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Old 08-02-2002, 04:24 AM
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Wink Big Block Build - 396

I am looking for some help. I was hoping to build the snot out of my BB 396 and was hoping to find a build sheet that would save me from making some major mistakes. It is for a street car but I am looking for 450-500 hp. I know, this is pretty optimistic but one can dream. Any tips and ideas would be appreciated.

[ August 02, 2002: Message edited by: Jeff @ Texas ]</p>

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Old 08-04-2002, 05:09 AM
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Hi Jeff. 450HP is a reasonable ask for a 396/402.
Fortuneately there have been quite a few magazine articles covering the 396 build-up over recent years. Considering that GM had a factory offering of 375 HP in the late 60's,you only need to look for 20%more to get you to the 450HP level. Good Heads,Inlet Manifold and Carb,plus the right cam combo. If it's for street use,stick to a Dual Plane,Weiand or Edelbrock,Early High Po. small port heads,closed chamber types as used on pre-smog motors OR very early 454 type open chamber heads with the small ports,but NOT the peanut size ports !!. Naturally if you use open chamber type heads you'll need to use the correct type pistons to bring compression back up. Compression should be in the 9.5-10.5 range. Carb. will need to flow about 750-800cfm. Cam choice is wide open. Don't know much about Roller Cams,but in a regular Hydraulic or Solid Lifter you'll need to have .550 -.570 lift and arround 280 plus advertised duration . Naturally you will need a Good Ignition and1 3/4" Headers. Now if you've got the bucks to spend,buy some Merlin Heads with the small ports and large valves (2.19/1.88), these will save you time in the long run and you'll pick up some extra HP. Looking for that 500 HP figure will be a lot tougher and not very street friendly. Hope this helps you out,
Cheers...............Barry.M
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:15 AM
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baby rat 396/ 427. 450 hp. should be easy

if one can get 500 hp out of a 383 sbc...you can get 500 hp out of a 396. are bbc's not good motors. on numbers a lone a 3.76 bbc crank is just about the same as a 3.75 crank in a 383, the difference being bore size. how do builders get 600 hp out of a 400 sbc and can't build a bbc to that same hp level of the same size motor? the idea is that the sbc is lighter so the car would be faster in the end. i'm planning on building a 427 bbc, the craze is just build a 496 or 540 now a days. are they really the same kind of power. getting 6 ponies out of a 540 vs 6 ponies out of a 396/ 427. one is made from torque alone and one is made from rpms from torque. it's easier to get 600 hp out of a 540 it's less wear on the valve train...but i still want a high winding baby rat. anyways...355's make 400 hp plus now. and that's with a 3.48 crank. with a bigger bore and bigger crank i don't see any problems making 450 hp as long as the correct parts are put together. just a few of my thoughts.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:53 AM
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Very old thread..

Biggest problem getting power fron 396 is combination, as mentioned. Heads are always a problem. Most of the modern stuff has way too big chambers. Pistons are also a problem.. Not much available.

If you get tired of the engine. You can't sell it. Few people want small big blocks. I've had a few in inventory and had no calls on them in years..
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