas odor, like "unburned" fuel.. at the dyno test they set the fuel gauge to around 6.5 to 7.0.. here's some info:
1972 Chevy Block, machined 383 Stroker
SRP Pistons #138089,
Quick Fuel Q Series 750 CFM
Comp Roller Cam Xtreme Energy #K12-771-8
Edelbrock Victor Jr. Cylinder Heads # XXXXX
Edelbrock Performer Intake Manifold #2716 ?
Scat 4340 Crank, 4340 Rods
MSD Ignition
March Pulleys
Tremec TKO-600 5speed tranny
3.89 Moser 9" Rear

Need to know what I can do to tune her up and het her running right!!

Country: United States
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Camaro IROC-Z
Year: 1987
Engine: 383 Stroker

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. Also keep in mind I don't know if you are a pro or a novice, so feel free to add any additional info at any time.



383 strokers are a nice setup, I have one in my 95 Impala SS. Have you checked the valve clearance since it started acting up. If it was mine I would pull the valve covers and check the springs and valve clearance. I would also pull a spark plug to see if any fouling of the plugs is occurring. You would be looking for a clack carbon deposit. If the carb is a little too rich, it can start a slow process where the plugs foul from the extra gas. Once this happens it will loose power and start popping. The carbs power valve can start leaking, or a needle and seat can start leaking to cause this type of problem even if it is jetted perfectly.


Beyond all this check out the distributor cap, rotor, and ignition timing. Look at the spark to make sure it is crisp and blue. Odds are it is a small tuning problem, still you need to keep an eye out for anything unusual. Go over all of this and if you have any more questions at all, I am here to help. Good luck with it, have a great day, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I do not get paid for my work unless you rate at 3 to 5 Smiley Faces or Stars, a bonus is always greatly appreciated. If the answer is not clear, let me know what additional help you need, and I will be happy to assist you further.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok great. I will look into all of that. What should the valve clearence be? And which timing light would you recommend? A lot of guys have preferences, then I hear that some don't work well with MSD ignitions, etc..

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. Also keep in mind I don't know if you are a pro or a novice, so feel free to add any additional info at any time.



With hydraulic lifters, I like to go to zero clearance, then tighten an additional 1/2 turn. As far as a timing light, I haven’t had trouble with any of them on MSD ignitions, just an inductive pickup timing light. It will see the power pulse signature in the wire, and should function well with any ignition system. The light really doesn’t know what ignition system you have, it will see a 20KV pulse of power headed for the plug, and flash. Anyway that has been my experience. If you have any more questions at all, I am here to help. Good luck with it, have a great day, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I do not get paid for my work unless you rate at 3 to 5 Smiley Faces or Stars, a bonus is always greatly appreciated. If the answer is not clear, let me know what additional help you need, and I will be happy to assist you further.


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