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Old 08-20-2006, 01:48 AM   #1
TravisH
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caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Toying with the idea of putting a big block in my truck and these two are the best candidates. I figure I'll be around the same $$$ after rebuilding a caddy as getting a new 454 from GM, but what are some opinions on them? A write up I've seen on the caddy said to reuse its transmission but can I stick a TKO-600 behind it?

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2006, 03:24 AM   #2
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Stock for stock, the caddy will out torque any 454 you'll get your hands on. (talking truck 454, not Chevelle 454)
I have yet to rebuild a cad motor yet (plan on starting soon) but I highly doubt it'd cost more than a crate 454. Even with some way overpriced performance parts, I still think you'd come in under the crate price.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Do you happen to have the numbers on a caddy? The 454 I'm looking at is 425 hp/ 500 ft lbs

Machining costs around me are rediculous. I had three different shops write up quotes on rebuilding/boring my 350 into a 383 that all ended up at $4500 for the longblock. (budget pricing not forged internals)

Say I did go for the caddy, is it somewhat specialized or should any shop be able to tackle it?

Thanks for the help
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Old 08-20-2006, 03:29 PM   #4
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Here is a great caddy board.
http://www.cowboyseven.us/forum/index.php
You'll see me there, i go by longhorn man...who woulda guessed?
Some of the early 500's were 400 horse and 550 torque, all at very streetable low RPMs.
Even the later smoggers were monsters, the lowest rated one (these are net, so it's apples to oranges in comparison) 210 horse and 360 torque. Which, those numberes seem low, but trust me, they'll plant you in the seat while your U-joints cuss at you.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:00 PM   #5
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Over the last 8-10 years, the Caddy aftermarket is growing, but no where near the BBc aftermarket.

Running a Caddy is different, but until the price of parts comes down to the BBC numbers, I'd go BBC.

Some examples I can think of..heads, headers, intakes, I dont know what kind of truck you have, but engine mounts for a BBC were probably an option for you truck, and makes an easy fit...same with headers, i/e no specialized things that cost dollars to make and fab up.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:37 PM   #6
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

While the parts aren't cheap for a caddy... I've never seen a cheap part for a BBC either. Heck, I gave away my old 402 when i saw the prices of parts. PPl pay STUPID money for BBC stuff.
The cad motor you can have in almost any junk yard for 200 bucks or less. The heads really don't need replaced onless damaged, they flow fine. The headers is a sore spot to me... I love (good) headers and they are kinda spendy to have them in a caddy powered anything. However, manifolds do work fine, and many ppl prefer them. An aftermarket intake for a cad is 250 bucks... never bothered looking at BBC intakes, but I'm sure ther aren't a whole lot cheaper.
If you want low buck, bone stock is good, and still makes a butt load of power, and is drop dead reliable.
Or a small block chevy is cheap too.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:38 PM   #7
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Oh, and fabbing motor mounts is really quite simple. I used a plazma cutter, but I coulda used a hack saw. Other than that, no special tools were used in my conversion, and all parts have GM part numbers on them except the coil, carb, and air filter.
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:03 PM   #8
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

I talking about simplicity of the setup. I've made MM's out of 2inch box tubing, but (probably like you) I have a chapsaw, plasma cutter, 4 different welders, mill and a lathe, so nothing is out of reach, but over time I'd rather not use any of those tools mentioned to just put an engine in a vehicle.

Im not knocking the Caddy engines, I ran a 472 years ago in a '31 Dodge PU, just for the coolness factor.

Also, stock vs stock isn't a good comparison, I'll put my "stock" LS5 454 in my '57 up against ANY stock 500 Caddy in a truck

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Old 08-20-2006, 09:23 PM   #9
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

I know...that's why i said;
Quote:
Stock for stock, the caddy will out torque any 454 you'll get your hands on. (talking truck 454, not Chevelle 454)
I have never spoken to anyone who has towed with both engines that prefered the chevy engine.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:12 PM   #10
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Mines not from a Chevelle
It has towed before, albeit wimpy stuff like horse trailor and the like.

But I'm not a-towing, and if you're running a 500CID engine with 4.11's, and a TH350, neither are you.

Besides, original post didn't mention his goals...you posted yours, I posted mine.

Are either of use incorrect? No.

I lean on the side of getting there quickly
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:12 PM   #11
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

The more then afew folks i know that went over to a caddy engine-love the darn things-but ended up costing more then they originally though-with the rebuid and change over and all, but still said it was worth it over a crate big block. My self, i would tell you to go 383 stroker 550 lb tourque at 480 hp or there abouts after being dynoed 4 times;; and gets 15 mpg on the highway and 10mpg towing a 5 ton trailer and the nos shot at 25hp for towing is lots of fun when big fords pull up...go with the caddy-all my friends that did are now caddy engine crazy;;;or go sbc stroker-forget the bbc great engines but everyone has them....
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:41 PM   #12
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Mike7 View Post
I talking about simplicity of the setup. I've made MM's out of 2inch box tubing, but (probably like you) I have a chapsaw, plasma cutter, 4 different welders, mill and a lathe, so nothing is out of reach, but over time I'd rather not use any of those tools mentioned to just put an engine in a vehicle.

Im not knocking the Caddy engines, I ran a 472 years ago in a '31 Dodge PU, just for the coolness factor.

Also, stock vs stock isn't a good comparison, I'll put my "stock" LS5 454 in my '57 up against ANY stock 500 Caddy in a truck
unless you got money in the LS5 its a step above a paperweight
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:07 PM   #13
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

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unless you got money in the LS5 its a step above a paperweight

Lol,

Coming from a guy who's sporting a 250 L6

I'll take my paper weight over your boat anchor any day.

Last edited by 5Mike7; 08-20-2006 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:24 AM   #14
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Ok, to clear some things up:
I have a 72 thats going to be my fun truck, biggest load will be a quad or a small party trailer.
Fabrication is not in any way a deterent or limit. My frame is painted but if I'm going to change anything now is the time.
The exact 454 I'm looking at is the GMPP 454 HO with hydraulic roller cam and forged internals. If I get a caddy it will be rebuilt regardless of whether it needs it. I'm doing it right the first time

Price is not a major factor. I haven't looked into the cost of rebuilding a caddy but I figure I will spend approximately the same money as the 454 so its a scratch. If one does end up being $1000 more it only means I have to save a little more. Wouldn't the front accessories for the caddy be roughly the same as a BBC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALASKA ALUMINUM BEAR View Post
The more then afew folks i know that went over to a caddy engine-love the darn things-but ended up costing more then they originally though
So does everything. Its all going to cost more than I think

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALASKA ALUMINUM BEAR View Post
My self, i would tell you to go 383 stroker 550 lb tourque at 480 hp or there abouts after being dynoed 4 times;; and gets 15 mpg on the highway and 10mpg towing a 5 ton trailer and the nos shot at 25hp for towing is lots of fun when big fords pull up...
A 383 was my original intent but if I go big block, nows the time. Those numbers are pretty impressive, would you mind posting the details?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALASKA ALUMINUM BEAR View Post
...go with the caddy-all my friends that did are now caddy engine crazy;;;or go sbc stroker-forget the bbc great engines but everyone has them....
Yeah, the cadillac definitely has a bit of uniqueness to it, but I don't care. I'm not trying to fit in with the crowd or stand out, I'm building what I want. SBC strokers aren't exactly rare either. Everyone may have a BBC but you said yourself they're great engines and the popularity drives the aftermarket support.


Longhorn Man, what did you mean by the ratings being net? Is the vehicle weight subtracted from the numbers or something? How would you go about getting the gross values?

Thanks for all the replies so far guys, they've been really informative. Lets try and not turn this into a pissing match
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:04 AM   #15
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

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Lol,

Coming from a guy who's sporting a 250 L6

I'll take my paper weight over your boat anchor any day.

well lets see, the real 454, the ls6 was a runner of a motor, compression dropped like what 3 points in your motor the LS5. stock you had what maybe 350hp on a good day.

I never said my 250 was a powerhouse, your just braggin on a motor that just wasnt all that stellar
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:53 AM   #16
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Mines from a '70 Vette, "sticker" rated at 390HP on the aircleaner. Never have looked at Tq specs for it, I'd guess in the 450-475 range? INternally my engine is still factory, heads were off once for a valve job, minor port clean up and I run the old Edelbrock intake that equivalant to a Perfromer now I guess, along with a Holley 780 vac secondary carb

I think the LS6 from the same year had 11:1 CR and somewhere in the 450/460HP range, mines 10.25:1, in '71 I think the LS6 dropped to about the same as the 70 LS5. Chevellles were probably rated lower just so GM could get the Vette as "Top Dog" in performance numbers.

The only thing holding back the LS5 from '70 is i'ts way under cammed (and real lazy ramps) for the CR, but back then with leaded higher octane gas, there wasn't any issues. The heads flow real good for factory, exhaust with the long castiron manifolds flow as good as shorty headers do. Just a decent cam with faster ramps, even leaving it flat tappet, would yeild another 40-50 HP and still idle like a Honda.

Besides, I shouldn't have made fun of your 250, I still run a 235 in my '59, and wouldn't pull it for a V8 swap unless I was forced to
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:30 PM   #17
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

I went thru this same exact decision process a few years ago. Obviously from my screenname, I picked the 454HO crate. Why? My truck was a BBC from the factory, so the mounts were already there. It also had the Chevy bolt pattern TH400 which just needed a minor 'freshening'. Switching to the Caddy motor would have required either an adapter or a BOP pattern trans.

Some other things I didn't like about the Caddy motors are the valvetrain, lack of off the shelf headers, and the oil filter placement. The stock valvetrain is supposedly a major limitation on the upper rpm limit of these motors. But I think there are kits to beef up the rocker arms to take the stress of higher rpm levels. And for headers, supposedly you can use BBC headers after you cut off the head flange and weld it to a Caddy flange. The oil filter placement is just a personal preferance thing mainly, but it could result in interferance issues in some chassis.

It is definately an interesting motor. I personally just went the easy route and stuck with Chevy.
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:37 PM   #18
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

The caddy is a great stump puller in stock form and if you could find a complete setup and were willing to do the work to swap it in great. Most people would like to do as little work as possible in that case a 454 will drop right in and everything will fit.

In the real world a 454 is a better engine and capible of more then the 500. Not that the 500 is less of an engine it's just not as practical for everyone.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:28 PM   #19
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

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Originally Posted by 5Mike7 View Post
but engine mounts for a BBC were probably an option for you truck, and makes an easy fit...same with headers, i/e no specialized things that cost dollars to make and fab up.
Like everything else BBC related, the motor mounts are stupid expensive.
In the 67 - 72 trucks, there were 2 styles of BBC mounts. The 68 - 71 style, and the 72 only.
The early ones, the stands are pretty cheap. Anyone should be able to get a set to there dorr for less than 50 bucks, however, once you locate new motor mounts for them, you'll pay through the nose, since they were discontinued like 20 years ago or something liek that.
Then, in 72 they made a much better interlocking set up. The mounts themselves are dirt cheap, and can be had at any parts house in america. May have to order them, but you'll get them in a day or two. HOWEVER, the one year only towers... you guessed it.... STUPID expensive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Mike7 View Post
I talking about simplicity of the setup. I've made MM's out of 2inch box tubing, but (probably like you) I have a chapsaw, plasma cutter, 4 different welders, mill and a lathe, so nothing is out of reach, but over time I'd rather not use any of those tools mentioned to just put an engine in a vehicle.
I own none of those tools. I DID use a plazma cutter to modify my engine stands, but it could have been done with a cutt off wheel or even a hack saw if you have no air tools. I made sure to do my swap with 100% GM parts for many reasons, but to include the fact that my efforts can be duplicated by anyone with basic hand tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
Wouldn't the front accessories for the caddy be roughly the same as a BBC?

Longhorn Man, what did you mean by the ratings being net? Is the vehicle weight subtracted from the numbers or something? How would you go about getting the gross values?
Thanks for all the replies so far guys, they've been really informative. Lets try and not turn this into a pissing match[/QUOTE]
The accessory brackets for a caddy are still on 90% of the caddys that you'll find in the junk yard. They have 2 bassic styles with very little variations, so you don't have to match everything up and may so much attention, if you get the early style, it'll match all the early style, and all the later style, willmatch the later style.
BBC acc brackets will make you want to cry when you price them. I've seen healthy SBC COMPLETE engines got for less. (this is one of the areas where I justify the "stupid money" statement I made earlier.
Price them, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Also, most any junk yard you walk into you'll find caddy accessorys. Good luck locating BBC ANYTHING in a junk yard.
As for the power output ratings, earlier engines (up to 71 or 72) were measured Gross... as are crate motors. When doing that, you can leave stuff off that you'll have in the vehicle. Stuff like air filters, exhaust, power steering pump, alt pump, loosen the belt for the power steering pump...
NET, ratings, which has been in use from the 71 or 72 chainge, up to date, is measured with EVERTHING on it, that is required for the vehicle. Full exhaust, including cattilitic converter if aplicable, all the vcaume operated wiz bang gizmos, all the accessories... etc.
It really drops the numbers considerably.
There is also "power at the wheels" which is when you pull your completed vehicle on the dyno and the power loss of the tranny and diff are figured into the equation. But no engines are advertised like that in stock form.



Quote:
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In the real world a 454 is a better engine and capible of more then the 500.
I can't agree with that statement.
I'll agree with a variant of that statement though...
there's more aftermarket parts, and some of the stock parts are cheaper for a 454 verses the 500.
I have NEVER in my life, opened up a 100,000 mile chevy big block, and seen a hint of cross hatch on the cylinder walls. This is almost common in the high nickle castings of the 425/472/500 cad motors. The cads are cast with an amazing lack of flash, which means less bits of crap to break off later.
If the chevy big block was supirior, then GM woulda painted it blue and installed it in the caddy, and saved a butt load of money. However, the BBC wasn't up to the task. Is the cad motor perfect, hell no, not by far. But I will never again own a BBC onless it is for numbers matching reasons only.


I'm not trying to degrade anyone's opinions, nor a pissing match. Just making sure some of the facts are clear... and most of what I have said here are facts, not a biased opinion.
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:37 PM   #20
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Hmmn, never thought to mention this, but since the original poster was considering a crate engine, maybe a 502 would be a better comparison?

Reagardless, there's really not much to do to stock SBC towers to make a BBC fit, been a few years since I put the 454 in my 57, but seem to recall I moved my mounts forward about a 1/2 inch. But not haveing done this in a newer truck, I'm unsure.

As far as accessory brackets, since he's considering a crate engine and won't be limited to the "old style" of V Belts, he can go modern (and better) with Serpentine setup, which should be plentiful from late 80's on up to late 90's.


I guess it depends on what you want to do with an engine in said vehicle.

I like going fast and quick when I think Big Inch gas engines, and since I'm partial to the General, it'll always be a BBC. If dollar for dollar you can build a Big Inch Caddy engine that will outrun a BBC engine, you have a very well kept secret
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:38 PM   #21
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

Caddy motor is unique to a fault. Parts availablity (locally) poor. Performance upgrade parts availability? Not even sure. One thing for sure is when considering a BBC you will have more options from mild to wild. Caddy motors are great......in Caddys. lol
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:42 PM   #22
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

I think I might build a badazz OLDS for my truck Really, as they go(in stock form), the Olds,caddy,poncho Big blocks pull the tork from waaay down south. This is due to the long stroke....455 olds is a 4 1/4" stroke, & the Cad is longer than that. A BB chev 454 is 4" even on the stroke, so its not to hard to see why the "other" bigblocks make so much tork way down low(nice hauler mills) having run both Olds & caddy, the Olds is still my favorite big block(just my choice)......if you guys really dig a 401 Rambler, go for it! Be sure to post picks of the mounts tho best of fun, L
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:13 PM   #23
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

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I think I might build a badazz OLDS for my truck Really, as they go(in stock form), the Olds,caddy,poncho Big blocks pull the tork from waaay down south. This is due to the long stroke....455 olds is a 4 1/4" stroke, & the Cad is longer than that. A BB chev 454 is 4" even on the stroke, so its not to hard to see why the "other" bigblocks make so much tork way down low(nice hauler mills) having run both Olds & caddy, the Olds is still my favorite big block(just my choice)......if you guys really dig a 401 Rambler, go for it! Be sure to post picks of the mounts tho best of fun, L

I cant wait to see what mine does in the truck, just picked up a olds 455 and startin the tear down now for the build
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:49 PM   #24
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

The olds 455 is great (notice my screen name), but has horsepower limitations. Even with BIG money you will struggle to get really good horsepower numbers. The last BB Olds (496 cid) I built made a shade over 625 hp and had aluminum rods, aftermarket heads with $$$ porting, full roller valvetrain, Dominator, etc. I had about 12K in that motor. On my income, I realized I cannot afford to continue to live (and race) in the land of Olds, as much as I love them. There are some GREAT folks on realoldspower.com by the way, even though I'm now considered a convert to the dark side for going to Chevy.

In stockish form however, they make NICE torque. They were designed to move land yachts. The factory stroke on the 455 is 4.25". Long stroke and small bore (4.125") makes for GRUNT.

The Caddy motors are the same scenario. I don't know the specs, but they were designed to move 6000 lb. luxury liners at a respectable speed and accelerate them with great purpose. As for the valve train issues and higher RPM's: that misses the who point of the Caddy motor. With 3.07 gears and a 500 caddy engine, you don't NEED to turn anny serious RPM's. You will already have tire smoking issues.

By the way, if you bolt the 472 heads on the 500 motor you gain a full point of compression. There was an article in a Car Craft or Hotrod mag a while back that laid it out.
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:11 PM   #25
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Re: caddy 500 vs gm crate 454

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The olds 455 is great (notice my screen name), but has horsepower limitations. Even with BIG money you will struggle to get really good horsepower numbers. The last BB Olds (496 cid) I built made a shade over 625 hp and had aluminum rods, aftermarket heads with $$$ porting, full roller valvetrain, Dominator, etc. I had about 12K in that motor. On my income, I realized I cannot afford to continue to live (and race) in the land of Olds, as much as I love them. There are some GREAT folks on realoldspower.com by the way, even though I'm now considered a convert to the dark side for going to Chevy.

In stockish form however, they make NICE torque. They were designed to move land yachts. The factory stroke on the 455 is 4.25". Long stroke and small bore (4.125") makes for GRUNT.

The Caddy motors are the same scenario. I don't know the specs, but they were designed to move 6000 lb. luxury liners at a respectable speed and accelerate them with great purpose. As for the valve train issues and higher RPM's: that misses the who point of the Caddy motor. With 3.07 gears and a 500 caddy engine, you don't NEED to turn anny serious RPM's. You will already have tire smoking issues.

By the way, if you bolt the 472 heads on the 500 motor you gain a full point of compression. There was an article in a Car Craft or Hotrod mag a while back that laid it out.


well im not goin for a big bad race motor, just a nice solid different powertrain in my c10
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