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396 vs 327 - Thoughts?

 
Old 01-18-2019, 09:12 AM
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65_L76_Wanted
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Default 396 vs 327 - Thoughts?

Hi,

I am looking at 65's and came across a 396 car. I have driven 327's but not a 396. Any thoughts on anyone who who has had both? Are the 396's as fun to drive? Do they overheat? Any other thoughts??????
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:26 AM
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I've had my '66 L79 for over thirty years now and love it. It's always a blast to drive. Having said that....., nothing compares to a BBC. AND, if you buy the '65 L76 you also get the cool hood buldge. Good luck with whatever you decide..
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:33 AM
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roadster65
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Hi - For mine, no contest really : driven both : 396 BB wins hands down, heaps of grunt and torque : and you can put a stroker crank to go higher if you like - Cheers GV

Originally Posted by 65_L76_Wanted View Post
Hi,

I am looking at 65's and came across a 396 car. I have driven 327's but not a 396. Any thoughts on anyone who who has had both? Are the 396's as fun to drive? Do they overheat? Any other thoughts??????
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:37 AM
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I have driven both 327 and 427 Corvettes and my 396 Chevelle. While the BB are a lot of fun there is something to be said about a well built 327 like the 327/350 Both are a wash as to fun. So buy what you like. The fun increases on a BB car due to the special hood and the way it makes you look and feel that goes with it.

Last edited by Nowhere Man; 01-18-2019 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 65_L76_Wanted View Post
Hi,

I am looking at 65's and came across a 396 car. I have driven 327's but not a 396. Any thoughts on anyone who who has had both? Are the 396's as fun to drive? Do they overheat? Any other thoughts??????
I have both and nothing beats the torque of a big block. Real 65 L78 cars are very rare and there's lots of fakes out there but they're easy to spot if you know what to look for.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:39 AM
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If it's a real 396/425hp that is a rare and fun combination. I LOVE my '66 BB. Don't worry about the heat, ways to fix that. Some will comment about being nose heavy, but I never drive aggressive enough on twisty roads for that to be an issue. It's a personal thing, but opening that hood and seeing those big, wide valve covers is like Viagra. Seems like a 4.11 rear was common. Mine has 3.70 so adding a 5-speed gives it a whole new dimension. The BB upsides far outnumber the downs. Go BIG. Cheers. Let us know.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:41 AM
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If we are only comparing factory configurations, the BBC 390 for sure (I also love the cool 65/66 BB hood). Beyond OEM, I prefer small blocks as you can get up to a 454 (or greater with a greater checkbook) bored and stroked small block that weighs less and performs better.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
I have driven both 327 and 427 Corvettes and my 396 Chevelle. While the BB are a lot of fun there is something to be said about a well built 327 like the 327/350 Both are a wash as to fun. So buy what you like. The fun increases on a BB car due to the special hood and stigmatize that goes with it.
Stigmatize?
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:52 AM
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Heck yeah 65-66 hood stigma! Makes me feel like I'm wearing tight jeans at a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot. LOVE the stigma.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:14 AM
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You might want to try a different word there, a ‘stigma’ is a mark of disgrace...😊
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for your note! I am proficient wit the 327 but not the big blocks Would you be so kind to private message me with your thoughts on things to look for with the 396's?
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:13 AM
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PM sent.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 65_L76_Wanted View Post
Thanks for your note! I am proficient wit the 327 but not the big blocks Would you be so kind to private message me with your thoughts on things to look for with the 396's?
Just an FYI - You really should read up on BBCs if you're considering buying one and working on/maintainig/hot rodding it... Unlike small blocks, which are all internally balanced for example (except for the 400 cubich inch with siamese bores), some BBCs are internally balanced (396, 427) while others are externally balanced (454). Some have oval port heads while others are square which affects which intake manifolds can be swapped. Some have open chambered heads while others are closed. You need to know why this matters and what you've got before you start swapping parts around. Lots of information out there about this stuff. Enjoy.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:04 PM
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FYI, by requesting PMs for future input you've unintentionally cut off lots of useful dialog. Best wishes.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:44 PM
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Youll never go back to a 327 after having the 396. Sure 327s can run good and all but the torque that comes with just cracking the throttle (not the secdaries youd have to as now), the deep note. Cant replace it.
Loved my 396s...you can port the stock heads, run a nice cam and not have to gear it deep. It will be reliable and haul azz.
I had a super tal gear in a 68 SS Chevelle, in theory overcammed just had the right work done to it. No need for a 5 spd, crept around in slower traffic and pulled as hard in 4th gear as that 327 does in 2nd.
Id still build one if given the chance over my 383 cause they just dont look and sound the same, thats all part of it.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:13 PM
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If you find an excellent 65 365 hp SBC convertible that you like, and also find an excellent real deal 65 425 hp BBC convertible that you like, and can afford, you get the BBC car without a seconds hesitation. The upside on a real deal L78 far outweighs any perceived deficiencies. Or stigmatizes. Whatever that is. They are rare, and highly desireable. Much more so than any L76 car.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:21 PM
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I’ve had both and prefer the L79. However, nothing looks better than a 67 with a BB hood. Not a fan of the 66 hood.

My ideal car would be a 67 L79 with a BB hood.

Ed
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:38 PM
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No no no..... 65 - 66 with the large vents ala 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO and the blistered BB non-universally copied hood.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 65_L76_Wanted View Post
Hi,

I am looking at 65's and came across a 396 car. I have driven 327's but not a 396. Any thoughts on anyone who who has had both? Are the 396's as fun to drive? Do they overheat? Any other thoughts??????
I have a 396 Convertible. It is bone stock but for its highway gears I initially scoffed at but would not part with now. The car will go far faster than the tires, driver ability and road will safely allow. Some things to recommend it; prodigious low end power, very nice mechanical noises, lovely lump of orange cast iron fills out the engine bay nicely; and as pointed out above, real ones are genuinely rare. But contrary to what is said above, 396 cars are not faked anywhere near as much as 427 cars, especially the 67. And I think that is so because 396 cars do not have the same visibility. Yet at events, in a sea of 427 this and that when you see a 396 you stop and look. This makes them interesting, they made what, 2,100? So they are rare, powerful and interesting, that recommends it!

Downside? The period buff magazines complained of " traumatic cold starts and stubborn hot behavior." My cold starts are actually very good but a stock 396 can be temperamental when hot and overall the experience is not as fuss-free and benign as on a 250 or 300 HP 327. And a 327 car will cost less.

If I could snap my fingers and turn my Silver/black leather convertible into something else, it would be a 327/350 with A/C, probably the all-around best C2 mill for middle-aged hobby types.

The list of things to look for in verifying a L78 as genuine is comprehensive and can be easily found via a search on this forum. It is very similar to the same list applicable to 66 and 67 models.

Dan

Last edited by dplotkin; 01-18-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:58 PM
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Oh my gosh Dan... I feel like Linus after Lucy jerks the ball away.....

Ok... Its the weekend for me. Cheers all.
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