Chevy 283 Timing Specs

by Lawrence Adams

The Chevy 283 was a V-8 small-block engine build by GM during the 1950s and 1960s. The number 283 refers to the engine's piston displacement in cubic inches. In 1957, GM used the 283 small-block in three models: the 150, 210 and Bel Air. GM expanded the use of the Chevy 283 in the years after to include the Delray, Biscayne and all their station wagons.

Ignition Timing

All Chevy 283 ignition system times are measured in degrees before top dead center (BTDC). The ignition timing of the 170 and 230 hp models was 4 degrees BTDC. The timing of the 245 and 270 hp models was 12 degrees BTDC. The ignition timing for the 275 and 315 hp models was 8 degrees and 18 degrees BTDC, respectively.


The Chevy 283 small-block consistently offered high-torque specs across all models. The 170 hp model offered the lowest torque with 275 lb.-ft. at 2200 rpm, while the 245 and 275 hp models offered the highest torque with 300 lb.-ft. at 3800 rpm. Chevy's 230 hp model also provided 300 lb.-ft. of torque, though produced it at 3000 rpm. The 270 and 315 hp models produced 285 lb.-ft. of torque at 4200 rpm.

General Specifications

All models of the Chevy 283 had a bore and stroke of 3.875 by 3.00 inches. Additionally, the spark plug gap and point gap in all models were 0.035 inch and 0.019 inch, respectively.

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