News & Car Culture / Top 10 Engines

Top 10 Engines of All Time (#8): Chevrolet 454

 Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.75310_Engine_Web

Does size matter?

No, we say emphatically (but not for any particular reason).

However, there is clearly a large contingent of you that believes bigger is better, because the Chevrolet 454 big block easily made your top 10 engines list with room to spare. For sheer size and power, you placed the Chevy 454 at #8 on the list.

As the old saying goes: “There’s no replacement for displacement.” And GM got it right when it introduced the venerable and popular big block in 1970.


To some, the Chevrolet 454 big block was the right engine at the wrong time.

Building on the popularity of its 427-cubic-inch engine, General Motors introduced the 454 in 1970—one year before emissions standards were tightened and just three years before the gas crisis hit with full force. It was not the ideal time to introduce a large cubic-inch big block tailored for performance vehicles, but the Chevy 454 made quite an impression nonetheless.

The Chevy 454 was originally offered in three variations: the LS5, LS6, and LS7 (which was never offered as a factory option to the general public). It was intended for only Chevrolet’s high-performance vehicles, including the Chevelle and Corvette, and there were rumors the engines’ horsepower output was actually under-reported by Chevrolet during the muscle car wars.

The 1970 versions of the Chevrolet 454 were the most powerful, with the LS5 putting out around 360 horsepower and the LS6 delivering about 450 horses. The LS6 was phased out after 1971, and the LS5’s power had dwindled to about 245 horsepower by 1973 thanks to stricter emissions control.

The Chevrolet 454 was eliminated from most passenger cars by 1975 but remained a viable powerplant in heavy-duty Chevrolet trucks through 1996.

Original Vehicles

The Chevrolet 454 originally came stock in these passenger vehicles:

Top Aftermarket Upgrades

The Chevrolet 454 remains a favorite among performance enthusiasts because of the its power output and the availability of aftermarket parts for the engine. A quick glance at the Summit Racing website shows these Chevrolet 454 parts as the most readily available (number of options as of 1/16/2014 in parenthesis):

Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.



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  1. sherman nicks says:

    Hey,buddy will a454 chev .eng bolt up to 1962 caddy devillehad 390 cad engine,thanks sherm

    • OnAllCylinders says:

      Dimensionally there is plenty of room for a BB Chevy in there. You will need to fab engine mounts, use a Chevy trans. and make a driveshaft. Oh, and there are no swap headers available!! 

    • It is too late by years to help you, but for any other people with similar inclinations. The bolt pattern of the bell housing needs to match the block. n I believe the 390 block is incompatible with other GM transmissions; you will need an adapter plate. At least.

  2. Wayne Roland Jr. says:

    Hello sir. I’m looking to build a Mark IV 454 (need mechanical fuel pump) street strip engine. Would you have a casting number and year you prefer? I understand some early 70’s blocks are better with more nickel content etc. I have access to a 1972 Tonawanda built 3999289 two bolt forged crank truck engine or a Tonawanda built 14015445 casting I believe built 1978 with four bolt main with forged crank un known vehicle but its bored 60 over already (fresh rebuild no miles). I have an excellent machine shop that can add four bolt mains to anything. The more reading I do the more confused I get. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.Wayne

    • Speedracer says:

      For a street engine either would work fine. If the 72 block has never been bored I believe that would be the way to go. Don’t waste your money making a 2 bolt block into a 4 bolt. How many broken 2 bolt main caps have you ever seen? I’ve never heard of it happening in a street car. Spend your money on something more effective like cylinder heads.

    • Paul DeRaimo says:

      Wayne. I came across your posting looking to find information on my 454 casting #14015445. Do you have details on this casting?

    • Does anyone know the variation of horsepower that this engine 14015445 could have?

  3. What about the L89 in 1967?

    • Speedracer says:

      What about it? Same thing as a 396/375 solid lifter engine. Just so happens the heads were aluminum.

  4. What about the 1969 Chevelle ss With the option of the 396 cowl and the 427 even a 454?

    • Speedracer says:

      What about it? The 69 with a 427 was a dealer option from places like Yenko, Baldwin Motion, Nickey…etc. The 427 wasn’t an option from the factory in the 69 Chevelle. The 454 didn’t come out until 1970.

  5. Wylie Harrison says:

    I have a 1969 chevell SS.With a 396c.i.d eng.I was wondering if it be better if I buy or put in the bb 454 c.i.d.engine. .from Jay.

    • Speedracer says:

      396 to a 454 is like going from a 305 to a 350. Which do you think runs better, all else being equal?

      • So is the 454 the most reasonable way to go? Over the 396? I’ve been wanting one (454) to swap out my 307

        • you better find the lower frame mounts for your motor mounts or your you radiator shroud will not fit so your can close the hood. Lesson learned on a454 swap on a 69 chevelle.

          • Frank Groenewold says:

            OK. This is is an older post, but been very helpful so far… I gotta ask, what are lower frame mounts? I thought you got what you got and there is no other option… I’m putting a 454 in a 69 Chevelle. It had a 396 and the fan shroud was cut at the bottom… Was that shroud cut in order to fit in the 396?

      • Say a 1970 LS5 454 compared to a 1969 L78 396, especially the version for Corvettes?

  6. Barry jo Folan says:

    How much more gasoline does 454 then 350 in 1975 c/20 chevy truck

    • Driven like a normal truck the 454 is probably a bit easier on fuel.weight and tor.driven hard 454 is harder on fuel

  7. hi looking at 1967 Beaumont with a 454 in it to buy can you please give me your 2 cent ineed your opinion. Thanks

  8. Mario Guillen says:

    I have a 1971 chevy impala 2 door with a 350 -v8 I want to know if I can put a 454 -v8 -7.4 engine big blocks on

  9. hi i have 1971 monte carlo 4 speed with a sbc in it i have found a complete 1970 454 to put it in it can you tell me what is needed .onlything i can see is bbc springs up front and new flywheel?motor mounts should work and my shroud as well

    • OnAllCylinders says:


      There will be some variables that will involve a more detailed conversation. It’s probably best if you call the Summit tech line at 330-630-0240.

  10. what about 454 out of 84 mobile home

  11. says:

    I have a 1975 chevy caprice convertible with the factory 454. I’m looking to do some up grades on the motor (power wise) any one have any recommendations on what I could do without breaking the bank. From the research I’ve done the 454 in the caprices where a motor built to tow and pull. I don’t don’t want a work horse I want a power wagon…

  12. I have a Gen 6 big block I was wondering what model/year chevy truck can I get the serpentine belt setup off of

  13. I am looking at purchasing a project 1973 corvette. I would like to know would I be able to upgrade the engine too something more current that could put out over 600 horsepower? What would be the engine type for that set up? Will it fit without having to modify the frame or the engine supports? I really love the look of the 73 with the chrome bumper and nice curves. I do not wish to take a running vehicle apart make the beast that I want to run. Thanks for your help in advance.

  14. I have a 69 Camaro with a 350 engine. I want to install a Big Block but am struggling to determine if a 427 CI or a 454 ci is the way to go. I like the idea that 427 ci were installed in 69 camaros but 454 ci is bigger bang for the buck. Please share your thoughts. 427 for nostalgia or 454 for bigger is better and economics.

  15. hi onallcylinders…

    i found this engine block in a storage unit that i bought…

    PLEASE de-code it for me???

    i currently speak porsche, with a mm / litre accent…


    air cooled, for now…

    1974 454 CUBIC INCH

    TO218TRW (stamped) T4Z512079 (stamped)

    E HP (cast front)

    HI PERF (Cast rear)

    3999289 C GM 10 T O

    8 5 74 date code

    forged crank

    aluminum pistons

  16. Chevy 454 ranked #8??? Bull SHIT!!! Should easily be ranked #1!!!

    • Some people should keep there comments to there self if u don’t know much about engine and cars.454 is a good engine but never made it at the track like the hemi,fords, u Gm guy that 75% of u know nothing about muscle engines and u probably a skidoo who keeps getting beet by will keep making more ci to keep up with the rest

      • Jesus he’s a Chevy big block fan. There’s no need to trash him for it. It’s your comment that needs to be kept to yourself. Take a chill.

    • I got a mark IV bbc it number one in my book

  17. Would a 1973 454 fit into a 1977 Malibu Classic?

  18. Jason Sloan says:

    I’m putting a 454 in my 92caprice… Any thoughts, motor already has upgrades,cam,lifters,intake,carb…

    • GO WITH AN LS CRATE ENGINE> The newest family of small blocks are better in every way than an iron block, no matter the displacement. You can chose from a mild 5,3 crate engine at 475 hp for about 5 thousand all the way to a 7 liter mill that comes with papers showing 800 plus HP dyno results. Get out your wallet and visit your local GM parts counter and best engine builder in your locality. For 23 grand you can buy a supercharged off the shelf 6.2 that will drop in, fire up and put out 700+ horsepower. Besides the LS engine will give you 20 plus MPG in daily driving on 91 octane pump gas. Don’t mess with the antique BB unless you are into nostalgia.

  19. Recently purchased a 454 MK / IV Block with dome pistons, rods, crank never assembled and still in boxes, all the numbers read 1970 – 71 except the block that comes up 1990 – 91.
    I was told it was outlawed due to federal regulations, all the parts have the same coating and casting #s sprayed pink, Block Casting # 10069286, Crank # on box 3963523 stamped on crank # 3967416 comes up as a sub-set of the # on the box 1970-71. Could this block have been cast in 71 and retired until 1990-91, all info I’ve gathered gatherer reads 1971 right down to the coatings that have preserved everything ! Any help is greatly appreciated. THANKS, Norm

  20. Forgot a most important FACT this engine has a 2 piece rear main seal.

  21. jim phelan says:

    i have a old school LS7 454 engine that has never been run or modified, any body interested?? 587-341-3660

  22. Pingback: Listen To This 454 Big Block With Two Cherry Bomb Glasspacks Make An Awesome Rumble! | CAR NEWS & REVIEWS

  23. My Boy Friend have à Beaumont 1967 with a 454 not à clone original. IT s à car brend on western Canada

  24. Looking for info on ford big block 427 marked C8we-v

  25. russell LIndley says:

    I need to replace my ’93 GMC 3500 dually 4×4 pickup 454ci. 7.4Liter TBI engine since the block cracked. I want to know if I have only choice to replace it with an exactly stock OEM engine to fit the stock automatic trany or can I get a crate motor with higher stock performance 454 to fit this truck and stock trany. The original engine only had about 260 hp so I’d like to find out what my options are to upgrade?

  26. I bought a ’82 Caballero (GMC El Camino) a couple of years ago (great shape!) and lucked into running into a local (small town NW Kansas) guy who has a 454 with domed heads that he rebuilt a few years ago and has had in his garage ‘cuz nobody wanted to give him $3,500 for it. I did!
    My Harley mechanic is gonna’ put it in for me this winter (I told him to go all out; heavier front-end springs, mega-carb, vent the hood, etc.) and soon a guy (me) who’s 53 will have a 16 year-old’s dream car.

    • Very cool… I’m restoring a chevelle 454 clone.aut. I’m thinking in put on throttle body a 8 stack downdraft speedmaster brand and a ECU HP efi engine programmable system, and Trick Flow aluminum heads. What do you think about this combination?

      Regards from Brazil.

      Nico Piazza.

  27. I have a 1972 chevy pickup Cheyenne with a 454 engine 3/4 race by distaso in Burbank CA the truck runs fine and it is quick I beat corvettes from a light what would you say its worth, I am disabled now and I have to sell it. Thanks

  28. Steve LaMore says:

    I own a 1990 Chevy truck with the original Big Block 454 in it, with 404,000 miles on it. It was owned by my stepson’s father, who died recently. He was a mechanic, which probably explains the high mileage he was able to achieve. Anyhow, the truck runs great, and I am trying to find an interested party who will purchase it. I’m located in Jacksonville, Florida. My email is Make an offer! Thanks

  29. What month 0f 69 was the 454 put in production? I have a bbc stamped 3963512 and date code of H 8 9.

    • I have a TBI 454 Tonawanda with 52,xxx original miles. Also, have a GM goodwrench 4L80 hydro with paperwork. Installed at 48,xxx. Trans has about 4,000 miles on it. Make offer brian.magnum@yahoo

  30. I have a 1971 LS6 engine, 3963512 casting.
    Has CRR code on front pad which is a 70 code.
    So I thought it was a miss stamp or altered.
    Just found another block just like it on CL with the same CRR.
    Anybody know where these came from.
    My speculation is its an over the counter engine, not warranty replacement.
    Or also heard of them being put in speed boats.
    Anyone have a clue?

  31. What a fair price for a New on the crate 454 LS-7 New in 1970

  32. Pingback: Big Block Drop Top! 1970 Corvette 454 Four-Speed

  33. Rick Harley says:

    I just acquired a 1990 32” Allegro motorhome with a 454 power plant. I need to resurrect it after sitting a decade, but could not find any listings for the vehicle for fuel, oil, and air filters. It did not have the usual manuals, so how can I find this info.

  34. Dennis Northcutt says:

    This is great. Alots of great useful information

  35. Keith Ming says:

    I have 72 GMC Sprint SP LS6 454 cowl hood I got my 1st ticket in that car and many more threw the years my dad was 2nd owner now its sitting out I have to find the time before I die and restore it

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