Which Is A Better Investment?

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JordanB21

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Feb 6, 2012
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340 for a near 4G crate? You could stroke out your engine and get a full top end for that much, and if you wanted, bore it out to a 306. Same deal. More power.

I wouldn't bother with that crate, bolt ons are cheaper, and more effective(when we are talking about between a 302 and 306), plus you can piece it together.
 

ratio411

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Apr 21, 2002
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If you have the skills or are willing to learn the skills, building your own is always cheaper.
The cost of the crate engine is half parts and half labor, and ALL retail.
If you shop around, you can get the parts for less, and do the labor yourself.
But it is only a deal in the end if you do it right though. It's not hard, but takes patience and determination.
 

Vaz88GT

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Apr 8, 2012
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If you have the skills or are willing to learn the skills, building your own is always cheaper.
The cost of the crate engine is half parts and half labor, and ALL retail.
If you shop around, you can get the parts for less, and do the labor yourself.
But it is only a deal in the end if you do it right though. It's not hard, but takes patience and determination.
I realize its overpriced and i'd rather build it, I just wanted to know if its worth putting money into a 150k mile engine, or would it be better to just throw a crate in there.
I guess once I get it taken apart I can judge if its worth it.
 
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ratio411

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Exactly!
150k is nothing if you are letting a machine shop clean everything up.
Once they machine the metal surfaces, they are like new, assuming the shop checks everything for anomalies like cracks or warpage.
 
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Vaz88GT

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Exactly!
150k is nothing if you are letting a machine shop clean everything up.
Once they machine the metal surfaces, they are like new, assuming the shop checks everything for anomalies like cracks or warpage.
So what exactly would I need done? Other than checking for cracks and boring the block to a 306?
 

ratio411

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Well, I just had a 5.0 in the machine shop.
He checked the block for:
Deck flatness, was fine.
Bore, ended up going .030" overbore to clean it up.
Line bore, was fine.
Boiled the block, which then requires new cam bearings and freeze plugs.
Checked for cracks.

Heads:
Valve job
Checked the guides, they were fine.
Checked the heads for flatness. Milled .018" to get out damage from a blown head gasket (aluminum heads).
Check for cracks
New seals
Retapped some accessory holes, again due to soft aluminum.

Rods:
Cleaned, pulled old pistons, installed new.
Checked for straighness, fine.
Checked bores, fine.
(I have had rods that didn't check out, and needed resized. It is not common, but does happen.)

Crank:
Clean
Check
Ended up grinding it .010" on the mains and .010" on the rod journals.

I have the crank installed now, and it can be spun in the block with a slight push of the finger!
(No rods, no cam connection, and torqued to 70#s)
I hope the rest if the build is just as perfect.
 

ratio411

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I think so far we have spent about 500 in parts, and the labor at the machine shop was a hair over 500.
So if you build it yourself, you are looking at roughly 1000, not including your aftermarket speed parts.
That covers new gaskets, seals, plugs, machine work, pistons, rings, oil pump, bearings, and to be fair, the parts 500 included some ARP fasteners and oil pump drive. Also gotta figure a couple hundred less on machine work if you go with new aftermarket heads.
So you could probably do better than $1000 for the foundation of the build.
 
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