There's no need to run anything more than 1.5:1 rockers. Vortec, swirl ports, and even the hybrid heads all pretty well max out airflow around .500 lift. Vortec heads were specifically designed to flow almost max at .400 lift so GM could run a small cam with them. You could run your stock intake and throttle body no problem. i only mention upgrading them because they would be limiting peak output instead of your heads. As to some saying they have problems with the 454 tbi unit on small blocks not running right, I think this is from lazy tuners. GM turned out THOUSANDS of 4.3, 5.0, 5.7, & 7.4's in marine use, and they ALL got the same TBI units bolted on them. GM used the same 2" bore throttle body and 85 lb/hr injectors for low pressure, or 45 lb/hr injectors for the high pressure systems. And they had zero issues with any of those engines running/idling poorly. Even the 4.3l running 40 psi of fuel pressure on the 45 lb/hr injectors(comes out to around 110 lb/hr by increasing the pressure) would start, idle, and run just as smooth as could be asked for. So I don't see why others have problems on the street.@THEFERMANATOR Do recommend you stock ratio roller rockers or something else with the cam you suggested?
The Clearwater heads sound like the way to go, more meat should mean less risk of cracking.
Would I have to upgrade the intake and tbi right away? Only curious since I dont have many miles on my current injectors, I also have heard the 454 has idle issues on 350 engines.
Hey let me know how that cam works out, I'd like to do pretty much the same changes you making.... Thx for posting