66 396 Impala - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mobile, Alabama
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66 396 Impala

Hello to all,

I am attempting to determine how much cam can be used in a 66 396 Impala (TH-400 with 3:31 12 bolt posi) This car is not a drag racer but a fun cruiser. What is the .050 cam spec that I should be looking for to wake up the 396? (I know that this heavy car needs a cam that can generate some torque. What cam could it use with a 2500 stall converter as well??)

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Mobile, Alabama
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 06:37 PM
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A 396 BBC is still under four hundred cubes so I would keep the duration below 236° at 0.050 inch lift if you want a radical sound, and less if you want more bottom end torque. Look to 406 builds for guidance and sound bites; but keep in mind a small block has a lot more static compression that a big block does unless you are using the original 11.25:1 slugs.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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I agree with Dave here, I'd shoot for something between 224 degrees and 234 degrees as measured at .050 lift.
When comparing cam's with the same .050 duration, go for the one with less Gross duration. (whether it be 270, 280, whatever)

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 11:45 PM
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I believe the original pistons were 10.25:1. For low end torque a big block likes lift more so than duration. Something 224 duration and 515 lift would be a huge improvement over the stock 198 duration 398 lift 325h.p. cam.
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