What's it worth - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 00, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 1,515

A few years ago I bought a complete 396 engine for my camaro, I found it advertised in the newspaper and took the guys word on how well it was built. Drove it for a few hundred miles and all looked well, changed the oil after break-in and all that, drove it to a show about 4 hours away and on the way home it started knocking, looked at the oil and it looked like chocolate milk, it turns out the dumb ace didn't seal the head bolts. The cam went flat, and it spun a bearing. The crank was a forged unit and only needed to be re-polished, the 2-bolt block which was 30 over will need a re-bore but I don't know how much, and TRW forged pistons are still good, all this being stated by the reputable machine shop that did my 468. I decieded not to rebuild the 396 and find a 454 and go that route. I took the block, pistons and crank to a swap meet and only sold the crank for $75, not even a nibble on the block and pistons. I had $125 on the block and $100 on the pistons. Is this a decent price or am I wasting my time? If someone lived near by and really wanted and needed the pistons I would probably give them away, and I would take next to nothing for the block. Is a 396 block worth anything?

68 468 700R4, and here it is;
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 00, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: McKinney, Tx
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I think they are valuable, especially for someone looking to restore back to original.
The tough thing about swapmeets is the fact that you basically have to take the sellers word for the condition of what he is selling.
It's hard to check out an engine block, unless you have a portable magnaflux kit, which I believe they do make nowadays. I thought I read a similar post about this subject awhile back, only about cylinder heads, which is basically the same situation.
You'd probably have better luck selling it with a newspaper ad, at least then, whoever you sell it to knows where you live, which would probably give the buyer a little piece of mind. But to answer your question, yes, they are worth something, theres only so many of those blocks left around, and I'm sure somebody could use a good one. KZ
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 00, 09:48 AM
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Maybe see if the machine shop will back up what they told you to the new buyer.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 00, 12:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: kerrville,tx,usa
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It's been my experence, that items that cannot be picked up and carried off are difficult to sell at swap meets.Unless you catch the one guy that has to have it. Speculators uselly don't want to mess with them.Especally when it's hot out. This is not as true for 12 bolt rears, some guys will drag them all the way to their cars wrestle them into the trunk. But blocks are another story same for BB heads.Personaly, I would never buy any used pistons, just too risky for used parts that deep in the motor.Put the bolck in the barn and watch hemmings for someone that needs that particular one.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 00, 08:17 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Millstone, NJ
Posts: 10,995

I found a correct date & code stamped 350 at the E-town swap meet for $200, he had more including a DZ block. It was a bit rusty, but he was local and I got his phone numbers and info. Then took the block to the shop and waited nervously. After the block was cleaned and beaded and magged, it's fine.
But I bought a set of 041 head that had a hole, so I've to both sides of this street. Now I have a spare 350 SS block to get rid of. I'm sure there is someone out there that would love to have your 396. KW

69' SS-350 ragtop, M20, 3.55 posi. Totally Disassembled & in boxes (I am working on it!)
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