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Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: AeroMonte] #2782142
06/06/20 02:29 PM
06/06/20 02:29 PM
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AndyF Offline
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Yeah the Chevy marketing guys really didn't want to tell anyone it was a 402 for some reason. They pitched it as the 396 or the 400 even though it wasn't either. I understand the 396 thing since it was basically the same engine and was a carryover but the 400 badge was confusing since they had a SB 400. They must have thought it was a good idea at the time but 50 years later it is confusing and odd. Nice score on the 402 big block though, funny that you didn't open the hood until you were home. Had you been counting on a SB 400 you would've been confused for sure.

Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: AndyF] #2782157
06/06/20 03:44 PM
06/06/20 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyF
If the marketing guys thought the 402 was something special then they would not have called the car the SS 396.


Actually, it’s quite the opposite—there was tremendous brand equity with the SS396 name. Why ruin it?

You’re still failing to realize the 402’s heyday is the low-compression era, even though it was introduced in 1970. Its reputation is no different than a 400 B engine, 400 Pontiac, or any other mid-level engine from the era.

Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: Diego (not Ted)] #2782161
06/06/20 04:09 PM
06/06/20 04:09 PM
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The insurance industry was also clamping down on big displacements, keeping under the 400 level by maintaining 396 badging was considered wise by some at GM.

Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: AndyF] #2782222
06/06/20 06:54 PM
06/06/20 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyF
If the marketing guys thought the 402 was something special then they would not have called the car the SS 396. People back then thought the 402 was a dog even though it was basically the same as the 396. Just got a bad rap, same as the 400.


The marketing guys didn’t call it a 402 because: 1. The 396 was an already established engine. 2. SS 396 sounds better than SS 402.


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Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: Spaceman Spiff] #2782267
06/06/20 09:21 PM
06/06/20 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff
Originally Posted by AndyF
If the marketing guys thought the 402 was something special then they would not have called the car the SS 396. People back then thought the 402 was a dog even though it was basically the same as the 396. Just got a bad rap, same as the 400.


The marketing guys didn’t call it a 402 because: 1. The 396 was an already established engine. 2. SS 396 sounds better than SS 402.


Maybe, but why did they also call it a 400 rather than a 402? It seems pretty clear that they didn't like the 402 name since they didn't use it. I don't know why they didn't like it but it is obvious that they didn't want to advertise it. Kind of reminds me of when GM put the Olds 403 in the Trans Am. They didn't call it by its name either at first. GM ending up paying something like $40M to settle a lawsuit over that.

Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: AndyF] #2782297
06/07/20 12:41 AM
06/07/20 12:41 AM
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Seems Pontiac did call the 403 for what it was after all:

http://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/pontiac/77pti/bilder/9.jpg

Lots of perception/reality here. laugh2

Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: Diego (not Ted)] #2782417
06/07/20 03:00 PM
06/07/20 03:00 PM
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I thought the Firebirds with the Pontiac motors had 400 on the shakers and the 403 had 6.6?


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Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: slantzilla] #2782428
06/07/20 03:34 PM
06/07/20 03:34 PM
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Fort Worth, Texas
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Originally Posted by slantzilla
I thought the Firebirds with the Pontiac motors had 400 on the shakers and the 403 had 6.6?


I think the auto cars got the 6.6 liter sticker and 4 speeds got TA 6.6 (400/220 hp)? I can't recall for sure anymore, and I may be mixing up years here, at the dealer the "official" way was to look at the VIN, if there was a K (I don't recall the 400 code anymore) in it, it was a 403, it not a 400. What we really did was open the hood.

The 403 was a tire smoking torque monster, pretty well out of breath by 20 MPH. The base 400 was stronger overall even if the bottom end was a bit softer. The 220 hp 400 was impressive for the time. The later turbo cars were soft on the bottom end but after they came up on boost they ran strong.

Anyway, FWIW, best I can recall 40+ years later.

edit: a memory returned, I'm only talking about 1977 and later. 1977 was the first year for 403 in a Pontiac. And Buick 350's in the big cars...

Last edited by 3hundred; 06/07/20 03:51 PM.

'68 Fury Convertible
'69 300 Convertible
'93 Ramcharger 5.7 Hemi
'93 Ramcharger 318 sold
'01 3500 4x4 Cummins 6 speed sold
'13 300 S sold
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Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: 3hundred] #2782485
06/07/20 06:16 PM
06/07/20 06:16 PM
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Las Vegas, NV
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T/A SHAKER stickers originally:
6.6 LITRE = 403 Oldsmobile
T/A 6.6 = 400 Pontiac

Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: 6bblgt] #2782487
06/07/20 06:23 PM
06/07/20 06:23 PM
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Fort Worth, Texas
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Originally Posted by 6bblgt
T/A SHAKER stickers originally:
6.6 LITRE = 403 Oldsmobile
T/A 6.6 = 400 Pontiac


I think the T/A was only on the 220 hp 400, not the standard version. I can't recall the standard 400 HP but it was better than the 403 / 180 hp. Does W72 sound familiar, that might have been the 220 hp engine? I remember WS6 was a handling option? Included 4 wheel disc brakes?

I know if it was as easy as the sticker they wouldn't have had us checking VINS for codes. 2¢


'68 Fury Convertible
'69 300 Convertible
'93 Ramcharger 5.7 Hemi
'93 Ramcharger 318 sold
'01 3500 4x4 Cummins 6 speed sold
'13 300 S sold
'15 Durango 5.7 Hemi
'16 300 S Hemi
Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: 6bblgt] #2782491
06/07/20 06:53 PM
06/07/20 06:53 PM
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Las Vegas, NV
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stickers can be easily changed/removed - yes a dealership would have you confirm the original engine installation by the VIN
Oldsmobile 403 (VIN code "K - 6.6 LITRE") was 1977-79 ONLY & the ONLY Pontiac 400 available 1977-'79 (VIN code "Z" - T/A 6.6")

Originally Posted by 6bblgt
T/A SHAKER stickers originally:
6.6 LITRE = 403 Oldsmobile
T/A 6.6 = 400 Pontiac


1977-'78
L78 Pontiac 400 - automatic ONLY
L80 Oldsmobile 403 - automatic ONLY
W72 Pontiac 400 - automatic & 4-speed (W72 "Performance Package")

1979
L80 Oldsmobile 403 - automatic ONLY
W72 Pontiac 400 - 4-speed ONLY (W72 "Performance Package")

Last edited by 6bblgt; 06/07/20 07:09 PM.
Re: Chevelle board? A question on the 396/402 [Re: 6bblgt] #2782500
06/07/20 07:16 PM
06/07/20 07:16 PM
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Western Colorado High Desert
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Did a bunch of work on this 72 C20 a couple years ago. Has 400 badges and has it's original 402 in there.

20180706_164317.jpg20180801_092017.jpg

72 Satellite Sebring Plus 440, 72 Dart 5.9 4-spd, 68 Valiant, 73 W200, 78 D200, 98 DAKOTA, .
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