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EricTopless68 Camaro 03-29-2004 06:33 AM

Chevy 402
I just bought a 69 Camaro that reportedly had a 350HP 396 Chevelle engine (not in the car). The car had all new GM sheetmetal, and is not an original big block car, so to me the 396 wasn't really a selling point, and since it was in another location, I didn't see it before I bought the car (I know, I should know better, but...).

Anyway, I picked up the engine yesterday, and it turns out to be a 402 2-bolt from a 72 Chevy truck. It is complete, and the heads match.

I was just wondering if anyone knew if a 402, low HP (210??) engine is worth anything. I was planning on putting a small block in the car anyway, but I had hoped to sell the "396". Now that I know it's a truck 402, I am afraid I have myself a boat anchor. Is there any redeeming qualities to this engine?


DoubleVision 03-29-2004 06:39 AM

the 402 is a fine big block, with the right parts they`ll come alive and whip almost any small block that pulls up next to it. the 396 - 402 have gone to the way side because it costs about the same to build more cubic inches. the 402 is far from a boat anchor.

EricTopless68 Camaro 03-29-2004 09:11 AM

I guess I just have some learning to do. I was hoping it was an L-34 Chevelle motor, and that I could sell it to a Chevelle guy here locally to get funds for a small block.

I'll read up and see if I can't change my way of thinking. An iron-head big block would seem to make this little Camaro plow, but I guess I could be wrong (it does happen).


poncho62 03-29-2004 04:02 PM

A 402 is just a 396 bored .030....Other than that it is the same. All 396s from 70 on were 402s.

Super Streeter 03-29-2004 09:01 PM

Actually,if you fitted that 402 with headers,and aluminum intake,and aluminum water pump,even with iron heads,it would only weight about 100# more then an all iron stock smallblock with manifolds on it..A lot of people think that bigblocks way soo much,but in reality by the time you get one trimmed down for performance use they arent as heavy as you think.A bigblock with aluminum heads and the above mods weighs about the same as a stock smallblock,and if the car were a hot rod with a glass hood and manual stering that aluminum head bigblock combo would carry less over then nose then the smallblock.Bow of course you could add all that to a smallblock and be lighter yet,but you still would be hard pressed to make the power out of it that you would with a bigblock for the same money.Good luck.

Bad Rat 414 03-29-2004 09:19 PM

I dropped a 402 in a '76 Camaro. It defenitly woke that little car up.

Super Streeter 03-29-2004 09:40 PM

Hey Badrat,I bet your little 402 was .060" over.Am I guessing right? :)


EricTopless68 Camaro 03-29-2004 09:46 PM

Thanks for all the replies! I knew this was the place to ask this question.

I knew the aluminum head (L-78??) 396 was close in weight to the SB, but I didn't think about lightening the motor with the other aluminum goodies.

I doubt I'll go with headers, because I don't like the sound of my 68 convertible with a small block and headers (guess I'm getting old). The 69 is also a ragtop, so if I go with the BB, I'll probably run manifolds.

Looks like I may be keeping the BB, and buying a 12-bolt (car has an 8.2 10-bolt now). I have an M-20 with the car, so maybe I'll just put that whole combo in and see if I like it.

Time will tell, I guess.


Bad Rat 414 03-29-2004 09:55 PM


Originally posted by Super Streeter
Hey Badrat,I bet your little 402 was .060" over.Am I guessing right? :)


At the time it was a 396- .60 = 408
Now it's a 396-.90 =414 and it's in a '67 Chevelle.

Super Chevy 03-29-2004 10:26 PM

i have both a 402 and a 396. is the 402 just a bored 396 from factory? does that mean the cylinder walls are thinner than the 396? i would love to build up one of my big blocks but everything costs over twice as much over a sb.

Bad Rat 414 03-30-2004 04:49 AM

A 402 is a 396 block bored at the factory.

EricTopless68 Camaro 03-31-2004 11:40 PM

Okay, so I posted this same engine info on a 67-72 Chevy truck board, and I am being bombarded with offers to buy it.

So, I guess you'd have to go all the way to the top to see what this thing is, but I was wondering if anyone here could give me an idea of what kind of dollars a motor like this (complete longblock, in need of rebuild) should bring. $500? $1,000? More?


SAATR 03-31-2004 11:48 PM

Don't know. From what I've heard, virgin 402/396 blocks are getting pretty rare, so it might be worth a few more dollars. I know a small block is more cost effective, but I guess the 396 has more allure. I'd keep it, unless somebody is really willing to make it worth your while.

Grusome Goat 04-01-2004 05:19 PM

Before you sell that 402 may I say this? A friend of mine has one in a 71 Nova drag car and you may not believe this, but it's faster than the 427 he used to run. The same cam and heads from the 427 are in and on the 402. The best times with the 427 were 6.24 in the 1/8th, the 402 has run effort less 6.18's and with alot of tire spin off the line. The fives aren't far off. Just something to consider. Besides for the amount of money you'd spend on a small block to try to equal the torque of the big block you could spend for that 12 bolt you want.

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