265 HP 2 bbl 396 - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 07, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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265 HP 2 bbl 396

I have learned that the block in my SS396 (1969) is from a 1 year only 265 HP version of the 396 with a 2 barrel carb. Both the car and the block were built in the 4th week of January of 69 but I am certain that SS cars never had this engine. My question is, could it have been used in a truck application or perhaps a malibu wagon or 4 door malibu? Why did they produce this engine? Any ideas?
Thanks,
Brian 69 SS396
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 07, 12:58 AM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallboy View Post
I have learned that the block in my SS396 (1969) is from a 1 year only 265 HP version of the 396 with a 2 barrel carb. Both the car and the block were built in the 4th week of January of 69 but I am certain that SS cars never had this engine. My question is, could it have been used in a truck application or perhaps a malibu wagon or 4 door malibu? Why did they produce this engine? Any ideas?
Thanks,
Brian 69 SS396
It definately didn't come in a Chevelle. It was only used in 1969 but mostly in full size station wagons and fleet sales. My source says only 63,603 passenger cars were equipped with this 265hp version and the 2-bbl intake allowed for high torque and low horsepower - ideal for towing capability. Odds are it was never put in any Malibu. A quick look at heads show these were different from L34/L35 heads with differences in the combustion chamber so pistons, and probably camshaft, would be different as well.

Why would it have been produced? Market research or some engineers thought it might sell well due to high torque capabilities but may not have come up to expectations so it was dropped. Lots of innovations/changes in the 69 model year; vent wings go away on Chevelle hardtops and convertibles, SS396 option available on the Chevelle 300 Deluxe series, etc.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 07, 7:51 AM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

It also was a regular gas engine with 9.0-1 CR. Cam was the same as the 325 hp 396.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 07, 7:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Thanks again, you guys have answered my questions, I guess they just used the block, cleaned it up and put on a 4 bbl manifold to make it acceptable for an SS application. The engine was done prior to my purchase of the car, so I have been having a lot of fun trying to piece together its rebuild history. Looks like someone went to great lengths to find an engine that was made in the same week as the car itself. I have no idea about its internal componets, but know that it runs great and has awesome power. I am finding it is quite the mutt of a car but I love it anyway. Thanks again
Brian SS396
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 07, 7:15 PM
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Thumbs up Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

This engine may have been available in the Nova as well in '69. Pontiac liked to do this same thing with bigger engines as well. I think that the buyer mentality in that era was that a 2 barrel carb had to be better on gas than one of those big 4 barrel outfits. Marketing sometimes is more powerful than fact. This also added one more option to the list which meant $$$$$$$$ to GM. Driven sensibly, a well set up Q'jet is hard to beat for gas mileage and there is really no good reason to go to one of those big Rochester 2 barrel carbs. If yours is still 9-1 compression you will be able to run 92-93 octane gas and crank the timing up and run about as well as a 10.25-1 L34.
Don Lightfoot will sure like your car. Might be something to do with the colour. One of my favourite Chevelle colours too.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 07, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Thanks, that too is interesting information, now I understand the "why" part of the production of that engine, centers around the profitability aspect. I think I have visited Don's site about a million times, It is what led me to this group and certainly has been an inspiration. That "Blue Beast" sure is special and his detail work is unbelieveable.
Brian
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 3:54 PM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

the 265hp 396 was only available in 1969 in full size chevrolet cars and full size 1969 canadian pontiac cars. GM wanted to offer a torquey engine that would run on reg gas
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 3:33 AM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

A young family in my neighborhood had an Impala with the 396 2 barrel and it got 16mpg. His wife bought it before they met. He bought a new 1970 Chevelle SS with a 350 ci.four speed. He couldn't believe that the Chevelle was only getting about 12mpg. I think the Impala was a 66 but may have been a 69, I was only interested in the Yellow SS with black vinal top black bucket seats.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 9:10 AM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Quote:
He bought a new 1970 Chevelle SS with a 350 ci.four speed.
fyi

All 1966 to 1970 SS optioned cars came with either a big block 396 or 454 in 70. No 350 engine was offered in a Chevelle with the SS till 1971, which was the 1st year you could get a small block SS350 Chevelle.

So any 1970 with a 350 could never have the SS option. There were only 2 engine cid SS options in 1970; SS 396 or SS 454.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 10:24 AM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Additional FYI....

The only 396 offered in the '66 Impala's (or any '66 full size car) was the 325 HP, 4bbl version.

Dan

Awww, fer cyrin out loud, it's that IMPALA guy again.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent. My ability to access it is not.
SS 396 4sp
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 11:12 AM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Additional FYI....

The only 396 offered in the '66 Impala's (or any '66 full size car) was the 325 HP, 4bbl version.

and if that wasn't enough for the land yacht owner, theirs was the 427 / 425 horse engine. Drop that in a light weight Biscayne and you were beating most of the so called musclecars of the day.

CarTech Jan. 2011, Bill Jenkins "Grumpys Toys"
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 11:03 PM
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Re: 265 HP 2 bbl 396

Thank you for the correction. To many years, ago and to many beers, but it was a big block Impala with a two barrel carb and intake, that I remember. Or and you are correct the Yellow SS Chevelle only had two headlights and not four, must have been a 71.

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