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General Category => Tech - Help Area => Engine-Driveline-Wheels-Tires => Topic started by: 3500HD addict on May 29, 2010, 09:53:16 PM

Title: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: 3500HD addict on May 29, 2010, 09:53:16 PM
  I have noticed that the Tonawanda Vortec 454 engines have individual coil packs on each cylinder v/s the regular vortec 454 has a distributior n plugwires. I just wonderd if they used the LS style ignition on these engines. please elaborate if anyone knows anything abought these animals     
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: merlin5577 on May 30, 2010, 12:02:54 PM
I know MSD makes a conversion kit to run individual coils on most distributor (computer controlled) engines, so it may be be a custom job.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: BigBlockV6GMC on May 30, 2010, 01:00:58 PM
You sure ya got the 454 ? 7.4L ? . . . i heard a handful of these truck's got the 8.1L which would have the ignition you describe for sure . . .

Mike
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: 3500HD addict on May 30, 2010, 10:08:40 PM
  This is on Truckpaper.com It looks like a 454 to me because of the intake plenum and its a 2000??  Here is the adress...http://www.truckpaper.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=2338556    Its in a C6500truck and I think there is a couple more also...thanx
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: BigBlockV6GMC on May 30, 2010, 11:05:26 PM
 :o That sure looks 454 to me . . . I guess it's possible, I'm a bit behind technology these day's . . .

Notice most of my vehicles are 20+ years old  ;D


Mike
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: merlin5577 on May 31, 2010, 12:06:55 AM
Yup, its a 454, I ran the VIN.  ;D Build sheet comes back with option code LP4, which means 7.4L Vortec engine.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: merlin5577 on June 01, 2010, 04:27:17 PM
I talked to a friend who works at a local GMC dealership and he told me all 454's in the 1996 and up medium duty trucks used Coil on plugs, and the light duty trucks used distributors. Learn something new every day.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: 3500HD addict on June 01, 2010, 09:01:42 PM
  Thats cool I wonder if the camshaft has a different profile for even more torque
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: merlin5577 on June 02, 2010, 11:42:48 PM
I dont know about the camshaft, but the crank uses 4-bolt mains and the ECM has a different tune to it.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: someotherguy on June 21, 2010, 07:29:41 PM
Medium duty possibly, but all later model 3500HD's I've seen used a standard distributor, not coil-paks, unless it was the 8.1 used in the last couple of years of 3500HD.

Richard
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: BluntBear on October 20, 2010, 07:58:17 PM
I'd put my money on it being a 8.1L just because I drove a 2002 3500HD for work that had a motor that looked just like that and I know the one I drove was a an 8.1L. Never even heard of a 454 with coil packs, that would require for GM to adapt an ignition system designed for the 8.1L to a 454 for a very very short run. I just don't see that happening. That being said, I've been wrong before.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: 454cid on October 31, 2010, 01:56:57 PM
Sounds like an L21, but I didn't think the C3500HD got that engine......maybe a few did.  That sure would be nice to find.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: BluntBear on November 07, 2010, 02:01:18 PM
Sometimes, and this is with all makes and models, the factory will put in a motor that's waiting to be put in down the line, if it's convenient at the time. I've seen this before with a few different vehicles, but it's very rare, and it's incredibly frustrating for finding parts because the VIN is not accurate for an engine code. Chances are if it looks like a horse and smells like a horse, but it's called a dog, it's a horse. I would bet money on an 8.1L.
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: someotherguy on November 07, 2010, 04:17:10 PM
Just keep in mind the truck in question is a medium duty - a C6500 - and for 2000 model year medium duty trucks, VIN code B on the engine does indicate a 7.4 gasoline MFI engine - though its designator is L21, not the L29 we're used to seeing in the 96-up 3500HD's.

Like merlin577 said, "I talked to a friend who works at a local GMC dealership and he told me all 454's in the 1996 and up medium duty trucks used Coil on plugs, and the light duty trucks used distributors. Learn something new every day."

I'll maintain the only time you'll see factory coil packs on a 3500HD is the last couple years of "real" 3500HD's, when you might find one with the L18 8.1 in it, VIN code G.  2001 and 2002 had it, and I wish I could find my proof that a 2003 3500HD existed as well.  The problem is the 200x models are pretty uncommon, and the searches get muddled quickly by the newer body style so-called 3500HD's - not to mention people that list real 3500HD's as 3500's instead.  I'll keep chasing proof of a 2003 3500HD, it's my unicorn at this point. :)

The engine VIN codes between light and medium duty trucks pretty much have nothing in common as different variations of the engines were used in medium duty, including some engines that aren't available at all in any variation, in the light duty line - like a couple of CAT diesels, and an Isuzu too, etc.

A key piece of information to consider is that GM considered the 3500HD to be in the 1 ton class of truck (light duty), not medium duty.  It bridged the gap between the two for sure, but is still considered light duty.  This is indicated by VIN 6th digit "3" meaning 1 ton.  A regular 3500 and a 3500HD both show a 3 here.

Anyhow doing the research today leads me to modifying the VIN card again so I can add G for the 8.1 :)

EDIT - by the way you guys probably know me by now as someone that doesn't like to make claims without proof; here are ads I clipped from the 'net that show 2001 and 2002 8.1 3500HD's in the "old" body style; VIN #'s have been included for confirmation.  I did crop the ads a little but they should be legible, and you can "kinda" see the coil packs on the valve covers of each.  Sorry for the long pics, only way I could cram in all the necessary details:

(http://www.someotherplace.com/forum/2001_81.jpg)

(http://www.someotherplace.com/forum/2002_81.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: merlin5577 on November 12, 2010, 04:11:10 PM
THANK YOU RICHARD!!! Awesome post!
Title: Re: Tonawanda Vortec454 v/s GM Vortec 454
Post by: someotherguy on November 18, 2010, 11:16:14 PM
Thanks Robert....do note that both the '01 and '02 pictured were built in Mexico.

When I was out at Nick's (MrBeast) this past week he noticed from my GMT400 VIN card that the black 3500HD wrecker was built in Janesville, WI - a plant that is closed now.

Richard