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Need new engine advice.

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by MaxCrack, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. MaxCrack

    MaxCrack 1/2 ton status

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    Well, it looks like my current engine needs some serious work. I don't know all that's wrong with it yet, but I think it may be better just to get a newer engine that works than to fix all the problems with the old one.

    So why shouldn't I get a 454 with TBI?
    That's what I think I want, but if there is any reason why I should not, please let me know.

    What years and trucks would be best for this?

    How do I tell the difference between a 350 and a 454?
    I feel kind of lame asking, but I'd feel even dumber if I got one, when I thought i was getting the other.

    Can I use the same bell housing?
    Will any 454 just bolt on to what I have right now?
    Or do I have to find one that had a manual tranny or the same exact tranny?

    Will my headers fit?
    Or should i just use the exhaust manifold that comes with it. (for now)
    I know I'll need to put an Oxygen sensor in them if they will.

    Did miss anything?
    I know I'll need a new fuel pump for the TBI and I should probably get a four core radiator. (A bigger gas tank wouldn't hurt either, heheh)

    Thanks for your help. And support. I have done very little where engines are concerned. Without you guys and this site I think I would've just said F#$% IT! and rolled it off a cliff some where by now.

    A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
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  2. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    Why not go with a 454? Gas milage

    If you're worried about passing a smog test, stay with a 454 the same year or newer than what your truck is.

    A 454 is BIG and a 350 is little. Sorry...that's about the best description I can give, LOL! [​IMG]

    Not sure about the bell housing. I think you have to get a different one, though I've heard that they used the same bell housings, just different holes *shrug*

    You will need to get headers for a big block

    You will also have to get all the accessories for the big block and the brackets.

    <font color=blue>What part of my brilliance do you not understand?</font color=blue>

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  3. Calclips

    Calclips 1/2 ton status

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    one of the easiest ways to tell a big block from a small block is the size of the heads. Big blocks have noticabely taller and larger heads and valve covers. You will need big block headers, and you will need to find out if you have rectangle or oval port heads and buy headers accordingly. Not sure on bellhousing. My guess is that when it comes to the TBI.... too much work to get it to go. Get a carb or you'll need more fuel and probably a different PROM to run the TBI. Motor mounts are probably gonna be the wrong ones... not too sure on that.

    If I were you... I'd put the money that I would have sunk into a 454 and just get a built 350. You'll be able to use all of your stock accessories and brackets, but you'll probably have to go to the carb because building up the engine will change the fuel/air requirements. TBI is hard to modify unless you know a good deal about the electronics involved. Also when staying with the 350, your assuring yourself that everything will line up as it did (as long as you use a block from the same style as your old one)
     
  4. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    From my understanding (and I have had little experience with a BB myself), the block for the 454 is quite a bit larger in size than the SB 350. A friend of mine has a 454 in his 79 Jimmy. It only has about 2" (sometimes less depending on flex) of clearance between the front of the fan and the radiator.

    So, that would be one way to know. Based on that, I would assume that most everything off your SB will NOT fit on a 454. I did some checking at intake manifolds when I was looking at a SBC vs. a BBC. Parts are a lot more expensive for the BB. For example, an Edelbrock intake (basic) for a SBC is roughly $105. The same basic one for the BBC was arfound $160! I decided that instead, when I put the engine in my trail rig, I will just go with a 383 stroker. Decent gas mileage, everything will swap between it and my regular 4x4, good torque, lighter in weight, and I know a hell of a lot more about the workings of a SBC!

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  5. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    I'm currently swapping a 454 into my Blazer.

    There was no problem with the bellhousing. It bolted perfectly to my TH350. I hope this tranny will hold to all this power.

    The easiest way to determine it is by checking the exhaust ports on the heads. The SBC's 2 in the middle are close together, while the BBC are all evenly spaced. So, as you see, you'll need different headers. It also uses different intake manifold, fuel pump, water pump, and different accesory brackets. Most of this you can probably get them when you get the 454, so there should be no problem. You can use identical engine mounts and the same starter &amp; distributor from your 350, though. You'll also need a larger 4 core radiator if you don't have one already. Once you get all these parts, is just "plug &amp; play" [​IMG].

    I say it's worth it because you'll have a nice platform to start building power from, whereas a 383 is a 350 at its maximum level. In my case, mileage was not a problem because my Blazer is not my daily driver and it was already doing 10mpg, so how much worse can it get?

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    So why shouldn't I get a 454 with TBI?

    No reason not to get one...

    What years and trucks would be best for this?

    87 and up 3/4 ton, 1 ton, Suburban etc all could be had with the TBI 454.

    How do I tell the difference between a 350 and a 454?
    For a completey inexperienced person the valve cover size will be the most apparent difference. The BBC valve covers are almost twice as wide as the SBC. You should already be familiar with what your 350 looks like...

    Can I use the same bell housing?
    Will any 454 just bolt on to what I have right now?
    Or do I have to find one that had a manual tranny or the same exact tranny?


    All chevy motors share the same bellhousing so there is no worry there. You may need the proper flywheel for the BBC though.

    Will my headers fit?

    Nope...[​IMG]

    If you are serious about this swap try and find the most complete donor that you can. Get the entire harness, computer, all the accessories, exhaust manifold etc and bolt it all in. You will need a fuel pump that is compatible with the TBI. The 4 core rad is a good plan too...

    Rene



    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
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  7. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    1975 is not smog exempt. You will need to have all the original configurations OR have the engine built with Ca smog legal stuff. Another option would be to buy the entire engine/FI/comp out of the latest model truck you can find.. You could get a good FI 454 out of a 96 Suburban as an example. You would then smog your vehicle to 96 specs.
    We live in the most strict smog counties in the nation. Contact the Ca Air Resource Board and that will put a stop to the fantasy - sorry. (or do you have family that lives in a smog exempt county?)

    Dave

    Horn Broken... Watch For Finger.
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  8. MaxCrack

    MaxCrack 1/2 ton status

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    Thank you much. I thought I knew the answers (except for the telling them apart part), and that is just what I wanted to hear. (Although, I didn't think the headers would fit, but I was hopin')

    Pick-N-Pull hear I come...

    Hey while I'm at it I think I'll look for a hydralic brake booster too. heheh

    A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
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  9. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Here's a <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun50/aah>pic</a> of the 454 in my 73. Kinda poor but it shows a decent shot of the valve cover.
    Also a 454 or any big block for that matter will have 4 bolts on the bottom of the valve cover and 3 on top.


    <font color=green> Too bad ignorance isn't painful </font color=green>
     

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