Blueprint Engines "383 Stroker" (BP38302CT) Engine Fail

Details on the failure of this engine in 2020

January 2020

I eventually received a new PROM chip from Blueprint Engines vendor, Westers. I swapped it for the previously supplied PROM chip. The engine started and ran, but the “service engine” light came on. So, I decided to try swapping out the entire ECU with a rebuilt one from Cardone, purchased through Summit Racing. This option also ran, but the “service engine” light still came on. So, I decided to keep the new ECU, but go back to the original PROM chip I had received from Blueprint Engines with the engine. This combination worked out better! The engine actually runs better with the new ECU and the original PROM chip, and with no engine light! The pinging is less, but still present at very hard acceleration.

I don’t know why Blueprint Engines and Westers had no record of my otriginal PROM chip. When I removed it from the ECU, it clearly had the Westers sticker on it. I guess neither company keeps very good records of what they have done in the past. Not a very good sign.

I also purchased a GM Intake Air Temperature Sensor and drilled and mounted it in the K&N cold air intake. Once this was hooked up to the wiring harness, it also improved the starting and idle running of the engine.

February 24, 2020 – Coolant Leak & Fouled Plugs

Because the engine was running rough again and increasingly harder to start, today I removed, inspected, re-gapped and reinstalled all of the spark plugs. In that process I noticed a repeat from the last time I did this (just a couple thousand miles ago) where several of the plugs were fouled in ways that did not look good or consistent with the others. In that process I also discovered a disconcerting head gasket leak on the outside near the front of the right head.

Very disconcerting and not a good sign! Pewrhaps this is an indication of deeper engine issues that are playing into the many problems I’m experiencing.

February 27, 2020 – Cylinder Head Gasket Coolant Leak

I’ve sent Blueprint Engines photos of the head gasket coolant leak. So far, there has been no response from their “Warranty Department”. I still have no idea when, or how this issue will be addressed. The engine has less than 50,000 miles and it’s been less than 30 months, so I believe this should be a warranty covered issue, don’t you?

February 28, 2020 – Oil Consumption

I’ve been keeping a record of the Blueprint Engine 383 Stroker oil consumption to be sure that it is “normal.” My records are as follows:

  • Add 1/2 qt. at 168,090 miles
  • Add 1/2 qt. @ 168,683 miles
  • Add 1/4 qt. @ 169,000 miles
  • Add 1/4 qt. @ 169,485 miles
  • Add 1/4 qt. @ 169,857 miles
  • Add 1/4 qt. @ 170,442 miles

This equals 1.5 qt per 1,759 miles. According to BluePrint Engines Warranty Department emails…

“What GM and BluePrint consider normal oil use in this engine is 1 qt. per 1,000 miles. I usually set the oil level halfway between the full and add mark. It looks like you are within the normal usage… Thanks.”

Blueprint Engines 383 Stroker Fail

Today is Mar 4, 2020. I received some very bad news from Dave’s Auto Service. The Blueprint Engines 383 Stroker in my truck has an “internal engine failure”. How did this come to be?

After I posted my recent poor customer experiences online, I was contacted by Blueprint Engines Customer Service. They were concerned and wanted to do what they could to “make it right.” At their recommendation, I made an appointment for the truck/engine to be diagnosed at Dave’s Auto Service, located about 7 miles away from me in Madison, WI.

That appointment was today, and the outcome was not good. Here is what their Master Technician wrote on the repair order.

Took vehicle out and drove normal until warm after engine was warm could feel engine felt more sluggish. Performed a couple WOT accel pulls in second gear and monitored fuel pressure and o2 sensor voltage. Fuel pressure is stable at 14psi. O2 sensor voltage is 800s(rich). Can hear engine pinging intermittently. At idle when hot can feel a slight misfire occasionally but no misfire under load.

Inspected timing and found to be at 0 degrees with engine warm and timing connector disconnected at idle. All ignition components are new and in good condition. Performed compression test on engine.

  • cyl 1 at 185 psi
  • cyl 3 at 140 psi
  • cyl 5 at 120 psi
  • cyl 7 at 85 psi
  • cyl 2 at 155 psi
  • cyl 4 at 125 psi
  • cyl 6 inaccessible
  • cyl 8 inaccessible

All compression tests were done 3 times to verify consistency. Internal engine failure. Talked to Ken at BP who confirmed engine will need to be replaced.

This explains so much of what I’ve been struggling with. Major Bummer!

I am now waiting to hear from Blueprint Engines as to what the next steps are.

Working toward a solution – March 5-10, 2020

Today is Mar 5, 2020. I received some morning emails from the Blueprint Engines Warranty Department about options. I responded to those as best I could, but I suggested that a phone conversation would be best.

Kelli Calahan, Blueprint Engines Customer Service Manager called me around midday, and we had a productive and positive conversation. She promised to get back to me the same day with more specifics on some potential options and solutions.

Today is March 10, 2020 and I have just spoken with the Blueprint Engines Warranty Department. It looks like the best solution will be for the 383 Stroker to be removed from my truck, shipped to Blueprint Engines and rebuilt there in their facility. Some changes will be made as follows:

The Holley Sniper fuel injection intake system will be used instead of the stock TBI. This includes a different manifold, and a sensor that enables the engine and trans to run off of its own ECU, bypassing the stock ECU. This change requires a fuel pressure boost up to 60 psi, and possibly a different distributor, which will also be included.

Blueprint Engines will contract with Dave’s Auto Service in Madison, WI to perform the necessary labor and expertise to install this solution. Paul Buckham is their Master Technician who will be in charge of this project. The entire process should take around 4 weeks.

I am very encouraged by this development and am hoping for the best end solution which will be a sweet 1993 Checy C1500 street truck that perfroms well and reliably!

I’ve started a new page to cover the warranty replacement process.