Engine Rebuild Costs - - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Engine Rebuild Costs -

What is a good price for an engine rebuild? How much should I budget? My machine shop quoted me a price of X dollars, why so much?

Now this is not about should I use forged or cast pistons, forged or factory rods, iron or aluminum heads, flat tappet or roller cam, cast exhaust manifolds or headers. That kind of stuff is determined based on the horsepower expectations or 1/4 mile times you might want to shoot for - you may want factory stock or an all-out 10-second ride. These are the things you discuss with your engine builder and parts suppliers. But, there are costs involved as horsepower costs, period.

So I found this discussion which gives you an idea of what parts might cost with comparison style examples of parts & labor. Pontiacs are not Chevies or Fords so parts are already going to be higher than the far more inexpensive Chevies & Fords, and rightly so because of their numbers and available aftermarket offerings.

There are also 2 videos you can watch for additional info.

Just click on this link - Engine Price Info
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 07:40 PM
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I spent about $1800 on a stock rebuild of my '67 400 in 1988, upgrading to forged pistons. No other frills. I was re-reading a 1988 issue of High Performance Pontiac magazine yesterday, and noticed an ad for Len Williams crate 455 engines, ready to run, for $1800. had I noticed the ad when I bought the magazine, buying one of those and bagging my original engine would have been an excellent choice. He's still doing crate 455's, and you can get one for less than the cost of a DYI rebuild. Funny, even 28 years ago, he was setting the CR to 9.2:1 to run on pump gas of the day!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 07:15 PM
 
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I spent in the neighborhood of $2500 for my rebuild 5 years ago. Had to bore the block out and use standard 400 pistons (no longer 389), but all else is stock. When I had the heads done, I had my guy put hardened valve seats in so I can run unleaded gas without additives.

GOAT - Get Out Another Thousand
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 10:29 AM
 
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If you go with the basics, of 5140 RPM forged rods & SP forged pistons, with a Summit cam kit, and a good valve job, don't think you can have it built correctly, for under $3000, unless you do some of the assembly work yourself, or have a friend who'll help you, for free.

Len Williams was mentioned. While you're searching prices, better include Len's crate engines in your search. He builds good engines, and supplies the core, for less than MANY shops charge to build, using your core parts.

Len's cast rod 400 is $4000 + shipping. I assume he can add forged rods for a couple of hundred more.

400 Long Block

Or you can buy just a shortblock, and have your heads done locally.

400 Short Block

455 Short Block

pontiac crate engines

Old stock valves can break, wiping out your engine. So you probably should include the cost of new one piece stainless valves, in your cost. But, you said you weren't asking about what parts to use--OK.

"...this is not about should I use forged or cast pistons, forged or factory rods, iron or aluminum heads, flat tappet or roller cam, cast exhaust manifolds or headers...What is a good price for an engine rebuild? How much should I budget?..."

I personally don't see how you could possibly expect to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a build, without knowing what parts you plan to use. For example: forged parts cost more than cast parts, roller cams cost more than flat tappet cams, new SS valves cost more than using the stock valves that are already in your heads, etc, etc.

Also, some shops, like Len Williams, bore and hone with a torque plate, and know Pontiac engines. MOST local shops build mostly Chevy engines, do not even have a Pontiac torque plate, and know very little to nothing about a Pontiac engine. I know 1st hand how bad a Chevy shop can mess up a Pontiac engine

So, given the question you've asked, I don't see how we could possibly give you the exact answer you're lookin for. But, good luck with your build, anyhow !
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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oldskool: "So, given the question you've asked, I don't see how we could possibly give you the exact answer you're lookin for. But, good luck with your build, anyhow!"

You missed the point. This topic was aimed at a general discussion to which many will ask on this forum as to what it will cost to rebuild their engine.

PontiacJim: "Now this is not about should I use forged or cast pistons, forged or factory rods, iron or aluminum heads, flat tappet or roller cam, cast exhaust manifolds or headers. So I found this discussion which gives you an idea of what parts might cost with comparison style examples of parts & labor."

My engine is already done and waiting assembly by me when the time is right, so its in pieces at this moment. I elected to use some of the higher priced pieces due to the HP level I hope to get out of the engine, but didn't go too exotic with aluminum heads, roller cam & lifters, or Holley carb - because I felt no need for these pieces when it came to the ratio of HP gained/price paid. Have not added up the total of which I have invested, but I can tell you that it is the most money I have ever spent on an engine. I have more money in it today than all the cash I spent for the '67 GTO convert, '68 GTO hardtop, '70 Judge, '65 GTO convert roller, '56 Pontiac, '57 Pontiac, '54 Buick, '51 Lincoln, '73 Mercury Capri, and '67 Firebird all put together - which I bought throughout the late 1970's and early 1980's! I'm thinking I am up around the 4K mark (or so) with me doing the head porting/polishing and assembly of the engine.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 06:54 PM
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Mine was $4,870.01 + $1,400.00 shipping both ways then I had to tear it down to a long block to remove the rust from the valley and oil pans source another timing cover that leaked and replace the cracked harmonic balancer and all the missing bolts, new gaskets, paint, rust remover etc and a dist. which was supposed to come with the rebuild but didn't.
Then I had to buy another set of magnum roller rockers and a set of polylocks when the nuts backed off and hammered a couple of them.
I only needed two but after driving all the way to Riverside they didn't have a pair so I bought another set.
Probably another 15 hundred 2K for all that stuff, at this point I don't even want to add up the receipts.
So somewhere between $7,870.00 and $8,100.00

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:36 PM
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The difficulty in picking a 'fair' cost results from the variances in overall goal. When I built mine, I wanted a 'reasonably healthy' cam shaft without having to go overboard on overlap, so as to not sacrifice drivability too much. Getting the duration I needed for the power level I wanted without getting too much overlap meant going with a roller profile. I also chose mechanical over hydraulic to save mass in the valve train. Rollers are quite a bit more expensive than flats, plus since I went mechanical it was a good idea to install oil restrictors in the lifter oil feed passages. I did all that work myself, but it would have added quite a bit to the build cost if I'd had to pay a machine shop to do it. Similar situation on the windage tray. I wanted one, but the factory tray wouldn't fit with my stroker crank so I had to find an aftermarket one then (as is usual with aftermarket parts) had to spend quite a bit of time fitting/modifying it to fit correctly. Then the block needed a little clearancing to make room for one of the crank counterweights.
Point is, it doesn't take much to have a significant impact on the cost of a build.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:51 PM
 
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"oldskool: "So, given the question you've asked, I don't see how we could possibly give you the exact answer you're lookin for. But, good luck with your build, anyhow!"

You missed the point..."

Yes, you are absolutely correct. I reckin I miss the whole point. I'll just plead ignorance, from my age, I suppose. So, I won't make any more comments about it, on this thread.

Hope the thread accomplishes your goal.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 01:41 PM
 
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I'll have ~$6,000 into my rebuild but that also includes the cost of tri-power carb rebuilds. Still waiting for the call from Jim that the motor is ready for pickup.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by oldskool View Post
"oldskool: "So, given the question you've asked, I don't see how we could possibly give you the exact answer you're lookin for. But, good luck with your build, anyhow!"

You missed the point..."

Yes, you are absolutely correct. I reckin I miss the whole point. I'll just plead ignorance, from my age, I suppose. So, I won't make any more comments about it, on this thread.

Hope the thread accomplishes your goal.

Your good. No harm, no foul. You still provided build info which fits the bill. The cost of an engine build is a tough one even IF you sit down and crunch numbers thinking "OK, it'll cost me $$$$ to do a complete rebuild." Then something comes up you did not necessarily count on OR you decide to upgrade on a part or two..........and there goes your budget build.

I think the only way to get an exact quote is to buy a crate engine complete and have it shipped to you. Other than that, its like trying to get a quote from a mechanic on how much it'll cost to fix the car. You know that always seems to go up.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Engine Tuning and High Performance

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