Since 1911, Chevrolet has been manufacturing and improving trucks that are now widely loved and renowned by the general public. Quite a few of these used to be built with a 454 engine under the hood, an engine that has become rather famous. The only question now is can you still find vehicles with this particular engine?
The 454 engine could be found in most if not all of Chevrolet’s truck models. The 454 was also quite common in passenger vehicles until the year of 1975 when it was mostly eliminated from all models. Most of Chevy’s old trucks continued to use the 454 engine until 1996.
If you are a vintage car enthusiast, then learning more about the 454 might be both an entertaining and enlightening experience. Below you will find a bit more info on the 454 including which vehicles had one, where you can buy one, how much it costs, and more. Hopefully, this information will answer any questions you may have about the 454 engine.
454 Engine: The History
The 454 engine is something of a legend in the automotive world and was originally released back in the 1960s-1970s. The 454 was specifically designed for Chevrolet’s high-performance vehicles such as the Sprint, Caprice, Corvette, and many, many others. They were given generally for what was referred to as muscle cars back during the muscle car wars.
These engines were huge and stocky and built to be the “workhorses” of Chevy’s high-performance vehicles and C/K trucks. Many of the earliest models were built to crank out 425 horsepower which was a pretty impressive feat back then. The average torque level was somewhere around 445.
There are/were three different variations of 454 that were most commonly used: the LS5, LS6, and LS7. The LS5 and LS6 were both used in consumer cars and trucks and could pull impressive levels of horsepower and torque. The LS7 (which could pump out 500 or more horsepower) was not manufactured for public use. Rather, it was used mostly for the highest-performers that Chevrolet produced, the Corvette and Chevelle to name the two most popular ones.
Unfortunately, even legends are not always eternally alive. The 454 was completely discontinued in 2009, though it ceased to be a common commodity in Chevrolet’s vehicles after 1996. Thanks to the oil embargo and restrictions on emissions, the 454 became downgraded in a way.
The engine’s horsepower was significantly decreased and with it, the overall power that the engine could produce. In 1979, the 454 was exclusively restricted to use in heavy-duty trucks rather than half-tons. The year 2009 is when the final 454 engine was produced. After that time it was wheeled off to the GM Heritage Center where it has remained on display.
Where Can I Find a 454 and For How Much?
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself why in the world you would need to buy a 454 of any kind if it can’t be used with any newer cars. For all you car enthusiasts out there who need something to work on or display in your shop, a 454 would make a fantastic centerpiece for any vintage car memorabilia you might have sitting around the place.
Why else might you buy a 454 engine? Well, believe it or not, a 454 could be quite valuable someday. In fact, there are many out there that are valuable now. You can usually find 454s on eBay for anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 or even more than that. The price will usually be determined by the model and the condition it’s in. You will, of course, need to be very discerning when purchasing one. Pictures can be quite deceiving.
Pros and Cons
Keep in mind that there are a few cons of having a 454 (unless of course, you’re just using it for decoration). Understanding the pros and cons is important since it will help you determine whether or not you need a new truck (or just a new engine). Here are some basic ones.
First of all, 454s are quite powerful. As seen above, few can match the 454 as far as horsepower and torque are concerned. If you’re all about having a truck with some serious kick to it, you’ll never be happier than with one of these bad boys. A 454 will certainly give you a roar under the hood.
454s, while old, can still say something about reliability. They are tough old geezers that are capable of pulling trucks through thick and thin. If nothing else, buy one if you want to have a vintage car part to boast about to your friends.
454s are older models and often have startup issues. One user recommended listening to the truck when you start it up to see if it’s making any strange noises or behaving oddly. If that happens, you will need to thoroughly check it for problems. Those kinds of issues need to be attended to rapidly, especially since 454s are much older and a tad more unpredictable.
A lot of 454s have faulty injectors as well and because of their age, they often have reliability issues. If your 454’s injectors are indeed bad, it is likely your truck will start leaking fuel into the cylinder. Keep in mind that changing those injectors can be a bit of a royal pain.
It will take a lot of digging to reach those injectors so even if you have basic repair and maintenance skills, it’ll be a chore. You’ll know you need new injectors if your keys crank and crank and either nothing happens or something explodes. Try not to press your luck too much here.
Additionally, 454s are major gas guzzlers, unlike any you’ve probably ever seen before. They’re powerful and strong, sure, but you’re going to spend a whole lot of money on that fuel tank, for sure.