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How Do I Get More Power out of a Chevy 454?

by Aram Khayatpour

The Chevy 454 engine is one of the classic big block engines produced by American car manufacturers during the period of time known as the muscle car era. Car performance enthusiasts use engines such as these to power hot rods and street racing cars; because of this, many 454 owners are seeking a way to pump more horsepower out of these already powerful engines. Though these engines are already made with performance in mind, there are many upgrades you can use to get more power out of them.

Step 1

Improve the fuel and air intake system. The more fuel and air you are able to get into your Chevy big block engine, the more power it will be able to produce. By replacing your stock carburetors and air filters with high-performance parts, you will be able to greatly increase its power.

Step 2

Replace the stock exhaust system with a high-flow system. By changing the stock headers and mufflers attached to your 454 with high-flow parts, you will be able to increase the speed that air flows out of your engine and the power it creates.

Step 3

Replace the stock timing parts with ones tuned for racing. By changing the stock spark plug wires, distributor cap, and camshaft with racing-tuned parts you will give the engine more aggressive timing and enable it to produce much more power than it did before.

Bolt on a supercharger. A supercharger will use your engine's power to compress the air before it enters the combustion chamber. The compression allows much more air to enter the chamber, which leads to much bigger explosions at combustion, which will in turn translate to huge power gains.

About the Author

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  • Motor - Hot Rod image by Jeffrey Zalesny from