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What are some pros and cons for these two engines? I cant figure out why the 396 is not as popular as the 383..
 

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383 uses a 400 crank (or it can use a stock one), so that has been done for years. 396 uses a 4.125" aftermarket crank, adding to the CI but also adding to the cost. You may have more issues with the longer stroke of the 396 (rods hitting black and/or cam). You also cannot use as long of a connecting rod on the 396 as the 383.
 

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Definitely yes. Although any competent machine shop should be able to clearance the block for either motor.

But keep in mind that if you are going the forged 383 route, going to a 396 isn't that much more $. If you want to go cut down cast drank and rods, 383 is going to be the only budget realistic choice.
 

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picking the right parts for a 396 so you dont have clearence issues is pretty simple. Cost for me to do mine vs a 383 was only a couple bucks. Having the right builder who knows what they are doing is the key.
 

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I've only had the car out a few times driving around. Haven't had much time. Now not only do I have my day job, I am now part owner of a custom car/ bodyshop. I am pretty much going 16-18 hrs a day. A guy I was building a car for at the shop did manage to shoot some video of a ride along he did with me though. Nothing special, but gives an idea of how quick it is without the bottle.

YouTube - Jpacks 398 LT1 Ride along

If that link doesn't work YouTube, jpacks 398 ride along
 

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383 uses a 400 crank (or it can use a stock one), so that has been done for years. 396 uses a 4.125" aftermarket crank, adding to the CI but also adding to the cost. You may have more issues with the longer stroke of the 396 (rods hitting black and/or cam). You also cannot use as long of a connecting rod on the 396 as the 383.


NOT TRUE A 396 sbc or LTx is a 4.030 bore with a 3.875 crank & only takes a LiL more clearancing A 408 = 4in crank So a 4.125 is like 421cu in Ask how I know LoL Im buildin a 396 LTx with an LT4 block, Callies Dragonslayer 3.875 forged crank, Howards Billet 5.85 rods & custom JE 4.030 nitrous pistons, Dart Pro 1 200cc heads :) Should make 600hp after I get the heads & intake ported so the heads flow 300+cfm The 396 is better to do than the 408 & 421 because most blocks wont pass the pressure test Either the 383 or 396 motors are good ones But not as many people have the 396 :) You can use a 5.85 or 6in rod Guys have 30k plus on 396 motors
 

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I would possibly PM Dynamic396, he's in the process of building his own. I'm surprised he hasn't commented to be honest.

Take it for what its worth When I started my build Tony & Moe helped with info LoL Tony has the LTx Nitrous World Record :) I can help with whatever he needs to know Ive built plenty of 355 & 383 SBCs This is my 1st 396 & Al Weiss will be doing all my machine work & he built all of Eddy Hills Top Fuel stuff Boats & Rail dragsters I think Ive got it covered
 

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My response was more for the OP. I'm extremely familiar with Tony and Moe and that's really cool that they helped you, they have helped me at times as well on other sites. I'm not here to step on any toes but it's nice to get multiple opinions from knowledgeable builders and especially LT owners. Dynamic396 is an awesome guy and someone that the OP might be able to get a lot of help and confidence from, so I mentioned him. The general rule is no one knows everything.
 

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Not sayin I Know everything But when these cars were new I worked at Borg Warner Buildin the T56 & Transfer cases LoL I am gettin old & may have forgotten A LOT I try to help as much as I can even if Im a stubborn ****er LoL The good thing with a 396 is the person cant cheap out on those bullshit cast cranks Atleast the last time I checked Had a kid ask me about buildin a 383 & I gave him a lower end of the forged scale since I knew he was young & he sent back chinese cast stuff askin hows this & I told him Those parts will leave a bad taste in your mouth because youll break it & stocks better than that Seen it a bunch Theres nothing wrong with findin deals Hell I only paid 1030 shipped for my 200cc Dart Pro 1 heads Got deals on nitrous & my 4L80E too Hopefully my junk will be done for the shootout :) I will see if I can post a link for the OP to read a 603hp 396 sbc is good in my book :) & Ive talked to the guy that built it too Most of what I do nowadays is bikes & seadoos so even my silly ass needs a refresher now & then LOL
 

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Ok, I am looking at doing a NA 396 build. No spray or boost. I am wondering. Is eagle and scat a good forged crank to go with for this application? I know callies woud be ideal but... I was looking at eagle for the crank. the Forged crank from eagle is around 500-600 and callies is closer to 1100. Just curious.
 

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Yes, as DetroitMetal said, I am final assembling my 396 LT1 right now. I went 396 for two main reasons. One: not many people build them; most are 383's (which I also love - great engines). And two: there literally was NO cost difference between a forged 383 and a 396...! Not even 10 cents... I used a Scat forged steel crank, Scat H-beam rods and Icon forged pistons. If you buy through CNC Motorsports, who I highly recommend, the price for a Scat 3.75" crank (383) and a Scat 3.875" crank (396) is exactly the same. Same goes for the pistons and the rods are the same either way. And contrary to what was mentioned earlier, you can (and should) use a 6" rod with a 396.

As was mentioned earlier, there are cast versions of the 383, which are fine if you're not doing what we normally do with our cars. Good quality cast parts do have their place. In fact, in addition to my 396 build, I also built a short rod 383 for my '97 Chevy pickup (Vortec). I used a cast Scat crank, Scat forged 5.7" I-beam rods and Speed Pro coated hypereutectic pistons. This will be a great setup as my truck will never see anything more than around 5K rpm (very rare occasion, too). It's job is to pull my boat to the lake and haul...whatever...around. My point is that it was built for a different purpose than my Camaro engine. There is definitely a place for the cast stuff, but it's not in an LT1, in my opinion.

Clearancing was minimal. Just a little on the pan rail and then on the bottom of the opposing bore. It is roughly the same as you'd have to do for a 383 with 7/16" rod bolts. A 396 has an additional 1/8" of stroke, when compared to a 383. That's about .063" on each side of the crank, so that's the difference we're talking about - a non-issue really. With the Scat Ultra Q-Lite rods that I used, cam clearance is a complete non-issue as well. The rods are profiled in the cam area for this purpose. I have a standard off-the-shelf GM847 cam and everything clears by a country mile.

A note about parts quality. Callies cranks are definitely top-shelf, there's no question about that. But, they also come with their top-shelf price tag. Great stuff, just spendy. I don't have any first-hand experience with Eagle, so I can't comment. I've heard stories, both good and bad, but they are just stories and worth just about what I paid for them... I have used many, many Scat cranks and, in my opinion, they are where price and quality intersect for the common man. The 3.875" forged crank that I put in my 396 was a beautiful piece - highly polished journals, perfectly straight and true, and the bearing clearances were spot-on for a performance street engine. All I did was have the big end of the rods opened up about .0005" (5 tenths...) to run slightly looser rod clearances. Bearing clearances came in a .0025" on the mains (with a standard-spec line bore), and .0027" on the rods (after opening the big ends up). The Icon pistons are a fantastic piece as well. There are a lot of Icons running in late-model stock car engines around here. They are a very light (less than 400 grams without the pin), very well-designed piston with some nice features (forced-pin oiling, accumulator groove between the top and second rings, etc.). We just opened up the pin holes a bit, which were a little tight out of the box. Same thing goes for the rods. The Ultra Q-Lites are very light (mine weighed 561 grams after balancing) and very strong. Once again, a lot of late-model stock cars running them. A late-model car makes its living at 7800-8200 rpm, weekend in and weekend out. Watch the small end clearance, too. They are tight out of the box. I had mine opened up to .0008".

Anyway, sorry for the long post...
 
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