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Thread: A good engine for a beginner to rebuild? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-30-2013 09:03 PM
darkknight9 Sorry to resurrect the thread, but I was having somewhat similar thoughts of rebuilding. No matter what engine you go with let me introduce you to the best $30 or so dollars the curious can spend:

Boxwrench video series: Basic engine building Volume I (2nd. ed) DVD

I have no affiliation with the company and they did only rebuild v-8's but they not only walk you through the entirety of the process, they take you through what the machine shop does for you and what is available to you most steps of the way. You wont watch it one time through and be instantly turned into Mr. Pro Mechanic, but they will give you a guide from what to do to pull the engine out all the way down to breaking in the engine back in your vehicle. They also rebuild cylinder heads.

Honestly if there was a way for every person who every wanted to try it or who had a question about the process to see this I'd be willing to bet it would answer most inquiries.

Its almost worth it to see what an engine that's taken on seawater looks like when they rebuild it. Narf!
10-10-2012 03:13 PM
felixthecat
Quote:
Originally Posted by marbleheadjimmy View Post
In an effort to sound as noobish a possible, is it mandatory to remachine the block no matter what? Will every used block have to be remachined, or is it just down to whether or not the cylinders are scored/damaged/different bores? I don't want to go so cheap that all the effort goes for nought. Just curious if it's something that is a requirement no matter what the situation.
The manchine shop will check the cylinders for wear. All blocks are going to have a tapered wear= where the rings ride up & down in the cylinders, so more than others. To do it right you'd want the machine shop to figure out if it just needs a cleanup hone or bore & hone & oversize pistons & rings. Then you'd want them to resize the rods & hang & align the pistons unless you have floating pins. For a basic small block chevy kit it'll come w/ cast pistons,rings, bearings= rod/main, oil pump & a true roller chain. Then the machinst w/ say like= You need a .030 over pistons & .010 under mains or rods or both. Then you order the correct clearence sizes. Then the fun begins, grab a plastic gauge kit.
10-10-2012 02:19 PM
marbleheadjimmy In an effort to sound as noobish a possible, is it mandatory to remachine the block no matter what? Will every used block have to be remachined, or is it just down to whether or not the cylinders are scored/damaged/different bores? I don't want to go so cheap that all the effort goes for nought. Just curious if it's something that is a requirement no matter what the situation.
10-10-2012 09:36 AM
felixthecat
Motor by it self

Quote:
Originally Posted by StockTalon View Post
Figure $1500 by the time your all said and done if. That doesn't count what ever you spend on the engine itself. Machine work will be $400-600, plus parts like pistons, bearings, seals, etc. Now, that isn't factoring in anything that needs to be replaced outside of a regular rebuild.
I go for that. ^^^^^^^^ Just grab a core motor & a engine stand. I've fired up a few engines on the ground, no big deal. I wouldn't even buy a vechicle at all. Make sure its a quadrajet carb. Then you get to rebuild & adjust a smooth running carb of all time.
10-09-2012 05:07 PM
StockTalon
Quote:
Originally Posted by marbleheadjimmy View Post
Is there a ballpark figure on what to expect for cost on a 302 or 350? Like I said before: just doing a modest rebuild. No high end performance parts, but not necessarily OEM either. Maybe somewhere in the middle to lower range? Thanks for all the information so far. I appreciate it.
Figure $1500 by the time your all said and done if. That doesn't count what ever you spend on the engine itself. Machine work will be $400-600, plus parts like pistons, bearings, seals, etc. Now, that isn't factoring in anything that needs to be replaced outside of a regular rebuild.
10-09-2012 05:04 PM
Buickboy Oh god why go for anything but a chevy 350? Parts are dirt cheap, the engines are everywhere, the process has probably been documented a million times by now and people swap them into everything
10-09-2012 02:52 PM
marbleheadjimmy Is there a ballpark figure on what to expect for cost on a 302 or 350? Like I said before: just doing a modest rebuild. No high end performance parts, but not necessarily OEM either. Maybe somewhere in the middle to lower range? Thanks for all the information so far. I appreciate it.
10-09-2012 06:32 AM
whynotthinkwhynot The old V8's are easier to find parts for, but really modern engines are not all that difficult. Our 16v engines have fewer parts because the cam hits directly on top of the valve. Parts are not that cheap though. You can build a V8 for less than what it costs to build either a Zetec or Duratec.

Getting the crankshaft halves together correctly is tricky on air cooled VWs. You'll need to make some special tools (dowel set-up with some wood) and use a few tricks. Those engines are light though. You can pick them up without much assistance. Don't catch one on fire or drop it though. Magnesium is not forgiving. Cast iron is more forgiving, but will break stuff if it falls on anything. Typical weight for a bare V8 block is around 200 lbs, complete is over 500- except FSBs that are like 450 depending on if you have aluminum heads.

If you find the right vehicle, and the condition of the sleeves is good, you can rebuild one of these engines in the vehicle. That saves some pain and suffering. It's not exacto perfectomundo, but it will run fair to middlin as long as the cam bearings are ok and don't get screwed up. You can probably get those out and back in with it still in the vehicle, but I haven't done it. Likewise, crank bearings don't usually have to be replaced unless there was severe oil loss or extreme age. That's your junkyard build there. If you do go removing stuff you need to be careful how you store the crank and cam. I would remove those last after you have your new parts- that's the easiest way to store them properly. If the rod bearings were really worn out, then you won't be able to do that because the crank will need to be turned.

LOL who's paying to have a carb tuned? I can understand paying someone to tune and sync webers on an old MG, but not a quadrajunk, thermoclunk, or motorcrap. I send a big F-U out to Holley for power-valves and stupid people, and another F-U out to Edelbrock for being tuned to a 350 out of the box but damn near impossible to tune right for a 340. Maybe it works on a 302, I don't know. Japanese carburetors do not tune. Yes you can do it, but to do it correctly you need to have a propane sensor which is a $400+ tool if you can even find them any more. Once someone messes with one of those, it's junk. I've never been able to get one right. 99% of the time, the carbs problems were caused by one of the 40+ vacuum lines being bad- usually close to the carb. The idiots who messed with the screws are the same idiots who mess with throttle plate stops on EFI cars nowadays.

You want advice from an online forum? Sometimes you get the throttle plate Jap carb killers, and sometimes you get experts. Most of the time it's in-between and you have to figure out what's up.

OOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I know one, easy to find: locate you a mid 80's to early 90's S-10 with a 2.5 (151 cid) 4 cyl- the Iron Duke! That's a wacky pushrod 4 cyl that is not difficult nor expensive to build. Cranks can be bought for about $90 on that S-10 version which doesn't need a balance shaft drive like the FWD Buicks/Olds do. If you can find a Pontiac, it has the 2.5 with a cam driven oil pump also, and doesn't need the balance shaft drive. Those are fairly straightforward, lightweight, but it's 2/3 of a I6 not half a V8. For that matter, a Ford with a 2.3 is not hard to find, and that engine is not difficult to build either. Performance parts are available for both of those engines.
10-08-2012 10:42 PM
matmatician I have a 1.9L Opel GT engine with a Weber carb that you can rebuild if you want to come over to WA... lol. Its super straight foreword and small, but parts are a BEEOTCH to find. I'd suggest a single cylinder Ninja 250 though. You can buy the whole bike for cheap, the engines have been around forever, and there are millions of them on the earth.

If you really want to do a car engine, the tried and true 350 would be a good start. Parts are everywhere.
10-08-2012 10:39 PM
jinstall VW boxer motor. They can be put together poorly and still run.
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