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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was given a 1971 Caprice Classic two dr h/t by my neighbors widdow. The car has "400" emblems on the front 1/4s. Many people have told me that the engine is the 400 SB but the 400 SB for that year only had 245 advertised hp, but on the air cleaner there is a silver sticker that reads "400" and under that it reads 300HP. I read in the owners manual that only the 402 had 300hp for this year. So I guess my question is, is this the 396 BB or a 400 SB??? The reason I want to know this is because I want to put it in my '67 Chevelle. What kind of upgrades are there for this engine?

[This message has been edited by SIDEWINDER (edited 01-23-2000).]
 

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400 sb would have a 2 bbl carb and the 400(396/402) bb would have a 4bbl.
sb would have 4 valve cover bolts and the bb would have 7. with either engine it sounds like the price was right.
 

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64 Elcamino is exactly right. Many Chevy guys called the BB 402 the 400. GM even put the 400 emblems on some cars. Many also continued to call it the 396. but in 70 GM actually gave the 396 engine a .032 larger bore, thus making it actually 402cu in. It is the same engine Chevy put in the 71 Chevelle SS . I had a 71 BB 402 not too long ago that also had the 400 , 300 HP decal on the air cleaner lid. The 400 small block did have a 2 barrel as EL Camino said and also a different horsepower rating. As far as upgrades, it is a great find as is ( all original, if it is), or, on the other hand, there are too many things you can do to mention. Great piece of luck there..........Gary
 

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What else does the label say? If its a small block it should say Turbo-Fire, if its a big block it would be Turbo-Jet

What Chevy did with the 400 name has caused a lot of confusion even with them, the parts book codes list just shows 400 with no distinction as to big block or small block, yet when you go the the engine parts section they break down the parts as 400 and 402, yet when it came to the Chevelle models they continued to call it the SS396.

Get the codes that are stamped on the machined portion of the cylinder block in front of the right (pass) head. You will have to get this area very clean and shine light to see them.
The parts book list codes for 5 - 300hp versions, 2 - 255hp versions and 1 - 330hp version of the 400 used in the Caprice. The only way to tell if its a big or small is the suffix.
There is a little old lady near me that has a 71 4 door Caprice (she has had since day one)with a 400 small block. My buddy services the car for her. I have seen the motor but can't recall the HP but I believe its a 2-BC.




[This message has been edited by elcamino (edited 04-16-99).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ElCamino, the 402 engine I have now does have the 4BBL carb. So does this is the famed 396? The owner was an old man who also had the car from day one so I know that everything in this car is stock.

SIDEWINDER
 

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That engine you are talking about is the same
as a 396 except for a .032 overbore. 402'S and 400's with the 4 barrel are exactly the same engine. Chevrolet just called them differently by name only. Just remember that 1970 400 (396-402) had the 10:25 com-
pression ratio and the 1971 and after had the
8:5 compression ratio's. 1972 is the last year for production of that engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Plain, how did chevy get the cr down so low from 10:25 in '70 to 8:5 in '71? What can I do to get it back UP?

SIDEWINDER

[This message has been edited by SIDEWINDER (edited 04-16-99).]
 

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You have to use closed chamber heads instead of the open chamber, but that would only get
you in the 9.3 compression or so. The 1970 pistons are different they have the small domes that came in the 325hp 396 or the 350hp
396. With the small domes and the closed chamber big block heads you have 10:25 to 1.
The 1971 and after pistons are flat tops that is why even with the closed chamber heads you only get about 9.3. I hope I explained this well enough?
 

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The 400 small-block was standard in Caprices for '71.It had a 2 barrel and single exhaust and was rated at 255 gross. It was offered with the Dearborn 3-speed manual (never seen one behind a 400 small-block) and the TH400. There was also offerd a Turbo-Jet 400(402) rated at 300 gross h.p. It had dual exhausts and was offered with the TH400 only in the Caprice. Both the small & big-block 400s (sic) said '400' on the rocker panel trim. BTW, they were rated at 170 & 188 net h.p., respectively.
 
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