425 HP 396 ??? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 00, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Buckley, WA
Posts: 3


Please help settle an argument I have going with a gentleman who believes he owns a numbers matching 425 HP 396 in a '69 Camaro.

Was this motor ever offered in anything other than the 2,157 '65 Corvettes?

If not, was the 375 HP L-78 the exact same motor as the '65 Corvette except for the exhaust system on the Corvette?

Thanks for helping!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 00, 06:54 PM
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They never made a 425 horse 396 for a Camaro. I don't know what the difference is between a 375 and 425 horse motors. If there is a difference it might be in the cam, slight difference, and carb.

Steve R.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 04:18 AM
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You got the right answer on the Chevelle site.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 07:41 AM
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I thought the only difference was in GM's hp rating. It's the same engine(L78). GM policy was to not offer engines making more hp than cubic inches in any car other than the Vette. Vette exhaust manifolds are different, but that doesn't account for the 50 horse rating difference.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Buckley, WA
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So, I'm hearing that there's agreement on both websites that there was no difference in the cam specs, right? That's where I thought the difference would be.

Can anyone point me to a reference where I can see that the cam specs are identical?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 00, 07:24 PM
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375HP is the Highest FACTORY rated 396 available in the Camaro. BUT NHRA did FACTOR the L-78 engine up to the 425HP during the 1968 racing season. In fact, NHRA factored many of the Chevy engines up because it was a well known fact that GM ratings were conservative and everyone else was tired of Chevy winning everything!!

In 1968 these were the factory ratings and the new NHRA ratings for the same engines:
Engine- Factory- NHRA
L-30 327 Hi-Comp 4 BBL 275HP 300HP
Z-28 302 290HP 315HP
L-79 Hi-Perfomance 327 325HP 350HP
L-35 396/325 325HP 360HP
L-34 396/350 350HP 375HP
L-78 396/375 375HP 425HP
L-36 427 385HP 390HP
L-71 427 Corvette 435HP 480HP

The new NHRA rules did have their effect in that there were alot fewer Chevy powered stock class winners in 68. The Z-28 however still fared well however as it's real HP was in the area of 385-390HP. The 396 that was put in the Camaro was EXACTLY the same engine as the factory rated 425HP that was put in the 1965 Corvette. When Chevy released the SAME engine for the Camaros and Chevelles they rated it downward to 375HP. GM after all POLITICALLY couldn't have a less expensive Camaro or Chevelle with the same HP. It wouldn't look right from a marketing standpoint.

So in reality, your friend is correct he does have a 425HP 396. It just wasn't factory rated that way.

REFERENCE QUOTE from Popular Hot Rodding June 1968 issue:

"and the wild L-78 combination option (with solid cam, big-port heads, four bolt mains. etc.) has been factored from 375 to 425 hp. You can't hardly argue with the last change. When this EXACT SAME ENGINE was introduced in the 1965 Corvette it carried a rating of 425 hp. When Chevy released the option for Chevelles and Camaros in '66 they cut the rating to 375 hp."

[This message has been edited by sr71bb (edited 04-22-2000).]
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 25th, 00, 03:26 AM
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i had the same bet with a guy i worked with, except he told me that he had a 396/425 engine in a chevelle. man was i glad i did some research. he was correct. they did offer it i believe in 1965, but in a chevelle and vette.
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