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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Getting ready to start the engine rebuild on the 396 L-35 for my 66ss restoration and I had a few questions. I was thinking of some "internal" upgrades I should do rather than leaving everything stock but didn't though if these were cost justified. Roller rockers, forged pistons, high-perf rods, etc. Does anybody have an opinion about this. I plan on showing the car mostly but do plan on driiving it alot, so I want the most horsepower and durability possible without wasting money and damaging my #'s matching engine.

I plan on keeping the stock holley carb/intake but was going to upgrade the cam to the 360 hp specs. Is there a problem with this. From the info I have this was the only differce between the 325 and 360 hp engines.

Thanks

Corey

71 307
66 ss396

http://users.snip.net/~chopperroxie
 

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As I'm sure all will agree, those items will help engine durability but only if it'll see 5000+ rpms alot. So if you're a lead foot, it would definitely be worth the extra cost. If not, spend some money or "dirty" time and pocket port your heads ( which will help all across the rpm range ),port match them, have the rods remachined and the reciprocating assembly balanced. I don't know about the "resto" aspect of it all, but today's camshaft tech is way more sophisticated than the '60's. So unless it hurts you in points or something, you'll probably find a better modern grind. Again, cast pats are OK if the motor stays below 5000 or so. Any disagreements?
 
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A lot depends on how hard you want to push this motor. My guess is not very hard, it would be a shame to punch holes in the correct block. I don't know how much you are into the show car stuff, you know sitting around for hours having people pick at your car, fun stuff!

I would do the things you talked about, good pistons, new aftermarket rods, Eagle makes some nice units. Have the crank done, stay away from decking the block, the numbers will go away, check it for align bore, have the assembly balanced and if you don't have the knowledge to correctly assemble the motor pay to have it done.
 

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Some roller rockers will not fit under the stock valve covers.

------------------
Steve Strasemeier (70SS)
 
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I ran into the problem with roller rockers on my 27 with stock valve covers, they hit the drippers. I removed the drippers which are not needed for roller rockers, used a little thicker gasket and all was well.
 

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Opinions?
I don't see the need for forged pistons and heavier rods for what it sounds like you are doing. You can save some real $ here.
My 'stock' 396 got:
new pistons - top quality but not forged
New hydraulic cam grind similar to 350 hp but improved.
Crane 'stamped' roller rockers.
Hardened seats and stainless (oversized) valves - matching springs.
Balanced engine assembly.

True roller timing set.
Oil baffles (intake and pan)
Reworked distributor.
Minor porting and cleanup.

More powerful than stock, yet looks original.
I've been enjoying this combo for 8 years now, not a hint of trouble.
 
G

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Al, you did not mention what you did with your rods? I have a different slant on the rod deal than most. For what it cost to turn out a real ggod set of reconditioned rods, you can add a few dollars and have "new", not 30 year old rods, that are not that much heavier or more expensive. If you do the full treatment to the rods, new bolts, recondition and if you run a floater piston, bushings and pin fitting, the cost is near $300.

I agree that forged pistons are not necessary but we must agree to disagree on the rods.

If it was me, I would take my rare rat out and sit it in the corner and build a 427 and have some real fun, but that is me.
 

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The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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14,699 Posts
The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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14,699 Posts
The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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14,699 Posts
The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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Lifetime Founding Member
Joined
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14,699 Posts
The 360 and 375hp versions had better valve springs than the 325hp. I would also install those or aftermarket equivalent. Hypereutectic pistons are stronger than cast, but can be installed with much tighter piston to cyl wall clearance than forged and are cheaper than forged. Whatever rods you use, have ARP bolts installed and have the entire assembly balanced. Install a Pertronix Ignitor in place of the points with a hi-po coil and/or MSD box with some good plug wires and your ignition will be stock appearing but much better. If you are serious about HP, headers and a 2 1/2" afermarket exhaust are a must. My .025 cents worth. von
 

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Sorry. Computer locked up and I hit the Enter key a few times, then Chevelle Tech went down. Then @#&%! Tried to edit out the extra posts with no luck. von

[This message has been edited by von (edited 04-26-99).]
 

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71307chevelle,
Make sure that the cam you use has a oil groove in the rear journal. Obviously this is for oil and lubrication, if it is not there than a oil hemerage will occur. I am doing the same thing on my 66 right now also. Comp cam kit, Weiand stealth intake, pocket ported and matched #781 heads, holley 750, mallory ign.

Good Luck, Chris R.
 
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