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Old 10-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
marbleheadjimmy
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A good engine for a beginner to rebuild?

I am interested in taking my mechanical skills up a notch and want to look into doing a rebuild. I want to do a modest build, and I am not concerned with adding huge amounts of power. I am Doing this to further my knowledge, not build a race car. I want to get a used engine complete, or start from a block and go from there. Budget isn't necessarily a concern, because I have no time frame to get it done. I would like to do it over the winter, but if it took longer, so be it.

I am looking for something that is common, like a Honda engine (I know, gasp) to keep cost and part hunting down. Plus, getting a rolling chassis or "beater" to throw it into would be relatively easy. I just don't know if something like that would be a wise choice for a newbie builder.

Any suggestions? Critisism's? Tales than warn of danger ahead? Please share.


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Old 10-08-2012, 04:46 PM   #2
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Seriously, everything can be done with a few tools including the motor. Parts are available and there is and always be a solid market to resell.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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A quad 4, if you can do one and, have it run right after...You're a genius.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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I would not recommend a VW. Those are not that easy to rebuild, but there are plentiful parts to be found.

Find you something with a Gen1 Chevy V8 engine in it and go from there. There should be plenty of cheap trucks out there with 350s or 305s. Ford's are not bad either, but you'll have to get used to non-adjustable valve trains on most. The same goes for ChryCo V8s where you have the bonus of shaft mount rockers until the 90's, but mostly non-adjustable with hydraulic lifters. Solid lifter engines have adjustments, but not hydraulics.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I would not recommend a VW. Those are not that easy to rebuild...
For a 3rd grader maybe.

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #6
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I see a lot of older engines listed for the beginner. Is this simply due to the fact more modern engines have all the extra electronics? Does it really vary much mechanically speaking? I know some things have obviously changed, carbureted vs injected for instance, but do older motors allow a lower level of precision that allows for the beginner to "learn" with?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marbleheadjimmy View Post
I see a lot of older engines listed for the beginner. Is this simply due to the fact more modern engines have all the extra electronics? Does it really vary much mechanically speaking? I know some things have obviously changed, carbureted vs injected for instance, but do older motors allow a lower level of precision that allows for the beginner to "learn" with?
Short of modern electronics, all engines are the same.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
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If this is going to be a learning experience, go with something modern, take your time and learn things that can help you in times to come. Older engines (carbs,etc.) may not help you so much down the road.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #9
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That's what I would assume. I know the principals don't vary much throughout. Is it reason enough to steer clear for the beginner though? I know beggars can't be choosers, but if any engine can be rebuilt with the help of a book and the right tools, then that opens a few doors. Someone that has built/rebuilt a few engines has a good idea of what to start with, and whether or not all the added electronics is enough to add too big a hurdle to overcome.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerbay View Post
If this is going to be a learning experience, go with something modern, take your time and learn things that can help you in times to come. Older engines (carbs,etc.) may not help you so much down the road.
So, essentially, if I have the right information (like a rebuild book) and the right tools, it's really just a matter of following instructions and not rushing?
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