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Old October 25th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #1
jlaber383
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Default 1984 K10 Big Block Options

In my '84 K10, my drivetrain is 350 sbc/SM465/208 with 3.73 gears in my 10 bolt axles. I'm looking at dropping in a big block; either a 366 Chevy or a 455 Buick. I really like the 366 and 455 for being low rpm/High torque motors. I'm not looking for great fuel economy (hoping to stay at 11+ mpg), I'm looking for reliability,longevity, and tons of low end torque to ensure the truck would do anything I would ever want it to. I really like the 366 because of its forged crank, industrial usage, and from what I understand, it has extra cooling capacity. However I also really like the Buick 455 due to what I've seen about its fuel economy and the 500 ft-lbs of torque right off idle. My question is what would it take to fit either of these motors into my K10? I know the 366 would be easier than the 455 (due to the bell housing change with the 455). Could I use the same motor mounts from my 350 sbc? would I need special manifolds/headers? would I need to add leafs in the front due to the weight? Could I put some sort of TBI on both? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old October 25th, 2013, 12:08 PM   #2
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My question is what would it take to fit either of these motors into my K10? Big blocks came as an option in the K20-K30. so it should physically fit in there without issue. I don't remember if the frame's are different.
Could I use the same motor mounts from my 350 sbc? Not sure, check jegs/summit/rock auto
would I need special manifolds/headers? Depends on how you want to route the exhaust. See answer to question 1
would I need to add leafs in the front due to the weight? doubtful. you are adding 200 ish lbs? it might drop it 1/4" depending on spring rate.
Could I put some sort of TBI on both? Yes. depends on how much you know, how much your are willing to learn, or how much money you are willing to spend.

hope this helps.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Great! Thanks Lousypirate
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Old October 26th, 2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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The 455 is money start to finish it is an expensive and heavy engine to play with. If you want cheap torque look at a cadiliac 68 or 69 472. You can find an entire running moving car for around $800 with a 472/th400.

The bad news about this engine first.

Issue: Timing chain. They used plastic between the gears to keep it quiet. This causes bits of plastic to flake off into the pan and the chain gets sloppy.

Fix:Install roller chain bumping up timing while you at it for a few more ft/lbs. If you only do 1 modification make it the timing chain.


Issue: Lubrication. The pickup sits very close to the bottom of the pan and can suck down against it at high rpm. The oil pump is very touchy and you must use the propergasketor you will have low psi. In stock form the oil pasageways are tight. The engine lubricates from the front back and rpmabove 3500 the rear cylinders are poorly lubricated.

Fix: If you keep the engine under 3500, weld a slug in the pan, and use the proper oil pup gasket you will be fine.


Issue: Valve springs/rockers. They loose up with hard acceleration and high rpm in stock form.

Fix: Install rockers, caps, rods, springs from MTS with arp bolts.


Issue: Headers, intake, and points. They flow bad and are very heavy. No need for points.

Fix: The spark plugs are at a steep angle letting you keep the header up high sliding for more room for your steering shaft. MTS sells truck headers but not for cheap. You can get Hei out of older 472 but you will still need to recurve it for the difference in compression and who knows the condition. I found a guy off of eBay who sells the later style hei with all the wear parts replaced and curved to work with the compression cap and all for around $250 to my door. Eldelbrick sells a intake that is not only lighter it flows better.


Issue:Center drop oil pan and forward facing filter. This makes changing the filter and if needed droping the pan easy in the car. It will cause clearence issues with your front axle depending on lift.

Fix: Install short oil pump and relocate filter. Use a pan from a different 472 with longer pickup.





OK now the good stuff.

MTS sells direct bolt in kits for your truck. It will drop in without issue once the above clearence issues above are fixed. Call advanced to get an adapter to bolt the long tail th400 to your transfer case.

Weight. With headers, aluminum intake, aluminum water pump, mini starter, alternator and power steering the dressed weight with fluids and stock heads will be under 660 lbs.


Bottom end: The bottom end on a 68/69 is very tough and capible of Huge power without issue. People that rev these high often score a rear rod bearings. Keep it under 3500 and don't give that bottom end a second thought.


Power: This is why I talk this engine up. In stock form it puts out 500lbs. That's enough for most people. In my case though once I put around 20 k on the 500lb engine. I am changing out the restrictive heads, bore, and installing a different cam which will unleash the potential giving me a reliable Dyno proven 640lbs@3300 with under $5,000 invested.
That is 640ft/lbs in a naturally aspriated engine running pump gas weighing under 700 pounds wet.

You can do this with a 500, 455, 442, and so on. But plan on doubling the cost while adding to the weight to do it.

Just my opinion here feel free to do as you wish.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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The 366 (BBC) will use the same motor mounts and bell housing as a SBC, problem is it is a Tall Deck block and will reqire either spacers are a tall deck intake manifold. It will also require a tall deck distributor.

If you want to go the 455 route, look at an Olds 455. Less expensive to build than a Buick, tons of low end torque and it takes the same motor mounts used on the 350 diesels put in the chevy trucks back in the late 1970's.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the caddy info cerial. I was thinking about going that option as well (472/500), but due to lack of support, parts availability on that engine, and knowledge about it, I just figured it would be better in end to go with something a little more mainstream. I really appreciate the input though.

Iggy, thanks for that about the motor mounts & bell housing, that's some good news. About the deck height, I knew it was a tall deck (like its 427 counterpart), but I keep forgetting that i can't put any regular distributor on it, and likewise with the manifold. Since I'll be mating it to a SM465, what clutch set up would I need? I'm assuming I would use a 366/Big Block flywheel, the current pressure plate, the current clutch plate, and current throwout bearing??

With regards to the 455 route, I was thinking about an olds, but I'm scared of its oiling issues past 3500 rpm. Maybe this is a cheaper fix than what I thought? I also thought the buick made more torque than the olds as well. Thanks again for your help.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 07:03 AM   #7
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GearDrive might be able to shed some more light on the Caddy. He has one in his chevy.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 07:50 AM   #8
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Torque or not, you do NOT want to use a 366. They are small bore engines, odd pistons (4 rings instead of 3), and almost anything "performance" would be custom/expensive.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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The 366 and 427 with s 2-peaice rear seal use the same flywheel as a 2-peaice 305/350 (internally ballanced). As for Olds and oiling issues, I have owned a dozen over the years and never had an issue, I have even had a couple of 455 Olds go over 300,000 miles without being torn down and had no issues with oiling. The big issue is the non-adjustable valvetrain, but it can be converted.

Back in 1970, the Buick GS Stage 1 made more troque than the Olds 442 W30 by a few lb/ft. Olds 455 are famous for torque, they make more torque than a 454 Chevy, but they do not rev above 5000 rpm unless you want to spend a lot of money. Although parts for an Olds 455 are more than a Chevy 454, they are less than a Buick 455.

I like Olds and Buick motors, both in the 455 stock versions make a ton of torque. The swap would be a lot easier if you went with a Big Block Chevy as parts are readily available and cost less. If you want a tall deck medium duty truck engine, I see 427 truck engines for sale all the time and they usually are very inexpensive. A short deck 454 would be the easiest swap.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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Ok great! So it really sounds like the 366 would literally sit right in? Probably just double check for engine bay clearancing (when actually installing) due to it being a tall deck?

Oh cool! Glad to hear you have had good luck with them. I've just heard from a few people on the oiling issue and have always been weary. I'm totally with you on an olds 455 making more torque than a 454, hell they had to make a 5000 lb+ car scoot down the road.

Yeah down here in the lower thumb there are a fair amount of the tall decks around, probably because people think they're boat anchors. I feel that if I use it in a similar fashion or application that they were originally designed for, I should have no issues with them.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaber383 View Post
Ok great! So it really sounds like the 366 would literally sit right in? Probably just double check for engine bay clearancing (when actually installing) due to it being a tall deck?

Oh cool! Glad to hear you have had good luck with them. I've just heard from a few people on the oiling issue and have always been weary. I'm totally with you on an olds 455 making more torque than a 454, hell they had to make a 5000 lb+ car scoot down the road.

Yeah down here in the lower thumb there are a fair amount of the tall decks around, probably because people think they're boat anchors. I feel that if I use it in a similar fashion or application that they were originally designed for, I should have no issues with them.
The big thing I'd be worried about with clearance would be headers/exhaust. Being a tall deck, the headers will sit higher, so a header that's actually made for a BBC application for your vehicle may not work correctly.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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yeah I saw another post online about a 366 swap and there was some concern with that as well, along with the valve cover/brake booster clearance. There's a video on youtube that a guy made about swapping one in to a similar truck as mine and he claims he didn't even have room for power steering. I just have a hard time believing that because you could order a k10 with a 454, and I'm pretty sure there's no difference between the 10's, 20's, and 30's other than axles and springs.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 10:47 AM   #13
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Between the tall deck and short deck the only difference is the tall deck is 0.4" taller. This MAY cause a problem clearing the brake booster or the A/C box. Also, most trucks that got big blocks also had Hydro-boost power brakes rather than vacuum. As long as it clears, you should be fine.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #14
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Ok cool thanks! Once I start the swap, I'll post in the rig build section. Should be pretty interesting, even if for illustration purposese alone. Thanks for the help everyone!
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