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Discussion Starter #1
Some people say the 1969 396cuin 375hp factory tach has a 6000 rpm redline,others say it has a 6500 rpm redline. Did Chevy use more then one redline number for the same engine? Thank You
 

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Joe,
I used to own a 69 L78 and have seen many other L78 cars all with the 6500 redline tach.If you ordered gauges on a L78 you got the 6500 redline.I have never seen a 69 Chevelle with a factory 6000 redlne tach.Only 5500 and 6500.

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Earth Mover
 

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I suppose this could be a question of where do you consider redline beginning?

I have looked at various OE tachs. They have a bit of yellow paint generally starting at 500 rpms before the red paint. At a quick or an uninformed glance, someone may refer to the yellow paint as the redline.

Therefore, if the lines of communcation aren't entirely clear 6000 rpm redline tach may actually be the proper 6500, it is just that the yellow paint is counted as part of the redline.

This opinion is entirely speculation, trying to put logic to the situation. YMMV
 

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Redline is exactly that....Where the REDline starts Not yellow or they would say yellowline.6500 Redline for the L78 396/375

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Of course you must remember that factory tachs are all most always set to read about 100 RPM's higher that actual! This is a clever trick used by auto manufactures to keep most drivers from pushing the redline. I am not telling you to exceed your redline by 100 RPM's as a rule, just be aware that factory tachs read high on purpose. Aftermarket Performance tach however are generally very accurate. On an additional note the yellow band is generally thought to be a warning band, but this is not true. The yellow band was introduced by the auto-makers to get around the changing emissions tests. To cheat the L.A. driving cycle auto-makers were short-shifting and lugging the engines in order to reduce emissions. When C.A.R.B. found out how the auto-makers were cheating the test they revised the test stipulating that vehicles had to shift at the redline. So the auto-makers introduced the yellow-band. This was explained as an everyday redline where-as the "red"-redline was the point where the engine would "blow-up!" Of course the auto-makers and car enthusiasts knew better!
 

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Keith,
I never seen a 69 Chevelle with a 6000 REDline tach.All high performance solid lifter moters in these cars had the 6500 REDline if ordered with the gauges.It was either the 5500 or 6500 REDline tach....NEVER A 6000 REDLINE.....THIS IS WHERE THE RED BAND STARTS...NOT YELLOW

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That's an interesting story about the yellow & red line and the L.A. driving cycle...but it doesn't sound believable...no offense. If anything, I would think that lugging the engine would cause worse emissions. And what kind of everyday driving emissions test would shift at the redline or even the yellow line? If you're shifting into second at 6 grand, you ain't doing much lugging. That makes no sense. My guess is that the yellow line is just what most people think it, a warning area.
 

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Lugging the engine reduces oxides of nitrogen. How about Chrysler turning off the computer controlled EGR at full-throttle because they are able to drive the L.A. driving-cycle and stay on the curve without ever using full-throttle! If you don't think the auto-makers dupe the DOT law-makers with respect to emissions, think again! Where do you think all of the top-notch engineers go.....to work for the auto-makers! And where do you think the second-place engineers go to work.......These stories and more are a known fact in the automotive engineering field; one of which I am proud to belong, that engine manufactures find silly loop-holes in the laws. Finally, I am not saying that every car that has a yellow band on their tach is part of my previous post, but most are!
 

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Thought I might be getting a little senile so I went and checked. My tach has the yellow starting at 5700 and redline at 6000. Just maybe GM played around with two different red lines in '69 on the solid lifter motors. This car was built late in the production run in Baltimore.

[This message has been edited by Keith Tedford (edited 06-09-99).]
 

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In reference to factory fudging redlines, my Toy*** Twin-Cam has an indicated redline of 7250 rpm. Yet I have an R&T article in which an engineer who designed the engine is quoted as saying the real redline is 8250. They were concerned about waranty claims (mine has seen 7500 rpm, has 272k and doesn't even burn oil).
WRT the factory using tricks to dupe the CARB, it wouldn't surprise me at all. The carmakers face serious challenges and onerous laws. Hey, if the government cam snap its fingers and declare a law without bothering to find out how feasible it is, then the carmakers, who often have to scramble to meet the laws may engage in a little trickery to get things to pass certification. I don't think it's gross negligence, just reality.

We should consider Keith Tedford's input on the tach redline. He's owned his COPO since day one!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone who answered. So it looks like there is a 5500, 6000, and 6500 rpm redline tach. The 396/375 may have either the 6000 or the 6500 rpm redline? Did it make a differance if the car is auto or manual trans.?
 

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I have a factory 396 SS chevelle and it has the guages and it has the red line starting at 5,000 rpms. It came with a 325hp 396. Here is the low down 325hp is 5,000 redline
350hp is 5,500 redline and 375hp is a 6,000
red line. I parted out and original 396 375hp SS that met with a telephone pole then
went over an enbankment it had a 6,000 redline tach in 1979.
 

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Does anybody have a picture of a 1969 Chevelle tach with a 6000 redline you could scan to me?I personaly never seen one.I did however see lots of 6500 redline tachs.I thought it was general knowledge: 5500 redline for 325hp and 350hp 396 and the L78 375hp got the 6500 redline.I could be wrong but I know for a fact 6500 came on the L78.I had one.Maybe a few got 6000 but I know more of them got the 6500.

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I do know this I just went into the garage and had a look at my Tachometer and it's yellow starts at 4700rpms and ends at 5,000rpms and that is when the redline begins.
 

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I recently looked at a chevelle SS that was for sale. although it was not a matching #,s car when I stuck my head in and saw factory gauges. I noticed that it had a 6,000 rpm redline tach. I have also seen a few others over the years. I also have an old magazine called "musclecars of the 60,s and 70,s". it is the july-august of 91. issue. it features a 16,000 mile matching #,s original SS 396-L78. It shows a picture of the gauge cluster and I quote from the text"Surrounding the 7,000-rpm tachometer are battery,gasoline,engine temperature and oil pressure gauges. redline was notched at 6,000 rpm" good luck
 
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