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Discussion Starter #1
I've thought about building either a 396 or 427 BBC for a trail rig but I've never really messed around with the big blocks. I've built several SBC in my younger years, but haven't wrenched on a Chevy in years.

If you were going to build either a 396 or 427 (or a stroked variant), what would you do? The only requirement I have is it must be EFI'd (most likely a 2" bore throttle body or a dual throttle body setup if the single won't supply enough fuel).
 

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427 can be had 3 different ways.

396 bore + 454 crank = stroker 427, slower rpm more torque

454 bore + 396 crank = typical 427, higher rpm less torque

427 tall deck, same 396 crank and 454 bore but a taller block with speical super tall pistons and monster flywheel.

i would get a 454 block and 396 crank if it were up to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Internals suggestions??? Don't be afraid to get detailed. :flipoff2:
 

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using stock parts.

454/427 blocks generally can be bore to 4.350, some to 4.375, and stroked to 4.25.

this gives you 509 cid.

using a 4.375 crank, you can go to 521 cid.

using a tall deck block, you can go to 4.5 stroke, and a 4.375 bore which is 541 cid

so... how much do you want?

I just bought a bowtie block. 4.6 bore, 4.25 stroke. 565 inches.

all you need is the cylinder head to feed it.
anything over 500 inches cannot use an oval port cylinder head. anything under 500 cid will like one.

a single plane intake works well with over 480 cid, and can *(if you get the right one) make plenty of power to 525 inches... where cylinder head design becomes critical.

and the list goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a 396 or 427 (or mild stroked variant). I don't want a super huge cid monster. Just a good solid bbc that produces decent power and torque where it's needed in a trail rig. Don't want an exotic race engine and would like to keep it on the "cheap" pump gas.
 

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compression is only what you make of it.

a 454/ or larger cid variant will have more options with lower compression and more power.
 

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There is no way I'd build a 396. Not saying there is anything wrong with them, but if you're stepping up to a BBC, then there is no additional cost to building one of the larger stock displacement engines, and if you want to keep it as basic as possible, as you said, then you get the added power that comes with more cubic inches for free.

If it was me, there is no question, 454 would be the way to go.

As they say, there is no replacement for displacement. You get more power with no weight or cost penalty.
 

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when you price out a set of 396 pistons you quickly realize that you may spend more on pistons by 100 bucks over a 454...
 

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............................ Just a good solid bbc that produces decent power and torque where it's needed in a trail rig. Don't want an exotic race engine and would like to keep it on the "cheap" pump gas.
Just buiild a 454 then...........there all over the place in the wrecking yards
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Just buiild a 454 then...........there all over the place in the wrecking yards
Yeah, probably so. I've always walked down a slight different path than most and like to be little different. I label this thread as an e-build partly because it will be some time before I run out do this. The EFI'd 345 I have in my trail pig now is still plently strong and run great thanks to the EFI. The other reason for calling it an e-build was I hoping to get a little more detailed info such as, use this crank with these rods/pistons, this cam, these heads, etc. etc. Guess I should have called it "Post your favorite BBC recipe"

My other thought was to build a 383 or 427 SBC stroker, but I thought I'd dabble in the BBC world for a change.
 

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There is no way I'd build a 396.

As they say, there is no replacement for displacement. You get more power with no weight or cost penalty.

I couldnt have said it better myself.

From personal experience its true.
I know this is a different application...but a big block is a big block.
I ran the stock 402 (396s were actually 402 cid in 71) in my 71SS396 Camaro for a number of years. Before
I built a 4.5 in bore 4.25 stroke 540cid Merlin BBC. Without even hardcore tuning it was running 10.8s at 137 mph in a 3700 pound car.
The 402 was good for 12.9s...the 540 has more cam and compression but even when I detuned the 540, down to 9.5 to 1 and a small streetable roller cam it still made more than 150hp over the 402. The larger pistons unshroud the valves which equals more horse and torque across the rpm range.

Unless youre using a tall deck the packaging is the same with a BBC.
Build the most engine you can. You wont regret it.
 

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the way i look at it is everybody is building 383 sbc these day and what is a 383 compared to a 396/402?

same 3.76 stroke.
more bore
better heads
better exhaust [as in bbc headers own sbc headers on install everytime]

there are a lot of little things that i prefer how the bbc is built over the sbc but those are personal preferences.
 

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the way i look at it is everybody is building 383 sbc these day and what is a 383 compared to a 396/402?

same 3.76 stroke.
more bore
better heads
better exhaust [as in bbc headers own sbc headers on install everytime]

there are a lot of little things that i prefer how the bbc is built over the sbc but those are personal preferences.
I agree BBC heads flow much better than SBC mostly due to the canted valves. Not to mention a BBC is built heavier duty even in stock form than the SBC.
Im not knockin small blocks...thats what in my rig.
Many tests have been done on same size big and small blocks and the BBC always comes out on top. More than offsetting the weight difference.
 
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