396 stroker


Well-known member
Mar 25, 2008
Appears that the best used parts deal has lead me to build a 396 stroker.

I have billet 6" rods and now some wiseco forged 396 pistons to match.

So I guess I need a forged crank, some damn good heads, and a big ol' camshaft.
Going to revise downward on the RPM range and move towards a 3.36 rearend. The close ratio transmission has a nice and fun 1500 rpm band

Here is how I see the RPM:

2.2 1.64 1.28 1
MPH 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
11 1043
48 4550
63 5972 4452
85 xxxx 6007 4688
109 xxxxxxxx 6012 4697
140 xxxxxxxxxxxx 6033
150 xxxxxxxxxxxx 6464
Does the extra clearance for the 396 versus a 383 get close to the water jacket? I don't hear about as many 396's being built.
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You can fill the bottom of the block with some block rock, then you can grind away without breaking into the water jacket.
You'll need the ARP bolts for the rods to minimize block clearancing. You are limited in your cam choice.

I thought about a 396 build when I dumped my L48 but the 383 appeared a lot more convinient and easier to me... I already had Edelbrock heads with 64cc chambers and 170cc runners... didn't make sense to buld a 396 and then choke it with the heads....

You need good flowing heads and intake, if you just want to use "off the shelf" parts you might be better off with a 383... just my 2c...
So doing some math.

If I pick my shift point of 5800 rpm like an L82. My operating range is 4300-5800 (4500-5800 for 2 out of 3 shits), is for racing.

I probably want a 3.08 rear end, and this puts my street range at 1800-3000 rpm(45-75mph).
So I need an edelbrock AVS thunder series 650cfm carb.


Dart 215cc heads with 72cc chambers

Compcams 282/288 Hyd Roller camshaft.
Chambers are too small.

They flow pretty well now, as I had the bowls cleaned up. They were pretty rough out of the box, and the bowls were horrible, but they cleaned up really well.
So I had been thinking.

I get bored a lot and school really frustrates the hell out of me(full time management type and full time student sucks donkey balls by the way).

So overthinking things is what I do.

So a set of hooker sidemount headers, while not great are perfect for a fucking truck motor.

So what are the virtues of a truck motor. Well with a well built 396 small block, that is 500ft lbs + of torque pretty much forever. With a 3.08 rearend and a muncie 4 speed should make for:

1.) decent driving car
2.) pretty quick

So according to some of the online calculators, and a 5000rpm motor with a exhaust valve opening point of 72 degrees would justify the 46" runner, but not the 1.875" primary diameter.

The reason for the hooker side mounts is its hella better than paying a lot of money to get a custom welded exhaust.

Also I get some affordable heads pretty much any aluminum head with large chambers, and a decent dual plane intake and put on a decently rebuilt Q-jet if I can find one.

I could also move to a TPI getup later and not change anything except more torque.
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Here is how I see the RPM:

2.2 1.64 1.28 1
MPH 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
11 1043
48 4550
63 5972 4452
85 xxxx 6007 4688
109 xxxxxxxx 6012 4697
140 xxxxxxxxxxxx 6033
150 xxxxxxxxxxxx 6464

I would not want to drive a 4688 rpm in top gear. I don't mind driving my Camero with a 2.73 rear and 4 speed. My Vette has 2.63 gearing in OD 5th

396 is no harder to grind for than 383. With all the same parts the extra 13 ci will make about the same hp, but an extra 15 foot pounds of TQ and all at lower rpm. I would never build another 383
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The point of the graph was that the power band would be 4500-6000 rpm.

Cruising on the highway would have been somewhere between 2500-3000rpm

I am thinking of a motor comfortable with a 3.08 rearend.

Should put highway cruising(55-65) at 2200-2900rpm

Really limits my top end though to around 140mph though.(5500 rpm)

If I can push the motor to 6000 rpm, I could pull off 150mph
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Further thoughts.

It appears that if I am going to use the hooker side pipes (might as well), I need a stock location exhaust port. It appears that the best heads I can get for that are some dart pro 1's, and they have a nice 72cc chamber which will work really nicely and give me a good 10.47:1 compression ratio. I am think Dart Pro 1 200s because they have more flow in the lift ranges I will actually using. I may have to take them to the local circle track shop and have them help the heads be all they can be.

I think I will be using a Hyd Roller 276/282(224/230) on a 112 LSA and my 1.6 ratio rockers giving me .535/.544 lift

So I did some more calculatin' and if I decide to get a ROD 6 speed, that would work ever so nicely with the 5500rpm top rpm. I can peg the spedometer at 5500 rpm and a 3.36 rearend.

Since I am all about affectations. I have always wanted a DCOE get up. Always have. If I am going to build the motor I want, I am going to build the motor I want, and Dammitall I want DCOE carburators. So I did some math, I need some DCOE 48mm carbs with the following setup the best I can tell:

Idle Jet...............80F10
Main Jet..............170
Air Corrector........220
Emulsion tube.......??
Aux Venturi..........5.0mm
pump Jet.............55
pump exhaust jet..??
Needle and seat....2.5

Computerized computer estimates say Ridiculous torque(552), and 454hp or so.

I did some more thinking and the most readily available racing rubber for a variety of purposes is 255/50-16 which gives me a 26.2" tire. That isnt much shorter than at one point stock 245/60-15.

Now I have to figure out how to make vacuum work for the brakes, and ventilation system, as I am ripping out the devil hainted vacuum headlights and putting in the FIA getup from F Gregg Racing. I would probably have bought them this week but there was a jewelry store going out of buisness so I bought my wife some bling.(stupid I know)

I am almost done putting my interior back together. I never ever ever want to do that again. I have also come to the determination that unless I am going to shrink a couple of inches, I doubt that I am going to get a seat in there with a real roll bar, and have my helmet bet 2" below that. I just dont think its possible.

Eitherway. Till I get all that going I am going to buy an edelbrock 500cfm carb, and hopefully my L82 will continue to run for awhile.

I also have to replace the steering box.
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