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Old 11-23-2019, 11:27 PM   #1
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Springfield , California
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454 engine replacement options

Hello all,

I have a very mint excella that started smoking heavily and then knocking. Id like to replace the 454 with something different.

Has anyone put in a GM 6.0L or 5.3L?

Displacement wise both are much smaller but either make more power than a boat anchor 1980’s 454.

The 6.0L would have 360hp and 380ft-lbs of torque. Packaging wise it’s a lot smaller. These can be had from a wrecker for $800 with very low miles from a 1 ton GM truck.

Another option is the GM 350 vortec 5.7L which has 255hp and 330ft-lbs of torque. My wrecker has one of these with low miles for $440 from a 3/4 ton GM truck.

I’m looking to repower on a budget but I do not see any information on anyone ditching the 454 for something smaller, newer and more powerful.

Thanks
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Air streamer View Post
Hello all,

I have a very mint excella that started smoking heavily and then knocking. Id like to replace the 454 with something different.

Has anyone put in a GM 6.0L or 5.3L?

Displacement wise both are much smaller but either make more power than a boat anchor 1980ís 454.

The 6.0L would have 360hp and 380ft-lbs of torque. Packaging wise itís a lot smaller. These can be had from a wrecker for $800 with very low miles from a 1 ton GM truck.

Another option is the GM 350 vortec 5.7L which has 255hp and 330ft-lbs of torque. My wrecker has one of these with low miles for $440 from a 3/4 ton GM truck.

Iím looking to repower on a budget but I do not see any information on anyone ditching the 454 for something smaller, newer and more powerful.

Thanks
The early 20ft motorhomes came with a 350, and the 454 was an optional extra. Several people have swapped for a crate 350HO (which has over 3x the power) but they are still non-electronic/carburetor units. The hassle with using the modern equivalent will not be the engine but the electronics to support it.
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Old 11-24-2019, 05:07 PM   #3
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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Hey,
As you probably know, a big block vs a small block motor differ in the performance they give you we need low end torque. You won't nessessarily get any better milage or performance from a small block. If she's starting to smoke, it could be as simple as new seals on the valves. They were known to get hard and crack. Maybe all you need is to freshen up the heads. That shouldn't t cost much more than 800 .oo. Do compression test, that lol tell the tale.
If you should decide to go with a small block , try putting a FiTech fuel injection system in. Super easy to install. Mine works great. Cost me I think 900.00 for the kit. You got to get a differant intake though, it looks like a ford manifold. All four holes are the same size. Or get an adapter plate. 20.00 bucks at any auto store. DJ
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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IMO not enough low end grunt with the 6.0ís. When itís time for me to replace my option would be the HT502 crate motor. Lots of low end torque and peak hp all below 3k. Rpm
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air streamer View Post
Hello all,

I have a very mint excella that started smoking heavily and then knocking. Id like to replace the 454 with something different.

Has anyone put in a GM 6.0L or 5.3L?

Displacement wise both are much smaller but either make more power than a boat anchor 1980ís 454.

The 6.0L would have 360hp and 380ft-lbs of torque. Packaging wise itís a lot smaller. These can be had from a wrecker for $800 with very low miles from a 1 ton GM truck.

Another option is the GM 350 vortec 5.7L which has 255hp and 330ft-lbs of torque. My wrecker has one of these with low miles for $440 from a 3/4 ton GM truck.

Iím looking to repower on a budget but I do not see any information on anyone ditching the 454 for something smaller, newer and more powerful.

Thanks


An LS motor would be an upgrade, particularly a 6.0 or 6.2 L.

One could be used without a computer with a crank triggered ignition and a new intake manifold to run a carburetor.

As mentioned above, computer kits to run the EFI are fairly inexpensive these days, and they can work very well.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:58 PM   #6
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Sandy , Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air streamer View Post
Hello all,

I have a very mint excella that started smoking heavily and then knocking. Id like to replace the 454 with something different.

Has anyone put in a GM 6.0L or 5.3L?

Displacement wise both are much smaller but either make more power than a boat anchor 1980’s 454.

The 6.0L would have 360hp and 380ft-lbs of torque. Packaging wise it’s a lot smaller. These can be had from a wrecker for $800 with very low miles from a 1 ton GM truck.

Another option is the GM 350 vortec 5.7L which has 255hp and 330ft-lbs of torque. My wrecker has one of these with low miles for $440 from a 3/4 ton GM truck.

I’m looking to repower on a budget but I do not see any information on anyone ditching the 454 for something smaller, newer and more powerful.

Thanks
The 6.0 was a purpose built truck motor that would have more low end torque than the others that you have listed and would do a better job. The actual replacement for the 454 was the 8.1 L or 496 ci that is, in my opinion, one of the best motors GM ever made. The 8.2 L 502 ci is a spinoff of that motor and used throughout the boat and hotrod industries. GM sells them as crate motors.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:06 PM   #7
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A 8.1 with an allison sounds good.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:13 PM   #8
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If you're going to go to the trouble to install a new engine then the extra effort for fuel injection will be well worth the while. Apart from increased gas mileage, you no longer have a carburettor washing down the cylinder walls everytime you drive down the road.
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