Now why would they put a 292 in a k20 ? That makes no sense to me, you wouldn't even be able to tow with it.
Didn't you know that they were the STANDARD engine in 3/4 ton and one ton trucks? And not just any 3/4 tons either, they had to be the heavy duty C6P package. 292's were only found in these trucks because they had "heavy duty emissions". The threshold for heavy vs. light emissions was 6,000 lbs GVWR in the seventies and 8,600 lbs in the early to mid eighties. Starting in 87, everything had catalytic converters regardless of GVWR.
Blazin and Jason set things straight about the great low-end torque of these engines, but as the owner of a 292 powered K25, I feel obligated to add my two cents.
Straight sixes, regardless of make, are known for their low end torque. This is in part due to the 120 degree crank design. The 292 is benefited by a massive 4.12 inch stroke. They make peak torque at 1,600 rpm and can be lugged down very low, much lower than a v8, which would start knocking or simply stall.
When it comes to towing, 292's do a fantastic job considering what they are, that being a carbureted six cylinder. Beyond 3/4 and one ton 73-87 trucks, 292's were also used as the base engine for the C40, C50 and C60 medium duty trucks with GVWR's up to 24,000 lbs. No, you won't win any races hauling this much weight with a six cylinder, but it will do it. There's a reason that GM used these engines in heavy duty and medium duty trucks. Furthermore, during the eighties, most of the UPS trucks used 292 straight sixes that ran on propane. Many school buses in the sixties and seventies had 292 straight six engines. 292's were also used in farm equipment such as combines.
On a personal side of things, I've had my 81 K25 for 4 years now. I originally purchased the truck and planned to swap in a 350. However, I came to understand the greatness of the 292 and soon ditched any plans of an engine swap. I use it mostly for hauling un-split cordwood logs, which usually yields a 2,800-3,100 lb payload depending on how wet the wood is. The 292 doesn't care about the weight. It's slow empty and it's just as slow with 3,000 lbs of wood in the bed. I also take the truck off roading, or "wheeling" as we call it around here. Much of the terrain I encouter requires low speed crawling and lugging which again are benefited by the low end torque of the 292.
454burb, that vin decodes to:
G=GVWR 8001-9001 lbs
4=2 door cab
T=292 straight six
146807= production assembly sequence number.
So the truck is an 86 heavy duty 3/4 ton(GVWR 8-9,000) and did indeed have a 292 as the stock engine.