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Chrysler big block trivia

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Chrysler introduced the soon-to-be-popular 383 CID version of its wedge-head "B" series engine for the 1959 model year. Interestingly, a 383 "B" engine was also available in the DeSoto and Dodge lines for that year. Anyone know what the one big difference was between the Chrysler 383 engine and the 383 used in DeSoto and Dodges (aside from the obvious things like engine paint or stickers on the air cleaner)?

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Those things have a HEMI? (heads)

Seriously I think WMJ got it right. Also did they have bumped

down compression and/or CID?

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Well, DeSoto offered a 2x4 set-up on the 383 and Chrysler did not, tho DeSoto also offered a 2bbl and 4bbl set-up, which Chrylser did. CR was the same.

Hm-mmm, the dual quads are all that 'bubble up' for me, too.

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The answer is weirder than what you might imagine. Chrysler actually had TWO separate 383s during 1959 and 1960. The one used in DeSoto and Dodge cars was the 383 we've all come to know & love over the decades, featuring a bore & stroke of 4.25" X 3.38". This version of the 383 was continued up through the 1971 model year and became relatively famous in cars like the Road Runner & Satellite squad cars ("One Adam 12, One Adam 12"...) The other 383, used only in Chrysler models during 1959 & '60, had a bore & stroke of 4.03" X 3.75". It was essentially a de-bored version of the 413 V8, which was also new for 1959. The 413 and "long stroke" 383, as well as the 426 and 440 "wedge" engines that followed, had a higher deck height (i.e. taller block) to clear the longer stroke than did the shorter stroke models such as the 350, 361, 383 (Dodge & DeSoto) and later 400 "B" series engines. These higher deck engines with the longer stroke were known as the "RB" series (for "Raised Block"?).

Both the "B" and "RB" engines looked similar (and indeed shared heads depending on application), though a sharp eye could see the taller deck height of the RBs. It's kinda like what Ford did with the 352 FE engine when it evolved into the 390 (and later, the 410, 427 & 428)...they added about 1/2" to the block so the longer strokes would still fit inside the block. :).

How do I remember this stuff, but then forget where I put my watch two minutes ago?

Allpar's page on the "B" and "RB" engines: http://www.allpar.com/mopar/383.html

Edited by NeonLX

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