Chevrolet 454 Engine Specs

Updated April 17, 2017

The 454, built by Chevrolet, is a 7.3-litre V8 big block engine. Chevrolet ceased to use this engine in cars in 1974, but continued to use them in trucks like the Suburban and the C10 at least until 1996 in various forms. The 454 is one of the most commonly used big block engines.


The 454 big block engine received its designation from its displacement, which was 454 cubic inches. Displacement refers to the total volume of an engine's cylinders, a general indication of the engine's size and power. Displacement represents the total volume of air displaced by the pistons inside all of the engine's cylinders when they move from their topmost position to their bottommost position.

Bore, Stroke and Compression Ratio

The 1978 454 big block engine had a bore of 4.25 inches and a stroke of 4.0 inches. Bore refers to the diameter of the internal surface of the cylinders that house and seal a moving ring-and-piston assembly. Stroke refers to the maximum distance the piston travels from its topmost position to its bottommost position within the cylinder.

The engine had a compression ratio of 10:1. A higher compression ratio indicates that an engine can produce more power.

Horsepower and Torque

The 1978 454 big block engines produced 230 horsepower and 385 foot pounds of torque. Torque is a measurement of how much work an engine is capable of performing; horsepower is a rate-based measurement of how quickly it can perform that work.

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About the Author

Anne Davis writes pieces on domestic and international travel, automotive maintenance, education and health. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and history, and is pursuing graduate study in a related field.