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454 Engine Upgrade, Build or Buy?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MudFrog, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    For a while there I was going to do a caddy 500 but I decided against it due to several issues (fitment, cost, parts limitations, etc..). So I'm going to build a 454. Now the question is should I buy a used one and build it up or should I buy a block and slowly add components as I see fit. It will be next year before I do the swap. One big factor is if I set the money aside I'm kinda worried it would get spent on something else so thats a big reason as to why I'm leaning towards buying the engine in pieces, a little here a little there and by next year I should have most of whats needed.

    The other reason is because I can decide what goes in it. The only problem that worries me is will it cost a lot more to do it this way? I was looking around on ebay and they had used blocks that look to be in rough shape for around $400, they would need to be checked over etc and I'm not sure what that would cost.

    Ideally I would like it to have around 400 HP and 500 ft lbs of torque. Plus I would like to hit it with around a 100 HP shot of NOS. The NOS would rarely be used but I want it available if I need to use it in a mud pit.

    Any thoughts, suggestions?
     
  2. ratzila

    ratzila 1/2 ton status

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    I bought my 454 for $1100 complete from a friend of mine. I actually put few $ more as in adding cam,lifters, intake,carb,distributer,& timing gear. Money well spent for what I wanted.I'm very happy with the performance /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. big pappa b

    big pappa b 3/4 ton status

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    I agree, just keep an eye out and check the local papers and websites. You can find some good deals rather than building. For a 454 you can reach the numbers you want very easy. How much you looking to spend? I can check in Delaware for ya. Seems like there is always some deals in the paper
     
  4. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    I've seen some on ebay for under 2k, I want to spend as little as possible /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif, but I do not want to sacrifice quality so I will spend what needs to be spent for a good strong engine.

    I still need to do the research on how much it will cost to make it work in my truck as well. Anyone have a how to for 87-91 blazers?
     
  5. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    A friend of mine has a Vortec 454 out of a 2K 3/4 for sale. Still has the manifolds and injection on it. You'd need to find a computer and harness.
     
  6. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    I'd jump on it if I didn't have Christmas presents to buy for the kids /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    I plan on doing something the first of next year, just planning ahead.
     
  7. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I've bought beater 2wd trucks with running 454 engines for under $500.00 before. If you can find one, pull the 454, and part out the rest of the truck too recover some money. I'd go the rought of a used running engine and rebuild/build it up.
     
  8. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I'd jump on it if I didn't have Christmas presents to buy for the kids /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    I plan on doing something the first of next year, just planning ahead.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well he probably will still have it. He has advertised or anything. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  9. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Any idea what he wants for it?
     
  10. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I think he'd like ot get around $3k for it. If memory serves me, I think it has around 6k miles on it.
     
  11. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    You are at were I was 1 year ago. I ended up getting a complete, running when pulled, 454 for $175. The deals are out there. My plan was to spend only what I needed to make it a very reliable and strong BBC. I'm like you, saving money or putting it aside is always hard cuz ,life happens, and the truck fund gets raided to pay bills or whatever /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
    Keep in mind not to buy any parts for the engine until you know what ALL the parts are. They need to all match. I started from the intake on down. So build a blueprint, get part Numbers, find out what works best for your neededs...find a complete 454, you will need all thoes brackets, tick tock tick tock is all that is left hehehe
    Good luck
    Burt
     
  12. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds good Burt.. I'm with you Bills suck and having 3 kids under 5 my money tends to drift away from the truck /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif, something always comes up.

    I guess buying a running 454 and adding the components I need is the best way to go.

    Any years to stay away from? Any better then others or is a 454 pretty much a 454?
     
  13. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I would have to also recommend trying to find a complete engine to start with. The trouble with starting with a bare block is that all of the little odds and ends can really add up in the end.
     
  14. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I would find a nice 454 with heads and build it the way you want it. A 2 bolt main block would be fine for your Appication.
     
  15. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I don't know much about 454s but they did come with two different heads(probly more than two but..) one is called peanut port and the other is oval port. The oval port is the most desirable, massive air flow. I didn't know this when I bought my 454, it ended up haveing the big oval port heads, cast# 336781.There is another oval cast mnumber but I don't remember it..041 or 046 I think are the last three digits..I can't remember...
    The engine I got was a '74.
     
  16. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    049 and 781 are the most desireable big oval ports, they have the highest flow potential, esp when you put in 2.19/1.88 valves. There are otehr large oval ports, but none near the 049/781's. Peanut ports are great if you dont want to get above 3500-4000rpm, cause the ports are so small it keeps the velocity way up, and will help build torque. However, IMHO 049/781 are the only way to go.
     
  17. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif

    I'm biulding my BBC and just looked to see that my heads are the 781's /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  18. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Did you say big valves? hahahha
    Here is a shot of my 781 head with 'big' valves put in /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
    [​IMG]

    I can't wait to drive it /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif
     
  19. madmike

    madmike 1/2 ton status

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    Like was posted, try to buy a complete vehicle with a 454. It will be intact with all accessories, whether it runs or not, who cares as long as the price is right. I have less than 4K in mine, and its bored and stroked to a 489. It makes gobs of power just off idle, a rough estimate is probably at least 450 ft lbs torque around 1000-2000 rpm range, according to some magazine buildups I generally followed. Mine is still Q-jet carbureted, but I am pleased with the way it runs. Good Luck!
     
  20. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    are those 2.19's or are those 2.25's?
     

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