Specifications of a 1987 Chevy 454

by Anne Davis
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Chevrolet began producing its big block engine series in the 1950s and 1960s. The most common Chevy big block is the 454 cubic inch displacement engine. This engine was used in cars until 1974, after which time it was placed exclusively in Chevy trucks, such as the Suburban and the C10, until the late 1990s.


The 1987 Chevy 454 engine displaces 454 cubic inches, or 7.4 liters. Displacement refers to the total amount of air that the pistons, which operate inside the cylinders, displace when they operate. It is a general indication of the engine's size and power capabilities.

Bore and Stroke

In 1987, the 454 had a bore of 4.25 inches, and a stroke of 4.00 inches. When discussing an internal combustion engine, bore refers to the diameter of the engine's cylinders, which house a moving ring-and-piston assembly, and stroke refers to the distance that the pistons inside the cylinders move from top to bottom.


The 454 V8 engine in 1987 produced 230 horsepower and 385 ft.-lbs. of torque. When discussing automobile engines, torque refers to the total amount of work that an engine can perform, while horsepower is how quickly it can perform that work.


The engine block on a 1987 454 engine can be identified by its casting number, 1401544. The cylinder heads feature a casting number of either 14096188 or 14097088. These casting numbers are important if you are purchasing a used 454 engine, as they will allow you to identify that the correct components are installed.

Torque Specifications

In the 1987 Chevy 454, the bolts joining the crankshaft to the engine block require 95 ft.-lbs. of torque. The cylinder head bolts require 80 ft.-lbs. of torque to join to the engine block, and the oil pan bolts to the engine block with 25 ft.-lbs. of torque.

The exhaust manifold bolts to the cylinder head with 20 ft.-lbs. of torque and the intake manifold to the cylinder head with 30 ft.-lbs. The oil-pump-cover-to-oil-pump bolts screw to 6.67 ft.-lbs., while the spark plugs join to the cylinder head with 15 ft.-lbs. of torque. To prevent leaks, the oil pan drain plug should receive 20 ft.-lbs. of torque.

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