What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396 - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 11, 8:36 PM Thread Starter
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What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

I have SS clone that I am installing a 396 in. Purchased a 396 from a farmer who had it in his barn for over 20 years, said it had been gon through but didnt know what had been done as it was his sons motor and he had passed away. Long story short, installed it but didnt have any oil to the valves. Took engine apart and found out the rear cam must have a groove in it to get oil to the top end. Found out if is only in the 1965-66 big blocks that have this slot milled into it.
It has a Camcraft cam (11636) and Johnson HT-817 lifters in it. I could have the cam end milled or install a new cam and lifters. What are your thoughts and do they make cams with the end already milled? I want a little bit of lope when the motor is at idle but nothing drastic. the motor is pretty much stock and is a two bolt main.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 2:33 AM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

Need more info bud.... Stock 396. We got that part, but dont forget that motor came in a lot of different configurations. Anything from 240 to 425 Hp could be had...What car? What heads? What tranny? What gears? Do you have any other goals besides "a little bit of lope"
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 5:29 AM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

Oh, there are plenty of good cams out there, dont know about the CamCraft. You'll be wanting to stay in the high 260 to low 270 range for advertised duration if the running gear is stock. 110 LSA is fine unless your static compression is much higher than 10:1, then you might have to give up lope and widen the separations some.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 9:17 AM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

its best to have both the correct cam mods and rear cam bearing
any decent machine shop can groove your rear cam bearing journal cheaply
1/4" wide and 3/16" deep is usually fine

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 9:30 AM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

Went thru this same problem with the 396 in my 65. I was happy with the Comp Cams LS6 hydraulic sound and performance, but I couldn't get consistent lifter adjustment or correct oiling. The LS6 is just their name for that cam.

I pulled the old cam out and it had not been grooved. Comp sold me a new one and grooved it for free. I also put in a new set of lifters. With all the cam trouble guys have today, I wasn't about to re-use the parts that the previous owner obviously installed and didn't know what he was doing. I'm sure that old cam had been dry too many times for it to last long, and the lifters, probably would have been hard on a new cam. After proper break in and correct oil, I had a great running motor. I broke it in with Pennzoil GT racing oil and Lucas break in lube.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 10:31 AM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

I've put an awful lot of miles on L34, L72 and L78 engines with the stock factory solid lifter Chevy cam. Put close to 200K miles on our L72 car with no valve train problems. It works well, is easy on the valve train, sounds good and needs little to no maintenance. There are lots of cams out there that will make more power but I prefer reliability first and am not on the race track anyway. Rob Clary put his "certified stock" L72 Camaro into the high elevens with the Crane version of this cam. Not too shabby.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 11:09 AM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

Richard at Camcraft makes some nice stuff. He is a smart cookie.

Chris Straub
Mfg Performance Parts

Why is it we never have time or money to do it the right way in the beginning but we always have time and money to do it over again?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 11, 1:26 PM
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Re: What cam? Please help 1965-66 BBC 396

I'd groove it and run it. run a google search on camcraft, so what turns up. they'll know what the cam is. those lifters are good, if the lobes and lifters are not hurt you can run them. usually it the rockers that get killed by the no oil to the top deal.

Tom Terrific or Terrible Tom, depending on the phase of the moon, passing cosmic rays or other factors not fully understood except by my wife.
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