Still trying to learn as I plan for my new engine. I had pretty much settled on the 383 until I read an article on the 396 sbc. This thing, if I've entered the info in my Dyno2000 correctly starts at 2000 RPM producing OVER 400ft/lbs of tq. 2600RPM is right where I run towing my camper. That's good news. My questions: The compression height (i think thats the right term) of the piston for the 396 is very small. I think roughly 1". Does this reduce the longevity/reliability of the engine? Will this piston also be smaller in overall ht. or not? And does that matter as far as reliability goes? Can a standard 350 block be machined to accept a crank with a stroke as long as the 396 requires. Thanks in advance for any input.