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396 or 383

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by shaun, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. shaun

    shaun 1/2 ton status

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    Here is the big debate. Do I build a trickflow 383. It will cost me about 3700 between partsw and having the block machined and the bottom end balanced. Or take my employee discount at kragen and go get myself a new 396 (with a 36,000 mile 36 month warranty) I was wondering about power versus weight, about torque and gas mileage. I have a big block in my ford (390 fe) and I like it so How about in my 71 k5. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  2. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I think I'd have too go with the big block. What's the price difference between the 396 and 454 ???
     
  3. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    Well more cubes equal more torque. With a little hop up parts you could have a decent big block. But your gonna have to get all the little things like brackets etc. to mount all your stuff to. Radiator needs bigger, fan clutch. It all adds up.I also think if you go big block, get the 454. /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  4. tarussell

    tarussell 1/2 ton status

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    I would think it would really depend on what heads come on the BBC . There are many different casting numbers that could be offered and there are MAJOR power level outcomes depending on which heads . I would find out exactly what heads are on the crate motor first .
     
  5. bigburban383

    bigburban383 1/2 ton status

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    Big Block is going to be a lot stronger then the 383.
     
  6. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    General rule is more cubes = more power
    or
    more cubes with the same power output will last longer, i.e. a 454 pumping out 500 horse will GENERALLY last longer than a small block pumping out 500 on a daily driven machine as it is less "stressed" (taking out variables such as defective parts or poor machining/assembly of one block or another).


    That being said, the big block with have more "hidden" costs. You will most likely need a bigger radiator, different accessories and brackets, motor mounts, exhaust mods, etc.

    If $$ were no object, big block all the way.
     
  7. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    What about torque numbers? A 383 is a very torquey motor where a 396 is not. Seems to me the 383 could actually produce more torque with the 396 making more upper RPM HP.
     
  8. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What about torque numbers? A 383 is a very torquey motor where a 396 is not. Seems to me the 383 could actually produce more torque with the 396 making more upper RPM HP.

    [/ QUOTE ]That's a intresting thought. Lets give them both the same compression ratio and what not and see if the numbers change. Anyone got "Desktop Dyno" that would be willing to run the numbers ???
     
  9. Lonnie

    Lonnie 1/2 ton status

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    Putting things in perspective....

    A 396 has a 3.76" stroke
    A 383 has a 3.75" stroke.... virtually no difference.

    Given similar compression, head flow/volume & cam selection they should have near equal torque characteristics.

    You mention a Trick Flow 383. Their heads flow more than a given stock oval port big block head. Comparing a modded 383 with good heads, cam & intake to a stock crate 396.... the 383 will make more power. There are some crate 383's making between 400-450hp on pump fuel. I don't think you will find that in a generic rebuilt 396 & I do not recall any crate 396's being offered as most are 454 plus sizes.

    Keep in mind that a parts store rebuilt 396 will not likely have high performance components & may also require a core engine as well. If buying a big block, look into a 454 for a similar price for more performance. It costs virtually the same to build any big block.

    Not taking sides as I love big blocks, but the 383 may be better in this application.

    As far as mileage, there will be little difference once you start running big tires on a heavy truck. My 350 & 427 were both in the 11 mpg range w/ 35's.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. shaun

    shaun 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks. All the truck mods to run a big block are no big deal, b/c I am starting from scratch in my truck. The core is no big deal either b/c employee discount will cancel that out too. I dont want a 454 because I want to do something a little different. I am leaning towards the 396 though because I can get it and add mpfi from edelbrock for about the same price it will cost to build my 383 of choice (this is including the march serpentine setup, with all new brackets and pulleys). Does anyone know how the clearance will be for the distributor? And other parts in the engine bay? /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    What do you mean, you want something a little different?

    Stroke is what creates torque, and that's why people choose to build the 383 over just building a regular 350.

    You've got the oppertunity (probably for minimal additioanal cost to yourself) to get a significantly longer stroke, which will net quite a bit more torque, simply by ordering a 454 instead of a 396.

    By all means, take advantage of the design of the 454. It is MUCH more suited for your truck application than a 396. The look/appearance isn't going to be any different for the 454 over the 396. You're the only one that will know the difference in the end...unless you let someone drive it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    By all means, take advantage of the design of the 454. It is MUCH more suited for your truck application than a 396. The look/appearance isn't going to be any different for the 454 over the 396. You're the only one that will know the difference in the end...unless you let someone drive it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Exactly what he said. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Want to be different? How about 496 or 502 badges???? Probably not a lot of difference at the pump either....
     
  13. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

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    I loved my 396, and alot of people feel that it is a little more snappy off the line, I no longer have mine but it was a fun motor /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    thankfully I never got a chance to kill that one, I am now building a 454, the whole issue with the distributer is what caused me to do a body lift, plus I had tall valve covers that hit the brake booster. I would recommend just doing some massaging to the fire wall or just putting in the 1 inch body lift and new body mounts. I'm shure yours are poopie anyways if thier old /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    as for the 396 or 454????

    alot of people raised eyebrows when I said I had a 396, cause anyone can find a 454 /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    and a big no on the 383, they belong in a car, mudder or street truck IMHO /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    also is the 396 oval or rectangular /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  14. shaun

    shaun 1/2 ton status

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    I am not sure yet on the oval or rectangle port. I will check. But what difference does that make? And I dont want to slap a 396 badge on my k5 if it has a 454 or anything else. 454's are common around here but I dont know anyone with a 396 (except one guy with a fully built all roller screamer in his camaro, i love that car) Strokers are also common. I know a 383 is a great motor but it is to common (i know that is for a reason).
     
  15. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Thanks. All the truck mods to run a big block are no big deal, b/c I am starting from scratch in my truck. The core is no big deal either b/c employee discount will cancel that out too. I dont want a 454 because I want to do something a little different. I am leaning towards the 396 though because I can get it and add mpfi from edelbrock for about the same price it will cost to build my 383 of choice (this is including the march serpentine setup, with all new brackets and pulleys). Does anyone know how the clearance will be for the distributor? And other parts in the engine bay? /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ] How about a 427 then ???
     
  16. shaun

    shaun 1/2 ton status

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    I was thinking about that. But I dont know. what do you think??????? /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif On the oval or square port question, they come with oval port. The manufacture said they cannot get rectangle ports but edelbrock can. (getting spendy) What difference do they make?
     
  17. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    or a 488 thats not too common. I think that is what you get w. a 4.25 stroke and .030 overbore. A .060 overbore nets 496 which is what most people seem to do.
     
  18. tarussell

    tarussell 1/2 ton status

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    The main difference between rect. and oval heads are what part of the RPM curve that they make power in . BECAREFUL on the oval port heads - NOT ALL ARE EQUAL and you can end up with a lotor that will not turn up over 4000 RPM if you get the Tall-Deck style peanut port heads .
    Do a search ( when it works ) on 049 and 781 head casting numbers for oval port heads and you will learn all kinds of info . There are other castings that are very good but it seems to be that the 049's and 781's are the most well suited for our type usage as far as factory heads go .
    JMHO - I would REALLY re-think the BBC cubic inch size - there is a reason that the saying is repeated many , many times " there is NO substitute for cubic inches " !
    If you use a 454 with a set of the above mentioned heads and the correct cam grind you will be amazed at the usable power that that combo will offer .
    Good luck , Tom
     
  19. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Def get the 049 or the 781 if you can find some. There was a test in chevy hi performance ( think it was them anyway) who tested em and they outflowed the rectangle ports off the 70 LS6 even up to like 8000rpm.
     
  20. Lonnie

    Lonnie 1/2 ton status

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    Rectangle ports are intended for high RPM & will severely sacrifice low end torque. (something very important in a truck) The rectangle ports are primarily intended for cars with big cams & operating in the 6000+ range. Under 4000 they are not generally as good as an oval port.
     

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