I am aware of it. I bought a high milage used 1997 Vortec big block for $200, and was fully aware that the heads might be cracked...they where. At least the block was still good. The stock cylinder bore was still nearly perfect, but the heads where cracked. The Vortec big block heads are good performers as long as they are not cracked from old age.
Got a question to ask what you guys have experienced or heard about the Vortec systems on the 454's. I have a complete '99 BBC Vortec minus the crankshaft and have thought about getting a stroker kit for it but I'd only be interested in doing so if I can retain the big old Vortect intake, etc. Is there anything that can be done to modify the intake and injection to make it perform more and better than stock due to a larger bore and stroke? I could see building this motor up to 496 cubes but in order to retain the fuel injection what else needs done besides programming the computer?
I know this thread seems to have changed but I just got back into town and saw the tag. We used to use some crate engines for builds and customer cars. I also have been running my crate LS3 which hasn't hiccuped. We put in alot of gmpp crate stuff as well as Jasper crate and reman. This was also a long time ago. My tranny is a Jasper reman I installed in a rez bus that I then ripped back out more than a decade later for my build. We had very good luck with both.
I think the highest mileage gmpp engine I know of personally was my uncle's 572 in a chevelle which did powertours every year and was driven all over the place before he passed. Took some time getting it tuned as back then it was a marine based management system, but then it ran without issue.
Sure it can be alot of money, but if your looking at something mild and want reliability I don't think you can go wrong at all with a full crate setup. It also cuts serious time off your build timeframe. And getting stuff running and driving is of vital importance to having a build finished instead of one partially completed sitting for years.