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Username Post: 454 engines        (Topic#360984)
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-16-20 04:25 PM - Post#2793978    

I have a 396 in my 1965 C10 truck that is ok, but when I got it thought it was a 454.

At a pull n save yard saw a 454 in a 1996-2000 truck, after some research found out it can be a decent engine swapped to carb.

Of course truck was gone on the next trip there, but have been thinking of searching more for one of these, add a better cam, headers and my pro flo 4 Edelbrock fuel injection I bought for 396.

I like they are set up for roller cam, one piece rear seal.

Looking at crate 454 engines, the 454 HO and ZZ 454 appear to use this same block, only a brand new version of it.

These crate engines are not cheap, so I got to thinking if I can get a good used L29, at a minimum add better cam, it can make good power and torque, just no high rpm, maybe 5000 max with stock heads.

Also thinking maybe buy new Edelbrock or GM performance aluminum heads, if they would work ok with the L29 pistons, along with good cam, headers it could be a good running engine.

GM also sells a 454 HO short block, it's about $4500.00 or so, and the new 454 block alone is just under $2000.00

I see used L29 engines for sale online, the prices are not too horrible, if they run decent.

Wanting a roller cam if I swap to another big block, it seems ZDDP that you can add to oil can cause issues with O2 sensor, and since the Edelbrock fuel injection I bought uses one, that right there is a good reason.

Anyone here ever have one of the 1996-2000 L29 454 engines?



Edited by 1965C-10 on 05-16-20 04:28 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 


1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-16-20 05:04 PM - Post#2793982    
    In response to 1965C-10

I completed the 396 and TH400 swap in 2004, and after that LS swaps got very popular, well they were going on since LS1 came out, but got more and more popular through the years.

For years I was wanting to swap to LS, but the engines kept changing every few years.

Finally decided BBC or even SBC have that classic look and can make good power with some work, bought the Edelbrock fuel injection system, a good value I think, but not cheap either.

Right before (couple of weeks) I bought the Edelbrock fuel injection for the 396, was taking my brother to check out a car, we took it for a test drive and I pulled over at a convenience store to let him drive it.

A 1971 or 1972 red El Camino SS with 454 badges pulled up next to the car, guy went inside and I was excited about the El Camino!

Wanted to ask him about it, but we were test driving a car and didn't want to be gone too long, but I made him wait so we could hear the El Camino start back up and drive off, and if puffed smoke on start up but sounded great, loud and cam lope, flow master mufflers sound.

Brother bought the Mazda we were checking out.

Right then I got re interested in big block Chevy again, seems big block cars are rare now.

It seems for me LS swap desires wore off, kind of like it was a fad.










 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3152

Age: 47
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
05-16-20 09:30 PM - Post#2794001    
    In response to 1965C-10

I have one, but it's completely stock. It's the original engine in my 1-ton 4x4. I'm pushing 300K miles. I'm happy with it, but as far as power, I don't have much to compare it too.

99 K3500 RCLB


 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-16-20 10:49 PM - Post#2794002    
    In response to 454cid

Wow 300k, sounds like they can last a long time.







 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29131
someotherguy
Age: 50
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-18-20 05:31 AM - Post#2794088    
    In response to 1965C-10

  • 1965C-10 Said:
Wow 300k, sounds like they can last a long time.



They can, if you don't outright abuse them. I've owned/operated several trucks with the Vortec 7.4 -

'96 C3500 ext cab had a used replacement engine with alleged 90K miles on it installed and ran great. It did need distributor replacement due to wear; it had a slight skip during part throttle cruising. I forget the total # of miles on the truck but it had a gooseneck hitch, possibly they blew the original engine up overloading the truck. I had an add-on wrecker unit installed and it towed great.

'98 3500HD company wrecker likely abused to death from day one, had 200K+ miles and somehow blew through a quart of oil for every tank of fuel (and it was a small tank, maybe 20 gallons) - the engine didn't visibly smoke and didn't have bad leaks, so who knows? It still ran great otherwise.

'98 C3500 crew cab had a bazillion miles and everything leaked but the engine still ran quite well and moved that heavy truck with its add-on wrecker unit with ease.

'96 C3500 engine swapped into the '94 3500HD wrecker I built; engine was 237K+ when I swapped it in, the truck it came from had clearly been abused badly as a farm or oilfield truck w/gooseneck hitch, whole truck beat to death. Engine ran pretty well but could have used a valve job by then. Lifters ticking even after replacing the nonadjustable valvetrain with Comp Cams adjuster stud kit and roller tip rockers, I sold the truck this way, and suspect the issues were probably from previous owner neglecting maintenance and running it hard.

If you find a used one that you can run a compression test on and hear it run, and it's not much more than $1K then I'd jump on it.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
62chevy427 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2188
62chevy427
Loc: laurens sc
Reg: 04-13-06
05-18-20 09:44 AM - Post#2794105    
    In response to 1965C-10

i have 3 big blocks. a 454 in my 83 gmc 4wd, completely stock. a 454 in my 72 el camino, completely stock but in need of a rebuild at 164 k miles and a 427 in my 62 impala. i installed it in the late 80s after following a hot rod magazine article on how to make one run with oval port heads. blue printed it, installed big valves in the heads and a comp cam with 510 lift with a edelbrock intake and a 800 spreadbore holley.
the engine was rated at 390 hp stock and i figure it makes in the mid 400s.
i have 40 k miles on it and still going strong. it pushes car around prety good.

Attachment: 35134_05.jpg (62.46 KB) 3 View(s)




56 bel air ((since 2002)
62 impala ss (since 1965)
65 el camino (since 1969)
66 nova (since 1987)
67 malibu convertible (since 1981)
72 el camino ss454 (since 1985)
83 gmc 4wd (since 1991)
95 impala (new)
15 chevy equinox



 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3737

Reg: 04-15-05
05-18-20 11:19 AM - Post#2794114    
    In response to 1965C-10

I've seen big blocks go and go, no issues. Better to go with a roller timing chain than the stock silent link, when that time comes.

It's in the operation, and maintenance.



 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-19-20 05:53 PM - Post#2794239    
    In response to IgnitionMan

I've been looking online, find most on EBAY even when not searching there, 750 bucks lowest price, most have over 200k miles.

Started thinking about that GM 454 HO short block, looking at Scoggin Dickey, I searched "454 short block" and found what could be a good value on a rebuilt L29 454.

Even with the core charge the price is still less than just the 454 HO short block.

https://sdparts.com/i-24075978-atk-dck2-e ngine-lon...

Thoughts?





 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29131
someotherguy
Age: 50
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-20-20 09:03 AM - Post#2794275    
    In response to 1965C-10

I dunno that vendor (ATK) or how good their warranty is, but since you're swapping to carb anyway a long block would be a decent choice. No sense spending bucks on a used engine with parts you won't use and don't have much resale value. Nobody generally needs a used Vortec 7.4 intake, fuel rail, injectors, distributor - especially with the used distributor and injectors likely being at or near replacement time.

With that said I have no idea what a Vortec 7.4 is like with carb for fueling. To me what gives Vortecs their power in stock form is not just the head design but also the multiport fuel injection setup.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-20-20 12:22 PM - Post#2794288    
    In response to someotherguy

From what I have been reading, they perform good when swapped to a carb.

Late last night I watched some videos, on L29 stock with injection, then swapped to carb, then cam and valve springs added.

I wrote down the tq and hp #s and what RPM they were at, engine on Dyno with no accessories and electric water pump.

Then found Dyno results for a ZZ 454 crate, same way no accessories and electric water pump and wrote those numbers down.

Seems the junkyard L29 with cam, carb, intake and distributor, stock iron heads was only 30 HP less than ZZ 454, and within 200 RPM, also torque was 15 ft lbs less, and a couple hundred rpm off.

I'll post the numbers, and video.

Also I'm thinking the ZZ 454 crate is basically a L29 engine with forged crank, rods, and pistons, with Edelbrock aluminum heads.

Reading somewhere it was mentioned that they are in fact Edelbrock heads, just rebadged to look like GMPP made them.

The valve size is same, combustion chamber cc, intake runner cc, "Edelbrock Performer RPM High Compression 454-O Cylinder Heads for Big Block Chevy
Part Number: 350-60435".

Another thing, the L29 timing cover has a place for a crank sensor up underneath.

Looking at pics of a ZZ 454 crate, noticed that same timing cover.

Also the compression ratio for L29 is 9.4-1, and the ZZ 454 is 9.6-1.

Also another video a guy tears one down to inspect and clean up, swaps to carb, and adds a cam. He mentioned the L29 "harmonic balancer" will not work with old mark IV crank pulley, but a GEN 5 unit will, so that is another thing to change, he bought a new one for 70 bucks.







 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-20-20 12:47 PM - Post#2794290    
    In response to 1965C-10

From the video stock L29 with EFI and tuning with FAST engine controller, big headers.

356 HP @ 4400
486 TQ @ 3300

Swapped to carb, but still running stock cam, headers.

370 HP @ 4700
476 TQ @ 3400

Add cam and valve springs, still stock iron heads.

428 HP @ 5100
515 TQ @ 3600

The Dyno results I found for a new ZZ 454 crate engine

461.3 HP @ 5400
529.9 TQ @ 3800



 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-20-20 12:51 PM - Post#2794291    
    In response to 1965C-10

https://youtu.be/R5rmlqUsTC4



 
5Larry7 
"16th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2011
5Larry7
Loc: Dallas, TX
Reg: 05-17-04
05-20-20 01:42 PM - Post#2794300    
    In response to 1965C-10

FWIW, I have a pair of ATK aluminum heads on my 327 and they have been great.
Scoggin-Dickey has a pretty good reputation so if they are selling ATK engines, I would have confidence in it.

'57 210, 327 cid, Holley MPFI, 700R4, A/C & more.
'51 Studebaker Starlite coupe, 350, TH400, GV OD.
'96 Replica of a 1950's Teardrop Trailer.


 
paulo57509 
Senior Member
Posts: 442

Loc: Tracy, CA
Reg: 07-18-00
05-20-20 07:21 PM - Post#2794331    
    In response to 1965C-10

  • 1965C-10 Said:
I've been looking online, find most on EBAY even when not searching there, 750 bucks lowest price, most have over 200k miles.

Started thinking about that GM 454 HO short block, looking at Scoggin Dickey, I searched "454 short block" and found what could be a good value on a rebuilt L29 454.

Even with the core charge the price is still less than just the 454 HO short block.

https://sdparts.com/i-24075978-atk-dck2-e ngine-lon...

Thoughts?





I'd stay away from ATK as if it were worse than the plague. Do a quick internet search yourself.

Personal experience - I ordered and installed an ATK engine for our diesel Rabbit parts runner that we used at work (paving equipment sales/service).

The "re-manufactured" engine leaked badly right out of the crate; at the rear main, balance shaft and a few other places.

When I called ATK, they told me to find a VW dealership that would do a leak dye check, have them make the repairs and send them back the parts showing the dye along with the receipts.

The first problem I encountered was finding a dealership that would even want to do the leak dye check. When they heard it was an ATK engine, it was not just no, but hell no.

I did eventually find a dealership willing to help us out. All said and done, after sending ATK a big box of oily, dye covered parts, ATK would not honor their warranty. At least the cost for all this wasn't out of my own wallet.

FF a few thousand miles later, the coolant overflow started overflowing with HOT coolant. Drove it over a few doors down to an independent repair shop. The mechanic brothers from Haifa tore it down and found one of the cylinders had a hole in it. The re-boring and a some miles exposed what we figured was a casting flaw.

One thing I learned a long time ago. Avoid ATK like the corona virus.

1987 IROC-Z 5.0L
1992 Lumina Euro 3.1L
2003 GMC Safari


 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-20-20 08:25 PM - Post#2794349    
    In response to paulo57509

Found someone on Craigslist selling one, called it a GEN 5 with roller cam, asking $850.00

I messaged him and asked if it runs, he says it did before pulling, but injection is gone, oil pan and oil pickup, I'm assuming timing cover and valve covers gone too.

Asked if it would run with missing parts replaced or if he thought it needed a rebuild, after a few hours he responded it needs a rebuild, but does spin.

No pics, was thinking of offering $500.00 but looking up L29 rebuild kits, man they are not cheap!

Plus machine shops are expensive also.

There is also the possibility the block could be junk too, it's a gamble.

That stinks about ATK engines, I found out I can get the same engine through my local AutoZone for less than Scoggin Dickey, and I'm assuming free shipping.

AutoZone is calling it SureFire, I think it's ATK, $2396.00 plus $810.00 core.

I don't think I'm going to bother with the wore out 1998 L29 with missing parts on Craigslist, so no I won't offer him $500 bucks.

Really don't have time to rebuild an engine, it could be fun.

Doing stuff like adding a cam, or even putting on Edelbrock heads sounds ok, but full rebuild is too time consuming.








 
Andy J 
Newbie
Posts: 31

Age: 68
Loc: east central Mississippi
Reg: 10-29-15
05-21-20 06:32 AM - Post#2794375    
    In response to paulo57509

I agree with your assessment of ATK 100%.I,too,had a bad experience with them.Good luck if you have a warranty claim.They won't reimburse you for anything.



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29131
someotherguy
Age: 50
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-21-20 09:37 AM - Post#2794388    
    In response to 1965C-10

  • 1965C-10 Said:
I messaged him and asked if it runs, he says it did before pulling, but injection is gone, oil pan and oil pickup, I'm assuming timing cover and valve covers gone too.

Asked if it would run with missing parts replaced or if he thought it needed a rebuild, after a few hours he responded it needs a rebuild, but does spin.


It sounds like he transferred his parts to a rebuilt long block and the builder found his core to be unacceptable, so he's stuck with it...unless he can convince someone else to be stuck with it.

But I'm the paranoid type.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3737

Reg: 04-15-05
05-21-20 11:20 AM - Post#2794395    
    In response to 1965C-10

Two things I have seen in this topic to avoid like the plague, and CoVID-19, ATK, and FAST.

FAST is one of the very worst EFI entities that has ever been, so is FITech, or, its new name, Holley Sniper.



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4458

Reg: 12-29-02
05-21-20 03:44 PM - Post#2794411    
    In response to IgnitionMan

The Holley Sniper is NOT a re-branded or re-named Fitech. The Sniper is a VERY good entry level EFI system that works very well and has lots of features for the price and has good support.




 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29131
someotherguy
Age: 50
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-22-20 07:07 AM - Post#2794465    
    In response to 65_Impala

  • 65_Impala Said:
The Holley Sniper is NOT a re-branded or re-named Fitech. The Sniper is a VERY good entry level EFI system that works very well and has lots of features for the price and has good support.



It was a head-scratcher to me, too. The units don't even look the same.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3737

Reg: 04-15-05
05-22-20 03:05 PM - Post#2794505    
    In response to someotherguy

The computers are the same.

I know the Holley EFI service department director, he is a good friend, and I used to work at Holley, unlike the poster 2 posts above this one.

But, then, that is the way he works, defame me every opportunity he gets, without knowing what is what.

We all know things can get updated when ownership by manufacturers buy other systems to update and sell.

Me, it doesn't matter any more, I just look at the source, that one above is constantly totally misled and uninformed.



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4458

Reg: 12-29-02
05-22-20 05:08 PM - Post#2794508    
    In response to IgnitionMan

The Sniper is certainly NOT using anything similar to a FiTech that would count. The Holley Sniper operation, features and software are all both different and superior to FiTech. Holley is much more active in their development and updates too.

There are also 10's of thousands of posts from people successfully using the Holley Sniper on the internet. You have to try hard to find anyone with issues using it.

You are the only one misled and uninformed.



 
1965C-10 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 7364
1965C-10
Age: 42
Loc: San Tan Valley AZ "Phoeni...
Reg: 11-18-01
05-22-20 06:18 PM - Post#2794511    
    In response to someotherguy

  • someotherguy Said:
  • 1965C-10 Said:
I messaged him and asked if it runs, he says it did before pulling, but injection is gone, oil pan and oil pickup, I'm assuming timing cover and valve covers gone too.

Asked if it would run with missing parts replaced or if he thought it needed a rebuild, after a few hours he responded it needs a rebuild, but does spin.


It sounds like he transferred his parts to a rebuilt long block and the builder found his core to be unacceptable, so he's stuck with it...unless he can convince someone else to be stuck with it.

But I'm the paranoid type.

Richard



I was thinking the same thing about him getting rebuilt and taking parts off old one.

Found another builder on Rockauto when I choose year 1999 K2500, for cheaper core charge.

Brand is "Exact Powertain" cannot find anything on that brand, except a YouTube video of a guy with a Ford pickup that is showing the remanned engine, then after putting into his truck then a test drive.

He mentioned he bought it from RockAuto.

Not sure why that brand is only showing up on 1999 model years.

Also to buy it, Rockauto wants me to provide my VIN, so if I decided to that could be tricky.

Anyone know of Exact Powertain?








 
beagrizzly 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2123
beagrizzly
Age: 69
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
05-26-20 08:24 AM - Post#2794877    
    In response to someotherguy

someotherguy,
I bought my first big block in '70, (SS396). There has never been a time in my life that I did NOT own a big block.
Every single one of them used the top quart of oil within the first thousand miles of an oil change. Then used nothing if I ran it a quart low. If I topped it off, next time I checked it it would be a quart low. Now I just run it a quart low. Never have to add between changes.

On the topic of an engine swap, used 8.1 engines are all over the place for around $1200-2500. I would not be afraid of a working take out from a local wrecking yard. My theory has always been that if it was in a wreck, it obviously ran!
Factory rating is around 340HP, but the torque is unreal. 450 ft. lb. It comes in at around 400 lbs at just over 1000 rpm.
JMHO.
Griff


if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29131
someotherguy
Age: 50
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-26-20 09:51 AM - Post#2794887    
    In response to beagrizzly

The 8.1's are funny.. I've got mixed feelings about them and so do others, but the detractors seem to come down to two camps. One, the early years seem to use oil like crazy. Two, they seem a little anemic for the specs.

Well! There was a member on 3500hd.com that discovered what he believes is the reason for the high oil usage on early years. He's rebuilt several 8.1's and found a difference in early vs. later; there's a vent (figure PCV-related) on the underside of the intake into the valley. Early ones aim straight down, later ones are angled presumably to prevent them sucking oil.

As far as the perception of them being weak, I suspect that's all in the tune - torque management to prevent driveline breakage and reduce warranty claims.

For what it's worth, total anecdotal account here: I rented a big U-Haul with the 8.1 and what I figure was the Allison transmission (sure sounded like a school bus winding out the gears.) For the large size truck, 24' or whatever it was, that thing would SCOOT. Imagine it actually being FUN to mash the pedal in a rental box truck! I was impressed.

I wouldn't be against doing a full 8.1/4L80E swap (heck even a 6L80E if you could segment-swap the code, probably can) into a half ton.. if I had the time and space, two things I'm running seriously short of these days.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 


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