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Old 02-10-2017, 08:28 AM
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Gen V 454 Build Questions

Hello everyone, and welcome to the engine inquisition! I come seeking information from all the Gurus here on

I recently purchased a Gen V 454 engine from a 1991 RV. It has 51,000 miles on it and after pulling it apart, it looks like it was well maintained. I'm wanting to build it into something with around 450 HP. Nothing fancy, just something to spin the wheels on my pickup and sound cool with a decent bumpstick in it. Here's what I can tell you:

Block Casting # 10114182
Head Casting # 10114156

The heads are oval port with 118 cc combustion chambers.

I want to get the compression ratio as close to the limits of 87 octane as possible. Considering that this is a big ol' cast iron engine, I'm going to shoot for about 9.4:1.

Using a compression calculator on the website, I've determined that I need pistons with about a 22cc dome coupled with a head gasket of about .039" thick. And from what I've been told, that thickness is the factory stock thickness for the head gasket anyway.

I want to reuse the original crank. Upon inspection, there was some expected wear so I got out the shoelace and some 800 grit sandpaper and went to work. The journals look great now and have been scrutinized by the micrometer to the tune of not being more than 1 - 2 tenthousandths off stock.

So, here it goes:

I'm looking to get the pistons from summitracing -->

A camshaft kit -->

and a dual plane, oval port intake topped with a simple QuadraJet carb.

Given those parts, here are some questions I have:

1. Using that camshaft, will I need to replace the pushrods and rocker arms?

2. Will the rotating assembly have to be rebalanced if I install new pistons? I was told that if all the pistons weighed the same that balancing would be unnecessary if I wasn't looking to turn it north of 5500 RPM. I'm not. I'm considering rev limiting it to around 5100 to keep my son's size 16 foot from spreading cast iron chunks down the highway.

3. Will such a combination of parts produce something close to my goal of about 450 HP and maybe hit the neighborhood of 500 lbft of torque?


P.S. I realize there are a million tiny details to every aspect of engine building and nothing is "absolute", like compression ratios. I've been speaking in mild generalizations and kind of expect answers that are generalized. So please don't go out of your way to dig up info. I figure that there are many on here who could probably answer my questions off the tops of their heads.

Thanks again

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Old 02-10-2017, 09:38 AM
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I don't have much time this morning, so let me hit the cam. First off, BIG mistake using a flat tappet cam in a BBC. Secondly, BIG mistake using an Extreme Energy cam for a street motor, Thirdly, you have chosen about 10 too many degrees of intake duration. You chose a 224, should be around 214 for the static compression ratio you have chosen (9.24:1).

Use a dual-plane, high-rise intake manifold and a good set of headers with a minimum 3/8" flange thickness. Thinner flanges will heat up, warp and spit out the exhaust gaskets.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:50 AM
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Ok, sounds like you're really familiar with cams and such. What would you recommend as far as a camshaft goes for a project like this?
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:46 AM
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Here is where I got some of my numbers. So, this wouldn't be a streetable engine?

Cheap Big-Block Chevy Engine Build - Hot Rod Network
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454 bbc rebuild, gen v, rebuild

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