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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I am looking for a couple opinions on here. I am looking for a Pontiac 400 to put in my 69 GTO and I was doing a bit of searching and I found this on ebay.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

Now the guy has great feedback and all but how can this be so cheap? For me to get that where I live it would be 10+ grand.

I did a good search of the guy and the only thing I found was in a forum where a guy had a problem with a faulty gasket and a some water left in the oil galley, which just required a gasket change and a few oil changes.

Any opinions out there on whether this is legit?

Scott
 

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Hi Scott,
I've got no direct experience or even second-hand knowledge of this vendor. Trying to glean the facts from all the hyperbole in his Ebay listing is hard, but I do see some good things in there, like some of the parts he uses. I also see some things I question - like the claim of 420 HP and 550 lb. ft. of torque. That's a lot of torque for a motor that "only" makes 420 HP.

Give Jim Lehart at Central Virginia Machine a call and talk to him. I trust him and his work. Central Virginia Machine Service - Home of the Injun Engine!

Bear
 

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Description says MAHLE forged pistons. But the pistons in the picture are sealed power. Their logo is right there in top of the piston!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bear and Eric I completely agree with you guys. I emailed him about a dyno and this is what he replied.

Dear bigalsworth,

I only supply NEW BUILT, never run engines, shipped without oil! Shipping companies require no oil spills, and charge a HUGE enviormential clean-up fee, if any leak is present, so NO OIL!!!!!! I do not build racing engines, and the power rating was the product of a single 461 stroker, built to these exact specs and dynoed. TORQUE is TREMENDOUS, and will easily blow the tires away for city blocks, or cruise all night without overheating. GREAT street engine, with daily driver manners, and decent fuel economy.
Thanks for your inquiry. I see you are in Canada, please provide postal code, for accurate shipping cost. HERB (281-546-6232)

- 1951herb

I have just sent him another message out right asking him how he is selling it so cheap because it just does not make sense. The eagle rotating assembly is 2 grand alone is it not?

Eric, I saw your engine on the ads and I would love to buy that off you but I just don't have that kind of cash. If I end up getting sketched out by this guy on ebay and you give me a year to save up I will buy yours off ya.

Scott
 

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Seems too cheap to me, too, but the gent has a 100% rating, and does indeed list all the right stuff. Also, his responses to inquiries seems to be sincere, accurate and not BS....he seems to know Pontiac traits that are pretty much brand-specific. The 420/550 seems like a bit of a mis-match to me, too....should be more HP and a bit less Tq. For that price, it sure is tempting!!!!
 

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I wrote and asked him a question, and have a follow up planned depending on what he says. If it sets off alarms I'll let you know.

Also it's very hard to tell from the photo, but it almost looks like I'm seeing a "455" on the side of the block in that same picture, the one with the obvious Sealed Power logo on the piston tops.

Could be though that he builds lots of Pontiacs and just used photos he had on hand.

Bear
 

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I wrote and asked him a question, and have a follow up planned depending on what he says. If it sets off alarms I'll let you know.

Also it's very hard to tell from the photo, but it almost looks like I'm seeing a "455" on the side of the block in that same picture, the one with the obvious Sealed Power logo on the piston tops.

Could be though that he builds lots of Pontiacs and just used photos he had on hand.

Bear
Thats what I figured. Also reading his responses. I think he is advertising his HP/TQ numbers from a 461 that he dynoed. And just advertises all his 400's at that number??????
 

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Without any commentary on my part, draw your own conclusions...

First I wrote and asked, "Are all the photos in your ad from one of your actual engines?"
Response: "Yep, I shoot a few photos to post on my Ebay listings, they were all built in my little shop! I build 4 motors a week, and never catch up, that's all I want to build, and plan to keep quality the best. I paint each engine the color each customer specifies, and can even shoot the customers special color, if a pint of paint is provided.
Thanks for your inquiry. "


So I wrote back: "Ok - well, I asked because your ad says you use Mahle pistons, but the ones visible in that block very obviously have the Sealed Power logo on them."
And the reply was: "That photo was of a 455 engine, with SpeedPro forged pistons, but the 461 uses an EAGLE rotating assembly. This includes Mahle forged flatop pistons- 6.800" H-beam rods- and cast steel 4.25" stroke internal balance crank. Good catch, you have a good eye for detail, the photos mainly represent the way the engine will look.
Thanks again"


Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Without any commentary on my part, draw your own conclusions...

First I wrote and asked, "Are all the photos in your ad from one of your actual engines?"
Response: "Yep, I shoot a few photos to post on my Ebay listings, they were all built in my little shop! I build 4 motors a week, and never catch up, that's all I want to build, and plan to keep quality the best. I paint each engine the color each customer specifies, and can even shoot the customers special color, if a pint of paint is provided.
Thanks for your inquiry. "


So I wrote back: "Ok - well, I asked because your ad says you use Mahle pistons, but the ones visible in that block very obviously have the Sealed Power logo on them."
And the reply was: "That photo was of a 455 engine, with SpeedPro forged pistons, but the 461 uses an EAGLE rotating assembly. This includes Mahle forged flatop pistons- 6.800" H-beam rods- and cast steel 4.25" stroke internal balance crank. Good catch, you have a good eye for detail, the photos mainly represent the way the engine will look.
Thanks again"


Bear
LOL Thanks for looking into it Bear and e-mailing him. Hard for me to tell because yeah those pics could be of one of his engines, just not the particular one he is building.

I'm tempted to try it out just because he does have an excellent rating and it seems to be high enough that he couldn't fake all of those (if you even can fake your rating). I am going to read through the ebay buyer protection plan and see what I can get out of that. After I get the engine I can have a few buddies who know way more about them than I do to look at it and see if there is something that stands out or anything I can find that gives cause to file a complaint/return through ebay.

I might also call the guy that you recommended Bear and see what kind of a price I can get through him. If he can get my something that I am looking for in the 6-8 grand range I might just go through him which would probably be much less stressful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The ebay lister replied to my question about how he has an engine so cheap and the reply was what I was expecting.

"I make some money off it but I don't bend my customers over a barrel" kind of answer. It still does not make any sense to me. I'm sure that rotating assembly alone is $2000 bucks. How can he finish it off for only another $1700 and make any money off of it.
 

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I might also call the guy that you recommended Bear and see what kind of a price I can get through him. If he can get my something that I am looking for in the 6-8 grand range I might just go through him which would probably be much less stressful.
It wouldn't hurt to call him and just talk about it. I can promise you that he'll give you factual information and won't try to put any sort of hard sell (or sell at all, actually) on you. He also won't be offended if you decide to spend your money elsewhere.

That was what impressed me so much about him the first time I spoke with him: the amount of information he was willing to share, and how much he was willing to go into the reasoning behind his recommendations, without expecting anything in return from me.

Bear
 

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He also puts questions asked/answered on his listing as well.

Man If I had cash in hand I'd go for it. Specially since its in Texas and I could go pick it up and save on shipping!

Seems legit to me. Thing about ebay is if its not legit, you're almost garunteed to be insured. Ebay will lay down the law on those who do otherwise.
 

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My buddy charges $500 to build a motor, so if this guy builds 4 engines a week at $500, that's $2k a week, or $104K a year, so a good business. Yep, just checked him out, I am interested for myself. That's some nice stuff he's using, except the chinese intake and distributor, but usable. Stroker kit is real nice. The 383 stroker SBC comes with aluminum heads, 60 more HP, roller rockers for the same money, 60 ft lbs less torque.. Damn Chevy's.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just bought it. 4200 bucks including shipping to Canada. Really nice guy on the phone. I will update this in the future when I get and it spark it up for future engine buyers.

Thanks for all the help fellas
 
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