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Old 05-27-2009, 08:00 AM
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Is a 396, a good powerplant ?

Hi everyone, I just spent sometime in colorado, and someone offered me a trade of some cylinder heads that I had for a "rebuildable" 396. The motor ran so I did the trade. I live in kansas and the motor will be here sunday on the 1st or 2nd.

Im looking for all the information I can find about using this motor to build and preferrably end up in a s10 or smaller car frame. Hoping to get 500-550 hp out of a mild or a littler serious build. Is this motor anygood ?, Pros and cons ?, How much power can you squeeze out of this big block ?, How far can you bore and stroke it ?, Whats a high compression head for it like cc wise, because I only know small blocks and all of the big block heads are like 110-125 cc chambers ? I also got a th 400 out of the deal, why are th400s so popular in racing ? pros and cons ?


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Old 05-27-2009, 09:17 AM
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you can bore 0.090" over safely. makes around 415 cid.

heads are typically 100 to 112cc on a 396. what are the casting numbers on the heads? 820's?

you can make close to 500hp with 10.5:1 cr, stock heads, and a big soild cam in the 245 degree range. Plus all the other stuff: headers, 850 carb, victror jr intake, hei, roller rockers, valve springs, .....

maybe spray a small shot of n02 to get into the 600hp range.

However, build a 454 the same way and it will make 50 to 70 more hp.

A th400 trans is big and tough. a stock rebuild with a shift kit can handle 500 hp without any issues. A th350 needs some extra work to handle 500hp but is lighter and smaller than the th400.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:42 AM
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Is a 396, a good powerplant

so it sounds like this motor can make some great power easily, I was thinking about spending 2-4k and getting it around 600hp, then either putting it with the th400 in a s10 or smaller car frame. Can anyone give me even more information on the block ? pros and cons ?. Thanks
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:13 AM
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the 396's are nice motors.
Good power, big block and gettin kinda rare. It depends on how much power u want. The 427 or 454 will make more, but if yer not racin or squeezin every ounce out of it, id go for it.

Its like havin a 327 small block. The 350 n 400 are bigger, but the 283 is smaller. Ur kinda in the middle as things go. hg
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:38 AM
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Is a 396, a good powerplant

Yeah, Im fairly excited about this build. Im going to be getting like $1500, and I want to completely redo the block. Acid bath, Bore it .30 over, Have the crank spun, everything rebalanced and hopefully maybe a Edelbrock rpm manifold to sit on top. I want to bring it pretty much back brand new and stock, then start putting parts here and there, Getting the transmission completely redone, a shift kit. Find a car frame, it all sounds pretty good.
Do you think I can completely overhaul it with $1000-1500. Can you bore and stroke a 396 to a 427 ?

Thanks
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:44 PM
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I dont think the block will go out to 4.25 but Keith Black makes a piston for the 396 bore with the pin raised for a 4" stroke I think making about 434"
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:52 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 396flyby
Do you think I can completely overhaul it with $1000-1500.
Thanks
Not if you want to do a good job. Plan on spending about 3X that amount.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:05 PM
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you could get a stroker crank and rods for more cubic inches. if its got good cylinders i wouldnt bore it out.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:58 PM
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396 already has the same stroke as a 427.

bore can be taken out to around 415 cid.

1500 gets you a basic rebuild (with cast hyper pistons) and assembly. 500 for the cam and valve train, 500 for an intake and carb, 500 for the exhaust, 300 for ignition, 500 for the balancer/flywheel/converter, 500 for all the other stuff (water pump, fuel pump, wires, plugs, filters, oil, antifreeze, paint, mounts, hoses ect), 600 for a th400 rebuild plus shift kit.

around 5K will get you there.

you need to select the right piston volume to match the cam profile and cylinder head volume. And the cam needs to match the gears and stall. For your goals, a cam with around 245 degrees at 0.050", 10.5:1 cr, 4.11 gears, and a 3500 stall seems about right.

then you will need to install the BBC in the S10. drive shaft, shifter, trans mounts, engine mounts, radiator, big cooling fan, tires, ect.... plan on another 2K here.

then another 2k for a rear end, roll cage, some gages, springs and shocks, ect..

A 10K project. (minimum).

might be cheaper to buy a s10 with a V8 already in it for 4 or 5K.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:44 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Wow... makes me feel like a champ since I got a new 350 in a s10 for under 4K from tires to paint to carb to pan.

You can rebuild and swap a 396 in an S10 for about 5K unless you're planing on pushing 600hp and then you'll need closer to 10.

The cost of power tend to go up exponentially once you get past 400hp or so.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:52 PM
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a supercharger or twin turbo set up and sky is the limit on power. bore out only whats needed to get good cylinder bores.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:27 AM
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I have a 408, using pistons based off of a 396 w/ .060 bore, zero deck height, using a pair of GM oval port, closed chamber heads, 105cc, around 11.5:1 comp, a solid roller cam, victor jr intake and a 850 dp carb.

From what I was told, it is somewhere between 475/500hp.

If you would need more detail, let me know or the guy that built it is frequently on this site.

Bruce

Last edited by bruce69camaro; 06-02-2009 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:17 PM
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if you leave the bore or go a little bigger for fresh bores and add a 4.0 4.25 stroke crank you can get some good cubes.
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