Any hope for my 283? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Any hope for my 283?

Hello Team, just bought a 67 Fastback Impala. It has the original 283 at 86K miles. I'm not a racer, nor strip dragger. If anything I'll take this car to a few car shows throughout the summer and to church a Sunday or two. Im not looking to really swap the engine. EVERYONE keeps telling me to do so, but what I want is just to get a nice muscle car sound from the car. Of course with doing that comes a tiny bit better performance, but Im not looking for a torque monster, nor the HP of a Hellcat. Just a cruiser that sounds really good, feels good and looks good. Any suggestions, again I don't want to swap the motor, Thanks.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 07:53 PM
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Ah yes the old baseball cards in the spokes trick.

Welcome to the Team!

You are correct if you don't have high expectations from the 283 then you should be amply rewarded. The 283 was made obsolete by the introduction of the 327 in 1963 which in turn was replaced in 1967 with the introduction of the 350 which lasted in cars up until 1996 before it was replaced by the new (well relatively new as it was introduced over a quarter of a century ago LS-x small block).

A 283 can make a lot of noise, just saw off the tail pipes. Won't run any better but it can make noise. If you add a cam to a 283 you will be disappointed as it doesn't have a lot of bottom end torque to start with an a long duration cam (to get that rumpity rump noise) will kill off any ability to enjoy your ride.

A free demonstration of this is available at your local car show. Just show up early while every one is setting up. Then look for the Hugger Orange with white rally stripes, and the tell tale noise of a 30/30 mechanical lifter cam that announces the arrival of a Z/28 Camaro.

Now all you have to do is count the number of times he stalls his Camaro trying to park it.

This is because a 302 Z/28 engine has the short (no torque) stroke of a 283 engine in the larger bore block shared by a 327 or 350. Combined with the Duntov 30/30 cam and he will have a hard time backing it into the spot even with the usual 4.10 rear gears and a manual tranny that allows him to rev the engine higher to back it in (you won't be able to do this as you probably have a PowerGlide two speed auto and your stall speed is so low it will actually stall the motor when you put it into D for drag with a 30/30. This is why there are no automatic Z/28 Camaros (a high speed stall torque converter wasn't discovered until after the Vega was introduced in 1971). It is also why stall speed is called that, the engine stalls as it isn't making enough power at low RPM (off idle) to turn the torque converter over due to all of the hydraulic friction inside that makes a torque converter work.

Please I am not ragging on your car or it's combination. A 283 is a great little engine and has more than enough power to move your car down the road at seventy miles an hour (that is about as fast as it will go even flat out I doubt if it could maintain eighty). This is good because above seventy and you are usually speeding anyway. Besides your car's brakes were only designed to work at about 50 to 55 mph max anyway.

Now. Hopefully you are still reading this as I explain what happens inside your engine. A long duration cam is used by racers who launch off the line at wide open throttle because they are race cars not street cars. They are attempting to get as many power strokes (remember your engine has four cycles, only one of which makes power) per second as they can as the race is measured in seconds. The more power strokes they have the more "peak" horsepower the motor makes (what they used to paint on the hoods of NASCAR stock cars back before advertising and the loss of the use of a stock car in stock car racing). The long duration cam prevents the intake valve from closing to allow more fractions of a second of time to allow air to enter the cylinder. It opens and closes 30 times a second, so there isn't a lot of time to get air in and out of the engine.

The down side of that is with the valve open the piston is still rising pushing what should be fuel and air to be compressed to flow back out of the cylinder into the intake. This pressurizes the intake and confuses the carburetor that works off of vacuum not pressure. It dumps extra gas in to compensate for the pressure and the motor stumbles (rumpity) times as many intake cycles (rumps) at your idle RPM to get that noise every one craves.

Problem of course is it kills bottom end power, your short stroke doesn't have a lot of bottom end power to start with (on the plus side the short stroke combined with good heads and a long duration cam will rev to 8,400 RPM before scattering itself all over the track).

Seriously the 350 was introduced to move big full size Chevys (they introduced the 400 cubic inch small block Chevy in 1970 because designers kept making Impalas bigger and heavier). As I pointed out above they haven't made a 350 in a long time and they are getting harder to find in the bone yards (with the price increasing with demand). You can retain your 283 as is all original for some future restoration if you want and replace it today with a stone stock Vortec 350 that looks just like it for a lot less than it would cost to rebuild and modify your 283 to make the same power.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 09:32 PM
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Must be a quiet night at Big Daves house tonight! lol.

There's no question that a 283 can sound really damn good with a lopey cam in it so your goal is certainly possible. Like Dave said, that will make the poor lil 283 even weaker on torque which is what gets that big heavy car moving off the stoplight and around corners.
Your description sounds like you're ok with it. It could sound great but may have the low-end torque of a 6 cylinder.

My bigger concern is more about the mileage on that engine and your tolerance for near-future issues/failures.
If you put in a cam now, you'd have to do lifters as a set. If you try to get away with ONLY that, you would most likely soon find the valve-guides are worn and you'll see burning oil/white smoke. And at 86,000 miles, who knows how good those piston rings are? A compression check and leakdown test on that engine would tell you a good bit. I'd be worried that you have high ring wear and may only get 6-24 months of driving.

When you start thinking about those costs, it makes sense to just do a full rebuild all at once. The cost of that for a 283 isn't greatly different than a host of other options, like a 327, 350, 383 or a crate motor. You'll want to weigh the costs versus goals and expected downtime and potential failures.
I'm not trying to suck the fun out of this for ya, but I'm a realist and want to ensure you have proper expectations going in so you don't get disappointed later..
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 11:22 PM
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I would just put on a set of full Dual Exhaust with some interesting Mufflers.

It will not just sound a whole lot better, but will have a little more power and get some better gas mileage to boot.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62BillT View Post
I would just put on a set of full Dual Exhaust with some interesting Mufflers.

It will not just sound a whole lot better, but will have a little more power and get some better gas mileage to boot.
Good approach towards your stated goals.

If you have a PowerGlide, you can noticeably improve the car's acceleration by converting to a manual transmission (a 3 or 4 speed). The car won't be fast, but it will be faster. Being able to choose what gear you want, when you want it, will improve the car's response to your 'commands'.

An auto with more gears also would be helpful, but I don't like autos on a car I wish to have some fun driving. That's just my personal choice that I am stating but not pushing.

My last comment is to make sure the car is always impeccably tuned.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 11:24 AM
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I also agree on the Manual Trans. Although all my cars and trucks have Manuals, I once drove my '62 with a PG for a few months before I switched over.

What a difference !!

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Wow!! I'm really impressed with your replies and the response team. Means a lot to know that you guys take your own valuable time to help out a chump like myself.
Upon your suggestions and after doing some research, let me pose this question....
If, and only If, I did decide to swap out the motor. I would defiantly crate the original, and possibly rebuild it piece by piece, and include it with the new set-up in-case I did decide sale the car in the future.
There are so many choses as to what to replace it with, which is one of the reasons on I like to keep it simple and not remove it.
327, 350, 383, 383 stroker, 396, 427's???. Then with replacing the engine, now I have to look at transmissions.
Snow Ball effect...lol.
And which builder do can I trust you know, turn-key or not, what companies do they use in their builds, gear ratios and transfer kits, it just get so overwhelming. Please tell me what you would do.
I'm also looking a the increased value of the car vs the cost of the new set-up, if I'm explaining it correctly. I don't want to spend $9K in a newset-up, and the value of the car only increases $4K you know. And also which motor/ set-up would warrants the "SS" STATUS?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:34 PM
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290 horsepower 350 crate motor from GM. 4 bolt main so you could always add a 150 shot of nitrous if you want some more power.
Comes with a 3 year warranty. Less than $2400 Summit Racing ships it for free.

Brian

1968 Impala SS Fastback 383 stroker
1970 Chevelle LS2 6.0L
1986 Buick Grand National (on the rotisserie)
2007 Dodge Ram 1500 w/ 5.7l Hemi
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:35 PM
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Well my first choice would be Chevrolet. General Motor Performance Parts Division (GMPP) will build you a brand new Chevy 350. It comes with a one year from date of purchase GM factory warranty, such that if anything goes wrong with it in that time frame you can have it towed to any GM dealership and they will fix or replace the motor for free just as if it were a new car.

http://www.jegs.com/i/GM-Performance...6zMaAvzP8P8HAQ

Of course you will have to clean the shoe polish off the windows and remove the slicks off the back first (so don't tow it directly from the race track unless it is still all stock looking). And the down side is it is a stone stock base Chevy 350 motor so it won't win a lot of races in a full size Impala anyway.

You can buy this motor for less than the cost of a pile of parts that I would have had to buy to build a stock Chevy 350 (back when I was still doing that sort of thing). So the price is right, and the warranty can not be beaten with a stick. You can up the antee and also buy a brand new GMPP 700R4 transmission bolted to your SBC 350 ready to drop into your car. It also shares a factory one year 50,000 mile warranty.

Now GMPP sells a large number of small and big block Chevy engines and parts in their on line catalog. You can down load the whole thing for free or just look on line and print the pages that interest you. Most never discover the Circle track race car engines that Chevy builds for claimer racing.

Once again this isn't a warranted motor (race only) and the fasteners don't come off easily as they are made for a claimer racing program that highly discourages any modification of the engine (every one gets the same motor and there is no cheating allowed but this is dirt track racing so racers just get more creative at covering their tracks). I couldn't build one of these motors for less money than Chevy sells them as it is a quality build with all forged internals and with a decent hydraulic roller cam.

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-GM-19.../dp/B003TPJUPY

GM 19318604 CT400 IMCA-Sealed 604 Chevy Crate Engine

Big Dave
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supervisor404 View Post
Wow!! I'm really impressed with your replies and the response team. Means a lot to know that you guys take your own valuable time to help out a chump like myself.
Upon your suggestions and after doing some research, let me pose this question....
If, and only If, I did decide to swap out the motor. I would defiantly crate the original, and possibly rebuild it piece by piece, and include it with the new set-up in-case I did decide sale the car in the future.
There are so many choses as to what to replace it with, which is one of the reasons on I like to keep it simple and not remove it.
327, 350, 383, 383 stroker, 396, 427's???. Then with replacing the engine, now I have to look at transmissions.
Snow Ball effect...lol.
And which builder do can I trust you know, turn-key or not, what companies do they use in their builds, gear ratios and transfer kits, it just get so overwhelming. Please tell me what you would do.
I'm also looking a the increased value of the car vs the cost of the new set-up, if I'm explaining it correctly. I don't want to spend $9K in a newset-up, and the value of the car only increases $4K you know. And also which motor/ set-up would warrants the "SS" STATUS?

'And also which motor/ set-up would warrants the "SS" STATUS?'

Limiting the discussion to '60's full size vehicles, 'SS' was a trim package. I'm not a historian but as I recall there were no 'SS' only engines/transmissions/rear end gears. Anything one could get in a 'SS' could be had on a Biscayne.

The 'SS' packages differer from year to year. For example, in '62 a 'SS' could be had with, or without bucket seats. The '63 was bucket seats only. I do not know what your car's 'SS' package included.



I recommend you spend some time figuring out what YOU want to achieve.

'Please tell me what you would do.'

Because I first drove (legally) on the road at 17 in 1965, I was a young man right in the beginning of the muscle car era. From '65 thru '71 I had the good fortune of getting to drive 2 GTO's ('65 and '66), a Z28 ('67), a '56 Chrysler 300, and a '63 Chevy w/340hp 409 that belonged to good friends/relatives. I owned a '63 Impala convertible w/manual transmission (3 speed) and a 283. The only auto trans car of the above was the Chrysler. The car I drooled over was the 409 Chevy. It wasn't the fastest (that was the Z28) but I was VERY jealous of the torque that engine produced at low rpm.

Fast forward 50 years...In 2013 I bought a '63 Impala convertible that was a spitting image of my old car. It had a 327 and a 4 speed, but neither he engine nor the transmission were from any '63. I knew EXACTLY what MY goal was; reproduce that 409 performance I loved 50 years prior.

A 409 was unaffordable. But a stroked 350 small block (a 383) with modern carb, intake, heads, and ignition easily replicated the horse power and torque of the 409. No high revving cam, super stiff valve springs, or any other 'racing' parts were required. The crate engine I bought was dyno'd at 385 hp @ 5400 rpm, and 445 lb-ft torque @ 3800 rpm. Perfect (for me)!

The 4 speed Saginaw trans (that didn't belong in a full size '63 Chevy) was replace with a new AUTOGEAR 4 speed 'Muncie'.

Why the long story? Because I didn't care what anyone else thought my car should be. I could not afford all the changes at one time. With the money I had saved I swapped the transmission first. Drove the car that way while I researched engine alts and saving money. When I got enough money I swapped the 327 for the 383. I'm VERY pleased.

During all this (and other repairs and restorations I completed) I NEVER cared what the value of the car would be. The car was/is my hobby. I will never come close to getting money 'back'.

That's not only what 'I would do', it's what I DID do. I knew where I wanted to end up and made a plan to get there. I've attached a pic.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 09:38 PM
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Dis-agree with the "with or without Buckets" in '62.

All '62 SS cars had Bucket Seats.

Nice '63 by the way.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 11:51 PM
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I had my 283 rebuilt at 99k miles in my 1965 Impala. Its got a good sound with a Melling MTC-1 camshaft and true dual 2" exhaust with Magnaflows.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62BillT View Post
Dis-agree with the "with or without Buckets" in '62.

All '62 SS cars had Bucket Seats.

Nice '63 by the way.
Thanks for the compliment and the correction. I apparently chose a poor example to demo that SS meant different things in different years.

Here's the shifter plate for the '62 SS that I thought was for the bench seat (a la the '61):

www.show-cars.com - 62 Console shift plate w/insert flag boot and mounting brkt in 0002

Perhaps it is simply part of the 'console'.

And here's the one for the '61 SS w/bench seats:

www.show-cars.com - 61 Console shift plate w/insert flag boot and mounting brkt in 0002

I've attached a pic of the '61 SS w/bench seats, and one of my '63 where I 'stole' the 'look'.

It took me awhile to decide which plate/look I liked the best.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thank for all the advice guys. Meet a really reliable local builder here in the area and we are working a spec sheet for a 383. Now if I were to go bigger with a 400 0r 427, would I have to start looking at clearance, weight, frame concerns ant thing like that?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 09:33 PM
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The 427 was also an option in '67. It would have heavier Front Springs and maybe a heavier Front Sway Bar.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
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Thank for all the advice guys. Meet a really reliable local builder here in the area and we are working a spec sheet for a 383. Now if I were to go bigger with a 400 0r 427, would I have to start looking at clearance, weight, frame concerns ant thing like that?
Have you changed your stated use for the car since your first post? Certainly ok if you did, just asking.

You may find yourself disappointed in the results if you 'spec' out any engine w/o serious considerations for the drive train (transmission, rear, tires). Just a head's up while trying to be helpful.

Just some of my opinions on a '60s full size Chevy 'street driver':

Keep the 'power range' similar to a GM producing engine (idle to 5000 rpm 'ish'). High rpms can make one go fast but puts higher stresses on components and reduces reliability.

Make low end torque a priority over max hp. An engine that can give you 400 lb ft of torque at around 2k rpm and maxes out at around 440 at around 3800 rpm will be a smooth, powerful, fast, reliable engine throughout the normal rpm range of street driving. Towards that goal, give displacement priority over high rpm. Such an engine will give you more flexibility in drive train choices.

You can go for more displacement, but a 383 built with today's components (not racing parts, just quality modern designs) can easily fit the recommendation above.

Nix the headers, more trouble than they a worth for an engine running idle to 5k rpm. GM never put headers on their production muscle cars; not even the HIGH revving Z28. Those cars were FAST. Would they be FASTER w/headers? Yes. But also more problematic.

Like I said, just my opinions offered for your consideration while trying to be helpful. Give them what ever weight you wish.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 02:34 PM
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Consider that Chevy was the entry level to GM's line up. Pontiac was GM's performance brand not Chevy (though I would back a 450 horse 454 up against a 455 GTO any day). The actual fastest production car that GM ever built was the GS Skylark with a 455 Buick engine. In stock condition it blew away every other car made including the Hemi 'Cuda.

Lot of folks see the world through orange colored glasses but I like all of GM's old motors as each division was competing for dollars based only upon their unique motor (the cars were all the same platform and shared the same suspension).

That is why the Cadillac differed from the same sized car as the Impala (both used the B-body platform except for the limo that had fourteen additional inches added into the rear foot well area to make it different car called the D-body). The Cadillac Brougham was an Impala with more trim as standard equipment than the Impala, and it had one other feature that Chevy didn't have, a 472 to a 500 cube V-8 (depending upon the year with motors getting bigger every year as cars got heavier) to move a car that big and heavy.

It is hard to compare the torque of a Chevy 283 to a 500 cube Cadillac motor. Which is why Cadillac had such a loyal following, otherwise you would have to have been out of your mind to pay twice the price for the same car with a few more pieces of chrome added to it. For a while there used to be a special parts interchange book that listed the matching Chevy part number to the three times in price Cadillac service part but GM was sued in the seventies for not following it's advertised slogan of "Best of all it's a Cadillac" when they stopped producing all of the other GM motors except for Chevy and Olds V8s. That book was quickly burned (wish I had a copy today), and GM fell on hard times as people stopped buying the other higher priced brands since they realized that they could buy the same car for a Chevy price.

A bigger displacement engine such as the SBC 400 (if you can find one today to rebuild) would be your ideal solution. It was a 396 big block in a small block package. No added weight and cheaper to modify (they where all made as a two barrel engine for automatics). Bolt on better heads and add a mild RV cam that increases low to mid range torque and has a slight lope and you can double the advertised power in a reliable package that will give a lot of satisfaction.

I had a 406 in my '89 Caprice that gave me years of driving satisfaction with 513 foot pounds of torque. Looked just like the 305 I had removed to replace it; yet would push my Caprice into the high elevens. A 383 is a 400's 3.75 inch stroke crank in the smaller 4 inch bore 350 block. The added stroke adds torque. A bigger bore provides for better breathing, but it is adding displacement by stroking that builds torque.

The Corvette and the Impala where the only two cars that Chevy made in the sixties with a 427. All of the other car bodies where limited to a 396 as being the biggest engine allowed (the 454 wasn't released until 1970 in answer to Ford putting 428 or 429's in their Mustangs and 460 cube motors in the rest of their cars).

So a 454 truck short block with oval port heads off of an earlier 396 combined with a cam can get you a more torque than street tires can handle. But it is expensive to build compared to a small block; and that added torque will break parts not designed to handle the power of the bigger engine (TH400 tranny, and 12 bolt rear).

Big Dave
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 10:17 PM
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I'd have to disagree with the ideal solution being a big block chevy or even a 383 small block. Ultimate would be a modern day LS. 4.8l Vortec from junkyard for around $500-700 with harness/computer. BRP musclerods has a complete LS swap package for around $1000-1200. Throw a bigger cam into it along with headers and it's an easy 400 horse.

20-25 mpg, adds value to the car and extremely reliable. When's the last time you saw a SBC run for 200,000 miles??
Especially a performance motor.

I know that everyone says "there is no substitute for displacement" but it depends on how you achieve the displacement. I remember waxing quite a few BBC Chevelle's/Camaro's with my 3.8l V-6 Buick GN. A motor doesn't know the difference between a 468 BBC and a 3.8L V-6 at 20 lbs. of boost. They both pass the same amount of air. Lower weight, better gas mileage and a relatively low rpm ceiling. (5500 redline) makes the lower displacement motors a better choice. Especially, it you run a supercharger or turbo.

Just my $.02

Brian

1968 Impala SS Fastback 383 stroker
1970 Chevelle LS2 6.0L
1986 Buick Grand National (on the rotisserie)
2007 Dodge Ram 1500 w/ 5.7l Hemi
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