To buy an L78 or not... - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 15, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 321
To buy an L78 or not...

I bought a 396 motor that has developed a knock and it needs to be removed from the car and taken apart. Since the rebuild cost will likely exceed the value of the motor, the guy I bought the engine from is willing to take the motor back and refund my $$$.

So now I need a 396 rebuilt long block or the engine guy has a 1968 L78 motor that has been fully rebuilt with all period correct dated parts. He will sell the L78 for $6000.

I paid $2500 for the used motor that I got from him so I would have to pay him an additional $3500 for the 396 L78.

The problem is this, the engine guy and two other engine builders I talked to all say NOT to buy the L78. They say it will not be driver friendly being that is needs more RPM to make power. Also being 11:1 it won't run on pump gas. Their exact words were "it will leave like a turd."

The engine builders suggest to buy a peroid rebuilt long block that is 10:1 and set up for ease of driving and that I would be happier with that in the long run.

The problem with a rebuilt 396 long block is that it will cost about the same as getting the L78, I personally think the L78 will add more value to the car despite it's drivability problems.

I'm open to suggestions...


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 15, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 4,684
Re: To buy an L78 or not...

I suggest buying into the money market instead of a buying the L-78 if you want to make money. Your engine builders are telling you the truth.

If you want more performance consider buying a used ZZ502 motor for about $5000 and spend the other $1,000 on a rebuild for the 502. It looks like a 396 (has a short deck height and with a 396-375 horse decal 9 out of 10 will believe the decal at any car show you go to).

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