Finding the best carburetor for your 383 Stroker is crucial: a performance engine requires performance parts. The carburetor controls engine speed and regulates essential functions under the hood. You clearly shouldn’t take chances with your carb, even if you know you’re hunting for a necessary factory replacement.
Before you buy the first carburetor that (might) fit your build, here’s what to look for. We’ll cover everything you need to know when choosing the best carburetor for a 383 Stroker.
Bottom Line Up Front
When it comes to replacing a factory carb, we tend to lean toward manufacturer recommendations. With Chevy, it’s a 600 CFM carb, and for us, the top choice is Edelbrock’s 1406 Performer 600 CFM 4-Barrel Carburetor.
Edelbrock’s 1406 is easy to install (instructions and how-to videos are easy to access) and a 90-day warranty gives you peace of mind. Not sure the 1406 is the right fit for your racing engine or similar build? Read on for more options for your 383 Stroker.
Different Types of Carburetors for 383 Stroker
If you are running a 383 Stroker, performance is likely top on your list. Getting off the line quickly—whether you race or not—and holding the throttle on the open road are top priorities. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to carburetors, however. Here’s more on the different types of carburetors available for a 383 Stroker.
Chevrolet offers the 383 Stroker as a crate engine, and it has a rating of 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft of torque. Ideally, Chevrolet notes, you should use a Holley 4-barrel carburetor to meet performance specs. Beyond brand suggestions, there isn’t much guidance for selecting sizes.
It’s worth noting that your Stroker 383’s displacement is 6.27L and it has a bore of 4 inches with a stroke of 3.8 inches.
Each carburetor has a measurement based in CFM. CFM means cubic feet per minute and is an airflow rating. Higher airflow means better street performance, but you won’t need maximum airflow for most driving applications.
Variations exist with carburetors, but it’s almost one size fits all as far as installation. Each engine has different equipment, to be sure, but carbs are nearly universal in many ways. Each 383 is different yet still similar, and so are carburetors.
Because a 383 is a modified Chevy 350 block, when you look under the hood, there’s a lot of variation. Differences exist between every vehicle running a 383, but it’s especially true of trucks versus cars. Similarities between the 350 and 383 mean plenty of parts are interchangeable, so it’s up to you whether to go stock or beyond.
Because of the ease of customization with Stroker 383s, your block may be “under-carbureted” with a standard-size carburetor. In general, 750 CFM gives you plenty of power, so many mechanics consider 750 the max for street driving. More is likely unnecessary unless you’re racing.
You can choose the size you want and install it, whether your build is a racecar or daily driver. It’s not always smart to go with a higher CFM, though, because under- or over-carbing has side effects.
What Happens When an Engine is Under-Carbureted?
If your carburetor is too small, you won’t get adequate performance at high RPMs. Using a too-small carb for racing, for example, limits your horsepower and can impede operation.
What Happens When an Engine is Over-Carbureted?
Too large of a carburetor makes your engine run “rich.” It can also stick you with low RPMs. Too much air and fuel overwhelm your engine, leading to wear issues later.
How to Find the Best Carburetor for 383 Stroker
Every build is different, so it can be challenging to find a carb that’s the right fit for your Stroker. Technically, any carb will “fit” (or can undergo modification to fit). Here’s what to consider and how to find the best carb for your needs.
How Much Carb Do You Need?
A carburetor is an essential piece of equipment for any vehicle (of a certain age), but having the right one is crucial. Carburetor size goes by engine displacement, so you can choose a stock carburetor without any issues. Other elements of your engine build can affect the carb performance, though. Driving habits are another consideration.
Elements like your intake manifold type, maximum expected RPMs, transmission type, and exhaust system contribute to carburetor size selection. You can use calculations to determine your engine’s volumetric efficiency (VE) and get a ballpark estimate of the necessary CFM rating.
For most of us, complex calculations aren’t part of our shopping experience. We also don’t have test facilities to run metrics on new parts post-installation. We look for CFM ratings instead and then drive a while to see how the performance works out.
650 CFM is an average carb size to start with, but if you race, for example, 850 CFM is still feasible. Drag racing and road racing are also different enough to require varying carb sizes. For daily driving, you’ll likely need a third carb option.
Lower Your Out-of-the-Box Expectations
You might expect to order a carburetor and have it work correctly the moment you finish the install. In most build scenarios, you’ll have to tune the carb to suit your engine. Be careful not to feel discouraged with your carb right out of the box if it needs adjustments.
Taking carburetor tuning steps like checking the float level and fuel pressure, tuning the idle and intermediate circuits, and testing your secondary jetting will ensure the best performance out of your new carb.
Many carbs in the 383 category are already set for 350 use, though. Pre-set measures can mean you don’t need many tuning steps (if any at all) to get everything perfect.
Think About Bore and Stroke
By default, your 383 has a bore of 4.03 inches and a stroke of 3.75 inches, making it a short-stroke engine. Depending on the modifications you make, horsepower and torque vary. Either way, horsepower and high revs are priorities of short-stroke engines. You need to think about these specs—which are unique to your custom engine—when shopping for a carburetor.
Displacement is a calculation derived from the bore and stroke of your engine. It’s also fundamental in carb fitment. You need the right amount of airflow to meet engine requirements but not so much to overwhelm it.
Factor in Other Modifications
Other modifications to your 383 (if it came “stock” from Chevy) like intake manifold changes, cylinder head types, and exhaust system variations can all influence what type of equipment you need.
Chevy’s current 383 offering is usually too “stock” for hobbyists. Unless you keep the engine as-is out of the box, a lot of the specs will change with each new part you put on. Compatibility can also become a concern when you run certain branded equipment. You may wind up needing to stick with a brand to get the fit and outcome you want.
Because you run a 383 Stroker, it’s clear you care about what’s under the hood, first and foremost. Why else would you choose a customized engine you can constantly tinker with? Aesthetics still count for a lot for many of us, though, and it’s understandable: we want the look to match the performance.
Prepping a race engine calls for a bit of style, after all. You should expect to pay more for good looks because every perk has its tradeoffs. If it’s a classic Camaro or Nova you’re working on, it’s understandable that you want something flashy.
For an older Chevy pickup, however, you may prioritize performance over good looks. Decide what your priorities are regarding aesthetics and shop accordingly.
Best Carburetors for 383 Stroker
1. Holley 0-80457sa 600 CFM Four-Barrel Street Carburetor
- Bolt-on and go operation
- Easy installation
- Gasket kit not included
- Not aesthetically appealing
Chevy’s recommended brand offers up a 600 CFM four-barrel carb in the 0-80457sa, and it’s a worthy contender no matter your 383 build specifics. Entry-level CFM ratings and a weight savings of over five pounds are ideal for street performance.
Depending on your engine, you may not need a lot of adjustments before you’re street-ready. Regarding fuel efficiency and reliability, you can’t go wrong with Holley’s 600 CFM carb. Its only general drawback is an incompatibility with AOD (automatic overdrive) transmissions, which isn’t relevant to Chevy blocks.
You do need a gasket kit, which comes separately, as the carb itself only comes with basic nuts and bolts. Easily installation, apart from needing some accessories, is a highlight. An electric choke offers easy warm-up, and a slight adjustment to idling speed is the most common tweak after installation.
The only drawback is the lack of presentation: the 0-80457sa is essentially a workhorse, so aesthetics doesn’t come into play.
2. Edelbrock 1405 Carburetor
- Practical and affordable
- Compatible with nearly every Chevy
- Not compatible with stock Corvette hoods
- Not compatible with exhausted-heat chokes
If you don’t want to spend hours poring over potential replacement carbs, here’s a workhorse solution to your problem. Edelbrock’s 1405 carb offers 600 CFM in an affordable package. Nothing is lacking here, though; it works with manual or electric chokes and is compatible with nearly every Chevy vehicle.
One limitation: it won’t fit under the hood of a stock Corvette, per the manufacturer. No worries if you go with an aftermarket hood, or if you’re racing and can have open-air equipment.
Timed and full vacuum ports and metering jets and rods round out the package, but there are no provisions for exhaust-heated chokes. Practical and versatile at an affordable price, Edelbrock’s 1405 doesn’t get enough attention for its performance and power offerings.
3. Edelbrock 1406 Performer 600 CFM 4-Barrel Carburetor
- Primary venturi booster
- Electric choke
- All-aluminum construction
- Easy installation (& tuning)
- No installation accessories included
- Modifications necessary in some vehicles
Yes, it’s a brand-name contender with many options: Edelbrock also has a 600 CFM carb in its 1406 Performer. A primary venturi booster helps smooth acceleration and enhance your driving experience. An electric choke helps get you going in cooler weather while an all-aluminum build offers steadier operating temperatures.
In combination with Edelbrock Performer manifolds, you can expect great street performance and fuel efficiency on your build. Along with the two-piece construction, the 1406 is also gasket-free under the fuel bowl lever. No plastic parts and fewer leaks are highlights with this assembly. You’ll notice both timed and full vacuum ports and easy tuning thanks to the metering rods.
Installation and tuning are a relative breeze, but if you need assistance, Edelbrock includes a DVD in the box (and videos on their website are handy, too). Edelbrock provides an exclusive 90-day warranty, too.
4. Holley 0-80738C Model 4150 650 CFM Four-Barrel Street Carburetor
- Dichromate finish adds aesthetic appeal
- Fits in limited clearance scenarios
- Changeable secondary jets
- Modifications necessary in some installations
At the next level up from Holley’s 0-80457sa is the 0-80738C, which adds another 50 CFM for a total of 650. A dichromate finish (“zinc-washed”) is appealing, but it’s the size which is most impactful. You can fit this Holley into 4mm clearance, so it’s perfect for vehicles with limited maneuverability under the hood.
Vacuum secondaries for fuel economy and an electric choke for cold starts are welcome additions. Changeable secondary jets are a trademark of the 4150 series, too. Power valve blowout protection is another notable feature. Notice you’ll have dual feed inlets, meaning additional equipment is necessary if you don’t have the parts on hand already.
You may not get race-worthy torque out of it, but Holley’s 650 CFM carb checks all other boxes.
5. Quick Fuel Technology SS-750-AN 750 CFM Street Carburetor
- Billet aluminum construction
- Aesthetic appeal
- Not bolt-and-go
Billet aluminum components and a trendy color scheme offer aesthetic appeal on Quick Fuel Technology’s SS-750-AN carburetor. Electric choke is standard and changeable idle feed restrictions make for easy adjustments.
High-speed air bleeds allow for further tuning, and the aluminum fuel bowls use sight glass windows for easy checks. CNC-machined metering blocks and throttle bodies are also billet aluminum, ensuring precise fitment and heightened strength.
You can’t deny the SS-750-AN is nice to look at, so we’d argue it’s a great fit for 383 enthusiasts looking to show off. It’s not bolt-on and go by any means—there are adjustments necessary in most cases—but the installation difficulty level is reasonably low.
If you want to feel the power and see it, too, Quick Fuel’s carb is an excellent option. It’s also proof you don’t need to exceed 850 CFM to achieve great performance.
6. Holley 0-76750RD 750 CFM Ultra Double Pumper Four Barrel Street/Strip Carburetor
- Multiple color options
- Clear fuel level sight plugs
- Not a budget option
Holley delivers again with a 750 CFM carb ideal for street and strip racing. The all-aluminum construction and a billet aluminum base plate (with anodized color options) offer durability and longevity. Aluminum means lighter weight than zinc carbs (about five pounds less), but nothing is lacking here.
Four-corner idle helps you precise the idle control and mechanical secondaries add to the performance. Clear fuel level sight plugs allow for simple fuel level adjustments. Four vacuum ports give you room for accessories, and a pre-set electric choke makes quick-starts even easier.
Red, black, or blue metering blocks and throttle bodies ensure you won’t go unnoticed. The overall package lets you turn your car (or truck) into a serious beast.
7. A-Team Performance 1902R Remanufactured Rochester Quadrajet 750 CFM
- Easy installation
- Replacement style
- Remanufactured isn’t always desirable
- No electric choke
When a carb rebuild is out of the question, but you don’t want to splurge on brand-new parts, a remanufactured Rochester is an excellent compromise. The 1902R is replacement-style but promotes throttle response and high performance across the RPMs.
Electric choke isn’t available on the 1902R, though other models from A-Team offer it. Out-of-the-box performance is admirable, so you’ll cut down on shop time with this option. For projects where flashiness isn’t a priority and daily performance takes center stage, the Rochester Quadrajet is an easy choice.
8. Quick Fuel Technology BR-67303 Brawler Race Carburetor 850 CFM
- Race performance
- Vacuum and mechanical secondary model options
- Not a budget model
At 850 CFM, Quick Fuel Technology’s BR-67303 is not for casual daily driving. It has all the aesthetic appeal of a race carb and the performance to match. Brawler carbs are precision machined models (made in the USA) and deliver impressive function.
Lightweight construction (all aluminum) and aesthetically pleasing paint jobs look great, but lightweight materials are ideal for racing builds. Both vacuum and mechanical secondary models are available, and extensive tunability is helpful for race day. Four-corner idle adjustment is on all models, and power valve blow out protection is standard, too.
Comparing the Options
|Holley 0-80457sa||600 CFM||Lightweight|
|Edelbrock 1405||600 CFM||Affordability|
|Edelbrock 1406||600 CFM||Easy install|
|Holley 0-80738C 4150||650 CFM||Ideal for limited clearance|
|Quick Fuel Technology SS-750-AN||750 CFM||Aesthetic appeal|
|Holley 0-76750RD 750 CFM Ultra Double Pumper||750 CFM||Race quality, aesthetic appeal|
|A-Team Performance 1902R Quadrajet||750 CFM||Replacement-style|
|Quick Fuel Technology BR-67303 Brawler||850 CFM||Race quality, aesthetic appeal|
The 383 Stokers, as it’s own name suggests is 383 cubic inches and the engine has a bore of 4 inches.
For normal driving, we recommend a 650 cfm carburetor.
You might feel the urge to buy the biggest carburetor out there, however, there are some risks of choking the performances of the engine. So if you want to calculate the CFM an engine needs, here is the formula:
CFM = Cubic Inches x RPM x Volumetric Efficiency ÷ 3456
Racing and daily driving are different beasts, which means your 383 may have unique requirements when it comes to replacement parts. Even if you drive and race in equal measure, finding the right carburetor fit doesn’t have to be a challenge.
From easy to install carbs which meet factory specs to high-performance and aesthetically pleasing builds, the beauty of your 383 is you can make it uniquely yours. Whatever your budget, you can achieve the level of performance you want with features to spare.