Chevrolet 153 4-cylinder engine

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Chevrolet 153 4-cylinder engine
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Combustion chamber
Configuration Inline-four engine
  • 119.6 cu in (1,960 cc)
  • 141.5 cu in (2,319 cc)
  • 153.3 cu in (2,512 cc)
  • 181.0 cu in (2,966 cc) (marine only)
Cylinder bore
  • 3.5625 in (90.49 mm) (2.0, South Africa)
  • 3.875 in (98.425 mm)
  • 4.00 in (101.60 mm) (181)
Piston stroke
  • 3 in (76.2 mm) (South Africa)
  • 3.25 in (82.55 mm)
  • 3.60 in (91.44 mm) (181)
Fuel type Gasoline

The 153-cubic-inch (2.5 L) 153 was an inline-four engine which was designed for use in the entry-level Chevy II/Nova. It is a four-cylinder version of the Chevrolet 230 inline-six. Usage of the 153 lasted through 1970 because of low demand (the motor was used as standard equipment with the Kaiser Jeep DJ-5A which was used by the United States Postal Service until 1971 where the 153 was replaced with the AMC inline six after Kaiser Jeep was purchased by American Motors), after which the inline-six was made the base powerplant with the Chevy II/Nova. Currently, descendants of the 153 are used with industrial (forklifts or generators) or marine applications.

The 153 has a bore of 3.875 inches (98.4 mm) and a stroke of 3.25 inches (82.6 mm). The firing order is 1-3-4-2. A later variant of the 153, the 181, used a larger 4-inch (101.6 mm) bore and a longer 3.6-inch (91.4 mm) stroke. The 181 (branded by GM as the Vortec 3000 for marine or industrial usage) was never installed in passenger cars (later variants of the Vortec 3000 had modified cylinder heads where machined bosses were drilled for use with multipoint fuel injection). The 153 engine is entirely different from the later Pontiac 151-cubic-inch (2.5 L) Iron Duke, but the two are often confused today.

South Africa[edit]

This engine was a mainstay for GMSA, who built it in their Aloes Plant (on the northern edge of Port Elizabeth) for installation in a wide range of cars. Several smaller displacement versions of this engine were also built there. The larger one has a displacement of 2,319 cc (2.3 L; 141.5 cu in), and a stroke of 3 in (76.2 mm) with the same bore.[1] There was also a narrow-bore 1,960 cc (2.0 L; 119.6 cu in) engine which has a bore of 3 916 in (90.5 mm).[2] This is also the bore used for Chevrolet's closely related "194" six-cylinder engine.


Marine versions[edit]

GM produced a 3-liter for Mercury Marine, based on the 153 (4 inch bore/3.60 stroke), but using the Chevrolet V8 bellhousing bolt pattern. The 3 liter is manufactured in Mexico where 1992 to present engines have a one piece rear seal similar to the one used with the Chevrolet small block and 90 degree V6 (the flywheel bolt pattern for the later production 3 liter do not interchange with the earlier 153 or 181 which uses the small block and inline six 3.58" bolt circle nor does it use the 1986-present one piece rear seal flywheels since the bolt pattern is larger).


  1. ^ a b c Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1985). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1985 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. p. 186. ISBN 88-7212-012-8. 
  2. ^ a b Freund, Klaus, ed. (August 1979). Auto Katalog 1980 (in German). 23. Stuttgart: Vereinigte Motor-Verlage GmbH & Co. KG. pp. 128, 226–227.