Generally, when you ordered RPO V01 Heavy-Duty Radiator (standard with a/c) you got a shroud. One exception was for off-road use, namely L88 Corvettes. As for L78s I think you did get a plastic shroud when the H.D. radiator option was specified. The H.D. radiator WAS NOT standard with the L78; or I should say that you got a 391 sq. in. area rad with a finger guard brazed onto the top tank. The V01 H.D. rad was offered at extra cost & included a shroud.
Bill Smith, who since '68 has owned his beautiful '66 L78 SS396 featured way back at this site, does not use a shroud ( http://www.chevelles.com/feature/66396_3.htm ). It looks to me like a standard radiator. Keep in mind that the area on the standard rad with a big block early Chevelle would be 391 sq in.
In Super Chevy, Dec '88 there is a feature on a 3,415 original mile L78-powered El Camino with a H.D. rad. It does not have a shroud. What I say is this: It should either have a finger guard on the top tank, or it should have a shroud. That one has neither, which strongly suggests that the shroud had been removed at some point (assuming the rad is original).
The separate option, RPO K02 Temperature-Controlled Fan, WAS included with the L78.
Looking in the '67 Assembly manual (I know, you asked about a '66), under the L78 section it mentions radiator & radiator shroud as being a non-illustrated part and you should see the Bill Of Materials for the part #s. Hmmm…
The '66 Factory-Installed Optional Equipment list doesn't really say whether the shroud is included or not, and it doesn't even refer to the L78. Chevy did advertise the 375-horse engine in Hot Rod Magazine.
I'm not trying to be a know-it-all, but I stand by what I say when I claim that V01 with a shroud was optional on the L78, and that K02 Viscous-Fan was standard. Hey, if someone has some proof then let's see it. (Ooh, it sure is lonely out here out on a limb…)
P.S. The sixes and small-blocks used metal shrouds with V01.
[This message has been edited by Cam (edited 10-13-99).]
Thanks. The car has a plastic shroud and there was a metal one in the trunk that appears to have the right bolt pattern. I recently bought a 66 Chevelle promotional video at a swap meet and there is a brief shot of the engine compartment that shows a metal shroud with the ribs like the one I have in a SS396 car. Of course, this has to be the stupidest video I have ever seen so it may not be too authentic in detail.
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