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454 performance question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Thumper, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    I have a stock 454. Its out and the crank is going to the shop to get turned this week. Is it worth it to me to install a RV cam (or something a little torqier than stock) right now or not bother. I will be running a stock Q-jet and intake, as well as exhaust manifolds. The cylinders are stock, and arent being touched. Would a cam make any worthwhile difference?
    Thanks
    Mike
     
  2. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    From the articles I've read on Rat motors, a set of headers makes a huge difference on the BBC. I think it was the "FrankenRat" (Chevy High Performance mag?) article where they picked up something like 50 Lb/Ft of torque on a stock 454 just by swapping out the restrictive cast manifolds for some tubular headers...

    Something to consider.
     
  3. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    I run a stock 454 with a stock q-jet and long tube headers and the torque is awesome. If your stock cam is in good shape I would spent the money on the headers instead.
     
  4. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I think it was hot rod that had similar results with their rat motor test mule.
     
  5. onlychevy6

    onlychevy6 1/2 ton status

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    i have a 88 c3500 with a 454 all stock except for the following. Edlebrock TBI manifold and K & N filter ran fine except now i upgraded the exhaust Thorley headers smog legal, free flowing cat, flowmaster muffler. Has much more power than before just now it runs like crap. I think that it is not getting enough fuel and the TBI needs to be rebuilt. I would be lying if i said it got more than 12 mpg :mad: Need to find and fix problem then it should get better milage.
     
  6. spongeidys

    spongeidys 1/2 ton status

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    i want to run headers.....but it doesent really look like i can on my 454 cause the stock manifold seems like it has not even an inch between itself and the frame rail so iono if headers will fit :confused:
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Cam will help a lot..

    A off road/towing cam with low rpm power band grind wll wake up any smog era 454 quite a bit..I had a 74 454 that was only rated at 235 HP and 360 ft.lbs factory--I put a Sealed Power towing cam in it,and it felt like another 100 hp easy(by the seat of my pants dyno anyway)..I think headers will help a lot too,and they will fit,despite the fact factory exhaust manifolds nearly rub the frame..but I never bothered running them--too many leaks at the gaskets,and heat soaked starters on another vehicle I had with them discouraged me from using them.-they rot out fast around here too.. :crazy:
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    The big difference that you'll find between a stock cam and an aftermarket cam is valve lift. The aftermarket ones will actually open the valves. :wink1: NOW is the time to do a cam swap, while the engine is already apart. It's not a fun job to do later. You can bolt on headers any weekend. :rolleyes:
     
  9. onlychevy6

    onlychevy6 1/2 ton status

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    i will take some pictures and post them up with the headers later tonight or tomorrow. keep in mind it is a c3500 pickup
     
  10. mtnman210

    mtnman210 1/2 ton status

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    I'd like to take a look at the pics with headers. I'm in the middle of a total build up on a stock 454 that was in the blazer when I bought it. Before I pulled it I was trying to figure out how tight it would be with headers instead of the manifolds. I know Headman lists headers for a 454 in a blazer but I'd like to see how tight they really are.
     
  11. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I'm with HarryH3, it would be tons easier to do the cam now and headers later. You can bolt on headers anytime w/o pulling the engine half down like in a cam swap. I have a pretty healthy cam in my 454 (don't remember lift off hand) along with a weiand intake, roller rockers, headers, pistons, etc etc etc. It runs well.
     
  12. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    So, the cam will work OK with the stock intake and carb? I might just start looking for a set of headers too, but the main question is how well the cam will like a stock intake setup.
    Thanks for the responses so far! :)
    Mike
     
  13. rumbly truck

    rumbly truck 1/2 ton status

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    I am running a 1985 k3500 with a 454, sm465, 4.10 and 235-85-16. It has 140,000 miles, with a edelbrock performer cam and intake. It is my everyday ride, i would cam it now, and do headers later.
     

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