General Motors (GM) produced the 454 engine from 1970 until 2001. GM initially used the 454 big-block Chevy (BBC) in Chevrolet’s high-performance and full-size passenger cars and then added it as an engine option in 1973 and later Chevrolet and GMC trucks. GM developed variations of the BBC known as Mark IV, Gen V and Gen VI. The 1978 454, a member of the Mark IV BBC series of engines, was not available in passenger cars.

Engine Block Design

Original designed in the early 1960s, all big block Chevy engines were based on an eight-cylinder, 90-degree V configuration. With the exception of the aluminum ZL-1 engine, engine blocks were made of cast iron and used steel cylinder bore sleeves. Chevy produced the 1978 454 blocks with both two- and four-bolt main caps. Displacement occurred via a 4-inch crankshaft stroke and a 4.25-inch-diameter cylinder bore. The cylinder banks centered the bores on a 4.84-inch spacing.