LS3 vs 396 BBC - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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LS3 vs 396 BBC

Ok guys, I finally was able to take my Vert for a longer test run. (Only about a mile) Comparing my 396 to this LS3/495 crate engine so far I’m not really impressed. My 396 had a custom roller cam, aluminum heads, aluminum intake,Holley HP 750 and pulled like no tomorrow. I don’t even have 2 miles on this LS3 so I will have to get some more miles on it I guess to give a real opinion on performance. The rear gears are the same 373’s. Just sayin......

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 07:35 AM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

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Originally Posted by DT View Post
Ok guys, I finally was able to take my Vert for a longer test run. (Only about a mile) Comparing my 396 to this LS3/495 crate engine so far Iím not really impressed. My 396 had a custom roller cam, aluminum heads, aluminum intake,Holley HP 750 and pulled like no tomorrow. I donít even have 2 miles on this LS3 so I will have to get some more miles on it I guess to give a real opinion on performance. The rear gears are the same 373ís. Just sayin......
What were you looking for when you made the change?

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
Ok guys, I finally was able to take my Vert for a longer test run. (Only about a mile) Comparing my 396 to this LS3/495 crate engine so far I’m not really impressed. My 396 had a custom roller cam, aluminum heads, aluminum intake,Holley HP 750 and pulled like no tomorrow. I don’t even have 2 miles on this LS3 so I will have to get some more miles on it I guess to give a real opinion on performance. The rear gears are the same 373’s. Just sayin......
What were you looking for when you made the change?
Reliability, equal or better performance, increased gas mileage.

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
1969 Convertible LS3 TKO 600, 373
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 08:25 AM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

You were doing so well in your expectation up until you got to "increased gas mileage". There is no way a BBC will get better gas mileage than any LS-x engine. Even a 6.2 liter engine (which is still smaller in displacement than a 6.489 liter 396 engine) will nearly double the mileage of the gas sucking BBC.

By the way you can not compare a 396 to anything as it is too small an engine to make power on today's pump gas. If you are going to run a BBC build a 496 out of a 454 donor engine.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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You were doing so well in your expectation up until you got to "increased gas mileage". There is no way a BBC will get better gas mileage than any LS-x engine. Even a 6.2 liter engine (which is still smaller in displacement than a 6.489 liter 396 engine) will nearly double the mileage of the gas sucking BBC.

By the way you can not compare a 396 to anything as it is too small an engine to make power on today's pump gas. If you are going to run a BBC build a 496 out of a 454 donor engine.

Big Dave
Dave I went from a 396 to an LS3.
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1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
1969 Convertible LS3 TKO 600, 373
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 09:23 AM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

You loose 267 ugly pounds of cast iron by swapping (685 pounds for an all cast iron BBC- 418 pounds for a complete LS-3 crate engine), and gain 105 horsepower (figuring at best only 325 horse out of a 396 vs. 430 horse out of the LS3).

Easier starts, smoother idle, much much better mileage with fewer emissions.

Whats not to love?

Big Dave
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 09:40 AM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

I think you need to spend more time and miles behind the new motor before you reach any conclusions.

I would never go back to an old school motor (unless I was going for a restored garage queen) after tasting an LS.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
You loose 267 ugly pounds of cast iron by swapping (685 pounds for an all cast iron BBC- 418 pounds for a complete LS-3 crate engine), and gain 105 horsepower (figuring at best only 325 horse out of a 396 vs. 430 horse out of the LS3).

Easier starts, smoother idle, much much better mileage with fewer emissions.

Whats not to love?

Big Dave
My 396 was 540, the new LS3 claims 495, call it 500 w headers. Actual RWH, IDK. I’m going to keep an open mind here, I do realize I have 2 miles on the LS3 lol

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 10:41 AM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
You loose 267 ugly pounds of cast iron by swapping (685 pounds for an all cast iron BBC- 418 pounds for a complete LS-3 crate engine), and gain 105 horsepower (figuring at best only 325 horse out of a 396 vs. 430 horse out of the LS3).

Easier starts, smoother idle, much much better mileage with fewer emissions.

Whats not to love?

Big Dave
WHAT's NOT LOVE? THE LOOKS OF A LS
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 11:15 AM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

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My 396 was 540, the new LS3 claims 495, call it 500 w headers. Actual RWH, IDK. Iím going to keep an open mind here, I do realize I have 2 miles on the LS3 lol
My LS3/480 put down 440RWHP on a Mustang Dyno (T56/Ford 9"/headers/exhaust built for noise control) with a simple tune (the factory tune is on the conservative side). I got a reliable 22 to 23 MPG at 60-70MPH through the 4.10s I had before I went to the new 3.73s. The engines REALLY respond to cams if you feel you really want more power.

I'm planning on about a 5,000 mile tour this summer, and am going to like that mileage a lot!
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

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Originally Posted by Mkelcy View Post
My LS3/480 put down 440RWHP on a Mustang Dyno (T56/Ford 9"/headers/exhaust built for noise control) with a simple tune (the factory tune is on the conservative side). I got a reliable 22 to 23 MPG at 60-70MPH through the 4.10s I had before I went to the new 3.73s. The engines REALLY respond to cams if you feel you really want more power.

I'm planning on about a 5,000 mile tour this summer, and am going to like that mileage a lot!
That sounds great!! Yeah I realize its all in my head right now LOL. I have to really take it out on the hwy for a good run. I have no plans on a cam swap. Thx guys.

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
1969 Convertible LS3 TKO 600, 373
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 12:33 PM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

GMPP tune is a conservative rich tune to minimize warranty expenses. Get a tune if you want more. Pat G does mail order tunes if you donít want to mess with a dyno tune....

Don
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 01:09 PM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

You are comparing the smoothness of the LS3 to the raw big block power. Once you get the LS3 into the higher RPM range is Iím sure you will be pleasantly surprised
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

Thanks guys.

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
1969 Convertible LS3 TKO 600, 373
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 19, 01:13 PM
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Re: LS3 vs 396 BBC

What you are experiencing is the difference in torque. The LS3 outputs only 473 foot pounds at 5,000 RPM while the average 540 out puts more than 640 foot pounds from 2300 RPM to 5800 RPM (Edelbrock 540 crate engine Part # 46230), Or 676 foot pounds at 5,800 RPM for a Scott Shafiroff Race Engines pump gas street crate engine 540.

It isn't the horsepower that you are missing with your new LS3 but the torque of the longer stroke BBC.

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