454 swap?

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by delocamaro64, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. delocamaro64

    delocamaro64 New Member

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    Hey guys! So this summer I blew up the 350 that was in my 79 Z. I'm trying to figure out how to go about getting her back on the road by spring. Was thinking I would have the 350 rebuilt, but the engine shop offered to sell me a 454 that they have for the same as they would charge to do a rebuild on the 350. Less than 10K on it, in great shape. Now I know its gonna cost extra and there is more work involved with all the small adjustments and changes needed. I've been researching, I know I'll need headers, new carb, possibly earlier 2nd gen motor mounts so it fits under the hood, subframe connectors, new fan shroud(?) And brackets for the accessories on the front of the engine. What brackets and where can I find them? Any other advice/suggestions, or things i would need? Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Sounds to me like the engine shop is trying to get rid of a big block they don't want. For less that half of $10K, you can have a new strong running sbc crate engine, and you won't have to change headers, brackets, mounts, etc. And if that machine shop wants 10K to rebuild a sbc, I'd look for another shop.
     
  3. Randy 81

    Randy 81 Veteran Member

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    I believe he said the BBC has 10K miles on it, not priced at $10k. You don't need early mounts to put the BBC in, just use the existing SB mounts. GM didn't lower the engine in the car when it was a BB. Someone may know which intakes will work with the stock hood. Brackets can come from any pickup up to 1986, should be able to find one in the junkyard, or find a later model serpentine drive from a truck.
     
  4. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

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    Buddy had a 454 with 268H cam and in his 78 camaro with headers and 2.5" exhaust I had a 350 with the same 268H with bowl ported 624 heads milled to 72cc and flat tops.
    I could beat him by just a little.
    I tuned and tuned on that 454 and swapped distributors and carbs and I still would beat him by a car length.

    That was back in the early 1990's I had a 78 nova with the 350 in it. Both cars had 3 speed auto and 3.08 gears.
    I have been in many stock 454's and ones with cams ..and i came to the conclusion that they really need more compression or better flowing heads via some port work.
    I was never impressed by the smogger 454.
    If that 454 has some things done to it then it may be a good swap.
    Or maybe I just expect more from 454 cubes. Or maybe ported heads on a small block just work that much better.
    My car back then set up in the above trim ran 14.7 et
     
  5. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Nothing wrong with a mild 454, the one in my Camaro runs 11.80's on pump gas. I would not hesitate foe a moment to put it in a street car. I say go for it. Just use a good flat top piston short block, use a set of peanut port heads that have a good competition valve job, a little cam and let's say a 750 Holley, should get you in the 12's very easy.
     
  6. delocamaro64

    delocamaro64 New Member

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    10k is wayyy out of my price range, no they estimated about 3k for a light rebuild with a new cam and a few other upgrades on the 350, and they would give me the big block for the same. Doesnt seem like they're trying to get rid of anything, but they know what I'm trying to do with the car and had this engine, and offered it to me at what seems like a fair price. I meant there are less than 10k miles on the 454. This shop has been very helpful, going way out of their way to help me try to figure out what my best option is.
     
  7. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    I put a 454 in my 78Z years ago...Not a bad swap at all! I picked up some long tube headers from Summit Racing brand line-up, used a 650 carb and picked up accessories I think off of Ebay. The engine does sit high...Intake manifold options are slim! I ended up using the normal Edelbrock performer with a drop base air cleaner. Use a bolt instead of a wing nut and a stud. I had the tear drop hood and I don't recall even trimming it. The early BBC camaro mounts will not help you.

    For the right price I would venture into the BBC land over rebuilding the SBC. Be prepared to buy a few odds and ends...Maybe you can get a better deal from the machine shop telling him you would need extra parts to run it. Make the deal actually even.

    I would learn more about the 454 though...what type of heads, rotating assembly, truck cam or car etc.
     
  8. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    Oh yeah...watch the valve covers too. Tall ones will cause you grief with the brake booster and the AC box. I was using the smaller WS6 booster.
     
  9. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    For the Intake swap, just use the Q-jet low rise intake and a good Q-jet carb so you can use a stock hood or you can always slow your car down a ton and get a Eddy torker II just too look cool. The factory intake is better than the torker II but both will let you close the stock hood.
     
  10. 76z28

    76z28 Veteran Member

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    If that big block was set up right, it would walk that small block. A smogger big block with headers and a cam should run faster than a 14.7 all day.LOL
     

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