1997 Vortec Engine Specificationsby Vern Hee
The original Chevy Vortec engine was built in 1986, a 4.3 L V-6 engine. The 7.4 L 7400 V-8 Vortec engine was produced from 1996 to 2001 and was a fourth-generation Vortec engine. The Vortec technology comes from the word "vortex." Chevy placed a vortex or mini tornado within the combustion chamber to efficiently blend gas and air together. Vortec engines are the base engine used in all Chevy cars and trucks and come in a variety of horsepower and torque ratings.
Big Block Engine
During 1997 Chevy still had a big block engine, the 454 cubic inch. The Chevy 7400 7.4 L L29 was based on the 454 cubic inch V-8 engine. The engine was designed for power and was a monster gas eater that got 15 mpg at best. The 454 cubic inch engine was derived from the Chevy big block 454 cubic engine of 1974. It was rated at 290 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, with 410 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 rpm. The engine had a bore and stroke of 4.24 inches by 3.99 inches. The 7400 has an overhead valve configuration with two valves per cylinder. The 7400 engine was featured in the Chevy line of trucks, such as the 2500.
Vortec Small Block
The king of the Vortec small block engines during 1997 was the 5.7 L 5700 L31 engine, which was produced from 1996 to 2002. The V-8 engine had an overhead valve configuration, with two valves per cylinder. The truck engine was rated at 255 horsepower and 330 foot-pounds of torque. The 5700 engine appeared in the 1997 Chevrolet Express, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet/GMC full-size trucks and the Cadillac Escalade. This engine was replaced in 2002 by the 5.3 5300.
The premier Vortex engine during 1997 was the 4300 or 4.3 L V-6 90-degree engine that replaced the Chevrolet 250 in all light truck applications. The engine had a bore and stroke of 4.0 inches by 3.48 inches. The LB4 was the first Vortec engine to employ multi-port fuel injection, and this engine was rated at 200 horsepower. Chevy used this engine on the Chevy Astro, GMC Safari, Chevy S-10, Oldsmobile Bravada and the Chevy C/K. The 4300 engine was retired in 1998 by a newer 4300.
Vern Hee started writing professionally in 2009. He works as a reporter for the "Pahrump Valley Times." Hee taught elementary school for eight years and worked in the landscape construction field for 20 years. Hee holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Berkeley and is a veteran of the United States Navy.