Small Block 400ci...or...Big Block 396ci???? - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2002, 07:25 PM
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true big block heads flow good but the worst big block head is not as good as some people say, they flow about 225cfm intake and 170 exhuast on a good day. the small block has potential, however you are limited by the difference in cylinder head design if your are going to go smallblock. A big block chevy was first designed as a replacement for the W motors, 348and 409, they combine the best from the smallblock and from the current big blocks of 1964. once the porcupine head was introduced it changed everything. it's splayed and canted valve design is far superior to anything of that time. with realy good heads, Im talking 3200 dollars worht of head, and a sold roller cam in the neighborhood of 320 deg. of duration and arountd .700 thousanths of valve lift or more, running about 10.5:1 c.r. you'll be over 600 ponies no problem.

and i wouldn't call a 396 in a camaro sluggish. in stock form, have you ever talked to a guy with and L78 or and L89. with tuning they can run high to mid 12's. if thats sluggish give me a semi.
and about boring them out have it sonic checked and you can take 125 over and make a 427, My buddy did it and ran 13.5:1 slugs with merlin rectangular port heads, a signle plane dart intake and a 1050 dominator, it's in a 1978 impala 2 door. I've never seen so much burnt rubber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[ October 04, 2002: Message edited by: Jay396 ]

[ October 04, 2002: Message edited by: Jay396 ]</p>

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2002, 04:37 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by chevyelc81:
<strong>Which one would you go with?? Ive got the small block 400 which im planning on building up with aluminum heads(2.08in 1.60ex), 6 inch rods and a roller cam. But... I was just teased on a deal for a 396 big block bored 30 over(which makes it a 402ci) and its all redone pushing 430hp. If I got it, I would probably put aluminum heads on it with big valves and a roller camshaft. It would be pushing well over 500hp, but same with the 400 if I built that. I plan on running a supercharger also. The car is a 69 camaro which orginally had a 396 in it. Im leaning twards the 400 because I figured its lighter, but I don't know much about 396 motors, Are they better than the small block 400? The 400 has a 4.125 bore with a 3.75 stroke. The 396 has a 4.124 bore (thats .30 over) and a 3.76 stroke. Theres not much difference there. Whats the big difference becides big block and small block? Which one would you go with??</strong><hr></blockquote>

Dude sell me the 400 if it has not been bored out yet. What is the casting number? Send me an email. I would buy just the block if you like. I dont need it til December!

[ October 05, 2002: Message edited by: LD85 ]</p>
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2002, 07:06 AM
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The small block 400 is an engineering marvel. To get that displacement out of a block originally desinged to be a 265 is just amazing. However, realize this was an attempt by GM to cheap-out and get some power for as little cost as possible. The 400 is a poor compromise since the heads and lower end were originally designed for an engine of only a small fraction the current size. Go with the 396 and beef up your suspension if you need to (stiffer springs, sway bar).
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