How many 1971 RS 396's?

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by 71RS350, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. 71RS350

    71RS350 Moderator Staff Member Gold Member

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    Hey everyone...just wondering if they made RS 396 camaros in 71? I know they had an option soo it could been possible......and how much trouble would it be to convert a 350 camaro into 396 car??? Be much trouble??...just having ideas and wanted some info.....


    thanks,
    matt
     
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Chevy didn't keep records of combinations of options. We know that there were 1,533 SS396 Camaros in 1971, and we know that there were 18,404 Camaros ordered with Rally Sport. Nobody knows how many of these cars had both.
    It is very easy to put a 396 into a Camaro. You simply remove the small block engine and bolt a 396 in its place.
     
  3. 71RS350

    71RS350 Moderator Staff Member Gold Member

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    oohhh ok... I know the mounts are different and i know it will go in...but do you have to change the front springs or any frontend?
     
  4. Chuck78

    Chuck78 Veteran Member

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    yes, the 396 will be around 200 lbs heavier than the 350 so you would definitely want beefier springs. You can offset that buy spending a huge chunk of change on big block aluminum heads and intake, or you can get the same power and better performance out of a small block 406 with maybe even a budget set of vortec heads... and save a lot of weight, plus the aluminum heads and intake will be cheaper if you go that route. That's what I'm doing with my 1971 RS/SS396 that came with a 307/TH350/2.73 when I got a hold of it. If I could have found a great deal on a plain jane RS with a small block, I would have gotten that, but this was a great deal on this shell and I intended before I found this one to build a small block 400 and do it up for a really sleek canyon carver and all around performer.

    So basically my point is, just find a 454 truck motor or something if you want a big block. Your vin and trim tag will still not say that it's an SS396, so just go all out, either big inches, or lightweight in the biggest inch sbc you can cram in there. That's my .02 and then some.

    big block motor mounts will allow you to run a taller intake and not worry as much about hood clearance, by the way. Also probably need the proper fan shroud for a bbc, and a very large radiator.
     
  5. CamarosRus

    CamarosRus Veteran Member

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    FYI, The previously rare big block/Z-28 motor mounts are now available in reproduction as is the rare one piece fan shroud. Not sure what kind of repop/aftermarket radiator is available. You also need to use correct wider top radiator hold down plate and enlarge air flow hole in core support.
     
  6. 71RS350

    71RS350 Moderator Staff Member Gold Member

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    yea..my dad through out the idea. But yea..thinking about builting another 350 to put back in her later on...and possibly getting a 1970 SS396 chevelle if I want a big block...
     
  7. Shane

    Shane Moderator Staff Member

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    Gary is right - nobody knows for sure, but we can make an educated guess based on percentages. Here's how:

    18,404 RS Camaros in 1971 out of a total of 114,630 built So that means that about 16% of Camaros were RS.

    1,533 SS396s were built in 1971. So, in theory, if you take 16% of 1,533 that come to around 245 SS396s w/ the RS option.

    This could be skewed somewhat due to the simple fact that if someone wanted a SS396 car, then more than 16% of those people might have wanted the RS option, but there's really no way to know.
     

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