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Old 10-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
mickleft
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Default 454 bbc towing upgrade power

87 chevy truck. 454 tbi. looking to improve torq for towing. what is your suggestion? hopefully keep it under $1000. Thanks
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

Standard stuff here. Intake and cam swap, and a free flowing exhaust.........Not a lot of dollars but nice gains with the right parts.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19135
http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic...28801&start=15
http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=211813
All great info threads, the last link should help on the cam. I would say free flowing exhaust, headers. Then compression and cam. If its within your budget possibly a switch to a head like 781 or 049s.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

Can you remove the cats/alter the exhaust with out screwing up the tbi?no smog tests here.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

removing the catalists

will open up a whole new spectrum....
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

What gears are in the truck.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

i believe 3.73, i do not want to change gears. so removing cats will not affect the tbi? thanks
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

reprogram the computer when not hooked up to the cats....

4.10 / 4.11 gear works well with a common overdrive ratio and will still be in torque range when you drop down to direct third gear to get over a mountain or hill...

whether it is a ford ( dana type) or a gmc chevy ETC..
I wished that there was a gear ratio in between the 3.73 and the 4.10....!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

4.10's are a 10% increase in torque across the board.
4.56 would be 20% or about the equivalent of another 100ft.lbs in the engine....

3.73's are not suitable for what you're doing.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

how do you reprogram a the stock computer?speaking of reprogramming. found aftermarket tuners by jet.any experience with these or are these bs for a non turbo gasser? I have a factory turbo 400 trans.

Last edited by mickleft; 10-28-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

I have to say leave the 3.73 gears for anything unless your in the mountains. I towed with a 84 suburban dually tons of race cars and large boats here in Florida with a 468 peanut port head motor, TH400 and 3.73 geared 14 bolt with 235/85/16 tires. That thing did great and the torque was perfect. Not a tbi but I had cleaned up peanut port heads, about 9 to 1 compression, a edelbrock intake with holley carb (did the same with the q jet) and a comp cams with 550 lift. Food for thought.



Old photo before lowering the front to match the rear.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

The TBI PCM can be reprogramed by a custom burnt chip, replacing the factory prom chip.

I have a '91 K2500 7.4 tbi 4 speed stick that I have done most all the external mods you can do, chip, intake, adj. fuel reg, ignition, and headers with true duals no cats. I had to replaced the single wire o2 sensor to a heated 3 wire to get it to run smoothly especially when cold.

Its way better than it was stock, but still falls on its face after 3500rpm. I think a cam change and head swap will be next.
I had an '89 Suburban that had all the same mods as above plus big valve 781s and a hyd. roller cam. It had some serious grunt to it over a stock 7.4.

A pic of my "poor mans" duramax...

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Last edited by MelloYello; 10-29-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

Mello, never heard of a 4 speed stick in that body style truck. Is this possibly a Canada only option?
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

1991 was the last year it could have been an option according to the rpo codes. It wasn't a very popular one thats for sure!
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: 454 bbc towing upgrade power

Sounds like the peanut heads are a problem and also low compression. Should I try and have the heads "ported" or go with a better factory head? Will improve the exhaust by getting rid of the cats. Will the tbi need to be reprogrammed or maybe get rid of tbi and run a carb? I have an intake and carb for a bbc.
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