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Old 05-22-2008, 11:41 PM
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1998 Chevy 454

Hi, Im thinking of going the big block route with my old caprice to help get the big bastard moving. I know a guy who has a 1998 454 engine that still runs and I can buy it for $450.00

My question is what is the difference between an early 454 and the 1998 which im assuming is a Gen IV? I could be wrong. Is it a one peice rear main seal and is it a factory roller? Is it a good starting point for a budget buildup?
Can I convert the fuel injection to carb with an intake manifold swap since the computer is gone and doesnt have any wiring harness? I need to know by Friday evening or it will be gone.

Thanks Guys!

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Old 05-23-2008, 02:43 AM
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454 questions

Older Mark 4 Big Blocks 65-90:
1. 1965-1991 / 2pc rear main oil seal (396,402,427,430,465,495,510)
2. Mechanical fuel pump
3. Main oil galley above the oil pan rail
4. Adjustable valvetrain
5. Rocker Covers Stamped steel
6. stamped steel front cover 10 bolt
7. Rounded coolant passages
8. Flexplate, flywheel weight differences.

Generation 5 91-95:
1. 1 Pc rear main
2. Main oil galley above the cam tunnel
3. No mechanical fuel pump
4. Net lash setup (Non-adjustable rockers) Will accept.480-.500 max lift stock
5. Cast Alumin valve covers
6. No clutch Pivot boss (Apple Chevrolet Offers a kit to fix this problem)
7. Odd shaped coolant passages
8. front cover plastic 6bolt
9. Lifter bosses taller and machined flat for roller lifter dog bones
10. If the crank is cast or forged will determine the flexplat that you use (Again weight differences)

Generation 6 95-present:
1. 1pc rear main
2. Main oil galley above cam tunnel
3. Adjustable rockers
4. cast or stamped steel covers
5. Clutch pivot boss came back but not drilled
6. odd shaped coolant passages
7. plastic front cover 6 bolt
8. fuel pump boss came back in some applications
9. lifter bosses taller and machined

Parts are interchangable for the most part newer Gen 5 and 6 heads can be insalled on Mark 4 blocks although you have to match heads and gaskets to seal the ports and prevent leaks internal.

Generation 7 2001-present:
8.1 496 engine, nothing is interchangable from this engine to any other big block engine. Its a seperate beast all together.

I don't think the caprices came with 7.4 engines and that they would have been TBI or FI setups, thus you'll have alot of electrical issues to trouble shoot. This is becasue all the elctrical componets and inputs to the PCM are used by other modules to command other vehicle functions thus you'll be dealing with that aspect. You might have to get an independant tranmission controllerr and a driver for the IPC speedo and other gauges. Personally I would stand down from this swap, it could be fairly costly.

I can say that this is custom and will be a deeply inkvolved conversion, do your research on this before diving in because you'll be shock how much is involved and that it isn't a plug and play operation.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:35 AM
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Older caprices did have the option for a 454. It will bolt right in my car as the mounting holes are there. The computer isnt going to be an issue since my car isnt computer controlled and I plan on ditching the fuel injection and slapping on a carbed intake manifold with a demon carb with the 454. I will have to re spring the front end i think.

Does it sound like im on the right track or way off course?
So is the 1998 an OE roller cam setup? and you say parts will interchange with gen 1 454's? just making sure I understand you.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:45 PM
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the '98 should be a roller block. It is a vortec engine, and the heads are decent. They will require some machine work if you want to run big lift, but at $450.00, I'd say take it. Core cost on those is $750.00, so a runner for $450.00 is a good bargin, IMHO.
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:45 PM
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buy it a friend took a 98 or 99 BBC 7.4 454 vortec engine and rebuilt the vortec heads with beehive springs ect. and bored the block .30 getting the CR up to 9.7 and put a BBC roller 502 cam shaft in it. and a GM ram jet fuel injection. and its a monster.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:41 PM
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agreeded

1998 Gen 6 is a good motor and it will have the roller lifter setup
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazinPlubes
Generation 6 95-present:

7. plastic front cover 6 bolt
Good info, but I question this. My 99 K3500 with 454 has an aluminum front cover. I know, as I personally changed the timing chain at 150,000 miles. (By the way, the factory roller chain showed absolutely no wear at that mileage)
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:02 AM
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Aftermarket

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Good info, but I question this. My 99 K3500 with 454 has an aluminum front cover. I know, as I personally changed the timing chain at 150,000 miles. (By the way, the factory roller chain showed absolutely no wear at that mileage)

You have an aftermarket cover or you have a Generation 7 big block 8.1 engine with the alum front cover.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazinPlubes
You have an aftermarket cover or you have a Generation 7 big block 8.1 engine with the alum front cover.
Well, no, it isn't.

I ordered the truck brand new. This is how it was delivered from Chevy with about six miles on the odo. It is a 1999 454. I wish it were an 8.1. I have been the sole owner since delivery. I personally removed the cover and replaced the chain. No one else has ever put a wrench on this truck but me. It is NOT a plastic cover.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Well, no, it isn't.

I ordered the truck brand new. This is how it was delivered from Chevy with about six miles on the odo. It is a 1999 454. I wish it were an 8.1. I have been the sole owner since delivery. I personally removed the cover and replaced the chain. No one else has ever put a wrench on this truck but me. It is NOT a plastic cover.

My my, all I can say is that you have a very special engine and a special truck. Cherrish the vehicle! Its one in a trillion out and about.

The only other thing is if in different applications the covers were strenghtened or if there was an engineering change (ECA) on the parts, I'll check into it after memorial day.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:55 PM
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Here is your answer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Well, no, it isn't.

I ordered the truck brand new. This is how it was delivered from Chevy with about six miles on the odo. It is a 1999 454. I wish it were an 8.1. I have been the sole owner since delivery. I personally removed the cover and replaced the chain. No one else has ever put a wrench on this truck but me. It is NOT a plastic cover.

According the databases:

For your 1999 Chevy 3500 454 7.4 L29 engine you would be using 12561062 which is a plastic front cover 97-2000 OLD BODY STYLE Engine PN#12491355 7.4L L29

If you have the NEW BODY STYLE You could have a metal front cover but then you will not have a 454 7.4L engine, you'll have a 5.3, 4.8 or a 6.0L engine 99-2000. I have to believe that you have the LQ4 engine with an alumin front cover PN#12561243

Best of luck!
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazinPlubes
According the databases:

For your 1999 Chevy 3500 454 7.4 L29 engine you would be using 12561062 which is a plastic front cover 97-2000 OLD BODY STYLE Engine PN#12491355 7.4L L29

If you have the NEW BODY STYLE You could have a metal front cover but then you will not have a 454 7.4L engine, you'll have a 5.3, 4.8 or a 6.0L engine 99-2000. I have to believe that you have the LQ4 engine with an alumin front cover PN#12561243

Best of luck!
Sorry, but the truck is a 1999 old body style crewcab dually K3500. The engine is a VIN J 454. The front cover is aluminum. I've got a pretty good idea of the differences between a 454, an 8.1, and an LS-series engine.

I should also point out that when I went to the dealer to get new lower control arm bushings, "the database" also insisted that my truck used metal sleeved bushings, when, in fact, they were rubber without the sleeves. It took three trips to the dealership parts counter until the oldest and most experienced guy behind the counter was able to find the listing for the correct part. You'll understand if I don't put a lot of stock in "the database".
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:19 PM
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One other correction to the list above: At least some Gen VI Vortec 7.4 came equipped with non-adjustable rockers. I have one sitting in my garage.

Also, to the original poster's question, if you take the electronic controlled transmission out of the equation and consider the engine only, it is relatively straightforward converting a Gen VI 454 to a non-electronic setup. I used an aftermarket Edelbrock manifold, a Holley carb, and an earlier model HEI distributor (which has built-in centrifugal advance and vacuum advance). My OEM crank trigger sensor is disconnected, and all spark control comes from the earlier model HEI distributor. Note that the distributor that came in the Gen VI motor is not suitable for use without the computer, you will need an earlier model HEI, which are still available with some searching in salvage yards. I also changed the distibutor drive gear to an aftermarket one...the shaft diameter of the older HEI distributor was different than the Gen VI shaft.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazinPlubes
Older Mark 4 Big Blocks 65-90:
1. 1965-1991 / 2pc rear main oil seal (396,402,427,430,465,495,510)
2. Mechanical fuel pump
3. Main oil galley above the oil pan rail
4. Adjustable valvetrain
5. Rocker Covers Stamped steel
6. stamped steel front cover 10 bolt
7. Rounded coolant passages
8. Flexplate, flywheel weight differences.

Generation 5 91-95:
1. 1 Pc rear main
2. Main oil galley above the cam tunnel
3. No mechanical fuel pump
4. Net lash setup (Non-adjustable rockers) Will accept.480-.500 max lift stock
5. Cast Alumin valve covers
6. No clutch Pivot boss (Apple Chevrolet Offers a kit to fix this problem)
7. Odd shaped coolant passages
8. front cover plastic 6bolt
9. Lifter bosses taller and machined flat for roller lifter dog bones
10. If the crank is cast or forged will determine the flexplat that you use (Again weight differences)

Generation 6 95-present:
1. 1pc rear main
2. Main oil galley above cam tunnel
3. Adjustable rockers
4. cast or stamped steel covers
5. Clutch pivot boss came back but not drilled
6. odd shaped coolant passages
7. plastic front cover 6 bolt
8. fuel pump boss came back in some applications
9. lifter bosses taller and machined

Parts are interchangable for the most part newer Gen 5 and 6 heads can be insalled on Mark 4 blocks although you have to match heads and gaskets to seal the ports and prevent leaks internal.

Generation 7 2001-present:
8.1 496 engine, nothing is interchangable from this engine to any other big block engine. Its a seperate beast all together.

I don't think the caprices came with 7.4 engines and that they would have been TBI or FI setups, thus you'll have alot of electrical issues to trouble shoot. This is becasue all the elctrical componets and inputs to the PCM are used by other modules to command other vehicle functions thus you'll be dealing with that aspect. You might have to get an independant tranmission controllerr and a driver for the IPC speedo and other gauges. Personally I would stand down from this swap, it could be fairly costly.

I can say that this is custom and will be a deeply inkvolved conversion, do your research on this before diving in because you'll be shock how much is involved and that it isn't a plug and play operation.

8-9 on the gen 5 are incorrect they have a different pan (one piece gasket) but the timing cover bolt spacing and gasket is the same as a gen 4 and they use a standard lifter height the gen 6 has a tall lifter bore and the odd tc cover.

I have a gen 5 (94 502 block) in my dragster that I have owned for 10 years and I do all of my own assembly. You can use a Gen 4 head on either a 5-6 with the correct head gasket. I use ferrera (the valve people) head gaskets on them.

Mike
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Sorry, but the truck is a 1999 old body style crewcab dually K3500. The engine is a VIN J 454. The front cover is aluminum. I've got a pretty good idea of the differences between a 454, an 8.1, and an LS-series engine.

I should also point out that when I went to the dealer to get new lower control arm bushings, "the database" also insisted that my truck used metal sleeved bushings, when, in fact, they were rubber without the sleeves. It took three trips to the dealership parts counter until the oldest and most experienced guy behind the counter was able to find the listing for the correct part. You'll understand if I don't put a lot of stock in "the database".


I love to stay with this post and hold your hand, but there are others that need help. Oh and for your sarcastic commet about age. I'm older than you think I am. I probably older than you. And when I talk about the database, I don't work for the dealership, I'm at the OEM. Thanks for playin! Growup!


Powder bill yes your correct that in 1995 the change was made mid year and some had adjustable and some non-adjustable but they are still considered, You know what I'm done! Yes there are differences in engines from year to year and model to model and application. The post was made to inform the original poster to know the general differences between the engine and not a bunch of retired guys living off the system. Love to play with you more, but I have to go and make money to support your social security check every month.

Last edited by BlazinPlubes; 05-28-2008 at 08:14 PM.
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