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Hey all, this is not for a chevelle although that is my dream car. I have some major problems with my 350 that is currently in my 85 k series chevy truck ever since I let it sit while I was deployed it seems. I wanted to wait until I left the Army to get a bigger engine but instead of spending over $2000 to get an old engine partially repaired or more time than I want to spend, I figure might as well just replace the engine now. I always wanted a 454 because my uncle wanted one when we bought the truck but everyone seems to put that down. I'd like a budget of $7000 for everything but could do $10000.I'm really trying to figure out what type of engine to get in that range and where to get it and would like to get a decent amount of horsepower. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?
 

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One may get an 'easy' 420 hp/460 torque with a small block 383. With a little 'more'; 450hp/480 torque. Either within your budget.

Here's one vendor:

Shop around; there's plenty of competition.

Pete
 

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I absolutely love the big blocks but there is another option that would easily serve your needs. It's the GM 383 HT. They built it with what you have in mind. Forged steel components , incredible torque curve, big block performance in a small block package . Do a little research on it, I think you will be impressed !
 

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Ryan
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These guys are right. A nice torquey 383 would be a very good way to go in a blazer. You can keep costs down by reusing some of the stuff you already have for the small block. Will have good street manners, idle nice, and have enough vacuum for power brakes.
 

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383 HT for the pickup you won't be disappointed. Put one in my step brothers 92 suburban and kept the TBI, It is tuned for it and runs amazing, that thing really does well on the interstate and it will Tow like a big block!
 

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1968 Malibu sport coupe, 489 ci. 590 hp 600 tq, RV T-400 Freakshow 3200 stall, 3.73 12 bolt posi
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Vortecpro.com, Mark Jones is a member here and the best bang for your buck 454 in my opinion, do a search for TC member Vortecpro
 

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One may get an 'easy' 420 hp/460 torque with a small block 383. With a little 'more'; 450hp/480 torque. Either within your budget.

Here's one vendor:

Shop around; there's plenty of competition.

Pete
Holy cow. I was fairly set on a Skip White 383. Thanks for sending that link ! That 383 with a NEW block looks tempting !
 

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Mitch, welcome to Team Chevelle! Horsepower is not exactly what you seek sir, early stump pulling TORQUE is going to MOTORVATE that K-5!!

a "nice torquey" small block is fine, but if its TQ you seek, and a BBC you covet, for not much more than the GM383 with 400 ft lbs, you can have 550 ft lbs in a Vortechpro 454. Mate that with your 700R4, and a decent induction system, and you 'll be a happy guy.

Nothing wrong with a small block! Its that extra 100-150 ft lbs of TQ I speak to. It'll make the blazer feel like it's running a Duramax. A HEALTHY one! ( in fact, have you considered a Cummins 12 valve!?)

( we are planning on a 400 sbc for a son's custom Toyota hilux and an early 450 lt lbs is the goal. a BBC will not fit! )

Yes all the accessory brackets,mounts etc need changed out, so its not a simple plug and play. Likely at least $500-700 in ancillary stuff required.

So for a marginal increase in cost and hassle, you get what you want. GOBS of TQ. 560 FT LBS in fact . From a truck head "peanut port" 454 for approx $5750.



THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
 

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Ill double down on what Gene said. I'm getting ready to replace the 454 in my K30 dually and it will be a VORTECPRO 454. Cant beat the price and quality.

Mike
 

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Mike, the 406 will be up for sale? Its an SBC? Mark likely wont be building SBCs until he moves to TX.
 

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No Sir that MJ 406 SBC will have a home in the Chevelle for a vary long time. The HP/TQ has been amazing over this past yr. I have almost 8000 'hard' miles on it and it still looks and drives like new.

The 454 I mentioned above needing a replacement (387,000 stock miles) is in my C30 75 Chevy 4dr dually. 8" Lift and 35" tires. We put a 84 GMC 1 ton front DANA 60 and 205 transfer case in it about 12yrs ago (Now a K30). Mark lists a 'Tow Package' engine on his site. This new engine is going for the greatest amount of TQ only that he can get.

Mike
 
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First off - as a fellow veteran - thank you and welcome!

Having owned well over a dozen square bodies in different sizes, I have a few questions that will help you make a good decision. You list it as an 1985 K20 - that came in two versions, a light duty version with 6,600 GVW and a heavy duty version with 8,600 GVW. The LD version came with a TH350 or TH700-R4 for automatic trans missions, the HD version came with a TH400 for an automatic - of course manual transmissions were standard. What GVW and Transmission do you have - the T-case would be an NP208 for that year?

The axles that came on a 1985 for either version of the K20 were the 9.5 inch semi-floater 14-bolt rear and 10-bolt front, the HD models came with 4.10 gears where the LD 3.08 gears were standard with optional 3.42/3.73 or 4.10's. Both used 8-lug rims for 16" tires. I bring all this up because if you drop a 454 in the truck, you need to know what is behind it. The 9.5" 14-bolt is a strong axle and can handle the 454, the 10-bolt front is questionable depending on how you plan on using and how strong of 454 you build. The NP208 would be better replaced with a one year only NP241C (1989) out of a V2500 as it is a better T-case and has a speedometer gear, GM went to VSS the following year. You may be able to find one from a 1988 as I had a late production 1988 K20 Suburban that had the NP241. I have a 1978 K25 GMC that I have replace the front axle (Dana 44) with a one-ton Dana 60 - the 400 small block I built up for this truck produces some 420 lb/ft of torque which is more than the stock 454's put in the K30's.

Other things to consider, front springs will need to be upgraded to accommodate the extra 200 pounds, larger radiator will be needed, different brackets for the accessories, different exhaust system and so on. I have done all of these in the past to put a 454 in a K5 for off-roading so I know things will break if stressed enough! A lot more needs to go into it than just the cost of the engine. Not trying to convince you to go with a stroker SBC or 454 BBC - I always felt more is better! Depending on what the final use of the truck will be determines what all will need to be modified to accommodate a BBC. You do not want to stick a 600 lb/ft torque engine only to find out your t-case is in 150 pieces down main street, or your front axle gernaded 5 miles from a pave road! Been there, done that!

Give us a better idea of your use of the end product and can advise on what all needs to be changed to handle a good powered 454. A healthy engine alone may be too much for some of the other stock parts.
 

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Excellent post Tom! Systems design 101! To Tom's point, I sort of assumed 14 bolt and Dana60 up front. To use an MJ BBC you'll need it all up to diesel specs. Stout SBC might just fill the bill here. ( as said will be "sourcing" a 400 -based SBC with injection for a Yota rock climber ourselves. )

PS Mike, stop the sir crap, I was an NCO and AM STILL working my arse off for a livin' ! :) To your point, I had Mark's engine VIN-stamped. Ya, its a permanent install in Old Red as well !
 

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Blueprint has a 496 with peanut port heads that would be perfect for your application. 560 ft lbs at a low rpm, yawns its way to 440hp. You don't need the power in a truck, you need the torque
 

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Mitch, welcome to Team Chevelle! Horsepower is not exactly what you seek sir, early stump pulling TORQUE is going to MOTORVATE that K-5!!

a "nice torquey" small block is fine, but if its TQ you seek, and a BBC you covet, for not much more than the GM383 with 400 ft lbs, you can have 550 ft lbs in a Vortechpro 454. Mate that with your 700R4, and a decent induction system, and you 'll be a happy guy.

Nothing wrong with a small block! Its that extra 100-150 ft lbs of TQ I speak to. It'll make the blazer feel like it's running a Duramax. A HEALTHY one! ( in fact, have you considered a Cummins 12 valve!?)

( we are planning on a 400 sbc for a son's custom Toyota hilux and an early 450 lt lbs is the goal. a BBC will not fit! )

Yes all the accessory brackets,mounts etc need changed out, so its not a simple plug and play. Likely at least $500-700 in ancillary stuff required.

So for a marginal increase in cost and hassle, you get what you want. GOBS of TQ. 560 FT LBS in fact . From a truck head "peanut port" 454 for approx $5750.



THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
How’d your son get a hilux in the states?
 
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