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Old 05-24-2012, 09:26 AM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,723,093 times
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Here's my take. The only reason to build an engine is because you enjoy building engines and/or want that experience. Outside of that, the generally cheapest and easiest thing to do is just to buy one and drop it in. If you were going to build one, I would personally start with a new block and then select your parts and go from there. A used block is cheaper, but by the time you pay to have it refinished properly and prepped, the cost may even out to what a new one would have cost and with the used block you always run the risk the machine shop is going to find something wrong and turn the whole thing into a giant paperweight.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: WA
5,641 posts, read 24,969,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Here's my take. The only reason to build an engine is because you enjoy building engines and/or want that experience. Outside of that, the generally cheapest and easiest thing to do is just to buy one and drop it in. If you were going to build one, I would personally start with a new block and then select your parts and go from there. A used block is cheaper, but by the time you pay to have it refinished properly and prepped, the cost may even out to what a new one would have cost and with the used block you always run the risk the machine shop is going to find something wrong and turn the whole thing into a giant paperweight.
I agree, with all the machine work to make sure an older block is true and clean, the parts at retail, and the time and shop expense the real bang for the buck is a crate motor. Only is you want hands on to do something special is it worth the effort to start with an older core.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,382 posts, read 8,656,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
It also depends on if it's important to keep the numbers matching. My '87 GTA has the L98 350, and I've given lots of thought to whether I should rebuild it or replace it (when the time comes), but I'd rather keep a numbers matching engine in the car.

The ZZ4 crates I've looked at are over $4k.
That is what I am saying... a ZZ4, isn't even quite up to my goal hp of 400ish, but close enough but we are talking $4-5k.

Maybe I will lower my goal to the 290 hp crate motor, and upgrade that in future years.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Floribama
18,949 posts, read 43,662,269 times
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A lot of people do LS1 swaps, but that seems like a major headache in my opinion, the ECM and everything else has to be swapped. You'd be better off buying a fourth gen car.

I've learned to love my old skool 3rd gen for what it is, all 215hp of it. There's always going to be something out there that's faster.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: WI
3,961 posts, read 11,031,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
There's always going to be something out there that's faster.

that's it in a nutshell. Build it for your own enjoyment, too easy to get caught up in dyno wars or bragging rights at the strip.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,155 posts, read 29,341,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangEater82 View Post
Small Clock Chevy.

In the talk of becoming a machinest thread, I saw people saying you can buy cheaper then building. I have browsed some and still haven't made my final opinion.


I eventually plan to put a ~400 hp small block chevy in my car.(85 Camaro) I was just curious what are opinions of people here for meeting that goal?

Build a block or buy. If I am building it. I will have to have some work done by an engine shop. I can assemble it just fine. (I actually have rebuilt recip aircraft engines) I also will need to source a good block to build.


If people are buying an engine where are they looking for it.
I had a 1985 Iroc-Z myself and the 5-speed manual tranny and weak 7.5" rear end won't take the power/torque... So you will need to upgrade the whole drivetrain if you want to run 350+HP in a 3rd Gen F-body..

I mean it might just be cheaper to find a wrecked LT1/LS1 Camaro/Trans-Am pick it up cheap from the wreckers and pull the Engine and T-56 6-speed out and Rebuild/Refurbish them and buy an aftermarket Ford 9" differential that bolts into 3rd Gen F-bodies..

Either way if you don't swap out your stock diff and tranny they will be blown out in no time with a 400+HP 350 SBC under the hood.

Anyways good luck with your project dude and check out ThirdGen.org for info on 3RD Gen F-body engine swaps... and what you will need to do the job and what other parts you will need to upgrade to make it work..And Keep us posted..
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:05 PM
 
Location: NC
6,032 posts, read 9,218,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
A lot of people do LS1 swaps, but that seems like a major headache in my opinion, the ECM and everything else has to be swapped. You'd be better off buying a fourth gen car.

I've learned to love my old skool 3rd gen for what it is, all 215hp of it. There's always going to be something out there that's faster.
You can do a carbureted LS1 , btw.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:43 PM
 
4,246 posts, read 12,032,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
A lot of people do LS1 swaps, but that seems like a major headache in my opinion, the ECM and everything else has to be swapped. You'd be better off buying a fourth gen car.

I've learned to love my old skool 3rd gen for what it is, all 215hp of it. There's always going to be something out there that's faster.

That's what a carb is for. Skip the computer crap and all the wires that go with it. With 215hp, everyone will be faster in this case.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Floribama
18,949 posts, read 43,662,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post
That's what a carb is for. Skip the computer crap and all the wires that go with it. With 215hp, everyone will be faster in this case.
Oh well, I don't race mine.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,717 posts, read 18,946,996 times
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How about this, buy a junk yard engine and put it in the car while you're rebuilding the numbers correct engine to what you want. Then you have the car to drive, the engine to play when the money is right and you'll learn how to build an engine. Take yer time doing it and when reinstalling the original engine you can really get under the hood and restore that area so when you drop the engine back in it'll look like new. You also have the junk yard engine to sell and if it's still running good, might not cost you anything to use for a few months.
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