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Moose2
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never worked with a 454 before, and I'm thinking of getting a "basic" rebuildable from a local yard. I assume a garden variety 454 will put out about 300hp, and I'd like to target a mild upgrade to approx 400bhp. I hate to do it "barnyard style" (which is what I usually do) by just throwing a cam in it, boring it out, putting on an aftermarket manifold and a set of headers. Where do I go to get intelligent configuration information that would help me make smart choices to get to 400 hp??? Is there an on-line program that I can find that will let me plug in what I'm starting with and will feed me back decent options?? Anybody? Buehler?:evil:
 

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I've never worked with a 454 before, and I'm thinking of getting a "basic" rebuildable from a local yard. I assume a garden variety 454 will put out about 300hp, and I'd like to target a mild upgrade to approx 400bhp. I hate to do it "barnyard style" (which is what I usually do) by just throwing a cam in it, boring it out, putting on an aftermarket manifold and a set of headers. Where do I go to get intelligent configuration information that would help me make smart choices to get to 400 hp??? Is there an on-line program that I can find that will let me plug in what I'm starting with and will feed me back decent options?? Anybody? Buehler?:evil:
A 454 only requires minor work to make 400hp. 9:1 cr, 268H compcam, full length headers, regular RPM intake, a holley 750cfm 3310, along with quality machine work and assembly.

Look for a 454 with 781 or 049 heads. I also like 820 heads from a early 70's 402 as these heads have 112 cc chambers and a combustion chamber shape that unshrouds the exhaust valve.
 

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Just to give you an idea of how the dishes/domes work in a BBC:
With 119cc chambers:
18cc D-cup makes 7.4:1 SCR
3cc flat-top makes 8.2:1 SCR
12cc dome makes 9.0:1 SCR
25cc dome makes 10.2:1 SCR
43cc dome makes 12.0:1 SCR
 

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A little over 9:1,almost any mild .500 lift cam,750 cfm 4 bbl.performer type intake,MUST have headers and big exhaust,balance the engine.
Or follow the same recipe as GMs LS-5 and you will have 360 HP. The torque is huge
 

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WFO
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I've never worked with a 454 before, and I'm thinking of getting a "basic" rebuildable from a local yard. I assume a garden variety 454 will put out about 300hp, and I'd like to target a mild upgrade to approx 400bhp. I hate to do it "barnyard style" (which is what I usually do) by just throwing a cam in it, boring it out, putting on an aftermarket manifold and a set of headers. Where do I go to get intelligent configuration information that would help me make smart choices to get to 400 hp??? Is there an on-line program that I can find that will let me plug in what I'm starting with and will feed me back decent options?? Anybody? Buehler?:evil:
It would be hard NOT to make 400 HP from a 454- even w/peanut port heads you can easily get that w/a XE268H Comp cam and 9-9.5 CR.

I think you might find it a little difficult to find a good core not already bored at least 0.060" over in a junkyard these days. If you do, expect to pay a premium.
 

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The reason for a big block is it makes torque, and hp at lower rpm's, and you don't have to push it as hard to get to 400hp. Yes, you can build a SBC stroker motor, and you can do a lot to get it to 400 HP, and get torque too. New crank, clearance the block, buy a new oil pan, set of rods and pistons, etc. But it's just easier, and less parts to buy to get there with a 454. I can buy a running 454 locally for what a stroker crank will cost me to build a 383 SBC.
 

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Moose2
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lots of good comments and I appreciate them all!! I have a well built 383 stroker in my '28 Buick and I love it, but I wanted to do something else with the '64 Riviera, never had a big block and wanted to at least consider it. My buddies have told me that an LS series would be a smart option (maybe an LS3?) but I'm hesitant because I'm over my head with that technology. I'm not very smart about computer driven engines and stuff like fuel system requirements. I'm an old barnyard mechanic and the simpler it is, the more successful I'll be...... I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.:evil:
 

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I'm also not up to the task of making an LS work with the computer, and not willing to learn at my age either. I have however looked at LS options, and the possibility of making one work with a carburetor. They actually make kits that have a intake manifold, new water pump housing, and a cam to convert an LS to a carb and distributor!
The cam has a front drive gear, and the new water pump housing has a hole for a distributor to drop in. Can't remember which distributor, but it's a common one, so easily found new or used. The write ups I've seen say you'll lose a small amount of HP over an injected, computerized LS, but the ease of working on it, and lack of coil packs and crank trigger make it more appealing to me.
Another cheaper option is the LQ truck motor, which is a cast iron block LS, with aluminum heads. Not quite the HP, but easily upgraded to LS with some minor work. I see LQ motors often for around $500, where LS motors are rarely under $1500, even with some mileage on them.
 
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