396 BASIC question - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 03, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 107

I have an 82 Camaro with a 305, and am buying performance upgrades along & along with the dream of one day buying a Big-Block 396 to rework and slide gracefully into my engine bay.

My basic question is...what are some physical differences that I can see between the 305 & a 396? Can you look at it & tell a difference? I guess what I'm asking is...if I'm hunting for a 396, how can I ensure that it is REALLY indeed a 396? One guy was trying to sell me a 350, and was calling it a 396 (I was told by a guy I work with that it was really a 350, anyway). Can you make a 396 out of a 350? I'm looking for a 396 with a good 375hp...just don't want to get ripped off. Thanks, guys. Don't be too hard on me, I'm new to this stuff, but I want to learn.

1982 Camaro, 305, 4bbl Q-Jet
Scott Reeves HSV is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 03, 02:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,046

Scott, attend some of the local car shows featuring chevys and you'll see a good representation of engines, modifications and detailing. Talk to the owners. Once you see a 396 or any of the other big blocks, you won't be confusing it with a small block again. The 396 block is physically and visually bigger. Actual engine displacement is determined by size of cyls, number of cylinders, and distance the crank move the pistons ( of course, type of piston is relevant also ) ... That's why you can have 305, 350, 355, 383, and even 400 small blocks . you don't need to go big block to get good street performance. You can get a potent small block and have a easier can less expensive swap ... Either way, enjoy you plunge into the car enthusiast hobby!
sdtsdt is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 03, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 264

Scott,a quick trip to the book store will solve your problem. Go to the Automotive section and look for 2 books. How to Hot Rod small blocks and How to Hot Rod big blocks. The pictures in both books will help you see the differences in the engines.
67camss/rs is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 03, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 21,341

He, He!!

My first book on big blocks said it this way.

"A small block looks almost "delicate" next to a big block", or at least something along these lines.. AND they do, imho...

Kinda like putting a 5.0 block up next to a 350 sorta thing...


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