No Limits Magazine from the Auto History Preservation Society
We Bring Automotive History to Life!
- "Preserving the past for the Future". Resources for the Historian, Researcher, and the Enthusiast -
Friday April 24, 2015
1965-1976 Chevrolet Big-Block Engine Options. Tech, News, Period Ads, Road Tests, Brochures, Magazines and More!

Quick Navigation to Our Website's Key Pages
News and Feature Articles
My Dashboard Technical Materials AHPS Library of Factory Info, Magazines, Ads, Brochures & Photos

More Than 245,000 Pages
of Auto History!

Our Stuff

Become a Member!
Help Us Grow the Collection!

Donate here

More Stories - More Information
Click on the Images Below!

1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo

Oldsmobile 1959-1962: Crawling
Out of the Harley Earl Era

1969 Cro-Sal Olds 455

1969 Cro-Sal & Oldsmobile Aluminum Can Am Olds 455

1962 Pontiac Grand Prix

Pontiac 1959-1962: From Wide Track Performance to the Grand Prix

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser 4-door

Mercury 1954-1958: Growing from
an Upscale Ford to a Baby Lincoln

1958 Cadillac Series 60 Special

Cadillac 1954-1958 - Showing it
was "The Standard of the World"

1957 Super 88 Convertible

Oldsmobile 1954-1958 - The Rocket Grows in Size and Power!

Bonno 1957 Chevrolet

This 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is James Bonno's Legacy to his Father

1957 Fuel Injected Pontiac Bonneville

Pontiac 1955-1958 - From Stodgy
L-Head Straight Eights to Hot V-8s!

1966 Olds Toronado Cutaway

1966 Toronado Makes US Front
Wheel Drive Cars a Reality

1964 Plymouth Sport Fury Hardtop

Plymouth 1961-65: From
Disaster to Stability

1950 Mercury Coupe

Mercury's Post War "Flathead" Years

1949 Olds 98 Holiday Hardtop

The Oldsmobile 303 Rocket Years

1968 GTO COTY Ad

The Pontiac Performance Years

1956 Plymouth Belvedere

The Plymouth "Forward Look"
Years Detailed

1970 Performance Car Chronicles

What We're Preserving
and How We Store It

July 1969 Car Life Magazine

The Treasures of the Society's Magazine Archive

The 1957 DeSoto Adventurer

1946-1961 DeSoto
A Great Brand Declines

The 1946 Hudson

Hudson 1946-1957
The Slow Demise

1950 Packard Convertible

Packard 1946-1958
The Post-War Story

Jessi and Kurt Celebrate AHPS

Jessi Lang - Sometimes Winning Comes in Short Little Laps.

From the Automotive History Preservation Society
Chevrolet Big Block Engine Options Through the Years

1968 Chevrolet 427 L71 Engine

The 1968 Version of the L71 triple carb big block made 435 HP from 427 CID.
While overshadowed by the L88, when packed in a Corvette or Camaro, this was the killer street engine of its day.

1965 427 CID Big Block

The 1965 Mark IV 396 CID as released for the Corvette photographed by Chevrolet.

The canted valves in the 396 displayed

The 1965 Corvette Big Block 396 cylinder heads are exposed here. The radical canted valves can be seen and as we know, were largely responsible for its high RPM breathing. Only Ford's Cleveland
V-8s emulated this design.

1965 Chevelle Z16 396

The Z16 396 CID Big Block offered in the Chevelle in 1965
ran a milder and hydraulic cam than the one in the Corvette
resulting 375 HP.

1967 Corvette L-88 427 CID V-8

The 1967-69 L-88 may have been the most powerful street engine released to the public in stock form. Click the picture to see a road
test of this beast (on pages 12-16 of the article).

1969 Chevrolet ZL-1 V-8

The most exotic of all the Chevrolet Big Blocks was the all aluminum ZL-1. It made similar HP to the L-88 but was much lighter.

1970 Chevelle Ls6454 CID V8

The 1970 Chevelle LS6 454 Big Block V8 can be considered
the high water mark for the Mark IV engine. With hydraulic lifters
it was rated at 450 HP.

1970 Corvette LS7 454 V-8

The 1970 LS7 454 CID V-8 never made production. The late
arrival of the car itself, plus the knowledge of reduced compression ratios for 1971 killed it. As a result, the Corvette only received
the milder 390 HP 454 in 1970 - not even the LS6!

1969 COPO Camaro

Probably the most famous Chevrolet Big Block car was the 1969 COPO Camaro. Powered by the L72 version of the 427, it likely had the best power to weight ration of any high performance Chevrolet.

Click HERE to get this as a 19"x13" poster with
a $60 Donation to the Society.

By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

Listing the Chevrolet Big Block Options

First up - the 1965-1969 396 CID V8.
The 396 cubic inch version of the big-block was available from 1965-1969. The first 396 was available in the 1965 Corvette. It was designated as option L78, and it was rated at 425 HP at 6,400 rpm, with 415 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. In the Z16 Chevelle, this engine with a milder camshaft was rated at 375 HP.

Here is the breakdown of the 396:

  • 1965 L78 396. The L78 came with the large-port cylinder heads, with 2.19" intake and 1.72" exhaust valves, and 11.0:1 compression ratio. It utilized a four-bolt-main engine block, forged-steel crankshaft, a solid-lifter camshaft, and an aluminum high-rise-type intake manifold with a Holley four-barrel carburetor. All L78s produced during 1966-1969 used a solid-lifter camshaft.

  • 1965 Z16 Chevelle 396. The same engine, as installed in the Z16 Chevelle, was rated at 375 HP, the only change was that it was equipped with a hydraulic-lifter camshaft.

  • 1966-69 L78 396. The L78 was essentially the Corvette's introductory big block. It came with the large-port cylinder heads, with 2.19" intake and 1.72" exhaust valves, and 11.0:1 compression ratio. It utilized a four-bolt-main engine block, forged-steel crankshaft, a solid lifter camshaft, and an aluminum high-rise-type intake manifold with a Holley four-barrel carburetor.

  • 1966-69 L34 396.In 1966, the medium-performance L34 396 cubic inch engine still was equipped with the four-bolt-main block, however a cast-iron crankshaft, smaller-port cylinder heads, and 10.25:1 compression ratio pistons. It featured a higher lift hydraulic-lifter camshaft, cast-iron intake manifold, and Holley four-barrel carburetor. It was rated at 360 HP. From 1967 to 1969 the L34 was rated at 350 HP at the same rpm.

  • 1967-1969 L35. The L35 was the 325 HP 396. It had a two-bolt-main engine block, a cast-iron crankshaft, small-port cylinder heads, 10.25:1 compression ratio, a hydraulic-lifter camshaft, and cast-iron intake manifold with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor.

  • 1969 LS3. The LS3 396 was optional on the 1969 full-size car line. It was strictly low-performance as it was fitted with a two-barrel carburetor and made 265 HP.

Next, the 1966-1669 427.
The first Mark IV 427 cubic inch engine was installed in the Corvette and also in the Chevrolet full-size car line. The 427 had a bore and stroke of 4.251" x 3.76".

  • 1966-1969 L36. The standard 427 was designated L36 and it used the two-bolt main-bearing block, cast-iron crankshaft, hydraulic camshaft, small-port, small-valve cylinder heads, 10.25:1 compression ratio, with a cast-iron intake manifold (1969 Corvettes received an aluminum unit), and it was fitted with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. It was rated at 390 HP. The L36 continued on the Corvette through the 1969 model year. The same engine, but rated at 5 HP less, was used on the full-size car line during 1967-1968, but returned to the 390 HP rating for 1969.

  • 1966-69 L72. In 1966 the more powerful option L72 was released. The L72 had a four-bolt-main engine block, forged crankshaft, large-port, large-valve cylinder heads, 11.0:1 compression ratio, solid-lifter camshaft, and an aluminum intake manifold with a Holley four-barrel carburetor. It was rated at 425 HP. The L72 was available in the Corvette only in 1966. From 1967-1969 it was available in full-size cars.

  • 1967-1969 L68. The L68 version was optional on Corvettes from 1967 to 1969. It was basically an L36 engine with a Tri-Power intake setup. It was rated at 400 HP.

  • 1967-1969 L71. Also available on the 1967-1969 Corvette was the L71 427 cubic inch V-8. It was similar to the 425 HP L72 engine, but it used the Tri-Power intake setup instead of a single four-barrel carburetor. It was rated at 435 HP.

  • 1967-1969 L89. The L89 was the L71 engine equipped with aluminum cylinder heads.

  • 1967-1969 L88. The most powerful 427 cubic inch V-8 was the L88 - though it was rated at 430 HP. It had all the L72 components plus aluminum cylinder heads. It came with an aluminum high-rise intake manifold and a Holley 850-cfm carburetor.

  • 1969 ZL1. The ZL1, available only during 1969 on the Corvette and Camaro, was an all-aluminum 427 cubic inch engine.

  • 1969 LS1. There was another 427 that is far less known - the 1969 LS1. It used the two-bolt-main engine block, small-port, small-valve cylinder heads, 10.25:1 compression ratio, hydraulic camshaft, and cast-iron intake manifold with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. It was rated at 335 HP.

Later, the 402.
Increasing the 396's bore to 4.125", resulted in the 402 cubic inch engine. This was done during the 1969 model year run, thus both 396 and 402 cubic inch big-blocks were installed in cars that year. In the Chevelle, the car was still labeled "SS396" regardless of 402 fitment all the way through 1972.

  • 1970 L34, L35, and L78. The power ratings were unchanged from those of the 1969 396. The L34, L35, and L78 continued to be available in 1970.

  • 1970 L89. There was also a limited run of the L78 equipped with aluminum cylinder heads - designated option L89.

  • 1970 LS3. The LS3 option code was also carried over into 1970 and made available on other Chevrolet car lines, including Chevelle. It was marketed as the "Turbo Jet 400", however it now received a 4-bbl carb and was rated at 300 HP. The L34, L35, and L78 were dropped at the end of the 1970 model year.

  • 1971-1972. The LS3 was the only 402 cubic inch engine available in these two years. The LS3 was dropped after the end of the 1972 model year.

The high water mark - the 454.
With a bore of 4.251" and a stroke of 4.00", the 454 cubic inch V-8 was the largest factory-built Chevrolet big-block installed in a production car. The 454 would be built from 1970 through 1976.

  • 1970 and 1972-1976 LS4. The LS4 was offered on the Chevrolet full-size car line. It was a low-performance engine with the two-bolt-main block, small-port cylinder heads, hydraulic camshaft, and a cast-iron intake manifold with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. It was rated at 345 HP at 4,400 rpm, with 500 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine was not offered in 1971 but returned in 1972 with an SAE net rating of 270 HP. The LS4 was the only 454 cubic inch big-block available during 1973-1976.

  • 1970-1971 LS5. The LS5 was a medium-performance engine. It used the two-bolt-main engine block, the small-port cylinder heads, a hydraulic camshaft, and a cast-iron intake manifold with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. Its power rating depended on which vehicle it was installed in. In the Corvette, it was rated at 390 HP in 1970 and 365 HP in 1971. In the Chevelle it was rated at 360 HP in 1970 and 365 HP in 1971.

  • 1970 LS6. The LS6 was only available on the 1970 Chevelle and on the 1971 Corvette. The engine got the four-bolt-main engine block; the large-port, large-valve cylinder heads; a solid-lifter camshaft; and a low-rise aluminum intake manifold with a Holley four-barrel carburetor. The engine was rated at 450 HP in the Chevelle and 425 HP in the Corvette. The Chevelle version had cast-iron heads, while the Corvette version got aluminum cylinder heads.

  • 1970 LS7. The LS7 was a stillborn engine for the 1970 Corvette. It was listed in factory literature, but the engine was never released. Initially, the engine was to have a Tri-Power intake, rated at 460 HP. Later, it was revised to a single 850-cfm Holley four-barrel carburetor on an aluminum high-rise intake manifold for 465 HP output. In other respects, the LS7 was similar to the LS6 but with a more radical camshaft and open chamber aluminum cylinder heads.

    The engine was not supplied due to two factors which were linked - late date for 1970 Corvette production and the anticipated change to lower compression ratios for 1971.

The Chevrolet Mark IV Big Block continues to be offered by Chevrolet as a crate engine in CIDS from 427 to 572.

To read more about the 1965-1976 Chevrolet Big Block Engines - Click HERE.

To see period magazine articles on the Chevrolet Big Block V-8 engine - Click Here

To see a Road Test of the 1965 Z16 equipped Chevelle - Click Here

To see a Road Test of the first 1966 Corvette with a 427 Big Block - Click Here

To see an article on the introduction of the 454 CID Big Block - Click Here

To download a chart of all the Chevrolet Big Block Engine options - Click Here


Help Us Grow Our Collections - Donate NOW!

Do you know how big our collection is? If it were in paper, stacked floor to ceiling, it would fill a 10'x10'x10' room to the top! The Automotive History Preservation Society needs your support to keep collecting and restoring these materials – our goal is ten 10x10 rooms!

The Society operates on the good graces of donations - and we grow in relation to the monies we receive. None of the donations pay for any staff – they are volunteers.

We use the gifts for our high-end web services, scanning services, and the publication and e-mailing of this No Limits e-magazine. We have educational projects with high schools and colleges that need your financial help – this is how we work to “preserve the past for the future”.

Anyone who donates $25.00 or more automatically becomes a member of the Society. You can donate more - and we'll gladly say “thank you” with some neat gifts. Click HERE to see them!

So if you like what we are doing - please support us! Please donate - and join the people who recognize the value of preserving our automotive history. If you count yourself as an auto enthusiast, membership in the AHPS is the best dollar for dollar investment you will find.

 
Join the AHPS

Join Us! Become a Member!
Donate $25 to the Society and get
our exclusive license plate!


Donate More - Get More!

Donate here

You can also donate by check! Make it out to: Automotive History Preservation Society. Send it to: Automotive History Preservation Society , P.O. Box 467, Perry, MI. 48872


More from the Auto History Preservation Society
1968 GTO COTY Ad Like Our Feature Articles?

We have written hundreds of stories based upon the 240,000 pages of material in our Library. You can view all of them - any time!

Click here to get to our News Section - and look around.

Factory Advertisements 1903-2012
  Like Factory Ads?

We have a collection of Factory Advertisements going back as far as 1903 - and all the way up to 2012!

Click here to get to our Ads Section - then choose the car brand

Road Tests Galore
  Like Road Tests? Go To Our Tech Section

Want to see vintage road tests? We have road tests galore from 1954-2011! Read them, download them, compare them. Go to Our Tech Section, choose a brand, then select 08. Road Tests.

Click here to get to our Tech Section

Thousands of Brochures
  Like Factory Brochures?

We have a collection of Factory Brochures going back as far as 1948 - and all the way up to 2012!

Click here to get to our Brochures Section - then choose the car brand.

 

Check Out the AHPS
  Help us "Preserve the Past for the Future" - Come On Let's Do This!

The relationship between Wild About Cars & the Automotive History Preservation Society. Everything you see here is the result of the tireless efforts of the volunteer members of both the Society and WAC. We do this to see to it the history of the Automobile doesn't disappear. PLEASE HELP US KEEP THE AUTO HISTORY FLAME ALIVE. DONATE TO THE SOCIETY. Your contribution will see to it that the materials will keep coming and that the website you enjoy will be around for the future.

Donate here
Check Out the Latest Uploads
  See What's Hot in the Automotive History Library!

In case you didn't know - the Automotive History Preservation Society operates a very special Digital Documents Library that you can access through Wild About Cars and the AHPS. Check out the over 230 thousand pages of material you can download (or just view) by clicking on the link below. Even though you don't have to be a member to view the materials, PLEASE sign up HERE and help us by DONATING by going HERE

Check out the LATEST UPLOADS - Click HERE to See the Listings.


For More Stories and Features Click Here
Copyright (c) Automotive History Preservation Society 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014