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Old 11-12-2012, 03:53 PM
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Building a 396

Hello:
i am starting with a 396 block and want to build a street engine. It is going into a 1950 Chevrolet Pickup. What horsepower should I be aiming for?

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:06 PM
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You shouldn't be "aiming" for any specified hp, you build an engine that will fit both your budget and the application it's designed for......then whatever hp you get is what you get. If you don't actually dyno the engine after it's built then you'll never know anyway. Build a nice streetable, reliable 396 and enjoy it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechuk View Post
Hello:
i am starting with a 396 block and want to build a street engine. It is going into a 1950 Chevrolet Pickup. What horsepower should I be aiming for?
I wouldn't build it aiming for a horsepower figure. Factor in vehicle weight, final drive ratio, transmission and intended use when you start your build. You need to pick your components to suit what you have or what you want. After that, just do what TI would likely say and "let the numbers fall where they may"
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 327NUT View Post
You shouldn't be "aiming" for any specified hp, you build an engine that will fit both your budget and the application it's designed for......then whatever hp you get is what you get. If you don't actually dyno the engine after it's built then you'll never know anyway. Build a nice streetable, reliable 396 and enjoy it.
beat me to it
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechuk View Post
Hello:
i am starting with a 396 block and want to build a street engine. It is going into a 1950 Chevrolet Pickup. What horsepower should I be aiming for?
You're starting at the wrong end of the truck.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:38 PM
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You should consider all aspects of the build before you start anything.
A BBC is a good power plant. Starting with a big block, it would be wise to run a turbo 400 or 700r4 trans. That also means you need to match the rear gear for the trans you want to run.
The rear should be at least a 8.5 which shouldnt be to tough to get.
ratio once again is dependant on: trans type/ final drive ratio, rear tire diameter, cruise rpm of engine and top engine speed.

Ideally, you want the engine spinning at around 2200-2600 rpms at highway speed, say like 65 MPH.
So sit back , crunch a few numbers and ask a few more questions.

Getting the tire size/ diametr figured first would be the place to start as the end result of your build should be proper stance and appearance of tire size.
You can tailor the rear gear ratio and the trans top gear ratio from there to get the desired cruise rpm for the engine figured correctly.
You dont want your engine to be turning 1500 rpms at 95 miles an hour, nor do you want it to turn 6000 rpm at 80 miles an hour.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:51 PM
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quick example: rear tire diameter 27 inches
gear ratio 3.08
trans final drive ratio 1:00 - 1
engine rpm 2491
MPH = 65

use a calculator like this one :
Engine RPM Calculator
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:35 PM
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big block,old pick up,sounds like something you will drive a lot. My neighbour has a bone stock 394 stuffed in his 56 ford and loves it.You dont need horse power,,,you might want horse power. Remember what that truck had from the factory?
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:41 PM
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what tech said is the truth.Make sure that truck is ready for a 350 plus horse power beast
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:52 PM
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yep, that power can take one apart. hahaha. i seen a camaro break the windshield last week. hahaha. yep, a 68 camaro. that power can twist one up ytoo. im not a builder but these guys are. just listen to em and you'll be fine.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechuk View Post
Hello:
i am starting with a 396 block and want to build a street engine. It is going into a 1950 Chevrolet Pickup. What horsepower should I be aiming for?
For my hot BBC build, I will be aiming for high torque numbers. I won't be going to the track and our vehicles get impounded if we are caught driving about 32 MPH over the speed limit on the highway here.

Just love that off the line grunt.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:58 AM
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A 396 with a final gear ratio:
325 to 350hp for gear 3.00 and less with stock stall converter, manifolds
350 to 400 hp for 3.00 to 3.70 with a 2500 stall, manifolds or headers
400 to 450 for 3.70 to 4.10 with a 3000 stall, headers

Add 50hp if you start with a 454.

General 396 setup:
325 to 350 hp: 8 to 8.5:1 cr, cam with 205 to 212 degrees at 0.050"
350 to 400hp: 8.5 to 9.5:1 cr, cam with 212 to 224 degrees at 0.050"
400 to 450hp: 9.5 to 10:1 cr, cam with 224 to 240 degrees at 0.050"
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:57 AM
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I'd look on the car craft/hot rod web pages..
jeff smith and john lingerfeller(rip) built some mighty powerfull street type 396's with oval port heads.. that made killer torque that was flat as a table.. and they did it with parts no one wanted...
oval heads, 396 block... cast crank, 3/8 bolt rods/etc..
but tech is right.. to a point.. the bigblock torque will kill most of the parts behind it... If and when it gets traction..
good luck..
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:35 AM
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Good ckoice i recently built a 1953 chevy pu i am running a .30 over 454 block flat top pistons, pro comp aluminum heads, comp cam 268h and roller rockers a 69corvette tri power carbs and intake sanderson cast iron headers tube headers or factory manifolds would not fit i have driven a little very streetable with turbo 400 331 gears b&m 2400 converter i probably get comments on pro comp heads I tried to post pictures but dont know how i have a 85 monte carlo ss frame clip with power sterring disc brakes 10 bolt probable the weak link 295/60/15 rear tires on 11 inch wheels and yes traction IS a problem you can use stock rear springs changed mine to mono no difference hope this helps on your project

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