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Stroke checking

From: Hank Dozier
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Date: November 03, 2002


The "MP" designation makes it sound like a PLYMOUTH engine, which would be low-desck. But a 1959 Saratoga should have a high-deck motor. So we have issues with originality, which given the age of your vehicle is not uncommon. Try the following. Take a piece of thin plastic rod and insert it into your most accessable spark plug hole. Crank the engine over by hand until it reaches bottom-dead-center for that cylinder. You may have to do this a few times to find it. Once you feel you have bottom-dead-center, mark the plastic rod with a mark at the top of the spark plug hole. Now crank it to top-dead-center and mark again. Remove and measure the length between marks. A 383 high-deck should have a stoke length of 3.75", and a low-deck 383 should have a stroke lenght of 3.38" If it is close to one or the other, then you know BY STROKE which engine (B or RB) you have. Good luck.


Last changed: July 19, 2018