What’s best for my Hot Rod? Chevy 383 short block vs LS Crate Engine – Smeding Performance
What’s best for my Hot Rod? Chevy 383 short block vs LS Crate Engine

Jun 09 , 2023

LeachCo Marketing

What’s best for my Hot Rod? Chevy 383 short block vs LS Crate Engine

Ah, the age-old question that has plagued hot rod enthusiasts for decades: Chevy small block or LS engine? It's a dilemma that has caused many sleepless nights and countless hours of heated debate among gearheads. But fear not, my fellow automotive aficionados, for we are here to shed some light on this eternal quandary.

The Smeding 383 small block Chevy engine

Let's start by breaking down the contenders. On one side, we have the classic Chevy small block, exemplified by the mighty 383 short block from Smeding Performance. This bad boy is a powerhouse with a broad power range that will make your heart race and your tires scream for mercy. It's the perfect choice for those seeking muscle under the hood while still craving daily driveability. Plus, let's not forget that iconic hot rod sound—the 383" Hot Rod delivers a satisfying lope that'll make heads turn faster than a Ferrari at a car show.

The Smeding Performance 383 "Hot Rod" crate motor

Now, on the other side, we have the LS engine, the new kid on the block (pun intended). LS engines have gained a reputation for their impressive power and efficiency, not to mention their compatibility with modern technologies like automatic overdrives. With an LS engine, you can have your muscle and your fuel economy too. But will it give you that same soul-stirring growl as the small block Chevy? That's the question we're here to answer.

Let's dive deeper into the Smeding Performance offerings. The 383 short block boasts a Smeding Heavy Duty 4 Bolt Mains block with a 9.025" deck height and a 1 Piece Seal. The crankshaft is a 4340 Forged Steel beauty with a 3.800" stroke, while the rods are forged from 5140 steel and equipped with 3/8" bolts. The UEM Custom Hypereutectic Aluminum pistons, with their 13.5cc dish and coated skirts, add to the durability and performance of this beast. With a compression ratio of 10.0:1 (or 9.3:1 with 72cc heads), you can expect some serious power output from this short block.

And let's not forget the camshaft—the heart and soul of any engine. The Smeding hydraulic roller camshaft offers various options to suit your desires. From the 380hp cam with .480”/.480” lift and 212°/222° duration at .050” to the 480hp cam with .544”/.543” lift and 236°/244° duration at .050”, there's a camshaft to satisfy your hunger for speed. The included camshaft kit, featuring hydraulic roller lifters, roller timing set, and more, ensures a complete package that's ready to roar.

On the LS side of the ring, we have the LS3 crate engine, renowned for its power and versatility. But here's the catch—it's not just about the engine block. The Smeding 383 short block offers you the flexibility to customize your hot rod to your heart's content. You can choose your own intake, cylinder heads, and other components to create a truly unique and personalized machine. With the LS crate engine, you're limited to the pre-packaged setup, which may not suit your specific needs and preferences.

So, what's the verdict? Both options have their merits. The 383 short block is a tried and true classic, with a proven track record of performance and reliability. It offers the flexibility to customize and tailor your hot rod exactly how you want it. On the other hand, the LS crate engine brings modern power and efficiency to the table, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a balance between muscle and fuel economy.

Ultimately, the choice boils down to your personal taste, budget, and the specific goals you have for your hot rod. If you're a purist who craves that nostalgic small block Chevy sound and the ability to fine-tune every aspect of your engine, the 383 short block might be the way to go. But if you're looking for the power and efficiency of a modern engine with fewer customization headaches, the LS crate engine could be your ticket to hot rod heaven.

Whichever route you choose, rest assured that Smeding Performance has your back. With their top-notch components, rigorous testing, and a generous 3-year unlimited mile warranty, you can hit the road with confidence and the roar of power under your hood.

So there you have it, folks—the battle of the Chevy 383 short block vs. the LS crate engine. In the end, there's no definitive answer. It all comes down to your preferences and priorities. But remember, no matter which engine you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the thrilling ride that only a hot rod can deliver. 

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