crate motor swap...is it worth it? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 00, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the situation: I have a 69 SS Camaro. It came from the factory with a 396. I've been lucky enough to trace the ownership all the way back to when it was new. The original 396 was removed in the early 80's and replaced with a 454 for racing. In the mid 80's a 396 was put back in. Not the original but it is from a 69 Camaro. It runs strong (7.90's in the 1/8th on drag radials).
I know that not having the original motor hurts the value, but does having a 69 Camaro motor raise the value back up some?
The reason I'm asking is that I'm drooling over the RAMJET 502. Would I be stupid for pulling the 69 396 motor and selling it? I keep flip-flopping on what to do.
I guess my main question is how having a motor from a 69 Camaro, even though it's not the original motor, affects the value.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 00, 04:40 PM
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Buckeye, I think its either a numbers match or not. That simple. I bought a 67 Chevelle with a 67 325 Camaro 396. To me it was a perfect home for my 1970 crate L88.

I do, however, regret not keeping the 396 around just to have a spare. Sure it fetched $1500, which will help with the 502 ramjet, but....

------------------
Gene C.
67 Chevelle SS 427/L88
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 00, 05:25 PM
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Buckeye,

I have almost the exact situation as yourself. I have a 396 in my 69 but rather than go out and get a 502, I choose to modify the one I have now because it is a 396 although NOT the original one.

The car now produces around 450 at the motor and with a 150 shot, it goes maybe 575-600HP. At this point in time, I would be losing power if I switched over to a 502 or RAMJET.
Now it would have been much EASIER to make this kind of HP with more cubic inches but I wanted to try and do it with a 1969 factory supplied short block.

By the way there are some definite problems with delivery on that RAMJET 502 which we can get into if you want. Suffice to say I have TECHNICALLY had one on order for over 5 months with no promise yet of delivery. Thank GOD no money changed hands on this or I assure you I would have someone's head on a stick!!!

The GM boys on the Power Tour were VERY VAGUE on the Ramjet 502 although they had one in one of the cars that they were driving on the tour. Apparently wide open throttle is not a problem but part throttle operation IS. This leads me to beleive they are having some problems with fuel mapping but they flat wouldn't say.

Second rumor was that they were having a supplier problem in regards to the people that are manufacturing the manifold for them but who knows???? I beleive you can get the small block RAMJET though.

Anyhow, IMO your car would be more valuble to a potential purchaser if it had in it a powertrain combination that was available for that particular year model EVEN THOUGH it might not actually be a numbers matching engine. I find this to be true in my area (Dallas) but I wouldn't know if the same holds true in other areas.

[This message has been edited by sr71bb (edited 08-20-2000).]
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 00, 03:49 AM
 
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keep the 396, you will be disappointed after spending big cash for more cubes. you can only get so much power to the ground anyway and a mild built 396 is plenty. i have had both, and small blocks, and have rode in some 502's. very disappointing for $4000 or more. a tire being torched looks the same with a 396 or a 502.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 00, 03:29 PM
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I agree, keep the 396.....I have one in my 69', and although it's not matching numbers either, it sure is a blast to drive! I couldn't imagine needing anymore power than I have now........KZ http://www.geocities.com/kz1000ltd/
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 00, 03:55 PM
 
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Build the 396!!!!! This is my personal opinion and I certainly don't want to offend anyone, but while the 502's have a sweet rumble and everyone stops to look when one pulls into a car show or cruise-in, It just dosn't look right to see a beutifull restored original car and see the modern looking 502 under the hood. Now if racing is your thing thats another story, I'm somewhat of a visual purist and enjoy showing and factory detailing.

Orange block, Crossed flag and 396 Turbo Jet 375 HP on the open element air cleaner is the only way to go!

Better yet, an authenticly detailed Yenko 427/450HP clone.

Power and nostalga!

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Happy Motoring!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 23rd, 00, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. Right now, I'm kind of leaning toward building up the 396 some more. It has already been bored .030 over. It has stock, rectangle port heads. I've been looking in my Jegs and Summit catalogs for some new ones.
JOHNM, your right about power to the pavement. Traction is already a problem with the 396.
Thanks again to everyone who has replied.
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