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396 motor

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 79Stomper, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I want to add a little spunk to my truck and well I have found a 396 but I have never heard of anyone running one and have no experience with them as to their origin of vehicle or the reliability of them. Guy had it in a car he use to race at the local strip and pulled it out and has been sitting in the garage for about a year. Said it was putting out about 500 at the crank when he opted for something more. If I get it plan on doing a rebuild and freshen everything up before it goes into the truck. Let me know what you all think of them.


    James
     
  2. atho

    atho 1/2 ton status

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    Chevy trucks had the 396 as an optional engine for two years only, 1968 and 1969. Not sure on the car version. If the price was right I'd get it.
     
  3. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Have you heard of the 402 Big Block ?? Same engine as the 396. Chevy bored it at the factory .30 over (I think) too get over 400 cubic inches out of it. I like the 396. Not as much torque as a 454, but still a hell of a motor. IIRC, you can drop a 454's crankshaft in it and you'll have a 427. Or is it a 396's crank in a 454 for the 427 ??
     
  4. jac6695

    jac6695 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Or is it a 396's crank in a 454 for the 427 ??

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yup, that one.
     
  5. chevy_muscle

    chevy_muscle 1/2 ton status

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    396's were also used in chevy cars from '65 - '70.

    the 396 is great for higher RPM applications but as said, not as much low-end torque as a 454. .... the classic trade-off.

    Ya just gotta decide what RPM you want to turn your engine at.
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Yep, agreed. The 396 is the "short stroke" big block. It's still a 3.75" stroke. To say it is low on torque is kinda silly when it has the same stroke as a 383 that everyone thinks is a torque monster, and the heads flow better!
     
  7. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Cool, thanks all. I believe I am going to go ahead and get it. For 150 bucks couldn't hurt that much. I just want a little more than the 350 I have in there now.


    James
     
  8. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The 396 came in several versions,from a wimpy 2 barrel one in 1969,to a 375 hp screamer in camaro's and vette's--one of the scariest rides of my life was in a 69 GTO a friend of my brother had with a 375 hp 396 out of a 69 chevelle in it--we went down a rural 2 lane road with a 35 mph speed limit,from a dead stop to over 110 mph in 3rd gear within an 1/8 of a mile or so--and it was just starting to open the secondarys on the 750 holley double pumper! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif--I asked him to let me out--I'm no wimp,but I have no death wish--didnt want to see how fast it would go in 4th!.He'd had a few drinks,and I didnt want to be a statistic,so I walked home and changed my shorts--and smoked about 10 butts on the way home,trying to get my heart rate back to near normal!. I have ridden in a few other 396 powered cars and trucks that were pretty doggy too though,the 69 2 barrel one a friend had in an impala would hardly spin the tires with a powerglide tranny--I guess its all in the compression ratio,heads,and cams that determine how scary it will be--- /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  9. rcamacho

    rcamacho 1/2 ton status

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    I'm running a 402 in my '87. It's fairly mild but has more power than I'd care to use on the street. Probably generating ~400 HP.
    Port matched dual plane edlebrock manifold
    Pocket ported milled heads w/ dual valve springs. ~9.2 CR
    Hyd. roller cam split pattern ~.510 lift
    Thorley tri-y headers
    Holley 750 vacuum secondary
     
  10. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    So this thing would be considered a big block of some sorts?
     
  11. rcamacho

    rcamacho 1/2 ton status

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    396 BBC 30 over.
     
  12. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    i run a 30 over 396 with closed chamber 427 heads in my Chevelle.. solids help out its low end torque a bit.. good motor.. i've heard they grenade easier than the 454's, but mines been awesome..
     
  13. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    So this thing would be considered a big block of some sorts?

    [/ QUOTE ] Yes, the 396 is a Big Block Chevy engine.
     
  14. mountainexplorer

    mountainexplorer 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 396 big block in one of mine. In it's day, it was a strong runner and pushed a longbed crew cab on 39.5" Boggers and 4.10 gears around without much problem. It definitely was a motor that liked RPMs (for a big block), especially with the cam that was in it. When it came to heavy towing, it just didn't have the torque that a 454 did, especially when it dropped below it's ideal RPM range.
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    and it was just starting to open the secondarys on the 750 holley double pumper!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A double pumper has mechanical secondaries. They were open the minute he stomped it.

    As with any engine, cylinder pressure is what creates torque. As you stated, different head/cam combos can make a tremendous difference.
     
  16. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    A 396 has a 3.76" stroke....
     
  17. k10clown

    k10clown Registered Member

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    A 396 is a hell of a motor. I swaped one in a 1979 chevy 1/2 ton short box. I went through 2 transmission and a rear axle before I ran into Jonny Law and had to get rid of it. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif Do you know what the motor came out of?
     
  18. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    hope there is nothing wrong with it if all he wants is $150 /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  19. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The point I was making is he DIDNT stomp on it!--He gradually pushed it slowly to the point where the secondaries were starting to open!--I thought it WAS already floored!--thats when I decided it was time to get out and walk! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif.I've had some other fast rides,but I dont recall ever being that scared since!.I've had 3 454's from the smog era (73 and 74)but they were dogs compared to that 396 he had. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  20. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    for 150?? I'de be all over it like flies on S*$T!!
    But, before you put it in your truck, you might want to research it and see what it came from. Oval port, or rectangle port heads? Some of those early 396's are worth alot to the right buyer! a resto guy would pay alot for the "right" block. enough to build a 454!

    I was trying to find the "correct" block for my 69 vette. a 427 tripower car. 12 years ago, it was 1,500, for a BARE correct block.

    Hey, you never know what you can get!! Just a thought!
    either way, a GREAT buy.
     

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