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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, am looking at a low budget freshen up on a 68 396 (325 HP) with 215 heads. Didn't smoke, all compression tests were 185 psi +- 10%. Looking for a stock or slightly better performance.

Was thinking a rering kit and timing gear set would do the trick but wondering about the cam. If I get it out and it is beat what cam would you recommend that is pretty close to stock that would work with what I believe are stock springs.

Thanks for any info.
 

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Nice pics in the gallery! What about that killer 454? Too much engine?

22 posts? Where have you been hiding since NOV 2006?

Sounds like a healthy 396 engine with even compression. How many miles on it?
If under 50 thou, maybe 60 thou....perhaps freshen the heads and cam swap?
When you have the heads off, have the springs evaluated. If stock, junk them. If someone has put perf springs on your heads in the past,,,they are probably still good...again, depends on your engine mileage.

Ultimate low budget but just above stock would be the Summit k1301 218/228* dur @ .050 and mild .500/.500" lift gives a hassle free swap and the generous 114 LSA will give you a nearly smooth idle, good vacuum, and pretty good mpg. Perfect for a cruiser car.
$99 cam and lifters. Some of the smaller cams by the other manufacturers are good too, just cost more...if cost is your dominant concern. Have the cylinder heads looked-at, 3-angle valve job and new springs. Cylinder heads generally wear out before the pistons and rings. Get a performance timing set.

Re-ring depends on condition of the bores, wear, taper, piston skirt condition, piston to wall clearance. Team Member FRYNTYR evaluated a 454 shortblock core I found to be suitable for this.....hope that you are lucky too. Obviously if re-ring, you should put in a new bearing set and probably an new oil pump.

Just these basic things will really wake up a 396/325.
 

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I did basically what you propose, on a 68 325 hp. I had to rebore so I took it out to +60 (408) using the +30 402 pistons. That with a full re-ring kit, cleaned up the 063 heads, new exhaust valves due to the stem side thrust wear, Crane springs and a Lunati Voodoo 60203 cam and lifters. I added an L78 old school intake with a 750 Holley and really like the combo. I may go back to the Quadrajet and cast manifold for a little economy some day, but I like my current combo for the sound, good power for a baby BBC, and decent vacuum to work the power brakes. i haven't been able to really put time on it yet but hope to as soon as I get the body parts all back on. Good Luck.
 

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Ed,

That 60203 Voodoo seems quite a bit more aggressive then 'just above stock' but I see a lotta guys using that grind here for their street rides....
 

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Ed,

That 60203 Voodoo seems quite a bit more aggressive then 'just above stock' but I see a lotta guys using that grind here for their street rides....
excellent street cam with plenty of driveable power!
Ive put two of them in
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm still rolling large with the 454, visiting every gas station in town. Rebuilding the 396 for something to do, my kids are getting into the hobby so I figure this would be a good project. Gonna build an engine test stand to crank it up.

The cam I pulled looked worn but not too bad, the springs are the double type so I am guessing they are replacements. Here's a shot of the piston, I don't see any numbers indicating oversize. Could this be a stock piston? Skirts look good and the skirt to bore is about .003. Also the rod bearings say GM A-200 .001 then 2 68 . What does this mean? Could they be originals (68 number)?




Nice pics in the gallery! What about that killer 454? Too much engine?

22 posts? Where have you been hiding since NOV 2006?

Sounds like a healthy 396 engine with even compression. How many miles on it?
If under 50 thou, maybe 60 thou....perhaps freshen the heads and cam swap?
When you have the heads off, have the springs evaluated. If stock, junk them. If someone has put perf springs on your heads in the past,,,they are probably still good...again, depends on your engine mileage.

Ultimate low budget but just above stock would be the Summit k1301 218/228* dur @ .050 and mild .500/.500" lift gives a hassle free swap and the generous 114 LSA will give you a nearly smooth idle, good vacuum, and pretty good mpg. Perfect for a cruiser car.
$99 cam and lifters. Some of the smaller cams by the other manufacturers are good too, just cost more...if cost is your dominant concern. Have the cylinder heads looked-at, 3-angle valve job and new springs. Cylinder heads generally wear out before the pistons and rings. Get a performance timing set.

Re-ring depends on condition of the bores, wear, taper, piston skirt condition, piston to wall clearance. Team Member FRYNTYR evaluated a 454 shortblock core I found to be suitable for this.....hope that you are lucky too. Obviously if re-ring, you should put in a new bearing set and probably an new oil pump.

Just these basic things will really wake up a 396/325.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I checked out that combo and that seems to be what I am looking for. Do you know how I would determine if the springs I have now will work?

Nice pics in the gallery! What about that killer 454? Too much engine?

22 posts? Where have you been hiding since NOV 2006?

Sounds like a healthy 396 engine with even compression. How many miles on it?
If under 50 thou, maybe 60 thou....perhaps freshen the heads and cam swap?
When you have the heads off, have the springs evaluated. If stock, junk them. If someone has put perf springs on your heads in the past,,,they are probably still good...again, depends on your engine mileage.

Ultimate low budget but just above stock would be the Summit k1301 218/228* dur @ .050 and mild .500/.500" lift gives a hassle free swap and the generous 114 LSA will give you a nearly smooth idle, good vacuum, and pretty good mpg. Perfect for a cruiser car.
$99 cam and lifters. Some of the smaller cams by the other manufacturers are good too, just cost more...if cost is your dominant concern. Have the cylinder heads looked-at, 3-angle valve job and new springs. Cylinder heads generally wear out before the pistons and rings. Get a performance timing set.

Re-ring depends on condition of the bores, wear, taper, piston skirt condition, piston to wall clearance. Team Member FRYNTYR evaluated a 454 shortblock core I found to be suitable for this.....hope that you are lucky too. Obviously if re-ring, you should put in a new bearing set and probably an new oil pump.

Just these basic things will really wake up a 396/325.
 

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I ran the Comp Cams Xtreme Marine 270 hydraulic flat tappet in my bone stock 66 396/325hp motor. Great cam ground on a 112. Lots of torque throughout the rpm range. Great street manners.

THE VooDoo 60203 CAM IS TOO BIG FOR A JUST ABOVE STOCK APPLICATION. The 60201 would be more like it.
 

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To the guys with the Voodo 60203 cam: What HP/TQ numbers are you getting from this combo? Thx
Ron,

I'll know when I'm done, ha ha!;)

Seriously, my builder is expecting around 425hp/450tq when done, and he's not anticipating any problems with power brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, so I have everything disassembled. Rod bearings say .001 on the back so I assume this is "one under" bearings? Measured the mains and the plastigauge indicates about .0020.

Have a slight lip on top of cylinders, broke a ring taking pistons out. Is it possible to remove the lip without boring? I am assuming the new rings won't go past the lip. Can this be honed away? The piston to wall clearance was .002 at skirt.
 

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To the guys with the Voodo 60203 cam: What HP/TQ numbers are you getting from this combo? Thx
Not sure if you saw the post from 7DSS but he dynoed a 396/402 with the 60202 and it made 410 hp. My guess is that the 60203 would make 10 to 20 horse more.
 

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Scott,

The ridge on the top of the cyl wall could be removed by a tool called a ridge reamer. It pops in the cyl, you expand the teeth and it scrapes away the ridge. Most do this BEFORE removing the pistons to NOT break the rings or DAMAGE the piston ring lands. Some use a razor blade as part of this ridge is varnish. Check to make sure you did not crack the piston with the damaged ring. If you have a big ridge....probably will need a bor and new pistons anyway....
 

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Ron,

I'll know when I'm done, ha ha!;)

Seriously, my builder is expecting around 425hp/450tq when done, and he's not anticipating any problems with power brakes.
Dan, we aren't not from each other (London) - I would love to see your project some time, the pics in your sig look great!


Not sure if you saw the post from 7DSS but he dynoed a 396/402 with the 60202 and it made 410 hp. My guess is that the 60203 would make 10 to 20 horse more.
No I missed that! :( is this recent, got a link?


Scott,

The ridge on the top of the cyl wall could be removed by a tool called a ridge reamer. It pops in the cyl, you expand the teeth and it scrapes away the ridge. Most do this BEFORE removing the pistons to NOT break the rings or DAMAGE the piston ring lands. Some use a razor blade as part of this ridge is varnish. Check to make sure you did not crack the piston with the damaged ring. If you have a big ridge....probably will need a bor and new pistons anyway....
Cool video, thanks for posting that, I am gonna check out that site....
 
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